Invocation for Memorial Day

22 05 2015

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Heavenly Father we thank you for the grace you have showered upon this land. We praise you for the liberty to worship you, the freedom to criticize our government or its leaders, the assurance of trial by jury, the privilege to vote our conscience in a free election, and so much more. We thank you for our rich heritage and continued blessings. We acknowledge your strength when others would challenge our freedom and way of life.

Today we come with humble heart, moistened eye, and profound thankfulness, realizing that our country’s greatness is sometimes carried on the shoulders of 18 and 19 year olds, led by those in their 20’s and 30’s. We remember those who gave their last full measure of devotion. On land, in the air, or at sea they were proven and found faithful. Some are still missing and it is our prayer that they could be brought back to their native land. Families who carry the memory of a fallen loved one, need your comfort today. Let them sense our united heart of gratefulness and may this encourage them when weak. You remind us in your Word that we are to give honor to whom honor is due and with all our heart, soul, and mind we do just that.

As we immerse ourselves in the music of our nation, contemplate the words of our speaker and stand in awe at the sound of taps, let us do so with a reverent respect and a solemn holy silence.

We ask this in the name of Jesus’

Amen





Come now, Little Man

14 05 2015

I want to highlight the quotes I copied and taped on the wall in back of my office desk. They are reminders to me but thought they could help you also.

Pastor Dave

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“Come now, little man! Flee for a while from your tasks and hide yourself for a little space from the turmoil of your thoughts. Come, cast aside your burdensome cares and put aside your laborious pursuits. For a little while give your time to God and rest in Him for  a little while. Enter into the inner chamber of your mind, shut out all things save God and whatever may aid you in seeking God; and having barred the door of your chamber, seek Him”.

Anselm of Canterbury





Shine on Me

30 04 2015

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More Americans died in the Civil War than in all the other wars in which the United States has been involved, combined. Families lost husbands, fathers, and sons. Some 26 percent of the men in the South perished in the struggle, and by the end of the war many women and children there were literally starving. Those years, 1861-1865, were marked by intense suffering all over the United States.
Yet during the war the South, and particularly its army, was swept by revival, as many thousands came to know Christ. Against the background of suffering and spiritual renewal, a letter found on the body of a Confederate soldier shows how, in the darkest times, the light of God shines on us.

I asked for strength that I might achieve.
He made me weak that I might obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things.
I was given grace that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I received nothing that I asked for.
All that I hoped for.
My prayer was answered.

365-Day Devotional Commentary





Easter Invocation

2 04 2015

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Our Father, creator of all and author of life; we worship you. We rejoice today because of the resurrection. The tears of Good Friday were turned to astonishment on that Sunday morning when the empty tomb was discovered. Since that day, the empty tomb has given us hope that we serve a risen Savior and that through Him comes life abundantly here on Earth and life eternal in Heaven. We praise you for the power of the resurrection that changed our mourning into dancing. Even our grief and sorrow are given a song in the night through the joy unspeakable that comes because He lives. We are promised that “joy cometh in the morning”, especially as we remember Resurrection morning. We praise you dear God of all mercy, who has let us see through the eyes of the witnesses of the risen Christ, that we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
We pray that others come to the cross and confess Christ as their sin-bearer. Then we pray that they walk away from the empty tomb, rejoicing in the reality of their new life in Christ. We pray for other churches who celebrate with us in our city, state, nation, and around the world. We may differ in worship style, music, language, and culture; but as one body we declare, “He is risen indeed”. We pray for a freshness and newness at this church. Resurrect us from the deadness of indifference, laxity, love of ease, and materialism. Fill us with your presence; baptize us with life, love, and unity.





Mom’s Empty Chair

17 01 2015

I received this story from a cousin in Colorado. Sometimes visual reminders of a spiritual truth are a good thing.

Pastor Dave

When the minister arrived, he found the woman lying in bed with her head propped up on two pillows.
An empty chair sat beside her bed. The minister assumed that the woman had been informed of his visit. ‘I guess you were expecting me, he said. ‘No, who are you?’ said the mother. The minister told her his name and then remarked, ‘I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew I was going to show up..’ ‘Oh yeah, the chair,’ said the bedridden woman. ‘Would you mind closing the door?’ Puzzled, the minister shut the door.

‘I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter,’ said the woman. ‘But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head.’ I abandoned any attempt at prayer,’ the old woman continued, ‘until one day four years ago, my best friend said to me, ‘ Prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus Here is what I suggest. ‘Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It’s not spooky because he promised, ‘I will be with you always’. ‘Then just speak to him in the same way you’re doing with me right now.’ ‘So, I tried it and I’ve liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I’m careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she’d either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm.’ The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old woman to continue on the journey.

Then he prayed with her, anointed her with oil, and returned to the church. Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her mama had died that afternoon. Did she die in peace?’ he asked. Yes, when I left the house about two o’clock, she called me over to her bedside, told me she loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found her. But there was something strange about her death apparently, just before Mom died, she leaned over and rested her head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?’ The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, ‘I wish we could all go like that.’





2014 in review

4 01 2015

It is interesting to know the direction this blog seems to be going. WordPress sends stats every year. Note the response to prayers that I have written for special occasions. There is a real need for sincere communication with God.

Pastor Dave

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 48 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.





Pearl Harbor Day

7 12 2014

As a young sailor, I was stationed at an ammunition depot across the Lock from Pearl Harbor. On that base I had access to the mountain pass that the Japanese came through as they mounted the surprise attack on December 7, 1941. At that time there was a large cross erected marking the spot. One could see the open Pacific Ocean on one side and Pearl Harbor on the other. Many times I stood there and put myself in the shoes of those who experienced the horror of that lazy Sunday morning.

I visited the Arizona Memorial on several occasions and felt awe in realizing that it was the final resting place of 1,102 of the 2,402 who lost their lives on that day of infamy. One could still see oil leaking from the sunken ship into the harbor as if it were weeping for those entombed in its hull.

On this Pearl Harbor Day, I recognize the challenge of evil on that day and the generation who stood up against it. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Benediction for Pearl Harbor Day

Eternal Father,

As we close this service of remembrance, let us have an overwhelming sense of Your favor upon this land. With the conviction of faith, help us to see that Your mercy is still available to those who call upon You.

God, bless our nation, keep us safe in 2013, deliver us from evil. Bless our President and Commander-in-Chief with wisdom to lead, strength to persevere, and readiness to seek your face. Guard and guide those who protect our nation: our Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

Shower our World War 2 vets with assurance of your presence as they face their final battle, let them find peace through Your amazing grace. Now Lord, bless us and keep us, make your face to shine upon us and be gracious to us .Lord, Lift up Your countenance upon us and give us peace. In Jesus Name,

Amen