Archive for the ‘Advent’ Category

The Best I Could With What I Have 11-27-2016

Friday, November 25th, 2016

I saw a movie once where there was a man being pulled in 2 different directions. One arm being pulled by an angel in a white outfit with wings. The other arm pulled by a devil all equipped with a red outfit and horns. “Do this,” one would say. “No do not, do that,” the other would shout. The guys head was spinning and spinning.
I feel like this guy when I start thinking about Advent and Christmas. Bring up 3 people to help demonstrate being pulled apart.
A. On one side the Church is pulling, reminding me it is Advent again. Blue vestments, Advent wreaths, four candles, and special environment. A time of patient waiting. Special preparations for the Re-birth of Jesus in our life. All good stuff.
B. On the other side, Christmas carols 2 days after Thanksgiving, advertisements everywhere, “buy this, buy now, pay later”, Christmas decorations and parties and Santa Clauses everywhere. It is like we skipped from Thanksgiving to Christmas in one day. Being pulled apart.
I know for me I want to use the next 3 or 4 weeks, we call Advent, to deepen my relationship with Jesus Christ. I want to be more aware of where Christ is present in my everyday life.
I also know I will get caught up in the Christmas frenzy. That will be ok and a lot of fun. With that being said, I want Christmas to be different this year.
I remember one Christmas a few years back that was very different for me. My perspective was changed by an automobile accident. 5 innocent and unsuspecting people were killed in a head-on collision. (Snap fingers) It shook me and many others. I thought to myself, “that could have been me”. “That is the same road I travel to go see my mom.” It could have been me. This experience caused me to ask myself some significant questions. Maybe I need to ask them again during Advent 2016? Perhaps you could ask them to yourself?
1. Has my life on the earth made a difference for the better?
2. Am I doing the best I can to develop and share the gifts and talents God has given me?
3. What are my priorities? Are God and my family in the top 3?
4. Are there relationships or some area of my life that needs healing? Needs to change for the better?
5. The final question. Do I need to forgive someone? Do I need to forgive myself? Do I believe God could never forgive me?
Pick one or two of these questions and spend a few minutes thinking about your answers. Be honest. Ask God to help you make the changes you need to make now! Those few minutes might be the best way to make Christmas different this year. Pray for me as I try to do this and I will pray for you.

Make Time To Laugh 12-11-2016

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Many of you have seen the show TV Bloopers, they are hilarious. I have read about newspaper bloopers, how one word can change so much. I would like to share with you some parish bulletin bloopers. I think they are great!
Don’t let worry kill you – Let the Church help.
Thursday Night – Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.
This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.
This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.
The service will close with “Little Drops of Water.” The cantor will start quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.

Next Sunday a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new carpet will come forward and do so.
The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They can be seen in the church basement Saturday.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.

I started my homily this week with these because I have experienced so many people stressed, anxious, grumpy, mostly over getting ready for Christmas. This Sunday (formerly called Guadete Sunday – Rejoice) with its pink candle reminds us that no matter how dark it might be in our lives, that no matter how anxious or grumpy we might feel, for whatever reason, no matter how depressing the world situation might be – the light, the joy of God will never leave us. We need to hold on to this Good News and we need to rejoice today. We need to smile – we need to laugh – right in the face of hard times. Maybe this will help:
The late great humorist, Erma Bombeck, told the story of what happened to her in Church one Sunday…
“I was intent on a small child who was turning around and smiling at everyone. He wasn’t gurgling, spitting, humming, kicking, tearing the hymnals, or rummaging through his mother’s handbag. He was just smiling.
“Finally his mother jerked him about and in a stage whisper that could be heard in a littler theater off Broadway said, ‘Stop that Grinning! You’re in Church!’ With that, she gave him a belt and, as the tears rolled down his cheek, she added, ‘That’s better,’ and returned to her prayers. We sing, ‘Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!’ while our faces reflect the sadness of one who has just buried a rich Aunt who left everything to her pregnant hamster.
“Suddenly I was angry. It occurred to me the entire world is in tears, and if your not, than you’d better get with it. I wanted to grab this child with the tear stained face close to me and tell him about My God. The happy God. The smiling God. The God who had to have a sense of humor to have created the likes of us. I wanted to tell him he is an understanding God. One who understands little children who turn around and smile in church, and even curious little children who rummage through their mothers’ handbags. I wanted to tell that little child that I too have taken a few lumps for daring to smile in an otherwise solemn religious setting.
“By tradition, I suppose, one wears Faith with the solemnity of a mourner, the mask of tragedy. What a fool, I thought, this woman sitting next to the only sign of hope – the only miracle – left in our civilization. If that child couldn’t smile in church, where was there left to go?”
Let me close with this: There is an organization of business people who donate their time visiting hospitals – especially children’s hospitals. They go to these hospitals as working “Clowns” – here is a portion of their special prayer:
“Lord, as I stumble through this life, help me to create more laughter than tears, dispense more happiness than gloom, spread more cheer than despair. Never let me grow so big that I will fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child, or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged. Never let me forget that I am a clown, that my work is to cheer people up, make them happy, and make them laugh. And in my final moment, may I hear you whisper, ‘When you made my people smile, you made me smile!’”
Finally, when you are going over your gift list, don’t forget these gifts:
1. The gift of laughter
2. The gift of a smile
3. The gift of joy brought on by a phone call, card, or a short visit
4. A sense of healthy humor
5. Giving a gift to ourselves – not to take ourselves too seriously.
With that in mind, what do you get when you cross a praying mantis with a termite? – A bug that says grace before it eats your house.
Thank you. (REJOICE)

Make Time To Laugh 12-13-2015

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Many of you have seen the show TV Bloopers, they are hilarious. I have read about newspaper bloopers, how one word can change so much. I would like to share with you some parish bulletin bloopers. I think they are great!
Don’t let worry kill you – Let the Church help.
Thursday Night – Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.
This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.
This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.
The service will close with “Little Drops of Water.” The cantor will start quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.
Next Sunday a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new carpet will come forward and do so.
The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They can be seen in the church basement Saturday.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.

I started my homily this week with these because I have experienced so many people stressed, anxious, grumpy, mostly over getting ready for Christmas. This Sunday (formerly called Guadete Sunday – Rejoice) with its pink candle reminds us that no matter how dark it might be in our lives, that no matter how anxious or grumpy we might feel, for whatever reason, no matter how depressing the world situation might be – the light, the joy of God will never leave us. We need to hold on to this Good News and we need to rejoice today. We need to smile – we need to laugh – right in the face of hard times. Maybe this will help:
The late great humorist, Erma Bombeck, told the story of what happened to her in Church one Sunday…
“I was intent on a small child who was turning around and smiling at everyone. He wasn’t gurgling, spitting, humming, kicking, tearing the hymnals, or rummaging through his mother’s handbag. He was just smiling.
“Finally his mother jerked him about and in a stage whisper that could be heard in a littler theater off Broadway said, ‘Stop that Grinning! You’re in Church!’ With that, she gave him a belt and, as the tears rolled down his cheek, she added, ‘That’s better,’ and returned to her prayers. We sing, ‘Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!’ while our faces reflect the sadness of one who has just buried a rich Aunt who left everything to her pregnant hamster.
“Suddenly I was angry. It occurred to me the entire world is in tears, and if your not, than you’d better get with it. I wanted to grab this child with the tear stained face close to me and tell him about My God. The happy God. The smiling God. The God who had to have a sense of humor to have created the likes of us. I wanted to tell him he is an understanding God. One who understands little children who turn around and smile in church, and even curious little children who rummage through their mothers’ handbags. I wanted to tell that little child that I too have taken a few lumps for daring to smile in an otherwise solemn religious setting.
“By tradition, I suppose, one wears Faith with the solemnity of a mourner, the mask of tragedy. What a fool, I thought, this woman sitting next to the only sign of hope – the only miracle – left in our civilization. If that child couldn’t smile in church, where was there left to go?”
Let me close with this: There is an organization of business people who donate their time visiting hospitals – especially children’s hospitals. They go to these hospitals as working “Clowns” – here is a portion of their special prayer:
“Lord, as I stumble through this life, help me to create more laughter than tears, dispense more happiness than gloom, spread more cheer than despair. Never let me grow so big that I will fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child, or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged. Never let me forget that I am a clown, that my work is to cheer people up, make them happy, and make them laugh. And in my final moment, may I hear you whisper, ‘When you made my people smile, you made me smile!’”
Finally, when you are going over your gift list, don’t forget these gifts:
1. The gift of laughter
2. The gift of a smile
3. The gift of joy brought on by a phone call, card, or a short visit
4. A sense of healthy humor
5. Giving a gift to ourselves – not to take ourselves too seriously.
With that in mind, what do you get when you cross a praying mantis with a termite? – A bug that says grace before it eats your house.
Thank you. (REJOICE)