How Do I Say This?

 

How Do I Say This?

“In your hearts, revere Christ as Lord.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you

to give the reason for the hope that you have.

But do this with gentleness and respect.”     1 Peter 3:15

 

Recently, I read a devotional written by a seminary classmate of mine, Pastor Paul Owens, included in the latest edition of the LCMC newsletter. In his article he describes an interaction with a relative who defines himself as an agnostic. In their conversation, Pastor Paul responded to his skepticism, “Tell me about the god you don’t believe in – maybe I don’t believe in that god either.”

Often, when we are with relatives, friends and/or neighbors who express skepticism toward faith in Jesus Christ, it’s difficult to know what to say.  As I read Pastor Paul’s experience, I was encouraged and inspired by his response. His question felt honest, respectful, gentle, and I believe, opened the door for further dialog. Paul invited his second cousin to share his experience and problems with Christianity. Paul could then respond to his doubts and questions and also share what he believes and what he doesn’t believe.

Sometimes we just need a statement that can help get the conversation going.
 


Small Group Facilitator

 

Dear Small Group Facilitator

A few weeks ago, I sent a letter to our Small Group Facilitators. Right now we have 12 active groups with roughly 120 people involved in regularly scheduled gatherings. This number does not include many other interest and service groups that also meet during the month. Fellowship and friendship is growing and deepening within our congregation. If you are not connected to a small group, or want more information, just ask and I can fill you in and help plug you in if you’d like.

Small group is where church becomes home. For over 2,000 years, the Christian church has recognized the benefit of gathering together in public, and also more intimately in homes.

Acts 5:42 states,  “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.”
 


Having the Right Tool Makes all the Difference!

“The grass withers and the flowers fall,

but the word of our God stands forever.”    Isaiah 40:8

Once again, a few weeks ago, I was reminded how important it is to have the right tool for the job.

When we first moved into our house almost 10 years ago, the previous owner left his mulching mower for me to cut the grass. The house came with A LOT of grass to mow. The backyard slopes a great deal, so it’s not really safe to use a ride on mower. The owner talked about the physical benefits of walking and mowing with the self-propelled machine. I bought into the idea of the exercise, but quickly, I didn’t like the mulcher leaving the clumps of grass clippings and the cut weeds to sift back into the lawn. So, I went out and bought a new lawnmower with a catcher. I wanted a reliable one at a reasonable price – so how could I go wrong buying a Craftsman? $300 bucks later and I figured I was back on the road to a beautiful lawn.

Read more…



The Breakfast Club

 
 

“Come and have breakfast” – Jesus (John 21:12)

 

Back in 1985, John Hughes directed a film called, “The Breakfast Club”. The story was about five students, having nothing in common, spending a Saturday detention together in their high school library. At 7 a.m., they had nothing to say to each other, but by 4 p.m. they had bared their souls to each other and became trusted friends.

Twenty-four years earlier, in 1961, the film, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, winner of two Oscars, was a romantic comedy centered in New York City. It followed a delightful romance that blossomed between an eccentric city girl and her suitor.

A few years back, before I left on vacation, I was given the book, “Breakfast at Sally’s”, to be an inspirational read while on holiday. The book, written by Richard LeMieux, is his personal touching, timely, struggle with homelessness. Lemieux ate breakfast at Sally’s (the Salvation Army) – but he found so much more.

Every Tuesday, breakfast is served at 7 a.m. by a faithful group of men at Our Saviour’s. For over eight years, men have gathered for eggs and oatmeal, but so much more. We have laughed, discussed, differed, prayed and grown in our relationship with God and with one another.

Read more…



Every Eight Seconds

 
I recently read this article in the Lutheran Core Newsletter. Pastor Hales points to the power behind our senior members. It’s a great article and leads to a great source of strength while also recognizing an ongoing need. I hope it sparks your curiosity and interest.
 
Every Eight Seconds…
by Pastor Brad Hales, Reformation Lutheran, Culpeper, VA
What can we do in eight seconds? Tie our shoes? Turn on the television? Use the microwave? Make a cup of coffee with a Keurig? Eight seconds is very quick, isn’t it? But there is one thing that is happening every eight seconds in our country, and it’s going to continue for the next thirty plus years. 
So, what is it?