Monthly Archives: March 2015

The way of discipleship

Jesus’ journey to the new life of resurrection began, I believe, not at his conception or birth or baptism. It did not begin in his choices during forty days of testing in the wilderness, nor with the beginning of his preaching and healing. I believe Jesus’ real journey toward the fulfillment of his life on […]

Working out our own salvation

We are saved by grace through faith, John Wesley asserted, but we are not saved for our benefit; we are saved for good works in the name of God. God blesses us so that we may be a blessing for others. Among all of Wesley’s sermons, “On Working Out Our Own Salvation” is among the […]

From bondage to adoption

During Lent I have been revisiting some of John Wesley’s key sermons, in which he lays out ideas that have become central to the way Methodists understand our faith. Today I want to share his thoughts about the shift that occurs in our relationship with God as we are led toward being “born from above” […]

What’s past is not really past

The past, it may be, is not really beyond changing, and perhaps nothing is irredeemable. Not even me. Here’s a poem that came to me from Parker Palmer. Thanks, Robert Frost by David Ray Do you have hope for the future? someone asked Robert Frost, toward the end. Yes, and even for the past, he […]

On the brink of everything

Twice in a handful of days my attention has been hijacked by a phrase that brings me new insight into Easter and the new life that is spread all around us. Courtney Martin, in the opening line of her blog at, wrote, “My daughter is on the brink of everything.” She described how her […]

The use of money

It reads like a political action committee’s guideline for how to deal with Congress: “make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes” (Luke 16:9). In fact, it’s how Jesus teaches his disciples about managing money. He knew that “the children […]

The firstfruits of the Spirit

What’s missing in your life? And how much do you hunger for it? Those questions came up Wednesday in our discussion of John Wesley’s faith and the roots of Methodism. Wesley knew there’s more to living well and attaining spiritual wholeness than the mere practice of religion. Like anyone who sets out on a spiritual […]

The new birth

It takes grace to change a term of ridicule into an affirmation of faith, and grace was clearly God’s gift to the revival movement that became The United Methodist Church. The methodical disciplines that 300 years ago became the hallmark of the Oxford Holy Club under the leadership of John and Charles Wesley soon became […]