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Showing posts from October, 2011

Trade Denied/Grace Realized

This week several teams in the NFL traded players.One trade, between the Detroit Lions and the Philadelphia Eagles, would have swapped running back Jerome Harrison for running back Ronnie Brown.But the trade did not happen. Both players were required to undergo a physical before the trade was made official; upon seeing the results of Harrison’s physical, the trade was voided.According to ESPN, the physical revealed a brain tumor.If this proposed trade had not happened, it is impossible to say when or if Harrison’s tumor would have ever been discovered.Fortunately it is in the very early stages, and he hopes to make a full recovery.
Have you ever accidentally tripped upon grace? Ever had one of those “ah-ha moments” when the universe seemed to tumble together in the right order?I have no idea if Mr Harrison is a spiritual/religious guy or not, but I suspect upon hearing the news of his physical he saw life in a different light.And I imagine there was more than a little bit of gratitud…

Kickin in the Doors

I grew up a Houston Oilers fan, and as such I hated the Dallas Cowboys. When I was a kid, The Oilers were coached by the loveable, Texas cliché Bum Phillips, father of former Cowboys coach Wade Phillips.  The Cowboys, on the other hand, were coached by the stoic Tom Landry. The Oilers in the late 1970s were a powerful team, led by football legend Earl Campbell.  As much as I disliked the Cowboys, I really hated, and still do this day, the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Every year they seemed to knock my team out of the playoffs. After one such defeat, the Oilers returned to the Astrodome, packed full of adoring fans, holding signs which said, “Luv ya blue.” Bum Phillips was handed a microphone and he uttered these words in the thickest Texas accent one can imagine:
"Last year we knocked on the door. This year we beat on it. Next year we're going to kick [it] in."
The [it] replaces the more colorful words used by Coach Phillips. Unfortunately the Oilers kicked nothing in again the …

A Response to the Eraseboard

The other day someone left a message on a dry ease board in a classroom at the church. Someone spent several minutes explaining why individuals in our congregation should change who they are- to conform to this person's biblical understanding.  Words like "Repent!" were there, alongside phrases like, "God does not support homosexuality," "God loves the sinner, but hates the sin," and "Don't wait, be straight!". Several people saw this, and responded with anger, frustration, or disgust. How should we respond?

Recently we had a sermon series called "Christians Behaving Badly," and this type of situation was exactly what we were concerned about. Those with one perspective feel compelled to share it, without sensitivity to how it will be received. Oak Lawn UMC is a place that values inclusivity in everything we do. Every Sunday I stand before the congregation and say something like this: "We are proud to be a plac…