Thunder

With the summer heat, usually we have thunderstorms, which often involve lightning. Lately, I have been drawn to the sound of thunder. Sometimes, it seems to roll in quietly; other times, it is bellowing out loud and rumbling. When I hear thunder, it reminds me of the presence of God. Sometimes, we sense God is with us; at times we feel God may be at a distance; other instances, God boldly makes us aware of God’s whereabouts. Next time it storms, listen to the thunder more intently. What is it saying to you (other than to let you know a storm is arriving!)?

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio August 7 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_E9wsDc-R5zwv5QW4Y8g0jSSUq2CUDeb/view?usp=sharing

F.R.O.G. – Fully Rely on God!

We find ourselves once again, turning the page to a new month. That means preparing to go back to school or to teaching, or some other schedule or life change. We already are seasoned enough to know that some days will be good – some not so much, especially in the transition stages! Whatever comes our way, we can F.R.O.G. to assist us in being successful in overcoming the hurdles!

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio 7/31 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ObsPDsY6vyVjCmsWQI3izU1DKVvwnbdT/view?usp=sharing

Refreshing Water

Water. It was a good weekend to be near, in, or around water with such hot and humid summer days! A glass of cold water any day is good, but on such sizzling hot summer days, a cold glass of water is refreshing. Whether you put your feet in the baby pool, swam in a river, or canoed on a lake, clink your water glasses and offer a toast to summer. Winter will be here soon enough!

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem – Worship Audio 7/24 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1303-M0nDDTOvvo6MmjjA2eZr8q-3fQcW/view?usp=sharing

Summer Sabbath

It was such a beautiful weekend – weather-wise. Blue skies and a summer breeze. One of those weekends when you were a kid, you may have laid on your back on the grass and looked up at the sky, identifying the shapes of the clouds – a pony, a seahorse, a princess. As an adult, we may rest on a hammock and read a book, gently swinging back and forth. Whatever activity you choose to do on these lazy summer afternoons, enjoy.

Lord, listen to your children praying

Sometimes, we it seems live our days between songs and sorrows. Early in this summer season we already have so many concerns, anxieties and worries. Transitions. Turmoil. What comes to mind are the lyrics of the song, Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying. Simple words, but they touch my heart every time I hear it.

Lord,lListen to your children praying,
Lord, send your spirit in this place….
Lord, listen to your children praying…
Send us love, send us power, send us grace.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=yfp-t&ei=UTF-8&p=lord+listen+to+your+children+praying+alejandrio#id=1&vid=4818db3971bc2a65826423463e07f9a7&action=click

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem, worship audio 6/26:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LEXw_Gcu8Hg9__LRnX5PfT2ri4PrqBEq/view?usp=sharing

Wind & Spirit

There are many expressions that use the word ‘wind’: the wind at our back, blowin’ in the wind, the wind in our sails, gone with the wind, go with the wind, four sheets to the wind, in the wind, the wind of change, an ill wind, whistle in the wind – take your pick. The American Free Dictionary includes 104 such phrases. I only mention wind today because the wind has been blowing – sometimes fiercely – the past two days. In our locale alone, flying a kite has only torn the kite to shreds, canoeing/kayaking/boating on some bodies of water have been limited or denied, garden plants and flowers have grown weary of trying to stand straight and tall.

I love the wind this time of year. I love to listen to it. I love to feel it. I imagine parts of God’s Creation are dancing in the wind, like the flowers and trees, bending and twisting to whatever speed/strength the wind offers. I used to love to see the wind act out on a calm lake, causing ripples to immensely increase; or assertively cross the ocean water, causing the water spray along the shoreline to go higher and higher.

I love the wind such as these past two days, especially as we just celebrated Pentecost a short time ago, reminding us still, that God’s Spirit is active and all around us. That we will continue to be encouraged and strengthened by God’s Spirit, as long as we are open to its presence. Surround me, Mighty Wind! Surround me, Holy Spirit!

Wisdom

I woke up long before dawn this morning with some of the lyrics of Paul McCartney’s song, “Let It Be” dancing in my head. Why? I have no real reason. If I would venture to guess, it may be because the word broken-hearted has bled through nearly every part of our mind and soul lately. Whether in personal stories or news stories or in memories. The lyrics that called me to wake up before the sun:

And when the broken-hearted people, Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, Let it be
For though they may be parted , there is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, Let it be

There is hope for the broken-hearted in these words. As Paul goes on to say, whisper words of wisdom, Let it be.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio for June 12 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ayx_mmkfVnfRKgoclcWPWexkGzCSfSOh/view?usp=sharing

Breath of Life

On this beautiful Sabbath that God created, we collectively say, “Come, Holy Spirit, Come! Advocate, Encourager, Breath of Life…enfold us in our struggles, in our griefs, and in our courage….embrace us through the stories of pain we share, through the horizons of hope that remain unseen, and the landscapes that are scattered shards of brokenness stretched across fields and valleys. Please, Holy Spirit, Breath of Life, infuse us, revive us refresh us, with your power to be able to journey with one another in love, in peace, and in hope.

I was humbled this morning to share communion with congregations from both St. Thomas and Trinity United Church of Christ (in person and virtually) AND to confirm six youth. How awesome is God’s grace and mercy!

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem, worship audio 6/5 – .

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HWnx64XyoC-p1gLNLyuBhgtNo7ZFaRBa/view?usp=sharing

There is a breeze…

…thankfully, because this Sabbath is hot and humid. Where will you find cool relief? A swimming pool? Under the shade of an elm tree? Sipping on a cold glass of iced tea in an air conditioned space? Snoozing in a hammock ties between two trees? A dish of ice cream (a cherry, please)? No matter what you do or where you go to escape the heat, enjoy!

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio May 22 –

..https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZRF5fAMxj7WXDCzkpzpiuJXhDHwYY_Il/view?usp=sharing