August 28

I’ve an interest in watching presidents after they’ve served their terms.  Jimmy Carter became a celebrity face–and frequent nail-driver for Habitat for Humanity.  George Bush Sr. shaved his head to show solidarity with the two year-old son of one of his secret service detail.  George Bush Jr. has spent much time with wounded vets–visiting and painting portraits.  What gets less attention is that he’s been pivotal in working to end HIV in Africa–sponsoring a critical clinic.  Plus, he and his wife have expanded their health-care focus into the battle against cervical and breast cancer on the African continent.  I would not say he was one of my favorite presidents.  But, he’s one of my favorite former presidents:  because he specifically chooses to go out of his way to befriend those who are “low on the social ladder.”

Sunday we’ll be looking at a parable Jesus told about how to approach life–with a strong invitation for us to “be humble and befriend the humble.”  The parable is filled with wonderful direction–including “when you give a banquet, invite the poor, crippled, lame and blind” (Luke 14:13). 
St. Augustine said, “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes (humans) as angels.”  Any day we choose to “be humble and kind,” no matter how insignificant our actions may seem, the world will be better for it, and so will we.
May the Lord bless you on your humble walk with Jesus.
Pastor Roger

August 22

Who would you describe as a Rock, Refuge, Rescuer, Hope, Dependable and Trustworthy? Psalm 71:1-6 describes the Lord as all these things, ending with the words, “My praise is always about you.”
I remember my first car, a Chevy Monza. One time I forgot the lights on in the college parking lot for four hours. It was bitter cold. When I returned to the car, the lights were dim. Snow was blowing. I turned the key. The motor barely turned over, but barely was just enough. It fired up. I began to triple-check my lights when I got out of the car after that. The Monza was a car with window cranks, no power brakes, only one adjustment on the seat, no CD player, ½ the horsepower of today’s average 4 cylinder, and I had to add the clock. But it never failed to start—no matter how cold; Even if I had to dig through the snowbank the snowplow left to get into it. Some days I miss it. I liked the style and I loved its dependability. It took care of me well—better care than I recognized at the time.
The Psalmist says, “God is dependable, trustworthy—a rock, refuge and rescuer.” God takes care of us well: better than we are often aware of at the time even if we metaphorically “leave the lights on,” translated “even if we neglect God and our spirituality.”
Take a moment to think about a time had a you had a “sinking feeling” but God came through for you. Worst fears aside you survived. Looking back things even could have been worse. In hindsight it’s clear God was protecting you. Hold on to that moment. Thank God. Then look around. Who do you see that may be experiencing a “sinking feeling?” How might you share that God is your Rock, Rescuer and Refuge? How might you help another to trust God is dependable?
And, if you happen to be in one of those “sinking feeling” times in your life, I invite you to read Psalm 71:1-6 and dwell on the word of hope that speaks to you.
Blessings,

Pastor Roger