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Showing posts from February, 2018

It's Only A Name

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I believe one of the most difficult jobs of parenthood is choosing a name for your unborn child. There are books and websites to help us all figure out what to name our child. Many of us spend time search family records so that we can give our children a name that reminds them of their family or the name comes out of a shared experience by the parents. Regardless of how we select a name it is still one of the first ways parents begin to influence their child’s life. A name tells the world who you are, where you come from and to whom you belong. In today’s scripture reading, God not only knows the names of Abram and Sarai but he changes them to remind them how they are now changed. When God promises to bless them and their descendants’ but he gives them a reminder of this promise. They are new people because of their new relationship with God so they have new names that suit their new roles. Name changing happens a few times in scripture to indicate a new relationship with God. Jacob b…

Rest and Restoration: Even for God!

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He makes me lie down in green pastures, and leads me beside still waters.” Psalm 23: 2
On Sunday, we heard about the 2nd verse of the 23rd Psalm. God provides us with rest both for our bodies and our souls. A sheep that is able to lie down in a pasture, and not be alert for an attack, is able to rest and recover. The sheep is not only safe but it is in a place where it’s needs for food and water are also met. The sheep is able to have true rest that heals and rebuilds. We have in our progress lost the art of rest. We get constant alerts on our phones. We are able to binge on TV shows. We are even able to not turn off the lights because we reach the good part of our book. We have a difficult time sleeping and relaxing. I find it very hard to turn everything off, both externally and internally, and stop, rest and recover from the many demands of daily life. Many of our modern day illnesses can at their core be linked to a lack of sleep. ADHD, depressions, heart disease and even obesity h…

“Studyin’ about that good ole way”

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There is an old gospel hymn, that is a favorite in our house, called As I Went Down To The River To Pray. It is a simple tune and repetitive enough that our boys learned it as they were learning to talk. You can listen to Allison Krause's version here:  Allison Krause sings "As I Want Down To The River To Pray"
This song is an invitation to all to be baptized into the body of Christ, but even more important to me than the invitation is a kernel of wisdom that I think is so important for Christians to remember. The first line of the song is “As I went down to the river to pray, studyin’ about that good ole way.” It is the “studyin’ about that good ole way” that I would like to focus on today.
For years, we taught that the Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament were two separate stories but through more study we have come to understand that the old stories tell us as much about who God is as the do the stories of Jesus.  Christianity uses these stories to help us form our un…

Values? But Why?

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Will you by your prayers and witness help this child to grow into the full stature of Christ? Parents and Godparents: I will, with God's help. (Book of Common Prayer, 302) When was the last time your family saw you praying outside of church? When have you involved your children or godchildren in the acts of kindness you do for others because your see God in them? These are personal things that many of us do not think to share with our children. I did not grow up knowing that my parents prayed beyond the dinner table or that they gave to those who had less than we did. I know this now but as a child I was unaware.
In Matthew 6 it says “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret …