Things Ain’t What They Used To Be

1. After almost twenty years of full time ministry, I’ve never really gotten into praying with my hands up. I’m much more comfortable using my words and leaving my hands down.

2. I don’t like phrases from scripture that become Christian jargon. The only hedge of protection I know is in my yard.

3. I also think the word “anointed” is over used. Outside the church, people don’t get how we talk.  We shouldn’t make ourselves hard to understand.  You shouldn’t need classes to “speak Christian”.

4. We need to talk more about Mark 3:20-35. Is Jesus the crazy relative we feel more comfortable trying to contain with our own standards of conformity? I think so.

5. I miss participating Sunday School. Specifically, I mean coloring pictures of Jesus on Sunday morning.  Now I spend my Sunday mornings getting ready for worship.  Coloring was fun.  However, worship pays better than coloring and I have mouths to feed.

6. It’s possible to take the Bible seriously but not literally. I feel like I say this all the time.  Is anyone listening?  Why is this so hard?

7. Intinction is my preferred method of giving and receiving Holy Communion. That being said, I still think it’s a little gross.

8. I think the last good year to be a United Methodist was 1986.

9. A relationship with Jesus is more important than a personal relationship. It’s personal by default.  You don’t define any of the other important relationships in your life (spouse, children, or parents) as personal.  They are simply relationships.  Drop the jargon, focus on the substance.

10. Stop looking for God in the usual, scripted, well-defined, pre-printed places.

11. Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash are dead.  You can’t have a Holy Trinity with only Willie Nelson.  I guess I am a Unitarian Nelsonite.  So be it.

Richard Lowell Bryant

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