General Posts

It's June

IT’S JUNE! It’s that time for Annual Conference and for us, the itineracy is once again engaged. In other words. It’s moving time. Many people often wonder why we Methodists do what we do. But regardless of how we explain our method, I believe it is the best method in all Christendom.

First, preachers are free to be prophetic. We can preach the Gospel as it is written and can’t be fired. Lots of preachers outside Methodism do not have that security. Also, when one appointment ends another begins. Even those retiring are appointed to “locate”. The appointed preacher must give consent for a retiring preacher to locate in the desired local church. And if the retiree starts to interfere with the workings of the appointed pastor, the Bishop can be called who has authority to forbid the retiree from attending that church. We are always members of and accountable to the Annual Conference and the Bishop.

Second, the local churches are guaranteed a pastor. In most cases, a pastor is better than no pastor. (And conversely, a church is better than no church.) The appointment is not based upon a popularity contest. There is serious effort to match gifts and graces with needs and potential; not popularity. We find that meaningful ministry often gets done when least expected. After all, by the grace of God we are able to do what we do. Some sow, others water but God gives the increase!

Our system is based on a yearly appointment. It is a system that says to love one another and work in the Kingdom of God for his glory regardless of personal preferences. It causes us to focus on the major call of God rather than on ourselves! It expects the church to be the church!

We serve Jesus! Let’s be faithful to him. -- Ben

There Is Peace

In this world of tumults and wars there is peace. However, it is not how many of us think of peace. Our dreams of what peace is often center around a concept of some utopian world where all is kind and gentle. That is not peace; that is heaven where God reigns without any opposing influence. But peace in this world is a peace in the face of opposition. God’s peace on this earth is no Utopia! While getting along peaceably with our neighbors is good, we misunderstand the peace of God if we think that living peaceably is the totality of the peace to which God calls us. We are instructed to “pursue peace with all people” and that we should pray “that we may live our lives peaceably.” But while we seek the peaceable life of civility with our neighbors, we must understand that we never make peace with worldliness by simply going with the flow. James writes, ”Whoever wants to be friends with the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

Our first step to true peace is to have peace with God. This often brings us into conflict with the world’s ways, and yet, by God’s grace, we live peaceably in this world as much as possible. Jesus grants us peace with God and enables us to be in the world yet not of the world.

Go in peace. -- Ben


Holy Week and Easter: What's It All About

Holy Week and Easter: What’s It All About?  

The overwhelming tendency is to look at all the sayings and actions of Jesus as He moves from the Triumphal Entry to Easter as that of one who is on a mission that only He understands. As time runs short, Jesus talks to Pharisees, disciples, and the masses. He invokes emotions ranging from utter hatred to concerned confusion. He weeps over Jerusalem, cleanses the Temple, takes on the inquisition of the Pharisees and Sadducees, applauds the widow with her two mites, teaches about the end of the age, celebrates the Passover instituting the Lord’s Supper, prays vehemently for His disciples and for Himself to finish His work, goes to trial, the cross, the tomb and Resurrection! Wow! But what’s it all about?

Some may say Jesus was a victim of the powers that be. He became a lightning rod against the abuses he saw and the leaders took Him out for good; or so they thought. Others may say He could not accomplish what He wanted and so, became a victim of His own undoing. He made himself so volatile that he forced the authorities to make Him a martyr for His cause. Thereby, He would not have to live with the reality of His failure. These explanations miss the mark.

A closer reading gives light to the fact that Jesus was right on the mark for His purpose and that He succeeded in doing all things He came to do. Nothing was left out. All was as planned. Time and again we read. “that the scriptures might be fulfilled.” It was all a heavenly plan carried out on earth to bring salvation to us. From the tiniest detail of riding a donkey, to His clothes being gambled for; to the big things of His blood shed for the sins of us all, to His body not decaying but being resurrected, all confirms the master plan that only Jesus could accomplish. And what He did, He did for you. You are what it’s all about! -- Ben



Mission Project for March


  • Paper Towels (we go through these quickly)
  • Cups, Plates & Plastic Utensils (especially forks)
  • Hand Soap (for our bathrooms)
  • Cleaning Supplies (Lysol, toilet cleaner, etc.)
  • Dish Soap and Dishwasher Detergent
  • Postage Stamps
  • White Copy Paper

Monetary donations are always helpful. Ask how you can support specific missions and activities.

To donate, please contact Ricky at 803-327-5640 or

What Can I Give Up for Lent?

What Can I Give Up for Lent?  

For Christians, this question is the second greatest question we ask ourselves year after year. The first would probably be deciding new year’s resolutions. However, the second question has greater spiritual impact, although it usually centers around the same thing: food, diet, exercise etc. Of course, setting aside things we enjoy is supposed to allow us time to delve into spiritual growth. We deny the indulgence of the body’s appetites, deny the cravings of the physical, in order to strengthen the spirit. So what are we to give up? Have we thought about giving up some spiritual things that may not be good for us.

Have we ever been instructed to give up religious pride? Religious pride is that attitude that says, when reading the Bible, “That experience is not for me. I don’t want to go there.” “I don’t have to change, God is pleased with me the way I am.” Religious pride is a hindrance to spiritual growth. Give it up for Lent and you won’t want to take it back!

We all are aware of “worldly ways,” just being more conformed to the ways the world operates rather than conforming to biblical instruction. We would rather stand up for ourselves than to turn the other check. The world sees meekness as weakness. How do you see it? Are there other biblical virtues that you wince at? Practice them! (This is one of those messages the preacher will have a hard time with. But Lent is not supposed to be easy!)

What about giving up timidity! What!? Yeah, you know that spirit that says, “I can’t ask them to come to church.” The shyness that keeps us from offering encouragement to others to come for Christian worship, fellowship and service needs to be given up. When listening to Wayne Miller at a meeting he said something incredible! As he mentioned how many times our people make hits on our blog to find out what’s going on, all one needs to do is press the share button to let others know what we are doing. If you have a hard time with face-to-face invitations, incorporate the use of the send button on the computer. Let’s give up timidity! Let’s share what’s going on at Aldersgate. Do it for Lent and you might keep doing it for Christ! --  Ben

Keeping Focus

Keeping  Focus  

The duty of a watchman is to keep apprised of what is going on and determine if anything is threatening to those who have employed him. If the appearance of trouble comes, the alarm is sounded. Action can be taken and disaster may be avoided. If, however, the watchman becomes distracted so he no longer is surveying the situation but is simply enjoying the moment, a threat may go undetected and harm happens. A watchman must always keep focus! Vigilance is required.

When I worked at a school I was required to be the clock keeper for basketball games. You can’t get so involved in the game that you forget to stop or start the clock when required. If the clock is not kept diligently people get agitated; really agitated, really fast! I speak of experience. When I got more involved in the game than in keeping the clock…. well, use your imagination.

The Lord calls us to keep focus on His purposes for His church. We should not get so distracted that we forget Whom we serve and why. The world has a lot of distracting elements out there. Not only is there the individual enticements that beckon to our interests, but also sports, politics, unrest, religion and irreligion and many more. Some of these get our attention. We need to take note of our surroundings, but do not get lost in the surroundings! Jesus says we will be blessed if we are found to be watching, keeping focus, on the important things of the Kingdom when He returns and not be found distracted by the earthly enticements.

As we continue in this year let us keep vigilance for the mission of the Gospel. Regardless of what we see in the world, let us keep our eyes focused on Christ and the Kingdom of God. --  Ben