I am the senior pastor of St. James United Methodist Church in Tampa, Florida. These are my thoughts about faith, life, family, church, and a lot of other important and unimportant things.

A good bruising

I have a good bruising.

Yesterday I went to my physician and received two injections in my left shoulder and one injection in my right shoulder. Minor discomfort; no real pain. But today, I woke up and both shoulders are bruised and sore. Hurts to move my arms. Not severe “get-to-the-ER-now” kind of pain. Just stiff and sore. I feel like I lost a punching contest with my teenage son Alex. (Not that I would ever do something as childish as a punching contest… no father and teenage son would do that for kicks, would they?? Well…)

I’m bruised and sore today. But it’s a good bruising!

The reason for my physician’s visit was to receive vaccinations for my upcoming trip to Cuba. In October, four of us from St. James United Methodist Church are traveling to the town of Jamaica, Cuba, to visit our sister church. I am SOOO excited! St. James has had a sister-church relationship with the Methodist church in Jamaica for years, but we haven’t been to visit them for a long time. We’re looking forward to renewing our relationship, worshiping with our Cuban brothers and sisters, and seeing how God is working through them.

I am thrilled to be part of a congregation that knows and understands that the Church should have no geographic, cultural, or political boundaries! God has no geographic, cultural, or political boundaries. It’s His world. All of it. And when Christians from different countries and cultures come together to worship the Lord, I believe it’s a glimpse of heaven on earth.

Pray for the four of us traveling to Cuba: Pray that we would prepare our hearts and minds diligently. Pray for our safe travel. Pray for our health. Pray for revival in our hearts as we renew relationships with our sister church and worship the Lord with them! Pray that we will be a blessing and not a burden to our friends there.

Time to take some acetaminophen. The soreness and bruising continue. But it’s a good bruising!

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:4-6 (NIV)

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