Granbury First UMC Blog Posts

What A Relief

Late last week I began feeling, let’s just say, not so good.  Being sick is a total waste of time and, frankly, exhausting.  But I was a good patient and did what I was told.  I called my doctor Friday morning to see if I could get an appointment before the weekend.  After asking what my symptoms were, they scheduled me for 10:45 AM appointment with the physician’s assistant.  Sounded good to me.  But I would have to drive around behind their building, call the front desk, and wait for someone to open the rear door so I could enter without affecting….or is that infecting….any of the patients in the waiting room.  

When I arrived, I called and, after about thirty minutes waiting in my car, the back door opened and a nurse came to take me inside.  She went through the regular routine; checking my heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, etc.  I just knew all her checking would find that I am about to go through one of those near-death experiences, or worse.  Not so.  I had a mild fever and my heart rate was a little high.  

The physician’s assistant then entered the room and gave me her diagnosis.  I prepared myself for the worst.  She said, “Scott, it looks like you have a stomach bug.”  I’m sure she meant some kind of new super-strain of something that was flown in from the deepest marshes of the Amazon.  Nope, just a normal stomach bug.  So she called in a couple of prescriptions to the pharmacy and told me to lay low for a few days.

Those few days seemed like an eternity.  Though I took my medications as prescribed, I didn’t feel any relief until three days later.  

Sometime’s life works out that way.  Though relief is right around the corner, it doesn’t always arrive as quickly as we hope.

So it is for the victims of the flooding in Hood County last May and June.  They’ve been waiting for things to get better.  They’ve applied and received some aid from the American Red Cross and other relief organizations, but there’s still work that needs to be done.

That’s where we can help!  Our very own United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the very agency who came to Granbury to help the tornado victims in 2013, are back to help these flooding victims and they’re asking for our help.  UMCOR needs as many volunteer groups as they can get to help clean up flood debris and do some light construction work.  I want to encourage you, if you are willing and able to help, to contact the church office and sign up at the Welcome Center Desk to provide those who are suffering with the relief they’ve been waiting so long for.


God’s richest blessings to you all,

Pastor Scott

“Little children, let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth.  This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts in God’s presence.” (1 John 3:18-19, CEB)


When Retreats Attack

“When Retreats Attack”

We United Methodists have a book of rules that govern our church called,

The Book of Discipline.  

The title of the book alone sounds like a military guide to strategic torture practices.  Discipline is what my parents used to do to me when I pushed my brother down the stairs or stole a package of gum from the corner store.  It brings to mind the floggings, water boarding, and fingernail extractions of my childhood.
But the rules are the rules and, we all know, rules are made to be broken…..or should they be followed?  In any case, one of the rules within The Book of Discipline says that pastors need to take at least one week away from the church per year for either continuing education or spiritual renewal.  This “renewal” time, according to usual and customary practices, can and should be done in the form of a “retreat”; an act of withdrawing from church leadership routines to reconnect with God.  It means staying out of the office, putting the computer away, not checking emails, social media, or even the local news.  It’s supposed to be a time to shut out the world and to really focus on God.

Can you believe it?  Torture is an understatement.  How can any human being be expected to withdraw from everything that makes them who they are and “be still?”  

Well, next week I’m taking my “spiritual retreat” in order to spend time quietly with God and to listen more than talk, to sense more than think, to be still more than move.  My patience, or lack-thereof, and sense of being will be tested to their limits.  I’ll have to humbly realize the church will stay afloat without my presence, you all will make good decisions without my wise counsel, and God will continue to reign.

What about you?  When was the last time you took time away from the cares and concerns of this world to spend quiet time with God?  When was the last time you were still enough and quiet enough to actually hear him speaking to you?  You might be surprised what you hear?

God’s richest blessings to you all,

Pastor Scott

“You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me.” (Psalm 119:114, The Message)