Memories of Mission Trips Pasts

In 1998, I was given the chance to go on a mission trip with the United Methodist Church to visit Rio De Janiero, Brazil. It was a world wind of effort of many people's parts for me to go on that trip. I remember my parents expediting a passport for me and a myriad of shots (Thanks, mom!) for anything and everything I could be exposed to in South America. Aside: Cold muscle shots hurt! I remember several weekend trips to meet the other youth going on the mission trip and the pastor and youth worker who would be chaperoning us. Getting to Brazil took over 12 hours, and required multiple … [Read more...]

The Parish of Saint Cuthbert

I don't know who Saint Cuthbert is. I do know that I have walked through the church yard of the Parish of Saint Cuthbert in Edinburgh, Scotland. My wife and I stayed in a nearby hotel during our honeymoon, and we took a stroll through the church yard one afternoon on the way back to our room. Vacationing in a country that can date historical sites back a thousand years is an interesting experience. It leads to a lot of interesting discussions about what "historic" means. In the US we discuss sites dating back to 1770s and consider that historic. In Scotland, you can find small church … [Read more...]

St. James Church, Goose Creek

Yesterday I had the pleasure of touring St. James Church in Goose Creek. It is in the National Registry of Historic Places. The site has a history going back to the early 1700s.  I've wanted to go to the church for a while; unfortunately, the site is typically only open to the public once or twice a year. I apparently wasn't alone in my wish to tour St. James Church. Mayor Michael Heitzler led the tour. Several hundred people showed up. The first few photos and a link to the entire photo gallery is below. … [Read more...]

Speaking Truth

The message delivered at Goose Creek United Methodist Church on Sunday, June 6th. Scripture: Mark 7:24-30 After reading this passage, the first thought that came to me was the phrase, speaking truth to power. Most of us are familiar with that phrase from the American Civil Rights movement. The phrase also has a home in the Quaker Church. In the 1950s the Quaker Church used the phrase as part of the title for one of their books on non-violence. It was believed that the church had a responsibility to speak truth to power. Where earthly powers believed might made right, the church should … [Read more...]

Thoughts on 1st Sunday after Christmas

This last Sunday in church, the scripture lesson focused on Luke 2:22-40. This passage tells the story of Jesus' presentation at the temple. What changes a common occurrence in 1st century Jewish life from ordinary to extraordinary is the presence of Simeon and Anna in the temple and their reaction to Jesus being in that place. Simeon according to scriptures was a righteous and devout man who had been promised by God that he would not die until he saw the Messiah. Anna was a prophetess who was in her 80s and had been worshipping in the temple for decades since the death of her husband. Both … [Read more...]

Fall Festival 2014 and Ash Grove

It has been two years since I went to the Asbury Hills Fall Festival and proposed to my wife. This fall we went back and had a unique weekend. The Fall Festival started four hours late because of an early season snow storm. Our little cabin got at least an inch of snow. It didn't matter to my wife and I too much. We had good food, time together and a puppy. Our puppy was quite put out about having to go to the bathroom outside though. Although I've never seen the puppy move that fast to get back inside. Apple butter was bought and a good time was had. The only loss of the weekend was a poor … [Read more...]

A Community Prayer for Advent

In this season of Advent and in this season of expectation, we still carry the burdens and concerns of this world. We still worry about friends ands family members who are sick. We worry about the bills we need to pay. We are concerned about our families and wonder whether the world is getting worse for them and us. In the midst of all these concerns, we must remember that when we open our hearts to God, he gives us peace. And in this Advent season and in every day in our lives, we must make the choice between focusing on the peace God gives us or falling into despair over the … [Read more...]

A fun Friday

This is my first post in a while. I decided to make a quick post of my latest set of Cypress Gardens photos. I took Friday off work and just wandered around for a while. The butterfly garden was beautiful as always, and the swamp lilies were still open. New fun fact: swamp lilies close at 2pm around here, and the season for them ends around mid-September. Alright,  that's basically all the time I have for now. Working on a few technical projects at home, and I think some of those projects will be the focus of my next set of posts. … [Read more...]


Our pictures from the cottage in November. … [Read more...]

Another Cypress Gardens walk and photo shoot

I decided to take the day off and enjoy another hike through Cypress Gardens. The water lily season is just ending, but there were still enough in bloom to give me several great pictures. … [Read more...]