Encouragement


18
Jul 2017
Lord, You have come to the lakeshore

One of the hymns found in our Chalice Hymnal that is newer and not heard as frequently is titled in English “Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore”.  The text to this hymn was originally written in Spanish by Catholic priest, Cesareo Gabarain.  During his career, Gabarain served as a college chaplain, nursing home chaplain, and he served as a parish priest. Gabarain wrote this hymn based on the calling of the disciples in Luke 5.  As you listen to this hymn, you can imagine Peter putting down his nets and follow......

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12
Jul 2017
Don't Know What You've Got...

And don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. -from Joni Mitchell song “Big Yellow Taxi”   Have you heard that phrase before:  “You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone?”  I have experienced this a little differently in my life–most memorably in college.  I grew up and spent the first 21 years of my life just outside the Roanoke Valley.  Resting in the valley, this area is surrounded by the glorious Blue Ridge......

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27
Jun 2017
Pray Twice

Imagine yourself a musician.  Imagine that you take on the task of writing music to with this week’s Psalm: Psalm 13. As you read the text for Psalm 13 below…imagine that it is set to music or there is music playing while you are reading.  What would the music sound like?  What instruments do you hear? Is it loud or is it soft?  Does it have a driving beat or does it sound more like its floating? How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from......

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22
Jun 2017
Somehow, Someway

If you stopped by or called the church office this week, then you have probably noticed neither I nor Joanie have been there much. We apologize. It has been a week of the unanticipated. The stomach flu has run its course through our entire family. Joanie has been the latest victim (we are praying that she is well by Friday morning). This bug has completely thrown our schedule out of whack as we have had to care for the children and one another. We’ve both spent time working from home with sick......

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14
Jun 2017
Faith of Our Fathers

Psalm 116:1-2; 12-19 I love the Lord, because he has heard     my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me,     therefore I will call on him as long as I live. What shall I return to the Lord     for all his bounty to me?  I will lift up the cup of salvation     and call on the name of the Lord,  I will pay my vows to the Lord     in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of the Lord     is the death of his faithful ones. O Lord, I am your servant;......

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14
Jun 2017
Poured Into Our Hearts

Pain, struggle, hurt, grief, challenges, adversity, anguish, difficulty, suffering are all part of the journey along the road of life. Sometimes we seem to be on a stretch of road defined by these words more often than not. At other times, the road is clear, straight and easy-going. But even in such times, you can be sure that there will be more difficult terrain ahead at some point. One helpful perspective that people of faith have relied upon during times of struggle for centuries comes from Paul in the book of Romans:......

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07
Jun 2017
Do You Remember?

The summer after third grade, my family rented a large van and drove across the country to California. Two stops that I can remember vividly were the Morman Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Crystal Cathedral in Garden City, California. I remember hearing a demonstration in both sanctuaries showing how far the sound would carry and how crystal clear the acoustics were.  I was introduced to the majestic Morman Tabernacle choir. At the Crystal Cathedral, we saw the largest pipe organ I could imagine. We went to bookstore at the Crystal Cathedral and my family purchased several......

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05
Jun 2017
Summer's Almost Here

Summer is right around the corner: hot weather, cool pools, bright sun, lush mountains, beautiful oceans, incredible destinations, excited friends and family. It is that time of year when so many of us are ready for a break from the daily, weekly and monthly routine. It’s time to play. It’s time to celebrate and enjoy one another and God’s creation. And yet, typically church attendance drops off at this time of year. Now it’s totally understandable. We are all traveling, vacationing, resting, and relaxing. We are doing activities that our body, mind,......

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31
May 2017
Deep Peace

Take a deep breath and receive the peace of Christ. John 20:19-23, our gospel lesson this week, begins with fear.  The disciples were together and yet filled with fear.  It is interesting that we learn of this fear just before Jesus enters the scene and offers his blessing: “Peace be with you.” What dissipates fear?  Peace. After Christ offers this blessing he proves himself to the disciples by showing them his hand and side. After he calms their fears and earns their trust, he then offers the blessing again, “Peace be with you.”......

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18
May 2017
The Elephant in the Room

Have you heard the one about the blind men and the elephant?  Actually there is an ancient Indian fable about six blind men describing an elephant after they have each touched a different part of the elephant.  Below is an exert from the poem from the 19th century by John Godfry Saxe detailing this fable: Blind Men and the Elephant  It was six men of Indostan, To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind. The First approach’d......

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