PJ’s Sunday Blessing

It is a beautiful morning in Spread Eagle, Wisconsin as we prepare to worship in Iron Mountain Michigan. Railroad Lake is sparkling with ripples, the trees are looking pretty, and the temperature is just perfect for a fall morning. It has been a great get-away! Our prayers go out to those in the path of NATE, and those continuing to recover from IRMA and HARVEY. We also pray for all those under oppression and seeking freedom. God created this beautiful world for all to enjoy; it is a shame that all people can’t enjoy what God created for them. See you in church,...

PJ’s Sunday Blessing

It is a beautiful October morning in Fishers, Indiana; fall is truly in the 46 degree air. Trees are beginning to turn yellow and orange and there is dew on the grass, God’s world is following its normal pattern, and God’s plan is unfolding as it should. As we head to Faith to celebrate today, we collect our Peace and Social Witness special offering. A reminder that peace and social witness go hand in hand. Those suffering injustice, oppression, loss of hope, and living in refuge camps need us to stand up for them. They will have no peace until things change; they will have no peace until people like us get involved through giving, action, and praying. Pray for others; pray for justice, tolerance, love and hope for all. See you in church,...

Have you ever rolled a stone over?

Have you ever rolled a stone over? Sometimes there are worms; sometimes little rolly polly bugs; sometimes only grass or dirt. Whether surprises or not, moving a stone is an interesting experience. The daily Bible reading from Faith this morning was Genesis 29: 1 – 14, that describes the first meeting of Jacob, son of Isaac, with his future wife, Rachel. They met at a well where shepherds bring their sheep. They are an unlikely couple. I don’t think lookingforawife.com would have paired them up: • He is blessed. She is a lowly shepherd. • He is fleeing. She is following her daily routine. • He is a younger son. She is a younger daughter. • He is a dreamer. She is down to earth. • He is looking for his uncle. She is looking for the well. • He is a tither. She has nothing to give. • She needs the stone covering the well to be rolled away; Jacob rolls it away. The only thing they have in common is that Jacob is looking for water and so is Rachel. And, by the way, she also is his first cousin. Part of verse 8 says this: We can’t water the sheep “until…the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep.” Without waiting for the proper time, Jacob rolls the stone away, and the sheep are given fresh water. So they meet, water the sheep, fall in love and eventually marry. (But that is another story.) As I read this, I remembered the words from Matthew 2: “And suddenly...
We Are Family. Ask Us About Our Stories.

We Are Family. Ask Us About Our Stories.

Do you remember the song We Are Family?  It was sung by four sisters, who named their singing group Sister Sledge. It was a song about families.  It featured a catchy tune that was popular in 1979 and continues to be used in commercials and is heard often at weddings. Sledge family rule spelled out in the last verse: Here’s what we call our Golden Rule, Have faith in you and the things you do, you won’t go wrong. In those lines, the sisters told us one of the rules expected to be followed by those living in their family.  It is a rule that must have worked for them, as the family stuck together.  Three of the sisters were still performing until early this year, when sister Joni, died in March.   The written rule must have guided them well over the years. Does your family have rules?  Do all families have rules?  Are they as public as the Sledge’s was, or are they unwritten and known only to those in the family?  Do Christians have family rules?  Does our Faith Presbyterian family?  Are they all written or do we have unwritten guidelines that family members understand, but are unknown to others?  Are there family stories and family secrets that we either consciously or unconsciously keep to ourselves?  If we do, do they hinder others from feeling welcome?  How do we share them in welcoming others? Suppose I asked you “where are the Apostle Doors?” How would you answer that question?  What would you say?  Would you look around and wonder if you missed seeing them when you came in...
Eyes Opened

Eyes Opened

What happens when your eyes are opened to see something that you thought was impossible to see? That’s what happens to the two disciples who walk with a stranger on the road out of Jerusalem on Easter Sunday afternoon.  They spend an hour or so (or possibly more) walking along with him, chatting about events of the past week in Jerusalem, enjoying the afternoon sunlight. They have had a really hard week; a week in which they watched their leader, Jesus, hanging on a cross until he was dead.  They are lost.  Their hearts are broken.  They think their world has ended.  They can’t see anything positive in the future. Then they stop for the night and ask the stranger to stop with them and share the evening meal. He does and joins them at the table in the inn. As they begin to eat, the stranger picks up the loaf of wonderful homemade bread that the waiter has brought to the table, and breaks it to give them each a piece. What happens next for them is like when you find the o in the puzzle below.  Look for it, and when you find it, remember how you felt when you found it. cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc cccccccccccocccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc When he passes the bread to them, they immediately recognize the stranger – he is Jesus, the man they thought was gone forever. He is alive. They are astounded! What they think is impossible is possible!  Jesus, who they thought they would never see again, is with them!  They see him!...