We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.

Gracious God,
Most things have come easy for me. I was blessed with a supportive family, a first class education, and the resources I have needed to accomplish my goals. As I came into the ministry, I simply followed the path of least resistance, and walked through the doors you opened for me. I stand in awe of those whose life circumstances meant they had to dig deeper—those who went to college at night, those who came from troubled homes, those who showed the grit to overcome incredible obstacles. I am grateful for your provision, God, and want to learn how to be persistent and to persevere through the difficult times.
Because, God, there have been some hard times. I have learned that these difficulties are part of life. We are called not simply to survive them, but to embrace them, to lean into the challenges that come our way. You will give us everything we need to accomplish that to which you call us…  won’t you, God?  That is a question, and I need your reassurance. Won’t you give me everything I need to face these challenges?  I will trust you, God.  “You are my rock, my fortress, my stronghold, my God, my deliverer” (Psalm 18); won’t you give me the strength I need? I will suit up and show up every day, God, and be faithful, and you will bring me victory.
In the strong name of Jesus, I pray.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. –2 Timothy 4:7  Read the whole passage for this week’s message here: 2 Timothy 4:1-8

What are the external and internal obstacles you face? Where do you find the grit to keep going? What does finishing strong look like for you?

When I was in seminary, my intern supervising pastor wrote in my evaluation: “Tom is good at starting things, but not as good at finishing them.” Ouch. I wonder if others suffer the same flaw. This week, we will finish our series on Good Practical Advice, and look at Paul’s advice to Timothy as he reminds him not to give up in the face of challenges and obstacles. I hope you will join us.

We had around 300 people register to be stem cell donors last week. What a great response!  Thank you to all those who agreed to register and be “typed.” This will make a huge difference in the life of somebody somewhere in the world. Indeed, it will save a life somewhere. And I know it made a huge difference to a family, as they can feel the love and support of their church family around them. 

This week, all of our clergy and our lay delegates to the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church will be gathered downtown to do the business of the church for four days. We will have some wonderful worship, and Billy McMahon will be commissioned as a pastor, and David Horton, who has now finished his two-year residency, will be ordained as a full elder in the United Methodist Church. It will be a good time of learning as well, with some excellent speakers sharing with the conference. Keep our delegates in your prayers. 

Please note that on this Sunday, May 29, there will be no shuttles running from the Briar Club. Parking will be available in the south lot and St. John’s lots.

And on Monday, in the midst of a holiday, don’t forget to thank God for those who have given their lives serving our country.  Their sacrifice has been for freedom around the world. 


Sunday, May 29
Dear Lord, you have blessed me with many gifts and graces, but also with responsibilities and goals that I have not yet achieved. I must admit that I am often weary and sometimes want to give up. I know you do not give me more than I can handle. Please help me to see past my frustration and exhaustion to envision your plans for me. Amen. -Prayer by Kymn Harrison

Monday, May 30 | Memorial Day
Dear Lord, thank you for those who were willing to give their lives to keep this country free. By your grace, some of us remain to proclaim the honor of our wounded and fallen friends. May your blessings be upon all military personnel and their families. Amen.  -Prayer by Pat Hendon

Tuesday, May 31
God, as we enter into summertime, please watch over us and keep us safe. Please help us to worship you wherever we go. Please help us to remember to take time to study your word, to pray, to tell our stories, to make friends and to give ourselves away. Amen.

Wednesday, June 1
Our Father, your love is greater than my words could ever express. You reached down to mankind when you sent your son to redeem me. Your love is so rich and pure, measureless and strong. We cannot contain it. I am so grateful for this gift. Amen. -Prayer by Sally Gray, Director of Generosity

Thursday, June 2
Lord, please bless all of the families, children, and refugees that set foot on our campus. Let them find peace and shelter that they may need not only physically, but spiritually as well. Please make them feel like part of our growing family. Amen. -Prayer by Juana Tavico, Children’s Ministry Coordinator, Gethsemane Campus

Friday, June 3
Jesus, Thank you for who you are! You are the God who sees – El Roi. I am praying that I remember that today. You are a good shepherd, a kind king, the one who sees me, who loves me fiercely, who has not forgotten me! Who is like you, oh Lord? Amen. -Prayer by Meredith Mohr, Communications Ministry

Saturday, June 4
God, I thank you that I don’t have to wonder where my next meal will come from. And, I thank you that my family is healthy. But Lord, I need relief. I need help carrying my burdens. Please teach me to let go and trust in you. Amen.