Sunday, July 31, 2016

my favorite things

Here are a few of my favorite things.

To see you walk into church.  To look into your eyes.  To see you smile.  To take your hand.  To go on a bicycle ride.  To have a talk about life.  To listen to music.  To sing along with good songs.  To hug  you.  To feel like we are becoming friends.  To think about how much I love you.  To lose weight.  To swim.  To drink clean water.  To joke with you.  To become better friends.

My my.  I am blessed.  There are so many people that I know and love in this life.  Thank you for being one of them.  Always take time to appreciate the people who are a gift in your life.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, July 30, 2016


My friend Jeanne asked if they could use or quote something that I posted on this blog.  The short answer is yes of course.

The Old Testament book Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is nothing new under the sun.  That means that there is no thought in my head that has not existed before. There is no sermon idea that is original to me.  So everything that I think, everything that i write, everything that I say, has been written, thought or said before.

None of this belongs to me.  Nothing belongs to me.  Nothing belongs to you either.

So sure, of course.  Use it. If you like it, take it.  And be sure to share anything that you have with me.  Life is short and we all need help.  I get by with a little help from my friends.  Someone said that I think.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, July 29, 2016

when I was a child

There are many things that exist today that did not exist when I was a child.  Actually the list is long.

Body wash.  Computers.  Zero degree turn mowers.  Cell phones.  Bottled water.  CD's.  Video games.  Cassette tapes.  Some of the new things in this world are now old things.

More things that did not exist when I was a child:  color TV.  Cable TV.  Weed whackers.  MRI machines.  Sleep number beds.  VHS tapes.  DVD's.  Answering machines.  Cordless phones.  Jump drives.  Cruise control.  Intermittent wipers.  Remote controls.  Drip coffee makers.  Single cup coffee makers.  walkman.  wireless microphones.

On and on the list goes.   Add to it if you like.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Lions Den Man

Lions Den Man is a friend of mine.  A really good friend of mine.  I miss him a lot.  He is great at being a father, a husband, a music lover, a canoeing person, a story teller, and a kind soul.

When I am tired, or empty, he posts on this blog for me.  I really appreciate that and I need help from time to time.  Everyone needs help from time to time.  Chicago sang, "everybody needs a little time away, I've heard it say."

When he posts, he may or may not end with the line, "it's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good." That is up to him.

So just know that everyone needs someone to have your back, and he has mine and I love him.  I miss you buddy.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

it's official

So after 4 trips to the DMV I finally have Florida plates.  $380 later I have Florida plates.  I also have a sun pass for the toll roads.  Life is good.  Its hard to adjust to a new state,but the weather is great and the swimming is very nice.  I have met some wonderful people.

If you live away and you want a vaca, come see me.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

eating what we should not

Oh there are so many things that we eat that we should not.  We all complain about our weight and being in shape or not, but we still eat all the bad things.  Reeces Peanut Butter cups.  Hershey Bars.  Ice Cream.  Cake.  Pasta. Donuts.  Hot Dogs.  Greasy Hamburgers.  Pizza.

So I was in the store the other day and I saw these pecan rolls.  I hate to blog about them because it makes me think about them.  It makes me want them.  Oh I love them.  I have eater three boxes in one setting at a time in the past.  I have to really use my will power to say no to pecan rolls.

Please do not buy me any or bring them to church.  I am trying to be strong.

I am working hard to not eat the things that are bad for me.  It is painful, but we have to keep pressing on.  The right thing to do is the right thing to do.

And its a beautiful day in God's world be sure to see the good.

Monday, July 25, 2016

junky car

I  used to judge people whose cars were full of junk.  Hoarders they were!!

Well I don't know what happened to me but my car has become a recycling center.  There is junk everywhere.  Empty water bottles.  Receipts.  Bags of stuff.  No one knows what is in there.

If we are going somewhere and I have to drive, it is going to take me a few moments to prepare my junk mobile.

Be careful about judging others.  Someday you may find yourself being the junky car person that you used to sneer at.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, except in my car.  Be sure to see the good.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

a crime

I witnessed a crime not too long ago.  It was sad. Someone I know was in a wonderful place. They were invested in the moment. 100% all in. They were sharing something they enjoyed with the hope that the joy they felt would be felt by those there in that moment of time, too. Then it happened. One of them was somewhere else and their thoughts were focused inward. They did not see or feel the joy. And with that, the gift of the moment, the joy, was taken, robbed from all the rest. That is a crime.


Lion’s Den Man

Saturday, July 23, 2016


A week or so ago the ESPY awards were on. A news reporter, Craig Sager, who is battling cancer, was given the Jim Valvano award for Perseverance. In his acceptance speech he said this:

“Each and every day is a canvas we need to be painting. An opportunity for love, for fun, for living and for learning.”

It was a timely message for me to hear. What canvas did I paint yesterday, last week or today?  Was it good for others to see? Did I make the best of the day given me or did I waste it? Did I reach out to make someone else’s day better or did I make it worse? 

I could say that would be tough to do those things every single day and I would be right. Tough but not impossible. It is about placing value on the time I have here and making the best use of it.

Mr. Sager went on to say, “Time cannot be bought. It cannot be wagered with God and it is not in endless supply. Time is simply how you live your life.”

No time like the present.

Lion’s Den Man

Friday, July 22, 2016

worth believing

I caught the tail end of a movie the other night that I had seen before. I forgot how much I liked the message it had to share.

“Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things that a man needs to believe in the most: that people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; that love, true love, never dies... No matter if they're true or not, a man should believe in those things because those are the things worth believing in.” – Secondhand Lions

So I applied this line of reasoning to my faith by asking myself these questions:

Q- When I try to live my life by the teachings of Christ (outwardly) how does it feel?
A- It feels purposeful and of value – it has meaning.

Q- When my life becomes more about me than others how does it feel?
A - It has short term gratification, followed by emptiness.

Those are truths and they are worth believing in….

Lion’s Den Man

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ron Page

Rev. Ron Page has passed away.  Ron was a friend of mine and served several churches in Missouri.  I knew him the best when he served in Lexington.

I want to honor Ron's life.  I loved him.  One Sunday when I was in a very low spot in my life, Bruce Letner and I happened into the Lexington church for Sunday services.  We had been on a camping trip and were sunburned and late to the service.  Ron's sermon was exactly what I needed to hear and it helped me to turn a corner in my life.  I will never forget that day, that sermon and that man.

Thank you Ron for the gift of your life.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


I have always loved iris.  My mom grew them and my friend Jonnie Wells kept me supplied when I lived in KC.  Well when I got to Cape Coral, a package was waiting for me with a bunch of iris rhizomes.  They came anonymously, but there were a couple of notes attached.

One of them quoted Eccl 3 "there is a time to plant and a time to uproot."  The other note said

, "bloom where you are planted."  I had preached from Eccl 3 in May and I wonder if that was on the sender's mind.

I am not sure if it came from someone in Cape or someone in KC, but I assume KC since folks there might know that I like iris.  Whoever sent it, I want to thank you for the message.  There is a time to plant and a time to uproot.  Uprooting is never very easy, but we do need to learn to bloom where we are planted.  I think the trick is to remember that we are created to focus not so much on being uprooted as the blooming.

Bloom today.  Show the world your beauty.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Today is my mom's birthday.  If she had lived, she should have been 82 today.  She died two days shy of her 62nd birthday.  It was July 17, 1995.

I think of her often.  Her joys.  Her pain.  Her struggles.  How hard she worked to provide a normal life for her kids, especially because hers was less than idea.

When mom was little the great depression of the 1930's was raging.  If a rabbit ventured into the yard, it was dinner.  She was routinely sent into the yard to dig up dandy-lion greens for the nightly vegetable.  Deep poverty and lots of troubles.

Sometimes we have more empathy and understanding for people when we think about  what they must have faced and struggled with.  We all have our struggles after all.

I thank God for my mom's life, brief as it was.  Every day is a treasure friends.

It is a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, July 18, 2016


I had to call my bank in Kansas City and talk about closing the account.  Talking on the phone with them made me miss my friends at the bank.  You know we never went to lunch, we never did anything other than talk at the bank, but they were/are so very kind.  I will miss them.  I wish them well.  You can tell something about the culture of a business by the happiness of the employees.  If you are looking for a good bank in Lees Summit, there are some great folks at Morrill & Janes Bank on Lakewood Blvd.

Be looking for good folks in life.  They are all around if we just pay attention.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


I have noticed something recently that I think has been true for a long time.  I am attracted to kind people.  I mean I enjoy them.  I am drawn to them.  That is why I like Betty Perkins, Joni Horn, Amy Bartlett, and many many others.  I am meeting many kind people in Cape Coral.

I was raised by German Lutherans and it was sometimes oppressive and painful.  So I am just drawn to kind people.  I am also for some reason drawn to people with ornery bad senses of humor like David Harris and Chuck Ouvry.

Make every effort in this life to be kind.  Ornery is optional, but I enjoy that as well.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

get this

Get this:

I love you.

You.  I am talking about you.  I am talking to you.  Do you hear this?  Can you accept it?
I love you.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, July 15, 2016


I finally opened my cards this week. Cards for my birthday, cards saying goodbye from Woods Chapel, and cards welcoming me to Cape Coral.  They were all awesome!!!

Based on how I feel after reading them, we should all write more cards.  We need to work on making sure that everyone knows how we feel about them.

So let me tell you how I feel about you.  I LOVE YOU!!!  Life is good.  All is well.  Thanks for the well wishes.  God bless you all.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

a short sermon

I have been tempted to do this on several occasions.

So I have heard a story about a preacher you stepped up to the pulpit for the sermon.  People were expecting 25 minutes of whatever.  The preacher paused, open his or her mouth and said only this, "love your neighbor."  Then he or she sat down.

The shortest sermon ever.  I love it.  So simple, so true and yet so needed.  If we can't do that, what do we think we are doing?

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

permission giving

I get questions from time to time about what is a permission giving church.

Many organizations operate in a top down fashion.  The board or CEO decides the priorities and those priorities trickle down to the rank and file.  The problem with this in the church is that people end up doing ministry because someone else decided what they should be doing.

In a permission giving church, people are taught to hear God's call.  Everyone is called by God.  What is God calling you to do?  Staff and leaders then, simply help direct and launch what others feel called to do, helping them to take responsibility for, and lead their ministry.  The result of turning people loose to follow their call is that suddenly, there are many things going on in the church, and you can no longer keep track of it all.  Ministry is a grass roots level up thing, no longer a top down thing.   Tom Bandy wrote a book called Christian Chaos.  It is about what happens in a church when everyone is listening and responding to God's calling.  You can no longer manage it, you can no longer control it, the Holy Spirit is just working and you have to stand back and say Wow!

I want to encourage everyone, everywhere to hear God's call and look for ways to live out what He has placed on your heart.  The most exciting part of being a Christian is being in ministry, and its not just for pastors.  God calls us all.

For more on permission giving, here is a YouTube video with some more permission giving propaganda.

click here for video on permission giving

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Someone asked me about vision and the church. Sometimes folks expect you to come in and climb to the top of the mountain and shout a vision. That is certainly one method of leading.

I subscribe to the Rick Warren school of vision. Here is what he wrote in his book on the purpose driven church:

Very little of Saddleback’s ministry was preplanned. I didn’t have any long-range strategy before I started the church. I simply knew God had called me to plant a new church built on the five New Testament purposes, and I had a bag of ideas I wanted to try out. Each innovation we’ve developed was just a response to the circumstances in which we found ourselves. I didn’t plan them in advance. Most people think of “vision” as the ability to see the future. But in today’s rapidly changing world, vision is also the ability to accurately assess current changes and take advantage of them. Vision is being alert to opportunities.

You don't change the direction of a child's life by telling them some overarching principle and insisting that they follow it.  You shape the direction of the life of a child by continually speaking graciously into the fabric of their lives, when and where it is needed.

Vision is about sensing what needs help, and providing the needed care and direction.  It is applying your strengths to the things that you can help.  And you just keep doing it over and over and over.  Little by little, great ships are turned.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, July 11, 2016

This blog

From time to time I am asked why this blog isn't more inspirational, or why there isn't a daily scripture or a daily joke.  Different readers have different expectations I guess.

If you look down the right hand side of the blog there is this purple writing that is there every single day, that tries to answer the question about what this blog is and is not.  The writing says this:

This blog is the occasional ramblings of Jeff Brinkman, a United Methodist Pastor. When Jeff cannot post, some of his buds take over. This blog may or may not inspire, may or may not be humorous, but will always be honest. This blog is Jeff's attempt to remind himself and others that God is greater than anything, and if we just look hard enough, we can see the good in life, and if we slow down and listen, we can hear the birds sing.

I wish that my life was always filled with good jokes, or warm spiritual thoughts, but my life is not. And I'll bet that your life isn't either. Life is random. That is part of what makes life special and beautiful.

God is great. See the Good! Enjoy!

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, July 10, 2016


On July 5th I mentioned four reasons why I would not want to roll back the hands of time.  Over the years I have collected so many friends, made so many memories, been to so many cool places, and for today's post, I hope that I am learning more about love.

Love.  What have I learned about love over the years?  Keeping in mind that selfishness is very sneaky.......

1.  love is giving yourself away to another person.  It is bringing them joy.  It is not taking.

2.  love is feeling enough confidence in yourself, enough ok-ness in yourself, that you can legitimately invest in others.  It is absorbing difficulty not because you want to, but because you can.

3.  love is respecting others.  Getting permission when needed.  Never just taking.

4.  love is showing kindness.  In word and deed.

5.  love is spiritual.  It is holy and amazing.  That is probably because God is love.

6.  We can grow in love.  We can become more kind, more sweet, more genteel, and more compassionate.

I am not always perfect, but I hope that if you knew me 20 years ago, you would notice the difference.  I believe we can grow in love.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


On July 5th I mentioned some of the reasons why I like being 59.  One of the reasons I like being this old is that I have seen a lot of really cool places.

Nicaragua.  Painful but beautiful.
Greece - the journeys of Paul
The Holy Land
San Diego
Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco
The redwood forest
Alice's restaurant.
The beach
your house
Yellowstone National Park
Wall Drug
Copper Mountain
New Orleans
Santa Cruz
Power and Light
Kauffman Stadium

Probably the coolest place that I have ever been though, is into your heart.  Thanks for letting me in.  It is such a joy to know you.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, July 8, 2016


On July 5th I posted some reasons about why I would not want to turn back the hands of time.  One of the things that I mentioned are the memories that I have.

Of course I have some difficult, painful ones, but oh, I have so many good memories.  Here are just a couple....

I remember when you hugged me and told me that everything was going to be all right.  I remember seeing you and thinking, "we can be friends, or we will be friends."  I remember when we went to the Royals games together.  I remember our nights at Brew Top, telling stories, listening to music and laughing.  I remember the feeling of joy that I have when I see you, and I know I will see you again.  I remember the cruise we went on together.  I remember when you crashed your boat.  I remember when you came up for communion with tears in your eyes.  I remember sitting with you when your child died.  I remember planting trees with you.  I remember those plays at the plate - and you know they were always out.  I remember when you came to visit me in the hospital.  I remember when we cried together at the funeral of a friend.  I remember challenges that we faced and overcame....

Oh, my, life is filled with so much joy!  So many wonderful memories.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


My post from July 5th got me inspired to write about things that make me happy in life.  The next four days are going to hit some of those things that I mentioned on July 5.

I am happy for the friends that I have met along this way of life.  I can't name them all, but i want to honor a few of them.  Please don't feel left out if you aren't on this list, because if I know you and love you, you are in here somewhere.

My friend from South Dakota.  My friend that owns property in Independence.  My friend that played for the Buffalo Bills.  My friend from Iowa.  Roger Grout.  My friend whom I have only met through this blog.  My friend whose family owns Drake University.  My friend who is a giant of a man and cried with me over lunch some years ago.  My friend who drives 90 miles an hour in the Apple Market parking lot.  My friend who works for HBO.  My realtor friend.  My pontoon boat/horseshoe buddies.  My new friend from England.  My new friend from Japan.  My sisters Amy and Julie.  The person who went unwillingly on the mission trip to New Orleans.  You who rarely missed a Sunday.   You who let me pick on you.  My lawyer friend.  Kris Bartman.  Whitney.

OH I AM SO BLESSED!!! Tears are pouring down my face as I think of so many of you all.  I am so fortunate to be alive and have many friends.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

first sermon update

Someone asked if I would post a followup comment about my first Sunday at Cape Coral.  I won't mention her name, just her initials:  Raegene King.

Ok, so here is how I think it went.  I met lots of wonderful, kind, and gracious people.  The music was great.  I made it through the sermon without losing my place.  I thought all in all, it was a great day.

How was the sermon?  you can watch it online at
Asking me how the sermon was is like asking the cook how the meal was.  The best answer comes from those who heard it, but I thought it was a good day.

Thanks for you love and concern.

It's still a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.


Everyone has a little bit of power.  Some people think that they are powerless,but we have power over many things.

The first thing that I want to say about power is "don't use it to hurt others."  Don't hit or slap another person.  Don't say derogatory things to them.  Don't ignore the people that you should be loving.

After that I would say, use your power for good.  Do all the good that you can! {one of John Wesley's three rules} How can you use your power for good?

  • buy lunch
  • hug someone
  • call them
  • say nice things
  • tell them that you love them
  • play their favorite music
  • defer to them
  • put their happiness before your own [in reasonable doses]
  • serve them
  • invest in them
  • respect them
  • give them hope and freedom

Remember, the lover creates the love.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Random thoughts on being 59 today.

First of all, I am thankful for the privilege. Not everyone gets to live this long.  The average life span in our sister church in Mozambique is 42.  So, I'm old?  Yes, and glad to still be here.

Next.  If I had known my body was going to feel like this at 59 I would have taken better care of it.  No head first slides into home plate.  No diving for balls.  Less crouching behind the plate and more sunbathing in the outfield.

Next.  Although I miss the feelings and the energy of being young, I would not go back for anything. There are benefits to being 59 that I could never see at 30.  What are they you say?  Here are a few:
1.  oh the friends that I have made!
2.  oh the memories that I have!
3.  Oh the places that I have seen!
4.  And I think that I am getting better at loving others.  I certainly want to.

If you meet 59 year old people and you think that they are old, don't feel sorry for them, be happy for them.  I hope that you get to be 59 some day too!

It's a beautiful, joyful, happy day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, July 4, 2016

memories of July 4

Today has always been a special day for me. It's the forth of July. It's the day before my birthday. It has always been a highly anticipated day, and a day filled with anticipation. Consequently, it is filled with many memories.

- I remember dad taking me out to the boonies, to the middle of nowhere to buy fireworks. 95th and Nall. When I was a kid, there was nothing there.

- I could not wait to shoot off my black cats. Dad insisted that I wait until at 8am. All year long I cannot get out of bed, but on the night before the 4th, I can't sleep. Finally 8 o'clock arrives and I am hard at it. Setting up army men and blowing them up. Blowing up cans and bottles and anything I can find. Throwing my firecrackers at the cat, the dog and my sisters. Ahh, the 4th of July was a good holiday for a young boy.
-I remember learning to throw a firecracker, and the painful feeling you get in your fingers when you let go of them just a little bit late.

-We always went to the pool on the 4th. My sisters swam and swam, I swam and sat in the shade. When I was younger, I had a terrible sun allergy. If I was out in it for very long at all, I got really red, and really itchy. Still to this day, I am cursed with red blotchy skin. At night, after swimming and watermelon, we would lay in the grass and watch the fireworks in the sky. Being good parents, my mom and dad would always tell me that the fireworks were for my birthday.

-I remember the year that we hooked up with 3 or 4 other families. Late at night out in the street, the parents were drinking. Someone had some m-80's. A neighbor who was not well liked had left his trash cans out after trash pick up. An m-80 is loud, but an m-80 is really loud when when it is inside the neighbors metal trash can. Dad bought the neighbor 2 new trash cans.

-After I had kids, the 4th of July was about making sure that they got to blow stuff up too. The girls outgrew that pretty quickly and moved on, but Scott is a demolition expert who is following in the footsteps of his Dad. Usually he was slow to get out of bed, but when he still lived at home, you could hear hims stir early on the morning of the 4th.

It's a good day for reflection. I am thankful for a free country. I am thankful for the ability we have in America to travel, to worship and to pursue happiness. I am thankful for every person who has served in the military to preserve and protect our freedoms. Americans should be a very grateful people. I hope you are, I am.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

First Sermon

Today is my first sermon in a new church.  It is my first sermon at Cape Coral 1st UMC.  I have not started a new job for a very long time.  I am nervous.  I am sick to my stomach.  It's been a long time since I was the new preacher.  I have delivered this sermon in my head more times than any sermon in years.

Please pray for me.
I so want this to go well- all of it....
Please pray for me.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


I have a friend that I miss quite a bit.  She and I were talking about the homes that we were raised in.  We have many similar stories about how we were raised.  We are also both raised in the same denomination, and our upbringings were less than stellar.

I could never quite put my finger on what it was about the home I was raised in, but she used a word about her experience, and I wanted to stand up and shout, "THAT'S IT!!"  What she said was this, "I wasn't abused as a child, I was ignored."

Ouch.  That's it.  That is what was missing from my childhood.  We were ignored.  It's like you grow up around these people and you never get to know them.  You aren't valued, you aren't celebrated, you're just some picture on the wall that everyone walks by but never notices.

Talk to the people in your life.  Invest in them.  Spend time with them.  Make sure that they know that they matter to you.  Tell them that you love them.  Being ignored is painful, and life is too short.  Love them and hug them.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, July 1, 2016

why i am a Methodist

There are many reasons why I am a Methodist.  I am writing this for someone that I love that sometimes considers going to another denomination, but it is good practice for me and good info to keep in mind.

Why I am a Methodist.  In no particular order.....

1.  Methodists focus on grace.  God so loved the world.  Church should feel like good news, not a guilty reminder of how bad we are.  Everyone knows they are sinners, what we need to remind each other is that although we are sinners, we are still loved by God.  Jesus ran with sinners.  Methodists focus on grace.

2.  Methodists generally [at least this Methodist] does not make a big deal out of peripheral ideas or doctrines.  Baptism is not a heaven or hell issue.  Get over it.  Some folks spend so much time on the parsley of the Christian life that they miss the main meal.  Keep the main thing the main thing.  On everything else, think and let think.

3.  Methodists welcome everyone.  This is how the Kingdom works.  I don't agree with everyone or everything, but everyone is welcomed.  No one will be shamed on my watch, ever.

4.  Methodists care about the poor and needy and actually try to do something about it.  From the days of John Wesley until today, Methodists are engaged in giving themselves away.  I love this aspect of faith that is so often neglected.  Is it really Christianity if we are not missionally engaged?

5.  Methodists are ok worshiping with folks that are different than they are.  Not everyone has to vote like me or think what I think about the Bible to worship at the same place.

6.  Methodists have stuck with the historic principles of faith.  Dispensationalism is not Biblical and it is a newcomer to Christian teaching showing up around 1850.  The church survived for 1800 years without it.  It is not a helpful addition to the discussion of Christian belief because it causes people to spend years thinking about the second coming instead of living and loving now, today.

7.  Methodists can live the same way 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.  Some Christians pray really loud in church on Sunday, but then act like "normal" people the rest of the week.  When they pray over lunch at Applebees, they don't raise their hands and shout.   Some Christians listen to sermons about drinking on Sunday and pretend like they don't but then rush off for a beer whenever they can.  Methodists don't have to pretend about who they are.  You can be the same every day of the week.  This is a faith for normal, real, human people.  Read the book - Jesus actually did turn the water into wine.

8.  Methodists know that they don't know everything.  No church, no pastor, no denomination knows it all.  God only has the answers.  Methodists don't act like they know everything.

9.  Methodists focus on the essentials of faith.  God created the world, people sinned, God send Jesus Christ to save us, when we choose him we are forgiven and we begin a new life.  Pretty basic.  Nothing more is needed.

10.  Love.  I started w grace,  I will end with love.  1 Jn 4 says, God is love.  The greatest commandment is that we would love the Lord with our heart soul mind and strength, and then we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Humans love to make things complicated.  God makes it so simple if we would just pay attention:  love.

If you are looking for a church home, I invite you to find a Methodist church.  If you are thinking about leaving your Methodist church, please reread this post and think about what some of the alternatives are that are out there.  We are not a perfect church, but I am glad to be a United Methodist Christian.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.