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Showing posts from August, 2015

2nd Corinthians 5:11-21 The Same Here and There

At a Friendly’s Restaurant in Sagamore, Massachuesetts, a couple left a 16 year old a $200 tip on a $12.39 bill, encouraging her to “follow [her] dreams and never give up.”[i] A $500 tip was left for a waitress at a Mimi’s CafĂ© on a $39 bill in Fresno California in order to help with her wedding.[ii]    On Mother’s Day, a Raleigh, North Carolina a Waffle House waitress, and single mother of three, received a $1000 tip after serving a 3 am customer a Texas Bacon Patty Melt and coffee.[iii]  All of these were amazing acts of generosity left by gracious customers.  None of the news articles said anything about the faith of those generous benefactors. On the other hand, there is the story of a pastor who was part of a large party at an Applebee's in the St. Louis area.  When her portion of the bill came, $34.93, it had an 18% tip added (which comes out to $6.29).  The pastor scribbled out the tip, wrote a big “0” in its place and left a note saying, “I give God 10%, why should you get …

Jungle Safari - Deuteronomy 4:21-31

Professor Porter and his daughter Jane are on a safari in the jungles of Africa, let by wildlife hunter Clayton.  The professor and his daughter are searching for gorillas and other native wildlife and fauna, wanting to study them in their native surroundings.  Clayton, on the other hand, has ulterior motives, concerned not with all of creation surrounding him, but with the challenge of the hunt and the amount of wealth any findings could bring him.  Little did they know the surprise waiting for them on their safari—not only would they find the gorillas and other animals of the jungle, but they would discover a child lost decades earlier, now grown into a man, Tarzan—ironically, referred to by Phil Collins in song, as the “Son of Man.” The Israelites were not searching for gorillas.  In fact they were not even on a safari or in the jungle.  They were in the wilderness—a wilderness marked more by desert sand and sun than by the shade of large overhanging trees and the soft moss of the j…

Organic and Eternal - John 6:24-35 (Sermon from 8/2/15)

A friend of mine, Rhonda, shared a story about a visit with her mother this summer.  Rhonda decided that it was time to “help” her mother clean out the pantry.  A big part of the pantry work was going through and discarding all of the “out-of-date” food.  As she began throwing away some of the food, her mom protested, “Those don’t go bad!  They have preservatives!” “Yes, they do, Mama!”                                                                         “No, they don’t!” “Yes they do!” I used not to think anything of expiration dates on foods, if it looked okay and tasted okay, then it must be okay.  Of course as picky of an eater as I used to be, the only real food that I ate that had expiration dates posted on it was peanut butter, and still, in my house, a jar of peanut butter doesn’t last long enough to worry about an expiration date—a 48 ounce jar is gone in a week or two.  Working at Good Shepherd Kitchen has caused me to look at some more closely.  Why?  Well, if something is …