Tuesday, July 28, 2009

God is with you

A posting at the Methodist Corner blog by Allen McGraw got me thinking about God-with-us. He referred to the song "Signs" by Five Man Electrical Band. I used Bing to find the song lyrics and then smiled as I couldn't help myself -- I started singing it (the song's guitar chords at a different site).

Near the end of the song, the man says, "thank you Lord for thinking about me, I'm alive and doing fine." God is with us during hard times. Not that he prevents suffering, but that he's right there with us. Jesus suffered on the cross ... in our place ... for our sins. God knows our pain. As a great piece of inspirational music from Joe Parks said, "We're never alone with Jesus."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Distinctive Methodist doctrine

What's distinctive about Methodist doctine? A good place to start your journey on the topic is Wikipedia's several pages on "Doctinal distinctives", which are listed in the "Methodism in America" section of the Methodism page.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Serving others vs personal holiness?

In "Serving Others vs Serving Self", Allen McGraw relates an incident in which someone implied that he preached too much about serving others and not personal holiness. Allen is a United Methodist pastor and seminary student who authors the Methodist Corner blog.

He cites Mark 12:28-34 and states that you can't separate personal holiness from serving others.

This reminds me of the periodic tension between those fervently advocating an evangelism-only approach to outreach vs. those who lean toward a service-only approach. The reality of where Wesley fit was between those two extremes, folks. He preached the gospel and also served the poor and needy.

Allen has it pegged -- if you have real personal holiness, you'll have a true desire to help others. Good deeds flow from faith in God. Good deeds are then God deeds -- we are the vessels of his love.