Music Monday

A very interesting cover from the new NMB album (Neal Morse Band) Innocence and Danger. It’s a cover of the Simon and Garfunkel “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The 2 minute instrumental intro has some Kansas vibes and I really love the last verse “Sail on silver girl…” Beautiful stacked harmonies at least 3 part if not 4. The song has some great spiritual overtones as well.

Sunday Thoughts

Sixteen Years to the Day

As I start to type, we are watching the evening news. I was reminded that 16 years ago today Katrina slammed into New Orleans. We had just recently moved to Martinsville, VA. I remember the video clips…and the ensuing rise in gas prices. It was one of the few times in my life, I remember paying over $4 a gallon. Today again we are watching the video clips of roofs being peeled off houses, rising water…and all this with the COVID surge in Louisiana. It looks like we will feel the effects of the remains on Wednesday and Thursday.

Going North

Last Sunday we began the anticipation of a road trip. Monday morning we got up and went to get our COVID tests. Dummy me forgot my wallet, so we had to circle back home and come back to get my test. We needed negative COVID tests to go see our family in Canada. We received the good news early on Tuesday morning and began the plans to be there by Wednesday afternoon.

Going across the border was surreal to say the least. There wasn’t much traffic headed across the border. It took a bit longer because of the paperwork that was needed – proof of vaccination, proof of a negative COVID test. But it was all worth it to see the looks on the faces of our family as we arrived. We were greeted by Anna and Robert at the door and got hugs and then we met the rest in the living room. Richeldis gave be a big hug – which I wasn’t expecting and that made my eyes leak.

We had a great time for two and a half days in Canada and started back home early yesterday morning. It’s hard to get three active children for a portrait. I took nearly 20 photos to get this shot.

A Praise and Worship Service

We didn’t do much else this week except go to Canada. We did run into some afternoon thunderstorms which did create a challenge driving, especially in Philadelphia. We got home about 4 PM and started preparing for worship today.

This morning we had a Praise and Worship service. We sang songs of praise, gave testimonies, sang some favorite hymns and worshipped God through musical praise. It was a great service and the Holy Spirit was evident. We even had a few new people in worship with us – and some people who haven’t been there in a long time.

This week things get back to normal, but our church is serving lunch to the teachers at the middle school just down the street. We are planning on grilling hamburgers, so we are hoping we don’t get affected by the remnants of Ida.

That’s about all I have. Seize the Day!

Prayer for the Week

O Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow after us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Letter or the Spirit of the Law

14th Sunday after Pentecost | August 29, 2021

Song of Solomon 2:8-13 and Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9 • James 1:17-27 • Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Mark 7:1-8 New Living Translation

One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating. (The Jews, especially the Pharisees, do not eat until they have poured water over their cupped hands, as required by their ancient traditions. Similarly, they don’t eat anything from the market until they immerse their hands in water. This is but one of many traditions they have clung to—such as their ceremonial washing of cups, pitchers, and kettles.)

So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.”

Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,

‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship is a farce,
    for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’

For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.”

Mark 7:14-15 New Living Translation

14 Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. 15 It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.”

Mark 7:21-23 New Living Translation

21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”

Sunday Thoughts

It’s Sunday evening so time for Sunday Thoughts. This past week was spent hosting Vacation Bible School at the Journey. We had a great week and I am very thankful for our volunteers. We had a great group who did a great job. Backstage with the Bible is history. This was the first time Pam and I had ever done an outdoor Vacation Bible School. The weather made it a challenge – partly because of the high dew points and warm temps – then for several nights we had the threat of rain. One night it rained the whole time we were having VBS. One night it let loose about an two hours before, but stopped about about 4:30. It was interesting trying to do video outside and some of my equipment had some difficult moments. But by the time we went live every night – things worked the way they should. Like I’ve already said, we had a great time.

Now we get ready to do our teacher’s luncheon for the middle school two blocks away. I am so thankful again to one of my board members who is putting it all together. That will be on September 1. We are looking forward to serving our teachers.

I really tried to spend today as a Sabbath – at least once church was over. We had a good service this morning. Pam preached about Elijah and how sometimes we have to wait for God to put all our pieces together and that we need to follow God’s directions for our lives. She did a great job.

The summer is rapidly drawing to a close. It also mean that the tourists traffic will be less. I am looking forward to that. Looks like tonight’s Sunday night thoughts is a little shorter. Have a great week and Carpe Diem!

Prayer for the Week

Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.