Sunday Afternoon Thoughts

Sunday Night Thoughts

This week’s edition, as you can tell is a little earlier than usual.  In about an hour, Pam, Anna and I will be heading north to Houghton so she and Anna can attend a pastor’s wives gathering.  I don’t think I will feel like writing when I get back, so….that’s why you’re getting this now.  As I write I’m listening to something called the Daily Mix on Spotify.  It is a playlist generated by the music I listen to on Spotify.  This particular list is based on classic CCM – Dana Key, Paul Clark, Andrus Blackwood & Co., ect.

It’s been a good week here in the McCrae Brook valley.  We have been making plans for several things on the horizon.  We have a community National Day of Prayer service coming up on Thursday and we are also making plans for our Baccalaureate Service.  These community services have been keeping me busy.  As I have mentioned, we have a good group of community clergy and I love working with them.

My bi-vocational position continues to go well and it looks like I will be pursuing a CDL to drive the larger busses. I have been regularly subbing on the smaller busses.  It does provide a challenge.

This week we (the church) are preparing to take cookies to the church in support of Teacher Appreciation Week.  It’s one of the things about being in a small community and I love it.

We did have a good worship service this morning.  We had a representative from Gideons here this morning.  He did a good job explaining the role of Gideons in missions. We are thankful for his presentation this morning.

That about wraps it up for the week.  Have a great week!

Prayer for the Week

cropped-resurrection-website-banner.jpgThird Sunday of Easter

O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Running Update


This marks the penultimate day of April and yet this is my first issue of my running update for 2017.  Needless to say, getting used to running in northwestern Pennsylvania in the winter is going to take some getting used to – and this was a mild winter as winters here go.  January and February had 20 miles each and March had 30.  April was a quite different story, clocking in at 80 miles. Woo Hoo!  I need to take some winter poundage off, so hopefully adding the mileage will help.  The winter has made me a bit sluggish. Before winter I was averaging between 9 and 10 minute miles – right now my average pace is around 10:15 min/mile.  Today I was able to go out for a long, slow distance run – a short – long, distance run – 8 miles.  The last mile was tough.  The good news is that I am not nearly as sore as I was last Saturday at 7 miles.  The plan for the next week is two five milers, a three miler, and another long 8 miler on Saturday.  But for now I am glad I am pressing on again.

The Eternal, Living Word

seedlings-1586462_640Third Sunday of Easter (April 30, 2017)

1 Peter 1:17-23 | New Living Translation (NLT)

And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.

Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.

You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.

For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.

This morning’s text takes me back a year to when we came to McCrae Brook.  This is the text that I preached from that morning.  My message that morning was called “Empty.”  This passage tells us that we were saved from the empty life that we inherited from our ancestors.  Peter is primarily writing to Jewish Christians, but when you think about it, our faith is needs to be our own.  While our parents and grandparents can be great examples of what it means to live a godly life, we cannot simply inherit their faith.  We must make our own choice to follow Christ.  I am thankful for my godly heritage. I am thankful to parents and grandparents and many others who lived a godly faith.  But they don’t save us.

It is Christ who saves us through his sacrifice on the cross – the precious blood of Christ that paid our ransom.  And this was the plan from the very beginning.  Peter tells us that God chose Jesus before the world began.  God loved us so much that he knew what was going to happen and had a plan in place from the very beginning.

As I mentioned during last week’s devotional, the cross by itself does not complete the work and here again, Peter reminds us of that, “Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead…”

Through the death and resurrection of Jesus we have been cleansed of sin because we obeyed the truth.  Interesting choice of words – First Peter uses the word truth and as this passage wraps up he uses “the eternal, living word of God.”  Both of these words describe Jesus.  We often think of the eternal, living word of God to be the Bible, but as we are reminded in John…”In the beginning was the Word…and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

This is the truth and because we obeyed the truth, we are reminded to show sincere love.  I like that…sincere love…not a love that is fake…or superficial…but a real love…to each other…to those who are part of the faith…to those who are outside the faith.  We are to love each other deeply with all of our heart.  After all, “Jesus reminded us that the second greatest commandment was to love your neighbor as yourself.” We are reminded that all people are our neighbors.

As this passage concludes we are reminded of the hope that we have because of the risen Christ – the eternal, living word of God.  We are reminded that this new life that we have because of Christ, will last forever.