Sunday Thoughts

Birthdays, Football, Groundhogs…Oh my!

As I write tonight, we are watching the Super Bowl. I really don’t have a dog in this fight, but if you pressed me, I’m cheering for the Chiefs. Even though I’ve never lived anywhere near Kansas City, I have quite a few acquaintances from area who are all cheering for the hometown team. Plus it’s been 50 years since the Chiefs have won their last Super Bowl.

Today was Groundhog Day. Good old Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, which legend has it means spring will arrive early. So far we have not had much of a winter, but we got quite the snow shower this morning right before Sunday School and church. I did quite a bit of shoveling before both Sunday School and church. At the moment the temp is a balmy 34 – which is warm for this time of the year at this time of day.

This week, has been a week of celebrating a birth, and three birthdays. All three of our grandbabies had birthdays this past week, and so does our son. We even had the chance to be with our grand kids on Friday and Saturday. It was so fun.

Today in worship we celebrated the Presentation of Jesus, which is when Jesus was presented in the Temple by his parents and was met by Simeon and Anna. We had a good service despite the snow – which did knock our numbers down a little.

This week we have several meetings – a prayer meeting with our community pastors, as well as a business meeting with the same pastors. Things start ramping up this month. We are looking forward.

In January I was able to run 65 miles. My best January since 2015. I’m hoping for another good month in February with at least 70 miles. If all goes well, I plan on running one if not two half-marathons this fall.

That about wraps it up. Have a great week!

Sunday Night Thoughts

The interesting Twin Tiers winter continues…

Earlier this week, there was a thought that we might have another winter storm this weekend. That would be the second weekend in a row for a winter storm. In what is uncharacteristic for the coldest week statistically is that it was warm enough for rain. Yesterday morning we had a bit of a mix, but most of it fell as rain yesterday and we had about an inch of snow this morning. The seven day forecast has another winter storm possibility for next weekend.

This past week was a short week, because of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday. It was a great week for running and exercise. For the first time in over 8 weeks, I was able to run 20 miles. It feels so good to get that kind of mileage. I did learn that Olean is planning on a half marathon this fall. There is an outside chance I could run two halfs this fall. They would be the first half I have run since moving here. If so, I am going to need to do some serious training this summer. At this point, I am well over a two-hour pace. I would have to get down to a 9 minute mile to get under two hours and currently I am two minutes a mile slower. This will be a good challenge for me.

On Wednesday evening we had a good Kid’s Club. We are working through an eight week series on creation. We have around 3 students coming on a regular basis.

Yesterday we sort of took the day off, but it was good to step back.

This morning I woke up to shovel about an inch of the white stuff as we prepared for worship. We had a good service and the Holy Spirit was evident as we worshiped. I preached from James 2 and Matthew 25 – about the importance of working out our faith through our actions.

We were going to celebration Chinese New Year’s this afternoon by eating Chinese food, but it wasn’t suppose to be. So we ended up at Subway. At this point I am relaxing for the rest of the night and waiting to talk to our grandkids. That’s about it. Have a great week.

Sunday Night Thoughts

Hard to believe we are halfway through January. So far winter has been kind to us. The last couple of days have been hard to figure out. The forecast for yesterday was snow, so we decided to stay put – which once the snow started was a good decision. I shoveled the sidewalks several times and then finally this morning, salted them. It was nice not to have to be out in the snow. Right now it’s 22 degrees and tonight and tomorrow the lows are to be in the single digits. But a warming trend is on the way for later in the week.

Currently I am working on selecting a musical for Palm Sunday. I will be directing a community choir for Palm Sunday. This has been one of the highlights of the last couple of years.

The rest of the month is slow in relative terms and it is nice for the break, especially as we await the arrival of our third grandchild. This past week we were supposed to go to Buffalo for a district meeting but the weather was a bit crazy, so Pam and I decided to stay home and I think that was a good decision.

This morning was busy as I had to get the sidewalks clear. We had a small but good crowd this morning – the weather played a factor in attendance, as we are still getting lake effect snow. We may see a winter that Lake Erie doesn’t freeze over. We were hoping at sometime to go see Niagara Falls froze over, but we haven’t had that kind of cold.

It may have been winter dreary this morning, but we had a good service. God was evident as we sang and as I preached. This afternoon we have been relaxing and watching championship football. Since all my teams are out, I haven’t chosen who I’d like to see yet.

That about wraps it up. See you next week!

Sunday Night Thoughts

What a crazy week…at least in the weather department. We started the week with no snow on the ground. Wednesday came and we had lake effect most of the day. It was a miserable day to be a professional driver. I battled the snow on each one of my four trips. Because of the lousy weather, our Kid’s Club did not kick off this past week. We hope to kick off this Wednesday evening at a new time. We did have a warm up, but on Friday morning – it was snow, sleet, freezing rain, ice – what a mess. The local school district had a two-hours delay and we didn’t have to leave as early. By yesterday, the snow was disappearing and by this morning it was all gone. Like I said a pretty crazy week weather-wise.

On Monday, we met as local pastors for a prayer meeting. God met with us in a special way. He is moving in our community and we pray that the Holy Spirit continues to move. On Wednesday, we had our monthly business meeting for our clergy association. It is so cool to see pastors, of several different denominations work together to build the Kingdom of God. Following the meeting, we had almost white out conditions – like I said crazy.

Yesterday, we decided to enjoy the day, so we headed off to Jamestown to the Lucy/Desi Museum. After touring the museum, we visited the cemetery where she is buried and several other local landmarks dedicated to Lucille Ball’s memory. After that we went to Olive Garden. After all, if you’re there you’re family. It was a fun day off.

This morning we woke up to no internet, no phone, no cable, but fortunately heat and electricity. As we prepared for worship, I listened to some music on my computer that I had downloaded.

There was a wonderful Spirit of God in our worship service this morning. We had a Wesleyan Covenant Renewal Service. Pam taught a short devotional. Even though the service was more formal than our usual services – with responsive readings and prayers – it was well received. It was a reminder that confession is a regular part of the believer’s life – as is God’s grace.

This week, Pam and I are looking forward to heading to the Buffalo Southtowns for our Leadership Development Meeting. This is always a highlight of the month. We have board meeting Tuesday, Kid’s Club Wednesday, and prayer meeting on Thursday. I am really looking forward to what God has in store this week!

Sunday Night Thoughts

It’s been a crazy weekend of football. Yesterday, we watched an exciting nail-biter as the Bills played Texans. Being that we minister in the Western New York area, Bills fever was high. It was almost like my own home team was playing. At one point I stood watching the tv – like that was going to help. It was a disappointing loss for the hometown Bills. This afternoon, we were treated to more excitement as the Eagles hosted the Seahawks. I knew the chances of the Eagles winning wasn’t great, but still rooted for them, hoping all the way that there would be a chance for a comeback. Alas, that didn’t happen, so the teams I would really root for are out for the year.

In other news, it’s been a week that started as vacation and finished back at work. I got sidelined in my running this week with gout. By Thursday I was at least back to walking and yesterday I ran 5 miles. It has been nice to have about 10 days off from bus driving. Tomorrow Anna starts back to work, so slowly life is returning back to normal.

This morning in church, we celebrated Epiphany – yes for the purists we were a day early, but I felt it was important to highlight this significant event in the life of Jesus – the visit of the Magi. Yesterday, Anna and I spent the day preparing Reyes de Rosca or King’s Bread. We started the tradition last year and I thought it would be good to do it again.

This week we prepare for our Covenant Renewal Service next Sunday. We also restart our Kid’s Club on Wednesday night. That’s about all I have for this week. Have a great week.

Sunday Night Thoughts

As I write tonight, we are watching the Eagles and Cowboys duke it out for first place in the NFC East. I know it’s been a brutal season for both teams. It’s been tough to watch the Eagles lose to teams they should have beat. Football is a welcome diversion tonight.

It has been an extremely busy week – and we had snow during our bus runs this week, so it was an especially trying week.

There were a couple of good things this week.:

  • This week we went to see the newest Star Wars movie. Anna picked the date over a month ago. Our theatre has upgraded so we had reclining seats which made for a great movie theatre experience. Pam, Anna and myself really enjoyed the movie. I won’t say anymore, because I don’t want to spoil anything.
  • Last night, we had our annual Blue Christmas service. Before we moved to Eldred, we had never done a service like this, but it is a service that is moving, comforting, and offers hope at a very busy time of the year. Considering how busy our week was…it was nice to hit the pause button…the Blue Christmas service was that pause button.

There was a wonderful Spirit of worship as we gathered this morning. I preached on the unbelievable present. Jesus is the most unbelievable present we could ever receive. I soon as I finish this post, vacation begins…so with that…I’m out. Have a great week.

Sunday Night Thoughts

We have had some crazy weather this week. Today we had on and off snow showers. Yesterday started with rain, changed to snow. Last night I shoveled about 3/4 inch of slushy snow. This morning what was left of the shoveled slush was frozen – but not very thick – I shoveled the snow again – really not much and then salted. By church time, everything was good.

Yesterday, Pam and I and Anna did some shopping. We got gifts for some of our students. In the process, we also purchased gifts for a local family that we are helping. We had a great time. We were supposed to have an open house, but the snow mid-day put the kibosh on that.

This week was a fairly calm week, which was nice. This week, we are planning for our Blue Christmas service on Saturday. Looks like some snow may be falling this week, so that will be fun.

We had a wonderful Spirit-filled and Spirit-led service this morning. During Advent, I have been leading the musical worship. Pam has assisted me in leading the spoken parts of worship. I also preached this morning and was thankful for the way God spoke through me.

This afternoon our church and another church in the area combined to lead a service at a local nursing home. We had a great time and it was inspiring to hear the people sing. It was nice because I didn’t have to worry about the devotional. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing. That’s about all I’ve got. Have a great week!