Tag Archives: John Wesley

faithfulness in action

Love this guy...but this philosophy shouldn't be attributed to any "religion"...it needs to be practiced by everyone, religious or not. How about just common sense?:

John Wesley would be proud to call President Jimmy Carter a friend and a true disciple of Christ. The President’s lifestyle matches his words. His caring for others and his compassion can be seen daily in his actions.

President Carter is a lifelong member of the Baptist Church The quote,however, is from John Wesley, the founder of the United Methodist Church.

The source of the quote is not as important as its message. Faithfulness demands a lifestyle of caring and compassion that helps create a world of justice where love trumps hatred and mercy is more important than money.

John Wesley on the danger we face

John Wesley quote:

There are times to be tolerant. And there are times to be rigorous in the defense the morally accepted standards of civilized behavior. Allowing the #BLOTUS to get away with his lying, nepotism and scoffing at the law is putting us on the wrong path. We are living in a dangerous time for democracy as we know it.

every one must give an account

These wise words from the founder of the Methodist movement are perfect for the way I feel this morning. Each of us have our own thoughts and opinions about the outcome of the Presidential election. And none of us have the right to condemn someone for not agreeing with us.

The will of the majority has been made known. Now it is time for all of us to do our best to support the new President in every possible way. Time will show whose opinions about the choice of our leader was more correct.

As Wesley stated, everyone of us must give an account of themselves to God. Until then, I will pray for our new leaders, pray for the safety of our nation and our planet, and pray for all those that might not agree with opinions.

all the good you can do

A lifestyle based on John Wesley’s exhortation would be one that would clearly demonstrate the love of God. Following these precepts would help our world become a true community. Living according to these words would also prove that real joy comes from giving.

a frightening thought

"What one generation tolerates... The next generation will embrace." ~ John Wesley true and sad.:

As I get older I cannot help but notice how today’s society tolerates a lack of basic civilized behavior. Not only have our morals loosed to the point of becoming completely untied, our acceptance of boorish and rude behavior never ceases to amaze me.

While I am a staunch believer in individual rights and free speech, many of the verbal exchanges I have observed during the Presidential debates make me wince in shame.  What happened to basic civility?

I find it frightening that candidates for our nation’s highest office appeal to fear, hatred and racial prejudice while openly attacking each other as liars. These are not the kind of people I want leading the United States, and I hope that playing to the lowest common denominator backfires on them when the votes are counted.

My deepest fear, however, is that our society is not only tolerating such behavior but has already embraced it. If such is the case, we definitely deserve the government and the leadership we will get.

good advice from the 18th century

I get an almost constant stream of comments from many in my congregation that they would prefer  that my sermons were less political. My response is that if a sermon isn’t political it’s not relating to what’s real and immediate for us.

If our spirituality doesn’t help inform who we are as citizens we have created a false dichotomy. Our values should come from our beliefs. Those values should be what guide us in the choosing of  who we desire to serve us as elected officials.

John  Wesley stated it plainly. We need to exercise our freedom to vote. It’s a gift many do not enjoy. We need to vote for the person who most closely reflects our values. And then, we need to demonstrate the love of Christ and not engage in trash talking the opposition candidates or their supporters.

Personally, I have the most difficulty with that last piece of advice. As a disciple of Jesus I am called to be an ambassador of love and an agent of reconciliation. That makes trash talk off limits, and I admit I’m not there yet. It’s an area in which I am still working…

do all the good you can

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can. — John Wesley

This familiar quote by the founder of Methodism never loses its appeal to me. Every time I hear it used or every time I see it quoted again reminds me that we have an unending responsibility “to keep on keeping on.”

What continues to inspire me is that John Wesley didn’t just preach about doing good. He demonstrated the “do all the good you can” philosophy every day of his life. He preached to the poor, visited those in prison, and never ceased crusading for those marginalized by society.

Mr. Wesley would  not be popular in today’s United Methodist Church. He would be disgusted by (what would appear to him as) the laziness demonstrated by the majority of today’s clergy. He would find the amount of time we waste as both abhorrent and inexcusable. He simply wouldn’t tolerate the lack of zeal we demonstrate as leaders of the people called Methodists.

He wouldn’t be gentle in instructing us about doing good at all the times we could. He would be quick to administer a solid kick to the seat of our pants with a loving reminder that we are to do all the good we can for as long as we can.

And I am quite sure Mr. Wesley would let us know in no uncertain terms that there is no retiring from doing all the good we can. Wesley was raising funds for the poor in snow and ice less than two weeks before he died. But then, for him,  doing good wasn’t a career. It was a calling.

 

a dream of authentic community

“I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God’s creational intentions.”
John Wesley, How To Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer     

Holiness is not a word we use much in contemporary society. Webster says it means the state of being holy–no surprise there. But there’s many of us that have only the vaguest notion of what that implies.

Again, Mr. Webster states that the best definition of the word “holy” is “Belonging to, derived from, or associated with divine power; sacred.”  Other definitions of the word include: “worthy of worship or high esteem” or “living according to a religious or spiritual system.” There are several other lesser used meanings as well.

So what Wesley was dreaming of, what he was praying for, was a renewal of divine power, a return to a spiritual lifestyle of true community. And even though that 18th century dream might seem quaint to us today, what Wesley yearned for is the answer to many of our world’s greatest and most challenging problems.

No one goes hungry in an authentic community based on living a spiritual lifestyle centered on loving one another more than we love ourselves.

I share Wesley’s dream. And I continue to pray for the day when we have an authentic global community, a community where God’s creational intentions are fulfilled for the entire human family and all of creation.