Mark's Memos

One Word?

November 15, 2020

Tom Peters tells a wonderful story about a young man who had a bullish commitment to the use of his talents.  The young man was employed as a telecommunications worker for an overnight delivery service.  It was his job to receive pick-up requests over the phone.  A winter storm happened to knock out telephone service to his company headquarters for 800-number call-ins.

First the employee contacted the telephone company, only to find out that a regional transmission tower in a mountainous area near his city had toppled over, causing the outage.  It would be at least 24 hours before the telephone company could access the area.

Undaunted, the young man climbed into his four-wheel-drive vehicle and headed up the mountain to take matters into his own hands.  The snow was so deep that he couldn’t get to the downed tower.

Unwilling to be defeated, he hired a helicopter to fly him to the tower site, re-connected the broken lines, and thereby restored service to his company’s offices until telephone workers could reach the site to make permanent repairs.

That is a real commitment to us of one’s resources and talents.  What would be the result if we invested the same kind of determination and zeal to the living of our faith and the resources God has blessed us with? 

This Sunday I will be sharing thoughts on this issue of faith as I explore in our sermon the passage from Matthew 25:14-30 titled “One Word."  I hope you will join me after you have read the passage in preparation for the service, it is much easier that reaching a downed telephone tower.  Maybe you can even guess what that word is before you get to worship.

See you in worship Sunday.


Grace & Peace,


Do You Hear What I Hear?

November 8, 2020


Lee Iacocca shared a rather humorous story several years ago which illustrates our ability to talk past each other so easily.  According to Iacocca a man drives up to the gasoline pump to get his gas tank filled.  The gas station attendant notices three penguins in the back seat of the car and, curious, asked about them:

I don’t know how they got there, the driver said.  They were in the car when I took it out of the garage this morning.


The attendant thought for a moment.  Why don’t you take them to the zoo?


Good idea, the driver replied and drove away.


The next day the same man returned to the same gas station.  In the back seat were the same three penguins, but now they wore sunglasses.

The attendant looked at the car in surprise, I thought you took them to the zoo?


I did, the driver said, and they had such a good time that today I decided to take them to the beach.

This story reminds me of how difficult it can be to communicate when someone is not present in the same moment and state of awareness.  This Sunday I will be exploring in the sermon the passage, from Matthew 25:1-13, about the 10 bridesmaids.  This, too, is a story about being present in the moment and preparing to be present.  Just like in their time in our time it is still very difficult to be prepared to be present in all our encounters.

My sermon is titles “Eight Words”.  Since you have read this article you have begun the preparation process for “Be Present” are two of the eight words.  I invite you to read the scripture passage from Matthew this week and come prepared to hear the other six words.

See you in our Lord’s house on Sunday as we come prepared to worship God.

Grace & Peace,


Rev. Mark Jardine is the Senior Pastor at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church. Born and raised in Bartlesville, he is a graduate of Oklahoma City University and hold his Master in Divinity from the Candler School of Theology of Emory University.

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Oklahoma City, OK 73120


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