November 26, 2013

  • It Isn’t That I Don’t Want To Write…

    …It’s that I don’t have the time! Hello Xanga world. I miss you very much, however, my life is incredibly busy at the moment. My classes are sucking the life out of me, my job takes up too much of my time, and the free time I have is spent with my pregnant wife. I’m not complaining! I’m loving life right now, but I do miss blogging. I wanted to give you all a quick update.
    Tesia is now 19 weeks pregnant. We are finding out if the baby is a boy or a girl next on December 3rd.
    Right now, I’m taking 4 classes- Intro to Hinduism, Intro to New Testament, Genesis, and Witchcraft in Colonial America. I have to write several papers for each of these classes, and that may be why I never have the energy to blog anymore.
    God has been good to me. I am currently serving in a house church- a development off of my home church. We are calling it the “Ministry House”. We gather for prayer every night and every morning, go to church Sunday mornings, and Sunday night we have Lectio Divina (an ancient way of praying and meditation on the scriptures). Tesia and I live with three other people, and we love what we do here. It’s been exciting and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for our ministry.

    God bless you all!

October 4, 2013

  • Did Jesus Seriously Whip the Money Changers?

    This is something I wrote back in 2009. I wanted to share it once again.

    Some may consider Jesus turning over the tables of the money changers (Mark 11:15-19, Matthew 21:12-17, Luke 19:41-48, John 2:14-17) as an act of violence. I don’t. Though he was angry, I would suggest that one is reading too much into the text if one believes that Jesus actually hit people with a whip. I mean… I’d be upset too if the people of my church were taking advantage of their own brothers and sisters. I’d be angry if people were gambling with the God’s money. I would certainly be infuriated if all this was going on on church property. If the church charged me for salvation, I would throw a righteous temper tantrum as well. No… Most of us could agree that the act of Jesus flipping over tables doesn’t make him violent. It simply shows how angry Jesus actually was for His “house of prayer” being turned into a “den of thieves”.

    Flipping over the tables was enough to get these thieves to go… That alone would have been enough for me to leave… but in the text, John says that He “fashioned a whip, driving all out, cattle and sheep.” My argument is that the text never says that He used the whip on the people at the temple. The whip was made, in my understanding, to drive out the animals. To say that He used this weapon on the people in the temple would be making a huge illogical conclusion. It’s also adding to the text, and I think, especially in this story, it would be dangerous to say that Jesus actually whipped the money changers, being that He is the Prince of Peace, he clearly taught nonviolent methods including, “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.” It’s no doubt, if Jesus is did indeed use a whip on those at the temple, not only would that mean that mean Jesus was inconsistent, it would make him much worse: a liar. The text never even says He threatened the money changers with a whip. I’m sure some saw Him with it and felt threatened… but I believe the logical conclusion is that His intention was to use the whip on the animals- not the people.

    It’s all in the text. If it says He hit people with the whip, then that destroys every argument for Christian pacifism/nonviolence/nonresistance. But it doesn’t say that. Plain and simple.

    I guess I’m saying that using this text to conclude that Jesus used violence would be making an illogical conclusion based on what the text actually says. Especially knowing Jesus’ teachings on non-violent methods, I think it is agreeable that the only way this makes sense is that the whip was for the cattle and the sheep. We wouldn’t add to the text any other time. This should not be an exception.

September 19, 2013

September 8, 2013

September 5, 2013

July 30, 2013

  • Leaving Xanga

    On May 2nd, 2004, I joined Xanga at the request of my girlfriend (who later became my wife). At the time, I didn’t understand blogging. I didn’t enjoy sitting at my computer and talking about my feelings about things going on in my life, and I certainly didn’t want to read about the lives of other people, especially if I did not know them. Nevertheless, Tesia had a Xanga account, all of our friends had a Xanga account, and she wanted me to have a Xanga account too, so I opened my first one. I won’t reveal the name of that one because I got very personal in it, and some of it is embarrassing for me to read, even though it was almost 10 years ago.
    I quickly grew tired of my user name, so I opened a different account. When I opened that account, Xanga was in its prime, or at least that’s how it appeared to me. I began to explore a bit more– As my friends slowly started leaving Xanga, I began to branch out and read the blogs on Xanga’s top blogs. I didn’t realize that that would change my life.

    Eventually, I trashed that account too, and on September 24th, 2007, I created the account I now have, “jmallory”.
    Under this account, I got to get to know so many people. I became friends with people I’ve never physically met before. Under this account, I told the story of my relationship. You were all here for me when I was going through some of the hardest times in my life, and also here for the best ones. You were here for my quest for finding God. You were here for my engagement, my wedding, my birthdays. You supported me. You debated me. You held me accountable. You loved me, and I’ve taken all that for granted. I never thought I’d see the day when Xanga closes its doors.

    It still may not happen. I’ve seen crazier things… But if Xanga does close and I never see any of you again, I just want to tell you “Thank you” for all you’ve done for me. I wouldn’t be where I am in life without you.
    If there is no coming back to Xanga, you can find me at these places:

    I must confess, I am still trying to figure out wordpress, and I don’t use twitter much, so it may be a slow start for me. But if you want to stay in contact with me, you will find me in all three places.
    I hope to see you all on Xanga 2.0, but if not, farewell, and thank you!

    -jmallory (Jimmy)

July 16, 2013

  • About Our Pregnancy…

    Hey everyone. I wanted to give you all a quick update.

    Tesia went to the hospital yesterday after experiencing some bleeding.
    What she had was called a chemical pregnancy. The egg was fertilized, but for whatever reason, the body either rejected it or it just never implanted. According to the doctor, the average married couple experiences 5 to 8 of these pregnancies in the life of their marriage, and they remain unaware that there was even a conception. Tesia is no longer pregnant. We are sad, of course, but we are looking forward to the future. This past week made us both realize that we are ready for kids. Thank you all for your support.

July 11, 2013

  • 27 Things for 27 Years

    This is my third year in a row doing this on my birthday. It may be my last.

    1. I turned 27 today.

    2. This is already shaping up to be a good year.

    3. I normally get nervous when my birthday comes around.

    4. I realize how quick life is starting to go.

    5. I haven’t been on Xanga for a few weeks.

    6. Life has been pretty busy lately.

    7. We recently moved to a new home.

    8. The previous owners left it messy, and they had a lot of cats.

    9. I think you can see where I am going with this.

    10. We had to rip up about 80% of the carpet in the house.

    11. We replaced much of it with hardwood laminate flooring.

    12. Because of this, I am learning many new life skills.

    13. I am very blessed.

    14. The house we are moving into is going to function as a ministry house.

    15. We will have house church, host bible studies, and hold common meals at our home.

    16. My wife and I have two roommates that will live with us.

    17. One is getting married in October.

    18. We are really about to have three room mates.

    19. It sounds weird that a married couple would live like this.

    20. We happen to enjoy it.

    21. I’m still really sad about what’s happening with Xanga.

    22. Assuming it goes to a paysite, I won’t be returning.

    23. I’ve made a WordPress blog in preparation, the details of which are coming soon.

    24. Xanga has been here for me through a lot. My break up and getting back together with Tesia, other highs and lows, my engagement and marriage… It could go on and on…

    25. I’ve always thought I would announce the birth of my first child on Xanga.

    26. Monday, Tesia took a pregnancy test.

    27. I’m going to be a daddy for the first time :)


June 20, 2013

  • The Way God Works

    I wrote this blog several weeks ago, but had to make it private because some details needed to be hashed out. Now, many things have come into fruition, and it is safe to finally post this. I updated it, as time has went by and things have changed.



    My life is in the midst of a drastic change. I am currently on break from school. I won’t be going back for about three months… the time is almost too long and all I want to do is just finish. Then I will continue on to get my Masters of Theological Studies and/or my Masters of Divinity, which I will now be getting at no cost because my beautiful wife just got a full-time job at the seminary. That’s terrific news!

    Xanga is going away, which naturally, is a big bummer for me… I created a WordPress account to prepare for the coming apocalypse, but let’s face it… there is not another place out there like Xanga. I don’t know what I’m going to do when Xanga shuts down or goes to a paysite.

    I recently lost one of my jobs. Cokesbury closed all of their bricks and mortar stores to compete easier with the online bookstores. I’ve been out of that job since mid-April, so really, I’ve been doing a lot of housework and a lot of movie watching. I also just finished an application for the new bookstore that is taking the place of Cokesbury. I was asked to apply, so I am feeling pretty good about this.

    I still have my job as a youth director… that’s alright… but I’m starting to feel frustrated in this ministry for various reasons. I won’t name all of those right now, but there is change in the works. I’ve just come to the conclusion that Youth ministry, in its traditional sense, is not my calling. I’m called to teach. I’m called to tell others about Jesus Christ. I’m not called to program ministry. But as I said, there are bigger things in the works. Check this out:

    About a year ago, my pastor and his family went on a three-month sabbatical trip to South Africa, Turkey, and Scotland, all for educational purposes. While they were out, Steve, a congregation member in his late 50′s who was a former United Methodist pastor stepped in. Steve had left the ministry during a difficult time in his life, but decided to fill in for my pastor while he was on sabbatical. This former pastor is one of the best preachers I’ve ever heard. He preaches with a Bible in his right hand and you can tell he believes every word that comes out of his mouth. He’s extremely lively and if anyone knows about the work of the church, it’s Steve. When he stepped away from the pulpit over a decade ago, he picked up a job at the YMCA because he knew he needed to be serving others. He’s been there ever since and is always seen around the community doing service and telling others about Jesus.

    When my pastor and his family returned after the summer, they came back to a thriving congregation… not that there is anything wrong with how my pastor leads the church, but new things were happening and new ideas were being undertaken. This led my pastor to make some really though decisions in his personal life and pastoral life for the good of the congregation. This was done in humility and in trust. These decisions would not go unnoticed.

    A couple of months ago, my pastor was asked to move. This isn’t something out of the ordinary in a United Methodist Church. Part of the role of a pastor in the UMC is to move from church to church every so often, building and training the body of Christ to do the work of God. Theoretically, the UMC is a lay-driven church. It should be anyway… and the itinerant discipline should help to ensure that, but I digress. He was actually asked to be the Assistant District Superintendent, which is a big responsibility. Basically, my pastor got a hefty promotion. Sunday was his last day in the pulpit at my church.

    Around the same time, a couple of months ago, Steve, who was our interim while our pastor was on sabbatical found out that two people he had helped train were being let go at the Y. He decided that it was only right for him to resign from his position in an attempt to help these other two keep their job. This couldn’t have happened at a better time. He also happened to be asked if he’d be willing to take the reigns and be the pastor of my church again. He accepted.

    Now I say all of that as a set up to a bigger picture… Because my wife got a full-time job that starts in July, she would not need her current job at our church, and we would both be leaving. However, since Steve is now our pastor, the parsonage will not be used as he already has a home in the area. This is a big deal because my wife, myself, and our roommates are looking for another place to live because our lease is up this summer. My former pastor’s wife made a suggestion: Why not use the parsonage as an extension ministry of the church, where we will engage in intentional living, prayer, Bible study, and worship? Basically, she suggested starting a house church that is affiliated with our current church. This is something that my wife and I have felt called to for a very long time, and it looks like the pieces of this puzzle are coming together. It’s funny how God works. Who knew that this sabbatical trip from one year ago could lead to something bigger not only for my wife and I, but for our church, and for our community as well!? Now, I will finally be able to live up to my calling a little more. We would be much more comfortable in this role because we would not feel so tied down to our responsibilities at the church- Though we would attend and still be very involved, we could have more of a hands off approach to our ministries (my wife’s being music, mine being youth) and help guide these to be lay-led. We will no longer be paid, but instead, we would be gifted this house to use to God’s glory.

    A few weeks back, I was eating lunch with my wife and I was thinking about the possibilities of this house church. Our Church is named Concord United Methodist Church. When one thinks of “Concord”, one typically thinks of grapes. So, as this house would be an extension ministry to Concord, I thought it would be appropriate to name it “The Vine Community”, or something along that line. We would have our theme verse as John 15:5, where Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will produce much fruit.” I also thought it would be cool to plant some grapes in the yard of the parsonage. My wife and I had not told anybody about these plans, in fact, my wife sort of scoffed at the idea.

    That next morning, Steve woke up around 4:30 in the morning and he couldn’t go back to sleep because he had the exact same vision, and it was keeping him awake. He talked with my wife about it that day and my wife revealed to him that I had thought all that through yesterday. His response: “That’s God!”
    Oh, and his devotion for that day: John 15.

    It is God, indeed!

    I’m excited. I will hash out more details as they come out, but this is very big news right now!

June 16, 2013

  • Update on My Brother

    He went to the Cleveland Clinic on Friday and was officially diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. We are sad, but we are happy to finally figure out what’s been wrong with him these past four years.

    When they gave him the bad news on Friday, they set him up with an IV that pumped 1000 ml of steroids into his body. They will do the same for two more days. They are giving him some more medicine that will mask his symptoms for the next couple months. After that, they will start him on some medicine combinations and diets that should help him along for the rest of his life.

    I want to say that he’s got a long battle a head of himself, but the long battle happens to be the rest of his life. It’s a terrible, debilitating illness, and I can’t believe something like this would ever happen to him. Right now, he can’t work or do the things he likes to do. He’s uncomfortable in his own skin, and I can’t imagine how he feels right now. I’m very sad over this, but he is in high spirits, and that is all I can ask for right now.

    It’s not the end. It’s just the beginning. MS treatments have come a long way in even a few short years. We don’t know what the future holds, but even though this sucks terribly, we are very hopeful.

    Thank you for your prayers, and please continue to pray for him. He really appreciates it.