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Showing posts from October, 2012

Home Again

Ah, my friends, greetings again!  My trip to South Africa was truly an incredible experience, and I look forward to sharing with you about in the days to come.  Right now, though, it is also very nice just to be home in Greencastle.  30 hours of travel will do that.  But, it's not just that.  As Anna, the kids and I drove through Greencastle late Wednesday evening, I found myself with refreshed eyes and heart for our city and community.  I suppose being able to see God at work in a distant land has reminded me God is always at work in our own community.

I hope you have been well, and I am looking forward to seeing you and worshiping with you this Sunday.  Lo and behold, I picked a good Sunday to return.  We are highlighting our commitment to the mission of Heifer International this Sunday.  If you were to ask me, "What can we do to help the people of South Africa?" In all honesty, I would say purchasing a chicken or goat or cow would be the place to start.  It gives …
Thank you Pastor Wes for everything you do.  As the kids wrote to you this past Sunday, "You are our shepherd."

Life in Greencastle - Prophets and Poets

This week in the Word Before Worship our conversation will turn towards an aspect of the prophets that is often ignored:  their role as artists.  Most of the Old Testament books of prophecy are full of vivid imagery, haunting poetry and songs that were meant to fill hearts and minds of the people of Israel.
Throughout history, it has often been the artists (song-writers and poets, novelists and playwrights) who have served the role of prophet.  This should not surprise us, for the prophets of the Old Testament used almost every type of dramatic performance to get God's message across.  The prophet Nathan told King David an elaborate, chilling story of betrayal and cruelty that got past David's own arrogance and caused him to see the error of his ways (1 Kings 12).  Jeremiah and Isaiah both employed a type of staged-performance.  Isaiah stripped himself of robe and sandals, walking naked around Jerusalem in order to portray the shame and humiliation Yahweh was go…

Paul Simon - Under African Skies Trailer

Taken, Blessed, Broken, Given

On Monday evening, I gathered with some of the elders in our church parlor, our usual monthly meeting to put our hearts and heads together in service to Christ and to you.  We begin the evening with time for worship, prayer and hearing God's Word.  Just earlier in the day, amidst a handful of other things I was working on, I flipped open a devotional book in order to find the Gospel reading assigned for that day.  It was Mark 6:30-44, the well known story of Jesus feeding five thousand men out in the middle of nowhere, much to the surprise of the disciples who were ready to send the potentially unruly crowd back to the city for McDonald's or Subway. 

After Lisa Cooper read the story, I commented on how often this drama continues to play out between us and Jesus:  we see only limitations and scarcity, our minds dominated by the reality of this world ... 5,000 hungry families and only five measly loaves of bread and two salty fish from Galilee; economic uncertainty …