Sunday, May 20, 2012
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
I seldom get excited about my birthday
I have purposeful things to do.
But others beckon me to share a meal
And read a card or two.
And as the numbers grow larger
Each year I contemplate
Whether anyone has the nerve
To put that many candles on my cake.
And with that many years behind me
I dare not to add up my sin
But instead offer only words of thanks
That I have been born again.
And that birth is a real celebration
For despite my trips and falls
My slate is forever clean
Thanks to the Lamb of God.
So we celebrate a little
By eating a bit too much
Knowing that even in my transgression
I will not escape His clutch.
For in Christ all is forgiven
I don’t care others say it ain’t.
I was living as a sinner,
But now know the abundance of a saint.
Though the old self will not leave me
I celebrate the life I count in years.
Though pain will sometimes seize me
I know my future holds no tears.
So let’s toast our life eternal
But live fully here and now.
By giving God’s love freely
Living to the full, but how?
Being poured out link an offering
Of wine upon an altar.
Using every gift and talent
While singing from the Psalter.
For abundance is less what we take in
Than that which we give out.
Living to the full it seems
Is to live without a doubt.
That we have missed out on nothing
Every time we’ve given from our wealth.
For we truly can’t take it with us
So I live for Him and not myself.
I am blessed to live this long
And in a wealthy nation.
But my biggest blessing will always be
Being made a new creation.
Monday, May 7, 2012
For the past 5 years, I have said that Pop Tarts and Peanut Butter—a food ministry of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat, Oklahoma sounded like the title of a country and western song. So enough talking about it. I started it. Anyone want to add another verse or two?
Pop Tarts and peanut butter you have saved my life
Had to spread you with a spoon, not old enough for a knife.
When mom and dad are gone and I’m left to feed myself.
I grab the Pop Tarts and peanut butter and I can’t even reach the shelf.
Pop Tarts have a lot of sugar but they beat nothing at all.
Peanut butter is healthy and makes you big and tall.
You can even mix them together and come out none the worse,
You had better find a real song writer if you want another verse.
‘Twas a Sunday like many others that had come and gone before.
Off to church before the others so I could unlock the doors.
But this Sunday morning’s different and now I must tell,
Of why it stands out from the others, and no it’s not the bells.
And it is surely not the weather, though we welcome the relief,
From the sunshine, heat, and dryness that stole spring just like a thief.
But ‘tis the gathering of ladies who have gathered here before.
But this day is so special, that these ladies we adore.
Not because of their dresses or bonnets or a fancy Bile cover,
But because they have answered all so often to the call of “mother”.
For once each year we thank them for their service to their young,
Through diapers, coughs, and illness—or, “Just stick out your tongue.”
And for lunches packed in brown bags or a Power Rangers box,
And for seeing me through the measles or maybe, chicken pox.
And helping me with homework that you tried to make such fun.
But forgot the rolls were in the oven and were they ever done.
Mothers come in by the dozens to worship God above.
They never come alone, but walking hand in hand with love.
And they will stand and we will cheer them but that’s not why they came.
Though this day belongs to them, they come for the glory of the Name!
Yes, ‘tis the name of Jesus that calls these mothers here.
And above all the love they’ve shown, ‘tis his they hold most dear.
And when they needed strength keeping children upon his way,
So richly he provided then and now blesses this Mother’s Day.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Inventoried the Library today. Here’s what is available.
God Loves You – A message that our children should hear many times each day.
Christianity for Marines – Following Jesus in a “take the hill” culture.
Social Issues/Self Help
Throw Away Kids – This examines the byproduct of parents who have thrown in the towel on parenting—throw away kids. These are children who are not loved when they are home and not missed when they are gone. What are we as Christians to do?
PoMo Poverty: Finding Abundance in the 21st Century - A no holds barred look at poverty in the post modern world and what we as followers of Jesus are called to do about it.
The Profanity Problem: And what to do about it - Vulgar language is everywhere today. What can we do about it? This is a lesson plan with handouts. It may be taught to a large group, but smaller groups and group leaders will be needed for the exercises.
Acceptance of Authority: Returning to the boundaries of law and ethics – How many problems do we see that go back to rebellion and rejection of authority? How many times to we try to address some other problem instead. This lesson is for inmates, trouble and at risk youth, as well as for those who struggle with accepting authority in a culture that frequently reinforces that aberrant behavior. This is a lesson plan with handouts.
Technology Acquisition and Front End Analysis for the Small Church – Is it time for a new sound system or words on the wall? What sort of telephone system do we need? Are our computers good enough? How much should we spend? This is a lesson guide for any group that may be considering purchasing anything that involves technology. How can we not chase technology and just get what we need?
To challenge the mind
Heaven and Hell: Why people can’t get off the subject and on with living - No self-respecting Christian would make a god out of wood or stone these days, but we don’t hesitate to make them out of doctrine and dogma. Why can’t we just trust God and get on with living?
The Best of Out of the Box – A wit and wisdom workout for those who like Lateral Thinking and mind benders.
On the political side
ReBaselining America: Setting a foundation of liberty for the next 200 years – This Grand Experiment that we call the United States of America has outlived its life expectancy. Democratically based governments generally fizzle out or self destruct after 200 years. Does this have to be the case for the USA? Can we set a foundation of liberty for another 200 years even in the modern world?
Sea Stories - When a Marine tells a tale of something unique or hard to believe, it is called a Sea Story. Here are a few such stories from around the nation and around the globe.
Novels and short stories
Tough Day at the Plate – It’s a baseball book for children. ‘Nuff said.
Even the Elect – As the words that accompany title suggest, this novel is about deception. It is about deception on a world scale as well as at the most intimate level. Warning: This book contains sex, violence, as well as the best and worst of human behavior. OK, so does the Bible.
First Steps Towards Eternity – Not for the timid reader, that is, if hell, aliens, and life just passing by into whatever is next scares you.
Ten Talents – A message in drama to explain the Parable of the Talents. Easy to rehearse and produce. Works for adults or children.
9 Encounters of John 9: A Play in 3 Acts – A message in drama using the 9 distinct encounters of the 9th chapter of John’s gospel.
Clipboard Christmas Skits – Running out of time to put that Christmas program together? Don’t have time to get lines memorized? The year somehow got by you and now it’s Christmas and you are in charge of the program? Don’t worry. Just change the mode. Clipboard Christmas Skits provides simple skits that can be done without memorization. The clipboard blends into the set or some lines may be read from off stage. In any case, don’t let the stress monster get you on account of a Christmas program. Have some fun with your cast and glorify God with a simplified production.