“This is my Beloved…”

“And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’”(Luke 3:22)Yesterday, we celebrated the Baptism of the Lord, putting a punctuation mark at the end of the Christmas season. My favorite daily app, “Pray-As-You-Go” offered some good food for thought based on the full reading from Luke (Luke 3:15-16, 21-22). They suggest calling to mind our own baptism and imaging God saying to us what was said to Jesus, “You are my beloved; with you I…

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The Same

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions of “the same” is “someone or something that has not changed: something that is exactly like it was at an earlier time.” In the scripture above we are being reassured that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday (the past), today (the present), and forever (the future). How good to know that throughout our seasons and our struggles, He is our constant. He is firm. He is steadfast.…

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The Graceful Exit

Even though it’s been a month since I announced my retirement, the reality of leaving my pastoral call and ending my professional career hasn’t quite sunk in. Yet after preaching my last sermon this past Sunday, it’s becoming more real. Since then, I’ve begun saying goodbyes through phone calls, Zoom meetings and socially distanced visits. I’ve also turned my attention to tying up loose ends in preparation for the next pastor, along with starting to pack up my office.But packing up my office…

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Listening for God’s Voice

My sister recently shared an old recording done by the youth choir in the church in which we grew up. When I put the flash drive into my computer to listen, the first thing I heard was a male's voice introducing the choir. It took me several minutes to recognize the voice. It was my father, who was the pastor of the church. I was so surprised at first that I hadn't recognized his voice. It may have been partly because he was…

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What Shall I Pray?

Psalm 19 1 The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; 4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun, 5 which comes out like a bridegroom from his…

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How Do You Water Your Garden?

When we moved to our current home, we were informed that the previous owners did not install irrigation in any portion of the property. They relied on dragging a hose around. We tried this as well for our first year, but it gets pretty wasteful, tedious, and surprisingly annoying to just carry around the hose to different parts of a property depending on the different days of the week. So we took a bold step: we installed irrigation. There were several learning curves…

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Milestone Moments

We are all missing special events in our lives, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, and funerals. They are still happening, but in very different ways. These are memory making events, ones that we may be able to re-create in our minds. These milestones create many stories, ones that we tell over and over again as we recall what happened and who was there and details and layers that stay with us long after the events have ended. We attended my cousin’s son’s wedding on…

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Clothed in Christ

“What are you wearing right now?” That was the first line of a story I heard on the radio last week in an interview with a fashion editor of a major newspaper in our country. With many people now working from home as they shelter in place during this pandemic, a lot of folks are staying in their pajamas all day long. Yet maybe that’s not always the best thing, was the gist of the story. The first week staying at home it was…

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