Ask-the-Pastor: Supporting a Friend with Terminal Illness

Deuteronomy 30:6-14, Psalm 25:1-10, Luke 10:25-37

July 14 2019.jpg
May you know serenity
When you are called
To enter the house of suffering.
— John O'Donahue

Sermon Notes

Although not my favorite book on the Bible ever, certainly a converstion starter with great contextual information about some of our favorite stories. So thank you Rob Bell, for you scholarship and writing! See What is the Bible? to learn more.

Sermon for July 7, 2019: Reflections, Distortions, and the Image of God

Isaiah 66:10-14, Psalm 66:1-9, Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Photo courtesy Jo Hobart

Photo courtesy Jo Hobart

Sermon Notes — After I preached this sermon about images, I stumbled upon some other helpful voices. Karen Harris, a Bethel member, sent me a link to this segment on 60 Minutes with artist JR — a totally beautiful exploration of the mystery of the incarnation and the role of the creative Spirit in social change.

And then I found this book at the rummage sale at my mom’s church. In it was this gem that reminded me of my own intolerant voice toward my kiddos…

Mirrors are Funny from The Golden Bedtime Book, 1955

Mirrors are funny ---

When I look in mine,

I always see someone who's looking just fine.

Though people insist that my shoes are undone,

And instead of two mittens, I only have one,

That my hair isn't combed,

And my face isn't clean,

That's not like the someone I always have seen!

They say, "Stand up straight!"

And, "Stop frowning like that!"

And, "Here let me brush the dry mud from your hat!"

And, "If you could see yourself, I'll tell you, Miss ---

You surely would try to do better than this!

Go look in the mirror!"

I do. And in mine

I always see someone who's looking just fine.

Do you think, if I tiptoe when I go upstairs,

And look in the mirror when it’s unawares —-

I’ll see what they see — when I didn’t prepare

To look in the mirror up over the stair?

Ask-the-Pastor: The Heavy Burden of Relationships

Zechariah 9:9-12, Psalm 145:8-14, and Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

THE FIRST SERVICE THAT ONE OWES TO OTHERS IN THE FELLOWSHIP CONSISTS OF LISTENING TO THEM. JUST AS LOVE OF GOD BEGINS WITH LISTENING TO HIS WORD, SO THE BEGINNING OF LOVE FOR OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IS LEARNING TO LISTEN TO THEM.
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together

Sermon Notes

The story I told about Thistle Farms comes from this easy to read and lovely meditation by Becca Stevens -- The Way of Tea and Justice.  Check it out and order here.  Also check out their full work in Nashville too:

Sermon for 4/24/16: Lydia and Leymah

Acts 16:11-40, Psalm 146, Matthew 10:16-20, 11:28-30, 28:16-20

Suggested scripture readings follow the alternative lectionary in Brian McLaren's We Make the Road by Walking (public library and reference).

For Lydia who dealt in purple cloth, 2016

For Lydia who dealt in purple cloth, 2016

Sermon Notes

So lots of great resources this week to explore the story of Leymah Gbowee.  Check these out: her book Mighty be our Powers (public library and reference), a PBS series, Women, War and Peace which includes the documentary about the Liberian women's peace movement, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, and then this thorough Wikipedia article.  My quotes are drawn from Amy Goodman's interview of her with other women Nobel Peace Prize recipients last year on Democracy Now.  Watch it here...and ignore the title of the interview...sensationalist gimmick.