Weekly Devotion March 28, 2024

The Power of Pollen
This time every year we have the unpleasant task of blowing off our back porches. You know what that means, right? Pine Pollen. I’ve lived in Georgia most of my life and I’m still amazed by how much of the yellow stuff coats every surface out there. It settles like snow softening the colors of everything it touches to a dull amarillo haze. When it gets wet you have cheap yellow paint. Using my blower, I fogged out the backyard. My neighbors probably thought it looked like a new mosquito treatment. This unpleasant pollen season is important. It’s part of the beautiful cycle of life God gives us. Perennial flowers burst out of the ground where the last years stems and leaves died. Trees bud out with tender, newborn green leaves. First we have to endure the pollen. We sneeze and cope with watery eyes to make it through the day, but this season is where we understand that nature is renewing itself.

Every year, we learn this lesson from Spring again. Life will be beautiful, but it’s not without some unpleasantness. The season is a symbol of what God can do in our spiritual lives. If you are in a beautiful season of life, praise God while it lasts. I love the days that are sunny and bright with everything going my way. At some point, something will happen that’s a little more unpleasant, possibly more unpleasant than dealing with pollen on a Spring day. It could be an illness, a break-up, or a job loss. Again, I say praise God. Our Lord promises to be with us in the valley of the shadow of death. We have a Savior who will be with us as we walk through death itself. It may be unpleasant at the time, but we have the promise of a beautiful life after the unpleasantness passes away.

So rejoice in what Springtime pollen can teach us. Blow away the unpleasantness with the hope that life abundant and life eternal can be yours. Happy Good Friday and Easter, my friends!


Rev. Zack

Jammin’ with Josiah

Do you love live music? Have a secret talent or passion you’ve been hiding?

Join us FRIDAY, APRIL 19th at 7PM in the Wesley Building for our “Jammin’ with Josiah” night of music!

Musicians (and audience members) of all skill levels are invited to come out and just JAM– no need to practice, prepare, or worry. We’ll be rockin’ out with everything from The Beatles to Led Zeppelin.

Come hangout, listen to tunes, make some friends, and enjoy some music with us!

If you have any questions, please feel free to text or call Josiah Pye at (850-264-7145).

Youth Dunkin Devotion

Good Friday Service ~ March 29th @ 5:30 PM ~ Wesley Building

Emmaus Reboot

I went on North Georgia Walk to Emmaus #27 when it was relatively new—32 years
ago! I moved around a lot and had some life changes within a few months of that retreat that caused me to lose touch with my reunion group in seminary. Like many retreat programs, the enthusiasm and energy from a religious experience wanes over time. It’s not unusual!

Many of us at Madison First UMC went on a Walk to Emmaus retreat in the past and it was meaningful. Now, perhaps, we feel a little disconnected from the energy and connection we once had. I’d like those of you who attended a Walk in the past to gather us together for a short meeting to gauge our interest and energy in “rebooting” this ministry. Join your fellow pilgrims for an Emmaus Walk Group Reboot discussion. Let’s meet in the Asbury sanctuary at 4:00pm on April 28th to reconnect and think about our future.

Rev. Zack

The Good News: Weekly Devotion March 21, 2024

We just finished C.S. Lewis’ classic Mere Christianity in our Monday/Wednesday Pastor’s Class. While the 7-week course was difficult at times, an intrepid group of participants made it to the finish line. I believe we all learned a lot about the basics of the Christian faith told in a new way. The book also reminded us of the hope and future we have as we continue grow into Christian disciples.

Christians are known as “people of the book”. What have you read lately? Have you read some Bible stories? The sacred stories of scripture reveal God’s intent for our lives and what we can be when we trust him. The more we read the Bible and other spiritually based books, the more we grow. Motivational speaker and Christian author, Charlie Tremendous Jones, once said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” People are easy enough to meet, but books are an entirely different story, so to speak.

It is hard to find time…and the effort…and the motivation…and the energy to sit and read. The discipline doesn’t come easy. I can read a Dean Koontz or Ken Follet novel at the beach in a week, but a non-fiction book turns into a paper weight on my desk. Reading not an easy discipline to do alone. Fortunately, we have several groups in the church who pick up book and discuss it. It’s so much easier to read with a group of friends holding you accountable and sharing good company. Sunday school classes do something similar occasionally.

If you’re feeling a little stagnant in your spiritual growth, then read something new. Read the Gospels or read one of Paul’s or other writers letters to the church in the New Testament. Read something from Cokesbury bookstore, our United Methodist bookstore. There is so much available in our world to help us grow into more Christ-like disciples. I promise you won’t be disappointed.



How do you feel when you read the last page in a book? A sense of satisfaction? A huge relief? A desire to jump into another story. You’ve spent days (or weeks) pouring over an author’s work and now you’ve completed it. The book goes on the shelf and you can speak knowledgeably about so and so’s ideas as contained in that book.

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February 25, 2024 Worship

Guest Pastor, Chuck Hodges