FacebookTwitterRSS Feed
  • pic
  • pic
  • pic
  • pic
  • pic

Thoughts from Pastor Dan

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

For this week’s devotional, I offer a prayer that I wrote for a conference call.  Have you ever prayed over the phone?  The first time I ever had prayer on the phone was with a teenager who called me—then her youth minister—to talk through something challenging in her life.  I was on my cell phone walking down the street in a semi-crowded area when the voice on the other end of phone said, “Will you pray for me?”  Taken aback, I said, “Well…sure!”  I stopped walking and stood still right there on the sidewalk with people passing me by on either side.  Then the words came, and then the ‘amen,’ and then a mutual exhale of relief and peace on both ends of the phone.

 

Read more: Prayer via a Conference Call?

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactive

Guest submission by Ana Deter - Licensed Lay Minister

 

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

 

If you have time to open the back door in the morning while you’re drinking your coffee and look at the sky or hear the chorus the birds offer, you have time for the marvelous.  You may only have a moment before the polite chaos of the day starts, but that moment can stretch to the horizon … Most of life is fascinating if looked at closely enough.

Dine Ackerman

 

Read more: Gods precious gift of TIME: How do you spend yours?

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

The youth group of our church is preparing for a mission trip.  We’re joining five Austin-area youth groups for a trip to Livingston, Alabama, where we will work with an organization called Alabama Rural Ministry (ARM) doing various construction projects and providing a day camp for children in a highly impoverished area.

 

ARM requires that all groups working with them complete an extensive Bible study.  This is in an effort to prepare teenagers to be humble servants for others, setting their own interests aside as testament to Christ’s servanthood toward his friends.  The Bible study concludes with each participant signing what’s called a “Do No Harm Oath,” one of the stipulations being, “I will subordinate my self-interest (the need to feel good, rewarded, etc.) to the needs of those being served.”  This covenantal agreement mirrors Scripture: “…in humility regard others as better than yourselves.  Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”

 

Read more: Covenant of Mutuality

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

Today’s midweek message appeared in Saturday’s Eagle, my monthly clergy column.  It was inspired by my new friend and ministerial colleague, Rev. Jeff Hood, who concluded his pilgrimage against the death penalty on Thursday in Austin on the Capitol steps.  I pray this brings you thought-provoking blessings and peace.

 

Pilgrimages and hunger strikes.  The kind of nonviolent activism espoused by Gandhi seems distant and impractical in our present context.  Enter Rev. Jeff Hood, a Southern Baptist pastor who, dressed in clergy vestments, walked 200 miles across Texas in the 93-degree heat over the last two weeks in an effort to raise awareness about capital punishment.  Hood remarked, “Through walking in prophetic imagination, Jesus changed the world.  On my pilgrimage from Livingston to Austin, I follow Jesus’ lead and with every step remind my fellow Texans that you cannot love your neighbor as your self and execute them.”

 

Read more: Justice All About Restoration, Not Retribution

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult…“Be still, and know that I am God!” –Psalm 46:1-3, 10a

 

For a long time now, Job has been my favorite book of the Bible.  On the surface that sounds cryptic.  Why would a story about a man who loves God more passionately than most suffering hardships more tragic than most peek my interest?  What I’ve come to discover is that my initial and enduring interest in Job is not in the troubling nature of his sufferings but in the relational nature of his questioning.  At the heart of Job’s experience is our very curious, very human question: Why?  Questioning, it seems to me, informs a life of faith that is passionately in love with God.

 

Read more: Fostering Faith with Curious Questions

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

With the end of another school year, we attended awards ceremonies at our kids’ school yesterday.  Each child walked across a stage and received awards while their teacher doted on their attendance record, number of books read, etc.  One teacher added something unique.  “Our class focused on goals this year,” the teacher said, “so, each of my kids wrote down their goals, and I’m going to say each child’s goal when they come up to receive their award.”

 

Read more: Goals and Dreams

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactive

Dear Church Family,

 

”I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.” –John 14:18-19, NRSV

 

I recently had the opportunity to see one of the first blockbuster movies of the summer: X-Men: Days of Future Past.  This fifth installment of the X-Men film franchise finds the ageless mutant Wolverine (played by the equally ageless Hugh Jackman) traveling back in time to stop the assassination of a government scientist.  His murder would result in the vengeful backlash of countless mutants and their human sympathizers being wiped out by killer robots created by the slain scientist.  The assassin is a young mutant named Raven.  She is good-natured, and she hasn’t taken a life…yet.  Wolverine convinces Raven’s estranged friend Charles Xavier to help him stop Raven from acting against her better angels in the act of murder, and, consequently sparing countless mutants and their allies from being killed in the future.

 

Read more: How refusal leads to redemption

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

I offer today’s midweek devotional and announcements one day early to remind us about tonight’s Theology on Tap gathering, 6pm, at Perrine Winery on Harvey Road, where will enjoy friendship, wine and refreshments, and a fun conversation about Sabbath.

 

“A Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from His.  Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest.” –Hebrews 4:9-11a

 

Read more: I Have Always Loved the Necessity of Sleep

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

Today’s midweek devotional comes a day late along with an important announcement left out of yesterday’s midweek announcements.  The following devotional is an excerpt from the clergy column that will appear in this Saturday’s Eagle.

 

One person who claims to be a Christian believes in a literal understanding of the earth being created in seven days, while another person who claims to be a Christian believes in a metaphorical interpretation of creation with ongoing lessons for how we treat the earth and each other.  One self-proclaimed Christian stands by Just War Theory, while another self-proclaimed Christian insists on absolute pacifism.  One Christian calls it the Lord’s Supper, while another calls it Holy Communion.  And here Eminem demands, “Won’t the real Slim Shady please stand up!”  Which is the real Christian?

 

Read more: What is a real Christian?

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactiveStar inactive

Dear Friends Church Family,

 

In his sermon preached on a mountaintop, Jesus says, “Do not worry about your life.”  Ha!  I literally cannot afford to not worry about my life.  There are student loans and bills and that mortgage to pay.  There are children, pets, and my own belly to feed.  There are ailing parents and hospital bills and healthcare costs.  There is the upkeep of my home, my car, my yard, my clothes, and my body.  There is that tuition and those dues and the rent.  And let’s not forget about that pesky speeding ticket.  If you weren’t worried before you started reading this, maybe your anxiety level just went up a tick.

 

Read more: A Defiant Observance of Sabbath