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