First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~


Seeing is Believing

Staying attentive to things is essential to arriving at a predetermined destination with any hope of making a statement or being in one piece. Case in point. Today was a travel day for me and the trip back and forth to State College had its usual traffic, road construction, and the occasional "Did I just see what I thought I saw" moments. On my return we descended the Seven Mountains area, there was the usual string of tractor trailers coming down the hill in reduced gear. Creeping along at perhaps 30 miles per hour, they looked like a long caterpillar. Traffic in the left lane (which should have been at least maintaining the speed limit of 55 MPH) was moving at a 50-ish MPH limit. Hmm,

Good Advice

For many reading this, we can remember the scene in Indiana Jones, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when he tossed the date into the air ready to catch it, chew it up, and swallow it. Instinctively, his friend Sallah, reached out and snatched the date our of the air as he watched the monkey die from poisoned dates. With a startled look on his face, Jones looked at his friend and heard him say, "Bad dates." Our lives are always bombarded with information. Some information is good, vetted, and able to be trusted. Other information is often piecemeal, not verified, and can lead to heartache. Case in point the other day. I was hiking the 1,000 Steps over in Huntingdon county on my day off and happen

Reducing Errs, Increasing Sorry(s)

Enduring pain isn't about how many times one has been knocked down but how many times one chooses to get back up. If this is remotely true, then some of us should be Phi Betta Kappas on struggle and perseverance. What does it mean then to reduce our errs? You may be thinking, "Is errs even a real word?" For this blog, let's pretend it is. The other day, I bumped into the oft quoted Alexander Pope who said, "To err is human; to forgive, divine." Okay, I didn't actually bump into him personally but into his quote. I believe he lived in the 1600 and 1700s. Well, anyway, I have been chewing, gnawing, and trying to digest his quote. I suppose if my errs are many I would hope they would all be p

Pieces of the Puzzle

Mix flour, water, salt, ham, potatoes, other unknown ingredients and a slow cooker and what do you get. A pot of YUMMYNESS! (or is it yummmieness?) No matter, ham pot pie is good no matter how you spell yumminess. Last night at the men's Bible study, we were treated with Lisa's home made ham pot pie and in a word it was 'Delicious'! There was some irony in this meal for me personally and after sharing that caveat with Lisa, she also shared a poignant moment with me. I thanked Lisa for making the meal and shared with her how much her food tasted just like my mother's recipe. Of all days for me to enjoy this meal it was Monday September 17, 2018. It was one year to the day that mom passed

Leadership Tact

Quick, what is the best advice you've ever received? Your answer should not include words like 'yellow' and 'snow'! No really, have you had sage advice given you from wise people? I sure hope so. If you haven't then I'll have to assume you weren't open to advice or you weren't listening. Horrors! Please say it's not so! A year ago, Tracie and I took part in solid leadership training from the Orange Tour held in Mt Joy, PA and were filled with great teachings from some leading gurus in leadership development. One such fellow was Jon Acuff. Acuff mixes humor, holy conversations and straight down the middle training to lift his audience to consider new ways of engaging people and buildin

God's Love Notes

If I, a solitary man, stand and look up to the sky, I am not able to see the end of the known universe. Even if I had access to the Hubble Telescope and had it amped a 100 times more powerful than it is, I still couldn't. Scientists and astronomers continue to plumb the depths and heights of our created order and are learning new things about all that we don't know about.... It is so easy to be caught up in how important we think we are and then are reminded of how small we truly are. This blog isn't about how bad I can make us all feel but to entertain the notion that God's love for us is larger than the known universe. On this day as the rain settles upon the earth, I am brought to tear

No Day Wasted

Ahhh, Saturdays!! For many it is a day to sleep in. No work! No school! For teenagers, who spent all night online playing video games, they never see Saturday. (**insert smiley face here) Still others prep for the big game and get ready to tailgate and enjoy a day away from responsibilities. Overall, I like Saturdays. I was born on a Saturday. So, what do you do on Saturdays? Reading? Cooking? Cleaning? Traveling? Shopping? Little as possible? Maybe you're one of the less fortunate who actually have to work on Saturday. Sorry about that. No day wasted has become a mantra that I have borrowed from an acquaintance I met while doing a Tough Mudder in Coatsville. Jim Campbell, who do

Step Into My Parlor.

In order for most spiders to survive and gather (catch) food, they must spin webs and locate in areas of insect travel. Have you ever wondered how the first spider knew to do this amazing feat of architecture? What led them to believe the substance coming out of their spinnerets could (would) suffice for food catching capabilities? Have you ever taken time to watch a spider construct their web? Words like 'amazing' and 'stunning' don't really do justice to these high wire aerialists. Usually, the first couple lines of web are floated toward a tree or fence post. After attaching these few support webs, the spider begins an intricate design and works quickly to build its insect catching

The Heart of the Matter

The unmistakable sounds of certain things always leave us with a connection that cannot be broken. For instance, I could sit and listen to Katy Dids call their ratcheting sounds forever. The white noise hum of a sweeper used to knock me out when I was a child. So many sounds, bring back so many memories. Just the other day, I stepped into a time machine that whisked me back 30-40 years ago. As I stepped inside the barn on the family farm, immediately sounds of all kinds bombarded my senses and this inside a quiet barn. In everything I heard, I could also hear your heart dad. It was as though you were standing beside me. In no particular order, I could hear you folding the blue tarp and