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Walking Together

United Methodist Youth in New York State taught me this song  —

Walk with me

I will walk with you

and we’ll build the land 

that God has planned 

where dreams come true

With whom are you walking?  Look around in worship today.


Walk with Me

An old joke, used in many cartoons and movies: a guy’s on a pay phone (remember those?) asking for directions.  Told to give his current location, he looks up at a traffic light and says, “I’m at the corner of Walk and Don’t Walk.”

“Walk with me,” says Jesus in Matthew 11:29.

Walk with Jesus, or Don’t Walk with Jesus.

It’s our choice.


What the Soul Is

Need a reminder of how important it is to live your faith?

This is from an unknown ancient writer, in a piece called Letter to Diognetus — 

What the soul is in the body,

the Christians are in the world.

What a job description you and I have just been handed!

On Your Recommendation

 How likely are you to recommend us to your friends?

That’s the only customer satisfaction survey question that seems to matter, according to a Wharton School of Business interview with founders and CEOs of leading companies.

Ask yourself that question relative to your own church: With 1 being like  “I won’t” and 10 being “Most certainly,” how likely are you to recommend your church to your friends?


With 1 being low and 10 high, the nines and tens are grouped together and called Promoters.

The sevens and eights are considered Neutrals.

Six and below?  Detractors.



Implications for Christians as we speak about our churches are huge, and certainly start with the understanding that anything less than a 9 on a 10 scale isn’t helpful.

Clearly Detractors won’t help a church grow.

Neutrals, even though at least fairly likely to recommend their church to their friends, have only a negligible impact.   Worse, Jesus is not subtle in his condemnation of neutrality, which he calls “lukewarm” in Revelation 3:16.

Only the enthusiastic members of the 9 or 10 crowd are considered Promoters.



Our churches already have enough Detractors, both within and without.

Being discarded with the Neutrals by Christ is not for you.

Today, let’s ask our Lord what we should do to be effective Promoters of the good that God is up to in and through our churches.

Nothing less will do.

Sharon Came At Me with A Big Stick

Sharon came at me with a big stick!

Okay, so it was maybe like 18 inches long and not quite a 2×2…but she was coming at me and shaking it at me!

Okay, so she was smiling and waving it at me…but she was still coming at me with it!

“I saw this, read it, and thought of you.  Knew you’d love it.”

It did have writing on it:

God doesn’t just want weekend visits…  

God wants full custody.

Sharon was right: I do love it, and it has a place of honor in my office.

This Tuesday we’ve been given, let’s you and me remember this —

God doesn’t just want weekend visits…  

God wants full custody.

Pretty serious.

Because God’s serious about us.

Worth Your 4:19

If you’re a regular here, you might recall that last week I mentioned one of our Centenary UMC absolutely stellar Sunday School Teachers named Linda Brissenden.

Yesterday, in teaching about “Science and Religion,”  she urged us to check out youtube for a classic I’d forgotten about.

James Weldon Johnson wrote “God’s Trombones” years ago, and it’s been read/presented/performed/preached in one form or another by too many people and ensembles to name here.

Like other times on youtube, it’s easy to get lost wandering around all the options, so let me save you some time and recommend a brief one (4:19) that’s in a fresh voice with bright visuals:

Like me, you’ll thank LindaB.

Ready, Set, GO

Martin the Magnficent was taking me on a walk.  (If you live with a puppy, you understand that sentence.)

We were coming back home by the front of the church building next door to where we live, and a banner out front had gotten twisted.  The upper left corner was folded over onto itself.

It was a banner welcoming people to Share the Spirit but the top left corner was flopped over, causing the top of the letter “h” to be unseen.

Snare the Spirit is what it looked like it said now.

That got me thinking.

“Catch the Spirit” was a former denominational advetising campaign of  The United Methodist Church.  While it was was, well, uhm, catchy, no pun intended, I always wondered what it meant.

Were we being called to “Catch the Spirit” and let it fill the sails of our souls like a sailboat?  That’s empowering.

Or were we to “Catch the Spirit” because it had gotten loose?  That’s us trying to be controlling.  Oops.

Share the Spirit works great as the next step beyond “Catch the Spirit,” in part because Share the Spirit assumes that as followers of Christ we have someting/Someone to share.  It’s great!

But trying to Snare the Spirit?  That happens when we get like the banner: folded in on ourselves.

Today, let’s Share the Spirit.  

Ready, set, go!




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