Matt Lipan

The Dawn Breaks


The dawn breaks on the longest night of the year. The light of morning pierces into the darkness of night, reminding us of hope’s presence. Many of you have been walking through the longest night of your lives for sometime now. Perhaps it is the loss of a loved one, the never-ending battle with addiction, the shadows of depression, or a broken relationship that has thrust you into a dark night of the soul. You find yourself echoing the words of Job, “When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn.” The dawn is coming.

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Scouting An Invitation

Posted on June 13, 2013

The United Methodist Church has a long history of ministry with the Boy Scouts of America, being its second largest sponsor with 363,876 scouts in 10,868 units chartered by 6,700 churches (source). With that said, the Southern Baptist Church also has a long history of ministry with the BSA as well. The recent decision by the Boy Scouts of America to allow homosexual scouts under 18 to participate in its scouting activities (as if they hadn’t been for years?) has put its relationship with the SBC in jeopardy.

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Hoop Jumping

Posted on June 10, 2013

For so long it’s felt like having to jump through one hoop after another. I’ve worked at the same United Methodist Church for over a decade and have been appointed as one of its associate pastors since 2009. There are very few people who would argue that the ordination process in The United Methodist Church is not only extremely long, especially when a seminary degree is required, but at times is just like jumping through hoops. Some of that has changed for me in the past couple days.

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More Than Finding

Posted on June 6, 2013

In the Gospel of Luke (15:1-7) Jesus tells a parable about a man who has a sheep that gets lost, leaves the rest of the flock, and goes out to find the one. He eventually finds the lost sheep he was looking for but it doesn’t stop there…he lifts the sheep up, and places it on his shoulders. I feel like this can be an easy part of the story for the Church to miss.

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Posted on May 31, 2013

There is a great kids song by Over The Rhine entitled, “The Poopsmith Song,” (listen on Spotify here) on the album, For The Kids ThreeI bring this up because we have started potty training our 2.5yr old this morning. Only a couple hours in, here is what I’ve learned so far:

  • Patience truly is a virtue.
  • Have plenty of the following on hand: paper towels, jelly beans, pairs of underwear, “potty presents,” hand soap, & did I mention patience?
  • Roll-up all of your rugs. If you have carpet, I’m sorry.
  • Plan on heading to the potty about every 20mins.
  • Have plenty of things to do in the bathroom because you will spend a lot of time in there.
  • Don’t freak out over accidents, makes everything else much worse.

What tips, tricks, or funny stories do you have about potty-training?

Bending God’s Will

Posted on May 21, 2013

If you haven’t already, it will only be a matter of time before you see some prominent Christian figure make a statement attributing God’s wrath, judgment, and will to the devastation in Oklahoma. Not only do I find such statements unhelpful and hurtful, but typically more political or moralistic in nature than theological. These statements tend to say more about the individual speaking than the God they are speaking about.

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A House Divided

Posted on May 13, 2013

As part of #DreamUMC turning 1 year old, individuals have been encouraged to blog on one topic together. The topic is:

Is Schism the best future for The UMC? Why / Why not?

My guess is that I will be the odd-man out but that’s ok, hasn’t been the first time and won’t be the last I’m sure. Perhaps it will provide a different angle to an interesting conversation.

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Leading With Thanks

Posted on May 10, 2013

We all enjoy being appreciated, especially when that appreciation comes from a boss, supervisor, or leader. It makes us feel valued, gives a sense of accomplishment, and boosts confidence. When an individual knows she is appreciated, she feels as though she is doing her part for the team and in turn is more willing to keep the big picture in mind moving into the future. An individual who feels genuinely appreciated is more responsive to the leadership direction of the organization and the things being asked of him.

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Anything Goes: Part III

Posted on May 6, 2013

What started out as a marketing campaign morphed into something else, which could be part of the reason why the stereotype that United Methodists “believe anything” is still going strong (read Part I and Part II). “Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.” is not a faith statement but was intended to be a “strategy” to get people into our churches, and yet for many it was taken as something more. There were some who viewed this statement on “openness” as the confirmation of this stereotype. While the effectiveness of this campaign is debatable, I think it worth unpacking a little more.

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