Welcoming Truth

My Sermon at Davison Free Methodist Church

lifeverse welcoming truth sermon dfmc

image: Davison Free Methodist Church

This past Sunday I spoke in both services at the church I grew up in and where I worked for eight years when I first went into the ministry. I didn’t know at the time that the service was going to be streamed on Facebook Live, but was pleasantly surprised to see it.

Below you can view that sermon if you want to, it starts about 26 minutes into the service.

I promise you, whether you are religious or not, there is much to learn here. I hope you don’t overlook it simply because it’s a message I preached in church. It has universal applicability and that was the whole point of preaching it in a church to begin with. I hope you enjoy it. It was a blast.

 

I’m excited to be speaking in both services at the Davison Free Methodist Church this coming Sunday, 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. I hope to see you there.

Date: August 7, 2016
Time: 09:30 & 11:00 a.m.
Event: Speaking at Davison Free Methodist Church
Topic: Welcoming Truth
Public: Public

What I’ve Learned Since Leaving the Ministry

ministry

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On June 12th (2016), I officially retired from the ministry after being a pastor since 1994. It’s still very new, this being a layman business. But I love it. In fact, I don’t miss the job one single bit. I do greatly miss the wonderful people in my former congregation at Wildwind Community Church, but those are human beings. I reiterate — there’s nothing I miss about the job. That doesn’t mean it’s a terrible job or anything, but it had been getting increasingly difficult and stressful for me for several years before I left. It was past time for me to be done, and I’m sure that’s why I don’t miss it.

As new as the experience is of not being a pastor, I am learning some important things about myself and I want to share them with you because maybe at times you’ve had some of these feelings yourself. If I can help you normalize them, feel less guilty, or otherwise not worry too much about them, that’s valuable to me.

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The Attitude I Choose In These Times

What Are You Choosing?

choose the right path

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We are living in difficult times. It seems every day something happens to shock us, numb us, horrify us, or cause us to question what in the hell is happening to the world. Because of the media (both mainstream and social) we are discovering, to our horror, that in times of great stress many people are ready to choose aggression and fear.

It’s scary, isn’t it? It’s normal to want to find someone to blame. It’s normal to want to lash out at those we feel are responsible. One presidential nominee has grown wildly popular by doing exactly that, discovering that millions of people are willing to join him in his anger, blame, xenophobia, racism, immaturity, and misogyny. But if we choose that path, we will become the mirror image of that which we oppose. We too will end up angry and bitter. Is something beneficial, just because it’s normal? I say by no means.

We actually must reject our base instincts to blame, to get angry, to react without reflection. Now more than ever, we must be sober-minded, careful, and responsible with our words and attitudes. Ultimately the way we react to the awful news around us is a choice and we must each make that choice for ourselves. Here are the attitudes I have chosen.

I choose light and hope. I choose optimism. I choose courage and reject fear. I choose warmth, respect, and patience with imperfection. I choose humility and sober-mindedness. I reject knee-jerk reactions, anger, and any/all politics and policies that characterize all or most members of any race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or political party as “other-than,” as less than fully human or less deserving of compassion.

I accept full responsibility for my own anger and discouragement and fear. I do not blame people with different political viewpoints or different cultures or religions. I can admit certain positions irritate me without casting responsibility for my irritation on those who take those positions.

No matter what, no matter who criticizes me for it, I will cling to these values and ways of being, not because they are easy or convenient, not because I am not often tempted to abandon them, but because when I do abandon them, I become as spiteful, as angry, and as bitter as those I oppose, I become their mirror image. I will not be one more voice of contempt in this bitter world.

I choose God. I choose hope and faith.

I choose love.

Looking for One of My Readers

I want to talk to you!

looking for binoculars

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Several months ago I received one of the kindest, most genuine, honest emails I have ever received. It was fairly lengthy (which I love) and I didn’t have time to respond at the moment so I simply fired off a note that the email was really meaningful to me and that I’d respond in more detail soon.

When I went to respond I couldn’t find the original email so I lost the reader’s email and their contact info. If you read this post and you are the person (a person who described herself as spiritually searching, african-american, and gay), I’m looking for you!

This was such a meaningful email to me and I feel terrible that I never was able to give it the attention it deserved. Whoever you are, if you’re the person I’m thinking of who reached out to me in such a beautiful, heartfelt way, would you please either respond to this post in the comment section or email me at dave at davidkflowers dot com?

I know this is a long shot but I want to do all I can. And, if you’re reading, I’m SO sorry. All these months later I can’t stop thinking about your email and would like so much to find you.