Dr. David N. Mosser's Blog


  • May 18, 2018 - "A House Divided Against Itself"

    Since this coming Sunday is Pentecost, I thought I would write about the church—since it is its birthday. Friedrich Nietzsche was a provocative, and still much quoted, 19th Century German philosopher. He was a severe critic of religion, especially the Christian religion. He once suggested that “The last Christian died on the cross.” And, concerning Christian evangelism, he said: “If the church wants the world to believe in redemption, then the church ought to look a little more redeemed.” Read more...

  • May 11, 2018 - "The Mommy Test"

    One of our alert church members sent this to me and I am thinking it is worth the time and effort to read it:  I was out walking with my 4-year-old daughter. She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. I took the item away from her and I asked her not to do that. “Why?” my daughter asked. Read more...

  • May 4, 2018 - "The Positive and Negative Golden Rule"

    Scripture Verse: “Do not say, “I will do to others as they have done to me;  I will pay them back for what they have done’ ” (Proverbs 24:29). Read more...

  • April 27, 2018 - “Deliver Us from Enemies: Fight Fire with Prayer”

    A church in Georgia published a rather long prayer list. They thought it would be helpful to identify the reason for each one being on the list. Read more...

  • April 20, 2018 - “A Walking Billboard for the Christian Faith”

    When Harland Sanders began his Kentucky Fried Chicken business, he had little money and no assets for advertising. So, he grew a little beard, got a white suit, and as a Kentucky Colonel he became a walking advertisement for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Read more...

  • April 13, 2018 - Share Something Good

    A few years ago, newspapers in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, carried the story of a man who not only planned his own funeral, but also attended it—alive and well. Read more...

  • April 6, 2018  -  "The World Needs a Day of Prayer"

    Scripture Verse: “The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me” (John 16:32). Read more...

  • March 30, 2018 - "Relax...the End of the World Only Comes Once"

    As we near Easter Sunday and we welcome others on the journey to the cross, I offer you a brief witticism that I hope will make you smile: Read more...

  • March 23, 2018 - "Perhaps a Made-up Story . . . that may be True"

    [Please do not read this if you are easily shamed or made to feel guilty].  A young woman named Sally relates an experience she had in her seminary class one day. Her professor, Dr. Smith, provided the day’s lesson. She notes that the students knew beforehand that Dr. Smith offered his classes elaborate object lessons. Read more...

  • March 16, 2018 - "Focus on Christ"

    My friend, retired pastor Kent Millard, shared with me part of an absorbing speech by Dr. Leonard Sweet. Sweet is an engaging speaker and told that hanging down in the center of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem—where Israeli soldiers surround Palestinians—is a huge ostrich egg. In fact, many churches in the Middle East have an ostrich egg hanging in the sanctuary. Read more...

  • March 9, 2018 - "Timing is Everything"

    We are now in the midst of the season of Lent and it is a time of prayer, fasting, spiritual reading, and another handful of spiritual disciplines that Christians practice to prepare for the joy that will come after Holy Week—the celebration of Easter. Before we celebrate however there is a time of preparation—and that is the intention of Lent. Read more...

  • March 2, 2018 - "Cheer & Jeers"

    Sometimes I wish I had not read the “Cheer & Jeers” column in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Several years ago, one Michael Polansky, complaining about a local TV station airing a beer commercial on Sunday morning when children might be unsupervised, wrote: “Parents might not realize that their children would be exposed to a beer commercial on Sunday morning.” Read more...

  • February 23, 2018 - "Door to Liberation"

    Lent is the time from Ash Wednesday until the dawning of Easter morning—or in some traditions—Holy Saturday. Between now and Easter what we call “Spiritual Disciplines” is the order of the day for believers. Lent is an appropriate time to address spiritual disciplines. Lent is the season of the church year when we walk with Jesus toward his ultimate destiny on the cross. For believers, Jesus’ death on the cross and the self-discipline that it involved is nothing less that the most positive model of faithfulness. In the sense of renewing our confession of faith and deepening our relationship with God, we can learn much from Jesus about divine values and meaning. Read more...

  • February 16, 2018 - "Lent 1 and Luke"

    Because our chief Gospel for year B of the Lectionary is Mark and because Mark does not have a temptation story of Jesus per se, I would like for us to consider Luke this first week in Lent. Luke 4:1-13 opens Lent for us and I suggest reading this text as a devotional. Instead of recounting each of the three temptations, that is—the temptation to turn a stone into bread, a temptation to worship something besides God, and the temptation to test God—I ask that we consider one implication of these temptations together. Contrary to popular opinion, people regularly are tempted at their points of strength and not tempted at their points of weakness. Read more...

  • February 9, 2018 - "We Get Jesus with our Christianity"

    This Wednesday all day long, we begin our Lenten journey toward Holy Week and Easter. So, you know one thing for sure—when you come to have ashes imposed during our worship service (6:00 pm in the Worship Center) then know that you get God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit with the deal. Read more...

  • January 26, 2018 - Our Christian Resume

    “On Errant Resumes” 

    Like most preachers I remember a time when everything went right when speaking to a group of people. Several years ago, a local service club asked me to do its program. Because most of them were well-heeled business people, I decided to begin with an amusing look at some items appropriated from actual resumes of job seekers. Some of them were funny, but in a sad, pathetic sort of way.  Included in the errant resumes were these seven statements: Read more...

  • January 19, 2018 - Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

    The week of Christian Unity is the 18th through the 25th of January, 2018. During this particular week we ponder and pray about the notion of harmony between Christian brothers and sisters. I suppose we will think about getting along with other religions sometime in the future. Read more...

  • January 12, 2018 - Baptism of the Lord Sunday

    Baptism connects us to generations of Christians before and after us. It is a bit like seeing a sliver of a section of Old U.S. Highway 40 and thinking that is all there is. Yet, beyond our immediate perception there is much, much more. Read more...

  • January 5, 2018 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Observed this coming January 15

    For faith, Samson, Jeremiah, John the Baptizer, Peter, Paul, and Silas all spent jail time. Possibly some of the best preaching and witnessing to our faith came straight out of jail. Read more...

  • December 29, 2017 - "'Twas the Week After Christmas"

    Now that the “Big Day” is over and we are trying to get back to normal, whatever that may be, perhaps we should try to figure out how to keep some of Christmas in our lives. People tend to feel “let down” after such an intense celebration. It takes intentional effort to keep the spirit of Christmas alive when it is over. So many things mitigate against it. Several years ago, Howard Thurman wrote a free-verse poem about taking Christmas beyond December 25th. Read more...

  • December 22, 2017 - “The Christmas Candy Cane Story"

    A candy maker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would tell the story of Jesus so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ. Read more...

  • December 15, 2017 - "The Christmas Truce"

    I want to share a story from Tom Butts, pastor emeritus of FUMC, Monroeville AL.

    Have you ever heard the story of the Christmas Truce in 1914 during World War I? I had heard fragments of it, but always thought it was mostly myth. Read more...

  • December 8, 2017 - “The Thrill of an Unconventional Christmas

    As some may know, the Del Webb Corporation has built a number of senior retirement communities. Each one of these cities is impeccably designed and is almost a portrait of perfection. I visited Sun City West for the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce about twenty years ago and found the Sun City to be disconcertingly flawless. There was no trash on the grounds and everything was built to certain very precise specifications. Against the backdrop of the perfection of the Sun City concept was a story that I think captures our Advent theme of waiting and watching with joy and expectation. Read more...

  • December 1, 2017 - A Few Random Thoughts for Advent

    "Advent is the season of Christ’s coming. This is a strange notion for us, because our lives are built around going . . .  But we never go to Christmas. Christmas is always coming . . ." Read more...   

  • November 24, 2017 - A Thanksgiving Story

    “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2). There is a story about Winston Churchill that recounts that as a young boy, Churchill fell into a lake on his family’s estate. It so happened that the gardener’s son came by, saw young Churchill, and jumped in to pull him out of the water, thus saving his life." Read more...

  • November 17, 2017 - Thanksgiving is Not All That Complicated

    One of my favorite writers, Erma Bombeck, died in 1996 of cancer. She, like many people in my own life who have had cancer, understood that life is lived in the present. Our time on earth is not something that we can always control, but we can choose the kind of attitude we have about life and others while we are yet alive. Ms. Bombeck reminds us of her attitude in what she wrote for Redbook magazine in October 1992: Read more...

  • November 10, 2017 - Veterans Day 2017

    Saturday is Veterans Day 2017. As I think over my ministry I wish I knew how many soldiers of our Armed Forces I have buried who served our country with distinction. Someone once told me that war was an undertaking that revealed a person’s truest self. So, this weekend we stop and pray for both the memories of our war dead as well as for peace. Perhaps the psalmist puts it for us best: Read more...

  • October 27, 2017 - All Saints - A Day to Remember

    All Saints Sunday means more and more to me as more and more of my friends on this side of the sod are now entering “the dearly departed.”  Read more...

  • October 21, 2017 - You Can Be an

    Evangelist . . . Invite a Friend to Church!

    I have been thinking about what an average United Methodist Christian could do for our church without too much effort. Read more...

  • October 13, 2017 - What We Leave Behind Says a Lot

    Several years ago, a family called on me to celebrate a funeral service for their grandmother who once attended the church I pastored. Read more...

  • October 3, 2017 - The Darwin Awards

    Keeping a sense of humor—as well as our faith in Christ—may be one of the ways we retain our sanity in the midst of what appears to be worldwide chaos. Thus, I am amused each year when the Darwin Awards are awarded. Read more...

  • September 26, 2017 - Gifts

    One of the best things a church can offer any of us is a place to use our gifts. Combined every congregation has a vast arsenal of things that they can do if they are but willing and able to offer themselves as volunteers in some kind of mission. Read more...

  • September 19, 2017 - 15 Things Teenagers Ask...

    I have no idea where I read this. Since on September 22nd our very own Salado UMC will hosts the 5th Quarter for area Youth after Salado Eagles Homecoming Game, I reasoned that it was worth thinking as some young people do this week. Here are fifteen things that teenagers ask about when given the chance to do so anonymously: Read more...

  • September 8, 2017 - Kids [still] Say the Darndest Things

    Working with youngsters always is both challenging and rewarding. Kids are always energetic and often force us to look at things in new ways. As a pastor I have always enjoyed teaching confirmation because the youngsters never fail to bring me new insights and perspectives on scripture. Read more...

  • September 1, 2017 - Listen for a Change

    My retired pastor friend Tom Butts from Monroeville, AL, wrote a story long ago that I have never forgotten because it is to true and so helpful for the prospect of being Christian and human—which I take to be the same thing. Can we listen? Read more...

  • August 10, 2017 - Civility and/or Respect

    From time to time even people in the church get into some sort of conflict or another. It happens everywhere. I see it in the youth, youth choir, Sunday school, Women’s group, men’s group, college classrooms, faculty meetings, marriages, families, state legislature, the United Nations, and on and on and on. So the issue is not if or when we will run into conflict, but the real question is how we handle conflict. Read more...