Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Life is Short

This next week I will be preaching on "Judgment". Sometimes illustrations fall into my lap.

I was reminded this week that life is short. Though the Northeast was quite warm for the first third of the winter, over the past two weeks we are having our share of cold weather and snow. Monday was no different - or so we thought.

You see, Monday was the day that a college student died. I spend a great deal of time with a group of elderly believers and see there struggle with the difficulties associated with aging. But young people don't have those kinds of struggles. But yesterday a college student died.

The accident was not her fault. The other driver was cited for going through a red light, excessive speed, and driving without a license. The college student was not at fault, but she died yesterday.

Though I do not know, I would guess that the student was about 22 years of age. I am 56 years old. It could have been me - I could have died yesterday. The college student, to the best of everyones knowledge, was a believer. She was ready for whatever God expected of her. And she died yesterday. I am a believer and I am ready for whatever God may expect of me.

Where is your faith today? Is your faith in all the good you do or is your faith in Jesus who alone is good?

Yours because His,

Pastor Patrick

Friday, January 26, 2007

A New Light

A New Light?

With a big "thank you" to this month's Congress On Evangelism

It must have been too early in the morning. My wife and I got to the car this morning and found the dome light turned on. At that point we worried - would the car start? It did! Life was good. My wife decided that the light being on was okay - after all it was not the "main thing". We quickly remembered, she was right, since the dome light is not the "main thing", but the "Light of the World" is truely the "Main Thing".

I know that I too often let the little things get in the way of the Main Thing. May I never forget to keep the Main Thing the main thing.

Pastor Patrick

Sunday, January 14, 2007

It Is Sunday - And I Am Tired

It has been three weeks since I preached my last sermon. I spent most of one week recouperating from Christmas; four days traveling to Myrtle Beach; four days attending the UM Congress on Evangelism; three days returning home; and one week teaching my first week of classes for the Spring semester. Finally, I prepared and preached my first sermon for the new year. And now I am exhausted.

I know some think preaching is an easy task - but I have discovered in my 9-1/2 years in the pulpit, that preaching is work, real work. It takes time to prepare and it takes time to deliver the message. But there is more - preaching is a spiritual activity and as such it is a perfect target for a spiritual attack.

Though I know it is not true, I sometimes fall under the illusion that preaching is all about me. But the truth is, it is not. Preaching is about Him - not somewhat, not partially, not incidently. Preaching is about Him. Each sermon I prepare, each sermon I preach, should lead my hearers to Him. And when I do that, I should expect to challenged. And when I am challenged, I should not be surprised to feel drained.

Tonight I feel drained.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Walking On Water

The pond is just about frozen (finally) - but it still looks like water. The ice would never support a fisherman, but you can still see ripples in the ice where the water froze before it could settle to a crystal smooth finish.

Given the rather longish fall weather, I think the thin ice also confused the migrating geese. Yesterday as I left campus I found three or four geese wandering around the frozen ice - all looking rather confused. They did not seem to understand why they were walking on the water rather than wading in it. It was a rather funny sight.

I wonder what it would have been like to see Jesus that night walking on the water. Or, better yet. to see Peter climb out of the boat and do the same, if even for a moment or two. I expect everyone, but Jesus, would have been confused. It too would have been a strange sight.

As I prepare to leave the safety of the boat for new waters, I am reminded that Jesus is there to catch me. It may feel confusing, it may feel frightening, it may feel uncertain. But like Peter, I can call out, "Jesus save me." I must never forget that Jesus is there to pull me in when I feel most alone.

Pastor Patrick

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

A Christian Reponse to Robotics

I teach one section of course entitled "Today's World and Its Great Issues". It is a senior capstone course required of all students before they graduate. One of the major assignments in my section is to explore the possible responses of believers to the growing presence of robots in our society. Details of the assignment can be found at

It is not my intention to present a future to fear - but to have students think about what it means to be human.

Next week students will respond to Bill Joy's article "The Future Does Not Need Us." How would you respond?

Yours because His,

Pastor Patrick

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Patrick - hey that is not my name!

Though this is not my first blog, this is my first attempt at blogging. You see a number of years ago I wanted to find a way to give members of my parrish access to my sermons. I started to use SermonCentral (, but found it to be a clumsy way to put sermons on-line - especially for layman. When I stumbled on, a number of years later, I tried to give it a try. For a number of years I have been using as a tool to post my sermon outlines. You can find those posts at

By the way, that is my name - "Pastor Floyd".

So why Pastor-Patrick, if that is not my name? Shortly after coming to the Garland United Methodist Church, I was introduced to one or two of the young people in the church as "Pastor". But the introduction was misunderstood - they heard me called "Patrick" and the name stuck. Since that time there have been a number of teens that refer to me as "Pastor Patrick."

Having two names is not too unusual. Abram became Abraham. Saul became Paul. Jesus assumes the title "Christ" as if it were a name.

So, as Pastor Patrick, I begin to blog for the first time.

Yours because His,

Pastor Patrick (aka Pastor Floyd)