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Author: Valerie

Listen! God Is Speaking!

Listen! God Is Speaking!

Introduction “Listen!”, second in the series from UMC Discipleship Ministries’ “Rise Up!”, takes us through listening even when God seems silent and the Word of the Lord is rare. The liturgy (worship service) starts out in quiet, somber tones, asking us to think about the roles […]

Rise Up! God Is Speaking!

Rise Up! God Is Speaking!

Welcome to the first in my series of mini-messages based on UMC Discipleship Ministries’ Rise Up! worship series for the Season After Epiphany. I’m going to be adding in the hymns and some of the other parts of the liturgy for each Sunday in the […]

Waiting and Trusting; Not My Strong Suits

Waiting and Trusting; Not My Strong Suits

One of the hardest things I’m doing right now is waiting and trusting. UMC Discipleship Ministries released two new Worship series, Rise Up! for the Season After Epiphany and Rehab for Lent, that are outstanding. If I were at an appointment, we’d definitely be using […]

It’s In the Details

It’s In the Details

This message was delivered to the congregation at Vonore United Methodist Church on Sunday, December 31, 2017. The service also included Wesley’s Covenant Renewal Service.  Message: It’s In the Details May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing unto […]

The Narrow Way

The Narrow Way

Caveat: This message was written to deliver to the candidates and deans at the closing vesper service for the 2017 Local Pastor Licensing School of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. The first time you preach to a room full of preachers is […]

Peace Be With You

Peace Be With You

This message was delivered at Mountain View UMC on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017.  My message this morning is inspired by a few brief passages of scripture, and a personal need.  These are very short passages, so don’t feel obligated to keep up in your own […]

I Am a 13th Generation Dreamer

I Am a 13th Generation Dreamer

Open Letter to:  Sen. Bob Corker, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Rep. John Duncan, Jr., Rep. Phil Roe, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Rep. Scott DesJarlais, Rep. Jim Cooper, Rep. Diane Black, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Rep. David Kustoff, Rep. Steve Cohen, all members of the Tennessee State Senate, all […]

Foot-In-Mouth Disease IS Curable … Sorta’

Foot-In-Mouth Disease IS Curable … Sorta’

se·man·tics səˈman(t)iks noun the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. There are a number of branches and subbranches of semantics, including formal semantics, which studies the logical aspects of meaning, such as sense, reference, implication, and logical form, lexical semantics, which studies word […]

Looking for the Christ In Who?

Looking for the Christ In Who?

The weekend of August 11-13, I was attending the first session of licensing school for local pastors.  The group I was with – thirteen students and two deans – was diverse in age, gender, race, church- and non-church-related experience, and (near as I could tell) political ideology. […]

Teach Us How To Pray

Teach Us How To Pray

prayer (prer) noun: prayer; plural noun: prayers a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship. “I’ll say a prayer for him” synonyms: invocation, intercession, devotion; archaicorison “the priest’s murmured prayers” a religious service, especially a regular one, at […]

Reflections on Extraordinary Ordinary Time

Reflections on Extraordinary Ordinary Time

The church calendar breaks down into seasons: Advent (the four Sundays before Christmas) Christmastide (December 25 through January 5) Christmas Day Baptism of the Lord Sunday Epiphany (January 6 through the day before Ash Wednesday) Epiphany Sunday (closest Sunday to January 6) Transfiguration Sunday (Sunday […]

Breaking Free

Breaking Free

Written version of the sermon delivered to Walland UMC on Sunday, June 25, 2017: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, oh Lord, our Rock and Redeemer. Last week, I talked to you about Seeing Red; […]

Seeing Red(der)

Seeing Red(der)

On February 19, 2017, I delivered a message called “Seeing Red” to Vestal UMC.  On June 18, 2017, I delivered that message again, this time to Walland UMC and, somewhere along the way, the message changed; not in its basic point, but in tone and […]

Hello? Is It Me You’re Looking For?

Hello? Is It Me You’re Looking For?

The world is wonkers, and it’s filled us with doubt, frustration, suspicion, fear, anger, judgment, assumption, and self. Yes … self.  We’re looking at the world from a position as center of the worldly universe. What’s in it for me? What’s it going to cost […]

Bible-In-A-Year Plans, Be Damned!

Bible-In-A-Year Plans, Be Damned!

The first Sunday of January, my church offers up a “bible reading plan” designed to take you through the bible in one year, then graciously includes the week’s readings in the Sunday bulletins. This year, they even added a chronological reading plan. For a couple years […]

To the Hesitant

To the Hesitant

Message for Sunday, May 14 (Mother’s Day), 2017 at Vestal UMC Today’s passage from John 14 takes place the night before the crucifixion, the evening of the Last Supper. They’re gathered around the table, Judas has already left the party, it’s night time, and we find […]

Proof Is Easy

Proof Is Easy

Delivered Sunday, April 23, at Walland UMC. Worship Greeting: L: This is the day that the Lord has made. C: Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Good morning! I want to thank David for letting me twist your Order of Worship up a […]

Statement of Calling

Statement of Calling

In my lifetime, I have broken every one of the original ten commandments as well as Christ’s second commandment, some more than once, and a few of them daily.  I would hazard that you could include most of the other 609 Old Testament laws, too. […]

Down On the Farm

Down On the Farm

Spirit Dog Farm is a micro-farm located on 4+ acres of reclaimed farmland in Knox County in East Tennessee. Before being parceled off more than a few decades ago, it was used to raise corn and a couple market calves. We are in the process […]

Ladies Farm Journal

Ladies Farm Journal

Just this female farmer’s blog chronicling our adventures in turning our property into a farm, raising kids, grandkids and great-grandkids, and trying to survive in a chaotic world. Hopefully someone can learn from our mistakes … erhhh … experience! LFJ also includes our thoughts, reflections, aspirations, […]

Faith

Faith

Oh, yay, another homeschooling, homesteading, long dresses and hair in a bun blogger! Ummm, nope. Not at all.  We are a fairly stereotypical American family living in a metropolitan statistical area of approximately 1,000,000 people. We have, by farming standards, a tiny acreage zoned agricultural in […]

Seeing Red

Seeing Red

This is the written version of a message I delivered on February 19, 2017 to the congregation of Vestal United Methodist Church, Knoxville, TN.  I so very much appreciate Pastor Kevin Blue for giving me the opportunity to not only speak in front of his […]

A Time to Grieve …

A Time to Grieve …

Let’s see what you’ve won America….. Muslims in America have no idea what the future holds for them. Women will lose their right to privacy and access to healthcare. Gay couples don’t know if their marriages will be valid or if they haven’t yet taken […]

Ceasefire

Ceasefire

Opening Prayer Grant, O God, that Your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that the barriers which divide us may crumble, the suspicions disappear and the hatreds cease; that, with our divisions healed, we may live together in justice and peace; […]