Someone spit in my face!

 

Well, not exactly, and it’s actually a great family story.  I talk about it in 2018’s first sermon: The Image of God Within Us.

++If you’re reading by email or news reader, click here to listen.++

Seeing each other as the image of God is the key.

Otherwise:

  • I’m just another annoying loud mouth.
  • You’re just giving another dollar to some guy on the corner.
  • Chances are they will always be your enemy.
  • You’ll never move toward forgiveness (for yourself or someone else).
  • Everyone else will always be the problem.

You get it, right?  It may take some digging.  You might find it to be one of the most difficult things to do.  But the more committed we are to seeing ourselves and each other as an image of God, the more peace we’ll experience.

Stay blessed…john

 

Why husbands should make the bed

There’s a simple reason you, Mr. Husband, should be making your bed everyday.

Depending on the number of throw pillows you’ve acquired, making the bed takes approximately 1.5 minutes.  Yes, I’ve timed it.  Now, I’m not suggesting a simple gesture of your willingness to pull your weight around the house.  If you want to do that, take care of the dishes or run the vacuum (without being asked!).

No, I have something much more meaningful in mind.

I’ve never ran a poll, but I get the impression a lot of husbands forget to pray for their wives.  Okay, maybe they don’t forget.  Maybe they get too busy to pray for their wives.  Maybe they’ve never thought to pray for their wives.  But think of it this way.  You’ve committed to be with your wife through everything.  Why not commit to support her even before she “needs it”?

If you commit to make the bed, you can use that 1.5 minutes to intentionally pray for your wife.  Everyday.

What do you pray for?

  • for her faith
  • for her day to be blessed
  • for her health and wholeness
  • that she could withstand any discouragement she may face today
  • that your marriage would be a blessing to her (and you)
  • that God would keep you in love with each other
  • for purity of love and affection
  • for concerns or troubles you know she has dealt with lately
  • (fill in your blank)

Make sure to give thanks to God for your wife, too.  And be protective of these 2.5 minutes.  Make sure you get there first!

Just like that you’ll find yourself praying more for the love of your life.  See how easy that was?

Stay blessed…john

Sermon Preview | God’s Image Within Us

I’m hoping to do a better job of preparing these weekly sermon previews.

I have created a template that includes the music and title slide. So, that means for each week’s video all I need to do is:

  1. Write a script.  The videos are intended to be just over a minute long.  The script shouldn’t be too difficult.
  2. Insert the video file within the template.
  3. Upload to YouTube
  4. Share through email and social media

My goal is that each one would be viewed at least 50 times.  That doesn’t sound like a lot, but considering our church’s context, I think it is enough of a challenge.  The aim is to provide church members an easy invitation for someone they know to attend weekend worship.

Here’s this week’s preview.

That’s my goal.  That’s my plan of action.  Away we go!

Stay blessed…john

An Amazon experimenet

Technology is helping to remove our excuses.  Have you ever thought, “I’d like to help that guy, but there’s no way I can….”

I appreciate the intent of the video.  The creator says (at the end of the video) the hope is that Amazon would see it and” realize their potential to enable giving.”  That’s what I want churches (the people in them) to realize, too.

++If you’re reading by email or news reader, click here to watch the video.++

Stay blessed…john

A powerful Christmas scene

++Update: YouTube has blocked the video I used in this post due to copyright restrictions. Now, you’ll have to watch the episode!++

Tonight, our church hosted a Service of the Longest Night.  I’ve repeatedly said that I anticipate this service more than the other Christmas time services.  Yes, even candlelight worship.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love candlelight and sharing in Communion as we praise God for the gift of Jesus.  From time to time I see the faces of nursing home residents in my mind.  For several years, we hosted a Christmas Eve service at a local nursing home.  As I have lit the Christ candle and walked the Light down the center aisle as the residents watched, joy filled their faces.  I love that.

But the Longest Night service reminds me of our true need.  We….I need healing, hope and to be reminded that the Light of Christ always shines through our darkest moments.  Salvation.  Shalom.

And God has given us the Light to shine into the lives of others.

When we got home from the Longest Night service, I recalled an episode of Call the Midwife on Netflix. Gloria began watching Call the Midwife last year.  I eavesdropped from time to time as I was reading or writing.  I admit that I gradually became a fan of the series.  And I have no problem telling you how powerful I think the following scene is.

Just watch

I recommend you watch the entire 2012 Christmas episode.  There’s more to the story and you would appreciate how difficult it had been for the caretakers to find themselves at the home of the woman.  But just by watching you can use your imagination when you see the semi-displeased look of the nurse.  You can hear the attitude and rejection in the woman’s voice. At one point the old woman took a good swing at the nun.

Still, the caretakers pursued.

They pursued someone others had given up on or would just have forgotten otherwise.  There is so much beauty in these brief 3 minutes.

  • Again, they are attempting to care for the woman even after she has displayed less than friendly behavior toward them.
  • Notice the struggle of the nurse. What else would she rather be doing at that moment.
  • Hear the compassion of the nun as she realizes the nature of the woman’s pain.
  • Someone more equipped to help the woman, a podiatrist, would be of service to the woman later.  But, for now, they had care to give her.
  • Shame.  The woman looks away at her shame.
  • The first time I watched this, I teared up as O Come, O Come Emmanuel played.  That was Incarnational ministry.
  • The woman is able to look into the eyes of those who are caring for her.  Shame no more.

That is what Emmanuel means.  That God is with us.  And when you and I share God’s care with the world, especially to those the world would rather forget, we are bringing the Light to the world.  It’s like Christmas has come again.

And that is a very, merry Christmas!

Stay blessed…john