I’m contemplating Romans 8:28.


                    Found Again

Known to be lost, and never quite known as I was,
the true nature of Christ brings me where I am meant to be.
I have seen in this exploration the fuzziness and cracks of
my image, the who I am.
When I was just eight, I saw myself lost,
and cried into my sleep, seeking to escape my lost world.
For more years, I lived there alone.
My life lost is found, never quite lost,
but cleansed and repurposed by Christ.
In places lost, I am found, and
trying to escape, I am brought home, and
in nightmares defeated, I am awakened anew.
In lessons lost, and in decisions wasted,
I am yet redeemed and found new,
fresh in His fine-woven fabric, in this
glorious life,
found new,
redeemed by grace.

(c) Tom Bolton, Milwaukee, 15 April 2014

Posted in Poetry, Reflecting on Scripture | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Steven Manskar on Atonement and Method

Speaking about cross-bearing, United Methodist Pastor and leader Steven Manskar has been presenting a strong series on atonement.  Yesterday’s blog started out, “Jesus tells those who want to be his followers to “take up your cross daily.”

Dali CrucifixionChristian life is cross-bearing because it is centered in God’s love revealed in Jesus’ death on the cross. The cross we are to take up is daily obedience to his teachings summarized in Matthew 22:37-40:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

God has given us the grace and means needed to obey Jesus. Love for God and those whom God loves take the form of the cross. Loving God with all the heart, soul, and mind comprises the vertical beam. The means of grace Wesley called “works of piety” are the practices that enable us to participate in the relationship God desires for us. These practices are how we are “at-one” with God.

The link to the full blog is at the top of this page.

He further notes, “Wesley encapsulates these means of grace in Rules 1 and 2 of the General Rules:

“It is therefore expected of all who continue therein that they should continue to evidence their desire for salvation,

First, By doing no harm, by avoiding evil in every kind—especially that which is most generally practiced. …

Secondly, By doing good, by being in every kind merciful after their power, as they have opportunity doing good of every possible sort and as far as possible to all men …

The cross represents God’s love, which is the nature and name of the Triune God. This love, this grace, makes obedience to Jesus teachings possible. This cross-bearing life draws us closer to God and closer to one another.

Link | Posted on by | Tagged , | Leave a comment


I am pondering Bonhoeffer and Genesis 1:27 today.


“Man only knows who he is in the light of God.”

Christology, Dietrich Bonhoeffer,

Genesis 1:27

            In the Light of God’s Presence

It is here in the light of Christ,
where we glimpse our true image,
an image of God.
It is here in this fellowship,
where we see His glory in images glimpsed,
and fresh recognized.
In the praise of this daily worship,
we find ourselves fresh in His image,
awake in this light, this life.
We seek and find wisdom,
bashfully we admit our bold pursuit.
In His name we search for meaning.
In morning shave and wash,
we see a glimpse that we scarce believe,
seek to grasp Him and know Him and know me.
In the light, we seek to know Him.
In the Word, we seek to be with Him.
In the cross, we understand a little.
I would stay in this light.

(c) Tom Bolton, Milwaukee, 10 April 2014

Posted in Poetry, Reflecting on Scripture | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Grace So Costly


So Costly

Grace so costly,
the cross is constructed again,
true life found in grace.
God is at the center,
caring, other-person concerned.
This life is given through God’s grace,
serving life, graced by the love of God.

(c) Tom Bolton, March 25, 2013, Milwaukee

On John 10:10

Posted in Poetry, Reflecting on Scripture | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Atonement and The Method of Methodism-Part 2: Self-Denial

Tom Bolton:

More good material from Steve Manskar.

Originally posted on Wesleyan Leadership:

John Wesley believed Jesus clearly stated the responsibility that comes with the Dali Crucifixion blessing of his atonement in Luke 9:23

“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

This verse describes the “method” of Methodism in a nutshell. Versions of this saying are found in all three synoptic gospels. Wesley was drawn to Luke’s version because it is the only one in which Jesus insists our cross must be taken up every day.

Self-Denial & Love

Jesus gives the church a compass heading for how to respond to the love of God revealed in his death on the cross. Because he defeated the powers of sin and death we are able, by grace, to respond to the invitation to join him in his mission to prepare the world for the coming reign of God. Rather than living in and…

View original 956 more words

Posted in Disciplines, Recommendations | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Like Thomas

On John 14:2


        Room Enough

Like Thomas, I have searched the way,
and I love this community,
love this master.
But these days, I am reminded:
There is a place with many rooms,
there is a place prepared,
there is a place I can scarce imagine.
A place just for me?
A place personally prepared?
And as I ponder this, I know:
Our relationship is personal;
it is not just academic.
Our conversation is personal.
Our manhood is real, and okay, loved.
The walls are a color I don’t yet know–
Not the colors I forget here, but new colors.
The scents are new and rich,
pleasant and mouth-watering.
The sounds are clear and fresh, not clamored.
The work is uplifting, joyous, unknown here-to-for.
The place is new, and worth pondering as
I live the life in this way in this place.
In this way,
I approach my room.
It is room enough, made just for me.

(c) Tom Bolton, downtown Milwaukee, 7 April 2014

John 14:2

The Message (MSG)

The Road

“Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.”

Posted in Poetry, Reflecting on Scripture | Leave a comment

What does it means to follow Christ?

Tom Bolton:

Sharing Noel William’s blog today.

Originally posted on Let's Talk Gospel:


In Luke 9:23 Jesus gives us a preview of what it means to follow Him. “… If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and pick up his cross daily and follow me”.

Although taking up your cross involves denying self, the main focus is about following Christ. The cross or burden we carry has to do with the choices we make with our will, the responses we have in our actions, and the attitude we carry in our hearts.

Our cross means that we are putting to death every decision, every response, and every attitude in our life that is not consistent with the love of Jesus Christ.

View original

Posted in Recommendations | Tagged | Leave a comment