An Honest Joe: Worship and Study Guide

honest joe source slide in jpgThe Bible is a living connection to God and people.  In Joseph, the son of Jacob/Israel, found in Genesis 37-50 is a life full of those connecting moments.  Honest Joe’s story is more than just a colorful coat and contains tips for successful living.  Our Cheatham Memorial United Methodist Church family will being studying through these chapter in our August 2017 sermons.

We welcome you to follow along and comment.  Begin with this  “Infographic”, follow the study guide and  make comments from your own experience.  Everyone is welcome to comment.  Check out our Cheatham Memorial website for more details. (  Put your US Mail address in a comment and I will send you a paper copy if you wish)

joseph infographic vertical presentation in jpegjoseph infographic vertical presentation in jpeg 2joseph infographic vertical presentation in jpeg 5

joseph infographic vertical presentation in jpeg 4

joseph infographic vertical presentation in jpeg 5

joseph infographic vertical presentation in jpeg 6

Here are the four topics that I picked and a 30-Day reading guide.  This is less than one page per day f reading!  Please leave comments to those things that gave you something that adds value to your life!

August 6, 2017: Weekley Reading Genesis 37-39
Genesis 37:12-28 “Faith is a Journey”.

August 13, 2017: Weekly Reading: Genesis 40-42
Genesis 39:1-23 “Life Can Be a Dream”

August 20, 2017: Weekly Reading: Genesis 43-46
Genesis 45:1-18 Forgiveness: A New Beginning”

August 27, 2017: Weekly Reading Genesis 47-50
Genesis 50:22 “Faith Gives Birth to Faith”

Where do  you find yourself in Joseph’s story?  LEAVE A COMMENT! Thanks for reading along with us!  Looking for a church home?  We have a great church family. Join us!


Cheatham Memorial United Methodist Church


Office Hours: Monday – Thursday 9 am – 3 pm
205 South Houston Street/P.O. Box 800
Edgewood, TX 75117
Tel: 903-896-4935 Fax: 903-896-4935
Like us on Facebook!







Have a Heart Like Jesus-Summer Sermon Series

Our Children at Cheatham Memorial UMC have been challenging us to “Have a Hear Like Jesus” and the. Grown up Kids are going to try to keep up this summer.  Each of our June and July Sermons will explore one aspect of Jesus’ heart and how we can adopt this for ourselves.  This is where a healthier life comes from.  Expect practical ways to find this heart in yourself.  

Here is where we are coming from:  Our Mission: Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the World.  Our Vision: We are Christ’s Love in Action: Following Christ, Serving Others, and Unifying the Church.  Our Drivers: Loving God’s Word, Deepening the life of Prayer and developing ministering Skills.

Are you looking. For a church home?  Maybe its been a while since you have been? Our family is very warm and easy to break in to.  Come Check us out on Sundays at 10:00 AM. Click here to go to our website for more details.  

June 4: Pentecost Sunday! Wear Something Red, Holy Communion 

John 7:37-39 and Acts 2:1-21 Have a Heart Like Jesus: An Overflowing Heart

The heart of Jesus is never a stagnant pool but a rushing and refreshing river. With living water flowing from us, everyone gets “wet”!

June 11: Pentecost 1, Trinity Sunday

2 Corinthians 13:11-13 Have a Heart Like Jesus: A Heart That’s in Order

The heart of Jesus is people focused but Spirit driven. People and relationship are our priority but we also have a mission to accomplish. How do we keep that in balance?

June 18: Pentecost 2, Father’s Day, Children’s presentation

Romans 5:1-8 Have a Heart Like Jesus: A Heart that’s Right

“We are justified by faith”. What does that really mean? It means that we begin with the heart of Jesus which is right with God and just toward God’s people.

June 25: Pentecost 3 

Romans 6: 1b-11 Have a Heart Like Jesus: A Heart that’s new

The heart of Jesus knows what sin is and how to die to that sin. That means that the Christian is new every morning. Rather than carry the many burdens of yesterday, Jesus moves us forward to significant living here and hereafter.

July 2: Pentecost 4, Independence Day Sunday, Patriotic Theme, Holy Communion

Matthew 10:40-42 Have a Heart like Jesus: A Heart in Action.

A heart of Jesus knows that love and faith are verbs. We will pray for our nation and move our feet to faith driven and spirit led action.

July 9: Pentecost 5 

Matthew 11:25-30 Have a Heart like Jesus: A Heart at Rest

The heart of Jesus has a still center. This is not natural nor is it a part of our frantic culture . Stillness in the storm is a discipline that lets Jesus carry the load while we move forward in the work of building his kingdom.

July 16 Pentecost 6 Children’s Music

Romans 8:1-11 Have a Heart like Jesus: A Heart with a Witness

Jesus has a heard that is free and focused on God. From this heart our words match our action and we become a living witness to the amazing”raised up” grace of Jesus.

July 23: Pentecost 7

Genesis 28:10-19 Have a Heart like Jesus: A Heart that Dreams.

Life is a journey with many milestones. The heart of Jesus is one that is not afraid to dream. We have a lot of mundane and everyday things that wear us down. Dreaming God sized dreams fill us up!

July 30 Pentecost 8 Covered Dish

I’m Romans 8:26-39 Have a Heart like Jesus: A Heart that Prays

The heart of Jesus prays large and confident prayers that are more than merely words. When things do seem to “all work together for good”, we need to pray from the Holy Spirit, our place of strength.

August will continue a similar theme as we look toward the “NEW YEAR’S DAY” of back to school. August 20 will be a children’s service and honor our teachers.

Balancing Heart and Life

This is a comment on this week’s GODWORD text devotionals. 

 On a usual morning, speaking on the usual phone, to a print shop about mundane things, in my everyday office, I look down at my feet…. 

My first thought was that Karen was messing with me.  Then it moved. 

I didn’t say anything that momma Jean would spank me for but this fellow did hijack the conversation.  My speech was less than grace-filled and reflected, shall we say, an anxious response. Most of it was not heard by any other person. 

This is a chicken snake and a beneficial animal.  I sweep them off of the back porch now and then. They won’t hurt you but in a surprised moment can make you hurt yourself.  Beneficial or not-snakes don’t belong in my office. 

This week’s GODWORD’s have been looking at some poisonous words directed toward me and our congregation.  Some from without but sadly, some from within. Toxic words, toward me or from me, don’t belong in my life either. 

Jesus had a run in with church-folks who sought to straighten him out. He said in Matthew 12:34-35 , “You family of snakes! How can you say good things when you are sinful? The mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man will speak good things because of the good in him. A bad man will speak bad things because of the sin in him. ”

 Messiah is standing fast and correcting them without hate.  The mouth can fool you.  But, You cannot bless and curse with the same heart. The truth of our heart always reveals itself in our words.  

I have little control over what others say but total control over my response. My response reflects what is in my heart. If Christ is in my heart, my response can be uplifting even in an angry moment where no one but God is listening. 

Do you need uplifting? Could you use a little encouragement? Ask Christ to give you encouragement  to share. Send an encouragement to someone else.   Build your own heart by sharing a Christ wrapped word with another soul in need . 

Our church is sharing a verse or two each day If you are interested in a daily text devotional, click here.

New Beginnings: May 2017 Sermon Series


james family produce 2

May Marks our “ A Day of New Beginnings”.  Easter marches into Pentecost with new opportunities to grow in Christ.  Cheatham Memorial United Methodist Church invites you to join us for worship at 10:00 AM each Sunday.  Click Here to learn more about our active and loving church family. Make church worship and service a part of your new beginning. 

“Christ is alive, and goes before us
to show and share what love can do.
This is a day of new beginnings;
our God is making all things new.”

-Brian Wren 

(This is a Day… UM Hymnal 383)

 May 7:  4th Sunday of Easter

John 10:1-10  “Hey Porter!”  This rich parable has a special meaning to the resurrected Church.  Where are you in this story?  I want to be the gatekeeper. 


 May 14: 5th Sunday of Easter Mother’s Day

John 14:1-14  “Which Way’s What” Followership is the first step in leadership and discipleship.  What way do we go and how do we know?  This is a lesson in listening to the Holy Spirit. 


 May 21:

1 Peter 3:13-22  “Free to Obey” Obedience isn’t giving in and being tied down.  There is great freedom in knowing Christ through obedience. 


 May 28:   Conference Sunday, Confirmation Sunday

Acts 1:1-11  “Lifted to life” Jesus was lifted to his rightful place-he did not jump up there.  In Christ we are lifted up.  Not by our own strength, but the very hand of God’s grace.  This marks a new year for us to minister together!





Want a GODWORD to wake up your morning?

A GODWORD is a guide word.  When reinforced by scripture it becomes a touchstone that puts life back into focus at the scattered moments of my day. My word usually come from some tragic error, another person’s experience or an overwhelming joy from the previous day. 

 About 6:30, I take my day to Jesus Christ and seek that GODWORD in prayer and scripture.   You are invited to share the word that guides my day by text/SMS. The text will be sent around 8:00 each morning. PLEASE READ THE WHOLE BIBLE PASSAGE. I use the Bible Gateway app . 

This text devotional began with my family at Cheatham Memorial UMC in Edgewood Texas. Anyone wishing to receive them can email me their cell number at  This is a private list. 

Family!  If you ever wish to be removed from the list, simply contact me and I will take you off without comment at any time. 

The format is simple.  The text will claim a promise, share a verse and offer a blessing. It might even be a picture instead of words. 

The purpose is to connect my day with friends and be held accountable to a daily discipline.  Comments are welcome at this site. 

Thanks for being my fellow traveler in Christ. Please share your GODWORD and other scriptures that give you focus in a comment below.  

My Holy Week Journal 2017: The Scriptural Stations of the Cross.

Welcome to my Lenten journal for Holy Week.  You are welcome to follow along and comment.

Our Lenten worship and activities this year were meant to be practical, “Make God Make Sense” and lead us to a breakthrough of God’s Spirit in a particular place.  This might be in our life or in the life of someone else.  One of our activities was a contemplative walk through the 14 “Scriptural stations of the cross.

This is such a rich experience and I am always shocked when it draws such a small crowd.  We non-Roman Catholics don’t have a lot of experience with this sort of practice and we cheat ourselves when we don’t try them.

The stations are a virtual pilgrimage with Jesus during the last week of his earthly ministry.  They date back to the fourth century when Christian pilgrims could actually go to Jerusalem and walk the footsteps of Jesus.

The emperor Constantine permitted Christians to worship openly in 313 after 250 years of persecution. In 335, he erected the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and processions of pilgrims came to walk the “Via Dolorosa” until the 7th century when it became too dangerous to make the trip.

These stations became a tradition that allowed this pilgrimage to be experienced at home. Centuries passed and the stations become more a part of church decor than a journey. The church divides many times and they become distinctly Roman Catholic. (Click on the images to enlarge them)


One person wanted to  know how important it was to walk around the sanctuary looking at pictures.  These comments tell the real response to the Stations.


Many protestant churches did not use the stations because six of the stories were not specifically described in the Holy Bible.  In order to share the stations with all Christians, Pope John Paul II introduced the “Scriptural” stations in 1991.  These are both an option for Roman Catholics and an invitation for non-Catholics to worship through the stations.

Notes from the Pilgrim’s reception book

The Meditative process is simple and effective. The journey has 14 stations that follow the scriptural story.  The “Pilgrim” pauses, reads the scripture and prays while experiencing that part of Christ’s story.

There is no rush.  There is no worry if people come behind you. You can take the stations at your own pace.  You can always sit and pray after you visit each

lots of emotion from experiencing the story while reading it.

station and even return and reflect on a station that is especially meaningful.


At the end of the journey, we had reception book and a special hand made prayer cloth to take home.  These prayer squares, shown in the photo at the top, are crafted by the ” Cro-knitter” prayer ministry at our church.  Eac stitch is a prayer.

The stations aren’t meant to replace Bible study or any other means of Grace.  They provide a special moment and a new beginning.  This is a total experience and not just a mental one.  God’s Grace go with you as you find your new beginning each day  in Christ.




Thanks to the many creative ministers at Cheatham Memorial UMC. In Edgewood Texas. 



My Holy Week journal 2017: Silent Saturday 

Welcome to my Lenten journal for Holy Week. You are welcome to follow along and comment. 

On silent Saturday Jesus laid in a grave waiting and grace became a buried treasure.  The only gospel scripture from Saturday is matthew 27:62-66 and tells of the trickery of the church leaders.

“62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.”

On Saturday tradition is that Jesus descended to the dead (literally jail) on Saturday.  1 Peter 3:19-20 says, “After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits…”It’s cryptic but may refer to hell. Then again…

The full tomb wasn’t a problem.  The empty one changed the world. This frightened the church politicians but gave hope and purpose to the rest.

We aren’t totally sure what Jesus did but we know the faithful were in a locked room praying like their life depended on it. Well, it did.  Faith made them wanted men even though they didn’t fully understand what they had gotten mixed up in.

It would be this resurrection that would welcome them to rebirth and transform them.  This living resurrection would put the fire into their bones.  After meeting Jesus the next day they would be bold gospel warriors and not scared little bunnies. Scripture informs my life in a big way this Holy Week.

My silent Saturday was spent greeting twin grandsons that were born on Good Friday. Held in the womb instead of the tomb, they burst into our family and brought us all to life. We too are changed forever.  Life changed us with the power of birth and re-birth.  This is what we anticipate on Holy Saturday.  This is the gift that  excites to our very core.

While preparing for Easter I held the love of God in my Hands.  Looking at these two makes me passionate about my reborn and resurrected life.  I want it for them as desperately as I want it for myself.

As one friend said, ” how wonderful to be loved by someone so fresh from God. “. May your resurrection be as overwhelming and real as mine today.  Blessings to you as you prepare for Easter.

Pastor Alan