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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

[I need so much more coffee]

The (not quite awake) Pastor -|—

Starting your day

How do you start your day?  Maybe the coffee maker is set up the night before so you can wake up to the sweet nectar that is coffee.  Maybe you roll out of bed and turn Sports Center on.  Maybe you turn on the radio or the CD player.  Maybe you are an early morning runner (like I am sometimes) or hit the fitness center.  Maybe you start by feeding the kids.

Whatever the case, we have our routines that we like and (sometimes) very much depend on. ¬†For me…my routine varies throughout the week depending on the day (don’t worry…I won’t bore you with the details):
~ Sunday has its own morning routine for obvious reasons.
~ Monday – Wednesday routines share a common thread.
~ Thursday is slightly different since it is sermon prep and scotcheroo day ūüôā
~ Friday is my day off (Sabbath Day).
~ Saturday is just different.

But whatever is going on; whatever is happening; where ever you are, there is one common thread I would suggest you adopt or strengthen:
Prayer and scripture

I used to be an ESPN guy in the morning but I have noticed that starting my day with God has made a huge difference.  Instead of sports flooding my thinking I am focused on God as a tackle a new day.  Instead of reflecting on my fantasy football players I am thinking about my Salem and Belmont members.  Instead of looking ahead to the next game I am looking ahead to who needs a pastoral care visit.  My morning routine definitely effects the way I see my day.

“This is the day the Lord (not Sports Center)¬†has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.¬† (Psalm 118:24 ~ with “Sports Center” being my addition…obviously).

Let us praise the Lord for this new day!

edh -|—

Many But One: The Final Countdown

If you haven’t had a chance to stop by Many But One I encourage you to do so soon.¬† Many But One is a Lenten devotional blog being written by seven pastors (6 from the east coast area and me in the Midwest) and is scheduled to end by Easter (at least that is when we will stop posting devotions).¬† We have been using texts from the daily lectionary, commenting on the chosen text and then finishing with a prayer.¬† It has been a joy to be part of this blogging team.

To those who have stopped by…I hope Many But One has been a blessing to you.

Praise be to God!

-edh-

A Lenten blog – Many But One

Happy Monday!!!

Today is February 8 and in 9 short days Lent will begin with Ash Wednesday.¬† So much happens during this time of the year (especially for pastors) that sometimes we don’t have time or don’t take the time to really take in all that Lent has to offer.¬† For us here in the Jackson, MN many churches will be participating in a Lenten round robin preaching rotation where us pastors “take our show on the road”.¬† It’s a time I really enjoy for I get to share Lent with 5 other congregations.¬† What a blessing.

Now a number of us want to share Lent with you in another way.¬† Starting this week there is a Lenten blog that is up and running called Many But One.¬† Seven pastors from various points in this country will be taking a particular day of the week to share some Lenten thoughts with you from the daily lectionary.¬† This week we are each submitting a post on our assigned day (mine day is Tuesday) that will introduce us.¬† Then, starting on Sunday, February 14, the Lenten devotionals will begin (I know, Lent doesn’t start until the 17th, but work with me here).¬† Each morning we will each submit our post that focuses on a text assigned for the day and follow that up with a prayer.¬† Feel free to leave comments and/or questions.

For me…I am looking forward to sharing Lent with 6 other people from around the country.¬† I hope you will join us on this Lenten journey as we walk together to the cross and celebrate at the empty tomb.

The blog is up and running so go and check out…and…happy Lent everyone.

Praise be to God!

-edh-

Priesthood of all believers

The priesthood of all believers is one of the basic tenants of the Lutheran faith; that we are all ministers; all preachers of the Word of God.¬† Some people just happen to be called and set apart for this ministry, but it doesn’t mean it is reserved for the clergy alone.

A week or so ago my wife started writing and emailing devotions to her co-workers (and I managed to get on her email list as well…surprise, surprise).¬† She has been more faithful in writing than I have been at blogging recently (I hope she keeps it up).¬† Each night she spends about an hour or so in devotions; searching scripture and writing what God places on her heart.¬† Her devotions are thought provoking and definitely come from God (I keep telling her she need to write a blog, but so far no luck).¬† Each morning I sign on to my email and there is her devotion for the morning…and she ministers to me.¬† She says that every once in a while a co-worker will tell her how thankful they are that she does this…but don’t worry…she never let’s those comments go to her head.¬† She feels so unworthy to be doing this but at the same time she feels that God is placing these devotions on her heart to share.

For me, Connie epitomizes the “priesthood of all believers”.¬† She saw an opportunity to share Christ at work and she is taking it.¬† She doesn’t do it for her glory but for Gods.¬† Allow me to share an excerpt from her devotions for this morning (I do have her permission to share this) that speaks to this very thing…being a minister where ever we are at:

Colossians 3:16-17
“16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Here again we are commanded to be thankful and give thanks to God.   Do you ever think about your job being an extension of the Lord Jesus?  He just told us it is in this verse.  You are showing Christ when you answer the phone, do some filing, deal with a difficult person, go to a meeting, or go out on a visit.  I remind myself constantly throughout the day that whomever I am dealing with is a child of God.  He created this person and I need to love them, no matter how difficult.  I am thankful for people who have differing personalities because if everyone was like me, we would have way too much chaos in this world!  With Thanksgiving coming tomorrow, I want you to know that my thanks to God include my job and my co-workers.  I feel blessed to be able to share these devotions with you and know we are all focused on the same God everyday.

I am thankful for ministers such as Connie.¬† We all need to epitomize the phrase “the priesthood of all believers”.¬† It can’t simply be left up to the clergy.¬† Look for opportunities to talk about Christ.¬† Whether it is through an email devotion like Connie is doing or whether it is through how you respond to a “difficult person”.¬† Each and every person can be a minister/preacher in a variety and a number of ways.¬† Don’t miss your opportunity.¬† But what ever you do, do it all for the glory of God; giving thanks and praise to Him.

-edh-