Have Mercy On Me

22nd Sunday after Pentecost | October 24, 2021

Job 42:1-6, 10-17 and Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22) • Hebrews 7:23-28 • Mark 10:46-52

Mark 10:46-52 | New Living Translation

46 Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. 47 When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

48 “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him.

But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

49 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”

So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” 50 Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.

“My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”

52 And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.

Tuesday Quote

Today’s quote comes from Colin Powell, who as you may know died yesterday. Several years ago, Jo Anne Lyon (who served with World Hope International and served as the General Superintendent of the Wesleyan Church) was in Washington, DC for reception at the State Department. There was a film premiering about human trafficking at the DOS. Colin Powell was the Secretary of State at the time. Jo Anne relates that one of Colin Powell’s rules of leadership was the above. In memory of Colin Powell, I thought I would share this quote that Jo Anne Lyon shared via Facebook.

Sunday Thoughts

Good evening and welcome to Sunday Night Thoughts for October 17, 2021. It has been a busy week here. The early part of the week was dreary to say the least. We had an almost constant drizzle/rain for three days. On Tuesday afternoon, the sun broke out for a moment and we caught this rainbow and just like that it was gone and the clouds and dreariness moved back in. That continued through Wednesday.

Early Wednesday morning, I was up a 2 AM to head to Indiana. I’ve already written a post about how God provided a vision for The Journey to acquire a new van/bus. We loaded up an RV for Elkhart, IN to pick up this beautiful addition to our ministry. This morning we got to use it for the first time. It is 15 passengers and has room for 2 wheelchairs and comes complete with a ramp to bring people on and off the van. Everyone here is so excited. The picture below depicts us taking possession of the bus.

We turned around and headed back for home and arrived here around 4 AM on Thursday morning. That means I was pretty much wiped for the rest of the Thursday and had to push through the fog to get ready for Sunday.

Yesterday, we had praise team rehearsal and then Pam, James, and I headed for Ocean City, MD. This week they were offering free admission to the county museums. We decided to go to the Life Saving Station Museum in OC. The Life Saving Stations were a precursor to the US Coast Guard. It was a fascinating history lesson. Not only was the museum free, but because of a special event in OC, so was the park and ride, which was great because there was no parking available downtown. We learned this the hard way by trying to find a place downtown and then elected to go back to the park and ride.

Upon arriving downtown, we headed for the boardwalk for some food. Except for Thrashers Fries, this was the first boardwalk food we had. We stopped at A-Station. The food was delicious and served hot. Finally we got back home and prepared for today.

We had an awesome worship service this morning. Not only that, but The Journey threw us a little Pastor Appreciation reception. It was a bit overwhelming. They loved on us well and as you can see we had quite the spread of food. It’s been a great week.

Before I wrap it up, it has been a good week of running. I need to get back to posting about my running again, now that I have healed and am back at it. I took in 19 miles this week and am really happy about that, even if the pace is slow, but it feels great.

That about wraps it up for this week. I am looking forward to what this week has in store. Have a great one and Seize the Day!

Prayer for the Week

Set us free, loving Father, from the bondage of our sins, and in your goodness and mercy give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Leader Must Be a Servant

21st Sunday after Pentecost | October 17, 2021

Job 38:1-7, (34-41) and Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c • Hebrews 5:1-10 • Mark 10:35-45

Brown, Ford Madox, 1821-1893. Jesus Washing Peter’s Feet, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56655 [retrieved October 16, 2021]. Original source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jesus_washing_Peter%27s_feet.jpg.

Mark 10:35-45 | New Living Translation

35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came over and spoke to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do us a favor.”

36 “What is your request?” he asked.

37 They replied, “When you sit on your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.”

38 But Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?”

39 “Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!”

Then Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup and be baptized with my baptism of suffering. 40 But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left. God has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen.”

41 When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. 42 So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

A Vision…A Reality…A Miracle

Yesterday was spent with people from our church, riding in an RV from Delaware to Indiana, so that we could pick up a bus. It was a vision that came into reality by way of a miracle. On our trip out to Indiana, I was simply a passenger. It’s been a long time since I’ve been a passenger. I spent some time sleeping and talking. At one point I pulled out my phone and started looking at Facebook between conversations. I almost always look at my memories. I showed one of my fellow passengers the photo that came up in my memories. She is the one who had the vision for the project of getting a new bus.

The trees here in Delaware are nowhere near this level of change this year, and neither were the leaves on our trip. That led to a conversation about this time a year ago. This picture was taken sometime between the time of our Zoom interview and a subsequent interview where several members of the board came to Olean to interview us at a local restaurant.

So fast forward a couple of weeks later, I received a call from our vice-chair wanting to know if I received some pictures from her via text message. I told her no. Finally we realized she texted them to our land line. A few moments later we received the pictures via text. For the purposes of this post, I’ll only show the relevant ones:

The 1991 International school bus the church had bought used from a local school bus contractor.
A 1997 Ford Club Wagon

I was surprised to see that the church owned a bus and a van. So let’s fast forward through some details. In November we travelled to Millsboro to interview and candidate and the church voted for us to be their pastor. In January we moved here.

The Vision

In February, following worship, two members who were married to each other – one a member of the board – approached me with a vision. They were excited that Pam and I were here and excited about the ideas that we had for reaching people with the Good News of Jesus. She shared that it would be really cool if we could sell both the existing vehicles and purchase a mobility vehicle. One of the reasons is that we have several older members and the current vehicles were not exactly accessible. The were able to be used for church events, but there were some who had difficulty climbing into our current vehicles. They wanted more than to replace a van, but a new vehicle that would handicapped accessible, but also used for our Best Year’s Fellowship (senior ministry) and something reliable to use to build our student ministry. I was a bit overwhelmed at the possibility and it seemed that the cost would be prohibitive.

I brought the idea to the board at the next board meeting. There was some good feedback at the meeting, but again they shared my concerns about the cost.

Now let’s fast forward to April. We were meeting with the finance committee about setting the budget and the subject came up again – this time with some real world numbers. It really seemed like this vision was more like a pipe dream than anything else. We discussed the amount of money we might get from selling the current vehicles. At best we felt we could get $5,000 for each. Then the question became how to we sell them? This was something that is not in my wheelhouse, nor was it something that I was comfortable with. But we continued praying.

God Answers

About a week later, our vice-chair went to a crafting weekend, where she met several people and started talking about this idea. One person said, “Get me pictures of your vehicles. I have all kinds of connections to camp directors and churches that are in need.” So I sent the pictures and by the end of the day, I was already getting calls. There were several interested buyers in the bus and I was wondering how this was all going to work out. I had decided that if I got an offer of at least $3,000 I would take it and proposed that to the Trustees and they thought that was a good idea. I thought we were going to sell it immediately, but it took a few weeks. We ended up selling it to the first church that contacted us – they had dropped out of contention – but then came back.

With the bus sold, I put up a post on Facebook Marketplace and put signs in the windows of the van. The next day, I had an offer – again for $3,000. Within 48 hours that deal was complete. So we had cash in hand of $6,000, but that left us a long way from the $60 to 70,000 we going to need.

So back to the crafting weekend, our vice-chair was talking to another lady and she told us there was a Wesleyan Heritage Foundation that granted money to district churches for projects to help seniors. The mobility bus certainly fit the criteria. The vice-chair sent me the link and I put together the application for the grant – and for a long time we didn’t hear anything.

The Miracle

A few weeks ago, we heard rumblings that our application was being reviewed. They needed some additional information, so I provided that. Then we began waiting again. I’ll never forget the night we received the news that our application had been granted for almost the full amount. It was a miracle, but the vision had not yet become a reality.

The Vision Realized

Following that news, I contacted the couple with the vision and said, “What do we do now?” and she went to work, trying to find us a vehicle. Over the last few weeks, Linda is been hard at work finding the appropriate vehicle for our needs. About two weeks ago, we were able to put a vehicle on hold and then the grant check arrived and then on the weekend, we put the appropriate pieces in place for our trip yesterday.

Purchasing the bus
The pickup crew and sales rep.
The back of the interior
The right side exterior

This morning, several of our members got to get their first ride. The excitement at The Journey is high and this is creating some great momentum. We are grateful to the Wesleyan Heritage Foundation that gave us the grant. Monies are available for any Wesleyan church in the Chesapeake District of the Wesleyan Church for projects that benefit seniors.

Sunday Thoughts

Overcast skies above Millsboro tonight

Yes, while we haven’t had completely overcast skies the last two day, that has been the general mood. We didn’t get much rain however. There was some rain overnight and a little this afternoon. It is a rare occurrence for us to have long periods of overcast, unlike our days in Eldred where that could be days on end. It is still staying summerlike. There are some leaves turning and some leaves falling, but for the most part it still seems like summer instead of early fall. This coming week we will again see temps into the 80’s. Most of that should change by the time next Sunday rolls around.

This was an interesting week to say the least. Because we had a guest musical artist in this morning, I didn’t have to prepare a message or work on the worship set, so it was an easier week, but the busy weeks are coming. This is going to be one of them. I’m glad this week was easy because Wednesday I came down with something – don’t know exactly what it was but it was nasty on Wednesday and Thursday. I feel great and Friday was a productive day – getting ready for the concert – I went out for a run, went to physical therapy, helped cut the grass and we relocated the speakers in our sanctuary. They were a bit low and I had cracked my head on them several times and so did others. They are now much higher and out of harms way.

Yesterday I went out for one of my longer runs since restarting. It was a slow 5 miles, probably because my body hadn’t totally recovered. But I am getting some good mileage in. I already have over 30 miles for the month.

This week finds me preparing for a special service on Friday evening. We are having a service for those who have lost pregnancies or lost a child. October 15th is the national day of remembrance. 1 in 4 woman have lost a pregnancy or had an infant child die. It is a traumatizing experience and we want to acknowledge that.

Last night we had a wonderful time of fellowship with our church. We had a ShrimpFest and we had some great food and even had leftovers. Our special musical guest was able to be part of the festivities as well.

Speaking of…We hosted Katy Kinard for a concert this morning. She does a great job and I love her honest spirit and songwriting. If you are looking for a solo, acoustic singer/songwriter, I encourage you to check her out. After worship, we went to our local Grotto Pizza and then sent them on their way and we came home to rest. It’s been great to just relax this afternoon – watch the Eagles win! Fly, Eagles, Fly!

That wraps it up. Have a great week and Seize the Day!