Miscellaneous Blogs

Interesting blogs on spirituality and other topics that intrigue me

  • These are Complicated Issues
    I watch from afar with great sympathy. The British royal family is in crisis. On May 19, 2018, Prince Harry (Duke of Sussex) married Meghan Markle (Duchess of Sussex), in a fairy tale wedding at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in England. While Harry is not in the direct… ... read more
    Source: Leading from the Heart Published on 2020-01-21
    2 days ago
  • We Meet You, O Christ
    A week ago, on Epiphany Sunday, I attended worship at New Hope UMC in Des Moines where Rev. Dr. Lilian Gallo-Seagren is the pastor. And guess what? We sang hymn #257, which I had never sung or played before. Never! I was astonished. The hymn, which is called We Meet… ... read more
    Source: Leading from the Heart Published on 2020-01-13
    1 week ago
  • Two Prayers and a Hymn for a New Year
    It’s affectionately called “The Merton Prayer.” Found in Thomas Merton’s 1956 book, Thoughts in Solitude, the preacher quoted it in the worship service I attended the Sunday before Christmas. My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot… ... read more
    Source: Leading from the Heart Published on 2020-01-06
    2 weeks ago
  • The Great Turning Around of All Things
    We are talking about the birth of a child,Not the revolutionary acts of a strong man,Not the breathtaking discovery of a sage,Not the pious act of a saint.It really passes all understanding: The birth of a childIs to bring the great turning around of all things,Is to bring salvation and… ... read more
    Source: Leading from the Heart Published on 2019-12-23
    1 month ago
  • The Christmas Parade
    Christmas parades – they’re ubiquitous at this time of year. Last week our North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops was at a learning retreat, and, wouldn’t you know it, we found ourselves in the middle of a Christmas parade! School bands, floats, reindeer, lights, and, of course, Santa Claus. What… ... read more
    Source: Leading from the Heart Published on 2019-12-16
    1 month ago
  • The Zeal of Coming Clean
    What a glorious privilege it was to spend last week in Cambridge, England as part of a training around Reflective Supervision. There were nineteen of us, including five bishops; our Iowa Director of Clergy Excellence, Lanette Plambeck; leaders from several conferences in the US.; and staff from the British Methodist… ... read more
    Source: Leading from the Heart Published on 2019-12-09
    1 month ago
  • The Most Expensive Gift Ever
    Advent was supposed to begin yesterday, but for many people in the US, the lights went up in mid-November. At least they did on my street in suburban Des Moines. We have a lot of young families in the area, and some of the displays are pretty creative. By contrast,… ... read more
    Source: Leading from the Heart Published on 2019-12-02
    2 months ago
  • Unfolding the Kingdom of God in the Here and Now
    Gratitude. It was the first word that came to my lips. A week ago yesterday, I attended worship at Storm Lake United Methodist Church, which is in the Northwest District of Iowa. The first thing I noticed was the young drummer warming up with the band. How wonderful that a… ... read more
    Source: Leading from the Heart Published on 2019-11-25
    2 months ago
  • A Call to Faithfulness and Social Engagement
    One of the things that attracted me to The United Methodist Church many years ago was that professing faith means more than simply claiming Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It also means embodying my faith every day by making a positive difference in the world. Did you know that… ... read more
    Source: Leading from the Heart Published on 2019-11-18
    2 months ago
  • The Mending Wall
    Last week at our Council of Bishops meeting, our European episcopal leaders led us in a worship service commemorating the 30th anniversary of the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, which was this past Saturday, November 9. How critical it is to remember. “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.”… ... read more
    Source: Leading from the Heart Published on 2019-11-11
    2 months ago
  • Are You a Red Letter Christian?
    It was a serendipitous moment. On Saturday, October 26, I had the privilege of offering a greeting to the 167th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa. Whereas United Methodist bishops come and go, Bishop Alan Scarfe was elected as the Episcopal Bishop of Iowa in 2002 and has been… ... read more
    Source: Leading from the Heart Published on 2019-11-04
    3 months ago
  • You did so much
    The privilege of officiating at baptisms, weddings, and funerals has always been one of my greatest joys. Perhaps the most satisfying part ministry for me has been helping parishioners prepare to enter the last phase of their life. The conversations that I have had with people who are transitioning to… ... read more
    Source: Leading from the Heart Published on 2019-10-28
    3 months ago
  • Foolish Church 
    It’s a pretty foolish idea. A church inside a state prison? When I arrived in Iowa in 2016, that was one of many things that felt amazing, and wonderful, and challenging. It seemed no less foolish when I had the opportunity to visit worship there in Mitchellville on a cold… ... read more
    Source: Leading from the Heart Published on 2019-10-21
    3 months ago
  • I Repent in Dust and Ashes
    Early Thursday morning last week, I was awakened by huge rolling claps of thunder and the sound of torrential rain beating against our house. As I lay in bed, knowing that I would likely not be able to get back to sleep, I marveled at the fierceness of the storm… ... read more
    Source: Leading from the Heart Published on 2019-10-14
    3 months ago
  • A New Creation in Christ
    World Communion Sunday was yesterday, and I couldn’t wait! I never received the sacrament of Holy Communion until I was 15 years old, so I’m still catching up. I was raised in the General Conference Mennonite Church and attended church every Sunday from my birth until I went off to… ... read more
    Source: Leading from the Heart Published on 2019-10-07
    4 months ago

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