The Morgan Church Devotional

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

Location: Morgan, VT., United States

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

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Good Tunes Alert

if you have afew minutes of computer time, spend it listening to some good tunes


if grace is an ocean we're all sinking


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Karma Vs. Grace

i think i've posted this b4, but it is a great read and worth re reading:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What Does This Mean?

i saw a mouse today…
it didn't make me jump.
i was about to jump anyway;
i just did so a little quicker...
and a little higher...
and with a little more noise.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Song Up


Stand Oblivious

My mind races it plods and paces the floor to the door
to shut in spaces of my heart in the dark and I must face it alone
here in the shell, I hear the bell; the tone of alone
in my own private hell, of my heart in the dark,
and I must face it alone

this cage can enrage the calmest of people, the walls of this stall even under the steeple
can smother a brother, a sister, while others surround them

my mind jerks that’s the way that it works; snap shots and crap shots and malevolent spurts like sparks in the dark
and I can’t face it alone
reliving the sorrow of each dark tomorrow, shamelessly blaming refusing to borrow
a spark for the dark and I must face it alone

the spell of shell in which one’s entrenched the beauty of duty
to brave it’s dark stench
can smother a brother, a sister, while others surround them

I don’t mean to demean or condemn but it seems
the slough of despond is a deep, deep stream
that can mire a swimmer who tries to deliver
his life from the strife of every day’s river
but can’t get a grip and struggles and slips and groping for hope
he stumbles and trips
and falls down the hall where his nothing is waiting
his heart in the dark, but at least it’s still beating
and I can’t face it alone (I need someone)
I can’t face it alone

This tomb is the womb in spite of rebirth,
a mind can be blind to knowing it’s worth;
it can smother a brother a sister while others stand oblivious

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Over Flow

22 september 07

The wine is pretty in its bottle
The deep, deep red
Behind the fancy label….
But wine’s not meant for its bottle
The deep, deep red
Is meant for the table

So pour it out; So pour it out
So pour it out To over flowing

His blood is perfect in His Body
Pure and holy
Holy and pure
But He poured His blood out for His body
Pure and holy
Holy and pure

He poured it out; He poured it out
He poured Himself out to overflowing

Love is simple in its bottle
And sits lovely
Like a treasured stored
Love is not meant for a bottle
Love is love only when it’s poured

So pour it out; So pour it out
So pour it out To over flowing

Isaiah 53:5

when Jesus was pierced, He was pierced because of my sins--not for His own.

when the nails were driven into His hands and feet, when the thorns were pressed into His head, when the spear was thrust into His side, He was doing something for me--purchasing my salvation.

when He was crushed, He was crushed for all of my rebellion against God--not for His own.

the peace i now enjoy as a follower of Jesus Christ was purchased not by me, but by Jesus taking the punishment that i deserved.

it is thru His wounds that i am healed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Help On The Way

"Tell me the cost
I can pay
Let me go
Tell me love is not lost
Sell everything
Without love, day to day,
insanity is king"

from "help on the way"
by hunter/garcia

admittedly, the KUKUKACHU post was bleak. i didn't mean it to be, however. i had just heard the lemonhead's cover of mrs. robinson and was struck with the joltin' joe lyric...and how it was a cry for a simpler, saner time...a cry we can all relate to from time to time. maybe i didn't take the time to adequately express myself...sometimes that takes a lot of thought. or, maybe, the times are that bleak.

i do know this, however. "envy not the wicked", says the psalmist. they (those who cheat or hurt others in their pursuit) may have much--right now...but it won't always be that way. notthat we should be overly concerned about it, but they will "get theirs"...but, like i said, we shouldn't be too concerned about that, we should be too busy trying to get it right ourselves.

it's so easy to concentrate on the wicked in our world. whether we are indulging or lamenting, our eyes seem to be drawn to the mole on the face of the principal in "uncle buck". it's not that we want to look, honest. but we can't help ourselves.

we christians do it alot.

we do it bc it concerns us.
we do it bc it offends us.
we do it bc it scares us.
we do it bc we want it to change.

and that is a good sentiment.


we want the world to be a better place for our kids. i do.

but we have no guarantee that it will be. in fact, it might just be that the opposite is true. it might be worse.

so, what are we to do? hide ourselves? hide our kids? not have kids? build monasteries? stand around and remember joe d?

no. what we should do is teach our children. teach them...prepare them...catechize them...get them ready for what they will experience in our world.

in deuteronomy 6 we see a little outline about teaching our children. read the chapter some time...or at least the first 12 verses or so...

amongst other things the passage tells us that we should be:

instructional--we should actually teach our children about our faith and how our faith relates to life...and how to live this life in regard to our faith. teach them about Jesus and what He did while He was here on earth. teach them about what He's doing know...praying for us...and awaiting the time when He will return for us. teach them everything you'll learn alot.

conversational--teach them life lessons...whether it's during a walk in the woods or in the mall or about an experience they had in school or you had in work...while you are driving in the car or cleaning the yard. talk to them about...stuff. take an interest in what they think and help guide them in thier thought process. remember, they are learning...they are in process. things that come "naturally" to you, wont to them (they didn't to you either, you just don't remember learning them). let your conversations naturally be full of Jesus.

intentional--regardless of what we verbally teach our children, the greatest teaching tool we have is how we live our lives. i was driving home last night and heard the old beastie boys song "fight for your right to party" line says:

"You pops caught you smoking and he said, "No way!"That hypocrite smokes two packs a day"

our children will repeat our behaviors, both good and bad. and it is silly for us to say "you can't do __________" ...when we are doing it ourselves. you your life like you mean it. you must...must...put your faith into practice...

don't just think about it. do it. don't just plan on doing it. do it. don't wait until next thursday at 6pm (bc then you'll feel better prepared), do it now, even if you aren't as well prepared. bc chances are, you won't be prepared next thursday either.

what are the values you want your children to have?

honesty. fidelity. generousity. grace and mercy. perseverance. faithfulness. kindness. purpose.

then, put them into practice in your own life.

it's the best way to instill them in thier's.

Monday, September 17, 2007


"where have you gone, joe dimaggio
a nation turns it's lonely eyes toward you;
what's that you say, mrs. robinson,
joltin' joe has left and gone away"

so i can't figure it out...

am i pessimistically optimistic, or am i optimistically pessimistic?

am i a cynic...or a realist?
am i a realist...or is that just an excuse to be a cynic?

we live in a cynical world, don't we? every body is messed up. everybody lets us down. every body...yep.

we have a highly regarded coach being caught cheating. we have a washed up pitcher re-born as a hitting phenom caught cheating. we have a highly regarded minister and leader...caught cheating...doing the very thing he preached against over and over. we have celebrities...oh, who cares about celebrities...but we have them...and they are messed up.

where have you gone, oh st. joe? where have you gone?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

An Apple a Day...

we just ate the first apple off the tree we planted 2 years ago.


and tastey.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Dust, Rust and Trust

this week's readings kinda went like this:

a request that God remind us just how short life is.
since we are just passing thru, God remind us how we should live.
we are aliens here on earth, our citizenship is in heaven; and we await our Saviour.
since God will judge us by our deeds, we should live accordingly.
sin fights against our very souls. avoid it.
we should use the things of this life for God's glory.
when we get too attached to them we become unfaithful to God.

we know some of this by experience. no one can deny life is short and it seems to get shorter every day. in fact, if i continue talking about it, i'll just sound cliche, that's how short it is.

as the bible says, we are but dust. *cue cheesy song* ("dust in the wind)

in contrast, eternity is different. we often think of it in terms of "longer" the song says, "when we've been there 10,000 years..."; but, mainly it's different. it is our true reality. it is the giant NOW. it is, truly, God's Presence.

it's more than just waiting for a page to load when you have dial up.
it's more than being stuck in traffic.
it's more than waiting for dinner to cook.
it's more than Christmas morning.
it's more than waiting for...anything.

it is fulfillment.
it is.
it is.

but, our reality isn't quite our reality yet. our reality is made up of hard choices, easy choices we make hard, easy choices we ignore and then, more hard choices.

exciting, huh?

well, that's why we need a reminder or two of life's brevity. we need to refocus and live our lives with our heavenly goal in mind. we need to curtail our own desire to get derailed and resist the enemy's schemes set to derail us. whether its out and out sin...or the mere ease of is rust sent to destroy us...*cue cheesy song* (rust never sleeps)

bc our reality is worth it. *cue cheesy song* (Trust)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ever Feel Like This?

Top Hat and Cane
The sinner hates a mirror, the soul hates a cave
That I run to when I misbehave
Like the belly of a fish, oh how I wish
I would have listened the first time

You with your top hat and cane
Me, with my map of dead ends
With right turns and left turns I learn
A new wrong way every time
And I know where I’m going
I’m just not so sure how I’ll get there….

2 plus 2 equals 4, and the pope, he’s a catholic
These are some things that I know
Like soda bottles are plastic…
You say them so clear, all that I like to hear
But please, no; not what I need

Is that a knock, a knock at my door;
someone see who that man is
I don’t the time, to even open the blinds
And see who it is that I hear

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Little Help, Please

for years i've thought about submitting articles to our local paper. then a few months ago the paper invited local clergy to write articles for their "faith for today" (or something like that) series.

any's about time. as i was writing the last article, i figured this would be a good topic...and then, hey! i've probably a few good ones in the archives of this blog.

so, if you have a few extra minutes in your day, would your peruse the archives and pick out a few entries you feel would make good newspaper articles (even if they need a few additions/subtractions)?

you can email them to me or just comment here...i'd prefer the email.


Mmmm...What's in That?

every cook has a secret spice or two...

when we first came to vermont we searched for a good pizza place. we would go out on a friday night or sunday afternoon and try different places...we never had much luck.

one place we tried in sherebrooke was interesting tho. the crust was excellent. the cheese was great. but the wasn't that it was bad, but it was...


we didn't like it all that much...but we kept on eating it, trying to figure out what the spice was.

was it extra garlic? no.
how about basil?
could it be a different kind of oregano?

we emptied the italian spice rack, took a look at spanish spice rack (ok...everything is thrown together in the same closet, but you get the point)...

we could not place that spice! what could it be.

thru the years (on the perfect pizza quest) i've thought about it; and thru deductive reasoning i've figured it out.

it was cinnamon. pizza?


like many restaurants, this was owned by greeks and there is a very traditional greek food called mousakka. it is a delicious casarole type dish with ground beef and eggplant and this creamy bichemal sauce on it...sometimes they serve it with a marinara type sauce on it...and one of the "secret" ingredients is...

cinnamon (i hope i'm spelling that right). just a pinch...a tiny, tiny bit. but that little bit changes the flavor drastically. but, bc cinnamon is associated with breakfast or dessert (at least in my mind) it was a very difficult flavor to detect in this pizza. it was out of place...

what are you adding to your life of faith? what are you mixing into your life that makes it pleasing to God? what are you stirring in to make your life an effective witness to those around you?

maybe your adding some stuff that makes christianity distasteful to those around the spice racks of your heart...add some good stuff. here's a helpful list from st. peter:

2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Wind (again)

a few months ago ( i think) i shared a song...

well, it has changed (as songs sometimes do)


I want to listen for the Wind
That isn’t just the wind
As it rustles thru the trees

I want to listen for the song
Although the night is long
In the morning hear the breeze

The wind is something a man can’t explain
i hear a voice talking but I tell you I’m sane

I’m tired of chasing after wind;
That is only wind
As it blows round the dead leaves

I’m tired of dead air,
the kind that just hangs there
Cause in the end it always leaves

The wind is one thing that leaves a man with nothing
When he thinks it something until he sees his empty hands

the wind, where it comes and where it goes
where it is and where it blows
for all our wisdom no one knows

Skewed Polls

i used to love calvin & hobbes. i miss reading them everyday...especially sunday. one shtick i loved was when calvin would go to his father with the lastest poll of six year olds...his father always was on the losing end. the funny thing is his fatherhood was not an elected position which would be affected by polls; but hey, a kid can dream, right?

if we polled 1000 Christians if they were being "fruitful and productive" (ala 2 peter 1) in thier christian lives i would guess that approximately 67.6% would say yes.

but is that a skewed poll?

if we polled 1000 christians if their church was being "fruitful and productive" we might get similar results...

but is it so? i don't know.

but i do think, if you wanted the truth about fruitfulness and productivity, you would speak to their (the christian's) friends. esp their non-christian friends.

you might ask them these sort of questions:

did you know your friend considers themself a person of faith?
do you know what kind of faith your friend has?
has your friend ever talked about their faith with you?
where they able to talk about it w/o arguing?
has your friend being a person of faith had a positive effect on you?
have they generated an interest in you to seek out a faith of your own?
have your seen your friend's faith expressed in ways other than verbal?
has your friend ever invited you to church?
would you go with them if they invited you?

what would your friends say?