Sep 112011

I seem to be called on often to give the prayer at the end of our Sunday School class. We just started a study of the Beatitudes, and of course the 9/11 commemoration services were all over the TV and radio this morning. Just before going into Church I heard President Obama at the Memorial in New York read Psalm 46. I try to make the prayer topical with current events and the lesson, so this is most of what I recall saying:

Father God, at this time of remembrance you are our refuge and strength, but we confess our sin of fear…rational fear and irrational fear which has caused us the mistrust and suspicion of our neighbors and brothers and sisters around the world…a fear that has driven us to war. You are the God who bends the bough, breaks the spear, and burns the chariot in the fire. You are also the God who has called “blessed” the peacemakers. Send us out in peace as peacemakers. Amen

Everyone is writing something about 9/11. Plenty will write words more fitting of the occasion, so I’ll leave my discussion to this prayer.

Being Friends with God

 Culture, Featured, Holidays, Religion  Comments Off on Being Friends with God
Jan 172010

Today in Sunday School, we are still going through the Rick Warren book. This discussion was about being friends with God. The discussion went off in a number of directions, and I’m not sure how much I got out of this week. Today is also the Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., so I wanted to work in a reference to that in today’s prayer. I heard a great story this morning on NPR about how King had once been asked, in his teenage years, what he was looking at as he stared out the Window. He was watching the gas lamp lighter going along lighting the gas lights. King said he was watching the man, “knock holes in the darkness.”

God, we have been told byy the prophet Micah to walk with you. As we walk with you teach us to talk less and listen more…to you and to our earthly friends.

Thank you God for the processes of your world which bring us the warmth and light of the sunshine, and the cleansing nourishment of the rain. We confess we don’t always understand that natural world, and today we pray especially for our brothers and sisters in Haiti who are experiencing  a desperation we can’t begin to comprehend. Remind us too that while this a tragedy on a scale unprecedented, others experience equally difficult personal tragedies every day. We pray also for them.

As we celebrate the birthday of one of the great leaders of our time, we remember Dr. King’s story of describing the work of the town’s lamp lighter as “knocking holes in the darkness.” As we deepen our friendship with you, show us to knock holes in the darkness of our world.


A New Series-Prayers and Meditations

 Religion, Society  Comments Off on A New Series-Prayers and Meditations
Jan 032010

It seems I’m frequently asked to offer the closing prayer for my Sunday School class. I guess some are good enough that I’ve been asked to get them down for possible future publication. This seems to be as good a place as any. So this may be the first in what may become a series.

Right now we are studying Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life.” I’m not thrilled about that. Today’s lesson was about making God smile. While I usually try to tie the prayer to the lesson, I didn’t really do that today.

Father God, we stand today at that unique place on the calendar where we shrug off the tatters of the old year, and look forward to  a new year with the hope and opportunities offered by new beginnings. Use this time to remind us that because of your unbounded grace, each day can be a new beginning; a re-committment to faith; and a renewal of spirit. Help us learn that same grace that we might forgive those who trespass against us, and while we pray they be few, give that same grace to others that they may forgive our trespasses.

We confess that in the past decade we have allowed our civil discourse to become harsh. We have clinched our fists, crossed our arms, and divided ourselves…not only across geographic lines, but across beliefs, ideologies, and most sadly, religion. We have adopted a dangerous arrogance that we alone are right, and therefore all others must be wrong.

We have been reminded across the ages by the prophets and sages that we are all your children, and as such we are, each one living today, those who came before, and all who will come after, brothers and sisters. We pray for the strength to put aside our petty sibling rivalries, lay down our weapons, un-cross our arms, un-clinch our fists, and open our hearts to that simple great commandment given us by your son, that we love you, and love one another. We ask this in his name…


Weekend of July 29, 2007

 Friends, Fun Stuff, Places, Religion, St. Petersburg  Comments Off on Weekend of July 29, 2007
Jul 292007

It was a fairly quiet weekend. Lay was working, so we did not have his nephews over, and I got a little much needed rest.

The headset jack on the cordless telephone headset had gone bad. I first thought it was the headset itself, as I go through one of those about every six months. I think it’s critical given that I can often spend hours on teleconferences, and am often typing while on the conferences taking notes or updating spreadsheets. I bought the new headset, and found that didn’t solve the problem, so I went up to Circuit City to buy a new Uniden handset. They have ones they say will work with the base I have, but it turns out they will not. I can order a replacement headset, but the one for my base is $55. The ones that fit every other Uniden base are only $25. Well, a whole new base unit with TWO headsets was only $64 with a $10 rebate.

I had not been to church in a while, so I went to Sunday School this morning. We had what was frankly uninspiring and uninteresting discussion about the anti-christ. I got asked to teach again on Labor Day Sunday. I’m not sure I want to take it on. I also went to Clearwater today to pick up a car part of Lay’s Honda. I had dinner with Mike and Jeff.

Apr 032006

I wish I had something of real interest to write about after the weekend, but alas,nothing significant happened.

Sunday, I started leading a four week series in one of the Sunday school classes at PCUMC. We’re discussing the Social Principles of the Methodist Church. I got involved in the class when I read that one of the retired ministers who attends our church was going to do a series on the history of Methodism. It was something that interested me, so I started attending.

Because I usually had an opinion, and spoke up, I got asked to lead a series. This was the topic I chose. The group is an older group, but not the really old folks. They tend to be fairly mature in their faith, and the discussions have usually been fairly intelligent, but there is a wide range of views. I think the class is trending toward conservative, so we’ll see how the discussion goes when we get to the really controversial topics like homosexuality and abortion.

Sunday afternoon, Lay and I went over to St. Pete to visit some of his family. We ate lunch at a little seafood place called the Casual Clam. We’ve seen it before, and talked about eating there. It was very good, and while not the cheapest, it was reasonably priced. Lay tried some jerk spiced chicken wings. They didn’t taste but he didn’t like them. He only ate about two, and asked for a box. The waitress was very nice and asked him about them. When he told they just weren’t what he expected, she took them back, didn’t charge us for them, and he ordered some shrimp…that were great. So, it was not only good food, but a good experience as well.

I went to Mike and Jeff’s for dinner, and watched Duce Bigelow, European Gigolo with them.

Lay was not in a great mood Saturday. We had planned dinner and a movie, but he decided he wanted to go play poker at Derby Lane. I went to dinner with Mike and Jeff. We tried a new place not far from the house. It was about $80 for the three of us, but the food was pretty good.