Monday, November 5, 2018

Day #1770

November 5, 2018

A prayer for this week:
Almighty God, as Americans head to the polls for elections, we pray for your guidance to make informed and wise decisions. We pray for political leaders, community leaders, and church leaders - all leaders - that there would be mercy in their decisions and a servant attitude in their actions. Give us wisdom in electing all our leaders. Amen.
Blessings.

Day #1769

November 4, 2018 

Comforting worship as we remembered and gave thanks for the saints of the past, the present, and the future. 

What are all those candles for, Pastor? A young saint of the present presented a great question for the opening of the Children’s Message. Thanksgiving for folks who have been a part of our lives and who we miss, I said.

Wish I had thought to say, what are those candles for? Love! 

Blessings.

Day #1768

November 3, 2018 

In preparing for worship for All Saints, I’m thinking about something Father Jim said at the Memorial Service for Cindy:
One can’t explain to humans what heaven is like any easer than one can explain to an unborn infant what earth is like.
That’s a perspective that is helpful in thinking about all the saints resting in the arms of God. What’s it really like? We won’t know until we know, but faith tells me it will be grand!

Blessings.

Day #1767

November 2, 2018

Something to think about from the WELCA Blog:
African American theologian Howard Thurman (1899-1981) suggests that true prayer has very little to do with bringing something external to pass; rather, it has to do with the relationship between God and those who pray. “The essence of prayer is that God answers the pray-er, which is far more important than answering a thousand prayers,” Thurman says. Thurman’s insight suggests that God’s answer to prayer—whether or not a particular petition is granted—is akin to God saying, “I see you. I love you. I am with you. No matter what.” This message is an excerpt from “Closer to God” by Audrey  West in the July/August 2018 issue of “Gather” magazine.
Blessings.

Day #1766

November 1, 2018 

On this All Saints Day, I give thanks for the saints in my life, past and present, who fill or have filled my life with joy, challenge, education, mentoring, love, acceptance, and family. I miss those who have gone before me - parents, grandparents, uncles, friends, parishioners, colleagues. And I cherish those still present - family, friends, parishioners, and fellow colleagues in ministry. Life truly is relationship to be celebrated!

Blessings.

Day #1765

October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween from the hottest dog around. :-)


And his mustard sidekick:
Blessings.

Day #1764

October 30, 2018 

As I sat with colleagues, the subject of lamenting airline travel turned to pet relief stations in the airport. (See Day #1752 for my comments concerning so many dogs.) Turns out one of my colleagues took the picture I missed of the "pet relief station": 


Yep, gotta love that care for all of God’s creatures does exist! 

Blessings.

Day #1763

October 29, 2018 

The prayer for today, this week, and always:
Almighty God, you are God of love. God of relationship. God of forgiveness. Teach your children, all of us, how to be more like you. Give us strength to forgive. Give us desire to be in relationship with you and with others, especially those we most distrust or dislike. Give us a measure of your capacity for love. For we know and experience all too often that the antithesis of love leads to fear, violence, and death. We desire for love to conquer the fear, violence and death. We trust you to help us have that love for one another, all around the world. Lord, have mercy. Amen. 
Blessings.

Day #1762

October 28, 2018

Quite the busy day - remembering the Reformation in worship with special music, being blessed by another pastor sharing the message - thank you!! - and the first camp counselor youth event of the season. Busy, and faith-filling. The youth are awesome - and so are the counselors! 

Blessings.

Day #1761

October 27, 2018

This prayer from the devotion d365 seems important to share in light of the recent shootings in Pittsburgh and after attending a Memorial Service for a pastoral colleague: 
The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you.” from Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC by Frederick Buechner (1973)
Blessings.

Day #1760

October 26, 2018

When a former confirmation student texts just to say they’re learning about Luther today in school, it brings a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart! Not only do I see this as a “win” for remembering a topic from confirmation, but a “huge win” in remembering relationship is important and I'm available!!!

Then an informative day of learning and discussing the particulars surrounding the election/calling of a new bishop for our synod next June. This is an important step for our synod and the church. So, it’s time to be thinking and praying! June will be here quickly!

Blessings.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Day #1759

October 25, 2018 

From Bible Study, to random conversations, to a Synod meeting, the point has been drilled home today - God is about relationship. And because of that, God desires for God’s children to also be in good and healthy relationship. Not to be angry with one another, hold grudges against one another, attack one another, live in fear of one another, or distrust one another, but to have honest conversation and seek reconciliation when needed. 

This is tough work, being in relationship, yet, the church, and all humanity, thrives in and through it. Teach us how, O God. Amen!

Blessings.

Day #1758

October 24, 2018 

Whew - a busy day of catch-up! But, it’s Wednesday, so a great day, too. As we learn/review in Confirmation Class about the Reformation and Martin Luther’s courage in its beginning, I am grateful for all those who are/were willing to take a stand, and not back down in fear. Thank you, all those who stand up for the Truth, for your faithful witness!

Blessings.

Day #1757

October 23, 2018 

After another “fun” day of flying, we are home. Honestly, we are exhausted physically and mentally, yet we are grateful we had the opportunity to go to remember, and support, our friends. And after being so near to the devastating destruction from the hurricane, we remember in prayer those who may be a very long time before they’re home again. Lord, have mercy!

Blessings.

Day #1756

October 22, 2018 

We had the opportunity to spend some time in the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, making this a happy man (airplanes and ships are two of his favorite things). 

With this in mind, it seems appropriate for the prayer this week to be for those who protect and serve:
Almighty God, while your desire is for healthy relationships and peacefulness among nations and people, there is still war and conflict in our world. Fervently, we pray for peace. Until that time comes, however, we pray for those who protect and serve our nation. Grant safety to those who wear, or have worn, the uniforms of all branches of service. Thank you for their lives of sacrifice and service. Amen.
Blessings.