Posts by Denny
PRAYER, MOSES & THE HOLY SPIRIT

PRAYER, MOSES & THE HOLY SPIRIT

May 4, 2023 By dwayman

THREE SERMONS PREACHED AT THE ARBOR CHURCH

KAYE KOLDE, 2023

Kaye Kolde is a candidate for bishop.  Her introduction is available here.

1. BOLD PRAYER

CLICK HERE.  Bold Prayer, Part 1 We look at how Jesus gave us access to a new kind of prayer life, inspired by the Spirit and calling on a good Father. Paul has given us examples of some of the boldest and most inspired prayers to learn from in the book of Ephesians, and they are the basis for this 2 part series.

* 2. THE STORY OF MOSES:  Kill Me Now CLICK HERE.  This message, “Kill Me Now,” is part of a 14 week series called, The Story of Moses. It was a deep look at the life of a man who came to know the Lord intimately while withstanding all the difficulty of leadership and opposition from the Lord’s enemies. * 3. EMPOWERMENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:  Spirit-fueled Movement CLICK HERE.  The basis of renewal at The Arbor Church has been seeking the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, just as it must be for The Free Methodist Church and our mission of catalyzing a Spirit-fueled movement. This message is part 3 in a 7 part series,
THE VINE, THE WINE, and THE SIGN

THE VINE, THE WINE, and THE SIGN

May 3, 2023 By dwayman

The Vine, The Wine, and The Sign

Linda J. Adams, February 21, 2021

The Arbor Church, Spring Arbor, MI

Linda is a candidate for bishop and is introduced here.

Since I grew up in this church, you will understand why I know almost nothing about wine. So, for much of my life, some the most prominent symbols in the Bible have been invisible to me. My limited experience with vino blinded me for many years to some rich, beautiful, and powerful images in Scripture.

Let me put it this way. In my family, grapes were for eating, or maybe for turning into grape juice, which we almost never drank except once a quarter at church in a tiny little Communion cup. One time my Grandma Beardslee served me home- canned grape juice—it was brownish purple, unpasteurized, pulpy and not nearly as sweet as Welch’s.

My earliest introduction into how wine is made came from an episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy and another woman stomped grapes in a giant vat. Remember this?

I pastored for 10 years in Rochester, NY, near the Finger Lakes with their famous vineyards. Down in Naples, I learned the proper way to eat a Concord grape. Walking through the vines, you pluck a little cluster of grapes off the vine, hold one grape up to your mouth and squish it till that succulent little thing pops into your mouth.

THE LORD WILL FILL HIS TEMPLE WITH GLORY

THE LORD WILL FILL HIS TEMPLE WITH GLORY

April 28, 2023 By dwayman

 “THE LORD WILL FILL HIS TEMPLE WITH GLORY”

KENNY MARTIN – at LifeWay FMC in Indianapolis 

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: HAGGAI 2:1-9

Pastor Kenny Martin is a candidate for bishop.  Click here for his introductory video.

Pastor Kenny Martin is interviewed here.

THE COMING GLORY OF GOD’S HOUSE

2 1“IN THE SEVENTH MONTH, ON THE TWENTY-FIRST OF THE MONTH, THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME BY HAGGAI THE PROPHET, SAYING: 2“SPEAK NOW TO ZE-RUB-BA-BEL THE SON OF SHE-AL-TI-EL, GOVERNOR OF JUDAH, AND TO JOSHUA THE SON OF JE-HO-ZA-DEK, THE HIGH PRIEST, AND TO THE REMNANT OF THE PEOPLE, SAYING: 3‘WHO IS LEFT AMONG YOU WHO SAW THIS TEMPLE IN ITS FORMER GLORY? AND HOW DO YOU SEE IT NOW? IN COMPARISON WITH IT, IS THIS NOT IN YOUR EYES AS NOTHING? 4YET NOW BE STRONG, ZE-RUB-BA-BEL,’ SAYS THE LORD; ‘AND BE STRONG, JOSHUA, SON OF JE-HO-ZA-DEK, THE HIGH PRIEST; AND BE STRONG, ALL YOU PEOPLE OF THE LAND,’ SAYS THE LORD,’ AND WORK; FOR I AM WITH YOU,’ SAYS THE LORD OF HOSTS. 5‘ACCORDING TO THE WORD THAT I COVENANTED WITH YOU WHE YOU CAME OUT OF EGYPT, SO MY SPIRIT REMAINS AMONG YOU; DO NOT FEAR!’ 6“FOR THUS SAYS THE LORD OF HOSTS: ‘ONCE MORE (IT IS A LITTLE WHILE) I WILL SHAKE HEAVEN AND EARTH, THE SEA AND DRY LAND;

TWO OBSTACLES OF EASTER

TWO OBSTACLES OF EASTER

April 25, 2023 By dwayman

Two Obstacles of Easter

Benjamin Wayman, St. Paul’s Free Methodist Church

Year A – Easter; 9 April 2023
Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-18

Today Mary helps us see the Lord. And I’m so grateful she does. In John’s Gospel, Mary appears
only twice, but her appearances are at the climax of the story. Her first appearance is at the
foot of the cross, standing with Jesus’s mother, bearing with her the pain of Jesus’s torture and
death. Her second and final appearance is narrated in our reading today: she’s confused by an
empty tomb and greeted by Jesus, whom she mistook to be the gardener.

I wonder how she mistook him. It is not that she didn’t know Jesus. What kept her from seeing
her resurrected Lord? And what is it today that causes us not to see the resurrected Lord?
On this Easter Sunday, I’d like to explore two obstacles that obstruct our seeing and believing
the gospel. My hunch is that one of these obstacles is more substantial for you than the other,
and today we hear stories of how each are overcome by the earliest Christians.

The first obstacle that obstructs our seeing and believing the gospel is death. The second is
resurrection. These two obstacles, the cross and the empty tomb, are what Christians call “the
mystery of Easter.” I’d like to suggest that these two obstacles – the cross and the empty tomb –

THE SIGN OF IMMANUEL

THE SIGN OF IMMANUEL

April 21, 2023 By dwayman

“The Sign of Immanuel”
Isaiah 7:10-17
April 16, 2023
Rev. Colleen Hurley-Bates
Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara

Our passage this week in Isaiah 7 brought to mind a parable Jesus told found in Luke 11. It is about persistence in prayer. Here is the main gist: You have a friend who has arrived at midnight and you have no food to give them. So you go to another friend’s home and knock on the door, telling them of your dilemma. This friend, whom you have ostensibly awakened says, “Don’t bother me. I am in bed, my whole household is in bed, and I can’t help you.” Jesus then says, “I tell you the truth, if you are persistent, your friend will get out of bed and give you what you need.” Then, Jesus tells us to ask because it will be given to us, search and we will find, knock and the door will be opened to us. If your child asks you for something good, would you give them something to harm them? No. How much more will your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. (notice it doesn’t say, God will give you what you want. It says you will receive THE SPIRIT.)

This parable is an interesting one. When we read it, it often troubles us how this is about never giving up on prayer,

FOUR CHRISTIAN VIEWS ON SEXUALITY

April 2, 2023 By dwayman

In an attempt to provide clarity in the discussion on Christian responses to same-sex attracted individuals, Josh Proctor provides a nomenclature of Four Christian Views on Sexuality.  These views are stated simply providing resources in support of each view, while emphasizing the SIDE B position.

Proctor notes that this is not a grid for understanding transexual persons, and then says:

“When it comes to Christian understanding of sexuality, there is a wide spectrum of beliefs and perspectives. Today, one of the main systems which has emerged to categorize these perspectives is the “Sides” terminology which is predominantly encompassed by four Sides: Side A, Side B, Side Y, and Side X. No system of belief categorization is perfect, but it can help us better communicate nuances within the conversation.

Before delving into the detailed differences of the Sides, here are quick definitions for each one:

Side A – God intentionally created queer people to have sexual attractions to members of the same sex and blesses sex between members of the same sex within certain boundaries.

Side B – God intended sex to be reserved for the lifelong covenant of marriage between one man and one woman. Therefore, God calls all believers (queer and straight alike) to the vocation of celibacy within community or to a monogamous marriage with a member of the opposite sex. Still this does not erasure sexual orientation. Therefore queer identity is a healthy way of communicating one’s experience and desires.

INFANT BAPTISM and INFANT DEDICATION

INFANT BAPTISM and INFANT DEDICATION

March 31, 2023 By dwayman

One of the expressions of our Free Methodist “via media” is to bring together both Infant Baptism and Infant Dedication giving the parent(s) the opportunity to choose for their own child(ren).  To do this the Study Commission on Doctrine created this educational document expressing the support of each theological position.

INFANT BAPTISM/DEDICATION

Study Commission on Doctrine

   In the Free Methodist Church, both divine grace and personal decisions are considered integral to the Christian life. The practice of two seemingly contradictory rituals in the church is a witness to this reality. While infant baptism highlights divine grace infant dedication emphasizes personal decision.

The two rituals share much in common. In both, families present their children to the Lord in the presence of the community of faith. Prayers are offered for these children, especially as concerns their spiritual development and personal salvation. The families and the church acknowledge their responsibilities and make commitments as regards the bringing up of these children ‘in the Lord’s discipline and instruction’ Prayers are offered for the families as regards their special role in this process.

Both rituals reflect a prayerful expectation of the children’s role in personally experiencing and affirming God’s grace in their lives “at an early age.” God’s help and blessing are invoked.

The Scriptures do not state explicitly whether infants should be dedicated or baptized, or whether baptism should be reserved until one is able to respond personally in faith to God’s grace (as a mature child,

BEYOND THE WESLEYAN QUADRILATERAL? by David S. Wisener

March 11, 2023 By dwayman

By David S. Wisener

Rev. Wisener is a Free Methodist pastor planting a church in north central Florida

RESPONSE by Howard Snyder

Dr. Snyder is a retired Free Methodist professor from Asbury Theological Seminary

WISENER:

I come from a long line of mainline Methodists through my mother’s family, so from an early age, I was taught the unique emphases John Wesley put on the Christian faith. As many have noted before, Wesley’s evangelism was instrumental in contributing to the Great Awakening and reshaping Christianity over the last 300 years.
I began to develop a love for philosophy in my late teens and early 20s, particularly a field known as epistemology, which is the study of knowledge or, more specifically, what it means to know things. I was interested in exploring the ways in which Christians justify our beliefs as a genuine form of knowledge and, as a good Wesleyan, that led to my first introduction to the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.

The Wesleyan Quadrilateral is, as described in the Pastors and Church Leaders Manual, “an effort to describe a Methodist methodology for theological formulation.” In other words, it’s meant to be a way for Methodists to determine spiritual truth.

Theologian Albert Outler coined the phrase in the 1960s as his way of explaining how Wesley came to his theological decisions. It lists four sources of truth: Scripture, tradition,

THE ART OF SUPERINTENDENCY

THE ART OF SUPERINTENDENCY

June 25, 2022 By dwayman

Denny Wayman – October 2020

Forward 

For over forty years I have supervised persons in ministry.  From the more formal structure of the Free Methodist polity to the informal conversations of counseling and friendship, these relationships have taught me what is and is not effective in supervising local church and conference ministries.  I learned most of these principles through direct experience as a lead pastor for 40 years, an Assistant Superintendent for 20 years and a Conference Superintendent for 10 years.[1] But I also learned other valuable insights through embarrassing and often debilitating failures.  The Southern California Conference is an extremely complex multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-lingual ministry with varying sizes and styles of churches and with vast differences in pastoral training and experience.

I present these thoughts in service to God in fulfilling His call on my life and what I hope to be a gift to those who have similarly been called to superintend His church.  The unnecessary pain in so many of our pastors, pastoral families, congregations and conferences grieves us all.  It is my desire to help give the eyes to see the opportunities and dangers long before they come upon us.  To do this we need each other’s insights and experiences.  My thoughts are conversation starters.  It is my hope that each of us will bring our own experiences and unique situations into this discussion as together we can develop a robust understanding of the art required in effective superintending.

RESTLESS DEVICES: Recovering Personhood, Presence and Place in the Digital Age

RESTLESS DEVICES: Recovering Personhood, Presence and Place in the Digital Age

April 7, 2022 By dwayman

In an insightful study by Dr. Felicia Wu Song titled Restless Devices: Recovering Personhood, Presence and Place in the Digital Age, this professor of Sociology examines the impact of our ubiquitous and often devious devices.  Noting both their benefit and their peril, Song provides research, analysis and treatment for all of us.

Dr. Song says in part:

“What do we talk about now over two decades into the twenty-first century?   We still marvel over the efficacy of social media-driven campaigns like #metoo, still chuckle over the latest memes. But we are equally concerned about how our search engine algorithms results and social media feeds are driving our country toward increased incivility, polarization and extremism.  We examine the growing data on digital addictions from neuroscience and psychology research.  We wonder about the future of a democracy in a world where fake news is normalized, and we argue over the legal obligations of privacy protection: Who has a right to what information about us and when?…”

Noting the designed manipulation of social media users, Song writes:

“Tristan Harris…has been heralded as the ‘closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience.’ For several years he has been calling out tech companies for their exploitation of users’ psychological vulnerabilities and actively campaigning for ethical design.  And if you watched the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, you saw that Harris is just one of several Silicon Valley insiders who are choosing to tell all.