Ordinary Time: Story Resources

For the past few weeks I have been having a great time gathering materials for my messages. However, like so many other weeks there is so much good stuff and only tome for a little bit of conversation.  So, for the first post in a long time I am going to give a little outline of the message and some of the additional resources that I mention in the message as well as some others that I have been liking while researching and studying this week or while I have been prepping for the message.

We will see how it goes or what it feels like.  This week seems like a good fit because I feel like I have a story welling inside and I struggle at times with the best way to get it out.  This might be a way to get some of the floodgates opened up.

So, this past weekend my congregation continued a series called Ordinary time.  It is following the Lectionary and we are trying to lean into the time in the church year that is from the Sunday after Pentecost to the beginning of advent.  It is a long period that we are not getting ready for Christmas or Easter.  We are using an amazing book by author and pastor Erik Willits. Check it out from his website right here.

This is the 4th week in the series that will take us through the summer

The scripture readings for this weekend were: 1 Samuel 17:1, 4-11, 19, 32-49; Psalm 9:9-20; 2 Cor 6:1-13; Mark 4:35-41

Ordinary Time: Story Message Outline

We are called to be Spiritual Biographers.  We write (through our words, deeds and ideas) about the why God interactions with creation.  We share the grace and heartache of humanity.  The reality is that the story we are writing is the only Good News (gospel) others will be reading.

Ordinary time gives us an opportunity to get our story straight and prepare to write the next chapter.

The lectionary reading give us 2 guides this week 1. David and Paul.  From them we learn 3 critical things that a good spiritual biographer does.

  1. Know your story–Before Goliath David has a history of protecting the the sheep from predators. He also knew that God was with him and he was anointed to do great things.  In knowing his story, he was able to step-up to Goliath when no one else would.
  2. Set up camp in the discomfort zone–Standing before a giant David chose sling and stone over sword and shield.  He knew it was going to be risky, but he was confidently entering into unknown territory and setting up camp.  Paul understood what it was to be uncomfortable for the glory of God (see the 2 Cor reading).  For both of these men setting up camp in the discomfort zone meant that they would be able to make history.
  3. Write the next chapter–we don’t stay in the discomfort zone forever.  Either we are called to a new place or we face Goliath and that place is no longer uncomfortable.  But we do tell the story.  David kept Goliath’s sword as a reminder of the way God delivered him.  Remembering and writing the next chapter in our spiritual biographies allows us to set way points along the trail of more fully trusting God.

Monday Moment–So what? Why does this matter

We are the only gospel some of our friends will ever read. What does your story say about God? Is it Good News?  As Spiritual Biographers we want others to read our lives and know what God is all about.  This week try this:

Make a list of the 5 people who you have the most contact with, and then:

  1. Pray for them that they may be blessed by God’s grace this week
  2. Look for an opportunity to get into the discomfort zone and share (a little bit more) of your story with them.  This could be over lunch or coffee or just during a pause in your day.  Have meaningful conversation to get to know one another more deeply.
  3. Write the next paragraph: promise to continue the conversation or offer to do it again.  Write the story with your friends in it.  Faith is a team sport.

Some resources I came across this week:

Tell Someone: You Can Share the Good News: check it out on amazon

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants: Check it out on amazon

Blindspots to better things

This past weekend we had a guest preacher, Drew Dyson.  Drew is a professor at Wesley theological Seminary.  he teaches evangelism and practical theology.  I have been able to get to know drew and his family as they moved into Middletown over the summer.  He is a great guy with a wonderful family and brings a GOOD word to us about seeing past hurdles to better things that God has in store.  Enjoy!!


Here is a little paddling video I cut up from a while back to loop before worship this weekend.  We are kicking off a new teaching series.  This weekend we are talking about going with the flow.


This past weekend Bill talked about the way that we are called to be reflections of the Glory of God.

The text that he drew from was 2 Cor. 3:18–And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into  the same image from one degree of glory to another.

This is the transformation Wesley would have spoken about as being made perfect in love.

As i have been thinking about this over the weekend one question has been striking my mind.

What am I reflecting?

With all of the things that I have on my to-do list, all of the things I consume (being Music, TV and advertising from every angle) what do I reflect.  I have my devotion time in the mornings and some in the evenings if the morning gets away from me.  But i can’t help but ask if that is enough that i would then reflect God throughout my day to everyone that I encounter (both in person and though the various mediums that connect us today.

DO you feel like you are reflecting God’s Glory or something else?

How may you more faithfully reflect the thing you are called to reflect?

Psalm 23: remix

I have always been struck by the way that God continues to work in and through my life.  I am constantly rediscovering God’s word and plan for me.  This past weekend we at MUMC were in conversation about how we can rediscover God through the common things in our lives.  The backdrop for the conversation was Psalm 23 or as I called it growing up, the funeral Psalm.

Take a listen/watch and then tell me about some of the ways or scriptures you have been rediscovering…

MUMC Sermon July 18, 2010 from Middletown United Methodist Ch on Vimeo.

Midweek boost

Are you like me and need a mid week boost to get you through till the weekend.  Well this week i have just the thing to help you out.  Check out the sermon from this past weekend from our 8:30 and 9:45 services.  It is our very own Victoria Tice.

She did such a great job talking about scriptures that mean a lot to her.

So, Take some time from your crazy day and get a boost from Victoria

Farmer’s Markets and Yard Sales

Do we give our very best to God?  On the heels of our youth yard sale this past weekend, we (MUMC) were in conversation about how sometimes we treat God like a customer at our yard sales.  We don’t want to give our best, but rather we keep the good stuff for ourselves.  We are willing to shortchange and take shortcuts at times just to make it a bit further. And it seems like yard sales are all about the rules and transactions.

In contrast when you go to a farmers market you get the very best of the vendor’s goods, and they are always up front and honest.  Even when they may not sell you something they are all about relationships rather than rules and regulations.

As a poeple of faith we are called to be like the farmers market.  We are called to live out our faith in all that we do.  John Wesley had three rules that were designed to engage us in doing this.  Do all the good to you to all the poeple you can, do no harm and attend to the ordinances of God (or fall in love with God each day).  I fun with this talk.  (I even did a little drama intro at our 9:45 service)

Take a look at how it went down at the 8:30 service.

MUMC Sermon June 13, 2010 from Middletown United Methodist Ch on Vimeo.