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Settling Into God

This morning as I was praying and meditating, one word came to me, "settle." I thought about the way we communicate this to our pets, to settle down. For me, however, that is only a piece of what "settle" meant for me this morning. 
First of all, I needed to settle into before I could settle down. That settling into meant to relax and like settling into your favorite chair, feeling that "Ahh." Once that happened, I could ask the Lord to settle my busy mind, my busy tongue, my busy eyes and to open my ears both to what God's message is throughout the day and to be a better listener in general. But for me, the capstone was for God to settle my heart into God's presence.

How have you experienced the voice of the Father in prayer and meditation?

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Who Is In Your Boat?

This coming Sunday is Storm Sunday in the Season of Creation. Here are some thoughts about the gospel reading that went out to the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church. I would love your input on this gospel text. Let's talk via email or the comments section of this blog.


Luke 8:22-25
22One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they put out, 23and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. 24They went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. 25He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?” 
The Sea of Galilee is a small lake and in Israel, it is called Lake Kinn…

Of Ravens and Lilies

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 8/11, Animal Sunday in the Season of Creation at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The gospel was Luke 12:22-31.
Today we worship with the entire living family on Earth. We celebrate birds, animals, reptiles, and all living creatures. Wisdom functions in the readings to help us perceive God’s creation in a way that is not self-serving. We see Jesus’ teaching and creation interacting together to teach the disciples to trust their heavenly Father for everything.
I had a professor who always said that when we see a “therefore,” we need to find out what it’s “there for.” Prior to today’s gospel was a dialogue with a man from the crowd, which led to Jesus’ parable of the rich fool. Our first verse summarizes the gist of Jesus’ teaching. First of all, he tells the disciples to not worry about food and clothing. It’s not like the old saying, “Don’t worry. Be happy” because there is good reason to be happy—the loving care of God.
If one is worrying and fearf…

Birds and Flowers

Here are some thoughts on the gospel for the second Sunday of Creation, Animal Sunday, that were sent to the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church. What is your take on this passage? I'm inviting you into conversation with me about this. Feel free to comment.


Luke 12:22-31 22He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 26If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 28But if God so clothes the grass of the field, …

Whatever!

This is the sermon I preached for Ocean Sunday, the first Sunday in the Season of Creation C at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The text was Luke 5:1-11.
I love the Sea of Galilee, which is just a small lake, not an awful lot bigger than Chautauqua. I have fond memories of vacations there as a family when the kids were small. The area was so much greener and lusher than the desert of Bethlehem, where we lived. We could relax on various beaches with little to no other people and just play in the clean, beautiful water. I enjoy the stories of Jesus, like today’s, that take place on or near that lovely lake.
The first three verses of our gospel set the stage for all that follows. Jesus’ growing reputation has resulted in a crowd. There were so many “pressing in on him” that Jesus needed a boat as a place from which to teach, the water providing a natural amphitheater for sound. And so we find the elements of Earth become Jesus’ teaching partner.
When Jesus calls Simon Peter to go to deeper wa…

Come On Out

This is the reflection sent out to the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church. Take a look and see what stands out to you. Then let me know your thoughts via Facebook or my blog.
Luke 5:1-11 5Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, 2he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help the…

When You Pray

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, July 28 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The text was Luke 11:1-13.
Initially, I was planning on preaching from the parable or from the end of the lesson on asking, seeking and knocking. However, the more I thought about it, the more I suspected that none of us are such master level prayers, that we couldn’t use some instruction from our Lord Jesus on the subject.
The text begins “Jesus was praying”(v. 1). Even Jesus needed to pray and take time with God. One of the great things about Jesus as a teacher and leader is that he exemplifies what he wants his disciples to be and do. Then afterward, one of the disciples approaches Jesus and tells him to teach them to pray. These men were devout Jews who would have learned prayers. Perhaps there was something different they saw in the way Jesus prayed. There was an intimacy in his praying. Jesus was praying to God as his Father. He had a deep communion with his Father.
In Luke’s gospel, we find Jesus a…