Monday Morning Meditation Jan 2, 2023

“for it was You who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I will praise You because I have been fearfully and wonderfully made”. Psalm 139:13-14

Often in the Hebrew scriptures we hear the term “fear” in relationship to God.  Proverbs 9:10 says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

Unfortunately, our English translation of the Hebrew is incomplete.  The word does not mean “be afraid of God” rather have awe and reverence for God.  It is about recognizing God’s awesomeness, power and majesty. 

The Psalmist recognizes this when he says I have been fearfully and wonderfully made.  Think about this – the Creator has created us with great reverence, with awesomeness.  When translated from the Hebrew, wonderfully means unique and set apart.

You have been awesomely made by God, you are unique and set apart.  Take a moment to think about that statement (read it over again).

A pastor who led a retreat would always say to us “God made you an original, don’t be a copy.”  I love that statement.  Each of us are made unique and set apart in the image of God.  Within you is something incredible because you have been made by God. 

As you travel through this week, and this new year, keep this in mind. 


Pastor Bill

Prayer for the Week

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work too may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.  Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guide me then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Mother Theresa

Monday Morning Meditation 12-26-22

 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:13-14

Merry Christmas!

The secular world has now pretty much finished up with Christmas.  The radio stations will phase out the Christmas music and return to their normal programming.  The emails from retailers are now about “getting the stuff you really wanted instead of what you got” sales.  The decorations will start coming down and shelves are filled with Valentine’s Day hearts.

Yet Christmas continues.  It is a season and a celebration of a significant event that continues to guide us (or at least it should).

When the heavenly host of angels proclaimed glory to God, they also offered peace to all (after all, God’s favor is for all).  It is our mission to spread that peace. 

As we travel through this Christmas season, be peace for those around you.  Offer grace to the underpaid and overworked retail clerks.  Give peace to those who are harried and under pressure.  Grant peace to those in your household.  Be peace for all around you.

May you enjoy this Christmas season,

Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 12-19-22

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:20-23

Have you ever had a dream that was more than a dream?  Has God spoken to you in dreams?  Have you had a dream that inspired you to go above and beyond?

Throughout the bible we read of God speaking to people in dreams, either directly or through an angel (a Messenger of God).  These messages are important and, when followed, usually lead the person towards a greater purpose.

God may be trying to speak to you through angels, through strangers, through loved ones, and even through your dreams.  Keep alert, keep aware and pay attention to these things.  You never know, God might just be calling you to something special.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 12-12-22

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

Hopefully you recognize this scripture from the prophet Isaiah (I used it last week).  It is important for us to open our eyes to new possibilities instead of vainly clinging onto the things of old that just did not work or no longer work for us (notice what I said there, things that did not work or no longer work for us).  Even back in the days of the Hebrew Scriptures, God was telling the people to look ahead, look towards something new instead of dwelling on the past. 

This does not mean to ignore or forget our past, for it is important, but to not dwell on the old things that do not work (or never worked), the old things that brought us hurt (we need to heal then move forward), or the “way we used to do it.”  God is doing something new in our lives.

Recently there is a lot of speculation on the future of the D.C. Comics movie universe.  The “DCEU” was a failure.  While there were some good movies and some good portrayals of iconic characters like Superman and Wonder Woman, the overall output did not live up to the potential of the possibilities.  New leadership is making plans to change everything, and the comic book movie world is buzzing.  Unfortunately, because nobody yet knows the plan, everyone is making things up.  Will Henry Cavil remain as Superman? 

Will Gal Gadot be Wonder Woman?  Who will be Batman? 

It is amazing that thousands of people will watch a YouTube post that tells us nothing new, rather than an inspiring post that could change their lives. 

It is also amazing that so many will argue with the new plan (which has not been released yet) because it changes the old thing so many want (even though everyone admits it did not work). 

Unfortunately, the church works the same way.  We often get so wrapped up in the old ways of doing things that we miss out on what God is doing right now.  We miss the opportunity to meet God today and grow in our faith.  We miss opportunities to help someone else see God’s love in action and instead drive them away.

We can be different.  We can be better.  We can be the community we are called to be and this is where the scriptures help.  We read them, not to create lists of rules, rather to be inspired as we read what God has done and look to what God is doing in front of us.  Let’s try to do this.  As you continue your Advent journey, open your eyes, minds and hearts to see what God has done, is doing and will do. 


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 12-5-22

This is what the Lord says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, 17 who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: 18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. 20 The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. Isaiah 43:16-21

Advent is about new beginnings.  It marks the beginning of a new church year, it marks the beginning of a festive season, and it can be the beginning of something new for you as well.  Advent looks back to the promises of God, looks forward to the ultimate return of the Lord, and guides us in celebrating the birth of Jesus.  And it is a time of new starts.

Isaiah is reminding the people of God not to forget what has happened, after all our past is important and we should always remember those who came before us, rather he is saying “do not dwell on the past.”  This has always been a problem for people.  We get so caught up in the “good old days” that we do not see the good happening before us right now.  We complain about how things were better “back then” while ignoring the problems of that time.

Personally, I am in a new beginning as I start a new ministry.  It is a great opportunity to live this passage as I guide a congregation into their new beginnings. 

What about you?  What new beginning are you in right now?  Can you look at your life and give thanks for the good things of the past as you embrace a new change?  It might not be anything huge, it might be the time for you to start something good.  Look around, what new thing is God doing in your life today?


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 11-28-22

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers.” For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good. Psalm 122:6-9

During our Thanksgiving dinner, my sister mentioned her latest campaign.  Over the years, her neighborhood has been a little rough.  Plus, she lives in a more remote area so daily contact with neighbors does not happen.  However, she started waving to everyone she saw whether walking or driving.  Soon others began to wave back and now things seem a little bit better.

Our nation is in bad shape with all the violent acts and shootings occurring weekly.  We need some help.  Waving at each other will not prevent shootings, but it can be a start.  The psalmist calls the people to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  We can take this further, pray for the peace of YOUR Jerusalem, your city, your homestead, and pray for the peace of Washington, DC, the governmental center of our nation.

If we begin to pray for our neighbors, show kindness to our neighbors and learn to live with our differences, we might just see some of that peace.  We then take the next steps, finding ways to create peaceful areas, finding ways to help those in need, finding ways to promote peace instead of violence.  Couple this with praying for our leadership, perhaps we might just find some solutions to the ongoing issues in our nation.

We can always try,

Pastor Bill


Be thankful in all circumstances…1 Thessalonians 5:18a

Gratitude.  It is a concept in nearly every major world religion.  You can read about thankfulness in the scriptures of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and more.  You hear of the concept in their sacred writings, philosophy and more. 

Whether you are giving thanks to God, or to the Universe, or to each other, gratitude is a healthy thing.  It reminds us that we do depend on each other that not one of us could survive with others, that all we have comes from somewhere else.

Take some time this week to think about some of the things you are thankful for.  Go a little deeper and think about those who you may rarely think about, for example;

Farmers producing our food

The hard workers who take away our trash

Underpaid retail workers who put up with so much abuse

And many more.

As you sit down to the Thanksgiving feast this year, truly be grateful for all you have,


Pastor Bill

Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices, who wondrous things has done,

in whom his world rejoices; who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way

with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.  Translator: Catherine Winkworth; Author: Martin Rinkart (1636)

Monday Morning Meditation 11-21-22

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

Over the weekend there was another tragic shooting at a gay nightclub.  Five people were killed.  Five human beings were killed.  Five people made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-28) were killed.

It does not matter what your thoughts about human sexuality are, it does not matter your religious beliefs or political stance on these things.  Humans should not kill other humans because of who they are.

If you are a person from the Judeo-Christian faith, God has spoken about this Exodus 20:13: “You shall not murder.”

On Friday, a friend of my daughter texted her.  The school was in lockdown because someone who should not have been on campus entered the school.  This is after a bomb threat a few days before and a threat of violence that caused the cancellation of a football game a few weeks ago.

There have been 46 school shootings resulting in injury or death this year alone.

There have been far too many violent events in our nation this year.

Again, God has said something about this:

Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you. Proverbs 3:29

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34

I could go through the scriptures and quote more, I could go through the holy writings of other world religions as well.  Bottom line, this is nuts.  We need to pray for our nation and world, we need to pray and work towards the end of violence.  It cannot be a partisan political fight, rather a time for all who believe in peace to stand together. 

This is too important.


Pastor Bill

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Election Eve Meditation 11-7-22

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

It is the eve of the election.  Elections have been quite volatile lately and this season is no different.  It seems the closer we get to the election, the more explosive the commercials with each side telling us how horrific the other candidate is instead of what the candidate will truly do for the people.

The social media rhetoric is in full swing as well, with more name calling, more half-truths and the generalizations that do not truly reflect any reality.

So what do we do?  We pray, not that our candidate wins over that bad one, rather that every candidate seeks wisdom to govern diligently and for all the people.  We pray that people vote with integrity, with honor and with the cause of all humanity, not just special interests.  We pray that we can recognize the Imago Dei, the image of God in each other.

We are created in the image of God, and God has breathed the Spirit of Life into us.  Therefore, no matter who we meet, no matter their party, their politics, their beliefs, we should treat them as children of God. Even if they support the other candidate.

There is no other way we can return to decent political discourse.  We will never all agree, and that is okay.  We can, however disagree with dignity.  There is no need for name calling and demonizing those who think differently. 

As you head to the polls, look at everyone you see, recognize the Imago Dei in them, and utter a prayer.


Pastor Bill

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:  where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.  For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Prayer of Saint Francis

Monday Meditation November 7, 2022

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

November is here and that means one thing.  The Christmas season (just kidding, the stores have been in Christmas mode long before Halloween).  Thanksgiving is coming.  I love Thanksgiving and honestly it has become my favorite holiday over the past few years.  I get up, start breakfast and then start the feast.  My wife and daughter get up, we eat then put on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

During the parade, I get the turkey in the oven and make the stuffing.  Throughout the morning, I am busy in the kitchen, but not so busy that I cannot watch the parade with my family.  Whether it is just the three of us, or we have other family members, I take great care and pleasure in the meal.  Cooking it is a way of giving thanks for all I have.

I probably do not say this enough but I am grateful for my family.

Paul tells us to rejoice always, pray always and be thankful always, no matter what is going on.  Believe me, I know how hard this is, especially after some difficult years.  Yet if we stop for a moment and really consider things, we do have a lot to be thankful for.

As you travel through this month, take time to give thanks, take time to pray, take time to rejoice.


Pastor Bill

Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which you have given us, for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us. Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day.

Prayer of Saint Richard