Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's playoff time

Finally we are just a day away from the Phillies and the Brewers. I have been waiting for this since last year when the Rockies swept the Phillies.

It is time for a few Phillies to step up and make some noise in the playoff. Starting with Cole Hamels and Chase Utley, the Phillies need both of these guys to have a good series.

With those two at the top of their game and Rollins and Howrd being Rollins and Howard, this should be simply step one to a very encouraging postseason.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thanks


Since the beginning of July, and really before, life has been very stressful for me. My family was being moved to a new place and we had to deal with packing moving, goodbyes, hellos, and all that goes with the move.

Our move got pushed back a few weeks so it meant many late nights for me as I had to commute back and forth and that mean time away from the family. Once the move got done we had to go through settling in as we were preparing to go on our vacation.

As we began to settle in I was very busy at the new church meeting people and going to meetings and just learning the community. Then the physical problems started. First ot was my back and then kidney stones(again). It has been a real tough couple of weeks and I have had to really rely on the people at the church to get me through at church and to my fellow neighborhood pastors to help me as well. I have learned that I am not indispensable to the church and the church has learned that as well and that is a good thing.

But the mot important thing I have been reminded of is that I just couldn't get though any of this if it wasn't for my wife. She has been a blessing and a rock for me. When I was done and out for almost two weeks she had to do it all herself, take care of the house and take care of me and still keep working.

I would be lost without her.

So I just want to say Thank You, to my love, my friend, my wife, my Ginny.

I love you.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Da Birds!


This is how Big Ben spent most of Sunday afternoon. What a fun game to watch, the defense just kept pushing and pushing and the Steelers kept falling down.

It was a great afternoon of Football, hopefully Westbrook is not too banged up. In the last two weeks the Eagles have showed me that they have put together quite a team this year.

Add this to the fact that the Phillies lead in the NL east sits at a game and a half and all is well in Philly Sports land. Great, great day....if I could just get rid of this stupid kidney stone!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Such a small thing


and yet so much pain. I am smack in the middle of my latest bout with kidney stones and let me just say I am tired. Tired of the pain and tired of having to take medicine just to survive and tired of feeling terrible after taking medicine.

It is such a frustrating place to be and I feel bad for my family because they are stuck taking care of me. In the meantime I have to hope and pray that I am well enough come Sunday to preach.

I am preaching on Justifying Grace on Sunday and so I am confident that if I am able to make it to the pulpit on Sunday that it will simply be another illustration of God's grace, not justifying grace but grace nonetheless.

So bring on Sunday.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Cross in the World


This is my view every Sunday as I stand and deliver the message to my church. This big beautiful cross looking out into the world. it is a simple reminder to me that this is what it is all about. I am delivering a message to the church about the impact that the cross has had, does have, and will have on that big world out there.

As I stood there on Sunday I was discussing the concept of Prevenient Grace. I spoke of God wooing us to him before we even knew there was a God. I said those words and I looked at that cross and it made the concept so crystal clear to me. God calls out out us through love and the sacrifice of Jesus and the work of the cross.

This calling/wooing allows us to know and understand that there is a God who cares and loves and we have sinned against this God. This is the beginning of our journey with God. So I encourage you this week to look out your window at the world and see where God is calling you and see where you can go tell the story of God.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Life can be Messy


This is my nephew eating his very first Mickey ice cream bar on our vacation. As you can see he loved it! Looking at this picture was a reminder that sometimes life does get a little messier than we want. things happen and people disappoint us or our job becomes tough.

Yet when I look at this picture I think that perhaps it is okay. We can still find ways to enjoy life even when it does get messy. Things may not be going the way we envisioned or want but there is still a chance that we can find our way through it and enjoy where we find ourselves.

So when life gets you down, grab yourself a Mickey bar and make a mess!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Where does the time go?

I am stunned as I look at the calendar and see that we are in September. I have been here over two months and it seems as if time has flown. There is still so much to do and so many people to meet. I have a To Do List that gets longer by the day and I just can't seem to find a way to make it any smaller at all.

However, this is exactly what I was looking for in a new appointment, if they decided to move me I wanted to be constantly on the go and so far I have been. So as time goes on and I get more and more settled, I will simply continue to look for where God is sending me and try and find God's will in all that I do.

Peace!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Hope Springs eternal?


Well maybe not, but there is a glimpse. Bret Myers pitched a gem of a game tonight and the Phillies crawled back to within two games of the Mets. I think that if the Phillies can keep it close, the Mets will start remembering the end of last season. The pressure will start to build and hopefully they will play tight and the Phils will be able to play fast and loose.....

and then there is Da Birds
It is an interesting year. Receivers dropping like flies and yet there is an air of expectation when you look at Donovan. I am telling you, he knows something the rest of us don't. Maybe it is the fact that Desean Jackson is better than advertised, maybe it is the defense is back to form , I don't know. I just think Donovan is excited about this year.

So yea, maybe hope is springing eternal after all.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Duck!


On our vacation, my 18 month old nephew was more impressed by Donald Duck than Mickey Mouse. Every time he saw a bird, he always said, "duck, duck, duck".

So on the morning that we went through the Panama Canal, Ginny and I saw Donald walking around and we wanted to take a picture for our nephew. The one way to do it was for one of us to pose with Donald. My wife was saving herself for Mickey, she has an obsession, so the posing was left for me.


So Ian Thomas, here he is.....Donald Duck!

Monday, September 01, 2008

I have to share an experience

When I was in seminary in one of my preaching classes we had to watch some videos from a series called Great Preachers. I saw some amazing preaching in those tapes. Well last night I was asked to say the evening prayer at Ocean Grove in the Great Auditorium and got a chance to listen to one of those great preachers from the videos.

I went into the study before the service started to let them know that I was there and then I had the honor of meeting Rev. James Forbes. He turned and introduced himself to me, Hi, I am Jim Forbes" and I just chuckled. I then had the chance to listen to him speak for a few minutes on a variety of topics.

None of that could hold a candle though to the powerful message he would deliver. I have never heard a message delivered in such a way, the man is a gift from God is all I can say. He has a presence that is simply unbelievable.

I am still feeling that message now. All I can say is wow, what a blessing.

Well I am Home

It was quite a trip. The Canal was all that I had hoped for and more. As soon as my wife gets home from the trip I hope to have some pictures to show of the experience. I am sure we can find one or two since she took about 500 during the passage through the canal!