May 3, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the 5th Sunday of Easter. Springtime has come to East Texas! The temperatures have warmed into the 80s, and we have had plenty of spring rain. My garden looks so good. I notice when I am driving around how pretty people’s roses are this year. My roses have been fantastic. I don’t know if it is really true, but it seems that the best-smelling roses have the most and meanest thorns (should be a life lesson in there somewhere).
April 26, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the 4th Sunday of Easter. Springtime and Easter certainly go together like peas and carrots! With the rain and the warmer temperatures, we see rebirth and renewal all throughout nature—a vital and sacred part of God’s Kingdom. With our brutal cold snap earlier this year, I thought I lost many different plants in my garden. Thankfully that wasn’t the case. One set of bushes that I slated for the chainsaw has budded out—a wonderful sight.
April 20, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the 3rd Sunday of Eastertide: We are still dealing with resurrection and what that means to 21st century Jesus followers. I think we can all agree that spring time is the right time for resurrection and rebirth. Martin Luther said that the Lord wrote the promise of resurrection not only in books but in every leaf of springtime.
April 12, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Last week was pretty typical as far as spring weather was concerned. We had sunshine, and we had rain. The weather folks say that we’ve seen our last really cold temperatures. I heard from my uncle Kent, who lives in Maine, that they have had several “warm” days that reached the 50s. That still sounds pretty cold to me!
April 6, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Old Man Winter seemed to resist giving up this past week, as we had several mornings with temperatures in the 30s. I sure was hoping there would not be a frost to wreak havoc on my gardening work. Several walks in the park this week were really chilly: My four-footed pals Gunter and Sam didn’t argue about cutting the walk short to go home. Of course, they know they are getting a treat when they get back.
March 29, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Lent’s somber forty days come to an end with Palm/Passion Sunday. Sunday we witnessed through scripture the glorious entry of Jesus into the city—and then things fall apart on Thursday. What is referred to as Holy Week speaks of the many contradictions that accompany human life: During that one week, we witness the best and the worst of humanity.
March 22, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the 5th Sunday of Lent. We are reaching the end of this Christian time of reflection, with next Sunday being Palm Sunday. Over half of each of the Gospels deals with that last week of Jesus’ life between Palm Sunday and Easter morning. Life, death, and new life is at the heart of Christianity, so it is Easter—not Christmas—that is the most important Christian celebration. But the events of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday make it the saddest time also.
March 14, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the 4th Sunday of Lent. In the United Church of Canada, today is also Laughter Sunday. Lent is such a solemn time for people of the Christian faith, but we must never forget laughter and humor. An old proverb says, “If you don’t laugh, you don’t take life seriously enough.” During my sermon I told some of the “humorous” tricks the Joaquin high school seniors played on me, their first-year teacher who wasn’t much older than they were.
March 8,2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the 3rd Sunday of Lent. Paxton Methodist is having in-person worship; we respect each other by wearing masks and keeping socially distant. Scientists and medical professionals, who know more than politicians about this subject, say that we can do three simple things: To curtail the spread of Covid-19, we should wash our hands regularly, stay at least six feet apart—social distancing, and yes, wear a mask—or maybe two masks. Things are so dire that mask-wearing is the patriotic thing to do.
March 1, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the Second Sunday of Lent. After a harsh and deadly winter storm, we’ve had really mild temperatures the last few days. I hope everyone has water and electricity by now. Watching the news, I see there are still parts of Texas without water. We’re lucky to have such devoted water system workers—they worked tirelessly for over a week to keep and restore services.