Saturday, September 23, 2017

Oh, what a beautiful morning!

What a way to start the day! Sitting on the back porch with our friends, Dan and Janelle, sipping coffee and enjoy the cool temps.  Could it be that we are on the back end of summer? I know it's officially "fall."  But fall usually arrives a bit late in Arizona.  What am I doing here? Gotta get back outside with a second cup of coffee!

But first...join us today at 5 pm for our Saturday service with Holy Communion.  Or we'll see you tomorrow at 8 and 11 am for worship (Holy Communion at the later service).  I'll be preaching at all three services and reflecting on what my baptismal birthday means.  Be there, today or tomorrow, at LICL!

Friday, September 22, 2017

I have found this to be true!

“The older you get, the harder it is to lose weight because by that time your body and your fat are really good friends.”

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Considering this week's Gospel lesson

On Matthew 20:1-16, Philip Yancey writes: In a rabbinic story of the time, the owner of a farm went into tow to hire temporary workers for the harvest. The day wore on, and as late as the eleventh hour he recruited one last batch of workers, who had a mere hour remaining to prove their worth. In the familiar version of the storm, the latecomer made up for lost time by working so hard that the foreman decided to reward them with a whole day's pay. Jesus' version, though, says nothing about the diligence of the workers. He accents instead the generosity of the employer - God - who lavishes his grace on veterans and newcomers alike. No one gets cheated and everyone gets rewarded, far beyond what they deserve.

From "The Jesus I Never Knew" page 95

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Happy birthday to me!

At a place where I used to work we celebrated birthdays.  One of the co-workers always sang, "Happy birthday to me..." It was funny for a while and then not so funny.

Actually, I've not been looking forward to this day.  65 just sounds "old" to me.  It's amazing to think that you've actually lived most of your life.  Our days are numbered, of course.  It's just a little jarring to me to think I've used most of mine up.

The joy comes in knowing that for these 65 years God has poured out upon me more blessings that I could possibly ever add up.  His forgiveness and righteousness has covered me since the day of my baptism.  I belong to the Lord! I am His child! Amazing grace, indeed!

So I give thanks for my dear, sweet wife and wonderful kids and grandkids.  I give thanks for extended family and many precious friends.  I give thanks for meaningful work and having had the opportunity to serve three different congregations.  I am blessed.

Thank you, God, for another birthday!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

For all the things my hands have held...

This is a plaque that I found hanging at Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas.  I didn't buy it but I wish I would have.

An update on my Bible reading

I'm on day 25 of my Bible reading challenge, "The Bible in 90 Days." As I have previously written, I found this 90 day Bible in a Goodwill store. At first, I was put off--"There is no way I could do such a thing!" But the more I pondered the challenge, I suddenly remembered what I would say to my kids: "Don't give up before giving it a try." So I took my own admonition and bought the Bible.

I've just begun 1 Kings. I'm trying to read first thing in the morning or at lunchtime. I have been reminded again of God's grace and patience for those stiff-necked Israelites. Reading once again the stories of Joseph, Moses and David has been a blessing. Now we'll see how Solomon does in leading God's people.

The program allows for 2 grace days. I have used one already. Two Sunday's ago I just plain forgot. Gotta stay on the ball! It takes about 45 minutes a day to do the reading. And that is turning out to be the best 45 minutes of the day.

Monday, September 18, 2017

A prayer for when you are miserable

O God, great misery has come upon me. My cares about about to crush me, and I do not know where to turn. O God, be compassionate and help me. Give me strength to bear whatever You may send, do not let fear rule over me.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer