Thursday, May 14, 2015
Don't pay the ransom, I escaped!
That line was invented to be used as a reason (an excuse of sorts) for a long period of no contact, of being out of touch. I have been doing other things, and am getting back to something I began several years ago, this blog. Maybe it will be a little less than six years in between this and my next entry. We shall see!
Sunday, February 8, 2009
From Mark 1: 29-39, we read of how Jesus used the power of prayer to recharge and redirect his ministry. After getting away early in the morning to find a moment to pray, Jesus said, "I know what I came here to do- to share the message!" At the close of the service, I charged the congregation (pun intended!) with this: Find the time and the place and pray. Prayer is our power line to God, our extension cord that connects us to God's will for us. You will get a charge out of it.
Are you plugged in?
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Learning about congregations from on line sources got me to thinking about the need for some special search engines for clergy. Sure, we are fueled by the power of the Holy Spirit, driven by a passion to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, but what if, instead of "Ask Jeeves" we could "Ask Jesus"or we looked to the Gospel rather than Google, or put our faith in Yahweh rather than Yahoo?
Here's two verses that speak to me today, found in 1 Corinthians 2:9-10:
"But, as it is written, 'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him' - these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God."
Now there is a search engine for all of us!
p.s. I added a couple of sermons to the link- Becky gave "By Whose Authority" good marks, in particular.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
The second change is to the sermon documents link. I have re-saved these in an earlier version of Microsoft Word ( 97-2003) which will make reading and downloading easier if you have that version of Word.
Peace and grace to you!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
This new year has already brought a host of wonders. The wonder of families and friends together during the holidays, the wonder of sharing in the ministry at Mt. Lebanon Presbyterian Church, and the wonder of a daughter who patiently walked me through the steps to establish this blog site.
Much will likely follow, as I learn to make use of this means of sharing; sharing news of Becky's and my journeys, and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
As I make this post, I am preparing a sermon to preach to my oversight committee, the CPM in the Presbytery of the Western Reserve. My sermon to them will be built on the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin, stories that preface the parable of the prodigal son. The theme is having, losing, finding, and rejoicing in the reign of Christ.
Two days ago, a chance encounter and conversation led me to learn a real life story that had each of these elements. I met the father of Cole Ortega, a 14 year old from Bend, Oregon who was severely injured in July 2008 while surfing in Pacific City, Oregon. His dad, Charlie Ortega, shared with me the story of how their lives were forever changed when his son's arm was completely severed when he was hit by the propeller of a fishing dory. He told the story of the rush to the hospital, the miraculous surgical work that reattached the arm, and the 180 days since the accident filled with fears, angers, and frustrations. As I talked with Charlie Ortega, his son Cole, a world class snowboarder (He had been ranked #1 in the US for his age group), was back on the slopes, for the first time since the accident. This day was a day of rejoicing, rejoicing over the gift of life, rejoicing over the finding of what was thought lost.
The rejoicing in the stories of the lost sheep and the lost coin, and some of what I learned of the story of Cole Oretega and his family, is built on the intense searching and striving to regain what had been lost. And when rejoicing is in order, that rejoicing occurs best in community.
My prayer for you this day, and this year 2009, is that your searching and striving will lead to rejoicing. May your search be with God, strive toward God, and rejoice in God. And if you are searching for God, know this: God is always moving toward you.