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Living in God's mysterious universe


"There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye has not seen."                                                    -Job 28:7  By BISHOP ROBERT E. HAYES JR.  Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I reward myself by taking a brisk "wog" at Lake Hefner. In case you are unfamiliar with the term "wog," it's what you do when you think you're too young to walk but too old to jog.   I haven't reached the point when I'm ready to admit that all I really can do is walk. That's ...

The need to get it right


"0 sing unto the Lord a new song."                           (Psalms 98:1)  By BISHOP ROBERT E. HAYES JR. When the Psalmist declared that we should sing a new song to the Lord, I don't think he had in mind taking the old songs and turning them into something no one knew. Have you ever given much thought to how we garble and confuse the titles and words of the great hymns of our faith? I remember how my peers and I would mouth the words of songs as children, only to find out later as young ...

What Jesus can do for you


"And as Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. But Jesus refused, and said to him, 'Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.' And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and all men marveled." (Mark 5:18-20)By BISHOP ROBERT E. HAYES JR.It amazes me that there are people who underestimate the power of Christ and ...

The opportunity is before us


We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. - 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 By BISHOP ROBERT E. HAYES JR. To even the casual observer, the last few weeks have been an exercise in agony and heartbreak. We have had front row seats as spectators and witnesses to unimaginable ...

Eyewitnesses to suffering


"They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way, they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them, then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses. And He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city for a dwelling place." Psalm 107:4-7By BISHOP ROBERT E. HAYES JR.My article today is the most difficult one I've written since I've been your bishop. It comes at the end of a heartbreaking week, when ...

Special words for an ending and a beginning


"The end of a thing is better than its beginning..."  (Ecclesiastes 7:8)By BISHOP ROBERT E. HAYES JR.The famous Yogi Berra, renowned for his great quotes on and off the baseball diamond, once said this:  "It ain't over until it's over!" Dick Motta, a longtime coach in the National Basketball Association, once remarked:  "It ain't over until the fat lady sings," which was an obvious reference to the "plump" lady who usually gives her aria signaling the conclusion of an opera.Well, Mr. Berra, and ...

The week after


Strength for the Journey: Ideas and thoughts from our bishop"In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength." Isaiah 30:15By BISHOP ROBERT E. HAYES JR.Well, here I am, the first week after my vacation. Can't you just sense how excited I am to be back? Aren't you as happy as I am to be back in the old saddle again, solving all the problems of humankind, answering 25 or 30 phone calls a day, while trying to return all the calls and letters and messages ...

Where are the goal posts?


"For my part, I run with a clear goal before me." I Corinthians 9:26 (NEB) By BISHOP ROBERT E. HAYES, JR.There is an amusing story of a college professor who said to his graduating class at the end of the semester: "Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to go out from this college to play courageously the game of life." At once a young man who was obviously having difficulty accepting his newfound independence as a graduate, stood up and shouted from the back of the room: "But how can we professor, ...

Remembering our promise to God


Bishop Hayes preached the ordination and commissioning sermon. By BISHOP ROBERT E. HAYES, JR.The first day I returned to my office following Annual Conference, the mail was stacked high and a great number of messages were sitting next to the telephone awaiting a return call. As I took my seat behind the desk, I started sifting through the letters slowly, reading one after the other. To my surprise, there were a great number of letters celebrating the success of our conference. Some said the ...

Do you hear what I hear?


Strength for the Journey - A collection of ideas and thoughts from our Bishop"And are we yet alive, and see each other's face? Glory and thanks to Jesus give for his almighty grace!What troubles have we seen, what mighty conflicts past, fighting without and fears within since we assembled last! Yet out of all the Lord hath brought us by his love; and still he doth his help afford, and hides our life above." And Are We Yet Alive, Charles Wesley, 1749, The United Methodist Hymnal Listen. Do you...

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