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“Father, Forgive”

As you prepare your hearts and minds for our Thanksgiving worship this coming Sunday, November 24th, please read and reflect upon Luke 23:33-43.

It may seem a bit odd to preach on the meaning and the power of Jesus’ crucifixion the Sunday before all of the Thanksgiving festivities. Upon further reflection, though, what could we be more thankful for than God’s gracious act of self-giving love in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

I’ve been hearing the term “crisis” with greater frequency these days.

–Our world is in crisis.

–Nations are in crisis.

–Churches and schools are in crisis,

–Individuals, marriages, and families are in crisis.

How is a crisis defined? What constitutes a crisis?

Consider this definition:

The noun crisis comes from the Latinized form of the Greek word krisis, meaning “turning point in a disease.” At such a moment, the person with the disease could get better or worse: it’s a critical moment. The etymology of the term “crisis” shares a relationship with the term “Christ.”

Life is about choices. If we find ourselves in a crisis, we can choose to embrace the power of the crisis or the power of Christ. I choose to embrace Christ and hold on to his everlasting promises.

The only crisis which has ever existed is the corruption of the human heart. On the cross, Jesus took our disease of sin upon himself, thus offering us the opportunity to be forgiven, loved, and free.

If you ever visit England, be sure to spend time in the city of Coventry, northwest of London.

During WWII, The Coventry Blitz (blitz: from the German word Blitzkrieg meaning “lightning war” struck the beautiful city with relentless force. The city was bombed many times by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe). The most devastating of these attacks occurred on the evening of 14 November 1940 and continued into the morning of 15 November.

Christians of Coventry took two  charred embers and made the form of a cross with the inscription “Father Forgive.”

While serving a previous church, I would join in a duet with one of our choristers who has a lovely soprano voice. We sang “Give Thanks” every Thanksgiving Sunday. The hymn, written by Henry Smith in 1978 is based on Luke 1:49–53.

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”
Give thanks
We give thanks to You

This Thanksgiving as you feast with family and friends at your table, give thanks to the Holy One for giving us Jesus Christ.

Rev. Jim

Wellness Tips We Can Learn From a Dog

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.

Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.

Take naps and stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone you love is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you (advisedly/carefully).

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout — run right back and make friends.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

One of my deepest beliefs is that God gives us dogs (and other domestic pets) to teach us things that God wants for us to know and practice.

The Holidays are quickly approaching. While they can be joyful occasions, they can also be stressful. Love one another as Christ (and your pet) loves you.

Daily prayer: “Dear God, please help me to be just half the person my dog thinks I am.”

In Christian Love,

Rev. Jim

Trunk or Treat 2019

Ghoulies and Ghosties and Characters of all kinds descended on the back parking lot at Trinity on Saturday night for the annual TRUNK OR TREAT community event.

And our Trinity Family was ready for them!

In just over an hour’s time, over 500 kids streamed through.

We ended the evening full of treats and fun with a movie in Lowrie Hall

Already thinking about next year!

NOTE: Check our Facebook page later today for a photo gallery from Trunk Or Treat!

This Week in Missions

Some reminders from Trinity’s Missions Committee:

This week we are collecting BOXED MACARONI AND CHEESE for the Denton Wesley Foundation. There are several donation baskets (like the one pictured below) just waiting to be filled!


The FALL PLANT SALE is this Saturday, October 19th from 10 am to noon in the front parking lot! We’ll be offering beautiful, healthy pansies, violas, mums, kale, and dusty miller.


OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD is underway! Pick up one of the boxes in the Narthex or use a shoebox of your own, fill with needed items and return to the church by Sunday October 27.

Click the video link below for ideas to get you started!



Stewardship Devotional October 9



Psalm 16:11

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

I love this verse because it reminds us that God has our path made for us and he shows us that path. We have joy when God is present in our lives.

Key word: presence


Dear Lord, please help us to see the path you have made for us. Shine your light on us. Be with us always, touch our hearts, shape us, mold us, guide us, and lead the way to Your heavenly kingdom. Amen.

Stewardship Devotional October 7



Psalm 23:5 (NIV)

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

How would you feel if you were invited to a party, and upon arriving, had your head anointed with expensive oil by the host? That same host also made sure you were comfortable and always had something to drink! I would feel appreciated and honored. So it was in ancient Near Eastern culture where the banquet host was responsible for the safety and well-being of his guests.

David says that God prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies. Living in this world can be unsettling at times. As a church community we gather together at the banquet table as honored guests. God offers the protection of a host even when enemies surround us. Pray that we always remember He has our best interests at heart.

Key word: Presence


Dear Lord, Comfort me in this chaotic world! Take my hand and bring me to your table. Anoint my head with oil as a sign of your presence in my life and encourage me to trust in your protection. Amen

–Paul Saladin

Stewardship Devotional October 6th, 2019



The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in Heaven

hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

and forgive us our trespasses

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever.


Matthew 6: 9-15; Luke 11: 1-4

Today is Communion Sunday. Please take a minute to watch this video about Backpack Blessings, the recipient of our special rail offering.


Prayer Walk for Schools 2019

Thank you to all who participated in the Prayer Team’s 2019 Walk for Schools.

Though the walk may have ended, our prayers for the students, faculty, and support staff of Denton remain, as always.

A Blessed school year to all!

First Meal

First Meal is a free breakfast provided each Sunday morning at 7:30 at First UMC Denton that offers both physical and spiritual nourishment to disadvantaged people in our city.

Trinity members provide and serve the meal on the second Sunday of each month.

In addition to prayer, Bible study and food, a Necessities Table waits by the door, filled with items to make life easier for the 35 to 60 guests served each week.

It is this table that we are asking the Trinity Family to stock this month as our September Missions Project.

Below is a list of needed items. Please take it with you as you shop over the next few weeks. Purchase as many as you wish. Place your items on the benches near the Women’s restroom in the Narthex by Sunday, September 29th.

Thank you for helping someone in need.





     Men’s Crew Socks

     Hand Sanitizer (travel size)

     Shampoo (small or travel size)

     Wash Cloths

     Reading Glasses, all strengths ($1 at Dollar Tree)