Monday Morning Meditation 6-5-23

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.  Luke 17:6-7

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  The apostles come to Jesus with what I think is a huge request.  They hear Jesus teach and preach, they see him do amazing signs and wonders and they might be feeling inadequate.  Or at least that is how I sometimes feel.  Jesus commands the wind, commands demons, heals the sick, brings people back to life and teaches with amazing authority.  Maybe if I had “more” faith I could do a few of those things. 

Then I thought about the mustard plant and plants in general.  A seed gets buried and as it sprouts, must work through the soil to grow.  Plants seek out the sun and will turn in that direction if necessary.  They endure hardships, lack of rain, too much rain, other plants growing around them, and more.  Yet plants keep growing. They keep going.

Perhaps that is the key to growing our faith.  We all struggle with things, not because of lack of faith, but life is filled with struggles.  Part of those struggles builds us up just as adding weights builds our muscles.  When we face adversities, we need to keep believing that we are not alone, that God is with us, and that God will guide us through. 

Faith is not a magic answer to our issues, faith is the belief in a God who answers us.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 5-29-23

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:12-13

Today is Memorial Day.  This is a day we set aside to honor and give thanks for those who not only served, but gave their very lives for our country.

We should always be thankful for all who have honorably served our nation, and in recent years I have seen many examples of our gratitude.  Yet, there is a special gratitude for those who have given their all for our freedom (as well as their families who have sacrificed so much as well).  To all of those we give our utmost thanks.

Jesus said “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends”, and today we remember all of those who did that very thing. 

Almighty God, we give you thanks for those who gave their life for our nation.  We thank you for their sacrifice as well as the sacrifice of their families.  We pray that their examples may drive us to seek Your kingdom above all, and to work towards a just society.  Amen.

Monday Morning Meditation 5-22-23

51When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; 53but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55But he turned and rebuked them. 56Then they went on to another village.  Luke 9:51-56

This is one of those passages that is easy to overlook because of the surrounding story.  Chapter nine begins with Jesus calling and sending the twelve apostles, the feeding of the 5000 and Jesus’ important question “who do you say I am” with Peter’s declaration “You are the Messiah”.  Chapter nine also contains the Transfiguration and arguments about who is the greatest. 

It is easy to miss this little section of scripture, but read it again.  Jesus and the group enters a Samaritan village who chose not to receive Jesus because He was going to Jerusalem, the Jewish city (even though the Samaritans were also waiting for God’s Messiah). 

James and John want to wipe the village out through God’s power as if it were Sodom and Gomorrah.  Jesus rebukes them and they walk away from the village. 

This little nugget can tell us a lot about dealing with those we do not get along with, or even enemies.  Just walk away.  See a social media post that gets you upset?  Don’t respond, walk away.  Dealing with a bully?  Don’t engage, just walk away.  Go to “another village”, get away from that which causes you issues and continue your journey.  Do not desire revenge, just get on with your life with Jesus.

Throughout this new week you will have plenty of opportunities to “walk away” from things that cause you issues and instead walk with the Lord.  Take them and you will be far better for it, just like James and John.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 5-15-23

Why do so many come to prayer as if it is either the last resort, or just something we are supposed to do, before we “get to business”?  As a last resort, it says to God “I’ve done everything I can, now I give up” which is wrong because God wants us to pray first – to truly go to God and allow God to supply an answer.  The “supposed to do” concept says “before a meeting, pray.  After the meeting, pray.  In between, work.”  The prayer itself is the work, and by asking God, God will guide the meeting, or whatever you are doing.

James tells us:  If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord. James 1:5-8.

Ask in faith.  Do not pray just because you are supposed to, do not pray as if it is a quaint ritual, rather ask God with faith that God will answer your prayer.

Sermon ended – now the hard part.  As I prayed before our meal today, I went away from the standard prayer I say before meals and instead yelled at God.  Well, I didn’t exactly yell, but I did beg, I pleaded.  Perhaps my faith has been shaken as I’ve waited for an answer and then I read today’s passage from James. 

As you journey through this week, keep James’ words close to your heart, as well as these from Matthew 9:23-24: “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”  Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 5-8-23

O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
O give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.
O give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; Psalm 136:1-3

What are you thankful for this morning?  What blessing have you seen?  Was it someone who did a nice gesture, waved or said hello?  Did you have a good breakfast?  Did you see the beautiful clouds this morning? 

Every day is a blessing, even Monday mornings when we are struggling to get up, get the kids to school and ourselves to work! 

Sometime today, and throughout this week, consider all the little blessings and give thanks to the Lord.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 5-1-23

2Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. 3 John:2

This morning I was looking at a lot of scriptures, trying to find the right inspiration for this post.  Nothing was speaking to me today until I came upon John’s third letter.  Verse 2 hit me as a wonderful prayer for our families and friends.  It is complete in its simplicity and says a lot of what we are asking for our loved ones in prayer. It is also very wholistic – body, mind and spirit.

So today I give you a short meditation and leave you with this prayer:

I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul.

Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 4-24-23

Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8

There is a legend that John, in his older years, would only say to the congregation “Little children, love one another.”  When asked why that was his only teaching he replied “for it is enough.”

Jesus gave us a new commandment Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34)”.  He also summed up the law of the prophets this way; “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-39).

Love does cover a multitude of sins.  We are all imperfect, we all do things that are wrong, or hurtful (even unintentionally).  Yet when we love one another, we can overcome these things and still remain in harmony and fellowship.

Imagine how powerful your place of work, or school, or church or any organization can be if everyone really cared for each other.  We would all be more productive, more compassionate and more like Jesus.

As you go through this week, practice love.  If there is someone around you who is hard to love, pray for them and extend them more grace.  Be more loving.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 4-17-23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.  Psalm 23

This past weekend my daughter was in her high school musical, “Little Shop of Horrors”, a parody of a budget science fiction movie.

Her big song is “Somewhere That’s Green” a ballad of desire for something better than the life lived in “skid row”.  While filled with humorous lyrics about the wish for a washer, dryer and iron, it is also a plea for a better place “somewhere that’s green.”

Look at what David says in Psalm 23; “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul…”

God’s creation, this beautiful green earth, is truly soul restoring.  The more we get outside and see the flowers and trees blooming, the fields returning to the growth state, the more restoration we can experience.  The more we lean on God, the more God will lead us to those places of restoration.

As you journey through this week, get outside, get away from whatever routine you have, experience the beauty of God’s creation and be restored.


Pastor Bill

Monday Meditation 4-10-23

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…1 Peter 1:3

We have traveled together through the long Lenten season.

We have celebrated the Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem.

We have received Holy Communion on Thursday.

We witnessed the Crucifixion on Friday.

Then, finally, we celebrated the Resurrection on Sunday with grandeur.

Now it is Monday.  How are you doing? 

While Monday is back to work or school filled with more things to do, are we holding onto that incredible news?  He is Risen (He is Risen, Indeed!).  What does this mean for your upcoming week?  What does it mean as you sit in a doctor’s office or at the shop as the car is being fixed?  How does the resurrection of Jesus impact you?

We should be people of the resurrection.  It is more than what happens to us when we die, the resurrection is God’s promise that not even death can hold us back.  We have a living hope.

As you travel through this new week, go with the joy and promise of Sunday. 


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 4-3-23

Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word. Psalm 119:7-74

Today has not started off well.  It was hard to wake up this morning, we were running late and I’m struggling to get things going. The list of projects to be done over the weekend remain (well, I am 99% finished with one of them) which are now added to the already over scheduled day.  Tensions were running high as we all left, and I’ve said things that were hardly helpful.  In plain words, it is Monday.

As I contemplate these verses from Psalm 119, I wonder “does anyone who believes in God rejoice when they see me?”  Because of his belief, the Psalmist declares that others will rejoice.  I’m lucky if the dog is happy to see me this morning. 

But then I consider verse 77:  Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight. 

In the end, it is God’s mercy that we seek, that we need.  No matter what happens in this day, I need to seek God’s mercy, and extend it to others.  Even if I don’t get my work completed.

As you journey through this Holy Week, contemplate on God’s mercy for you, and the mercy you can give to others.


Pastor Bill