Category Archives: Spiritual Journey

Spring Break

It was a typical spring morning in a rural south Texas town. Blue sky, a few puffy cumulous clones floating around, and a slight breeze blowing through the mesquite trees. A few residents were gathered outside the gas station/general store drinking coffee, enjoying this glorious South Texas Spring weather.

We were just a couple of College kids from SMSU on our way to South Padre Island. After driving all night we were just a couple of hours from our destination. Seven days of sun, sea, and sand. While my friend took his turn behind the wheel I was taking a well-deserved nap.

Suddenly I woke up from my nap to see a trailer stopped on the road ahead with our car headed straight toward it at 65 MPH.

LOOK OUT! I screamed.

We swerved to the left just in time to avoid a rear-end collision. The right side of our car smashed into the trailer, the impact sending us into a spin. We finally came to rest on the roadside 40 to 50 yards from the trailer we just hit. Miraculously no one was hurt.

After the Crash

Have you ever had a near death experience?  It changes your life. I attended church as a kid and always said I believed in God. But this was the first time I felt God was looking out for me personally. Andy had fallen asleep at the wheel. Had I not awoken when I did we would have smashed into that trailer and most certainly been killed. But God had other plans for my life.

Nine months after my near fatal collision I met Linda. We soon graduated and began climbing the corporate ladder. Over the next few years, we got married, traveled across the US and Europe, purchased our dream home, and had Lauren and Amanda. as Saturday Night Live ’s Garrett Morris would say: “Life was veddy veddy good to me.” I felt wide awake and so alive.

Little did I know this castle of sand I was building would soon come tumbling down.

Divided Methodist Church

On February 26, the United Methodist General Conference 2019 delegates passed The Traditional Plan 438 to 384. The judicial council raised several constitutionality issues. They addressed these issues with amendments to the Traditional Plan.

The Rev. Tim McClendon, South Carolina, called for a vote on the Traditional Plan as amended. This affirms the church’s current bans on ordaining LGBTQ clergy and officiating at or hosting same-sex marriage.

Opponents mounted a last-ditch effort to bring back the One Church Plan. Delegates defeated the One Church Plan by a vote of 449-374. The Rev. Tom Berlin, Virginia Conference, spoke for a minority report for the One Church Plan.

Berlin told delegates that approving the One Church Plan did not force any pastor or church to perform same-sex marriages. Nor did it force anyone to change what they believe about the Bible. In addition the plan would allow conferences to ordain LGBTQ pastors. It would also allow churches to host, and pastors to officiate at same-sex marriages.

“If the Traditional Plan is voted in, it will be a virus that will make the American church very sick” he said. “Many pastors are going to leave, many annual conference will leave. … There will be trials, and they will be on the news. The only news about the church will be about people we don’t serve.”

Where Will We Go From Here?

Adopting the Traditional Plan is yet another milestone in the evolution of the Methodist Church. Time will tell how this ultimately unfolds. Will the church decide on an amicable separation similar to the Lutheran and Presbyterian churches?

I have family and friends on both sides of this controversial issue. Personally I disagree with the church’s position. I wish they would have adopted the One Church Plan. However, I understand and respect their decision. As Methodists we may be divided on this issue. However, we will survive.

My first encounter with a gay man came in the mid-1990s. He worked for me. We were on a business trip to San Francisco where we talked about his partner who died from AIDS. I was deeply moved by his story. Prior to that conversation I was admittedly a bit homophobic. His testimony put a human face on the issue for me. Since then I have met many gay and lesbian individuals and couples. Many of whom I consider good friends.

Regardless of what happens to the church I will try to live faithfully by the example shown by Jesus Christ.

John 13:34
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.

My Life in 24 Hours, Metaphorically Speaking

582749main_sunrise_from_iss-4x3_946-710A metaphor is a figure of speech that refers, for rhetorical effect, to one thing by mentioning another thing. It may provide clarity or identify hidden similarities between two ideas. Antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy and simile are all types of metaphor.

Heavenly bodies

The Cambridge dictionary defines heavenly body as any object existing in space, especially a planet, star, or the moon. I like the image of the sun as the Father, moon as the Son, and the stars as the Holy Spirit. These heavenly bodies are always there even when we cannot see them.

In spite of my circumstances, I still feel the challenge to live each day well. My spirituality has undergone a transformation as I look for ways to be grateful for the gift of today.  One such gift has been a shift in perspective.

I used to think of the sunrise and sunset as metaphors for the beginning (birth) and end of life (death). Now, I look at the 24 hour span of a day in a different way. The sunrise marks the beginning of life. The daylight hours represent the part of my life when my spiritual journey was lived in community with other people of faith. I went to church where people saw me and I saw them. My faith and my witness were lived out in the open. My relationship with God and my service to Him was on full display.

Learning To Walk In the Dark

I’ve come to think of the past year as my twilight hours. A transition from public to private spirituality. The sun has set and it is now dark. Yet, the constant companionship of the moon and the stars gives me great comfort. Even though there are occasionally cloudy nights when I can’t see the moon and stars I know they’re there. They are always with me. There is an intimacy to my relationship with God in the privacy of the nighttime that I didn’t experience during the day.

My faith continues to deepen as I enjoy the nighttime hours. The 24 hour cycle will be complete when my life on earth comes to an end. The sun will then rise on my life in heaven.

The Escapist” is a hidden song featured on the album Viva la Vida, by Coldplay.

And in the end
We lie awake
And we dream
We’ll make an escape

And in the end
We lie awake
And we dream
We’ll make an escape