Pastor Wrinkles: Shaken & Stirred Pt. 1

Here is an excerpt from Pastor Wrinkles’ (yours truly) latest sermon, Shaken & Stirred

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine,which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:18, 20

Ian Fleming made famous the statement “Shaken not stirred” in reference to how his quintessential character, James Bond, enjoyed  martinis. I use the reference to ask a question as I begin. Which is more exciting to you, a James Bond movie or your Christian walk? O.K. maybe you’re not a Bond fan. Allow me to rephrase it, Which is more exciting to you your devotional life or the Patriots game? Which is more exciting to you Six Flags or prayer meeting?

I can hear someone  saying “That’s Not fair Pastor J. You are asking us to compare apples and oranges. Church is church and fun is fun. Church is not fun and fun is not church.”

Ah and now you may  have discovered the root of lukewarmness. You see somewhere along the line we have taken church, the divinely created and appointed ecclesia of God, the most dynamic world-changing agency of all time and we have turned it into dry boring religion that somehow is less adventure than Disney land.

Read my words very carefully now because I do not want you to miss this. Christianity, your Christianity, was meant to be an adventure that both shakes and stirs you to the very core of your being. If it is not doing that there is something missing. You must find the missing piece if ever you are to truly enjoy your relationship with Jesus and let me tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt God’s desire is for you to enjoy your relationship with Him!

Join us for more tomorrow!

Weekly Travel Theme: Scuplture

This week’s travel challenge  from http://wheresmybackpack.com/2013/06/28/travel-theme-sculpture/ concerns scuplture.

Here are three fun scupltures I have run into during my travels:

Delft, The Netherlands

Delft, The Netherlands

Iccharus, Philadelphia Art Museum

Iccharus, Philadelphia Art Museum

Suit of Armor, Fruitlands Museum

Suit of Armor, Fruitlands Museum

 

Here are some other participants in the challenge:

1. http://mostlymonochrome.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/face-in-the-woods/#comment-5291

2. http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/travel-theme-sculpture/

3. http://therewildwest.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/travel-theme-sculpture

4. http://apostadayfor2013.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/travel-theme-sculpture/

5. http://drieskewrites.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/travel-theme-sculpture/

The Celebrant: This Was Us Pt. 1

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Skin tells tales. Dolly, a friend of mine in high school,  could usually wash with soap and water just fine; But when she got agitated Irish Spring would burn the skin right off her hands like it was fire. She always used to say that was because her mother was Irish and Momma Rose was usually the source of Dolly’s consternation. At any rate it was always easy to tell when Dolly and Rosie were on the outs.  I suppose my skin speaks volumes about my own story. My upper lip is usually beaded sweat mingled with peach fuzz and while my face is generally clear that has more to do with Proactiv than the fact that acne isn’t a problem. I like to keep my arms and back covered for that reason; So swimming isn’t one of my favorite pass times. Too bad it is Paul’s. Adam likes to make the community pool a weekly family affair to highlight his favored son. Sucks to be me.

The surface never lies; It just doesn’t tell the whole story. Even straight-up  falsehoods find their anchor in some truth deep inside. You might not think so but dig long enough in your own lies and you’ll find the grain that led you down the primrose path to Hell. Trace it back far enough and you’ll find the seminal truth that made your very biggest lies so believable. That’s the problem with the stories we tell each other, whether their bold-faced prevarications or lily-white truths they’re still just bits of the whole. Happy endings are part sad and tragedies usually leave someone somewhere chuckling because they see the other side. The “Hallelujahs” and the “Aww Hells” are all mixed together and no story really ends with “The End”. We just can’t tell it all so we do our best and leave the rest to providence.

I was born in a field, or so my mother tells me.  We lived out Rte. 2 about twenty miles out of Concord just the other side of Ayer by the Oxbow preserve. Mom’s OBGYN was out of Emerson in those days and no one thought anything about the distance to the hospital. Paul had been a thirty hour delivery that nearly killed Mom just eleven months earlier. My conception was not therefore hailed with flags and fireworks. The “Should’ve used protection” comment has floated around my unhaloed head more than once. Who knew I wasn’t supposed to take that comment seriously?

Mom’s labor started sometime around  one in the morning on July fourth 1989. Adam took a shower before loading her into the car. If I’d been more like Paul everything would have been fine but  by two thirty I was popping out in one of the flowery fields alongside route 110. I hear I ruined a perfectly good picnic blanket but hey at least the upholstery in Adam’s new Ford Escort was spared the bloody mess.

When I was 10 we went as a family to see the Fruitlands and stopped by the spot where I made my world-wide debut. The field is wide and flat rising up to a stand of pines,  sentinels to all that goes on in the valley below. I realized they were there at my birth. In my ten-year old head I thought maybe the trees could tell me why I had been born. My thoughts diverted, though, when I heard the whistle and the thudding of the train pistons. The Boston to Maine cut  its course through the field of my birth. I shuddered with the sudden revelation of my life’s nightmare.  The crunching thunder of steel on steel,  the banshee screams of hydraulic brakes mixed with coal smoke sirens.

Mom remembered too, “That whistle was blowing the night you were born Natty. It made me glad to know we weren’t alone. All I could think as I pushed you out was how here we were in the middle of nowhere and there not 300 yards away was a whole train load of people watching me give birth.”

She smiled remembering her moment of fame.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

This week’s challenge from http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/weekly-photo-challenge-companionable/ asks us to bring photos that speak to the subject of companionship.

Life's most deep feelings are often expressd in silence and the one who can read volumes from your silence is your true companion. " Ritu Ghatourey

Life’s most deep feelings are often expressd in silence and the one who can read volumes from your silence is your true companion. ” Ritu Ghatourey

"Friends are like walls. Sometimes you lean on them, and sometimes its good just knowing they are there." Anon

“Friends are like walls. Sometimes you lean on them, and sometimes its good just knowing they are there.” Anon

Missions Quotes To Remember 6-28-13

The good news is Jesus transcends all cultures. Jesus is not modern. Jesus is not postmodern. And his body, the church is neither modern nor postmodern, though it lives within both cultural paradigms. Ultimately Christ’s community is a way of life that incarnates into and challenges any and every culture, in every time, in every place. Missions is an intrinsically translational task. Throughout history, God has shown himself relating to people within their cultural frame of reference. The life and work of Jesus Christ set a pattern for the church’s mission. In the incarnation, God became more than words. The Word himself entered culture in a specific time and space.”  Jonathan Campbell

the praying man Keukenhof Gardens

the praying man Keukenhof Gardens

Pastor Wrinkles: Chapter Charts Pt. 169

The Word of God is a bridge that connects Earth with Heaven and Heaven with Earth.- Joseph Elon Lillie

The Word of God is a bridge that connects Earth with Heaven and Heaven with Earth.- Joseph Elon Lillie

Sometimes life gets downright scary. The shadows gather and the enemy rises making threats meant to drive us deeper into the darkness away from the Light. What we do with those threats determines our course. Will we shrink back  or will we trust God and continue to move forward even with trembling steps?

Here is what I see in today’s chapters:

2 Kings  chapter 18 sermon topics/ titles:

1.  Losing the brass, Losing the silver, Losing the gold: 2 Kings 18: 1-16

2. Which Staff Will You Lean On: 2 Kings 18: 17-25

3. A Threat Made Plain: 2 Kings 18:26-37

2 Kings chapter 19 sermon topics/ titles:

1.  Does God Lie? 2 Kings 19: 1-13

2. Is It a  Stretch For God? 2 Kings 19: 16-19

3.   God  Even Planned Your Enemies! 2 Kings 19: 21-28

Tell me what you see in these chapters. 🙂