Showing posts from January, 2017

Be the Blessed Community

My alarm clock just went off (it's 5:00 a.m.), but here's the thing: I've been up since 3:30. I've known since last night I was going to have to change my sermon for this morning. I know there is a feeling out there that churches should not be political, and that pastors should refrain from speaking to the issues of the day. That the church should somehow be insulated against that. As I have said before, I believe that idea is naive-- people are inherently political. But beyond that, one does not have to read the Bible on a very deep level to see that Jesus, the Hebrew prophets, the apostles, the heroes of the Old Testament such as Moses, Ruth, Esther, Job, the writers of 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, and so many others spoke the truth to earthly, political power. And to not stand in that same tradition as a minister of the Gospel is a question of Christian integrity.

So I decided late last night to change the sermon for today. I came in super early to write t…

Wakefield Blitz

This week I've been doing some sermon planning, and as of a couple of hours ago, I've tentatively outlined the remaining Sundays of 2017. Looking further down the worship road, here's where we are headed over the next couple of months: during February we'll explore the Sermon on the Mount. Lent begins March 1, and during that season of deepening our faith we'll hear from Romans each week. Check it out:

DateSeriesSeason & Liturgical ColorFirst ReadingSecond ReadingFeb 5A Blessed Life- Sermon on the MountOrdinary Time/Green1 Corinthians 2:1-16Matthew 5:1-20Feb 12A Blessed Life- Sermon on the MountOrdinary Time/Green1 Corinthians 3:1-9Matthew 5:21-37Feb 19A Blessed Life- Sermon on the MountOrdinary Time/Green1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23Matthew 5:38-48Feb 26Transfiguration of the LordWhiteExodus 24:12-18Matthew 17:1-9March 1Ash WednesdayPurpleJoel 2:1-2, 12-17Psalm 51:1-17March 5A Righteous Life- Romans for Lent1st Sunday of Lent/PurpleMatthew 4:1-11Romans 5:12-19Ma…

MLK 2017

Tomorrow is Martin Luther King, Jr day. Christy and I are taking the boys to see Hidden Figures for the occasion. We want them to see and hear vital stories of African Americans making meaningful, often forgotten, contributions to our country.

This morning I offered the following prayer in worship. Quoting from Dr King's Letters from a Birmingham Jail, the litany was written by two of my professors from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC, where I earned my doctorate in preaching.


We remember the conviction of Martin Luther King Jr, that "freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed." Therefore, let us pray for courage and determination by those who are oppressed...

We remember Martin's warning that "a negative which is the absence of tension" is less than "a positive peace which is the presence of justice." Therefore, let us pray that those who work for peace in our world may cry out first…

Renovate or Redecorate

Years ago, and I mean years ago-- probably 15+ years ago-- Christy gave me a beautiful, hardbound copy of The Count of Monte Cristo. I read this book way back in high school or college and really liked it. I mentioned that to her once, and voila, here comes a gift. She's that kind of person. Anyway, this copy sat on my bookshelf for many years, unread. I didn't have the time. I would see it out of the corner of my eye, think, "I really need to read that," and move on to something else.
That pattern continued until last Spring. The announcement came down that we were moving to Sherman, we had a ton of house showings, and one morning when we had to be out of the house for several hours I pulled this off of my bookshelf and headed to Starbucks.
I loved it immediately. I knew it was a book about vengeance, but I forgot how dense the book is. My version is nearly 1400 pages long. And the conversation between characters is a style and formality unknown to most of us. I ma…

2016 Media Reviews

I usually post an end of the year movie review bonanza, but this year is different. I saw a handful of movies last week, but I am not sure I watched enough movies in 2016 to produce a proper top 10 list. But I did see several brilliant longer than feature length documentaries and a TV series unlike any other, so after a few short reviews I'll offer a Top 10 Media List.

Rogue One: a Star Wars Story
I intentionally waited a couple of weeks to review the latest Star Wars movie, but I couldn't avoid a couple of tweets about it:
I'll play: 1. Empire 2. A New Hope 3. The Force Awakens 4. Rogue One 5. Jedi 6. Revenge of Sith 7. Attack of Clones 8. JarJar #starwars — Pastor Frank (@revfrankdrenner) December 17, 2016 Need to eleviate confusion: #RogueOne is excellent. If I'm grading: Empire A++. New Hope: A+. Force Awakens: A. RO: A-. Jedi: B+. Prequels:😞 — Pastor Frank (@revfrankdrenner) December 18, 2016Rogue One is great-- just not to the level of 1977 or The Empire Strikes …