Prayer Tuesday #4

Sometimes you just need to remember that Jesus knows what it is to suffer, and calls us to be healers with him.

~ from the Iona Community’s Iona Abbey Worship Book (Wild Goose Publications, Iona Community, 2001). Posted on the Yale Divinity website. http://www.yale.edu/divinity/fb/5thSundayprayers.pdf
(found on the re:worship blog)

Until tomorrow, dear friends, trust that God is reconciling all things through Christ.

Meme Monday!

Let’s get this meme party started!

These thoughts on distancing measures:

These thoughts on worrying:

This tough, but important truth:

This cracked me up:

And finally, a blessing for your day:

Until tomorrow, dear friends, trust in the one who is always making a way in the desert.

Faith with Friends #3

As we continue in our summer worship series, today we welcome my dear friend, The Janet (as she is affectionately known at Graceview!). The Rev. Janet Ryu-Chan is the minister at Morningside High Park Presbyterian Church. Since I came to the Presbytery of West Toronto in 2017, The Janet and I have planned Advent and Lent together, and found it a joy to support each other in ministry.

Let’s begin with Eric’s prelude,  “Andante cantabile” by S. Surzynski:

Let’s pray, and lift up those who are in need:

Our passage for this day is Matthew 13:24-43:

from biblegateway.com

Here are The Janet and I discussing this passage together:

Our hymn of response is #499 Tell me the old, old story:

Until tomorrow, dear friends, remember that even though you may think your actions are small – God is huge and abundant and able to grow even the smallest things into something big, and beautiful!

Farmhouse Friday #3

Another of the things we love about the farmhouse is what we call “wildlife moments.” Those moments when all of a sudden we come face to face with wildlife we don’t often get to see.

So far this year, we’ve spotted deer three times, seen a hawk having his breakfast at the side of the road and spent a quiet morning at Crowe River with a Great Grey Heron flitting up and down the river bed.

The problem is that often these moments happen so quickly, that it’s impossible to get photos. I managed one or two of the Heron, but my phone camera isn’t strong enough for those photos to be great. Here they are anyway:

You’ll just have to believe me about the hawk and the deer (one of the deer sightings was on a morning walk, Koski’s ears perked up, and thence fawn and it’s mama came out of the bush, took two leaps along the road and disappeared into the bush on the other side. I actually raised my phone up, but they were gone before I could swipe to camera!).

The other wildlife we love, of course, is our dogs. Who bark at random things, chase chipmunks, get the zoomies, give lots of cuddles and make us laugh (when they aren’t driving us crazy!). So for good measure, here they are enjoying themselves in this unique summer:

Until tomorrow, dear friends, know that God’s fingerprints are to be found all round us. God cares for both people and animals.

Thoughtful Thursday #3

Time, once again, to think about what it means to follow Jesus!

Bruxy Cavey is a preacher and pastor at The Meeting House, a multi-campus church in the Brethren in Christ denomination. I read his book, The end of Religion, early in my life in full-time ministry, and I was absolutely enamoured of it. It shifted my paradigm as a follower of Jesus. He explains beautifully how religion was allied with law and keeping the rules, and Jesus was allied with love (and sometimes love means breaking the rules – see Jesus healing on the Sabbath because the loving act of restoring a person’s health was more important than the rule to do no work on the Sabbath).

Bruxy writes:

You can order a copy of The end of Religion here.

Some questions for thoughtful consideration:

  1. Why is it important that we go beyond the ‘morality of a stone,’ as Bruxy puts it?
  2. Can you identify practical ways that you are able to “Rock On,” in your daily life?
  3. In what ways has the pandemic made it harder to “Rock On?” Are there ways that the pandemic has made it more important to find ways to “Rock On?”

Until tomorrow, dear friends, keep on thinking it through! This, too, is part of worship.

Worship Music Wednesday #3!

Anthem Lights is a group that I discovered when I was looking for some worship music to share waaaaaaaaaay back when the lockdown began. They have beautiful voices, and their style focuses on good harmony and sparse accompaniment.

This is what they say about their music: “These songs [and] this record is our anthem to the world saying, ‘Listen, we know there’s a lot of darkness in this life, but in the end, light is gonna win.’ And we wanna be the light to people and just show them who the light of the world is.”

For your edification, here are two of their medleys, “Hymns Medley | Amazing Grace / Be Thou My Vision / Come Thou Fount” and “Hymns Medley: Cross Medley (Jesus Paid it All, The Old Rugged Cross).” You can subscribe to their YouTube channel here.

Until tomorrow, dear friends, keep singing His praises!

Prayer Tuesday #3

On the Sunday we decided to suspend worship at Graceview, I used this prayer. In all that has happened since, I admit to you that I forgot about it. I came across it again, and it is as worth sharing now as it was then.

~ written by Cameron Wiggins Bell and posted on Faith at Marquette. https://www.marquette.edu/faith/prayer-for-a-pandemic.php (slightly edited and found on re:worship blog)

Until tomorrow, dear friends, be grateful for all that you have, lift up all those who have less, and trust that God is our help.

Meme Monday!

It’s time for another round of memes for edification, entertainment and the brightening of your day (I hope!):

This reminder, that I always, always, always need because I never give myself enough credit:

A 2020 joke for ya (wouldn’t be Meme Monday without one, at least!):

A couple of thoughts on church (one deep, one fun)

A deep thought about our walk of faith:

This reminder – while I often talk about finding ways to love others, and while I continue to believe that doing so is central to the Christian faith, I think it is also important to remember to be kind to ourselves, to remember that loving ourself doesn’t mean we can’t love others, and that loving others shouldn’t mean we stop loving ourselves:

This truth about me:

This cartoon that made me snort:

And finally, this blessing for your day:

Until, tomorrow, dear friends, keep loving and keep laughing!

Faith with Friends #2

We continue today in our series of Zoom conversational sermons with some of my beloved friends and colleagues. Today we welcome the Rev. Jenn Cameron, who ministers at St. Columba Presbyterian Church in Belleville.

Let’s being with Eric’s prelude “Andante,” by Kern:

Let me share with you this Call To Worship, which I think speaks to the times we find ourselves in:

~ submitted to the re:worship blog by Rev. Nora Vedress, Calvary United Church in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada

Our Scripture today is Philippians 4:10-13:

From www.biblegateway.com

Here is the sermon video:

And our hymn of response for today is #483 Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken:

Until tomorrow, dear friends, find your strength in Christ, and continue to learn how to be content in all circumstances.