Monday, April 30, 2007

When a person's life is controlled by the Holy Spirit...

Check this out from Galatians 5:22 in the NLT: But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy...

We've been working through a message series entitled "The Time of Your Life" and yesterday focused on kids. They are what bring so much joy and love to our lives. Jesus encourages us to be childlike in our approach to life.

So why am I sometimes so joyless and unloving? Maybe I'm trying to act too much like an adult. Maybe I'm trying too much to be in control. Maybe I'm trying to make it on my own instead of looking to my heavenly Daddy to carry me.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I am here...

Yo! Sorry for the absence from blogland lately...been kinda busy.

The big thing I wish to say today is how thankful I am for my wife Carla. She is such a great best friend! She is a constant source of joy in my life and I am thankful to the Lord for her!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In memory of Sammy

Samuel J. “Bubba” Gilson Jr., 56, of 1400 Woodside Ave., Ellwood City died the night of April 20, 2007, in Jameson Hospital. Born Jan. 9, 1951, in New Castle, he was a son of Samuel J. Gilson Sr. and Mary Genareo Gilson Allen. His father preceded him in death. His mother survives in New Castle. He married the former Michelle McDonald on June 21, 2003. She survives. Mr. Gilson was employed as a welder at Kasgro Rail Corp. in New Castle. Before that, he was supervisor at Remacor for 30 years. A Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, he served on the USS Intrepid. He was a motorcycle enthusiast and loved to ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He was also an outdoorsman who loved to camp, fish and golf. Mr. Gilson was a member of Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Cranberry. In addition to his wife and mother, survivors include five sons, Christopher Gilson of New Castle, Phillip Gilson and Sam Gilson, both of Cleveland, Jeremy Gilson of Paris, Tenn., and Logan McDonald, at home; a brother, Frank Gilson of New Castle; two stepbrothers, Ralph Lee Allen and Wayne Allen, both of New Castle; his mother-in-law, and father-in-law, Mark and Shirley McDonald of Wayne Township; and several grandchildren. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his stepfather, Ralph Allen and a brother, John R. Gilson. Visitation is 5 to 8 p.m. today at the Ed and Don DeCarbo Funeral Home and Crematory, 941 S. Mill St. A service will be conducted at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the funeral home. Pastor Brett Probert of Cornerstone United Methodist Church will officiate. Burial will be in Parkside Cemetery. Military rites will be performed by the New Castle Area Veterans Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to Sky Bank, Ellwood City office memorial fund. Online condolences may be received at

Thursday, April 19, 2007

One Sick Puppy!

Our poor puppy Shadrach hurt his foot and now instead of being our little bonehead, he's our little conehead! He's gonna hafta have this on for a week...I think it will be one sad week for him!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


The people called Cornerstone just started a new message series entitled "The Time of Your Life!" In worship this past Sunday, we studied Genesis 1 and discovered something about how God created time. He intended there to be three categories of time in a day:

  • Night: intended for sleep!!! The plan: 10 pm to 6 am. The idea: Adequate rest is needed in order to have The Time of Your Life!
  • Morning: also called "day"...intended for productivity. The plan: 6 am to 6 pm. The idea: One must be productive for an appropriate time in order to have The Time of Your Life!
  • Evening: intended for relationship building! The plan: 6 pm to 10 pm. The idea: We must spend time building relationships...not just being busy with order to have The Time of Your Life!

Now obviously, we cannot always maintain this schedule, but the concept is huge. Are we spending 8 hours daily in rest? Are we spending 12 hours daily being productive? Are we spending 4 hours daily building relationships...both with the Lord and with one another? And we wonder why we're not having "The Time of Our Lives!"

PS: Thanks to Randy Frazee and his book "Making Room for Life" to open my eyes to the truth behind God's creation of time!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday Mornings...

I feel whooped this morning. It was a great weekend, but a long one and I am tired. Lord, I come to you today that you may give me rest...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Fun Things to Try

At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.

Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.

Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.

Put your garbage can on your desk and label it "in box"

Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.

In the memo field of all your checks, write "for smuggling diamonds".

Finish all your sentences with "in accordance with the prophecy."

As often as possible, skip rather than walk.

Order diet water with a serious face whenever you go out to eat.

Specify that your drive-through order is "to go."

Sing along at the opera.

Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.

Have your co-workers address you by your wrestling name, rock bottom.

When the money comes out the atm, scream "I won! I won!"

When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling "run for your lives, they're loose!!"

Tell your children over dinner. "Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go."


Extra, Extra, read all about it... HERE!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Preparing God's People for Works of Service

The Lord reminds us, through Paul, in Ephesians 4 what our role is as leaders in the church:

"It was he (speaking of Jesus Christ) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." NIV

So the question is this: Am I, as a pastor, doing that? Or am I doing ministry? My first, last, and only job description in Scripture is to prepare Christians for works of service. I am to be "preparing the saints for ministry" as another translation puts it. Am I?

In the most recent edition of REV magazine, Bill Easum says "If you're the pastor of a church, your pimary role isn't to care for your people. Your role is to help them to grow into mature Christians..." The premise is that mature Christians will care for "your people."

Pastors and lay people...thoughts? I wanna hear from you on this. What IS my job description? How am I doing? What can I be doing better?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Of hollow chocolate bunnies, and such...

Jesus is alive. You ask me how I know He lives? Well, because He lives within my heart. And Jesus lives in the lives of the people called Cornerstone Church.

We had an amazing worship service today and wrestled with why we "look for the living among the dead." We learned that "money", or "a honey", or "things that make you feel funny" are the equivalent of a hollow bunny! (If that makes no sense, you'll have to listen to the message ) The only thing that truly brings life and happiness and peace and lasting purpose is Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. We can look elsewhere, but we'll only find things that bring death. We must look for life in LIFE Himself!

Now I can't wait for next Sunday when we kick off a new series we're calling "The Time of your Life." We want to explore how the life that Jesus brings can transform every area of our lives. Remember, next Sunday is our big "Bring a Friend" push and we're serving refreshments afterwards. Let's bring some friends who need an introduction to LIFE, and let's show them "the time of their life!"

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Why Me Lord, What Have I Ever Done...?

What a song...and what truth. That the Lord would choose me to do the work of a pastor in this world today. And have I mentioned lately how humbled I am that He has chosen me for this work in the life of the people called Cornerstone Church? We had an awesome time of worship last night...a family of believers sitting around tables sharing the word, and the Word, in songs and in communion and in Holy Communion. What a blast, and what a blessing.

Also, bishop, if you're reading this: If you ever try to send me to a church with pews instead of chairs, I may have to try to bribe you out of your decision. I am an intinerant UM pastor, but let's not take that too far!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday

Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice for me on the cross. May I never use my freedom for selfish gain...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I Just Fell Down the Steps!!!

Yes, it is true. I went into our worship center to put something on my music stand (for you traditional types, read: pulpit!) but decided that I didn't need to turn on the lights! So as I tried to navigate my way around and up onto the platform (again, traditionalists read: chancel), I stumbled and fell down the steps. Fortunately, there are only three steps and with the exception of my machismo, I was uninjured. All of this could have been avoided, however, if I would have simply turned on the lights.
Now the faithful Psalmist in 119 pens "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." How many times do I "fall down the steps" in my faith because I refuse to turn on "the light?"
Lord, forgive me. Let your word, and your Word, be a light for my path today. Oh yeah, and thanks for picking me up when I don't let you do that!

Monday, April 02, 2007

"Holey" Week

Yesterday as the people called Cornerstone worshiped together, we were reminded that we are in Holy Week. But we also were reminded that this week, as always, is holey week. People's lives are full of holes.... many have a holey Sunday because they're not in worship... many have holey hopes because they put their faith in wealth or material possessions or sin-scarred relationships... many have a holey faith because they're living by some feel good philosophy of life...
This holy week, I want to reach out to those who are having a holey week, and I want to show them the holes in Jesus' hands that make all the difference...
This holy week, I want to reach out to those who are having a holey week, and show them an empty tomb that makes all the difference...