I am sitting in a Panera Bread restaurant sipping a cup of coffee on this rainy morning and my soul is a frantic mess. My mind is racing. . . My heart is beating a bit faster than normal. The quiet music playing over my earbuds that is intended to both block out Panera’s music and still my heart is not working. So that I don’t jinx or spoil the events of today that brought me to this restaurant, I will keep the reason for this ‘mobile pastoral thought’ a secret—for now. (Let me just say that it is a good reason, don’t worry).
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
"When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away.” (NRSV)
Monday, March 29, 2021
18It was the LORD who made it known to me, and I knew;
19 But I was like a gentle lamb
led to the slaughter.
And I did not know it was against me
that they devised schemes, saying,
“Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will no longer be remembered!”
Thursday, March 25, 2021
As our Lenten season ends this weekend, I want to share with you the words of Jewish philosopher Saadia Gaon that are found in the beginning of a book that I am currently reading. His words address the truth that God exceeds our mind's ability to fully speak about God. We can know or comprehend all of the aspects of God’s nature and personhood. We marvel at how God, who is greater and more caring than we can imagine, would willingly come to earth and suffer as Jesus did for us.
So much of our devotional life is dedicated to understanding, even in a small sense, the nature of God. We want to understand who God is and why God acts in the manner in which He does. Countless hours have been spent trying to figure out how God chooses to move in our lives. But there is just some information that we are not able to fully assimilate into our minds correctly or clearly. Yet we still try. . .
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
When was the last time that you heard someone talk about ’timing’ to you? Maybe they said something like, “now just isn’t the right time” or were more positive by saying, “time flies when you’re having fun.” While these two statements are different in their meaning they both carry with them a sense of time and speed. Life has an aggressive pace that we are beholden to.
Monday, March 22, 2021
Today I had another wonderful opportunity to read a bible story to the children at CNS. For five classes we sat together for an ‘Easter’ story. For everyone was excited to see the Easter bunny’s work and be with their families, but not one of them was familiar with this part of the story—or at least they didn’t think they were. Today’s story was about Joseph of Arimathea and talked about his role in Jesus’ death. . .
Thursday, March 18, 2021
In 2011 the University of Miami conducted a research study that I found fascinating and wanted to share with you. The implications of this study are diverse and offer the church an opportunity for ministry—if we are willing to move toward it. Published in The Journal of Behavior Medicine, this study assessed the relationship between [the] View of God and changes in cellular structure by medical patients. The section of the study and report that caught my eye said this:
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Lauren Winner’s book Still: Notes on a Mid-Life Crisis has been a helpful book for me at various points in my Christian walk. The rawness of her words, while challenging at times, calls each reader to press into God a little bit more. While I do not consider myself to be going through a mid-life faith crisis as Winner was in this book, I do believe that her words are helpful for the church at large. They are especially helpful to us a we continue to journey through Lent.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
As governors open up their states for travel and commerce, and as covid vaccines become more accessible and administered, life is finding its equilibrium. We are not ‘going back to the way that things were’ before covid, as much as our spirit of adaptation has become so normal that we don’t notice the shift taking place around us daily. But the shift is still happening, and it will continue to happen as our churches welcome more worshippers back into their midst. We will be called to continue to adapt throughout the rest of this year as seek to live faithfully.
Monday, March 15, 2021
During worship on Sunday I posed a question to the young people of our church. The general question that I shared was adapted from our Sunday morning book study that takes place before worship. I shortened the question from the book down a bit for the young people, but I want to share the full version with you today. Pastor Rusty George asked this question of his readers in his book Being Together:
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
As Jennifer backed out of the driveway today just before 7am, I was busy preparing for something that I missed. . . It had been too long since I was able to do this, I felt a sense of anticipation growing in me. Quietly, I changed my clothes and finished my first cup of coffee. Then I headed downstairs to Emma’s room. Silently I crept into her room where Luna was sleeping. By now, Luna heard me coming and was sitting up with her ears at attention wondering what I wanted. As far as she knew, we were just going to out. As I reached for her crate door, she ‘yelped’ in relief. She had been in there all night and was ready to be out.
Monday, March 8, 2021
Thursday, March 4, 2021
This afternoon I had the opportunity to work with a family. We met under less than ideal conditions. Without going into detail I will only say that they are suffering and I was called in to help. As a pastor this is a call that comes from time to time. The entire encounter went smoothly. As a matter of fact, it went exactly how I imagined that it would go as I entered their presence. I have walked down this pathway before with other families and am sure that I will be asked to do so with other families in the future.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
It was very quiet this morning around the house today.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Over the weekend Jennifer and I went grocery shopping for the first time since JonMark left for college. . . back in January (it was shocking that it took so long for us to need to shop again). We stopped at a pair of grocery stores to complete our list before heading home. On the way, since it was raining, I called Emma and asked her to come out help us carry in the bags. Outside of my truck windows it was lightly raining and we did not want to carry everything in ourselves in the rain. Emma responded that she’d be watching for us and we were all set.
Monday, March 1, 2021
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