Written by Brandon Edwards on . Posted in Youth Minister

cambodiaI remember waking up on the floor of the church building in downtown Bangkok, Thailand and wondering to myself, “Why did I choose to sleep on this hard floor?” My back hurt badly and I could barely sit up without a lot of pain. I rubbed my back as best I could and then realized my neck hurt even more than my back.

This was going to be a long day. A very, very long day.
But the day before was even longer.

I awoke the day before in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and boarded a bus…well, lets call it a bus. It wasn’t really a bus inasmuch as it was a large vehicle that we shoved 40 people into. Kyle and I sat with our massive travel bags under our feet and I had my knees against my chest. There was no air conditioning and it was close to 95 degrees on the bus. I began to pray because I knew that the journey we were about to make was going to be a rough one. In fact, it was going to be an incredibly dangerous one.

The Zimmerman Trial

Written by Scott Harp on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

gavelphotowebThe fascination Americans seem to have with what goes on in the lives of other people borders on the level of obsession. Most folks just seem to like to know what others are up to all the time. Add in the media’s presentation of the “facts,” and the armchair judge and jury has all he needs to make the “correct” decision about guilt or innocence. Right? Perhaps, the jury is still out on that one. No pun intended!

Recently, the courts in Florida found one of its residents, George Zimmerman, not guilty in the shooting death of seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012. It may be that you have been following this story and subsequent trial. It has been in the news for the last year and a half. You may have followed it closely, or you may have ignored it all together. In any case, it has been in the news almost every day, and has created quite a stir in many circles. The outcome is highly controversial in the public eye to say the least.

Coffee With A Stranger

Written by Pam Newman on . Posted in Youth Minister

woodentablecoffeecupI sat quietly in a café in downtown Catania. This was my normal stop on my morning commute to work. Each and every day I would walk the ten blocks from my eleventh floor apartment to the church building and, on the way, I would always stop at the “bar,” or coffee café, for my morning breakfast.

As I sat quietly this morning drinking my coffee, the waiter, whom I’d never met before, came out and asked me if I needed anything else. His Italian was pretty good, but I could tell he was from the Middle East. I told him that I was fine and thanked him for asking.

As he walked away from me, I heard another patron at the café speak.

Face to Face

Written by Scott Harp on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

conversationThink of all the things people can do when they are facing one another. They can smile, frown, make funny faces, and make their imaginations run in many different directions. Add in the mouth and ears and two can ponder a million points of thought, explore feelings, and express differences. Through communications face to face people are able to make judgments of the state of their relationships, whether it is strong or weak, existent or non-existent. One can tell the truth or tell a lie, and make judgments on the validity of what the other says when you peer into their eyes. One thing is for sure; people who love one another never seem to tire of the constant gaze.

         Reading letters, texts, emails, tweets, and other forms of communication are familiar substitutes we use these days to express our feelings. However, these and even phone calls lack the genuineness, the authenticity, and the purity of a face to face meeting.