Learning Things by Heart

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18)

I’m not very good at memorizing things. I don’t have the photographic memory some of my friends have that has helped them do so well in life. I’m not great at memorizing scripture, for example, and I have to work hard at remembering people’s names — two talents that are pretty much essential components of a successful pastor’s skill-set.  There Continue Reading →

A Change of Heart Can Change Your Life

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  “Repent,” proclaims John the Baptist as Mark’s Gospel opens.  Jesus himself takes up the call seven verses later as he begins his public ministry: “Repent and believe in the good news,” (Mark 1:15)  Repentance as good news? Hardly, not these days, not in our times.  We live in a world that doesn’t allow us to say we’re sorry.  Can Continue Reading →

What’s Most Important?

Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” — Matthew 25:1-13

Number me among the foolish of this bridal party! Even a cursory review of my life puts me squarely in the company of the preoccupied, the forgetful and the unprepared! From early schooldays I was forever getting on the bus and leaving my lunch at home. Once, as a Boy Scout, I was so enthralled with following a majestic brook Continue Reading →