Saturday, January 30, 2010

Speak When You are Angry?

Get a load of this quote I found on Kelly Forrester's Twitter:

"Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. " (Ambrose Bierce)

Ever done this and been sorry?

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Single Hand on My Shoulder

The music had been worshipful and appropriate. The prayers had been heartfelt and compassionate. The scripture reading focused and familiar. And the sermon delivered by my daughter almost lost to me because it was my little princess all grown up standing before me and speaking with such clarity and depth about her subject.

Then came the appreciation time: it's Pastor Appreciation Day at our church today and I was deeply touched by how dear the gratitude was that was being expressed about me and my better-than-me partner in ministry. And the poem and gift will be cherished forever!

But you know what really meant the world to me? A single hand on my shoulder! One of the ushers came to stand beside my pew to wait for prayer to end so he could collect the joyfully-given tithes and offerings. While he waited, he did a most human thing and simply rested a supportive hand on my slumping left shoulder. This single act communicated emotions true and validating and I was filled with a very real sense of my Heavenly Father's hand on me, too.

Mr. Usher (you know who you are!), thank you for caring enough to express it in this simple but profound gesture. You put the capstone on my Pastor Appreciation Day!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Son Born to This

In a meeting I led this week, one of the participants spoke about an event that occurred back in 1976. I was a part of that event. It sent my mind whirling to those days and the realization that I was born in Glens Falls, the very city where I now serve Christ and His church, and that this city is truly my home by birth.

There is something deeply satisfying about serving with the people where I was born. I'm thankful for the years that are mine to serve where God has placed me.

There is a connectedness I sense in it all, a feeling that rises up within me each visit I make to the regional hospital where I, too, was born on that frigid day in January, 1961. I sense it again as I sip coffee in a favorite downtown shop and idolize the shopping trips I made there as a child, long before the malls reached out to consumers like me. It emerges as I drive to the westerly on Quaker Road and observe the majesty of the mountain range that surrounds this city and her residents and I feel embraced by a region that was once my home, then was not, but is now once again.

Sons and daughters of the Adirondacks, come home. There is a place for you in these wilds that no other place of earth can offer. Your people are warm and inviting. Your economy is strong and recovering. Your churches are healthy and growing. Your possibilities for happiness are endless. And more than anything else, you simply owe it to yourself to re-discover what has been lost to you in your global galavanting!

I am a son of the Adirondacks - and I was born to this!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lament by Evangeline Paterson

Weep, weep for those
Who do the work of the Lord
With a high look
And a proud heart.
Their voice is lifted up
In the streets, and their cry is heard.
The bruised reed they break
By their great strength, and the smoking flax
They trample.

Weep not for the quenched
(For their God will hear their cry
And the Lord will come to save them)
But weep, weep for the quenchers

For when the Day of the Lord
Is come, and the vales sing
And the hills clap their hands
And the light shines

Then their eyes shall be opened
On a waste place,
The smoke of the flax bitter
In their nostrils,
Their feet pierced
By broken reed-stems . . .
Wood, hay, and stubble,
And no grass springing.
And all the birds flown.

Weep, weep for those
Who have made a desert
In the name of the Lord.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Use Power to Help People

"Use power to help people. For we are given power not to advance our own purposes, nor to make a great show in the world, nor a name. There is but one just use of power, and it is to serve people." (George H. W. Bush)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Left Undone?

The Book of Common Prayer (General Confession) leaves us with this thought-provoking admission, "We have left undone those things which we ought to have done."