John 18:36-37 - Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”  “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.
What the World Needs Now
In 1965, Jackie DeShannon sang a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. If you know it, it will now be stuck in your head the rest of the day. It was called, “What the World Needs Now is Love.” It was true in 1965… and it’s perhaps even more true today, especially in our politically polarized country.
Before I arrived at the church I presently serve, a vision committee was formed to prayerfully study, discuss, and articulate our church’s mission. They were then tasked with writing a mission statement based on their effort. The statement declared Southside United Methodist Church’s mission was to,
Build the Family of God into Faithful Disciples of Jesus Christ.
Spiritual Buffet Table
When I was in seminary, I had the opportunity to take a course on The Sermon on the Mount. I loved that class and learned a great deal from it. One of the big ideas I learned early in the course related to the first 12 verses of Matthew 5, which we call, The Beatitudes.
One of the highlights of attending seminary in Atlanta was sitting under the teaching of Dr. Fred Craddock. Dr. Craddock was a gifted and world-renowned preacher and preaching instructor. It was a privilege and blessing to take a preaching class taught by him.
One of the things Dr. Craddock taught us, something that has always stayed with me, came from a story he told us. He shared with our class a snippet of a conversation he had with one of his former students who had graduated and was serving a little rural church.