Sunday Night Thoughts

It is Sunday evening, so that means it must be time for Sunday Night Thoughts. This is the longest running and most consistent weekly post in my blog, except maybe for the lectionary devotionals. You may notice that over the last few weeks, I have gone back to a writing post instead of the video posts. It seems like I go back and forth on that. One of the things I want to do is improve my writing, so I decided for the moment to go back to written posts. For most of its existence this post has had a static header. If I’m not mistaken, we had three different headers for the Sunday Night Thoughts post. For the moment, I’ve decided to make it a dynamic header – taken sometime during the Sunday in which it is written. For now I might just stick with taking pictures off the front porch of the parsonage. The sun in this picture is just below the trees behind the church.

  • One word for the weather – hot. We did have some thunderstorms roll through after we went to bed last night and a cold front went through and it did make a difference today. It was not nearly as humid nor as hot today. Despite the fact that it was only about 7 degrees cooler – it was much nicer feeling out there. We have been getting enough rain to keep the grass growing and it is growing like crazy. I need to give it a trim tomorrow.
  • We had a good time at the Farmer’s Market yesterday, despite the heat. I have a feeling that the heat affected the number of people showing up, because the crowd seemed thinner yesterday. By the end of the morning, you could literally feel the air sticking to your skin. Yuck! We put away the stuff and I immediately took a shower.
  • I did get out for a walk several mornings – walking 4 miles each morning. Even before sunrise the temps were over 70 and some days that made for a tough walk.
  • This week we did some preparation for our Movie Under the Stars. We are showing Jonah: a VeggieTales Movie on Friday night. I needed to check out our projectors that the church had to make sure we had everything to make it work. Friday evening, we did a test run in the sanctuary – with the new inflatable screen. It should be great out in the field. We also purchased a popcorn machine and will be giving out free popcorn on Friday night as well as free water. We are doing this to get visibility in our community and share the love of Jesus.
  • I’m also excited about an opportunity we have to serve the middle school which is on the next block. Our church is also collecting school supplies that we will be giving to the school at the beginning of the school year.
  • I was really hoping that we had seen the last of COVID-19, but it appears that it is back on the rebound. I’m really hoping it doesn’t affect future events.
  • I am also looking forward to our Vacation Bible School. We are doing the Go Fish Guys Backstage with the Bible. It is a program we have done before and I believe really ministers to the children.
  • We did have a wonderful service this morning. I could sense the Holy Spirit from the opening moments of the service. I always love when someone asks to be anointed and someone asked again this morning. I could sense God’s power as I preached about ministry service and we finished the service with a video called Undefiled Worship by Elizabeth Rhyno. The video is no longer available on YouTube but it is powerful.

That about wraps it up for this week. Have a great week. Carpe Diem!

Sunday Night Thoughts

It is that time again – it is Sunday evening, so it must be time for Sunday Thoughts. To say that the last week has been warm would be an understatement. We are certainly in the Dog Days of Summer – and its only mid-July. It’s been a good week since I last wrote.

I was able to get out for a couple of walks earlier in the week. I went to the podiatrist on Thursday and got a shot in my foot for the planter’s fasciitis. Overall my foot is feeling pretty good. Tomorrow morning I’m going to try to get a walk in and try to be consistent this week.

As I type my Sunday Lectionary devotional video is uploading. For some reason it is taking a long time today. Not exactly sure why. I am shooting it on my phone. I think its because it is a high resolution video, so that is why it is taking some time.

This past weekend, we heading up to my mom and dads for a Friday and Saturday. We had a great time together. It was the first time that we had been together since last August. On the way home, we had traffic, the likes I have not seen much of. From just north of Chester, PA till we got to Milford, DE, the traffic was start and stop. North of Chester there was an accident on I-476, but most of the rest of the slowdowns appeared simply to be too much traffic volume. I was never was never so happy to see two lane road in all my life.

I am excited about several of the events that are coming up at The Journey. We had some great volunteers yesterday fill in for us while we were in PA. We are getting ready for a Movie Under the Stars two Fridays from now. We are showing the Veggietale Jonah movie. We have purchased an inflatable screen and a popcorn machine. It should great and we can use those items for other events – like our Trunk or Treat. We are also getting ready for Vacation Bible School is just a little over a month away and we are looking forward to this event. We will be outside under a tent.

We had a good worship service this morning. I preached on the topic of fellowship. The Spirit was sweet as we worshiped. We have a great musical worship team that helps usher us into the presence of God. It’s easy to preach after that.

It looks like another hot week is on the way and this week, I wait for some of my packages to arrive…so that wraps it up. Carpe Diem!

Sunday Thoughts

Welcome to Sunday Night Thoughts for July 4, 2021. It is Independence Day – the day that the colonies declared their independence from England on July 4, 1776. It has been 245 years since that declaration was made. Tonight many will gather in communities all across the nation and watch fireworks displays. There was an unfortunate event in our region. This morning many of the fireworks designated for the Ocean City, MD display were accidentally detonated. That means Ocean City’s display will not happen tonight. Fortunately there was only one minor injury.

It’s been a good week here – although we are now experiencing the heart of the summer traffic. It seems we try to avoid the traffic, but that isn’t easy to say the least.

We did have some thunderstorms roll through over the week. The scariest was on Thursday evening. North of us there was a tornado between Harrington and Slaughter Beach which brought it very close to the town of Milford where James works. As far as I know the tornado was north of the town. James did a great job getting people to safety while at work.

Last night we got a few more thunderstorms and headed north to listen to the strains of the 287th Delaware Army Band. Because of the weather, they had to move indoors and did a series of small ensembles. They did a great job. I especially enjoyed the tuba player who was laying down the bass licks like a bass player. The closing was emotional as we stood and sang God Bless America along with the army band and many veterans. It was very moving. We followed it up with some Dairy Queen.

Yesterday, we set up again for the Millsboro Farmers Market. It was great making relationships once again. We did sell a good amount of hot dogs and scrapple sandwiches. While there we learned of some great opportunities that are available to us and I am excited about that. Each week we are meeting people and learning how to do what we are doing more efficiently. This past week, I received business cards and we got some pens. Our next big event is our Movie Under the Stars. We are going to set up in the big lawn next to the church and show the Veggietales Jonah movie. Really looking forward to that.

This week we go back to the podiatrist and maybe I can get back to running. So that wraps it up! Seize the Day!

Sunday Thoughts

Here we are at 4:30 on a Sunday evening – a very good Sunday – following up on a good week. As I write, I am listening to a playlist on Spotify that I’ve made up and it consists of some of my favorite worship songs – along with some classics – such as “Easter Song” by 2nd Chapter of Acts. Currently This I Believe (The Creed) is playing. Each Sunday, I come back over and clean up the platform of mics and cables and music, so that one of of couples can come clean and not have to deal with vacuuming around all the stuff. That job is done. As I have already written, it’s been a good day.

  • This week started off with District Conference. It was our first conference in the Chesapeake District and it was hosted by Emmanuel Wesleyan in Salisbury. I drove with Pam and our two delegates – one lay – one alternate. It was good to catch up with some old friends from FLAME and old classmates from Pam’s UWC days. It was an inspiring 5 or six hours. Following conference we had a celebration of ministry, honoring those who hit certain milestones – time wise in ministry. We also honored those who were retiring. Several from our church came to honor the former pastor here at The Journey – who retired this past year. Following that, we had ordination and that is always a special time. At the end of conference and ordination, the delegation from The Journey headed over to Olive Garden and we had a great time of fellowship.
  • Last week I managed to catch the corner of a railroad warning sign with the church riding mower. One of the men from church came over to fix it. We did have to take the deck to get the bracket rewelded – but it was also a bit rusty. When we got it back the next day, we put some new blades on it and cleaned up the deck. It is always good to spend time with church people – especially working together with them. When it comes to mechanical stuff, I watch and learn.
  • We had a couple of days break from the hot and humid stuff mid-week, but by this weekend it was back. It looks like the hot and humid is here to stay at least through Fourth of July.
  • Yesterday, we again had a booth at the Millsboro Farmers Market. One of the purposes is to build relationships with our community and I think we did a good job at that yesterday. I really do believe that we are going to see fruit from that. We are also planning to do a Back-to-School supplies drive for the local middle school in August. All morning the weather threatened. At 11:45, we decided to start breaking down, and I’m glad we did. We barely had all the things put away when the skies opened up. But in reality, we were already soaked from the heat and humidity.
  • All that brings us to today – we had a great service today. It started as we prayed with our Wesleyan pastor friends and then the Spirit moved during our service. It was really amazing and I was emotional as I lead worship and even as I preached. I challenged our congregation to make a list of those who need Jesus and then pray for them and see how the Lord leads.

So that about wraps up the week. At least the important stuff. As I finish writing this, I am listening to Rend Collective’s Build Your Kingdom Here. That’s what it is all about – building the Kingdom of God. Our world needs revival and we need the Lord. Have a great week! Seize the Day!

Sunday Night Thoughts

The last 72-96 hours have been a whirlwind – don’t worry – it’s not a bad thing, but I have moved from one thing to the next. At the moment, I finished up putting away mics and instruments on the platform. It makes it much easier for our volunteer cleaning crew. I also put away the music from this morning and now sitting just off the sanctuary listening to Matt Redman. This morning during worship I mentioned his song The Heart of Worship. So I thought it would be cool to listen to some of his music. I heard a version of Better Is One Day that I have never heard before. It was much different. We did get a bit of a break in the weather until Friday, when the hot and humid returned.

It’s been a fun week. On Wednesday evening, I put out signs to sell the church van and by noon on Thursday it was sold. It was an answer to prayer. We sold a 1991 International bus and now the van, so that we could upgrade to a much more practical vehicle for ministry. That kept me busy, because I discovered the wipers needed to be replaced and that was a little more difficult to change out than I expected.

On Thursday, I thought I would help the grass cutting crew by mowing the grass. We have a nice lawn tractor – so it was fun to cut the grass. I enjoy helping where possible. This week we also got our network at church working better, so little by little. (By the way, as I type I have a fly annoying me :))

Yesterday, the church set up a booth at the Millsboro Farmers Market and we advertised our Vacation Bible School which is coming up in August. I’m also planning toward a family movie night in late July out on the lawn. I’m hoping we can make that a regular deal. We are looking forward to developing relationships with our community and sharing the good news of Jesus with them. I had a nice talk with the mayor on Saturday. It is good to be getting to know the people around here. This next week our booth is going to add hot dogs and chips to sell and give away bottled water.

I continue to be grounded on the running front, but I did go to the podiatrist and he fixed me up. I have new orthotics and I’ve been on a steroid pack to calm the angriness in foot. I have been out walking, but Friday I tore up the back of my heel ( I ended up with a blister) so I haven’t been out for a walk the last two days.

Tomorrow is District Conference. This will be our first time ever at the Chesapeake District conference, but we know several people on this district. Since we’ve not been part of this district, I don’t know quite what to expect.

Today we had a good worship service – my kids ordered at Texas Roadhouse yesterday for our Father’s Day dinner. We honored the men in our church and I led the worship and preached on the importance of corporate worship and what worship is. We had a great spirit in service this morning. It took almost 45 minutes for everyone to clear out of the sanctuary – I think that shows how much The Journey enjoys being together.

This afternoon, we have been relaxing and now I’ll sign off. See you next week for Sunday Night Thoughts. Seize the Day!

Sunday Night Thoughts

Welcome to Sunday Night Thoughts for June 13, 2021. It’s been a good week and as we finished up the week, it was nice to get some relief from the crazy hot and humid weather we had earlier in the week. My run on Monday was brutal. I don’t know how the rest of the week would have gone, but more on that in a moment.

This past week, we put the final touches on selling a bus that our church owned. We are still trying to sell a van as well, so that we can upgrade our church vehicles. Last Sunday night, after I wrote Sunday Night Thoughts, I met with the church buying the bus and finished the transaction. Yesterday they texted me to tell me they had picked up the bus. The spot where the bus was sitting now looks a little barren.

On Friday one of the men from the church showed up to mow the grass. When someone shows up, I do the trimming and move the vehicles so that they don’t have to get off the tractor to move them and also they don’t have to cut as close for everything – so it makes their job easier. While we were working on the grass it started raining, that made things a little interesting. The grass stuck to everything. After I got all the trimming done, I took the blower to clean off the sidewalks, but everything was still a little wet. Yesterday I completed the job – and the place looks great. We got some help from the neighbors – one on Friday – he took his big zero turn mower to our field and after the bus was moved yesterday, another neighbor mowed where that was sitting.

We were able to mow the grass, because we have been getting some rain and that is nice. It was getting so dry. Our mandavilla plants at the front of the church were needing a watering every day.

So getting back to Monday, after my run, we went grocery shopping and by the time I got home could barely walk. It turns out I have a case of planters fasciitis – ugg! I’ve already documented it on my running update post.

Speaking of posting, I’ve tried to get back to somewhat of a regular schedule. During the transition, I really fell off the wagon. I’ve also tried to go back to writing more instead of doing so much video blogging.

Today was a great day – it was long – but a great day. I got a special surprise for worship in that my Aunt Velma showed up for worship. I haven’t seen her in a few years. It was good to get to see her after several years. One of my cousins spouses brought her for worship. We had a good worship service this morning.

Following worship, we went to a birthday party our littlest attender. She turned three this week. We went to the Millsboro Pizza Palace and it’s a great local place to eat. Once that was over, we came home and relaxed. It seems like the afternoon has dragged on.

So that about wraps up the week. Blessings…

Sunday Night Thoughts

It’s hard to believe that another week has rolled by. Last weekend, it was rainy and cold. This weekend was hot and humid. I woke up and went for a three mile walk with 1 mile run this morning. When I got back to the house, I said to Pam, “This morning I am thankful that our house and the church have air-conditioning.” Yesterday we got into the low 90’s and made it into the 90’s again today. It was 72 degrees at 5:15 this morning when I went out for my walk. Currently the temp is 91. The good thing is that we got some rain this past week. It has been extremely dry over the last couple of weeks. I commented that I’ve worn my sunglasses more in the last couple of weeks than I wore them in total in Eldred.

As I wrote in my running update yesterday, I am making good progress in the running department and already have 29 miles for the month. I am currently in a running streak, meaning that I plan to run at least a mile every day between Memorial Day and Independence Day. Today marked day 7. I’m really hoping to make it the whole way and not develop injuries like happened last time, but that was several years ago. It is getting tough to run on these warm mornings, but I’ll keep pressing on.

This past week we celebrated Memorial Day – we remembered the day at church on Sunday and then we were invited over as guests for a cookout on Monday. We had fun and had hot dogs, hamburgers, and corn on the cob. It was my first corn on the cob of the season.

The first Wednesday of June is Global Running Day. I changed up my routine so that I would run one of my longer runs on Wednesday. It’s funny because the first Friday of June is National Doughnut Day.

Friday, Pam and I went out on a date. It’s been way too long since we have been out by ourselves. We took a trip to Salisbury and went to Applebee’s and used a gift card that we had received several months ago. We also went to the mall. It’s the first time we’ve been to the mall since last summer. We had gone to the Olean Mall to get some running shoes – which was one of the reasons we were headed there again.

I’ll admit, it’s a little surreal. It’s weird going into places without a mask on. Pam and I had a great day on Friday and it was nice to get out. ‘

Like I said, we woke up to some warm temps this morning. It seems there was quite a bit to get done before worship. We had a good worship service today. The Journey has a great worship team and I enjoy leading them. We received communion this morning and it was a special time. Following worship, we had a meeting for Vacation Bible School. We are going to use the Go Fish Guys “Backstage with the Bible.” I love the songs and I love the lessons. We had a great crew show up for the meeting and everyone is excited about it. We are looking forward to sharing the gospel with the boys and girls of Millsboro.

I think that about wraps up the week. So God bless, and Seize the Day!

Sunday Night Thoughts

Here we are on a Sunday night. We have about an hour till it gets dark. It has been an amazing day – especially considering it was a hectic week. I am enjoying relaxing and not having to think about what I need to get done – and other deadlines.

This past week, I spent the week getting our taxes done. That’s never a job that I look forward to. But it is done for another year. I was also preparing for our local church conference. The first one I’ve officiated in two years. One of the cool things is that I was able to get in all my running this week, although it appears today I broke my run/walk streak again for the second time this week. Tomorrow I will get started again.

Yesterday we decided to get out of the house for a while and traveled down to Salisbury, MD. That was fun. We needed to pick up some stuff for decorating for Pentecost Sunday, which is coming up this coming Sunday. I am looking forward to that celebration. We also looked for several markers on the Trans-peninsular Line. This is the line that divides Maryland and Delaware. We even made it to the SW corner of Delaware. It is easily accessible by road and is not a tourist trap.

Today was a great day. We had a great Zoom call prayer meeting with Wesleyan pastors. Then it was time for worship. During the worship service, Pam and I were officially installed as pastors of The Journey. I preached a State of the Church address – along with lots of visuals. One of the interesting things was that I was able to control the presentation software remotely with my tablet. It is cool not to have to rely on the tech person, even though he does a great job, but this was a fairly dynamic presentation so I wanted to control when the slides changed. My message was well received and then it was time for our Local Church Conference. That went very well and afterward we went out for lunch. For the first time since November, Pam and I went out to eat in a restaurant. It was a different experience for sure.

This week, on Friday, Delaware will be relaxing many of the COVID-19 restrictions. Restrictions limiting capacity will be eliminated but you will still need to maintain a distance of 3 feet. Also in most outdoor masking restrictions will be lifted and if you are vaccinated you will be able to remove your mask indoors. I am pleased that many in our congregation have been vaccinated. Sussex County has over half of 18+ fully vaccinated. So a move toward normal is beginning to seem possible.

That about wraps it up for the week. See you next week following Pentecost Sunday!