God is Always There

When all else fails,
God is there.

When memories fade,
God is there.

When loved ones can’t remember,
God is there.

When you seem lost in your own mind,
God is there.

When you can’t remember,
God remembers.

When you can’t function like you used to,
God continues to function.

I recently brought communion to someone who used to know me, but now they don’t. It was sad that she couldn’t be part of the conversation. But what encouraged my heart was when I started praying the Lord’s Prayer, this person who once knew me started praying along. And then when I approached her to serve communion she asked, “What is this?” I responded by saying, “This is the body of Christ, given FOR YOU.” To which she responded with a smile, “Ohhh”. She received the body and blood of Jesus as she always had before. And then thanked me.

Praise be to God!

I hate Alzheimer’s and dementia and what it does to people, but I take great comfort in the fact that God is always there. And when people seem to forget everything else they seem to know, deep down inside, that truth as well.  And in that I also take great comfort.

Holy God, thank you for not deserting us in our time of need. Thank you for remembering Your promises when some people struggle with remembering. Thank you for Your holy presence. Thank you for the hope we have in Jesus. Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Achy heart

The pastor’s heart is feeling achy because of some pastoral care situations.  I can’t go into details because I value confidentiality but all I can say is this world is messed up in so many ways.

Brokenness in relationships

…they are all around, and I wish I could wave my magic wand and make it all go away (by the way I really don’t have a magic wand).  I wish I could take away the hurt in people’s hearts.  I wish I could heal broke relationships, take away cancer and put hope into sad hearts.  I wish I could relieve suffering.

[That’s not too much to hope for…it is?]

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
[Revelation 21:1-4]


Honestly…when I started writing this I wasn’t thinking of Revelation 21, but I should have been.  I can’t take away the hurt that is all around me but Jesus has.  And because of his death and resurrection we have Revelation 21 to look forward to.  I guess instead of a magic wand I need this hope amplified in my heart.  Yes…that will do it.

Thanks for letting me vent for a while.

God…grant me strength. Amen.

edh -|—


This picture was taken while I was “working” 🙂

I went to visit a parishioner living in one of our local nursing homes the other day.  Directly outside his window was this scene.

When I arrived in his room we greeted one another and he said to me that he was watching “God’s little creatures“.  I sat down and started watching as well.  We spent time watching these little birds dance around the feeders.  Red finches showed up, a couple sparrows and some other birds that I couldn’t identify.  They seemed to be playing and fighting for room.  It was quite a scene.  Birds would get chased away but would quickly return to “play”.

Between bird feeder observations, Dave and I chatted about the “important” things of life.  But really…it was hard to focus on those “important” things while watching the play unfold outside the window.  At that moment “God’s little creatures”  were the “important” things.

And that was fine with Dave and me 🙂

At first these little creatures were shy when I tried to snap their picture. As soon as I would move the little theater outside the window would clear out, but eventually they warmed up to me…hence the picture.  Maybe they perceived me as a fellow creature of God (at least that is what I am going to go with).  Whatever the case…more and more birds showed up…all feeling comfortable being on stage.

Eventually it was time to leave.  Dave and I shook hands, I took one more glance at the scene outside the window and I said good bye; thanking them for their performance.

And this, my friends, is what I call “work”…enjoying God’s creatures big and small 🙂

Praise be to God!


A bunch of words

I have a bunch of words written on a page right now…ready to be preached this morning.  I carefully reflected on the scripture text this week and prayed for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  And I believe from the bottom of my heart that these are the “right” words.
I believe that these words are more than just something to fill space.
I believe that those words are exactly what God wants me to say this morning.
I also believe that God will somehow use those words for His glory.

I don’t know how, but God will find a way to use those words.  God always does.  I guess that is why I never tire of writing sermons and preaching them.  Sure…it may be a lot of work sometimes during a particularly busy week when I am under a lot of stress, but in the end, God get’s His way.  He always does even if I don’t see or comprehend what way God got.

But this morning I find myself distracted by a pastoral care concern that is striking close to home.  My heart is breaking for this couple and I can’t seem to think of the right words to say.
I am racking my brain…but nothing.
I am searching my heart…but nothing.
I won’t see this couple this morning in worship but I can’t stop thinking about them.  I guess partly because since I am a pastor in the family I am guessing someone will eventually ask me; “why?”  And…as I consider that potential question I am at a loss for words as my heart continues to break for them.

O God…what do I say? What are the right words?

I ask that question each and every week.  I also ask that question whenever I call on someone.  So I guess I need to do what I do each and every week ~ turn everything over to the power of God through the Holy Spirit; trusting in God’s work through Jesus Christ my Lord.  I need to fall back into His loving arms and trust that the right words will spew forth from my mouth this morning…and when I see this couple again.  For if I focus on my brain; my knowledge, I will no doubt mess things up.

O God…what do I say? What are the right words?

So there you go.  A bunch of words on a page and a bunch of words running around in my brain; all waiting to do something.  I pray that God takes the right words and does something amazing; all to God’s glory.

Use my words, O God, that people my come to praise you!

edh -|—

God is awesome!

I really want to share with you some details about an encounter with a gentleman (Q) last night, but I can’t because of confidentiality.  But I do want to say that God is awesome and works in wonderful and powerful ways.  I also want to say that I am thankful for the priesthood of all believers because without faithful people living out their faith, this gentleman would not have received the care that he desperately needed…not just last night but for the last couple months.

I want to give a big shout of thanks out to these two parishioners but I won’t.  Rather I will give and big shout of thanks and praise out to God for working through these two people to share the Gospel with Q.  I want to say that it was pure chance and dumb luck that they found me last night so I could talk to Q (I was out for a run and hence away from my home and phone).  But I won’t say that…rather I will say that God is awesome and works in wonderful and powerful ways.

I don’t know what is in store for Q but I can rest assured that he will be cared for and love for the rest of his life.

Praise be to God!


Monday morning check in — God’s power and strength

It is weeks like this when I am reminded of my weakness; reminded of the fact that I can not do this alone.  Last Friday my cell phone rang and when I looked at it, the call ID told me it was the funeral director.  That is never a good sign.  Upon answering the phone I was told that G had died on Thursday.  Now get this…her and her husband had been married for 72 years.  That’s right…72 years…that no typo.  I think that is absolutely amazing.  What an inspiration those two have been to many people.  One of the cute stories I have heard about them is that at the young of age 90+ they would sit out on the porch and G’s husband would sing “You are my sunshine” to her.  G is going to be missed by many.

On Saturday I got another call on my cell phone from the funeral director.  This didn’t make me as nervous since we were already planning one funeral.  But this call was about another one…this time out at Belmont.  The deceased lived in Sun City, AZ and is being flown up here for the funeral and burial.  I don’t know this woman but I know the family.

So my week is shaping up like this:  Funerals on Tuesday and Friday mornings; visitations on Monday and Thursday evenings; I have confirmation and Release Time lessons to plan; and Sunday worship and sermon prep…among with other things that come up during the week.  Like I said earlier…there is no way I can do this on my own.  I pray, God Almighty, to give me strength and focus do serve His children and provide the care that they need.  During busy times like this it is easy to let some things slide and not do your best, but when you rely on God’s power and strength, then God’s Will will indeed be done.

Praise be to God!