The Morgan Church Devotional

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

Location: Morgan, VT., United States

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

Thursday, May 17, 2007

And This is Love...

so, charlie has to die so the people he loves can be saved. i thought it was a pretty profound moment.

what would i do? i know what i think i would do...but, what would i do?

well, i guess i won't know for sure.

but i know what Jesus did.

A Father's Influence

today i watched as my 5 yo son was struggling with tying his shoes. both his brother and sister have those velcro fasteners for theirs...and i guess, he's none too happy about it.

"man, i'm glad i don't have velcro on my shoes", he said. "why?" i replied. i thought maybe he was going to say "bc i'm learning to tie" or something...

he looks at me with a straight face and says, "dad, i was being sarcastic"...

dina and i marvel, not so much at how much our boys are like me, but in how much they want to be like me.

and that, to me, is sobering.

and it causes me to do i want them to grow up? what character traits do i want them to display? how should they resolve conflict? will they be people who persevere? will they be people who bless others? will they stand up for what is right? will they be humble? will they be committed (well...i mean, will they be people who are faithful)?

and the list goes on.

so, as i compile my list...i have to wonder, how am i doing in those departments? i am thier example...they imitate is my job to display these character traits...

wow...God help me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I Don't Wanna Grow Up!

a couple of favorite songs:

here and here

I still have some computer problems...amazing how something can become such an integral part of life and work...

any way, i am not certain of the order of bible verses for the week. so we'll go with this one:

1 Peter 2:1-3 (MSG)
1 So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. 2 You've had a taste of God. 3 Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God's pure kindness. Then you'll grow up mature and whole in God.

the art of growing up is knowing when to be responsible and when to still be a kid. we should be responsible to pay our bills, take care of our career, meet our other important obligations, be a good example to our children and discipline them when they need it (and they do sometimes need it), keep confidences and a few other things.

but we should still feel free to jump in the car with the family and go on a day long excursion... or to wrestle with the kids...or to make silly jokes that make your kids laugh so hard they squirt milk out of their nose...

to be in control and out of be silly and be stern and loving...

i've tried very hard to keep that balance as a parent (and as a pastor)...i love to have fun and joke, but there are times when we must be serious. my children feel safe and secure with me, but they also think i'm the silliest dad around...

so it goes spiritually...we have to be serious about somethings, it is true. but we cannot become so serious that there is no noticiable joy in our lives. i've heard it said (i've actually said it, too), "my joy is on the inside". this of course is said with brow furrowed, arms crossed, and lips pursed. well...i've learned that if it ain't showing on the outside, it probably ain't hapnin' on the inside.

so, make a clean sweep! be serious about getting rid of malice and envy and hurtful talk. let it have no part of your life. you've experienced the kindness of God! He's amazing and wonderful! He's gracious and giving and loving and kind! drink deep, deep, deep of His kindnesses...drink like you haven't had a drink in days! He won't run out, He will always have more!

be filled with joy knowing all of your sins (every single one of them) are washed away and are, in fact, no more. become a child in your faith...splash in the puddles of forgiveness and grace.

it will do your heart good.

Labels: ,

Friday, May 11, 2007

All I Leave Behind Me is Only What I've Found

sorry about the lack of posts...i was offline since last week. just got back on board yesterday afternoon...

talk with you soon...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

More on Lost

well...some things i had to think about last night while watching lost:

Locke had to kill his father
Memories of his terrible father crippled him (in his case not just metaphorically but literally). he's been set free on the island...but the "old man" comes back from time to time...he no longer has the power he once had...instead, he (the old man) is bound up, chained up and then held (gagged) in the brig of a old slaving ship (which locke pointed out to sawyer).

Locke needed sawyer's "help" to kill the old man.
locke cannot kill him by himself...he may want to, he may need to, he may know that it is right...but he is still powerless. he needs the man who can relate to and identify with him to do it for him. he needs the man who has felt the same pain as he felt and who has the ability to do it to kill his father for him.

Labels: , ,

Locke in the Supermarket

"i'm all lost in the supermarket
i can no longer shop happily
i came here for that special offer
a guaranteed personality

i wasn't born as much as i fell out
no one seemed to notice me
we had a hedge back home in the suburbs
over which i never could see

i heard the people who lived on the ceiling
scream and fight most scarily
hearing that noise was my first ever feeling
that's how it's been all around me

i'm all tuned in i see all the programs
i save coupons from packets of tea
i have my giant hit discotech album
i empty a bottle, i feel a bit free

the kids in the hall and the pipes in the wall
make noises to keep me company
long distance callers make long distance calls
and the silence makes me lonely"

from "lost in the supermarket" by the clash

if you've ever wondered what in the world you are doing here on earth, this is a song for you. it has it all...existential angst, post-modern pessimism, hopelessness, helplessness...

yet (at least for me) listening to it is an enriching experience, especially when i was in my late teens and early 20's...someone else felt the same as me! and they said it in a way that i never would thought of! brilliant!

locke was lost in the supermarket last night.

he was challenged to find his purpose; and to find it, the "old man" had to die. locke, however, couldn't bring himself to off his own father, even tho he hated him.

he feels he is destined for some sort of greatness...he is led to believe that he is special and that he knows things that no one else knows...but there is this...


his life does not match up to what he wants it to be...he is, truly, lost.

themes of alienation and confusion have always resinated with me. they still do. while it is a pleasure to not have to suffer thru the angst of not knowing why i am here on earth and what my life is all about, i still love the mystery of a life unfolding.

while the details of God's plan for our lives are revealed by Him only when He desires them to be, the purpose, hope and meaning that comes from knowing He does have a plan for us dispels any existential or post-modern drama we may want to put ourselves thru.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Prayer for Your Offering

thank You for Your provision in my life.
i believe You will continue to provide for me and my family.
i honor You with my offering.
i declare that You are first place in my life.
and i trust You will continue to work in my life.
thru Christ, my Lord
i pray.