Praise Through the Pain

By Jordan Seth For most of us, this life is a constant struggle in one way or another. It seems that around every corner is something new to deal with. Some of us are facing depression, a failing marriage, or a mountain of financial issues. Others of us are in poor health and silently battling everyday. Just finding a good … Read More

Back to School: Lessons from the Magi

By Craig Stevenson As our kids go back to school, they face more uncertainty than in my life time. Anxiety is high for everyone. The stakes are potentially higher. In this time when we need to breathe, let’s open Matthew Chapter 2 together—it’s the story of Jesus being born. Plot twist: I want to focus on the magi, the wise … Read More

Ever Heard of Liminality?

By Jim Voigt Last week I spent several days in online lectures and discussions as a part of a new program I am in on non-profit and church leadership. One of the words that kept popping up in discussions was one I had never heard of before: “liminality”. I had to look it up. The words liminal and liminality are … Read More

Healing Others at the Pool

By Craig Stevenson During the calendar of the church, summer is when attendance drops to its lowest points of the year. Most summers this is because calendars are full of vacations, camping, summer camps, and other fun things. This year, well. We know. COVID-19. Instead, we’re spending time in our own pools. Maybe this “pool” is your pond, lake, or … Read More

Watching & Waiting

By Jim Voigt In June we jumped back into the saddle of regular worship services at HUMC. I say regular, but nothing is as it used to be. We moved from a 10:30am service to two different services: 9am and 11am. We took the greeting time out as well as passing the baskets for the offering. We don’t have Children’s … Read More

When People Aren’t What You Need Them To Be

By Jim Voigt Sometimes people aren’t enough. You want your father to be more affirming. You want your spouse to be more thoughtful. You want your friend to be more encouraging. You want your boss to notice your 120% effort and praise you for it. It’s not unusual at all to be unhappy in life because people don’t respond to … Read More

Learning to Fight

By Jim Voigt I took my fair share of punches in elementary school.  I’d call them fights but some where fights and some were just me taking punches.  I was usually sticking up for the kid who was taking some abuse.  Learning to fight is not something we talk about in church much but can be of great importance.  If … Read More

Trying to Come Together

By Jim Voigt The Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 is an odd story. It’s placed early in the book of Genesis and seems to be connected with the movement of early Middle Eastern people moving from rural lives to urban. They are building a great city for themselves along with a tower so tall that it reaches to the heavens. It appears … Read More

God’s Strength in Difficult Times

By Jim Voigt Sometimes we just need a reminder. We need a reminder about God’s strength and care for us during difficult times. Memorizing scripture is a way to keep the Word of the Lord constantly with us. When I was in Elementary School, my Nana helped me memorize the 23rd Psalm. By helping me, I mean she bribed me. … Read More

Be a “Paul” For Today’s “Onesimus”

By Craig Stevenson First, stop here and get your bible. Read the Book of Philemon. It will take you as long to go get your Bible as it does to read the Book of Philemon. It is 25 verses long—the entire book! The story is simple. Paul is writing from jail to Philemon. He’s begging Philemon to free Onesimus and … Read More

When In Doubt

By Jordan Seth When we find ourselves in difficult seasons, it can be easy to focus on the “IFs” of life. “What if I could have done it differently instead?” “What if God doesn’t work in my situation right now?” “What if things don’t work out for my future?” It’s easy to get caught up in regrets from the past, … Read More

Just Do It

By Jim Voigt Are you old enough to remember Nike’s winning tag line? Does it even still exist, I don’t know? “Just do it” captures the challenge of pushing into the great unknown. As people, we love predictability because predictability is safe. Some people are geared towards danger. They have a greater tolerance for all of the things that can … Read More

Direction Dilemma

By Jim Voigt We are in the middle of a great ethical dilemma right now. On one side we have the Coronavirus that can spread quickly, make people severely sick and possibly kill those who have vulnerable immune systems. On the other side we have the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression. If we open up the economy full … Read More

Rest in a Restless House

By Jordan Seth Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 If you’re like me, … Read More

Lament & Praise

By Craig Stevenson A group of us at Hallsville UMC are doing the “Bible Recap”—a chronological daily reading to read the Bible in a year. In the past few weeks, we’ve been in-and-out of the Book of Psalms. I’m reminded, as we read this, how beautiful, sincere, and urgent they are. Some are full of pain, sorrow, anger, but yet … Read More

The New Normal

By Jim Voigt As I sit down to write this, it’s been about a week now of minimized activity within our communities. This morning the order went out that we are all to “stay at home” except for essential activities until April 24th in Boone County. This is a whole new world for nearly all of us; it almost seems … Read More

Opportunity

By Craig Stevenson As I reflect on COVID-19 and its impact on our lives over the last 2-3 weeks, my eyes are continually being shown the opportunities (or this circumstance) that makes it possible to do something…different. I’m reminded of the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 30-37). The Samaritan was living his normal life and an opportunity arose. … Read More

Vision for the Present AND The Future

By Jordan Seth We’ve recently been doing a sermon series called Flourish: A Vision to Flourish Our Church. I’m personally excited about this because I’m a big believer in casting vision from the pulpit often. Reminding the church of the overall mission and why we do things and talking about the future is important to do regularly. In my opinion, … Read More

Mt. Moriah – The Sneaky Introduction of Resurrection

By Jordan Seth Ah, yes. The classic story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham hears from God. God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son on a mountain. Abraham follows through without question. The journey is trekked. The altar is built. Isaac is bound and placed on the altar. Abraham’s arm lifts to plunge the knife deep into Isaac’s chest. And at … Read More

The Merging of Mozambican & American Culture

By Craig Stevenson Those who know me well—know that I tell a story about getting to know a man at the Mozambican Embassy here in the USA several years ago. The man was finishing his tour of duty as a consular services member. I asked him what he would miss about the USA and was most excited about in returning … Read More

What We Can Gain from a Trip to Disney World

By Matt Heet I read enough to know that some research in connection to social media suggests that bragging about your own life can lead to depression for others. While it is true my family got to take a wonderful vacation to Florida (with the majority of it spent at Disney World), I can also say that the second mortgage on … Read More

Life Lesson: Don’t Put BENGAY on Your Groin

By Matt Heet The picture above may represent a cultural gap between generations, especially for baseball players. Back in my day, an unfortunate statement since I am merely 39 years old, when our throwing arm was sore this would be a typical treatment, some sort of pain relief cream that would burn until it turned your arm numb (Yeah, I grew … Read More

The Day It All Changed

By Matt Heet I don’t remember all the details to the story because I didn’t believe I was in the middle of a critical life lesson at the time. I do remember I had just recently started attending the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou), I was in a Steak N Shake parking lot, and I had just finished having lunch with … Read More

Why?

By Matt Heet I first considered a blog after reading a chapter called “Is God in Cyberspace?” in the book Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman. It was one of the most thought provoking books I have read in awhile and the chapter was emphasizing how the Internet has given humans a greater influence on each other. Humans have a choice … Read More