Sam, my grandson, was so excited. About a year ago he developed an interest in archery and began "shooting" regularly at a local archery range. Recently he got his first bullseye. He had come close many times, but this time he hit the target right in the center. He didn't do this by closing his eyes and hoping; he did it by learning to take aim. It is a timely lesson as we consider, "What will we aim for, for 2020?"...
The story of the birth of Christ is recorded in both Matthew and Luke. Both stories are beautiful in their own right, but recently the passage in Matthew (1:18-24) has especially caught my attention. I would invite you to grab your Bible and read this story once again. As you do, please notice how the message unfolds with key words, each of which begin with the letter P:...
I have known Mike Platten, who is a Christian professional magician, for years and have enjoyed watching him perform and share his testimony on several occasions. Recently he shared his gifts both in public worship and for the children's Christmas party at the 1st United Methodist Church in Sapulpa. As Mike began his performance, he made it clear that the "magic" he performed was just a "trick" based on illusion, and that the only one who could truly perform miracles was Jesus Christ. He brought his point home in an effective way by doing a card trick featuring the "king of hearts" and reminded the audience that we need to remember, this Christmas, that Christ came into the world to be the King of our heart. But it was his statement, "Jesus is the only one who performs true miracles" that caught my attention. It reminded me of the wonderful miracle that we know of as Christmas...
For years I have been impressed with the work of the Salvation Army. The merging of personal salvation with social acts of charity have long been their style. Every Christmas I am reminded of the dedication of these Army workers as I sometimes see them in extremely cold weather, ringing their bells and collecting money for the needy. But the scene I saw this year caught my attention in still another way: It was a mom and her two young children working together to bless others. Their example made clear the lesson that giving and serving is not just something that adults are called to do; rather, it is something we, as families, can do together..
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.