The Morgan Church Devotional

a pastor's thoughts about...uhm...stuff

Location: Morgan, VT., United States

follower of Jesus. husband & father. friend. pastor.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Sweet Relief

i was talking with a friend last night. he lives in NYC and we (amongst other things) discussed the weather.

he said it was 85 and humid...and it was 10pm!

i remember those was so hard to sleep. i would put a fan on the night stand and have it blowing right on me...but it never really cooled me gave me a sense of comfort...a false feeling that it wasn't really all that hot. but it never cooled me off and gave me real comfort. it just fooled me into thinking i could sleep. but i would toss and turn. alternately throwing the sheet off and pulling it back on...twisting this way and that...sometimes getting up and sitting out on the porch...or taking a shower to cool off. sometimes i wished i could sleep in the shower.

i would wake up as tired as i was when i went to bed. in other words, there was no relief.

my friend asked me what the temp was. it felt cool, and i could tell it was going to be a good night to i went and looked. it was 55! no wonder i wanted to put on a sweat shirt!

now, it does get hot here in vermont. we've had quite a few days in the 80's and 90's this summer...but, usually, it cools off in the evening...maybe not as cool as it was last night. but at least into the 70's.

it is our sweet relief.

this is the difference between the lives of the believer and the unbeliever. trouble comes to everybody.

we all get sick (or our loved ones get sick).
our relationship sometime break down.
we sometimes lose jobs.
we all stub our toes.
we encounter trials...

no one is immune or exempted from them.

but the christian has a sweet relief.

we know God is in control. we know this is all a part of His plan. we know He will work it out to our eventual good. we know He is Lord over each and every situation in our lives. we know that as we learn to trust Him more and more we will grow closer to Him.

we can rest easy, He is our sweet relief.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

This, i think, is a head scratcher

Ramble on Rose

"goodbye mama and papa
goodbye jack and jill;
the grass ain't greener,
the wine ain't sweeter
on either side of the hill..."

fm "ramble on rose"
by hunter/garcia

i often think of "i do not want what i haven't got" an album put out in 1990 (or so) by sinead o'conner. musically, it isn't memorable for me...there's a good tune or two, i guess. the most famous song, ironically, is "nothing compares 2 u" as song written by prince.

but the title!
i think about the title all the time!

how do i measure up against it?

do i want what i don't have? do i crave what isn't mine? do i desire the things that are out of reach? does the fact that i can't have (or shouldn't have) something produce a stronger urge to possess it?

it is a dark side of who/how we are. we can see it in other people...we can criticize it in other people...but can we see it (and surrender it to God) in ourselves?

when we're honest with ourselves, we must admit we have some murky motives...and the questions that will help sort out our motives...well, we must ask them.

if we don't...if we leave ourselves unchecked...we end up being spoiled little kids of the benevolent Father...

and not His children, created in His image...that the world might see Jesus in us.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

In Like a Lamb, Out like a...


today i do the prep for a colonoscopy...slightly anxious, i suppose.

but, i guess, in the end, every thing will come out all right.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


"Trust in the LORD with all of your heart
Lean not on your own understanding
In all your ways acknowledge Him..."

biblical triplets are common, particularly in the psalms and proverbs. they are is the art in the poetry. but, i think, triplets are built into God's people for a reason...they reflect His Triune character.

nonetheless, we have this triplet here...3 sayings, 2 of which, expand on the first.

lean not.

Trust in God...the Name for God is used here. "The One who is faithfully present"...the One who is always there...the One who will never let you down or abandon you or forget about you. trust in Him. not a little bit or even a lot of bit...with every thing!

don't hold anything back. put it all in His hands. how do you do that?

well, step one is don't go by your own understanding. if God says to do it, even if you think you can't...even if you feel you have good reason to not do it....even if you could prove your point to every human listner...if God says to do it, do it.

to not do it is to trust in your own understanding and not in the counsel of God.

you acknowledge Him not just with your words but with your actions. it's as if you are saying "look, i trust the LORD, you can tell by what i'm doing"

when we live this way...God directs and straightens out our paths.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


our garbage goes out on wednesday night to be picked up very early thursday morning. usually, we bring the cans back in on thursday or friday (particularly if it's windy out...who knows where they may end up!)...but sometimes we don't.

i don't know why...lazy, crazy...but they just sit there. i laugh at myself sometimes over it. if it gets to sunday and they are still out, i'll chuckle and hedge bets with myself to see if we can make it to wednesday again...if there's no wind...if they don't end up on the street...if i can avoid cutting the lawn...and everday i come home (right past them) or spot them from my window i give a little laugh... "2 more days...1 more day..."...the funniest thing about it is, i have to walk down to the street today and collect the cans, bring them up to the garage and then fill them with garbage so i can take them out tonight.

but, there they sit. unused and unmoved.

kind of like my blog this week.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Psalm 86 (revisited)

Would You put Your ear down here, LORD?
And please answer me…
For my soul is hurting…and oh so needy

Keep my soul from harm, LORD
For I follow You…
Save Your servant, for I put my trust in You

Be full of mercy…as I cry out to You
Cheer my soul, O LORD
Here it is, I lift it to You…

Won’t You listen, LORD, and hear my prayer
In my trouble I call…
And you are there

Who is God but You? Who deserves Your fame?
And as I follow you, teach me to fear Your Name.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

That Smell

"What's that smell?" she asked, crinkling her nose. "What smell?" he answered, alternately trying to get a whiff of himself and singing the old lynyrd skynyrd song. "That smell. You don't smell it?"

" don't..." he said walking around nose up in the air sniffing like a... "maybe its the dog. he always smells". "Yeah...must be the dog."

[later that day]

"ewww...there's that smell again!"

"What is it?!!!"

"i think it's the couch...i hope it's not the couch. we can't afford a new can't be the couch." he blurted out in a panic (he loves the couch).

they both walk over to the couch (he still singing "that smell" somewhat to himself) sniffing. "it's definitely right here." she said, standing at one end of the couch (HIS END OF THE COUCH). "something must have died" he said. "in the couch? under the couch? where?" "well," he answered "i guess it could have died under the floor or in the wall or something."

"is that better?"

"i don't know. if it's in the couch, maybe we could find it. but it may be too late and the with ("oooh oooh that smell. can't you smell that smell") stuck in it. if it's in the wall, maybe after a couple of days, it will go away."

they move the couch determining the smell is not in the couch (which he is happy about, as the couch matches his chair...which after years of use, broke down so badly it had to be thrown out. he sits in the couch sometimes remembering his chair. he likes it when the kids all climb up on his lap as he sits watching tv...he doesn't like it as much when he's makes it difficult to hold the book. anyway, it would upset him greatly to have to throw the couch out too).

"so, the smell is in the wall...or the will hopefully go away soon."

"what if it doesn't? what if it always smells like that? what if it gets worse? if it's dead, it's going to get worse!"

"maybe it will get better"

"it will get worse"

"but maybe after it gets worse, it will get better...things are like that sometimes".

"i don't know. it smells" "yes. yes it does"

"what do we do?"

"ohhh! ughhhh! what's that smell?!! that's even worse! and stronger--it's every where!"

"the farmer next door is spraying his fields".

thus, at least for a day or two, the dead smelly mouse problem is solved.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


a cool breeze is refreshing...
a gale force wind is not.

a wave lapping the beach is refreshing...
a tidal wave is not.

a romantic dinner is refreshing.
eating out at mcdonalds every night is not.

soft grass is refreshing...
an overgrown yard is not.

a coversation with your daughter is refreshing.
10,000 questions is not.

alone time can be refreshing.
isolation is not.

a dash of salt brings out flavor.
too much salt ruins the meal.

a gentle touch is refreshing.
a slap is not.

a bit of rain on a hot summer day is refreshing.
rain all summer long is not.

a kind word is refreshing.
a curse is not.

watching clouds go by is refreshing.
an overcast day is not.

you follow?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Good Morning

The Scripture says:

"this is the day the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it".

i'll be honest, i really only think of this verse on bright, sunny mornings & when things are going well.

it's not that (on a bad morning or when things aren't going well) i think that God didn't make this day or this situation...

i just don't think of the verse quoted above. it never enters my mind...but it should.

here's some perspective:

1. God is God (we are not).
2. He made this day--regardless of what this day contains
3. rejoicing and being glad are our choice.
4. the source of joy is declaring the Lordship of Christ over your life


"this is the day the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!"


Monday, July 03, 2006

Do You Love Life?

When you love the One who is Life, it's easy to.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Why Should I Go To Church?

just curious.