E-Note for Tuesday, July 12

Good Morning, Friends, and welcome to this week’s E-Note!

Our first impressions can fail us. 

Several years ago, I went skydiving with my son Jesse. As we awaited our turn to suit up in the hangar, the guides came in. BTW, they don’t let you just pay your money and solo jump anymore. These days, you’re strapped in tandem to the front of a guide who actually pulls the ripcord. It has to do with insurance.

Anyway, a collection of kids came in. They were our guides, but they could have passed for this season’s counselors at Camp Lake Stephens. I mean, they looked YOUNG! As a guy in his fifties, I was not inspired with confidence in them, no matter how much swagger they had. And they did have some swag!

Then, in came this older guy. About my age. About my height and weight. Gray headed, like me. “This guy,” I said to myself, “has been there and done that.” I chose the old guy as my guide without thinking twice.

Turned out he was a retired Navy SEAL. So much the better.

So we suited up, boarded the plane with 10 other jumpers, and the pilot took us in a corkscrew pattern up to 14,500 feet. My turn came, and my guide and I hit the silk. It’s truly exhilarating, freefalling at 117 MPH. And I never felt closer to God, or more within His care, than I did for that 60 seconds.

Then our chute popped open and we began our glide. Now, my guide and I were able to talk to each other. Oh, those movies where skydivers are talking to each other during freefall? That’s fake. It’s impossible to speak or yell with a 117 MPH wind in your face!

So I said to my guide, “I’m sure glad I chose you, a guide with so much experience.” His response shocked me:

“Yeah, well actually, I don’t have much experience. I just joined this company. This is only my 77th jump. Some of those young guides with us, they’ve got a thousand, fifteen hundred, even two thousand jumps behind them.”

I guess it’s true. You can’t judge a book by its cover!

It’s the same with Jesus. Jesus lived over 2,000 years ago. Like most men in His time, He was undoubtedly thin. And He wouldn’t have walked around with a lot of swag, either, since He had a fully developed sense of humility.

But if you’re going to experience the adrenaline rush of the REAL life of discipleship, there’s nobody better to be strapped in tandem to!

There’s a great line from the old show, “Mama’s Family”. Vinton says to Thelma, “Now, Mama, you don’t need to go to church to get into heaven.” Mama responds, “Well, you don’t need to have a parachute to jump out of an airplane, either, but it certainly helps!” 

Indeed, Mama.

We are all in free fall in this life. But not all of us are strapped to the guide with the parachute.


In Joy,




Tuesday at 2:00, we will begin our weekly FUMC Staff Meetings. It’ll be an important time for communication and Christian development of our staff members. Staff folks, if you can POSSIBLY make it, we need you!


We extend our sympathy to the family of Mr. Stanley Dillon. Arrangements are incomplete at this time.


What a beautiful rendition of “It Is Well” we heard at Embrace on Sunday! Thanks, Charlaine Chung, for your lead vocal!

And how about that duet from Matt Tyer and Shawn Sanks? Outstanding!


Our Mississippi Annual Conference gathers this week from Wednesday until Friday at the Bancorpsouth Center in Tupelo. You’re welcome to join us as a guest in person, or by streaming from our Conference website, WWW.Mississippi-UMC.org. Please extend prayer for this important gathering. There are big doin’s these days.


Speaking of technology, a big thanks to Tanya Benefield, who has pretty much single handedly overhauled our FUMC website and Facebook Page. There’s a LOT to acquaint yourself with, so check out WWW.fumcnewalbany.com, and our Facebook Page(s), FUMC New Albany!

e-Mail tanya@fumcnewalbany.com

Facebook Tanya Benefield | Facebook

Twitter: @BenefieldTanya

Instagram: TanyaBene73

Find FUMC on Facebook – click on the links below

FUMC Facebook Page: First United Methodist Church of New Albany | Facebook

FUMC Facebook Group Page: FUMC New Albany | Facebook


We need YOU to help with our tech needs during the 11:00 Traditional worship service! Our plan is to bring in a consultant to teach us/lead us so that we can set up a rotation of teams to handle the tech stuff. Many hands make light the work, right? So if you’re interested in helping, text Matt Tyer at 662.538.8093!

We also want to begin using laity to read Scripture during the Traditional service. If this is something you’d be willing to rotate into, again, email me at tom@fumcnewalbany.com. We will give you all the training you need to make it a worshipful act!


Hey, Thanks to our Men’s Breakfast group, which was wonderful. Sorry I had to leave early to prepare for our Embrace worship service, which was equally wonderful! Great job to all who set up, cooked, played, sang, took down, and attended!



We will have a brief presentation next Sunday, July 17, from our Christmas in July ministry, at both services.

Ladies’ Bible Study will gather on Thursday, July 21, at 10:00 in the UMW room. I’ll be leading with music, prayer, and the Word from Mark. All ladies are invited!

>Trustees Committee will meet on Monday, July 18 at 5:30.

Finance Committee will meet on Monday, July 25, at 6:00. Ad Council meeting will follow at 7:00.

>July 31, we will hold our Blessing of the Backpacks service at both 9:00 and 11:00. We’ll also present Bibles to children and promote our kids to their new Sunday School classes! Kids, be sure to bring your backpack for a blessing and a fun little gift from FUMC!

In addition, we will send our teachers, coaches, administrators, and staff into the school year with a special prayer.


I just finished watching the latest season of a TV series called “Alone”, where they drop 10 willing participants into a wilderness survival experience in Canada in late Fall. Then it struck me: Hey, History Channel-REALLY impress me and drop these folks in the Mississippi Delta for June, July and August, and let’s see how well they can live off the land! I’ll bet no one would last more than a week without “tapping out”!


Well, friends, that’s about it for now. Have a great day, and remember,


“If your life as a disciple is not an adrenaline rush, you’re not doing it the way Jesus did it.”