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Only One Goal for Today

Give thanks to The Lord

1st Chronicles 16:34

Colleague and friend and another-brother-by-different-parents Mark Amenda recently wrote this, and it’s with his permission that I share it with you this Thanksgiving Day —

How many of you have that one or two relatives or friends, that when you gather on Thanksgiving, do nothing but complain about something?? You know, you are gathered around the table and all they do is, is, (I am trying to think of another word instead of the “B” word). For me that is a real downer.

We all have rough things happening or that have happened in our lives, but come on. Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all the blessings, large or small, that the Lord has given us, not a time to complain. 

I had one relative I wanted to stick face first in the gravy.

With all that has happened, the good, the bad and the ugly, I am still planing on rejoicing and giving thanks for ALL THINGS. Thank you Jesus.

And Thank You, Mark! No matter what else goes on, let’s have only one goal for today:  not complain, not risk someone sticking us “face first in the gravy,” but instead let’s give thanks to The Lord.

You Made Me So

In her sermon this past weekend, our Associate Pastor Jessica told about helping with a food pantry truck in Washington, D.C. while attending our United Methodist seminary there.

One of the recipients has stuck with her for several years.

As she was handing this homeless immigrant from China a peanut butter sandwich, a bowl of soup and a bag of carrots, he smiled and sang this to her: “You made me so very happy.”

Maybe you recognize that as a line from a classic rock song by Blood, Sweat and Tears. Here’s a link to a great live version, with David Clayton Thomas singing it:

That entire song just might find its way into a worship service before long as a form of a doxology. It goes in part —

I lost at love before
Got mad and closed the door
But you said, “Try, just once more”
I chose you for the one
Now we’re having so much fun
You treated me so kind
I’m about to lose my mind
CHORUS: You made me so very happy
I’m so glad you came into my life
The others were untrue
But when it came to loving you
I’d spend my whole life with you
‘Cause you came and you took control
You touched my very soul
You always showed me that
Loving you is where it’s at
CHORUS: You made me so very happy
I’m so glad you came into my life
Not a bad prayer for Thanksgiving…not a bad thing to tell to someone sitting at the table with you tomorrow…not a bad thing to go ahead and sing….
And please let me say Thank You for reading and commenting as so many of you do, either here or elsewhere online or on the street or wherever. Thank You. You made me so very happy..

Each Day is What?

“Each day is an event,” the ad says.

Wish it were an ad for a church.  Any church. (Last time I checked, we’re all on the same team. As our congregation’s parade presence said about a month ago, we’re part of “Team Jesus.”)

“Each day is an event” is the current ad campaign for Brooks Brothers clothes.

And it’s not bad way to approach any and every day now, is it?

“Each day is an event,” profoundly because this is the day the Lord has made, says Psalm 118:24.

Let’s rejoice and be glad in it, as that Bible verse goes on to say.

Sounds like it’s true: “Each day is an event.”

Even today?

Especially today: THIS is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Take One with You This Week

As we start what is for many a new work week, pick out one of these and put it in the pocket of your heart —

  1. God’s love for me never ends.
  2. God’s love for me will never wear out, run or give out.
  3. God’s faithfulness to me is more than I can imagine, and it’s real.

Which one fits you best today?

And oh yeah, by the way, they’re all from Lamentations 3:22,23…and they’re all true.

Now again, which of these three are you taking with you this week?

Act Like It

If you’re serious

about living

this new resurrection life

with Christ, act like it.

— St. Paul, Colossians 3:1

Was St. Paul a United Methodist?

He’d sure make a good one. In our Bible verses for this weekend, he calls us to get busy, which sounds like a United Methodist Christian talking:  “If you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.”

How do we do that, Paul?

“Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.” (Colossians 3:1, 2)

That’s easier when we’ve been in corporate worship and a faithful small group.

Today’s a good day for that.

If You’re Serious

If you’re serious

about living

this new resurrection life

with Christ,

act like it.

— St. Paul, Colossians 3:1

Scrolling back up from where we were last weekend here (Colossians 3:16), notice how that entire chapter starts.

If you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ,” the first verse of Colossians says.


There’s what has been called the biggest two-letter word in the English language: “If.”

Are we? Are we “serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ” or not?

If we are, where and when are we going to learn and experience more about it this weekend?

Like I write at the conclusion of many of the things I write for the congregation I serve: See you in worship if not before.

If you’re serious.

“I Know There Are a Lot of Families”

Maggie and Brian are raising several children and doing a great job of it.

She wrote this yesterday, and I share it with her permission —


Sylvia: How can we help the refugees? I know there are a lot of families, but at least one of them can fit in our house!

Mattie: And maybe we can build them bigger boats so that they can be safe on their way!

Sylvia: And we should pray for God to put love into the hearts of the evil men. That would fix everything.


At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying,

“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

And calling to him a child,

he put him in the midst of them and said,

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn

and become like children,

you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Whoever humbles himself

like this child

is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

— Matthew 18:1-4


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