The Morgan Church Devotional

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

Location: Morgan, VT., United States

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

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Imitate Me, Just as i also Imitate Christ

so reads 1 corinthians 11:1...which is a part of today's scripture reading.

the first thing that comes to mind is, "that's pretty brave of you, paul"...i wish it said something like "imitate my good qualities, but skip over my bad ones"...but it doesn't does it.

the truth is, we will replicate ourselves. it will always happen.

whether it's our biological children or people "younger in the Lord" than us...they will copy our patterns...good and bad.

good and bad.
seen and unseen.

that's one reason why every Christian is responsible to become Christ-like.

people copy us.
they do what we do...
they cope as we cope...

which is why confession and repentance are so important. i want my kids (biological & spiritual) to be aware that my bad behavior is bad behavior...and there is only one way to do that

and that is to admit it was wrong and try to not do it any more.

if i don't admit wrong behavior...i endorse it.
if i don't try changing wrong behavior (after i admitted it was wrong)...i allow it to perpetuate (in me and in them).

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Just 2 Things I Ask of You

Keep deception and lies far from me

we should keep lies and deception far from our lips (and minds, for that matter). we should avoid the temptation of taking the easy way out when asked a difficult question (except, maybe, the question "honey, how did you like the dinner i made?")...lying is easy. it is often cowardly and selfish. we should do our part to keep lies and deception far from ourselves.

but we need God's help in keeping other people's lies from hurting us. it stinks when some one tells a lie about you...first, you have to deal with the repercussions of the lie (how it affects other people's feelings about you) and then you have to deal with your own feelings of betrayal.

no matter how you think of it, lying stinks.

Give me neither poverty or riches

then he explains why...if i have too much, i might forget about God...maybe i would say: i've earned this...this is mine! i deserve this...this is my blessing for being such a good christian...etc. we don't want to forget God...we probably would say we wouldn't forget God...but sometimes we do.

on the other hand, if i have too little, i might be tempted to do something that would dishonor God...steal something, or lie about something...or cut corners...or some other sin of omission or commission.

maybe paul's statement of the "secret of contentment" is appropriate:

"i have learned to be content in all circumstances. i know what it is to be in need, and i know what it is to have plenty. i have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. i can do everything thru Him who gives me strength."

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"Whoa Ho! What i Want to Know is Where Does the Time Go?"

can it be?

leaves changing color...bones a bit, cool mornings...crisp evenings...long sleeved shirts...

hard to believe, joe is going off to college.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

They Don't Call it "Master" Card for Nothing

"The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender's slave."
Proverbs 22:7

good advice! we live in a world where debt is far too common. be careful how much $ you owe and to whom you owe it.

i think we often miss out on things God has for us to do because of the strings our masters pull.

make do with less.
get rid of some stuff.
don't go out and get more.
learn to be generous with what God has blessed you.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

"Even a Fool is thought to be wise when he keeps silent, and discerning when he holds his tongue." Pro 17:28



Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What's Next?

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps"
Proverbs 16:9

i think it's ok to make plans...
in fact, think we should make plans...
i think we're foolish if we do not make plans...
i think God honors plans...

but all of our plans need to be made with the following in mind:

what does God want me to do?
how does He want me to do it?

plans, then, are our humble attempts to follow His will for our lives and not our groping for "success", etc.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Clue: Round and Cheesy

from time to time we do "special things" at the morgan church. they may be stories, songs or sermons that we periodically...but they have become little traditions with us...

there is the "freddy the frog" song (which actually is a take off on a story that my pastoral predecessor told)...

there is "gordon's nose" (another take off on a story pastor john told about the camel's nose)...

there is "the puppet show" (doobie doot doo doo doo...)

there are baptisms in the lake...

visits from missionaries whom we support...

they are all cherished memories and looked forward to events.

today we began a new one...

"The Pizza Sermon"

Friday, August 11, 2006

God's Economics

"one man gives freely,
yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly,
but comes to poverty."

this isn't a recipe for prosperity, but it does tell us what is important to God. when our hearts want to bless, He blesses. when our hearts only want to be blessed, He with holds His blessing.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs.
The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me,
and I wonder If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors?
Isn't it Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.'
I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly,
and I'd rather He said it for himself.
I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top In each hand,
like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again,
"Good fences make good neighbors."

Thursday, August 03, 2006


"An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips"
Proverbs 24:26

a kiss on the lips is personal.
a kiss on the lips is intimate.
a kiss on the lips is sweet.
a kiss on the lips is reassuring.
a kiss on the lips is full of grace.
a kiss on the lips makes you feel loved.
a kiss on the lips gives comfort.
a kiss on the lips makes you smile.
a kiss on the lips brings joy.
a kiss on the lips is private.
a kiss on the lips tells the world you are loved.

it is devasting when a kiss on the lips is given falsely.