There is a Time and a Season for Everything Here on Earth

God Knows What He’s Doing, Get Onboard or Get Out of His Way

Many of us don’t like change. We’re comfortable with a “This is the way we’ve always done it” attitude. A few weeks ago, I told you about changes happening in our church. We discussed that change is inevitable whether we embrace it or not.

The past several months our church has been dealing with a lot of change and unknowns. The unknown part is what makes us so apprehensive about change.

As a United Methodist church, our congregation had some concerns about the direction of the denomination. These concerns created questions which led to other questions. This question-and-answer process went on for months.

Were we going to stay United Methodist or we going to leave?

If we left, what were our options? Which of these options was the best? What did this mean for our property? What did this mean for the pastor? How long would this take? The questions went on and on.

This is where faith comes in.

As Christians we should trust in God and His “blueprint for life”. His Word gives us the instructions for living the life that He wants for us. This brings us to where we are now and this week’s message from our new pastor.

Welcome Lisa Buffum.

She started her message with her story and how God brought her to us to be our pastor.

Being a member of a United Methodist church and aware of what was going on in the denomination, she knew about the things our church was going through. She came to one of the meetings our church held as we were working through the process of what to do. She actively prayed for churches that were going through this process of answering the question of what to do.

The night that we had our vote for what we were going to do going forward, she drove to our church and sat in the parking lot praying.

We voted to leave the United Methodist and become Global Methodist as have several other churches in the district and conference.

There has been a shortage of pastors for a long time and with this split came the question of who would pastor these new churches. As she heard of more and more churches separating, she was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough pastors for the new Global Methodist churches.

She was thinking about this and had the thought that church laity might need to step up and fill some pulpits.

As she was praying, she heard God ask…” Why not you?”

This is a question that we all tend to push back on. Why me? Because I don’t have what it takes. Because I’m not good enough. I must have not heard that correctly. We’ve all done this at some time or another.

Why not you?

As a lay person she is going to be leading our church. She will be going through the process of becoming ordained. Becoming a pastor is not something that was a part of her life plan…surprise.

Looking back, it is clear how these things were happening separately and simultaneously. This is how God works. This is us getting onboard with His plan.

It’s up to us to do accept the changes that are part of God’s plan. If we don’t, we will suffer the consequences. In Isaiah 43:16-21 we are told to not get hung up on the past and accept the amazing new things that God is creating.

We need to remember that this is God’s story…not ours.

Life is a great adventure, and we need to embrace it. There is a time and season for everything here on earth, it’s up to us to open our minds to be aware of and embrace these changing seasons.

Laughing With Sheep is Good, Just Be Careful Who the Shepherd Is

Seek the Balance of Humor and Seriousness

This past Sunday we were privileged to have Keith Anglemyer give us the message. Keith grew up in Tisdale UMC and now is the minister at Beloit 1st UMC. It’s exciting to see fruit that came from planting seeds.

He started by sharing his testimony and how his experiences in this church helped to shape him into who he is today. He told us the importance of attending church every week that his parents instilled. How his love for music grew out of the church, leading him to be a music teacher before God lead him to becoming a minister.

Keith’s message was titled “Laughing with the Sheep”. He told us how as a kid in the church we were expected to sit still, be quiet, and behave. Then he shared a story of a youth trip where Melvin drove down the highway for miles with his turn signal on and the laughter that was had. These two seemingly opposing positions lead to a bit of a struggle.

Are we supposed to laugh in church?

This is a struggle that has been going on forever. There is “high church” that emphasizes formality and resistance to a modern contemporary worship style. On the opposite side there is “low church” that focuses less on rituals and liturgical contexts. These differing worship practices often times lead to confusion, misunderstanding and sometimes churches splitting.

You’ve probably heard it said of sheep, that, “Get one to go and they will all go”. Let me tell you, this is very true. I used to have sheep and there were multiple times when I watched one sheep jump over something that wasn’t there and every following sheep jumped in the same spot.

Because of this follow the leader behavior, sheep have been called stupid. This isn’t the case. They act the way they do as a way of protection. Their moving together collectively is a survival instinct.

The Bible is full of examples comparing us to sheep and the importance for us to follow the Good Shepherd. We are easily persuaded to follow crowds and do the things that others are doing. Whether this is worshiping in the way that we always have or something else.

The key to this is to know the Shepherd and follow Him…not other sheep.

I think Satan knows that we tend to act like sheep and he uses this to get us to follow along, often going the wrong way. Don’t blindly follow other sheep.

Get to know the Good Shepherd by reading about Him who He is and how to worship.

Remember, even though we act like it, we aren’t really sheep.

People Are the Foundation of the Church

Jesus Is Building “It” On Believers

In Matthew 16:13-20, Jesus asks those following Him, “Who do people say that I am?” Peter’s answer was “You are the Christ, the Son of God.”

Who do you say that He is?

Jesus tells Peter, “You are the rock on which I will build my church.”. This is the first time that “church” is used in the Bible. Too often, people think of a building when they hear the word church.

Jesus was not talking about a building when He spoke about the church. He was talking about believers. People who believe that He is the Son of God. Too many people think of church as a building.

Jesus was a liar, a lunatic, or Lord.

C. S. Lewis said in his book, Mere Christianity that…

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse….”

Believing that Jesus is the Son of God makes you one of the foundation stones.

There is a responsibility that goes with being part of this foundation. The weight of the church rests on it. The more blocks that are in the foundation the lighter the load is on each block.

The load appears lighter to those who choose not to be a part of the foundation, in reality, the load we carry alone is much heavier. The load is lighter when it’s shared.

If we choose to be a foundation rock, we have a responsibility to the other rocks. To share the load with the other foundation stones while showing those who aren’t yet, how to be one.

We have a responsibility to be the best foundation that we can. It’s our fault if the building falls down.

If I Scratch in the Dirt with Chickens, Crumbs Is All I’ll Get





Hanging Out with Eagles Helps Me Soar to Greater Heights


Last week I wrote about the importance of a loving church family from Pastor Lee’s message last Sunday. This week’s conclusion of the faith sharing series included sharing of personal stories.

From these stories there were struggles shared, faith expressed and confirmation of the importance of a loving church.

Tears were shed and bonds were strengthened. In the sharing, both last week and this, the one thing that was evident was the importance of being surrounded by the love and support of others.

Those with whom we choose to associate with directly affect who we’ll become, either good or bad. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Your friends are a statement of who you are choosing to become. 

Choose to hang out with eagles.


It’s evident that we are influenced by who we choose to associate with, on the other side, we influence others who associate with us. We have been called by Jesus to be salt and light to the world. We need to be lifting others up and helping them to soar higher.


Choose to be an eagle to others.

Influence is both powerful and gradual. Everything is always changing, either toward good or bad. What’s important is that we are intentional about the influences in our lives and choose the good.

We can choose to scratch in the dirt with chickens or we can fly with the eagles. It’s up to you which you choose, but you were made to fly.


Life Is Better in A Loving Church








It’s Like Being Wrapped in A Warm Blanket on A Cold Night

There are way too many people stumbling around out in the darkness in need of a warm blanket. Those of us who have found our blanket need to be sharing blankets with others.


This past Sunday our Pastor’s message consisted of members of the congregation sharing what our church (Tisdale UMC) meant to them. This was a combination of long-term and recent members and some who weren’t.


Just like everyone of us is different and unique, so were their stories. Even with all the differences each one expressed common feelings of the warmth of the church. (Just like a warm blanket on a cold night.) It didn’t matter what their situation was, they felt wrapped up in warmth.


Having grown up in this church I assumed this was how all churches were. As I got older, I had a recurring conversation with people who had moved away and struggled to find a church that had this same warmth. This doesn’t mean that every person is looking for this warmth, but once they’ve experienced it, they want it.


This warm feeling is bigger than the people, bigger than the church, it’s God’s loving arms.



Too many people are cold and don’t even know it. If you find someone that’s cold give them a warm blanket of love and invite them in out of the cold.