May is one of my favorite months of the year. The promise of spring is usually finally realized. Yet the weather is not as hot and humid as it gets later in the year. The school year is ending, but vacation season when so many are away from church and attendance suffers has not yet begun. Flowers are blooming and all of creation seems to be praising God.

However May is special for two important events that happen during the month. The first is Mother’s Day. The second Sunday of May is the time set aside to honor our Mothers. As a child I remember going out in the yard to what we called the “Bubby Rose” bush and picking one of those red flowers to wear. Red was the color you wore if your Mother was still living and white was worn if she was deceased. I remember feeling really sad when Daddy wore a white flower after Grandmother Gregory died. A Mother’s or Grandmother’s love is very special.

Another childhood memory is tied to the date of May 10th for Mother would never let us go barefoot until that date. Even though I resented it then, especially during those hot days of late April and early May, I came to realize that Mother really had my best interest at heart. Often we resent the limitations God places on us without realizing that God has our best interest at heart as well. It is true that a Mother’s love is the closest thing on earth to God’s love.

So this May 12th take time to let your Mother know how special she is if you are fortunate enough to still have her with you. If your Mother has passed away, take the time to honor her memory.

The second important event in May is Pentecost. This is the birthday of the church. The Holy Spirit filled that Upper Room and changed a group of frightened powerless disciples into the mighty Church of Jesus Christ. With the fire and power of the indwelling presence of the Spirit they were bold enough to change the world! Hear what even those who opposed them had to say: “Those who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” [Acts 17:6 N.K.J.V.]

What a wonderful testimony! How it puts us to shame! Maybe the church needs to wake up and realize that the Holy Spirit can give us the power to turn our world upside down for Christ. Let us claim that power, not just on Pentecost Sunday, May19th, but each and every day for the rest of our life.



“Study to show thyself approved unto God…” [II Timothy 2:15 K.J.V.]

It is hard to believe but another summer is gone and it is time for another school year. Education is a very important thing and regardless of your age, everyone should still be learning. However, not everyone agrees with this way of thinking.

Fortunately things have changed a lot since I begin my ministry but I was asked several times: “Are you a ‘Called Preacher’ or an ‘educated’ one?” This was always phrased in some a way that there was no doubt the two were mutually exclusive and being a “Called Preacher” was much better than being an “educated” one. I soon developed this answer: “I’m a “Called Preacher” who is perusing an education.” Some people accepted that answer and some still believed that an education would be the ruination of anyone, especially a preacher.

I found comfort is Paul’s words to Timothy found in the verse of scripture quoted above. Study to show thyself approved unto God. So that is my advice to you. So no matter if you are starting pre-school, elementary, middle school, high school, college, an advanced degree or have been out of school for decades, study and continue to learn.

I found the following in an issue of Windows of Asbury which is published by Asbury Place which is affiliated with the Holston Annual Conference. The article did not name the Arthur but I think it is good advice. Use it well.

10 Simple Steps to a Happier Life

Be a part of Something You Believe In. Have a cause, volunteer, join a group, a church, a social club, and be passionate about a cause.
Spend Time with Friends & Family. The most important ingredient to happiness is to have meaningful relationships with other people.
Focus on What’s Good-Avoid Negativity. Be aware of your daily successes no matter how large or how small they seem.
Exploit the Resources You Have. What do you have in addition to your limitations? What are you good at? What are your gifts? Use them.
Set Goals. Goal-setting gives you something to look forward to, something to work toward, and creates structure in your day-to-day life.
Be Honest with Yourself & Others. When you really know who you are, what you want, and you are being true to yourself with actions that match, your happiness quotient will go up.
Savor the Natural Joy of Simply Pleasures. Enjoy a quiet time watching a bird or the clouds.
Learn Something New. The more you learn, the more aspects of your life you can be aware of, appreciate and enjoy,
Focus on Forgiveness. It frees the mind and heart to go forward in your life.
Laugh! As the old saying goes: Laughter is the best medicine.