The Walking Dead and Other Great Halloween Topics

The Walking Dead and Other Great Halloween Topics

Weekly Word

My grandson is three years old.

Camden said, “Mom, I want to have a conversation with you. A conversation, okay? About being dead?”

He then asked his mother, “Where is heaven? Where is God? Can you still walk when you are dead? Are there any scary monsters in heaven?”

Heaven is rarely talked about in the Bible. For good reason, I think. It has been said of Christians “that they can be so heavenly-minded that they are no earthly good.” Though we believe that heaven is our final destination, it is not the goal. The goal is to live life fully and abundantly right now. Jesus came that we might have abundant life now. Abundant life is much more likely for us and for those we love if we live as Jesus taught us – if we love God by loving our neighbor.

Whatever comes after this life is on a need-to-know basis, and we simply don’t need to know. Heaven is rarely talked about in the Bible. Focus on today, and trust God for the next chapter in your existence.

Where is God? God is everywhere at once and always. God is ever-present, ever-loving, arms open, ready to embrace prodigal children and lost sheep.

Can you still walk when you are dead? I am going out on a limb and I am going to say that you cannot walk when you are dead. I have been around hundreds of dead bodies and none of them were walking. As best as I can tell, the dead are motionless.

Can we still walk when we are dead? No, but here is the deal: I DON’T THINK THAT WE EVER DIE! I don’t think that we are ever dead. Were you dead when you left the world of your mother’s womb and were born into this world? Life as you knew it, floating peacefully in a sea of tranquility, protected by the enveloping love of your mother, was over. Everything familiar ceased to exist, but you did not die, and you did not cease to exist.

I don’t think we die. Our bodies quit functioning. We leave them behind, and at that point it is probably good to leave broken jars and forgetful minds behind. We no longer exist on earth, but I don’t think we die. In a mystery that is as wild and crazy as our birth, I believe that we simply cross over to a new existence. No pain, no purgatory, no long delays, no time rotting in the earth. No need to have dead men walking. In the blinking of an eye, we arrive – “TODAY you will be with me in paradise.” I don’t think we die; we are simply reborn.

Are there scary monsters in heaven? I am confident that there are no scary monsters in heaven! We may be surprised who is in heaven with us. After all, God takes great joy in chasing down wandering children and lost souls and bringing them home. Monsters? There may be monsters in heaven, but not scary ones.

No more fear, no more tears, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more cancer, no more hate, no more bigotry, no more scary monsters.

I wish the same for you on Halloween! No scary monsters – just abundant imaginations, a little make-believe, and abundant life.

See you in Church!



Pastor Jim

Saddle up Your Horse and Come to TLC

Saddle up Your Horse and Come to TLC

Weekly Word

I hope that you will join us for worship this Sunday, October 20th. I promise you that it will be a unique worship experience. Unique in the 66-year history of TLC.

Inspired by the Ken Burns PBS Documentary titled, “Country Music,” we will be using country songs and country sounds at all three worship services. We will be led by many fine musicians, as they break out their guitars, fiddles, and banjos. They will be picking and singing all morning long, to the glory of God.

When I was a kid, we had a rather cantankerous old widower who lived in our neighborhood. One summer he got sick and my mother asked me to mow his lawn. I protested, “Mom, he is not nice, he yells at us when we cut through his yard. I don’t want to mow his yard. I don’t like him.”

My mother responded by saying, “Do you like me?”

I said, “Yes.”

“So, go mow the lawn, you are not doing it for him, you are doing it for me.”

Some of you probably don’t like country music. You may think that you should just stay home this Sunday. But to quote a country song, “When I am alone, I am in bad company.” So, don’t be alone, come to TLC and join the party.

Some of you probably don’t like country music. Do you love God? Don’t stay away because you don’t like country music. Show up and we will worship God together.

I hope to see you in Church this Sunday. Saddle up your horse and come to TLC. Bring a good attitude, cowboy hats and boots are optional.

If you play this message backward, you will get your house, your wife, your dog, and your pick-up truck back.

Keep smiling!



Pastor Jim

TLC Women’s Ministries

TLC Women’s Ministries


Shaleen Camery-Hoggatt, the new Director of Women’s Ministries, has planned a wonderful variety of classes, workshops and gatherings for women this Fall to connect with God and each other.

Women’s Book Study Tuesdays, September 18 – November 13 
Women’s Book Study starts an 8-week session on Emotionally Healthy Spirituality this Tuesday, September 18, 10:00 – 11:30 am in the Fireside Room. Books and sign-ups are available today in the gym.

Women’s Bible Study Fridays, September 21 – October 5
Women’s Bible Study starts on Friday, September 21, 10:00 – 11:30 am in the Fireside Room with a 3-week study of Psalm 139.

Praying in Color Saturday, September 22
Praying in Color is this Saturday, September 22, 9:30 – 11:00 am in the Fireside Room. Men, women & high school youth are invited to come discover this creative prayer practice. Sign up today in the gym.

A NOVEL Approach to the Gospel of Mark
Alternating Tuesday Evenings Beginning September 25
A NOVEL approach to the GOSPEL OF MARK will meet on alternating Tuesday evenings from 6:00 – 7:30 pm beginning September 25 in the Fireside Room. Dr. Jerry Camery-Hoggatt will read aloud from his novel on Mark, followed by q & a about the gospel passage. Sign up today in the gym.

Women Gather to Connect, Saturday, September 29
Women Gather to Connect: Bring your favorite mug and enjoy morning coffee, muffins, and time with other TLC women on Saturday, September 29, 9:30 – 11:00 am in the Fireside Room. Let us know you plan to attend by signing up today in the gym.