Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Needs and Wants



Yesterday we completed our 17th move in the 50 years we have been married. This time we really downsized—less bedrooms, less bathrooms, smaller kitchen, no basement, no attic. I LOVE it! (So much less to clean!)

Dick and I never been too sentimental about “things”. There are, of course, those items that are essential no matter where we live—stove, fridge, pans, dishes, chairs, beds, etc. But each time we move, as I pack the boxes, I ask myself, “Is this something we really need?”

There is a difference between wants and needs, between likes and essentials, between preferences and requirements. The older I get the less clutter and tchotchkes I want to deal with. Just give me the basics, please.

As my faith matures, I find myself clinging to its basics also—trust Jesus (not myself) for salvation, pray daily, study God’s Word (with the intent of following it, not just reading the words). While I love the thrill of “mountaintop” moments I have experienced over the years, it’s the steady day to day relationship that sustains my faith. It’s the basic knowing—knowing that God loves me, that He has saved me, that I can trust Him.

Though I WANT to see God perform miracles, though I LIKE the excitement of big Christian events, and though I PREFER a life without tribulation, when I think about the positive changes I have seen in my life and in the lives of those who put their trust in Jesus, that is enough.

We all NEED to talk with God. We all REQUIRE Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. It is ESSENTIAL that we know God’s Word so we will not be fooled by the world.

Like sorting out the have-to-haves from the niceties when we move to a smaller house, let’s concentrate on the basics of our faith.

Be encouraged!


©2024 Pamela D. Williams.
Comments welcome below or at writepam71@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Changes in the UMC


Dick and I have been in ministry with the United Methodist Church for over 45 years. During that time, we have become friends with many parishioners and fellow clergy who love Jesus and want to live for Him. The UMC has offered us a Christ-centered, Biblically-sound place to do that—until now. By an overwhelming majority, the UMC General Conference recently voted to blatantly ignore God’s Word and follow the world. You can read all about it here.

For example, the words, “We find homosexuality incompatible with Christian teaching,” were removed from the UM Discipline, indicating the UMC no longer considers homosexuality a sin. How did this governing body come to that decision considering Rom. 1: 26-27 and 1 Cor. 6:9-11?

For me the problem lies not in issues of human sexuality, but in veering away from Scripture. Without God’s Word guiding us, what hope is there for people to be saved? If the church follows the world in embracing what God deemed sin, how will people know they need salvation?

Moreover, although churches were promised disaffiliation from the denomination would always be an option, the UMC voted to eliminate that choice for congregations who disagree with the new tenets. Whether to remain United Methodist is now left up entirely to each individual.

I grieve for the loss of the United Methodist Church as I have known it. I feel as though a loved one has died. Losing her has profoundly affected so many of us. How do we go on without her?

And yet, as I sit here, praying, I feel like God is saying this loss is a means He is using to call each of us to stand up for our faith, to examine what we really believe, to leave our comfort zone and seek a place where He can stretch and grow our faith. And He will walk with us through the struggle, strengthening us as we take those first tentative steps.

Despite these crushing disappointments. God does not leave us hopeless. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Be encouraged!

©2024 Pamela D. Williams.
Comments welcome below or at writepam71@gmail.com