Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving Prayer

Last Thursday at our monthly Convocation clergy lunch, my friend Fr. Robbie was called on to bless the meal. He had just walked in the door, and he obviously had not expected to pray at that moment. However, without missing a beat, he prayed a prayer that brought all of us to quiet contemplation that continued for a while after the prayer was completed. I offer it (or words similar) for your use. I believe I will pray this prayer for the rest of my life. Blessings to all, Rev Jude

For food in a world where many go hungry,
For shelter in a world where many have no place to lay their heads,
For family, friends and colleagues in a world where many walk alone,
We thank thee, O Precious Lord.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday musings

Today is my birthday and the most wonderful gift is being birthed! Our church web site has been wonderful, but I didn't know how to operate or update it, and needless to say, it is WAY out of date. For my birthday, my son has rewritten the web site, updating everything and making it so that I will be able to update it myself. Or, if not, he says he'll do it for me once a month! I'm quite excited. We're not there yet, but within a few days curious people and even parishioners(!) can get information about our mission in the burbs.

On Saturday, we'll be feeding the workers on a Habitat for Humanity house. Most of our people are unable to actually climb up on roofs, etc., so we fix lunch for those who do -- making sure they have plenty of calories to burn while swinging those hammers! Then on Sunday, the Right Reverend Dena H. Harrison, Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Texas will be coming for confirmations. I just got a call that our new sign may be shipped tomorrow. There's a possibility it could be in place for her visit -- wouldn't that be wonderful? We have two confirmands, and one person being received into the Episcopal Church. It's going to be an exciting week....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I Sing a Song of the Saints of God

I sing a song of the saints of God,
patient and brave and true,
who toiled and fought and lived and died
for the Lord they loved and knew.
And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,
and one was a shepherdess on the green;
they were all of them saints of God, and I mean, God helping, to be one too.

They loved their Lord so dear, so dear,
and his love made them strong;
and they followed the right for Jesus' sake
the whole of their good lives long.
And one was a soldier, and one was a priest,
and one was slain by a fierce wild beast;
and there's not any reason, no, not the least,
why I shouldn't be one too.

They lived not only in ages past;
there are hundreds of thousands still.
The world is bright with the joyous saints
who love to do Jesus' will.
You can meet them in school, or in lanes or at sea,
In church, or in trains or in shops or at tea,
for the saints of God are just folk like me,
and I mean to be one too.
(Lyrics: Lesbia Scott)

This is definitely one of the reasons I love being Episcopalian! I love this song, and I'd never heard it as a Baptist. We will be singing it this morning, as we celebrate All Saint's Day. Technically, on the church calendar, All Saint's was yesterday, but we are given the freedom to "translate" this feast day to the following Sunday, so we go for it at St. Paul's. We will be praying for the saints in glory. We will read a necrology, listing all the names of family, friends and church members who have died this year.

We lost a faithful church member this week -- Newt Millen, a wonderful man who was 90 years young. We will be celebrating his life in a memorial service on November 14th. I am remembering so many who are now with the saints, and giving thanks for their impact on my life.

Who do you give thanks for today who is no longer with you, except in spirit? Give God the glory for all those wonderful people, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who loved and nurtured you -- and continue to bless you from heaven! May you have a joyous week...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Are You Worried Yet?

The following is the sermon I preached last Sunday. The scriptures from the Episcopal Lectionary for that day were: Exodus 32:1-14, Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23, Philippians 4:1-9 and Matthew 22:1-14, The problems we've been seeing in our economy have hit some of our parishioners pretty hard, and I felt called to reach out to them, and perhaps to you, reminding us all of God's love for us, and his saving grace and care. May God bless and keep you all.

Are you worried yet? I think we all feel some undercurrents of concern about what’s going on in the country today. In fact, there are more than a few of us who are downright scared. It’s no longer a matter of simply waiting for the elections next month and then everything will work out. Though we want to believe that if our candidate wins, changes will be made and our discomfort will dissipate: the economic downturn will somehow turn around and we’ll all be okay. But until that dream actually comes true some of us are having sleepless nights, and stomach pains, fearing what will happen next with the sunrise of each new day. Will we lose our home? Is my job going to be there next week? The shoes you bought for the kids when school started are already getting tight, and the slight reduction in the high price of gas somehow doesn’t make up for all the increased prices we’re seeing in the stores. It’s been eighty years and more since our country saw the kinds of problems we’re seeing today, and it’s easy to become frightened of this unknown and shaky chasm of a world that seems to have just opened up before us.

The Israelites were worried too. They were out in the wilderness and Moses their leader had disappeared up on the mountain in the clouds filled with thunder and lightening, and they were full of fear. I see a connection here between them and us, and I want to point it out: They, in their fear, grasped onto something to alleviate their unrest, their disquiet: and the thing they grabbed onto wasn’t God – in fact, it was GOLD: an idol of a calf made from gold -- it was wealth they worshipped. Isn’t everything better and worry banished if you have a surplus of shekels, plenty of gold, the luxury of a big bank account? For surely, having enough money to ward off the wolf from the door will result in happiness and freedom, right? Well, the Israelites found that the golden calf may have been the occasion for a party, but it did not bring lasting comfort and peace.

Our epistle for today, from Paul’s letter to the Philippians gives us some heartening news. He tells us that even when we don’t have enough…even in times of hardship and sickness and trouble: “The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” And he tells us to rejoice. His words are literally, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”

I sometimes wonder, do we Christians really know how to daily, moment-by-moment, rejoice? Oh, I think we do a really good job liturgically, having a bang up good time at Easter --- but what about our living into the wonder and excitement and sheer amazing JOY that should be ours every hour of every day? Are we truly in touch with how much God cares for us, and if so, shouldn’t that manifest itself in our lives with a deep abiding peace and great joy?

Now, I know I can’t get away with ignoring the parable for today from the book of Matthew, as difficult as it is. There is a way to tie all of this together, so let’s go to the gospel and seek out the message for us there.

Most of us have heard the explanation that those who refuse to come to the wedding banquet are the lawyers and scribes, the Pharisees and the Saducees who were given the opportunity to meet and listen to Jesus but could not get past their belief that the letter of the Law was the only way to God. First off, they believed that to have relationship with God you had to be a Jew, circumcised and ritually clean, and then you had to follow all the rules and regulations in the Torah. Their minds were not open and so they could not see any other way and they did not accept his teachings. Though Jesus was sent first to the Jews, many did not embrace him and his message of God as Love. So his salvific grace was poured out on all the people of the world, Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, saints and sinners: to anyone who would believe. This applies to us today, as surely as it did when Jesus said it. Christ’s love is offered to any and all – everyone is invited to the banquet.

But what about that poor man who didn’t have a wedding garment? This is the part of the parable where most of us, and I know I am one, have great difficulty. This is not our loving, accepting Jesus. The Jesus I know and follow wouldn’t say to bind someone hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness just because his attire was incorrect! Surely not: but maybe, just maybe, he is explaining something a bit deeper than clothing – perhaps something we do to ourselves. I feel confident that whoever this person was in the story, he went to the wedding festivities thinking he was doing the right thing: he’d been invited and had taken his place. He was there; he made the decision to accept the invitation. But perhaps he didn’t decide to be fully present to what was really happening, and perhaps that's what the wedding garment is all about. Perhaps he was there, having accepted the invitation, but his attitude, his garment, was one of sackcloth and ashes, rather than the spirit of joy that should accompany a wedding party. If the kingdom of heaven is like a wedding banquet, as children of the kingdom our natural attitude is to be peaceful, carefree, and full of joy – it’s party time all the time!

The more time and attention we pay to our relationship with God, the more we rely on Him, the more we are given that understanding of abiding – of living – in joy. Nobody has to have a closer walk with God. He has given us all the invitation and we can choose to accept it or not. You can walk alone if you choose to. You can choose to come to the wedding banquet and dance, and sing, and rejoice with all your heart. Or you can come to the wedding banquet and act like it’s a funeral if you want to. But why would you?

Remember Paul: that angry, frustrated, premier persecutor of Christians and anyone else who did not follow the letter, the jot and tittle of the Jewish Law? He had been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of Jesus, and when he was writing his letter to the Philippians, he was experiencing the words he wrote about living in joy. Paul had this attitude of living in joy when he was in the midst of other Christians and being well cared for, and when he was in pain and torment from physical ailments, and when he was in prison being beaten and maltreated for the faith. He, who had found a deep abiding joy through his awareness of being loved by God, tried every way he knew how to remind other followers of Christ to remain in that state of loving joy. When we can do that, when we can remain aware of how God cares for us, the worry and fear dissipate and blow away like so much smoke. It’s not a “pie in the sky by and by” sort of attitude, it is not that we don’t have to continue dealing with the hard decisions, it is simply and purely the blessing of knowing that as St. Julian of Norwich put it, “All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” And as Paul tells us today, “Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

So, try not to worry. Turn your concerns over to Him who will always guide and guard and keep you. Pay attention to the good, the amazing, overwhelming love in which He holds you. Rejoice in that love, share it with others, in His good time, all shall be well. Amen.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Working Out Our Salvation

What are we doing here? Why do we come to this place each Sunday to gather and say these words of praise and prayer? And especially today, what is this we are doing? Bringing these precious little girls and an even tinier little boy up here to the front of the congregation, saying these words (almost an incantation) then putting water and oil on their heads? These sweet little children who have no concept of what is really going on here, and do we really know what we do this day? Let us take a look these scriptures and see if we can come to a deeper understanding of these sacramental acts of the Christian faith that will be performed today.
“By what authority do you do these things,” the chief priests and elders asked Jesus, and he turned the question back on them: “Did the baptism of John come from heaven or was it of human origin?” They were afraid to answer, afraid to say what they really believed, and afraid to open their hearts to the heavenly possibilities, so Jesus knew they would not be open to hearing his answer to their question. Their hearts were hardened, closed to the possibility that John and Jesus’ authority came from God. So rather than answer their question, he told them a parable, a story, about two sons, one who refused to do the manual labor his father asked of him, but then changed his mind and went to the vinyard to work. The other said he would go labor, but then did not. Jesus asked, “Which one did the will of his father?” When the elders said the one who did the work, Jesus acknowledged that they recognized the truth, but then also told them that though they recognized the right way, they would be at the very end of the line in getting into God’s Kingdom.
What was it about these elders and priests that kept them from the kingdom of God? They said they believed, they lived their lives in strict obedience to all of the laws and rituals as set forth in the Torah – they focused their entire lives totally on doing what was right according to the religious laws of Israel. Why would they be rejected in favor of the lowest of the low: the tax collectors and prostitutes? Because their faith was one of law, not heart. They had hearts that were closed to the idea that through the reconciliation of baptism, those who were ritually unclean, who were sinners, were washed anew and given a clean and perfect entrance into God’s kingdom.
There is a phrase that I love: “conversion of the heart” – a willingness and ability to open your mind, your heart and your attitude to the possibilities of love and openness toward your fellow man, even to those you always considered not worthy. This was the love that Jesus preached: the being born again – creating a new heart within each and every one of us. This was what he said the elders and priests had failed at – which would keep them from truly experiencing the kingdom of God. They were so convinced that their way was the only way, that they determinedly held on to what they just knew was right, and were not open to God’s amazing and more loving possibilities.
So here we are. We will spend this time this morning proclaiming that we believe in a loving God. These parents and their families and friends will bring Aidan, Kamala and Asenatta up here to Reverend Anne and give her charge of them, to baptize and bless them, and then we will all join in saying that we receive them into the household of God. WE receive them into the household of God? Yes, this place is one small manifestation of God’s home, God’s kingdom. We, the people of St. Paul’s of Pflugerville, state and acknowledge each Sunday that as believers we are a part of God’s kingdom. But what do we really mean, and how far along on that road of conversion of our hearts and minds have we truly come?
Our namesake Paul knew and lived with that conversion of the heart. It came upon him in a most dramatic way on the road to Damascus. For decades Paul persecuted the followers of Jesus because they did not follow a strict interpretation of Old Testament Law, and spoke of Jesus as the Son of God, and proclaimed the resurrection. And then, Paul was struck down to the point of blindness, and was brought low until his heart broke open, and he was as changed as any person can possibly be. His conversion changed him from a persecutor into a proselytizer, the greatest evangelist the world had ever seen. His letters tell us all about how to live as Christians, and this particular passage from his letter to the church at Philippi is among my very favorites.
The scholars believe that this beautiful poem, which he quotes in the letter, was originally written by Paul, and was probably recited or sung during worship in the very early church. But the preface to the poem is really what grabbed me in studying for this sermon, and I paraphrase: IFYOU BELIEVE AT ALL (and those words are mine) “IF then there is any encouragement in Christ, [if there is] any consolation from love, [if there is] any sharing in the Spirit, [if there is] any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”
My friends, IF we believe in Christ Jesus, IF we call ourselves Christian, this is how Paul tells us we ARE TO BE... And then the poem begins: “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death--even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
And Paul continues, to those people at Philippi and to us, “Therefore, my loved ones, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION in awe and amazement; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
You see, we are here today to gather and support one another in working out our salvation! Proclaiming God’s love, at work in us all -- proclaiming the glory and joy his love brings…and then, working together to take that love out into the world. It is in community that we as believers hold each other up and remind each other of who we are supposed to be. We study and learn about God here, and we become one family through our acceptance and belief in His love. It is well and good and proper that these children are being baptized today, brought into the kingdom in an official way, marking what has already been promised in their names. These parents come, vowing to raise these three in the love and knowledge of Christ --- and these godparents also vow to make sure that these children will know God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three will grow up, never knowing a time when they didn’t have Jesus in their lives. This is what you parents and sponsors are promising today, before God and this family of faith.
But it’s nigh impossible to do all by ourselves: it is imperative for our spiritual growth that we not try to “go it alone.” So wherever you go, wherever you might live in the future, in keeping these vows, find a church family in which to belong. We hope that the Murrays and the Moggas will part of our church family for many years. But few of us stay in one place throughout our lives. However, wherever we go, there are church families waiting with open hearts and open arms to embrace us, and together, with fear and trembling (which means in total awe that God could love us this much) we walk together, working throughout our lives to learn how to love as Christ Jesus has taught us.
This is why we are here, and why we do what we do this day: We come to worship and to praise him. We come here, hoping and longing to have our hearts broken open: to strive for a true conversion of the heart: and in that conversion, that falling in love with Jesus, we learn to love each other and lift others up, and we go out into the world, giving God’s love and care to the very least and most needy.
Christians, Love one another as he has loved us!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Burning Bushes & Voices in the Silence

Here’s a story the Rev. Stephen Portner shared on the internet (and I must credit him for many of these thoughts and words): “The search committee for a new rector was having difficulty making a decision. One member of the committee, who was admittedly tired of the whole process, offered one last letter of introduction from a pastoral candidate. She read:
‘To the pastoral search committee: It is my understanding that you have a vacancy in your pulpit, and I would like to apply for the position. I can’t say that I preach too well. In fact, I tend to stutter when I speak. I do have a lot of different experiences I could share with you, since I am over 75 years old. I have only just recently had an encounter with God and, despite my initial resistance to the idea, I heard a Voice which told me personally that I was the one to do the ministry for you. One never knows when God will appear right before your very eyes. As far as people skills go, I do tend to lose my temper every once in a while. I also tend to want things done my way, and can get violent if it’s not taken care of right away. Once I even killed somebody. But since I know you are gracious people, I know you will believe me when I say that’s all behind me now. I intend on showing up there in a few weeks to lead you into a brighter future. Although I was reluctant at first to work with you, I still feel called to be with you nonetheless.’
The committee member glanced up at the rest of the group. “Well, what do you think? Can this person be our leader or not?” The rest of the committee was aghast. Have an old, arrogant, temperamental, obviously neurotic, ex-murderer as their pastor? Was this committee member crazy? Who signed the letter of introduction? Who had such colossal nerve? The committee member eyed them all keenly before she answered, “It’s signed, ‘Moses.’”
Moses did not seem like a likely candidate to receive God’s call. But God doesn’t require the same qualifications for a job that we would. Is it possible God is calling you to some kind of ministry? I want us to look at Moses’ call and see if there’s a message there that might help us discern if God is calling us, both as individuals and as a church?
God tends to call us out of the ordinary circumstances of our everyday routines. Moses was going along, minding his own business, tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, when he encountered God for the first time. He wasn’t out looking to find God. But God wanted Moses’ attention. How would you feel if you saw something that did not follow the laws of nature? How would you feel if you were minding your own business and suddenly you heard someone calling your name, but no one was there? Would you think you had finally lost your mind?
I certainly thought I’d lost my mind when I heard God’s call for the first time. I was kneeling in the choir loft at St. David’s, as people walked past to go to the altar to take communion. It was Lent of 1987, and I was a new member of the choir. Out of the quiet of that moment, I heard a man distinctly call my name. The voice seemed to be coming from over my shoulder so I turned to see who could possibly be calling out during the service. There were only women behind me in the choir, and it was obvious that no one else had heard the voice. For some unaccountable reason, I burst into tears. The next Sunday, the same thing happened, and I was beginning to be frightened. When it happened again on the third Sunday, I finally thought I might know what was happening – like Samuel, the third time God called I knew, and in my mind, I replied, “Yes, Lord, I’m here. I am your servant,” while the tears flowed again.
I heard a distinct voice: a voice which did not come from my head, although no one around me heard it. Well, I thought I’d totally lost my mind. I was afraid to talk to anyone about it, even Lewis, for fear that they’d lock me away. For over two weeks I kept the experience to myself, but I was a wreck, and Lewis knew that something was upsetting me. Finally one night I gathered up my courage and told him what had happened, and what God had told me to do. That message from God did change my life, it changed our family life, because what God told me to do was to quit my job and present myself as a volunteer in St. David’s music ministry. I thank God daily for a husband who is open and willing to believe in the supernatural ways God can work. Lewis took me in his arms and told me that the next day I should give my two weeks notice, and go talk to St. David’s minister of music. Turning in my resignation was easy, but it took a while before I finally, tearfully, got up my nerve to speak with Les Martin the choir director. I was still of the mind that he would think I was nuts when I told him that God had spoken to me. Rather than that reaction, his eyes also filled with tears, and he told me that this was an answer to long and intense prayer by the entire St. David’s staff. I remained the music librarian there for almost five years.
When God is calling us, first he needs to get our attention. It may not necessarily be as dramatic as a burning bush, or a call such as mine that grabs your attention. But I believe however it happens, our defenses must be down before the holy can get through to us. I can only speak from my own experience, but I know when I have recognized definite communications from God, it has been when I have been open and willing to receive God’s call. Perhaps not purposefully, or even seeking His will, but simply having an attitude of willingness, of being willing to do things for God – of being open to the possibility of miracles.
I believe that God calls all of us, each and every one of us, to do something in this life that is for Him. You may be called to minister depending on the gifts and graces God has given you, gifts and talents you recognize in yourself. Or, he may call you to do something that you believe is totally beyond anything you can possibly do, like Moses, who refused the call at first, knowing he was not capable, or good enough to do what God called him to do. Like me when I finally realized that I was being called to priesthood, and I just knew I wasn’t smart enough or good enough to do it. But because God called, I would try my best. I stepped out in faith, and here I am, just a few months away from being your priest. Is God calling you? Is it possible that God is trying to get your attention?
Is it possible that God is speaking to your heart, desiring to have a relationship with you—despite any imperfections you think might stand in the way? When God calls us, it is for a definite purpose. God was very specific in what God expected Moses to do. God wanted Moses to lead the nation of Israel out of slavery. Every time I have discerned God’s call, his instructions have been very specific. God has a master plan, and all of us are called to have a certain role in that master plan. But God’s plan can only be fulfilled if we listen, and then do his will.
When God calls us, it is typical for us to object to it. When Moses heard what God wanted him to do, he said, “What? Who? Me? Who am I that I should go do that?” After all, he did not even know God’s name. And who would believe a wanted murderer who said he talked to a bush that was burning but was not consumed by the flames? You get the idea. When God calls you, it is because God has chosen you rather than you having chosen God. Is God calling you? Are you making some excuse for not answering the call? Are you even listening?
All I can tell you from my own experience is: when you are willing, you may hear God’s call. But it won’t necessarily be what you want or expect, and it will be hard to say, “Yes.” But if you do, you will experience a fullness of joy beyond any measure you can possibly imagine. Your life will be that full and abundant life that our Lord Jesus speaks of bringing to us. So be willing, and wait on Him, and even when it is not what you want to do, say “Yes.” And the joy will overflow. Amen.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Burning bushes

Sermon thoughts are swirling, and the readings for this week are so rich, I wish I could spread them out over several weeks. Ah well. The OT lesson is Moses and the burning bush. Don't we all wish we could have a burning bush experience -- a way to know without a doubt what God is calling us to do and be? And the idea of holy ground and needing to remove our shoes because we are in the presence of God: isn't everywhere holy ground, and don't we need to acknowledge that God is with us at all times and in all places? The hymn "Holy Ground" keeps running through my head.

The epistle reading from Romans is a lovely list of how to live a Christian life -- a wonderful recipe for how to share Christ with the world. And Eugene Peterson's rendering of this passage in The Message is exceptional -- something I may want to use...

And Jesus explaining once again to poor, bumbling Peter that God's ways are not our ways -- that what appears as something horrible may not be in the end a bad thing. That death must happen for rebirth to occur...hmmm. Lots to think about, and not many days to pull it together!

Monday, August 18, 2008

and then again..

Well, I may have more to say than I thought! It seems easier to think of this place as a letter to my best friend or a cousin rather than just sending this out there to whomever might want to log on...Here's an addition I replied to one of my cousins today.

This is an amazing thing to be doing. Giving people I don't even know a big send-off to heaven (the funeral home called and I did a service for an un-churched heart transplant guy who'd lived for almost 21 years after receiving his new heart. He was an amazing guy, and I loved getting to know his family. I hope they'll follow through like they said and come to the mission in the burbs. Then there are the traumas that come from having people in the parish out of work and struggling, and even in this small place there are abusive husbands, and family members who are in jail, and kids in trouble...it's never ending. I must say I'm giving way more of my time to it than my agreement with the bishop, but I don't care about that, I'm loving it. I just feel so very honored to be a part of so many people's lives.

What am I doing here?

I never thought I'd blog, much less have my own space in which to do it. Never thought I was much of a writer or deep thinker, or had many thoughts worth sharing with anyone out there in the ether. But here I am. The reason for making the effort is that I have been so impressed with other bloggers, specifically the ladies on revgalblogpals, that I've wanted to be in touch with them. And the only way to do that is to be a blogger! So here goes....
I am a recently ordained transitional deacon of the Episcopal variety, in my early 60's. I pastor a small mission church in central Texas. These people are so special, and I am very blessed to have been assigned by the bishop to this place.  Being with them and ministering to them in the deepest moments of their lives, sharing with each other during times of sunshine and of shadow is such an honor. The liturgy of the Church is my highest joy, and I look forward to my priestly ordination so that I may bless the sacraments.
However, sermon writing is the hardest thing I do! It is such a responsibility to glean the pearls of wisdom from each scripture reading, and to find ways to share those pearls that provide insights for learning. Finding ways to use the messages of the ages in living our daily lives. It is very intimidating and awe-ful to me that I have been given this task. Much prayer and research are the foundations to each week's preparation, and the writing takes forever! The preaching part is fun, once the thoughts have worked their way into some semblance of order.
Enough for now. I'm not sure how often I will add a posting. Perhaps some of those hard-to-birth sermons will make in onto this site. Perhaps questions about ministry, or even family life. Who knows where this will lead? But it is a beginning....Rev Jude