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Thrive in 5: Use Your Brain the Way God Intended

Thrive in 5: Use Your Brain the Way God Intended

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”  –Galileo Maintaining intellectual health is often a neglected part of pastoral well-being. Yet, Jesus included loving...
We all bow

We all bow

Often, when I hear God, I look at my life and allow his Holy Spirit to search me, then bring confession and repentance to him. I have to say lately, God has been speaking to me on the issue of worship. And I know why. My people, he says, have made me different from I...
Did you expect your call to include power and authority?

Did you expect your call to include power and authority?

I am frequently asked the question, “How were you called to ministry?” Most people ask that and expect the St. Paul experience—a light from heaven, thrown off my horse, blind and now I see. They also want a short, sweet and definitive response. Frankly, I dread that...
Asbury Graduate Spotlight: Seeds of Holiness

Asbury Graduate Spotlight: Seeds of Holiness

Light energy, water, chloroplasts, and time – these are the inner workings of cells that cause most plant life to grow,  from the grass in North American backyards to the amazing rainforests of the Amazon. So, too, are there inner workings of a call to ministry; a...
The emperor moth

The emperor moth

L.B. Cowman was a missionary to China in the early 1900s. Her missionary service was cut short when her husband became very ill, causing them to return to the United States. She cared for him for more than six years before he died. In her devotional book, Streams in...
Thrive In 5:  Emotional

Thrive In 5: Emotional

  How do you feel about the person you are with when you are all alone? This is when your capacity for self-loathing or self-liking reveals itself. The odds are good that you may experience either attitude about your “self” at one time or another. As a pastor, how you...
God knows what he’s doing: Abby Powell

God knows what he’s doing: Abby Powell

Abby Powell realized she wasn’t the typical Oklahoma Wesleyan student one day in an intercultural studies class, when asked to fill out a 10-question quiz about emotional “baggage” she carried. Each question answered “yes” indicated some wound or negative experience...
The Burden of Wealth

The Burden of Wealth

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. (James 5:1) JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER, an American industrialist and philanthropist, became the world’s richest man and the first American worth more than a billion dollars. At one...
Dr. Marcus Dean: No ivory tower

Dr. Marcus Dean: No ivory tower

Whether in an office at Houghton College or a board room at Fillmore Wesleyan Church, Dr. Marcus Dean lives a life in service to the local church. Dr. Marcus Dean’s life has been spent in two worlds that don’t always play nicely with one another – the academy and the...
The Sins of Omission

The Sins of Omission

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. (James 4:17) YEARS AGO, my Sunday school teacher posed a question. A half century later, I still remember the point at issue: “If you were walking along the beach and saw a man drowning, crying...
Hurt or harm

Hurt or harm

Jesus likened the relationship of those who follow him to that of a relationship between a branch and a vine. Branches do not live independently of the vine. An organic union exists whereby the vine nurtures, supports and facilitates the growth of the branch....
Busting three myths about your pastor’s spouse

Busting three myths about your pastor’s spouse

When it comes to living life with a pastor, Marietta Williams has seen more than most. From church planting to district leadership, Williams is a veteran of title-less yet nevertheless full-time ministry. The leader of Pastor’s Spouse Connection, Williams is...
Ink marks and crimson stains

Ink marks and crimson stains

The telephone rang at 7:00 a.m. and the staff hurried to Mamie Eisenhower’s bedroom. When they knocked and entered, they discovered big black spots all over the sheets, covers, pink dust-ruffle, headboard, everything. To be exact, they were “dabs and blotches and...
Thrive In 5: Planning For Retirement

Thrive In 5: Planning For Retirement

  One of the hardest things for some pastors to think about is preparing for retirement. There are so many aspects to think about, it can boggle the mind. Yet, it is one of the most important life events many of us will ever experience from both a personal and...
A calling that found its home in the church: Jordan Rife

A calling that found its home in the church: Jordan Rife

Jordan Rife has long recognized her passion to work with people, but she hadn’t been looking for her niche where she found it: in the local church, as a worship leader. Growing up in a church that didn’t affirm women as ordained pastors, Rife didn’t imagine she’d soon...
Inside-out Faith

Inside-out Faith

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. (James 3:14) WHAT IS INSIDE YOU ultimately comes out. One of the biggest animated blockbusters of all time was the Pixar movie Inside Out. The film creatively...
FLAME advancing through Kingswood University

FLAME advancing through Kingswood University

FLAME–a program that provides brings ministry training to lay and clergy–will become a program of Kingswood Extended. Kingswood Extended provides local churches and districts new ways to provide discipleship and ministry preparation, extending the ministry...
Why “walking” with God?

Why “walking” with God?

You have probably heard or read this somewhere before now: “walk with God,” or “walking with/in the Spirit.” There are plenty of resources that thoroughly describe what this means. Even more, there is an abundance of voices that list steps on how to do this in your...
One great distinction between managers and leaders

One great distinction between managers and leaders

All great leaders are good managers, but not all great managers are good leaders. This is not an article that lifts up leaders and devalues managers. Management is an essential function, and managers are highly valued members of the team. There are differences,...
Thrive In 5: Understanding God’s Love

Thrive In 5: Understanding God’s Love

  As Wesleyan pastors, we all know the scriptural truth that loving God and loving others is the central hallmark of the Christian spiritual life. But do we truly embrace this as the ultimate outcome of what it means to be Spirit-filled? As David Benner states, “If...
Where is God leading me to change?

Where is God leading me to change?

Where is God leading me to change? If we don’t know the answer to this, then it’s difficult to move forward towards wholeness in the discipleship journey. In his book, Failing Forward, John Maxwell provides a helpful insight into the reasons why people change. People...
Living in the “what is”

Living in the “what is”

I couldn’t stop pacing the floor of my son’s hospital room. It was Sunday night and Andrew, age four, hadn’t eaten since Friday. Everything he put in his mouth, including ice chips, came right back up. At this point, he had nothing left in his...
Resurrection relationships

Resurrection relationships

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the great hinge of history. The risen Christ is nothing short of the way Christians understand the entire universe God is bringing toward restoration. It is hard to overstate the scope or importance of the resurrection with lofty...
Kirche or ekklesia?

Kirche or ekklesia?

In his book Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend, Andy Stanley reminds us that the original word for church is ekklesia. Ekklesia means a gathering of people united by common identity and purpose. Men and women meeting at the union hall of...