Ready for the Day

Oh God,
i am up and ready.
My coffee is in hand.
My busy schedule is before me.
There is much to be accomplished.
So there is part of me that selfishly asks that all may go well for me and my family, but,
oh God,
i ask even more than that – that i would glorify You in my busyness.
As i go on my way this day may the busyness not distract me from You.
May i not forget to glorify You through my words and deeds.
May i not forget to receive people as i would receive Jesus.
May i not become overcome by my schedule, so much so, that i forget to show the love of Christ to others, including to my own family.
May i not get caught up with thinking that this is MY schedule, but rather it is YOUR schedule.
May i go through this day with the peace of Christ in my heart.
May i go through this day in patience – looking for mission opportunities that You create for me.
Oh God, may i not let Satan make this day just about me.
This day and every day is about You, and so here i go.
I am up and ready – with coffee in hand.
To You be the glory, this day, and always.
Amen.

Ode to Coffee

I am a pastor but you can’t be serious all the time, and thus what you will read next. On March 2, I wrote my Ode to Bacon, so it only seemed appropriate (for this coffee snob) to follow that up with my Ode to Coffee. Enjoy…and then go have some coffee 🙂

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Oh coffee, oh coffee,
You provide so much glee.
You are most glorious.
Anyone will agree.

The bean of great glory,
YES, you certainly are.
Never out of my mind,
Always on my radar.

Oh most perfect of drinks,
A precious gift from God.
If my wife reads this poem,
She will think I’m most odd.

Oh coffee, oh coffee,
I cannot go without.
“Would you like a refill?”
“Well duh, without a doubt.”

Parable of the Lost Coffee Thermos

The following is dangerously close to being sacrilegious so please read with tongue in cheek (based on true events that actually happened to me recently)…

“Or what man, having a rockstar coffee thermos, if he loses it, does not search diligently his home and office, and even the Starbucks across the street until he finds it? And when he has found it, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coffee thermos that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents…and definitely over the found coffee thermos.”
[Luke 15:8-10…or something close to it]

The lost has been found!

The Morning

The scene
A quiet house
The sound of chirping birds drifting in through an open window
The words of Scripture marinating in my soul
And a good cup of coffee to top it off

God’s blessings to start the day
God’s presence to renew my soul

The prayer
Oh God,
Your mercies are new everyday
Your blessings abound
Your love is wide and deep
Your grace is unending

Your Son, Jesus, is Lord of all
My Savior, Jesus, died for me

Renew my faith this day
Embolden my witness
Bless my words
Guide my decisions

May Your mercies and blessings;
Your love and grace
Be evident to all

Glory and honor be unto
You
Oh God
This day and always

Amen

The Pastor -|—

I Give You Thanks, O God

Awesome and holy God,

the sound of the rain,
the singing of the birds,
the peacefulness of the morning;

I give You thanks, O God.

Time with Your Word,
moments of prayer,
worship with the saints;

I give You thanks, O God.

The cooing of my child,
the babbling of my child,
the love of my family;

I give You thanks, O God.

My parents,
my sister,
all my family;

I give You thanks, O God.

The loyalty of friends,
the strength of community,
the joy of Your church;

I give You thanks, O God.

My shelter,
my clothes,
my food;

I give You thanks, O God.

Your grace,
Your love,
Your faithfulness;

I give You thanks, O God.

Your grace,
Your love,
Your faithfulness;

I give You thanks (again), O God.

The beauty of Your creation,
the presence of Your Spirit,
the love of Your Son;

I give You thanks, O God.

A good cup of coffee,
another good cup of coffee,
and another good cup of coffee;

I give You thanks, O God 🙂

My Father,
my Lord,
my Savior;

I give You thanks, O God.

Your glory,
Your power,
Your kingdom;

I give You thanks, O God.

Your victory over death,
Your victory over Satan,
Your victory given to me;

I gave You thanks, O God.

For the fact that I could go on and on and on and on and …

I give You thanks, O God, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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May God bless you and keep you as you give thanks and praise to our most holy and awesome God.

The Pastor -|—

Not quite awake

Sometimes this pastor’s devotion time involves holding my sleeping 3 1/2 month old son while drinking coffee, praying and reading scripture. And then taking time to pound out a few words on my tablet, in case anyone cares what the pastor is doing this morning 🙂

But before you think that I have run out of thoughtful words to share please understand that I am working on 4 hours of sleep and very little coffee up to this point. Trust me, this pastor will be up to full operating capacity in no time and then a more thoughtful post will follow.

And I am guessing that once this first pot of coffee hits my system I may wonder why I wrote this (and posted it).

Oh well

God bless you and I’ll be back with something more thoughtful later 🙂

[I need so much more coffee]

The (not quite awake) Pastor -|—

Holy buzz

We tried something new yesterday at Salem.  Shocking…Lutherans trying something new.  Wow 🙂

Anyway…what we did for the first time was have coffee fellowship time BEFORE worship.  I know that this is not a revolutionary thing as I have experienced this at other churches in the past, but it was new for us.  And from what I heard from a number of people this was a big hit.

[By the way…I take no credit for this idea.  I wish I could.]

When people arrived they seemed pleasantly surprised by the crowd in our small narthex.  When I told them about the coffee time a smile quickly formed on their face 🙂 Many people grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down to visit.  Before long there was a holy buzz in the narthex.  People were talking and laughing.  One of the cool things I noticed was that there were people participating in this holy buzz that normally don’t stay after worship for coffee fellowship time.  That put a smile on my face 🙂

At about 10:10 a.m. (worship begins at 10:15) I began to wonder how I was going to break up this holy buzz.  I almost wanted to have worship out there in the narthex (but there were people in the sanctuary waiting to begin).  So I walked inside; waited for the organist to stop playing; and I starting talking.  People quickly filed in as I shared the morning announcements.  It was a smooth transition.

As worship continued I quickly noticed something else (something others shared with me later).  There was a different kind of “energy” in the sanctuary.  It’s hard to explain but that pre-worship holy buzz drifted into the sanctuary and something happened.  One person said, “It felt warm“, and I would agree. Following worship some people continued to hang around in the narthex for another cup of coffee and another quick treat.

More holy buzz.

All in all it was a great morning.

I think it is so easy to take Christian fellowship for granted.  Worship, scripture reading and prayer are important and essential but so is taking time to visit and listen to people.  I know we can not recreate last Sunday but I think it is safe to say that pre-worship fellowship time is going to continue…and definitely with my blessing.

edh -|—