Originally posted on Love Radically:

IMG_0102After over 200 years in ministry, Rehoboth United Methodist Church near Pulaski, Tennessee will hold its final service this Sunday, June 22, 2014. During the 2014 Tennessee Annual Conference, a cabinet resolution was read and passed closing Rehoboth and reverting the property to the Pulaski District of the Tennessee Annual Conference. According to some sources, in 1810 a group of people near Crosswater Creek, south of Pulaski, joined together and formed Crosswater Methodist Church in a small log cabin, probably someone’s home at the time. One of the first pastors of Crosswater was Aaron Brown, the father of another Aaron Brown who served as Governor of Tennessee. Later, in 1830, the congregation built a new building on higher ground and called their church Rehoboth, after the name of a well dug by Isaac in Genesis 26:22. During the Civil War according to legend and some histrical sources, the church was…

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Originally posted on Daryl Williams:

A Proverb a day gets you on your way!

Here is the Daily Dose for Thursday, April 24, 2014.

Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. Proverbs 24:27

First Things First

first things firstWhen you have a lot of cousins and a lot of time during the summer you learn to play different games. You need something that will be interesting to everyone, able to be played as a group, and that can be played anywhere. That takes out a lot of choices, so you begin to make things up. My favorite made up game was called “That’s My.” It was easy to play That’s My, all you had to do was see something and say That’s My before someone else claimed it. For instance, if you were sitting on the porch and saw a nice car go by the first person to…

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Originally posted on Kendall F. Person, thepublicblogger:

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“You have created an excellent meeting space, both informative and engaging.” -Let’s Cut the Crap

Day 2 of 7 Support The Neighborhood Week.  Its Your Neighborhood Too

Day One – Blinded by the Peaceful Soldiers – featuring beatmaker Fiyaman, Baltimore and Photographer Brian Spence, Sacramento. 

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 Before the Neighbors Arrived: 4 Moments that Define The Neighborhood 

I remember moving from the blogger platform to WordPress and feeling really nervous, like I was moving across country in real life. An old friend, fortunately, allowed me to leave without cleaning up, for she made sure that anyone who arrived after January 1, 2013 was sent to my news digs, thepublicblogger.com. To my knowledge, no one from the blogger medium ran after me, begging me to wait up or stay, so I had zero followers, although I arrived with four months worth of posts in tow. By selecting an appropriate…

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Originally posted on THE CHRISTIAN PUNDIT:

princeton chapel A friend of mine attended a Christian college where almost all of the students, including her, grew up in non-denominational, evangelical Protestant churches. A few years after graduation, she is the only person in her graduating class who is not Roman Catholic,  high Anglican or Lutheran. The town I live in has several “evangelical” Protestant colleges: on Ash Wednesday you can tell who studies at them by the ash crosses on their foreheads.

Young Christians are going over to Catholicism and high Anglicanism/Lutheranism in droves, despite growing up in low Protestant churches that told them about Jesus. It’s a trend that is growing, and it looks like it might go that way for a while: people who grew up in stereotypical, casual evangelicalism are running back past their parents’ church to something that looks like it was dug out of Europe a couple hundred years ago at least. It’s encouraged…

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“For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” Roman 1:16-17 (NRSV)

Some days I check the main newspaper from my home country, Colombia, to see how the nation is doing. Although mass media does not give you a faithful picture of the situation, mass media helps to paint an idea. It is up to you to investigate farther and have the whole story. Well, just a few days ago, a video from YouTube made the headlines in every media: TV, radio, etc.  A well known Christian church leader commented in a recorded gathering that -I am paraphrasing- people with physical disabilities or handicapped individuals should not be allowed to serve God from the pulpit. This comment broke apart the body of Christ & created a public debate.

The leader’s interpretation of Leviticus book was the foundation of her comment.

18For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, one who is blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, 19or one who has a broken foot or a broken hand, 20or a hunchback, or a dwarf, or a man with a blemish in his eyes or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. 21No descendant of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the Lord’s offerings by fire; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the food of his God” (21:18-21 NRSV).

Based on these verses, the Christian leader said that if one is missing a finger, lacking an arm, a hand, or sight that person could not stand up in the pulpit to preach the word of God. Her theology was based on the fear that other members may be scared by seeing someone preaching in the pulpit without a body part, so they will not go back to that church.

This real episode of today’s church is not brought up to blame one particular leader. In fact, this is what has been taught for centuries in our churches, as well as teachings about the limited participation of women in leadership, and other themes. I brought this up so we can invite each other to reflect and keep accountable. So we can see if we have been that leader in our church, home, school, work, or street that casts out those who don’t have a voice in our society.

We need to ask ourselves have we justified our actions, thoughts, and even moral values through misinterpretations of the God’s will? Have we taken God’s name to justify doctrines in our church that harm the most precious treasure of God; God’s people?

Paul brings a fresher reminder of the infinite Grace. Since this Grace is given, this is a great time to start thinking we may not be the ones deciding who are Grace recipients. Grace does not distinguish between Jews or Greeks, physical appearance, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, nationality, or socio-economic status.

After cases of segregation, I am ashamed. I am ashamed when we play to be God while doing no good for the Kingdom. I am ashamed for the spiritual and physical lives we, as church, have taken away from God’s will. Instead, we spend our energies defending doctrines that do no good to the Body of Christ. I am ashamed of a church taking comfortable positions, and looking for its own convenience, going against the Church’s principles that God intends to form. I am ashamed when separation takes place in church history. Yes, people, let’s be ashamed of injustice, so we may be driven to redirect our self toward God’s will. Paul invites us to not be ashamed of the Gospel, del Evangelio, the Good News, las Buenas Nuevas, because they are the core and source of our strength, love, and faith.

Prayer: Holy and merciful God. We pray for your forgiveness. Forgive us for claiming the authorship of your creation and accommodating your word to our convenience. Help us to reflect and self-evaluate on our manners and understanding of the Gospel, so our will becomes yours. Cover us with passion to receive everyone in the Church that you intend for us; a Church of love, grace, compassion, and favor. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Carlos Reye
Infinite Grace Fellowship
Washington D.C.

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Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio and we used to have some vicious winters. On one rare occasion when there were several inches of snow school was canceled and my daddy made a suggestion, “Son, why don’t you go take the shovel and make some money.” My dad was a man of few words and I decided to take my daddy’s suggestion and I set out going door to door asking people could I shovel their driveway for a few dollars.

I went door to door/street to street/block to block and at the end of the day I was several miles away from home. When I finished  my last driveway with my legs tired, muscles cramping, an old lady asked me if I would shovel her drive way and much to my chagrin she had one of those long driveways with a steep slope.  She saw the look on my face and gave me her own pitiful look that I’m convinced that only old ladies can give you and she said, “-please baby help me out.”

Can I be honest?  I was tired, I was worn out, but something told me still to help her out, and I started shoveling up the hill.  My muscles were contracting, my legs were cramping and then I saw a car come up to the corner. You see my daddy had been searching the neighborhood since I went out based on his suggestion. He decided to throw the snow blower in the car and partnered with me to finish the task of clearing snow from this long hilly driveway.

Listen, when you go out on your Heavenly Father’s suggestion, you may not think you can do it by yourself, but the God that I serve, will search for you and find you. There is nowhere that you can go to get away from the presence of God.

Fasting is not easy – Be Strong and Courageous!

Acknowledging your sin leaves you vulnerable – Be Strong and Courageous!

Forgiving yourself and forgiving others can be humbling- Be Strong and Courageous!

And he may not come when you want him to come, but God is an on time GOD.  YES HE IS!

Reflection:  In this season of reflection, repentance, forgiveness and self-denial know that God is your partner in this journey.

Rev. Dr Charles Montgomery

Vineyard Church
Columbus, OH

They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”    John 8: 6-7, 10-11 (NIV)

As children of God we have all sinned and fallen short of living in obedience to God’s Word. We have two basic responses.  Many people choose the first response and run away from the church, accountability, and God. Because of the Holy Spirit living inside of us we are in constant turmoil, and never at a place of rest and peace. Our second choice, and the most powerful response, is to run to the church so we can meet Jesus again. It is in the church that we can find reconciliation, renewal, and repent.

Jesus was to pronounce judgment on a woman caught in adultery. According to Jewish law, there was no need for a jury and no need for trial. Death by the hands of her accusers was the prescribed sentence. Her accusers, all men who had unrevealed sin in their lives, brought her before Jesus to gain confirmation about their intentions to stone her to death. They came to Jesus looking for validation of the judicial code; Jesus ignored the code, exposed the sins of the men, and gave the woman a directed verdict. Not only did he stop the crowd from their murderous intentions, he also pronounced a life-giving and life-changing sentence.

All of the blessings that Jesus bestowed upon the woman are yours if you are willing to surrender, confess and turn from your sin.  Jesus wants to make you whole. Regardless of your past, your transgressions or your short comings the grace of God is available to welcome you into a new relationship.  The lady in our scripture was looking for love in the wrong places and found the love of her life that would never leave her.

 Prayer: God, even when I blow it and I am disobedient to you, allow me to experience your love and grace. Amen.

William T Chaney Jr
Infinite Grace Fellowship
West Baltimore UMC
Baltimore, MD

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