2 03, 2018

Distinguished Life 2018

2018-03-02T09:46:17-06:00March 2nd, 2018|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

Val Dean and Jack Read joined St. Luke’s in 1954 and have been faithful supporters of every minister who has served at St. Luke’s. For 64 years they have “given themselves away in generosity and service!” Jack, who is a native Houstonian, has served St. Luke’s as a Boy Scout leader, usher, member of the Board of Stewards and Houston Project committees, Habitat for Humanity volunteer, and UMCOR hurricane relief volunteer. For years he has been part of the woodshop team where members craft as many as 10,000 toys for non-profits each year. Jack also serves in the prayer [...]

2 03, 2018

Beware a useless faith

2018-03-02T09:28:31-06:00March 2nd, 2018|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYER God, You know how I love to walk through old churches. When I walk these beautiful edifices, built to honor and glorify you, I am stunned by their beauty, the amazing architecture, the awe inspiring windows and sculpture. Except for the tourists, however, they would be rather empty. Few lives changed in the midst of them. Lots of going through the motions. Lots of familiar rituals that make people more comfortable. They seem to have, in the words of 2 Timothy, “the form of godliness, lacking its power.” But who am I to judge those [...]

23 02, 2018

Hope in the Crop Fields: Luciano’s Story

2018-02-23T09:27:49-06:00February 23rd, 2018|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

For much of his life, Luciano Hernández has faced the constant threat of financial insecurity. Saving and planning for the future of his family—his wife Irma and five children—seemed out of reach. But in recent years, Luciano has found hope and opportunity in his community of Coatecas Altas in Oaxaca, a southern state in Mexico. He says “My life has changed a lot. I started working at age 12. When I got married and had children, I emigrated to find work so that I could feed them. I came back to get my wife and children and take [...]

23 02, 2018

The Absence of God

2018-02-23T09:08:15-06:00February 23rd, 2018|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYER God, Are you there? Do you even hear these prayers that I pour out so diligently? I am told you know my thoughts whether I pray them or not, so there is no need to hide it from you. I sometimes wonder if it matters at all. The Psalmist cries out “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1) Even Jesus felt forsaken on the cross.  There are days I think I have made you so mad with my hypocrisy that, like the vision of Ezekiel, you [...]

16 02, 2018

If Lent were an Olympic Sport…, by Rachel Fisher

2018-02-16T09:30:45-06:00February 16th, 2018|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

The winter Olympics are in full swing, and one of the most notable names on Team USA is snowboarder Chloe Kim. When asked about the pressure placed upon athletes competing in the games, the 17-year-old simply stated, “I don’t really think about it as pressure. Pressure is a byproduct of expectations, and expectations mean that people believe in you.” Only a few days later, Kim would go on to win the gold medal in the snowboard halfpipe, but not before tweeting “Wish I finished my breakfast sandwich but my stubborn self decided not to and now I’m getting hangry.” [...]

16 02, 2018

Facing the Truth

2018-02-16T09:27:06-06:00February 16th, 2018|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYERO God,As I pray, images and conversations spin around me regarding murders of people, many children, in a high school in Florida. Parkland is a long way away from here, and it would be nice to think of the incident as a sad story that has very little to do with me. But I know better. John Donne says “Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” I am a part of a world that is broken, and I have a part [...]

9 02, 2018

Addiction, by Sherry Yingling, MA, LMFT, LPC

2018-02-09T09:11:05-06:00February 9th, 2018|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

“Addiction” is often used to refer to abuse of substances, but it can also include other behaviors such as: gambling, eating, video games, sexual obsessions, working, religiosity, codependency patterns, etc. Some experts define it as, “Anything one does excessively for the purpose of avoiding a thought or emotion.” Addiction is a cycle of use, recovery, and relapse and involves dependence in three key areas: physiological, psychological, and emotional. To break the cycle, all three of these areas must be addressed.  The physiological component of addiction is explained well through a concept often heard in recovery programs: “It is not [...]

9 02, 2018

Getting through the storm… of Addiction

2018-02-09T08:57:44-06:00February 9th, 2018|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYER O God, I can’t seem to quit. I want to be different, but I can’t. And the more I seem to fight it, the more it seems to own me. And every time I think I have it beat, it comes back again. I am losing hope, God. Help me. Save me. God, my own bad habits seem big to me, but small compared to the bondage of others I care about. I see families destroyed, lives ruined, bodies broken, minds wasted. Habits, compulsions and addictions are tearing apart our social fabric. Alcohol. Drugs. Pornography. Promiscuity. Eating disorders. Gambling. Spending. [...]

2 02, 2018

Guilt and Shame by Audrey Omenson, M.A., LPC-S Clinical Director NFCC

2018-02-02T09:39:20-06:00February 2nd, 2018|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

Guilt and shame are two incredibly powerful emotions. Often used interchangeably, guilt is specific to regret regarding an action or decision. However, in the words of Brené Brown, shame is “an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.”  Guilt is about something we’ve done; shame is about who we are. Sometimes, these emotions arise due to an action, decision or belief of our own. Other times, these emotions come up based on the words or actions of those around us. An important practice with these emotions is separating the [...]

2 02, 2018

Getting Through The Storm… of Guilt and Shame

2018-02-02T09:07:02-06:00February 2nd, 2018|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYERO God,There are days I think I am a pretty good guy. I think, “well, compared to lots of people, I am doing ok.” I am conventionally nice, so perhaps I don’t need any really significant forgiveness. But then, when I put aside my pretense, I know better. Please forgive me. Like the tax collector in the temple, my cry is “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.” There are things I have done. Things I have said. Things I haven’t done. When I take a good honest look at my heart and life, I really am ashamed. When people say critical things about [...]