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His Daughter Said, part 2

The plane took off at an unusually steep angle, made a very wide turn, and suddenly they were above the storm.

[Note: Friend, colleague, and unappointed mentor, The Rev. Dr. R. Paul Sims, died Sunday, June 3rd. His service was Monday, June 11. Several elements of from that time bear repeating here. For example:]

When Carol Sims told about an emergency take off from JFK Airport, on the front edge of a hurricane, she gave us an image I’ll never forget. It feels like it needs to be part of The 23rd Psalm, telling about God’s care in that most terminal moment of life

Carol said that their plane took off at an unusually steep angle, made a very wide turn, and suddenly they were above the storm.

An  unusually steep angle, a very wide turn, and suddenly above the storm…that’s also been my experience on more than one occasion. Most of them had nothing to do an aircraft. Maybe you have, too.

Carol said it very well.

Amen?

 

 

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BONUS BLOG: For Belleville Union UMC Dads and Dad-Like People Only

A One Question Pop Quiz:

Q: In yesterday’s Father’s Day Children’s Sermon, Erika from Tennessee told us that she and her friends want something from us that money can’t buy. What is it?

 

Need a hint?

 

Sorry, you’re not gonna find a hint here.

 

Okay, maybe a subtle one: It’s Go Time.

 

Time’s up.

 

A: It’s time.

 

It’s time.

It’s time to make time to spend time doing something the person who calls us Dad, or for whom we fulfill a Dad-Like role, would like to do.

And let’s remember that Erika said she and her friends want the adults in their lives to listen to them, and to talk with them. 

New England Patriots’ Tom Brady was quoted yesterday* saying, “Kids just want the attention. You better be there and be available to them.”

They’re worth our effort.

And our time.

And not just on Father’s Day.


*http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/patriots/2018/06/17/takeaways-from-tom-brady-interview-with-oprah/IE5VxsLJyIXco2sPrOhZNI/story.html

 

 

His Daughter Said, part 1

Nobody around me checked the time, and neither did I.

[Note: Friend, colleague, and unappointed mentor, The Rev. Dr. R. Paul Sims, died Sunday, June 3rd. His service was Monday, June 11, and it was a powerful combination of liturgical correctness and, well, we had church. Several elements of from that time bear repeating here. For example:]

We’d all sung.

The choir and the pipe organ had moved the back wall of the sanctuary a bit with their power.

Traditional United Methodist liturgy had been employed to say what we couldn’t otherwise formulate.

Two preachers and a Rotary Club President had all three already spoken.

Then the Order of Worship indicated “Message from Family” by “Carol Sims – Daughter.”

She hit a grand slam home run!

Carol had us laughing and crying as we simultaneously celebrated and missed Paul Sims.

Noting his insistence on punctuality and that this had become a well-over-an-hour service, his daughter said,

“Dad,

I’m the last one

at the microphone,

and

you

didn’t live a

59-minute life.”

What an image! May the same be said of you and me.

God’s Earth Day, part 6

Someone, and I’m embarrassed to admit I’m not sure who it was, sent me a list of simple, practical things to do.
With gratitude to that anonymous source, here’s something you and I can do to practice what I’m calling God’s Earth Day (G.E.D.) Living —

Previously in this series: Let the sun shine in. Open the curtains, raise the blinds, and spend time in rooms that get natural light.
Turn off lights you’re not using. Leave a room, hit the switch! Don’t forget outdoor lights.

6. Check your doors and windows. Seal draffy windows with tape or thin sheets of plastic.

And, as Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else guard your heart, for everything flows from it.”

St. Paul reminds us, “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” (Philippians 4:8, the Message version)

 

“Teach Your Children Well.” Happy Father’s Day!

Just as a good, caring parent

cares for their entire family,

so does God care for us.

(— Psalm 103:13, RDSV)

“Teach your children well.” — an old Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song

He Was Empowered

He needed help.

He had been up front of the church, wearing a white robe and stooped over with both age and miles. He needed help getting up and down from his seat. When it was time for him to make his way to the pulpit, things got precarious, even as he leaned on the host pastor’s arm.

But THEN he was in place at the pulpit, and it was as if the lights had suddenly come on in the sanctuary. Or maybe the room itself went electric.

[Note: Friend, colleague, and unappointed mentor, The Rev. Dr. R. Paul Sims, died Sunday, June 3rd. His service was Monday, June 11, and it was a powerful combination of liturgical correctness and, well, we had church. Several elements of from that time bear repeating here. For example:]

Suddenly Rev. John R. Curtis, Jr. no longer seemed enfeebled!

In a voice both authoritative and compassionate, he prefaced his reading of Jeremiah 29:11-13 by saying, “Listen carefully now to these words.”

We did.

Then before reading Psalm 37:4,5 he invited us to “Hear these precious words from the Book of Psalms.”

And we did. I noticed my eyes developing leaks as he read, “Take delight in the Lord, and God will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in God.”

Then he looked at us a third time and said, “For your hearing, and your doing: the Word of God.”

I was ready to jump up and yell Amen.

For real.

 

 

New to Me: “The Lights of Home”

Friend, colleague, and unappointed mentor, The Rev. Dr. R. Paul Sims, died Sunday, June 3rd.

His service was Monday, June 11. It was a powerful combination of liturgical correctness and, well, we had church.

Rev. Carroll W. Lewis concluded his homiy with the lyrics to a hymn that was new to me. It was written by Fanny Crosby in 1899, but see if it doesn’t speak to you today like it does to me —

O the friends that now are waiting,
In the cloudless realms of day,
Who are calling me to follow
Where their steps have led the way;
They have laid aside their armor,
And their earthly course is run;
They have kept the faith with patience
And their crown of life is won.

Chorus: They are calling, gently calling,
Sweetly calling me to come,
And I’m looking through the shadows
For the blessèd lights of home.

They have laid aside their armor
For the robe of spotless white;
And with Jesus they are walking
Where the river sparkles bright.
We have labored here together,
We have labored side by side,
Just a little while before me
They have crossed the rolling tide.

Chorus

On those dear familiar faces
There will be no trace of care;
Every sigh was hushed forever
At the palace gate so fair.
I shall see them, I shall know them,
I shall hear their song of love,
And we’ll all sing hallelujah
In our Father’s house above.

Chorus