The Morgan Church Devotional

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

Location: Morgan, VT., United States

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Call to Worship

"Come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the LORD, our God & Maker.
for He is our God
and we are the people of His pasture
and the sheep of His hand.
today, if you hear His voice,
don't harden your hearts as they did
in the day of meribah and massah
in the wilderness."

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Rubber Meets the Road

Micah 6:8

"He has showed you, O man;
what is good and what the Lord requires of you.
but to do justly,
and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with our God"

first things first...God wants us to do what is right. He wants us to be fair. He wants us to be kind. He wants us to help people. He wants us to be generous. He wants us to be selfless. in short, He wants us to be like He is.

i think we make a quick discover that this isn't easy...we are not prone to selflessness...we often fall short of living this stuff, we ask for mercy.

asking for (and recieving!) mercy reminds us that we should also be merciful...full of mercy. we should be people who love mercy...both the mercy that is shown us and the mercy we have an opportunity to show others. and maybe if we look at other people's short comings not as irrataions, but as opportunities to show mercy, we'd be more apt to do so...

all this helps us to be humble. i know i don't have it all together...but God is gracious and gentle with me...He's the superhero...He's the main attraction...i'm just His side kick. it isn't about me, it's about Him.

Lectio Divina

for the past 2 weeks we've given a handout to the folks in church with daily scripture readings that relate to the sermon. the idea is to provide a meaningful daily reference to the sermon to help us live out our faith on a regular basis. the plus is that we have the opportunity to all be reading and putting into practice the same passages of Scripture each day.

lection divina is an ancient tradition of slowly, thoughtfully, prayerfully reading thru the Scripture and letting it "come alive" to you. it is a means to a "union with God"...and walking in union with God should be our goal each day.

the problem is time. we are all pressed for time...& i don't know who or what is to blame. i want to say to you (and to me) "make time. this is the most important thing in your life." and it's true. it is. there is nothing more important to you than growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord & Saviour, Jesus Christ...nothing will help you more in life than taking the time to cultivate your spiritual life and then live it out. nothing.

but time gets in the way. so, what do we do?

i think that as people experience God working in their lives in small doses, they will always hunger for more. that is, if they are sincere. if they aren't sincere...and they are just looking for a quick fix or something to "get them thru"...well, nothing will work for them--apart from getting sincere.

but, if they are sincere, they will always grow in devotion and practice. it is how "it" works.

so, i propose you take a short time (15 minutes or so). read the verse we supply. read it again. read it slowly a third time. think about it. read it once more. think about it some more. make this verse a part of a prayer (as in, "thank You for this truth, God" or "God help me to be this way" etc). then commit to living this verse out this day. it would be a good idea to write the verse down on a piece of paper (writing it helps you to remember it) and take it out here and there during the it again...pray a short prayer again...ask for help again... live it out again.

and grow.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

holy stromboli that's a lot of links...

i recently participated in a christian blogger survey and they asked me to post the links to the other participant's blogs.

you can get the complete listing here

i can't vouch for them...they couldn't vouch for me...

believe it if you need it, if you don't just pass it on...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

People Get Ready Now...

today is mardi gras...fat tuesday...squeeze in all the fun b4 you have to fast for lent day.

it's sad what it has become...

here is an interesting article on lent.

LOVE>love = Obedience

in blue like jazz, don miller first tells the story of how his pastor, rick, struggled with accepting God's grace. it proved to be such a struggle for rick that, when he felt he could struggle no more, he attempted suicide. the attempt was unsuccessful and his life was changed thru it. miller goes on to write:

"Rick says that i will love God because He first loved me. I will obey God because I love God. But if I cannot accept God's love, I cannot love Him in return, i cannot obey Him. Self discipline will never make us feel righteous or clean; accepting God's love will. " (pg 86)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Dark Eyes

"you tell me this town ain't got now heart
(well, well, well, you can never tell)
the sunny side of the street is dark
(well, well, well, you can never tell)
maybe it's because it's midnight
and the dark of the moon besides; or
maybe the dark is in your eyes
maybe the dark is in your eyes
maybe the dark is in your eyes
you know, you have such dark eyes"

lyric by robert hunter

is this about a town? i guess...but, like hunter (and any other good poet) always does, he drops a nugget of truth in there.

maybe the dark is in your know, you have such dark eyes

it' s quite reminiscent of the bible passage "the eye is the lamp of the body, if youe eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. but if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. if then, the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness" (mt. 6:22)

this statement sits in the middle of a larger statement about greed...and again, within an even larger statement about sin in general. in fact, it is from the sermon on the mount--the most famous sermon of all (for good reason).

from john stott's commentary on the sermon on the mount (pg 157):

"The argument seems to go like this: just as our eye affects our whole body, so our ambition (where we fix our eyes and heart) affects our whole life. Just as a seeing eye gives light to the body, so a noble and single-minded ambition to serve God and man adds meaning to life and throws light on every thing we do. Again, just as blindness leads to darkness, so an ignoble and selfish ambition (e.g. to lay up treasures for oursleves on earth) plunges us into moral darkness. It makes us intolerant, inhman, ruthless, and deprives us of all ultimate significance."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

With Blessings

live your life today with blessings.

know you are blessed by God. at the very least, He has given you life and breath and hope. but, more than that, He has promised to meet all of your needs according to His riches in glory. He has taken up your sickness and disease. He has healed your wounds and He continues to bind up your broken heart. He is gracious and patient and loving and kind. He leads and guides and corrects and disciplines. He restores relationship with you, and now He goes about restoring relationships thru you. He gives you gifts to share with other xians and uses you to speak to those who are lost. He is your Creator. He is your Saviour. He is your Christ. He is your Shepherd. He is your Redeemer. He is your Advocate. He is yours.

live your life today with blessings.

recognize the blessings that come from people. not everyone is "out to get you"...not everyone intends to be mean. most times, their grumpiness is not bc of you...altho it may feel directed toward you. in fact, most of the time people are just caught up in their own little worlds and don't intend to do any harm...they didn't mean to cut you off, or let the elevator doors close on you. they didn't mean to cut the line in front of you...grant them a little grace.

live your life today with blessings.

and see the little things people might do for you. the kind hello or the smile as you pass. the wave of the hand as a car lets you go in front. the encouragement of a cheerful attitude. the concern in conversation. whatever it is, let it be a blessing to you. savor it for a moment. you've been blessed! this person chose to bless they didn't have to, but they did. they chose to. it may have been a small blessing, but it was a blessing none the less. experience it and enjoy it!

live your life today with blessings.

now, go and do the same. have the character of Christ...bless others as He has blessed you. be kind. be gracious. be generous. be generous with your kindness and grace. speak good things to people with encouragement. be filled with goodwill. hope the best for people and see the best in people. be forgiving. be gentle. be understanding. listen. show concern. do something for someone. drive them to the store or pick up their prescriptions for them. shovel their walk or bring over a dish for dinner. open the door for someone or smile at the cashier. speak words of life with your actions!

live your life today with blessings.

be blessed and share blessings.


Saturday, February 10, 2007


this was emailed to me, but due to current office policy i cannot forward emails. but you may be interested in this and feel free to post yours in the comment section.

four jobs i have had:
1. gas station attendant
3. house painter
4. pastor

four movies i could watch over & over:
1. the great escape
2. papillion
3. the grateful dead movie
4. vegee tales...oh wait, those are movies i have to watch over & over

four places i have lived:
1. iselin, nj
2. crete, greece
3. southeast penn.
4. jersey city, nj

four tv shows i watch:
1. funny home videos (it's for the kids, honest)
2. lost
3. 24
4. pbs

four places i have been on vacation:
1. wildwood, nj
2. london, england
3. hawaii
4. i'm currently on vacation in vermont

four of my favorite foods:
1. pizza
2. spaghetti
3. taylor ham & cheese
4. white castles

four places i would like to be right now:
1. sorry to be cheesy, but i am where i want to be
2. but if you made me, i'd go to greece
3. any where with the wife and kids
4. i want to see the northern lights!

four friends who would respond:
1. anon
2. anon
3. bridget
4. anon

four (sometimes annoying?) personality quirks:
1. i often repeat myself with no explanation
2. i ask, "what?" when i really heard the question
3. i often repeat myself with no explanation
4 i ask, "what?" when i really heard the question

four more (sometimes annoying?) personality quirks:
1. i like really dumb jokes.
2. i like to use british spelling for certain words
3. i sometimes stay up past my bedtime even when i'm tired
4. i sing the same phrase of a song over & over & over again

2 jobs i wish i had done or am planning on doing:
i am quite content right now.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sitting by the Arthur Kill

there are two straits of water near where i grew up in NJ. the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull... i've always loved the names, altho they are somewhat confusing...a kill is a small river, stream or channel of water...i've always thought these would make great names for bands, someone else had the same idea.

any way, i imagine these two little rivers were once beautiful...back b4 the industrial revolution and mega -politication of the that a word?

but they aren't any more.

pristine once, i suppose
now more like some miner's clothes
watch a bird dive in the swill...
i'm sitting by the arthur kill

sitting by the arthur kill
like my heart smooth as glass
smooth as glass, but not as pure
thru both of them the view's obsured

i wonder just how did it go...
was it all at once, or blow by blow
with each and every little spill
i'm sitting by the arthur kill

sitting by the arthur kill...

the fish they swim there in the sludge
a bird swoops down, who is to judge
if their lives are worse off still,
i'm sitting by the arthur kill

sitting by the arthur kill...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Ezekiel's Song

God still breaths on dead men's bones
dead dreams still are raised
they put on flesh like evening coats
and dance upon their graves
He puts His life into them
and by His breath they're healed
by His breath dead dreams live
and by His breath they're sealed

son of man, prophesy
to those dried up dreams
they may be dry, they may be dead
but it's never as it seems

God still breaths on dead men's bones
dead dreams still have life
when dreams have grown hard as a stone
God's breath is like a knife
which cuts the stone in two again
and lays the halves apart
the stony rind falls away
there dreams a beating heart

son of man, prophesy
to those dried up bones
they may be dry they may be dead
but hope is never gone

blow, o blow breath of God
blow upon these dream filled stones
blow, o blow breath of God
make these dreams dancing bones