Running To Something!

Easter Sundays come and go and each one is likely to catch you in a different place in life; Child, Youth, Twenties, Thirties and….you get the drift! Each life season a different way of seeing and hearing the remarkable answer of God to the puzzle of death and injustice, tragedy and sin.

I remember going to a sunrise Easter service at Lee Memorial Gardens in Virginia with my parents when I was about 8 or 9. I wanted to go back to bed! It was nice and all but REALLY! 6:00am!!

Easter was different at about 11 after my grandfather died, the first family member to die that I was very close to. Then at 14…my father. Then for all the years since….well most of you have had something akin to what I just said. One DOES “grow in wisdom and in stature” in the face of reality both harsh as well as happy.

Yes, many an Easter Sunday is just bright and cheery with a hundred things in your life to go on about in joy and thanksgiving. You could leap for joy if your knees work well! Some Easter Sundays….nothing, “nada,” it hurts too much in either body, mind, or spirit.

What we are ultimately given from first to last, regardless of the time or condition on earth we have, is the Final Word from our Creator: “I have made you, I have provided a Way for you in Jesus raised from the dead, and what I began in you I will bring to completion.”

It’s what we have on any Easter Sunday. Or any day of the week for that matter! Sometimes it catches us with a hearty laugh and sometimes with a face all tear stained. If laughing, our faith reminds us that the best joke is finally on the Devil; if crying, our faith tells us “this too shall pass….”

For most of the Gospels there is mostly walking. On Easter morning Biblical people pretty much RUN! Breathless! Something has happened! Is happening! And will happen! If you can’t run anymore…SOMEONE will still get you up and moving! Then you will only cry tears of joy!

Thanks be to God~~!

See you Sunday! Easter!

Pastor Barry

In All Things Give Thanks

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Recently I have been dealing with a number of disappointments. Nothing huge just everyday issues that have come up. With these in mind I wrote today’s thought for the day. I hope it helps you reading it as much as it has helped me writing it.

Sometimes, in the crush of everyday living, we simply don’t stop long enough to pause and thank our Creator for the countless blessings He has bestowed upon us. We go from one project to another with little time to stop. We are always on to the next project, the next thing, the next moment.

It is only when we slow down and express our gratitude to the One who made us, we enrich our own lives and the lives of those around us.
Thanksgiving should become a habit, a regular part of our daily routines. God has blessed us beyond measure, and we owe Him everything, including our eternal praise.

As Christians we are called to give thanks in all the things. Not just the good things, not just some things but ALL things.

Are you a thankful person?

Do you appreciate the gifts that God has given you? And, do you demonstrate your gratitude by being a faithful steward of the gifts and talents that you have received from your Creator?

You most certainly should be thankful. After all, when you stop to think about it, God has given you more blessings than you can count. So the question of the day is this: will you thank your Heavenly Father . . . or will you spend your time and energy doing other things that seem important today but maybe not eternally?

We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good, if bad, because it works in us patience, humility, and the contempt of this world along with the hope of our eternal country. – C. S. Lewis


Chaplin Rob

Listening To Guilt

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. – Romans 8:1

All of us have made mistakes. Sometimes, we are swept up by events that encourage us to behave in ways that we later come to regret. And sometimes, even when our intentions are honorable, we make errors in judgment that have long-lasting consequences. When we look back at our actions with remorse, we may experience intense feelings of guilt. But God has an answer for the guilt that we feel. That answer is His forgiveness.

Sometimes, long after God has forgiven us, we may continue to withhold forgiveness from ourselves. Instead of accepting God’s mercy and accepting our past, we may think far too long and hard about the things that “might have been,” the things that “could have been,” or the things that “should have been.”

Are you troubled by feelings of guilt, even after you’ve received God’s forgiveness? Are you still struggling with painful memories of mistakes you made long ago? Are you focused so intently on yesterday that your vision of today is clouded? If so, you still have work to do, spiritual work. You should ask your Heavenly Father not for forgiveness (He granted that gift the very first time you asked Him!) but instead for acceptance and trust: acceptance of the past and trust in God’s plan for your life.

If you find yourself plagued by feelings of guilt or shame, consult God’s survival guide: His Holy Word. And as you do so, consider the following Biblically-based tips for overcoming those feelings of guilt once and for all:

1.Stop doing the things that make you feel guilty: How can you expect not to feel guilty if you should feel guilty? (Acts 26:20)
2.Ask God for forgiveness. When you ask for it, He will give it. (1 John 1:9)
3.Ask forgiveness from the people you have harmed: This step is hard, but helpful. And even if the other folks cannot find it in their hearts to forgive you, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you asked. (Proverbs 28:13)
4.Forgive yourself: if you’re no longer making the mistake, it’s the right thing to do. And today is the right day to do it. (Romans 14:22)
5.Become more diligent in your daily time of prayer and Bible study. A regular time of quiet reflection and prayer will allow you to praise your Creator, to focus your thoughts, to remind yourself of His love, and to seek His guidance in matters great and small. (Isaiah 50:45)
6.Get busy making the world a better place. Now that God has forgiven you, it’s time for you to show your gratitude by serving Him. (Matthew 23:11-12)

Guilt is a gift that leads us to grace. – Franklin Graham

Today’s Prayer

Lord Jesus, help me to forgive myself as you forgive me. Amen.

May you find forgiveness and peace today!


Chaplin Rob

Thailand Missionaries

On this Palm Sunday March 25, 2018, we are blessed to have Carol Fare and Vicki Brown share with us their ministry through Thailand Methodist Missions. They bring to us a perspective that broadens our sense of “for God so loved the world.”

Carol and Vicki work with Thai people who are often on the margins of society e.g. handicapped and/or abandoned children. They will describe how through Methodist missions people are loved in Jesus name and how needs of body, mind, and spirit are being met.

If you would, prepare for their visit by praying and then bringing a love offering for their work far from our Middle Tennessee but connected through our worldwide United Methodist Church. And you may want to connect on line by looking up Thailand Methodist Mission. There are photos and stories of their ministry in northern Thailand in places such as Blessing House Islan.

Join us this Sunday as we shout Hosannas to God who brings the Kingdom amongst all peoples in all times and in all places!


Pastor Barry


To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God. – Jonah 2:6

Don’t curse or grumble about the obstacles in your path, look at them as character builders. Find a way to move them, or pray your way through them. Call to mind the words of the great American educator Booker T. Washington, who said: “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are surprisingly generous with advice, especially if you take the time to befriend them first. And remember to be thankful.

You may meet a mentor who’ll encourage and support you for years to come.

The main thing, however, is not to throw in the towel when you encounter bumps in the road. Remember, when you’re traveling up a mountain, it’s the bumps you climb on.

Only by contending with challenges that seem to be beyond your strength to handle at the moment, you can grow more surely toward the stars. – Brian Tracy


Chaplain Rob

Sir, We Would See Jesus

As I write this, I am aware that the famous astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has died at age 76. His mind explored the Universe although his body was extremely incapacitated by a form of the neurological disease ALS. It is strange that he dies on Albert Einstein’s birthday March 14!

These two gifted thinkers helped us better understand God’s immense and complex creation giving us more awareness of how things exist and the apparent direction the universe is headed toward! Yet, neither was any better than anyone else in explaining WHY we exist or what OUR ending means. For those answers, we are like the Greeks in John 12:20 who ask Phillip, “Sir, we would see Jesus.”

For we who believe and follow Jesus, we trust that life’s deepest and most meaningful questions find their answer in the mystery of “Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.” And none of us are saved by knowledge. The great content of knowledge helps us but finally the core of life is to trust and to act upon that trust in love of God and neighbor.

It is most always a good thing to ask throughout the week, “Sir, I would see (hear, experience, serve) Jesus.” In this discipleship, we will find the Center of the Universe, the heart of the Cosmos, and…..ourselves. Jesus says in John 12:32, “If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people unto me.” That includes Greeks, Asians, Africans, Europeans, even all…..and you and me. Thanks be to God, Maker of Heaven and Earth!

See you in worship!

Pastor Barry

Folly of Bitterness

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. – Ephesians 4:31

Two shopkeepers owned stores directly across the street from each other. Each spent his days tracking the others’ business, and gloating triumphantly each time a customer chose his own store. Over time, they became bitter rivals.

One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers and said, “I’ll give you anything you request, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive double. Would you be rich? You can be very rich indeed, but he’ll be twice as wealthy. Do you desire a long and healthy life? Request it, but his life will be longer and healthier. What’s your desire?”

The man thought for a moment, and with a sly grin, stated, “Strike me blind in one eye!”

Bitterness is relentless and dangerous when allowed to take root in our hearts. It destroys decision-making abilities and compromises otherwise focused and productive lives. Its only remedy is forgiveness freely by Jesus Christ. And if you believe the Bible, we are to dispense it generously to others.

Take a step out of bitterness into forgiveness today. Forgive the unforgivable. You can do it!

We forgive to the extent that we love. – La Rochefoucauld


Chaplin Rob


If I have put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security’, if I have rejoiced over my great wealth, the fortune my hands had gained, then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high. – Job 31:24, 25, 28

A rich man prayed, “I’ve worked so hard and I want to take my fortune to heaven.”

“We don’t do that,” God said.

“Please,” he begged, “let me bring it so my children will be spared from an indulgent life.”

“Okay,” God amended “you may bring one suitcase.”

Weeks later, the man found himself at heaven’s gates with a suitcase full of gold bricks.

“A suitcase?” the angel guarding the gates questioned. “You can’t bring anything with you!”

“Oh, I have a special arrangement with God.”

The angel looked into the suitcase and lifted his head, “Lord, I’ve got a man here who says he’s made a special arrangement with you.”

The heavens rumbled, “What sort of arrangement?”

“For some reason he wants to bring in a suitcase full of paving material.”

In God’s economy, your gold will be worth less than the pavement under your feet! But the things often overlooked, children, the poor, our relationships with others, are priceless.

Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile. – Sir Wilfred Grenfell


Chaplin Rob

Growing as a Christian

(Today’s devotional comes directly from Rev. Billy Graham and his website. Over the years I have meditated on these devotionals and with his recent passing I have begun again reading them. I hope this devotional impacts you the way it has impacted me.)

Some people have received Christ but have never reached spiritual maturity. They have been in church all their lives, and yet they have never become mature Christians. They are still considered “spiritual children” and “babes in Christ.” They know little Scripture. They have little desire to pray, and bear few of the marks of a Christian in their daily living. To say, “I will resolve to do better, I will muster all my will power and revise my way of living,” is noble, but futile. A corpse could as well say, “I will-through sheer effort-rise out of this coffin and be a living man again.” You need a power outside yourself. You cannot get over the habits and chains that are binding you. You need outside help. You need Christ.

The Bible tells of a bridge of faith which reaches from the valley of despair to the high hills of glorious hope in Christ. It tells where we are, but beyond that-it tells where we may be in Christ. Now, of course, you will not be completely mature until you are in the presence of Christ, but you should be growing every day as a Christian.

Billy Graham

Pursuing Your Dreams

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. – Hebrews 10:36

Have you ever seen Michelangelo’s David or experienced a live stage performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet? These are amazing works of art and literature. They will most certainly be admired through all time.

But what if either of these men had allowed life’s difficulties to get in the way of their passion, their life’s work? We all face difficulties and we all have dreams.

What’s the difference between average men/ women and those who rise to greatness?


If a project is worth pursuing, it will require initiative, energy, and endurance. One stroke of the hammer didn’t chisel Michelangelo’s David. And Shakespeare didn’t pen Romeo and Juliet over a spot of afternoon tea. Any accomplishment worth attaining requires sustained effort. You must persevere to see your dream through.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. – Thomas Edison


Chaplain Rob