July 30, 2015

Learning Compassion the Hard Way

By Frank Rogers

Blog-image_7-30-2015When our dog of 14 years died, I wanted to spread some of her ashes at the wilderness park where she and I ran most days of her life. My son, at home for her passing, had a midmorning plane to catch back to college. So I only had a short time to drive, park, spread her ashes, and make it back home.

Unfortunately, I knew I was in trouble the moment I got to the parking lot. The lot was so full, a line had formed halfway down the street. I knew of an overflow lot further down, so I bypassed the line and made for it. I could not believe it. The overflow lot was full as well, its line clogging the access street. I made a U-turn only to see a dozen cars U-turning in front of me. I was stuck between two traffic jams.

Then I saw it. The corner house on a cul-de-sac adjacent to me had an open spot in front. I zipped in and pulled up at the foot of a sign forbidding parking at night. I still had time. I grabbed the vial, leapt from the car, looked up, and immediately started to backpedal. Barreling down the driveway toward me, rakes raised in both hands as if fending off a grizzly, a large man of Middle Eastern descent screamed at me with accented aggression.

“What’re you doing?! You’re parking right in front of my house!” … read

February 28, 2015

Black Lives Matter … and So Do All Lives

By Carolyn W. Dandridge
Carolyn W. Dandridge

Carolyn W. Dandridge

I hear the words of Isaiah 40:28-31 paraphrased like this: “Do you not know or have you not heard? The Creator is the eternal Judge and ruler of the earth until the end. When you follow the Supreme One, you will not grow faint or weary, and your knowledge will be beyond scrutiny. God will provide strength to the fainting, and the weak shall become strong beyond measure. When we become weary and our youth stagger and fall, we who HOPE shall renew our strength and soar like eagles. We will run and grow Christlike, and we will walk and never faint.” … read

February 25, 2015

My Continued Journey of Mothering Gabriel

By Toni Payne
Toni  Payne

Toni Payne

To say I was hesitant when invited to write an article about raising my son for this blog last year is an understatement. I had numerous reservations about the invitation. My first thought was, Why was my life as Gabriel’s mother important only during Black History Month? I dreaded being scrutinized, characterized, or typecast as just another incompetent single African American mother. I wondered if anyone would find my musings honest, relevant, timely, or noteworthy. … read

December 23, 2013

The Word Made Flesh

By Upper Room Books

andylangfordAndy Langford is the senior pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Concord, North Carolina. Andy was the editor of The United Methodist Book of Worship and on Christmas Eve 2013, he will launch the first online congregation in our denomination: Central Online. Join us for worship at or

Disciplines: A Book of Daily Devotions is a longstanding—and beloved—resource published by Upper Room Books every year. Each week’s readings  reflect on scripture passages in the lectionary for that period.

In 2013 you can not only read these daily devotions but also comment on them, ask the writer a question, and respond to others who are reading the same material each day. We are looking forward to building a community of Disciplines readers! Just sign in and add your comment in the Comments section following the Monday blog post.

Each Monday an introduction and the initial reading for the week will be posted. Come back to this Monday post throughout the week to continue the conversation about the week’s readings and prayers.

Read Isaiah 63:7-9

As we end our Advent journey, we stand at the threshold of the Incarnation. Isaiah is the prophet of Advent and Christmas. Over two-thirds of all Old Testament lessons in these two seasons come from Isaiah. Try to hear the brief and clear text for Sunday anew: “I will recount the Lord’s faithful acts; I will sing the Lord’s praises, because of all the Lord did for us, for God’s great favor toward the house of Israel. God treated them compassionately and with deep affection. God said, ‘Truly, they are my people, children who won’t do what is wrong.’ God became their savior. . . . In love [hesed or “steadfast love” or “loving kindness”] and mercy God redeemed them, lifting and carrying them throughout earlier times” (ceb).

Throughout this Advent, we have witnessed God’s early faithfulness to the psalmist, John the Baptist, and Joseph of Nazareth. As we prepare for Christmas Eve tomorrow, the long nights of waiting are almost over. The Lord God has sent to us new messengers: heavenly angels, a young woman named Mary, and a host of other people gathering in a stable in Bethlehem. In love and mercy, the day of God’s Savior is almost at hand.

The 1947 movie Miracle on 34th Street remains my favorite holiday movie. In that movie, Kris Kringle says, “Seems we’re all so busy trying to beat the other fellow in making things go faster and look shinier and cost less that Christmas and I are sort of getting lost in the shuffle.” Today, pray that you will not lose the coming Christ in the busy shuffle in these last days before Jesus’ birth. May we catch our breath, slow down, watch for angels, give thanks for God’s hesed, and be ready to receive the coming Savior.

God of darkness and light, help us overcome the shuffling of life to be ready to receive our Savior. Amen.

Subscribe to RSS Feed
Choose a Blog topic
Recent Blog Posts
Blog Archive