Monday Morning Meditation 7-26-21

6They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; 8so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. 9During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them. Acts 16:6-15

Have you ever had one of those experiences where you kept trying to go somewhere, only to be delayed.  Maybe you forgot something and had to go back into the house.  Perhaps you were just not moving as fast as you should have.  Or something else kept blocking you from getting out and doing what you had on your schedule. 

Suddenly the phone call comes, or the person knocks, or some other method of communication.  You are needed elsewhere and it is very important.

I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me – both in the pastorate and personally.  I just cannot seem to get moving on the planned schedule when suddenly I’m called somewhere else.

Paul experienced this and it must have been frustrating for him.  After all, Jesus had called Paul to his ministry, and now Jesus is preventing him from traveling to Asia.  He goes to sleep and then has the vision, “come over to Macedonia and help us.”

Plans and schedules are very important – but it is also important to be open to the Holy Spirit for often the Spirit will send us where we truly need to be.

Have a peaceful and blessed week and remain open to the Spirit.

Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 7-12-21

In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. Mark 1:35

Mark’s gospel is short, sweet and to the point.  35 verses in and Jesus has already been baptized, faced the devil’s temptations in the wilderness, began his ministry of teaching, preaching and healing, and began to call his disciples.

And now, Jesus heads into a quiet place to pray.  This will not be the only time we read this in the gospels.  Jesus’ regular routine was to preach, teach, heal and pray. 

This week I begin a four-day spiritual retreat of prayer and bible study.  One of my goals is to rekindle my daily prayer routine, not saying I was not praying daily, but to truly build it back up to where it should be. 

It is easy to slip out of the discipline, especially with the wild world we live in today, however that wild world is all the reason to pray more.

As you begin your week, find time to be alone with God.  Spend a little more time in prayer, even if it is only a few minutes more.  Then see how much more you can do.


Pastor Bill

Reflections for Independence Day

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. Ps. 33:1

My family attended a traditional July 4th concert.  The band played the standard patriotic songs and marches, as well as some great movie themes.  We stood to sing the National Anthem together and enjoyed the night.  This is America. 

In Philadelphia, White Supremacy groups were protesting in front of our nation’s most historic and iconic landmarks.  This is America. 

During the concert, children of difference colors were playing ball together.  Watching these children running around, laughing, helping each other and even shaking hands reminded me of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  This is America. 

At the end of the concert, we were treated to a spectacular fireworks display.  This is America. 

Three of these things were absolutely wonderful.  One was horrendous.  All of them reflect America today.  We can be the best of the best, and, unfortunately, we can be far from our ideals. 

In worship, during the “Prayers of the People” I gave thanks to God for the founding and independence of our nation.  I thanked God for those who have defended our freedom, and asked safety for those currently doing so.  And I thanked God for those who point out our sins as a nation.  

The Prayer of Examen is a daily spiritual exercise of praying for God to show us where we went astray – not to beat ourselves up, but to ask forgiveness and pray for the strength to become more of what God wants us to be.  This is also a good idea of a nation.  We do need to examine those areas where we can bring liberty and justice for all – and do so in a kind fashion. 

We must never lose sight of our potential to be a “city on the hill”, and we must never lose sight of our capacity to take our blessings for granted.   

As you celebrate, take a moment to give thanks for our nation and ask God to truly bless us. 


Pastor Bill