Ecclesiological Etchings: 05-31-16


Scripture: Proverb 22:6
Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won’t depart from it.

Thought for the Day: For the Klein School District, the school year is entering its final week. Like many of you, I have wonderful memories of the last week of school. Lots of energy, both students and teachers ready for the end, a bit of sadness as we said good-bye to friends, and of course, a desire to sleep in past 7am. Before the year ends, let me offer a word of gratitude for our teachers and support staff. Educators across this country have been working within a system that is not always friendly to their work. Educators have dealt with a lack of funding, text books written by politicians instead of scholars, parents who can’t believe their beloved child would do anything wrong, a push to teach toward a test instead of creating healthy and successful young people, etc. Yet for so many of these educators, they have continued to show-up everyday and find creative ways of inspiring and encouraging our young people. As a parent of one of those kids, I shout, “Thank you! You are making a difference!”

Prayer: Creator of Us All, wherever I can encourage an educator or student, please nudge me to do so. Wherever I can help shapes another human life, spur me to act. Amen.


Sermon Series:
Graphic-Galatians Sermon Series

June 14-17

Ecclesiological Etchings: 05-30-16


Scripture: 1st Peter 3:10-11
For those who want to love life and see good days should keep their tongue from evil speaking and their lips from speaking lies.  They should shun evil and do good; seek peace and chase after it.

Thought for the Day: This is a day in which we remember those who have died, specially those who died in times of war. Too often people believe that soldiers desire war, but I truly believe that humanity’s greatest wish is to know peace. It is the soldier who has the most to lose.  Sometimes the journey to that destination of peace is complicated and there are different opinions on what path to take. With that in mind, I am reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” Let us continue to find ways to live peacefully in our day-to-day existence so that we might embody our heart’s greatest desire.

Prayer: Give me a spirit of peace, O Lord, so I might be capable of living peacefully this day…and tomorrow… Amen. 

Begins this Sunday
Graphic-Galatians Sermon Series


June 14 – 17


Ecclesiological Etchings: 05-29-16


Scripture: 1st Samuel 20:23 (the Message)
Regarding all the things we’ve discussed, remember that God’s in on this with us to the very end!”

Thought for the Day: The author, Melina Marchetta, wrote the following: 

Memory is a funny thing. It tricks you into believing that you’ve forgotten important moments, and then when you’re raking your brain for a bit of information that might make sense of something else, it taps you on the head and says, “Remember when you told me to put that memory in the green rubbish bin? Well, I didn’t, I put it in the black recycling tub, and it’s coming your way again.

On this Memorial Weekend, I think about our collective memory as a nation. What do we remember, what do we believe we have forgotten, and what is there that only needs a prompt, something to elicit what we know deep within us. 

Jonathan and David were making a plan together, and Jonathan reminded David of how God was present in the craziness of what was happening. Like these two faithful people, there is a tendency among us all to forget things that are really important – and we need a prompt, something to elicit what we know deep within us.

Prayer: Lord, continue to bring around me those people who will help me to remember what is truly important. And even if the memory appears to have completely slipped away, provide me those gracious spirits who will be an embodiment of what I cannot recollect. Amen.


8:15, 9:30 & 11:00

Considering inviting a friend…


Ecclesiological Etchings: 05-28-16


Scripture: Luke 14:13
Instead, when you give a banquet, invite the poor, crippled, lame, and blind.

Thought for the Day: Hugh Hollowell is a Mennonite Minister who works extensively with the homeless. He caught my attention with the following words: 

Every time we use religion
to draw a line to keep people out,
Jesus is with the people
on the other side of that line.

The questions to always ask ourselves: Are we drawing the lines? If not – and hopefully not – are we standing with Jesus on the side of excluded and marginalized? It is where Jesus did is best work. In fact, it is where Jesus did almost all his work.

Prayer: Lord God, lead me to those for whom you are most concerned. Amen.

Don’t Forget The Items
For Veterans
This Sunday


Ecclesiological Etchings: 05-27-16


Scripture: Colossians 3:12
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

Thought for the Day: FROM DISCIPLES NEWS SERVICE (May 25, 2016): Within hours of a devastating fire on May 19 at First Christian Church in Lake Jackson, TX, Disciples Church Extension Fund Advisor Jim Michel received a call from the Coastal Plains Area of the Southwest Region telling him about the church’s building disaster. As he had done five years ago when a tornado ravaged South Joplin Christian Church in Joplin, MO, Michel put his facilities expertise to work immediately to help the congregation. In 24 hours, he was on site to provide DCEF’s Disaster Response Service which is designed to assist church leaders with the immediate challenges of securing a damaged building, navigating the worlds of insurance and construction, addressing legal concerns and more, at no cost to the church.

However, before that, Jim was present to worship with Rev. Cynthia Myers and her congregation in their parking lot less than 48 hours after the fire. He asks, “Prayers, please, for the leadership and members of this church as we will examine what the next steps for their future will be.” While an initial report indicated that the church was not a total loss, Michel reports that the damage is so extensive that it is unlikely any part of the building can be salvaged. In the weeks ahead, he will work with the congregation as they begin the recovery process. 

Latest update – Day #3: 

“I spent a day and a half working with them on what are their next steps. We met for over 5 hours after the worship service on the parking lot, in the rain. It was a lot of information in a short time but I think that they will be in good shape. Their insurance carrier is Insurance Board (IB) so that’s a plus right away. I also did a walk through with the adjuster assigned to this project and he seems to understand churches as well as the quirky things fire can do, so that is a plus. Also, while there I met with the City Code Enforcement official and have developed a good relationship with his office. They will email me after any visit that they make to let me know if they see any issues. Lastly after talking with Joe Boyd with IB, I helped the church get in contact with a remediation company so that we can start getting the water out of the building and begin clean up. After writing all this I am beginning to understand why it seemed like I had been with them a week. Oh, I almost forgot that I met with the Area Minister and the Regional Moderator as well. All in all, a good weekend and a congregation that is extremely thankful to DCEF for having this service.”  

Prayers: Thank you for your church, O Lord, that is always more than buildings. Thank you when your church remembers to be the church, serving with kindness, compassion and humility. Amen.



Ecclesiological Etchings: 05-26-16


Scripture: 1st Corinthians 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Thought for the Day: Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ), and no, it is not a city festival celebrated four hours from Spring. The Feast of Corpus Christi has been celebrated in parts of the church for nearly 800 years, and it has been a time to joyfully honor the Lord’s Supper. During Holy Week, the church celebrates the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, but it is always a very solemn and introspective occasion. The church didn’t want to forget how the experience at the Communion Table should also be a celebration. Along with the joyful celebration, the Feast Day of Corpus Christi offer an opportunity for the church to reflect on how Christ is present at the Table. Though many theories, no one knows exactly. It remains a great mystery, yet we claim that Jesus meets us in the meal. This is reason to give thanks! This is reason to celebrate!

Prayer: You came to this world, O Lord, in the form of a man from Nazareth. You continue to meet the world in so many marvelous ways, including Communion’s bread and cup. Thank you! Amen.



June 14-17

Ecclesiological Etchings: 05-25-16


Scripture: Romans 8:11
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

Thought for the Day: Walt Disney said, “Animation offers a medium of storytelling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world.”  Taking that which was stationary and bringing it to life allows for a story to be told in a new and exciting way. When the spirit of God dwells within us, it animates us and allows the story of grace to come alive for the world around us.

Prayer: O Holy One, may your spirit breathe life into this body so I may become your storyteller.  Amen.


Memorial Weekend

Collecting Items For Veterans

hand sanitizers
body wash
playing cards

Bring them to worship with you…



Ecclesiological Etchings: 05-24-16


Scripture: John 15:16-17 (the Message)
You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you. But remember the root command: Love one another.

Thought for the Day: I was reading an article in which the author used the phrase, “The American Dream.” I rarely read the comments at the end of an online article, but in this case, I read the first one without thinking – and then the second, third, fourth… twenty-seventh… I was fascinated by the arguments that erupted among these online readers. As I read through them a second time, I was drawn to a specifically nasty argument among five different readers. Their comments initially seemed strange, but then I realized that they were missing an important point. No one in the argument seemed to recognize how they all had different understandings of the American Dream. They were yelling (in the virtual world) past each other. This happens in many circles, including Christianity. Now some folks are arrogant enough to suggest that they know the true meaning of all Christian things, but for the rest of us, we have different takes on what it means to be a follower of Jesus – to claim him as: the Christ, Rabbi, crucified one, Redeemer, Prince of Peace, Righteousness of God, Savior, Incarnation, etc. For each Christian, there are one or two of these (or maybe something not listed) that resinate with us more than the others. Those couple of metaphors, titles or images become the lenses through which we view Jesus and what it means to follow Jesus. Does that mean some are right and some are wrong? That is a tough question to answer, but it does remind us how easily we can argue past each other. Instead of immediately debating some hot topic within Christianity, a good starting place might be to ask, Who do you believe Jesus was and is? For you personally, what is the most important aspect of the Jesus-story? Once those questions are answered, it becomes a bit more difficult to tell someone that they are wrong even if you disagree.  

Prayer: Provide me a spirit of humility, O Lord, and keep me attentive to what others say. Give me the right questions to ask so that understanding is achieved before my arrogance claims victory. Amen.

Someone to join you
in worship this Sunday

Ecclesiological Etchings: 05-23-16


Scripture: Psalm 119:15-16
I will think about your precepts and examine all your paths. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget what you have said.

Thought for the Day: It has been more than two years since the 200+ girls were kidnapped in Nigeria. I have written devotionals about this situation every six months or so to keep it before us. Until a few days ago, not one of the kidnapped girls had been seen. Last Tuesday, Amina Ali Nkeki wandered out of a forest with a baby in her arms. This is a glimmer of hope in a dark and painful period. For those of us who sit thousands of miles away, we claim it as a tragedy, but for the parents and other family members of these girls, it has to be beyond anything any of us can imagine. This devotional is to make sure we continue to remember these girls, for the God we claim to worship and follow, has not forgotten them. As long as they are remembered, there remains hope.  

Prayer: Let my remembrances and prayers be added to the multitude. Keep us focused on those situations that break your heart, O Lord. Amen.



Ecclesiological Etchings: 05-22-16


Scripture:  Mark 5:12-14
Jesus was in one of the towns where there was also a man covered with a skin disease. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged, “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do want to. Be clean.” Instantly, the skin disease left him. Jesus ordered him not to tell anyone. “Instead,” Jesus said, “go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses instructed. This will be a testimony to them.”

Thought for the Day: A brother from the Mormon church, David A. Bednar, said, “We should remember that bearing a heartfelt testimony is only a beginning. We need to bear testimony, we need to mean it, and most importantly we need consistently to live it. We need to both declare and live our testimonies.” In the healing of the man with leprosy, Jesus didn’t want him to go to the crowds on the street, but to the religious leaders of the day. In this case, Jesus didn’t even want him to speak of what had occurred. Instead, Jesus invited him to simply show himself as a testimony. What in your life is a testimony of God’s grace? What might others see in your life that would provide a witness to the love and goodness of God?

Prayer: As the song suggests – Lord, I’ll be a living testimony to you. Amen.

SERMON: A Safe Stage

Including Testimonies from Our High School Seniors