Prayer Note #56 — A Prayer for First Responders

A Prayer for First Responders “You must not go about as a slanderer among your people.  You must not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is at stake. I am the Lord.  You must not hate your brother in your heart.  You must surely reprove your fellow citizen so that you do not incur … Continue reading

Pastor Note #55 — The Joy and Humility of Pastoral Ministry

  Last Fall, I passed my thirtieth anniversary in pastoral ministry.  At one of its meetings around that time, our presbytery recognized those of us who were marking anniversaries in multiples of five –tenth, fifteenth, twentieth, etc.  They started with the smaller anniversaries and worked up.  It took them a little while to get to … Continue reading

Pastor Note #48 — Living in Time, Living with God, Part 4: Obedience–Faith in the Present Tense

            We human beings live within time very much the way fish live within water.  One way to think about the relationship of faith to the passage of time is to think about the tenses of faith.  I’ve described it this way.  Faith oriented toward the past faithfulness of God is gratitude.  Faith oriented toward … Continue reading

Prayer Note #39 — On Not Being All That I Could Be

Let me have ears to hear you clearly and a heart and mind to understand you deeply and a strong inclination to go as you lead me and to use what you have given me, and so to glorify your name. You have given me many gifts, many resources, many tools.  But mostly I squander … Continue reading

Prayer Note #36 — The Time of my Life

Here I am, Lord.  It’s a little before 5:00 A.M., and I’ve been awake for a half an hour or so, lying in bed, my mind wandering from thought to thought.  I seem to be done sleeping, though the clock tells me that I shouldn’t be.  Have you wakened me for some reason?  Or is … Continue reading

Pastor Note #41–From the Earliest Days

             From my earliest days, I have been part of a Presbyterian church.  Much of my extended family was actively involved in the life and ministry of that church.  Although the congregation of my youth was biblically grounded, it was not especially remarkable compared to other churches in the community.             About the time … Continue reading

Prayer Note #31 — For the Day’s Living and Working

My Lord, I want to devote everything I do today to your service to the advance of your kingdom.  I don’t want merely to go through the motions, to get to the end of the day having checked off everything on my “to do” list but having done it in my sleep with no thought … Continue reading

Pastor Note #28 — The Marks of Everyday Life

Bringing the Marks of Everyday Life into the Presence of the Lord Finally, I had a decent black suit.  I was very pleased with that fact on this particular morning as I drove to conduct a funeral. Until a recent, successful trip to the Bargain Hut, I had been without a good black suit.  I … Continue reading

Prayer Note #26 — A Pastor’s Sunday Morning Prayer

Lord, my emotions are squirming around in me in a very uncomfortable way.  I know that that is caused by a wide range of pressures, stressors, foolish thoughts, genuine problems, and a real sense of overload, of having more things in my mind than I can keep track of.  Important matters are slipping through my … Continue reading

Pastor Note #25 — Words of “Wisdom” from One of the Old Guys

Today, I received an e-mail from my seminary alma mater, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  It was sent out to all of their alumni, inviting them to share some “words of wisdom” for those who will be graduating in about a month.  Since that sounded like a lot more fun than what I was supposed to be … Continue reading