thrive UMC Blog

A Common Loneliness

The website HumansOfNewYork.com featured a post last week, where a man sitting on a bench was asked, “Are you lonely?” His response: “It’s been a lifetime of loneliness.” While he feels alone, he certainly isn’t the only one -the post has garnered over a quarter of a million ‘likes’ on Facebook alone. Hundreds of internet strangers have posted virtual

23 Jul 2014
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A LIFE WORTH LIVING, step 3: Common Grounding

Do you ever find yourself wondering: what are we all about? What is our communal common grounding? Yesterday I sat down for coffee with a former student of mine, and ended up going off on this long diatribe about causes on social media.  My Facebook newsfeed had been filled with unsettling photos of kids with

09 Apr 2014
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A LIFE WORTH LIVING, step 2: Inspired

Recently I’ve heard a lot of people wonder aloud about our current cultural fascination with zombies.  ‘More Zombies, huh?  How inspired.’  From Zombie Burger, to The Walking Dead, to zombie bedding[1], to real people making preparations for ‘Z-Day,’ the undead seem to be taking over our popular imaginations.   And somehow people are surprised by

19 Mar 2014
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LENT: THE BEST YOU ~Guest-Post

Lent: Becoming the Best Version of Yourself By Jason Lamping Over the past few weeks, in two different books that I have picked up and started reading, I have come across some text relating specifically to “becoming a better version of yourself”. Two different/random situations with the same phrase and challenge. I was thinking, not

13 Mar 2014
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A LIFE WORTH LIVING, step 1: Plugged In

A LIFE WORTH LIVING, step 1: Plugged In I once had this nightmare where I died, and my entire life was played back in fast-forward for me and a small audience (of also recently-deceased people) on this huge old-school movie screen.  What the screen showed was only a hopelessly long string of movies and T.V.

04 Mar 2014
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THE tHRIVE DREAM

Underneath all of the rules and rituals, the politics and social agendas, Christianity –and all the world religions for that matter- runs the yearning for a place where people can share their lives in a rich, meaningful way.  It’s the dream of a life lived well, together.  The religious object is the connected and coordinated

20 Feb 2014
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HUNGRY GODS

Over a quarter of all Americans are actively struggling with one form of diagnosable mental illness or another right now.  Almost half of the entire population (46.4%) will wrestle with mental illness at some point over the course of their lifetimes.  More than 1 in 20 will be debilitated by it.[1]  We are very clear

05 Feb 2014
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On Being Awesome

As a kid, I had powerful aspirations for greatness.  I was going to inspire people.  On quiet nights, I could picture the amazing feats I would soon accomplish.  There were visions of crowds gathering around me, showering me with adoration and praise, to the staccato of flashbulbs and women gasping as they faint.  I was

28 Jan 2014
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UNSPOKEN BURDENS

There was a woman I met several years back who was one of my greatest sources of encouragement: she showed up to things I planned and led, in spite of that fact that they weren’t planned or publicized very well –a fact made even more remarkable considering I had called her by the wrong name

23 Jan 2014
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What Church Could Be, part 3: Honest

As I’ve had the chance to speak with more people, and heard more stories about why so many young people aren’t bothering to participate in ‘church’, a common theme has consistently arisen:  There’s a disturbing disconnect between ‘Christian’ words and deeds. So, in the confessional spirit, I’ve made a quick (and admittedly far-from-exhaustive) outline of

20 Dec 2013
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