One of the things that continues to catch my eye as we traverse the lands of Scotland and Ireland are the many photogenic passage ways that come into view. I’ve included a few pictures in this post to illustrate what we’ve seen.
Initially these registered as scenic paths or walkways leading us toward a new destination or discovery. But in time I came to see the deeper passage ways pilgrims
of faith have followed in their pursuit of hope, answers and reassurance in life’s challenges. Truly we are not so different today as we continue to seek paths to God and our own faithful discipleship.
These moments in time are helping me reframe my thinking along the way as to how to articulate the One who is “The Way” to others in our world filled with round-abouts (something Europe loves) and dead end choices.
I invite you to identify the everyday passage ways you see before you today and consider the paths you are choosing.
One of the standard pastoral care questions I have often posed to persons who are dealing with a life challenging situation is: “What are you learning through this experience?” Over the past several weeks I have been asking myself this question as I’ve spent time on the other side of the pastoral care equation.
Without going into all the details I’ll share a little background: Continue reading
I have been a Purdue fan all of my life. No kidding, for as long as I can remember I have cheered on the Old Gold and Black. Why? I’m sure it had something to do with 3 older siblings attending Purdue University for college, as well as earning my own undergraduate degree from the West Lafayette campus. The allegiance was built early and runs deep. I can remember in elementary school wearing a different Purdue shirt every day of the week. My teachers even commented on my regular Purdue attire. Hey, it made getting dressed easy! Continue reading
In Isaiah 61:1-3 the poet prophet writes that he has been anointed “to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor . . . to comfort all who mourn . . . to give them a garland instead of ashes”.
You may recognize some of these words from Luke 4:18ff where Jesus incorporates them into his first sermon preached from the synagogue in Nazareth. He receives a rather mixed reaction from that congregation, some of whom spoke well of him and were amazed at his words, while others drove him out of town, ready to hurl him off the cliff. Tough audience! Continue reading
In this blog post I want to share a Thanksgiving prayer. I expected to write something somewhat traditional along the lines of recounting the many blessings for which we can offer thanks to God. And while there is an abundance of such blessing to recount – for which I am thankful – the prayer that began to form in my heart and mind went a different direction. This prayer is much more one of intercession for things in the news over the past year that many find troubling. As a pastor I have seen the effects the deterioration in our national dialogue has had on friends, families and the church. Perhaps you have as well. If so I invite you to join me in this prayer at Thanksgiving.
A Prayer at Thanksgiving
O God, in the noise and clutter of a confused and troubled world, help us to hear you. Continue reading