Telemachus and Salt

Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other. Mark 9:50 One person armed with the Gospel of peace can change the world. Telemachus did. According to a legendary tradition, he was a monk who lived in the 5th century. He felt God saying to him, “Go to Rome.” He was in a cloistered monastery, but he put his possessions in a sack and set out for Rome. When he arrived in the city, people were thronging in the streets. He asked why all the…

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The Awesome Responsibility of Fatherhood

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4 This Sunday is Father’s Day, that day of the year that we set aside to honor fathers. Father’s Day’s not what it used to be. Not too long ago, it was a special observance in the year much like Mother’s Day. However, today, Father’s Day seems…

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Becoming Better Parents – Part 4

Living as Good Role Models “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”– 2 Corinthians 5:17 The third step to good parenting is living as good role models. This should be obvious. But as obvious as it may be, it is perhaps the most difficult to carry out. Children need parents who not only have time for them and let them know that they are loved. They also need parents they can look up to as role models. It won’t work if we as parents tell our kids,“Do as I say, not as I do.” Children…

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Becoming Better Parents – Part 3

Showing Afection “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”  2 Corinthians 5:17 The second step to good parenting is by showing affection. When the late Channing Pollock, the playwright, was a child, he was taken by his parents to a party. A little girl was present. The children played together until they ran out of ideas, when young Channing said to the girl, “Let’s hide behind this curtain and maybe no one will know we’re here.” “Maybe no one will care,” she replied. That’s about the saddest reply a child can make. “Maybe no one will care.” Even though…

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Becoming Better Parents Part 2

Taking Time for Our Kids “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”  2 Corinthians 5:17 The first step to good parenting is taking the time to spend with our kids. Some time ago, a Cornell University study revealed that the average American father spends 37.7 seconds a day alone with his children. “Dad, can you give me a minute?” Thirty-seven and seven-tenths seconds don’t even make up a minute. Many of us need to reassess the amount of time we spend with our children, our spouses and even our own parents. We’re talking about the quality of our…

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Becoming a Better Parent – Part 1

“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 Because Sunday is Father’s Day, I want us this week to consider some features of good parenting. When it comes to father, dads just don’t get the respect they once received. There’s an old story about a ten-year-old boy who answered the doorbell at his home one day. When he opened the door, there stood a strange man on the porch. The man said, “Son, you don’t know me, do you?” The young man said, no, he did not. The man replied, “Well, I’m your uncle on…

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Unfinished

So here it is, my final devotion as one of the pastors at Trinity. I am reminded of the moment when Jesus breathed his last upon the cross and said, “It is finished.” Except my work doesn’t feel finished.  Not really. There is so much left to do.  For me this is a real struggle as by nature I don’t like to leave things undone. When I start a project, I don’t stop until I have all the details worked out.  When I start a good book, I read it until the last page. Last year, I decided to run a half marathon and so I trained for months and kept at it…

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A Church United

I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; and all things that…

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The Need for Community

We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her…

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Use it Well

I have heard stories through the years of people who actually wake up early in the morning and sit in their comfy chair, while drinking their cup of coffee, and reading. I have pictured it so many times in my minds eye that I can see it quite clearly. What a beautiful thought.  In my house though, when all her people are present and accounted for, this never happens. Ever. In fact, I am not sure I have sat down for over five years within the walls of my house without someone asking me a question, or requesting something that requires me to get up, or crawling not just in my lap…

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