Monday, October 16, 2006

Methodist Blogger Profile: Rick Mang


Rick Mang of One Peculiar Christian

I am an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, having served in the Central Texas Conference for 17 years. I am currently serving, and thriving, at FUMC in Grapevine, Texas. I am a former police officer. I've been married to my wife for 30 years, and have two grown daughters, a Texas A&M Aggie son-in-law, and a sheltie. I’ve been blogging for about a year-and-a-half.

Why do you blog?
Initially, it was at the request of our Church Communications Director. I didn’t know what a Blog was! Sometimes I actually wish I still didn’t. Then, I realized it was a calling of sorts. It provided a way for the men of our church to get to know me better.

Most times, what I write comes very hard. Sometimes it is easy. Blogging, like life, is about the different seasons we go through and our reaction to them.

Actually, I am thinking of taking a break for a while. I need a Sabbath from blogging so I can come back to it with a renewed passion.

What has been your best blogging experience?
Hearing from the wife of one of our men who said, “I made my husband read your blog!”

What would be your main advice to a novice blogger?
Do one blog, and do it well. If you don’t have a passion for it, then leave it alone.

If you only had time to read three blogs a day, what would they be?
-My first choice is Mark Winter’s Blog (www.markwintersonemanshow.blogspot.com) Mark is a dear friend and ministry comrade. He is also very funny, and writes so much better than I can. He is one of the finest communicators in the UMC.

I would rotate the other two among the different blogs written by other pastors in our annual conference an elsewhere . . . Mike Voigts, Dale Schulz, Steve Heyduck, Wesley Blog, etc.

Who are your spiritual heroes?
John Wesley and Francis Asbury

What are you reading at the moment?
-The Passionate Life by Breen & Kallestaad
-Sabbath by Wayne Muller
-The New Rebellion Handbook from Nelson Publishing.

What is your favorite hymn and why?
How Great Thou Art. I always cry when it is sung very, very, very well.

Can you name a major moral, political, or intellectual issue on which you've changed your mind?
I am turning 50 at my next birthday. Therefore, I reserve my right to change my mind as much as I want. Perhaps the most important for me a time in my life is to debunk the cultural work ethic we are consumed with right now. How healthy is it to live in a culture where you work, work, work, work and only rest when you have a heart attack or stroke?

Please . . .

What philosophical thesis do you think is most important to combat?
The Justification of Greed. It is the cause of 90% of our world’s current social, political and religious problems.

If you could effect one major change in the governing of your country, what would it be?
Impose term-limits on all public officials, especially the US Senate and House of Representatives.

If you could effect one major policy change in the United Methodist Church, what would it be?
Don’t get me wrong. I love our church. However, several denominations probably should quit trying not to die, and go ahead and get it over with. Our church policy and polity are what many worship instead of the risen Jesus Christ. But here is the thing . . . God will raise up the church He wants from the ashes of those that have died. It may be Wesleyan, it may not. All good things come to an end.

What would be your most important piece of advice about life?
1) Honor the Sabbath! This is permission from God to rest. It is right up there with “do not kill, steal, etc.” It is also something that God practices (Read Genesis again!)

2) Friendships and relationships are the currency of the Kingdom of God. I learned this late in life. Thank God I finally did. This alone has completely re-prioritized my life.

What, if anything, do you worry about?
My ability to communicate to an ever-changing culture. I am very fluent in the “Churchese” language. Learning how to tell the Gospel story in new settings, to people who have no clue as to what I am talking about, that I worry about. I am having to learn a new language. Not an easy thing to do for me.

If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything that you'd do differently?
I would have been a better more caring husband to my wife, father to my daughters and friend to others. I would have rested more, fished more, spent more time with friends. God has helped me save / rekindle several of those friendships. I grieve to know that many other friendships are dead, and it was my fault.

Where would you most like to live (other than where you do now)?
The Texas Gulf Coast. Rockport, Fulton, Aransas Pass, or Port Aransas.

What do you like doing in your spare time?
Go for a walk at Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops. Do yard work. Ride my bike. Go fishing. I would play more table tennis. That’s my first love. But my knees are shot!

What is your most treasured possession?
My Martin DC-16GTE guitar.

What talent would you most like to have?
To speak Spanish.

If you could have any three guests, past or present to dinner, who would they be?
Grandpa Mang & Grandpa Brown. I’d like to show them that I’m finally getting the family and friend thing right.

I would like to visit with Martin Luther King. I have such admiration for him and his work and message. He changed a culture. I want to talk to him about having a passion for something so strong that you will give you life for it.

1 comment:

Mark Winter said...

Rick,

This is good stuff. Love ya, man.