Pastor's Blog

Hello! I am John Wesley and Welcome to my blog! I pray that in these articles, you will experience the love and peace and joy that comes from following Jesus! I would love connect with you. Feel free to email me at pastor@churchbuzz.org.

A Time to Refrain

Here’s a new song I wrote last night, about our collective “sheltering in place.” Debuted it this morning on “Coffee on the Porch,” and spent later afternoon recording a better version. Hope you enjoy it….feel free to share. A TIME TO REFRAIN Sheltered in our home Dread outside our door We move through this alone And we wonder what it’s for A thousand voices speak And echo in our ear Those talking heads, they shriek And fill us with their fear But there’s a time to embrace And a time to refrain There’s the ... Read More »

Faith, Not Fear, Is Calling us to Close

I’m gonna push back against churches boldly proclaiming that they intend to meet tomorrow and, by insinuation, calling the rest of us chicken or “afraid.” Because of the lack of wide-spread testing, because we don’t *scientifically* know just how widespread this pandemic goes, churches, schools, community groups, etc…are making the decision to close to the public. SOME pastors, including Robert Jeffress at First Baptist —whom, as I have written about several times, is an absolute idiot— are boastfully proclaiming that they will ... Read More »

Eminence Front

For reasons that are not entirely clear to me, the Muse compelled me to record a acoustic cover of The Who’s great song, “Eminence Front.” Somehow, I got it in my head that it’d be fun to try and mimic the guitar, synth and bass parts on acoustic guitar. Why? Because! So, scroll click the link, and enjoy. (Find some big speaker…where you can really crank it…) I’ve always loved this song. To me, it’s a deep and biting commentary on the vacuous nature ... Read More »

Democratic Identities and Super Tuesday

“All politics is identity politics.” I keep mulling over this key learning from Ezra Klein’s new book, “Why We’re Polarized.” The classic formation of “identity politics” is used as a slam against liberals. But Klein’s book turns that on its head, and suggests that ALL of us have identities…MULTIPLE identities. Black, White, Latino, Asian. LGBTQ+, Straight. Woman, Man. City, Country, Suburban. Working Class, Upper Class. Democrat, Republican. Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Parent, Child. Young, Old, Middle aged. And COUNTLESS MORE I have not even mentioned. To review, Klein’s book suggests that ... Read More »

At-ONE-ment

Lent is *supposed* to be about “turning a new way.” Unfortunately, for too many people, we grew up believing it was about “feeling bad.” There’s a big difference between the two. And that difference is summed up in this year’s theme for Lent at Kessler Park United Methodist Church: “At-ONE-ment.” The word that gets thrown around a lot during Lent is “repentance.” And unfortunately, perhaps this word, more than any other, has messed up Christians along the way. To “repent,” for far too many ... Read More »

Coronavirus. The world is in full-scale freak out, it seems to me. It feels like it’s getting harder to find the right tone, and not contribute to what feels like growing panic. Having lived though Swine Flu, Bird Flu, and Ebola —this last one, VERY close to home— one thing has become apparent to me. Nothing calls forth our recessive-gene capacity to “OTHERIZE” and demonize people like the fear of a global pandemic. In a matter of days, otherwise rational and thoughtful people ... Read More »

Mayor Pete

Early in the campaign season, Pete Buttigieg made a stop here in Dallas for a big Democratic event. I was asked to deliver an invocation for the evening, which I was honored to do. During Mayor Pete’s keynote speech, he was interrupted at several points by hecklers, in what was clearly an organized plan to disrupt both him and the evening. They were clearly Right Wing Christians. These hecklers were situated at strategic points throughout the room. The room would grow quiet, ... Read More »

Stop. Wait. Think About This.

Sometime this morning, maybe even as I write this, the “Leaning Tower of Dallas” will finally come down. (Note: Obviously, the timeline is much longer now…EF) I’ve been captivated by our fascination with this wreck of a wreck ever since it happened a week ago. I always love metaphor, and tend to believe everything can be a metaphor if you let it. So, I asked my Facebook friend the other day: “What is the metaphor of the ‘Leaning Tower.’” The answers were predictably brilliant. (Because I ... Read More »

Jesus is Lord, and Caesar is not.

“Jesus is Lord, and Caesar is not…” This phrase is one of the key insights I’ve ever learned from Dr. John Dominic Crossan. And, honestly, one of the key insights I’ve ever learned in life. Crossan suggests that when the early Christian Church popularized the phrase “Jesus is Lord,” there was an understood second-clause: “Ceasar is not.” Crossan deftly reminds his readers how the Romans worshipped their Emperors like gods. In fact, he cites authorities which actually call Ceasar “lord.” It was likely ... Read More »

“Be the Dog On A Walk”

One of the most important life lessons Dennise and I have ever learned, we learned from our dog. The lesson is: “Be the Dog On a Walk.” We learned this lesson observing our dog, Daisy. And I should describe it by first describe the opposite… “Daisy in the yard…” When Daisy is in the * side yard,* and sees another dog pass by our front windows, on a leash… Or, when Daisy in the house, sitting inside the front windows, and sees the same… She ... Read More »

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?