Day 220 | Sunday, 25 October 2020
The assigned Scripture readings for this the 21st Sunday after Pentecost are:
Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Psalm 90:1-6; 13-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 and Matthew 22:34-46.
Matthew 22:34-46 Great Commandment – the Message
34 When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault.
35 One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up:
36 "Teacher, which command in God's Law is the most important?"
37 Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.'
38 This is the most important, the first on any list.
39 But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.'
40 These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them."
41 As the Pharisees were regrouping, Jesus caught them off balance with his own test question:
42 "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" They said, "David's son."
43 Jesus replied, "Well, if the Christ is David's son, how do you explain that David, under inspiration, named Christ his 'Master'?
44 God said to my Master, "Sit here at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool."
45 "Now if David calls him 'Master,' how can he at the same time be his son?"
46 That stumped them, literalists that they were. Unwilling to risk losing face again in one of these public verbal exchanges, they quit asking questions for good.
From the New Revised Standard Version
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sad'ducees, they came together.
35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him.
36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"
37 And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
38 This is the great and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."
41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question,
42 saying, "What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?" They said to him, "The son of David."
43 He said to them, "How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
44 'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet'?
45 If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?"
46 And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did any one dare to ask him any more questions.
Jesus makes demands upon those who would be his disciples. Sometimes his demands are simple and direct. And yet, Jesus has a way of making matters like “love” and “neighbor,” “God” and “discipleship” complicated and demanding. Part of the adventure of discipleship is that we are disciples of Jesus.”
“In remembering that Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves, we also have to be reminded that Jesus did not leave us free to define either what love is or who our neighbors are! He made our enemies our neighbors to whom we owe forgiveness. He made love a costly and demanding affair.”
The following is a quote from Bishop William A. Willimon
“Jesus’ critics go on the attack. They attempt to engage Jesus in an argument about the Torah, the holy law of Israel. In response, Jesus quotes two traditional Jewish summaries – the commandment to love God (Deut 6:5) and the commandment to love the neighbor (Lev 19:18). Jesus’ answer is painfully obvious, because the answer to his critics’ theological question is simply a quote from a text that every practicing Jew recited each morning and evening.”
“In his summary of the Torah, Jesus brings together religion and ethics – the love of God and the love of neighbor. We would expect this sort of fusion of religion ethics in Matthew’s very ethical Gospel. Jesus has not stated anything new or creative – he has stated the heart of the faith of Israel. (Jesus’ answer is so unoriginal that it is the same answer that is found in Luke 10:27 when it is given not by Jesus, but from a “lawyer”!) One is also reminded of
I John 4:20-21 where we are told that the love of God cannot be separated from the love of neighbor.”
“Then, after answering them with this conventional Torah wisdom, Jesus goes on the attack himself in verses 41-46. He asks them what they think about the Messiah. To this Jesus’ critics respond by saying that the Messiah is a “Son of David” (verse 42).”
“The one who stands before the Pharisees and quotes the Torah is the Messiah. Therefore, he not only quotes the law but he embodies it. He is not only the one who reminds them of the way, but he is the way. He teaches with authority. It is an authority that is derived from being none other than the “Son of David,” the long-awaited Messiah whose teaching is integrally linked to his identity.”
“In today’s proclamation of the Word, let us hold up before the church the direct, demanding quality of Jesus’ response to his critics, as well as his teaching to us.”
“Dear Lord Jesus, you came to us showing us love we did not necessarily want, you stood beside us as the neighbor whom we did not ask for. Now strengthen us, we pray, to follow you where you lead us. Help us to hear you as you speak to us, speaking truth to us, that we might not be able to speak to ourselves. Help us to go with you into places that we would avoid going, if we were left on our own.”
“Preserve us from evading your claim upon us by oversimplifying your words to us. Enable us to encounter you in all your demanding glory. Keep us from listening to our own desires more carefully than we listen to you.”
“Preserve us from over complicating your words to us. Save us from taking your direct commands and debating them, discussing them, and arguing about them until they are no longer your direct commands to us.”
“Lord Jesus, you came to show us the way. Enable us more faithfully to walk your way. Amen.”
Day 219 | Saturday, 24 October 2020
WOW - a 40 degree temperature change from yesterday
COVID-19 County update: confirmed cases in the county are now 936 with 278 in the 14701 zip code. There are 27 total cases in Lakewood.
Jeremiah 17:5-8 CEB
5 The Lord proclaims:
Cursed are those who trust in mere humans,
who depend on human strength
and turn their hearts from the Lord.
6 They will be like a desert shrub
that doesn’t know when relief comes.
They will live in the parched places of the wilderness,
in a barren land where no one survives.
7 Happy are those who trust in the Lord,
who rely on the Lord.
8 They will be like trees planted by the streams,
whose roots reach down to the water.
They won’t fear drought when it comes;
their leaves will remain green.
They won’t be stressed in the time of drought
or fail to bear fruit.
“Surviving Drought By: Kirsten Holmberg” (from Our Daily Bread for October 24th)
“The one who trusts in the Lord . . . will be like a tree planted by the water. Jeremiah 17:7–8”
“In April 2019, a suburban neighborhood in Victorville, California, became buried in tumbleweeds. High winds pushed the rolling thistles into the development from the adjacent Mojave Desert where the plant grows. At maturity, the pesky weed can grow to up to six feet in height—a formidable size when it releases itself from its roots to “tumble” with the wind to scatter its seeds.”
“Tumbleweeds are what I picture when I read Jeremiah’s description of a person “whose heart turns away from the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:5). He says that those who draw their strength from “mere flesh” will be like “a bush in the wastelands” and be unable to “see prosperity when it comes” (vv. 5–6). In sharp contrast are those who put their trust in God instead of people. Like trees, their strong, deep roots draw strength from God, enabling them to remain full of life, even in the midst of drought-like circumstances.”
“Tumbleweeds and trees both have roots. Tumbleweeds, however, don’t stay connected to their life-source, causing them to dry out and die. Trees, on the other hand, remain connected to their roots, enabling them to flourish and thrive, anchored to that which will sustain them in times of difficulty. When we hold fast to God, drawing strength and encouragement from the wisdom found in the Bible and talking to God in prayer, we too can experience the life-giving, life-sustaining nourishment God provides.”
“Reflect & Pray”
“How has God sustained you in times of drought? What can you do today to drive your roots more deeply into relationship with God?”
“Life-giving God, You’re my sustainer. Thank You for giving me what I need to navigate my struggles and hardships.” Lord, Hear our prayers. Amen
Day 218 | Friday, 23 October 2020
The Church Mouse
Put on your singing faces and enjoy this one!
I missed creating Monday’s edition of the Church Mouse, since I needed to get Christ First’s Northside Food Pantry up and running for the fall and winter. We are a New York State food pantry, so it’s a complex task. In addition, we needed to have a “no touch” process given the age of our volunteers. The job is done, so. by Nov. 1st, all I’ll need to do are my own sessions on Mondays.
When I have had my fill of “current events” in the news, I find relief with movies, series like Downton Abbey, and music. After watching Phantom of the Opera, I started thinking about our own Phantom of the Woodlands, creator of our toothy friends in our rockpiles.
I decided to put new words to the song made famous by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s wonderful musical. Here it is for your pleasure. It is my hope that you will all contribute to my bail fund for copyright infringement.
We sleep, he creeps about. We dream, he’s here.
That great creative one, not one to fear.
And when we walk the pond, each time we find:
The Phantom of the Woodlands was here playing with our mind.
The flock of rocky ones appear each day.
Their fangs and zippers yawn. What do they say?
We want to turn away, to glance behind. (just in case)
The Phantom of the Woodlands is here, inside our mind.
We long to see his face. Is that so queer?
His Peepers have showed up to prove he’s near.
So easy is his work, but he must find
The Phantom of the Woodlands is often on our mind.
One thing we’ve added here, know what I mean?
Our stealthy cameras here, catch night’ unseen.
So when he’s out some time, though he can’t see,
The Phantom of the Woodlands will be……..
I will be creating a rock garden in front of the chapel on the right-hand side. The lupines couldn’t grow there because of the sun. I’ve been cleaning up the area and piling up the rocks for next spring. Of course, the Phantom paid me a visit one night leaving my new toothy friend I’ve named Chomper. Therefore, I offer a challenge to the Phantom: Provide me the new zipper-faced gnome, shown below, and I will name my rock garden “The Rolling Stones’. I will spend part of this winter creating a pleasing design to incorporate the creation of the Phantom of the Woodlands
Garden Décor, Zippered Tongue, Rock Statue, Unusual, Odd, Weird, Black Stone
Day 217 | Thursday, 22 October 2020
COVID update – 10-21 4:00Pm 912 cases with 277 in 14701
Yesterday morning on WJTN news I heard that there were an additional 25 cases at Tanglewood Manor for people who have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition to the 47 cases before that that, now brings the total to 72 cases in one facility. We need to be praying for the residents of Tanglewood Manor for the staff as well and for those in Memory Gardens. We should also include the families of all involved in this outbreak. Certainly, some of the residents have been hospitalized. Prayers for the medical staff treating those COVID patients. This is a very significant outbreak of COVID-19 in a facility very near to us geographically.
Psalm 3:3-6 The Psalm is a Psalm of trust
3 But you, Lord, are my shield! You are my glory! You are the one who restores me.
4 I cry out loud to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. Selah
5 I lie down, sleep, and wake up because the Lord helps me.
6 I won’t be afraid of thousands of people surrounding me on all sides.
Psalm 4 :1, 3
Answer me when I cry out, my righteous God! Set me free from my troubles! Have mercy on me! Listen to my prayer! 3 Know this: the Lord takes personal care of the faithful. The Lord will hear me when I cry out to him.
“Holiness of heart and life- Trusting God”
“Every day is an opportunity to trust God in new ways. In the midst of daily life, you can put your trust in God- hopefully and faithfully- knowing that your life is enfolded into God's care and love: “I lie down, sleep, and wake up because the Lord helps me” (Psalm 3:5). To be sure, trusting God is the only way to avoid the precariousness of life. In faith, we know that the lord sustains our lives and watches over us in every moment. Trusting God is believing that your life is under God's loving and protective care.” CEB page 686
2 Have mercy on me, Lord, because I’m frail. Heal me, Lord, because my bones are shaking in terror!
3 My whole body is completely terrified! But you, Lord! How long will this last?
4 Come back to me, Lord! Deliver me! Save me for the sake of your faithful love!
5 No one is going to praise you when they are dead. Who gives you thanks from the grave?
“Holiness of heart and life- Comfort for Illness”
“Illness may seem like a betrayal; serious illness can seem like abandonment. Being diagnosed with a serious illness is frightening and disorienting. The future becomes uncertain, and your hopes and dreams are dashed while tears and grief abound. At the heart of seeking comfort in the midst of illness is the practice of prayer. In prayer, we are able to share with God our laments and pains, our feelings of betrayal and abandonment. In faith we know that God has heard those prayers and we know that God is working for our healing and for comfort.” CEB 687
Holy and ever-present God. We come to you this day trusting in your love for us and your protection. We pray for all those suffering from any illness this day but especially those who are positive for the COVID-19 virus. We focus our prayers even more for the residents, staff and families of Tanglewood and Memory Gardens. Bring your healing presence to those in need. Lord, hear our prayers. Amen
Tanglewood - 77 residents and 12 staff infected, 18 hospitalized (10-22-20)
Day 216 | Wednesday, 21 October 2020
I was listening to a doctor and some nurses last night on a news program who are in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis in their states. Their comments caused me to pause and think back to when New York State was dealing with very high numbers and deaths, especially in the Big Apple. What we were going through in April and May was frightening. In some hospitals, there was a death every 15 minutes. The comments I was listening to made me wonder if we have become complacent in our own state. The number of deaths in our country is now over 221,000 and climbing daily. There are states that are in crisis as we were in April. There are communities where hospitals have no beds and patients are being sent to wherever there is an opening.
I have been remiss to not include in our daily messages more requests for prayers for Doctors, Nurses, EMS personnel, First Responders, hospital staff from around our country who are on the front lines of fighting high numbers of cases in their cities and towns. Please, this battle is on going and not showing signs of decreasing any time soon. Keep these folks and the families who are grieving the loss of loved ones in your daily prayers.
A Prayer of Intercession:
“God of love, we come in confusion, grief and even numbness. Help us to breathe deeply in your Spirit, to feel you in our hearts and minds, to know that you carry us even as we stumble.
When we cannot think for ourselves, guide us. When we do not know what we are feeling, care for us. When we do not know what to do next, show us the way.”
We pray for all persons involved in the battle against this virus that has claimed so many lives. There are many in the medical profession who are getting tired from the daily struggle to keep people alive. There are families not able to visit their hospitalized loved ones who are weary with fear and grief. There are scientists working overtime to find a vaccine that will work to prevent future pandemics. Lord, we also pray for those individuals who do not believe that this virus is real and a crisis in our country and in our world. Open their eyes.
“God, our hope and trust are in you. We have nowhere else to turn. Be for us an anchor in the chaos. Hold out your hand so that we can find you and know which way to turn next.
Oh God, how could this happen to us? Grant us the faith to find you in the midst of it, even in our questions, our disbelief.
We raise to you our concerns especially at this time. Hear our prayers. Grant us your peace and grant us and our loved ones safety, we pray. Amen.
Psalm 121 A pilgrimage song.
I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
3 God won’t let your foot slip.
Your protector won’t fall asleep on the job.
4 No! Israel’s protector never sleeps or rests!
5 The Lord is your protector;
the Lord is your shade right beside you.
6 The sun won’t strike you during the day;
neither will the moon at night.
7 The Lord will protect you from all evil;
God will protect your very life.
8 The Lord will protect you on your journeys--
whether going or coming--
from now until forever from now.
Day 215 | Tuesday, 2O October 2020
“Out of the blue God comes to us. In the midst of turmoil Jesus walks toward us. As darkness closes in the Spirit lights a way for us. Out of the blue Jesus comes through. When times are tough God can be enough. As questions arise the Spirit is wise. Let us raise our voices; may our praise be loud and strong.”
“Oh God, you are always close to us: help us draw close to you in prayer. Oh God, you are always willing to hear from us: help us to listen for your word. Oh God, you are always loving us: help us so to pray and so to hear your word that we may learn to live for you. In the name of him who lived for you and died for us and conquered death for us, even Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen”
A Prayer of Confession:
“Awesome and disturbing God, you breathed life into us, and each day fill us with the power of your Spirit. We are filled with your courage and yet act with caution and timidity. We know your intentions for justice yet keep silent too often or yield to the complexity of issues and do nothing. We are overwhelmed with your love yet are hesitant to mention your name to another. We have been forgiven much, yet harbor old resentments, hold on to past hurts and turn away from reconciliation. Wondrous God, restore us to clear thinking, give us compassionate hearts, and lead us to bold actions. Let your forgiving love cleanse fear and timidity from us. Set us on your path with your wind at our backs. Amen.”
An Affirmation of Faith:
“We believe in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who for our sake shared human life and human death, even death on a cross.
We believe in the love of God, who is the source of all life and whose power raised Jesus from the dead.
We believe in the community of the Holy Spirit, who works without ceasing to unite believers of every time and place in their one Lord, Jesus Christ. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen.”
“Live each day aware of God's presence.
Live in the power of the risen Christ.
Live in the joy of the ever-present spirit.
As a beloved child of God, live without fear.
Live abundantly. Live faithfully. Live. “
A Quote for the day.
“Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman
COVID update: as of 10/19 at 3:30 total cases 872 with 251 in zip 14701
Day 214 | Monday, 19 October 2020
Listening Beyond the Stars
“Seek the Lord while he may be found.”
Isaiah 55:1-7, CEB
55 All of you who are thirsty, come to the water!
Whoever has no money, come, buy food and eat!
Without money, at no cost, buy wine and milk!
2 Why spend money for what isn’t food,
and your earnings for what doesn’t satisfy?
Listen carefully to me and eat what is good;
enjoy the richest of feasts.
3 Listen and come to me;
listen, and you will live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful loyalty to David.
4 Look, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a prince and commander of peoples.
5 Look, you will call a nation you don’t know,
a nation you don’t know will run to you
because of the Lord your God,
the holy one of Israel, who has glorified you.
6 Seek the Lord when he can still be found;
call him while he is yet near.
7 Let the wicked abandon their ways
and the sinful their schemes.
Let them return to the Lord so that he may have mercy on them,
to our God, because he is generous with forgiveness.
“Imagine life without mobile phones, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth devices, or microwave ovens. That’s the way it is in the little town of Green Bank, West Virginia, known as “the quietest town in America.” It’s also the location of the Green Bank Observatory, the world’s largest steerable radio telescope. The telescope needs “quiet” to “listen” to naturally occurring radio waves emitted by the movement of pulsars and galaxies in deep space. It has a surface area larger than a football field and stands in the center of the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000-square-mile area established to prevent electronic interference to the telescope’s extreme sensitivity.”
“This intentional quiet enables scientist to hear “the music of the spheres.” It also reminds me of our need to quiet ourselves enough to listen to the One who created the universe. God communicated to a wayward and distracted people through the prophet Isaiah, “Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you” (Isaiah 55:3). God promises His faithful love to all who will seek Him and turn to Him for forgiveness.”
“We listen intentionally to God by turning from our distractions to meet Him in Scripture and in prayer. God isn’t distant. He longs for us to make time for Him so He can be the priority of our daily lives and then for eternity.” By: James Banks, from Our Daily Bread for 10/18
“Why is listening to God so vital in your life? In what ways do you plan to take time for Him?”
“Help me to be quiet before You today, loving God, even if it’s only for a moment! Nothing matters more than being with You!” Lord, hear our prayers. Amen
Day 213 | Sunday, 18 October 2020
The assigned Scripture readings for this the 20th Sunday after Pentecost are: Exodus 33:12-23; Psalm 99; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 and Matthew 22:15-22 which I am sharing from both the Message and the CEB.
15 That's when the Pharisees plotted a way to trap him into saying something damaging.
16 They sent their disciples, with a few of Herod's followers mixed in, to ask, "Teacher, we know you have integrity, teach the way of God accurately, are indifferent to popular opinion, and don't pander to your students. 17 So tell us honestly: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
18 Jesus knew they were up to no good. He said, "Why are you playing these games with me? Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Do you have a coin? Let me see it." They handed him a silver piece. 20 "This engraving - who does it look like? And whose name is on it?" 21 They said, "Caesar." "Then give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his." 22 The Pharisees were speechless. They went off shaking their heads.
Matthew 22:15-22 CEB Question about taxes
15 Then the Pharisees met together to find a way to trap Jesus in his words. 16 They sent their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are genuine and that you teach God’s way as it really is. We know that you are not swayed by people’s opinions, because you don’t show favoritism. 17 So tell us what you think: Does the Law allow people to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
18 Knowing their evil motives, Jesus replied, “Why do you test me, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin used to pay the tax.” And they brought him a denarion. 20 “Whose image and inscription is this?” he asked. 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” 22 When they heard this they were astonished, and they departed.
There’s certainly a lot of meaning to be found in money. Jesus knows that money is a major factor in the shaping of our lives, and he focuses on it a great deal in his ministry — more than he emphasizes human sexuality. In fact, his focus on money is second only to the kingdom of God.
For Jesus, money is to be used: to pay taxes to the emperor, but also to advance God’s work in the world. Money is never an end in itself, a treasure to be socked away like a Continental Dollar for 244 years until it has grown in value 1,500 times. What would be the point of that? You are going to die long before you see that kind of appreciation, and you can’t take it with you — as the saying goes, “There are no luggage racks on hearses.”
The meaning of money is that it’s an asset, a resource for us to put to work in the world. If you listen carefully, your money is not saying “I fly, mind your business, or E Pluribus Unum.” Instead, it is saying, “Use me.”
“At a Wednesday evening church meeting, a very wealthy man rose to give his testimony.
‘ “I’m a millionaire,” he said, “and I attribute it all to the rich blessings of God in my life.
‘“I can still remember the turning point in my faith, like it was yesterday:
‘ “I had just earned my first dollar and I went to a church meeting that night. The speaker was a missionary who told about his work. I knew that I only had a dollar bill and had to either give it all to God’s work or nothing at all. So, at that moment I decided to give my whole dollar to God. I believe that God blessed that decision, and that is why I am a rich man today.”
As he finished, it was clear that everyone had been moved by this man’s story. But, as he took his seat, a little old lady sitting in the same pew leaned over and said: “Wonderful story! I dare you to do it again!’”
Day 212 | Saturday, 17 October 2020
In keeping with our reflecting on Praise, I want to share Psalm 95 verses 1-7 with you this morning. First let me share the reading from the New Revised Standard Version.
1 O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it; for his hands formed the dry land.
6 O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would hearken to his voice!
And a second reading from Eugene Peterson’s The Message
1 Come, let's shout praises to God, raise the roof for the Rock who saved us!
2 Let's march into his presence singing praises, lifting the rafters with our hymns!
3 And why? Because God is the best, High King over all the gods.
4 In one hand he holds deep caves and caverns, in the other hand grasps the high mountains.
5 He made Ocean - he owns it! His hands sculpted Earth!
6 So come, let us worship: bow before him, on your knees before God, who made us!
7 Oh yes, he's our God, and we're the people he pastures, the flock he feeds. Drop everything and listen, listen as he speaks:
Let me now share with you this delightful message written by Adam R. Holz
“The praise song drifted downstairs . . . at 6:33 on a Saturday morning. I didn’t think anyone else was awake, but my youngest daughter’s scratchy voice proved me wrong. She was barely conscious, but there was already a song on her lips.
“My youngest is a singer. In fact, she can’t not sing. She sings when she wakes up. When she goes to school. When she goes to bed. She was born with a song in her heart—and most of the time, her songs focus on Jesus. She’ll praise God anytime, anywhere.
“I love the simplicity, devotion, and earnestness of my daughter’s voice. Her spontaneous and joyful songs echo invitations to praise God found throughout Scripture. In Psalm 95, we read, “Come let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation” (v. 1). Reading further, we learn that this praise flows from an understanding of who He is (“For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods,” v. 3)—and whose we are (“For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture,” v. 7).
“For my daughter, those truths are her first thought in the morning. By God’s grace, this little worshiper offers us a profound reminder of the joy of singing to Him.”
“What prompts you to praise God for His faithfulness to you? What songs help you to remember and focus on His character and goodness?”
“God, thank You for who You are and for what You’ve done for me—and for all Your people—by inviting us to be sheep in Your pasture. Let today be filled with my songs of praise for Your goodness.” Lord, hear our prayers. Amen
COVID update: as of 10-16-20 at 3:30PM the reported cases in the County were 838 with 237 in the 14701 zip code (the highest in the county). Beware!
Day 211 | Friday, 16 October 2020
From the Church Mouse
It seems natural, in the COVID world in which we live, that our minds would wander from time to time to a future when we can travel to see our children and grandchildren, to shop in an actual store, even if we don’t buy anything, to eat inside a restaurant, or to go just anywhere at all.
I remember the first time Doug and I were to travel to Maryland to see our son David and his family. We decided to buy a Garmin GPS to help us find our way. As we entered the black hole, otherwise known as Harrisburg, PA, Doug heard for the first time, the dreaded “recalculating”. Recalculating, according to The Urban Dictionary, is a polite way of saying "you messed up, idiot, try it again." A GPS says " recalculating " after you miss a turn it told you to take, then it comes up with a new route based on your current position. As we have learned, over time, in navigating the black hole, that we must disregard the obvious negative effects of following the directions of the malicious robot and figure it out ourselves. I’m waiting for when I can purchase a seniors GPS that will tell me not only how to get to my destination but will also tell me why I wanted to go there in the first place.
NOW FOR SOME HUMOR: We have checked out joke and cartoon, so now it’s time for spoof. Definition of spoof by The Free Dictionary.
Spoof - a composition that imitates or misrepresents somebody's style, usually in a humorous way. parody, charade, lampoon, mockery, burlesque, caricature, impersonation, imitation - a representation exaggerated for comic effect.
The following starts out with the truth: Back in the day, a new GPS unit did really malfunction on the International Space Station.
New GPS Unit on International Space Station is Malfunctioning
A Space Shuttle mission by Discovery delivered a new Global Positioning Unit to the International Space Station this week. The new GPS unit, however, is not working. Instead of placing the station 26,000 miles above the earth in orbit, the new unit is currently reading that the crew is located at Ed Earl's Auto, Front End, Body, and Paint shop in Muleshoe, Texas.
Ed Earl could not be reached for comment, but his wife Erlene said that "we ain't seen no space stations in these parts lately, but them UFO's kidnapped my brother in law last October. Officials from NASA apologized that the new unit was not working, saying that "we bought the most expensive one that they had at Radio Shack. It even came with a free Christmas CD that we sent along so the astronauts would have something to listen to when the holidays come around." NASA officials came to the conclusion that the new GPS was reading the Muleshoe location because the International Space Station happened to be in orbit over that spot at the time.
If your GPS is a God’s Positioning System
Check out these images...
The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?