Picture of the Week

This week’s prompt was Wabi Sabi. It’s a Japanese concept that finds beauty in the abandoned. We were headed to a nearby city and took a wrong turn and came across this abandoned building. I loved the initial shot but it was too clean. Then I edited it in my phone and I love the results.

Watch and Pray

25th Sunday after Pentecost | November 14, 2021

1 Samuel 1:4-20 and 1 Samuel 2:1-10 • Hebrews 10:11-14, (15-18), 19-25 • Mark 13:1-8

Mark 13:1-8 | New Living Translation

13 As Jesus was leaving the Temple that day, one of his disciples said, “Teacher, look at these magnificent buildings! Look at the impressive stones in the walls.”

Jesus replied, “Yes, look at these great buildings. But they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”

Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives across the valley from the Temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him privately and asked him, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled?”

Jesus replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

The Widow’s Mite

24th Sunday after Pentecost | November 7, 2021

Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 and Psalm 127 • Hebrews 9:24-28 • Mark 12:38-44

Mark 12:38-44 | New Living Translation

38 Jesus also taught: “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. 39 And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. 40 Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished.”

41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.

43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”

Sunday Thoughts

Daylight Saving Time has ended, and so I caught this picture about 5:15 this evening. I was headed over to church to get ready for our acoustic night of worship. It’s part of something that I am calling 1st Sundays. The first Sunday evening of each month we are planning some type of special event. Next month we have a harp ensemble coming. In January we will have a Covenant Renewal Service and in February, we are planning a chili cook-off. Tonight’s night of worship was fun because we did it in an informal way with just me on guitar and vocals and Anna on flute. It took me back to the nights we were at Emmaus Road (a coffee house ministry) in Bradford, PA. It topped off what has been a really good week.

So since I didn’t write anything last Sunday. I was way too tired, let me say that our Trunk or Treat event was a great success. We had over 800 people come onto our property. The Millsboro Police and Millsboro Fire Police helped us out with traffic and keeping our guests and their guest safe. Our properties sit on opposite corners of an intersection. I was so please with The Journey. We had lots of help. I would estimate that 80% of our regular attenders were involved in some way at Trunk or Treat. That is truly amazing. I am grateful to God for the congregation of The Journey and the leadership. I really do believe we have some great days ahead of us.

It took most of Monday to recover from Trunk or Treat. I didn’t even go out on a run because I was so sore. But I did bask in what was accomplished. Several times on Sunday night I was brought to tears by God’s faithfulness. We took it easy and recovered from Sunday. Most of the rest of the week was doing stuff that needed to be done. I and a man from our congregation got our electrical service out on our field back up to snuff. Some of the electrical equipment had taken a beating from the weather over the years. We replaced a couple outdoor receptacle covers and even some receptacles. I did some organizing and got to organize some of the church’s sound equipment. Pam and I did get to take leftover cookies to several local organizations and told the people they were a gift from the church.

Yesterday was really nice because I stayed vigilant and was able to take the day off and not have to worry about church stuff. We went to the Nanticoke Indian Museum. In case you didn’t know, November is National Native American Month. They had several displays and vendors as well as free admission to the museum. It seemed like bed time would never come and add to that that we gained an hour. I was up and ready to roll at 5 this morning.

We had a good service this morning and I preached on the importance of shining like stars from Philippians 2. The afternoon melted away and now it’s time to wrap it up. It’s been a good week and I look forward to what is ahead. Carpe Diem!

Prayer for the Week

O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

All Saints Day | November 1, 2021

Isaiah 25:6-9 and Psalm 24 • Revelation 21:1-6a • John 11:32-44

John 11:32-44 | New Living Translation

32 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them.

They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Then Jesus wept. 36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” 37 But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”

38 Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. 39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.

But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”

40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” 41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” 43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”