From the category archives:

American Adventure


by Richard on February 1, 2011

ASBO Jesus hits the nail on the head. Again.


It isn’t possible for me to go into all the details at this time, but I was arrested last night and spent about 10 hours in the Bixby, Oklahoma Municipal Jail. Bixby is a city of about 20,000 located in Tulsa and Wagoner Counties in Oklahoma. The night in the slammer followed a [...]


Christmas Lights in Ohio

by Ivan the Crank on December 1, 2005

If you like Trans Siberian Orchestra, Christmas lights and computer-controlled stuff, you’ll love this actual lighting display from the house of Carson Williams in Mason, Ohio last year. He has new and bigger stuff this year that has yet to hit the Web. There is an interview link with Carson on this site [...]


Something happened at our congregational meeting today that kind of disturbed me.
Someone was making a motion to put a US flag in the front of the worship center. Many people seemed to agree with this suggestion.
Fortunately, our senior pastor had a good reply of why the flag had been removed from the worship center in [...]


Looking beyond the culture war

by Ivan the Crank on February 20, 2005

I posted the following article by out Florida United Methodist Bishop, Timothy Whitaker, as a response to Richard’s latest blog, then realized it probably is good enough “stuff” to let it stand alone. It comes from the Florida Conference e-Review located at our conference web site: I hope this adds to the [...]



by Richard on September 3, 2004

I’m not sure why, but I found the statue of John Wesley in Savannah very moving. His mission to Georgia was anything but successful. He returned to England with a deep sense of failure. And while the statue isn’t billed as “Wesley the failure”, that is who it portrays. And I like it.


Musing on Modern Myths

by Richard on August 23, 2004

It would be pointless to deny how much I enjoyed the 2 days we spent in the parks of DisneyWorld in Florida. It is true, I’m hardly a theme park afficianado, but the quality of what the Disney Corporation does is obvious and clearly sets the standard for other operators. If you have the opportunity [...]


Home again home again

by Richard on August 20, 2004

Well — I’m back, in body at least. We were greeted by some familiar things to make us welcome. Weak late summer early morning sun. A light drizzle in Swansea. Having to stand on the train from Reading EVEN THOUGH I’d booked seats.
It’s grand to be back. More later, with luck.

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Modern icons

by Richard on August 19, 2004

I’ve had a very interesting day in Atlanta, and my last full day in the US. I’ll be at the airport all day tomorrow, so that hardly counts.
This morning we visited Coca Cola’s showpiece. A fascinating place and maybe the best example I’ve seen of the triumph of marketting over reality. We kept hearing how [...]


In Atlanta

by Richard on August 18, 2004

We’ve made the drive up from Florida to Atlanta safe and sound. I hate endings, but I’m having to get used to the idea that this trip will soon be over. Don’t misunderstand me — I’m looking forward to getting back in harness (really!), but I won’t pretend that I’m not a bit sad that [...]


On Exclusion

by Richard on August 16, 2004

Disney excluded me. Left me out. Spoiled my enjoyment. I’m thinking of suing.
You see, whilst at “Magic Kingdom” we went to Mickey’s Philharmagic. It’s a very clever 3D film experience that needs special glasses to see properly. I’m not sure how they work — polarizing filters with different directions on each lens I [...]


All good things

by Richard on August 16, 2004

Our final Sunday in the States, and I was preaching at the church where I was the exchange pastor 2 years ago. It was great to be back there, meeting up with old friends. Other preachers will probably understand what I mean when I say I find it an “easy pulpit”. The music minister was [...]


Setting the wrong tone

by Richard on August 14, 2004

I realise I might have struck the wrong “tone” with my last post. I wasn’t trying to belittle the effects of Charley — the last TV images of Orlando I saw looked very wild indeed and made me more than glad to have left there when we did. But it’s so bizarre to have so [...]


So that’s that

by Richard on August 14, 2004

It got pretty breezy and rained quite hard, but our little corner of Lake County appears to have been unscathed by the passage of Hurricane Charley. Orlando looks to have been hit very hard, and there are strong winds for our friends in DeLand. The County is still on tornado watch, but the forecasters are [...]

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by Richard on August 13, 2004

This is bizarre. Looking out of the window of the house where we’re staying in central Florida, all is calm. It’s a cloudy day and just a tad cooler than we’ve been having. A good day.
But the local gas station has run out as people have been filling up their vehicles, businesses are closing early, [...]


Whether the weather be hot…

by Richard on August 13, 2004

I’m sorry to have been quiet for a while — I’ve been “doing Disney” with my kids, and having a great (though tiring ) time. I’ve more to say about that, maybe tomorrow, but for now it is the weather that is occupying our minds.
I turned on “the Weather Channel” in our hotel room [...]

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All things new

by Richard on August 8, 2004

A Sunday off, from preaching at least! It was great to be with our friends at Community UMC this morning. I shared in a Sunday School class, met up with a lot of people (who had the good grace to look pleased to see us!) and sat and listened to another preacher. His sermon tied [...]


Learning from nature

by Richard on August 7, 2004

I’ve had a very nice day with our friends and my family at Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park, a trip we enjoyed the last time we were in this neck of the woods. The guide giving the manatee presentation was the same one as before, and he told the same stories, but it was none [...]


When God’s face is hidden

by Richard on August 6, 2004

Somewhat tentatively, I’d like to share a hymn I’ve just finished. I wanted something that expressed my conviction that it isn’t always possible to “smile at the storm” (to quote my old Sunday School favourite) and praise must continue in spite of circumstances, not because of them. I also wanted something that was consciously communal [...]


Too many Methodists?

by Richard on August 5, 2004

An article in this morning’s Orlando Sentinel wonders about the number of Methodists in the Presidential race — 3 of the 4 candidates on “the ticket” are Methodists.
But three Methodists in one race do seem an unusually high number. Only John Kerry, a Roman Catholic, is not a Methodist. If the count were reversed, three [...]