September 30, 2017

Like a Watch in the Night

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.4.1.2
For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night. 
✜ Psalm 90:4

Reformation 500

October 2017 Newsletter Article

When I got unexpectedly ill and had to take my sick leave on very inconvenient Sundays, it made it difficult for me to use my vacation at the most convenient time over the summer. But for me, this is a good thing, because I have wanted for some time to attend an event in October, which will require that I take some of the vacation time that I still have.

The event is Yale Divinity School’s Reformation 500 Conference. As the name indicates, it is Yale’s observance of the 500th Anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation—a movement which is generally said to have begun on October 31, 1517 in Wittenberg, Germany, when Martin Luther—an Augustinian monk—nailed to the castle church door a list of grievances against Roman Catholic practice.

Though I did not attend Yale Divinity School, I wish to attend its observance of this anniversary because of one of the speakers.

September 29, 2017

Before the Mountains Were Brought Forth

PSALM 1255.4.1.1
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 
♱ Psalm 90:1-2

And Remember...

September 28, 2017

Amen and Amen

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.20

Blessed be the Lord forever. Amen and Amen.
—Psalm 89:52

September 27, 2017

I Will Not Violate My Covenant

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.19
I will not violate my covenant, or alter the word that went forth from my lips. 
—Psalm 89:34

September 26, 2017

Your Faithfulness Surrounds You

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.18
O Lord God of hosts, who is as mighty as you, O Lord? Your faithfulness surrounds you. 
—Psalm 89:8

September 25, 2017

As Firm As the Heavens

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.17
I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations. I declare that your steadfast love is established forever; your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens. 
❦ Psalm 89:1-2

September 24, 2017

In the Morning

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.16
But I, O Lord, cry out to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. 
✳︎ Psalm 88:13

Bread in the Interim

For the past few weeks, we’ve been hearing not just of God’s love for Israel, but the extent to which God would go to free them from bondage. First God saved their lives by preparing a place for them in Egypt and giving them a home where there was food to eat, even when all around them was famine. Then when the Egyptians who once welcomed them turned on them, God saved one from among them who would be able to lead them out of Egypt. And in so doing, God parted the sea so that they could pass through it dry-shod.

September 23, 2017

City of God

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.15
Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God.
⚓︎ Psalm 87:3

A Milkman's Rounds

This man's name is Fred Morley, and he's a milkman delivering milk on a London street after a Luftwaffe, German bombing raid in 1940.

September 22, 2017

Slow to Anger

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.14
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. 
➢ Psalm 86:13-17

September 21, 2017

An Undivided Heart

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.13
Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your Name.
—Psalm 86:11

September 20, 2017

Good & Forgiving

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.12
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.
—Psalm 86:5

September 19, 2017

Gladden the Soul of Your Servant

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.11
Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
—Psalm 86:4

Two Years before the Mast


I read Richard Henry Dana's Two Years before the Mast in high school, and I have to say it changed my life. 

September 18, 2017

Two Ways to be Fooled

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true. 
Søren Kierkegaard

Our Land Will Yield Its Increase

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.10
The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps. 
—Psalm 85:12-13

September 17, 2017

Righteousness & Peace Will Kiss

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.9
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
—Psalm 85:10-11


Introduction: Meat & Potatoes

The reading from Romans this morning starts out with a discussion that sounds oddly familiar to our ears. It seems familiar because Paul is talking about something that we might talk about today. But it seems odd because we often picture people 2000 years ago to be unconcerned with the things that are current topics in the 21st century. The subject at hand is vegetarianism.

I’m not actually vegetarian in practice, but I agree with the principle. To me, the main objection to eating animal products is not the actual consumption. It’s the way the animals are treated when they’re alive. Our meat and dairy products these days seldom come from the kind of farm that’s portrayed in photographs, in movies, and on TV. Instead, most animals are raised on factory farms, and their treatment appears to me to be quite cruel.

September 16, 2017

He Will Speak Peace

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.6
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts. Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. 
—Psalm 85:8-9

La Ernestina

I took this photo of the entrance to a sheep ranch on the Península Valdés in Patagonia about 15 years ago. I've always liked it.

September 15, 2017

Revive Us Again

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.7
Will you not revive us again, so that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.
—Psalm 85:6-7

September 14, 2017

Sun & Shield

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.6
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. 
No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly. 
O Lord of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you. 
—Psalm 84:11-12

Alfred Hitchcock on a Bike


September 13, 2017

A Doorkeeper in the House of My God

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.5
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. 
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness.
—Psalm 84:10

Paris 1961

Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Perkins photographed during the filming of Goodbye Again. Source:

September 12, 2017

The Highways to Zion

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.4
Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. 
—Psalm 84:5

September 10, 2017

Indeed It Faints

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.2  
My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.  
—Psalm 84:2

Finally. A Common Name!

Earlier in my career, my work was much more international. Though I was officially United Methodist, for two years I was given a special appointment as the pastor of an English-speaking Protestant church in Bogotá, Colombia. After that, I pastored for three years at its counterpart in San Juan, Puerto Rico. While there, I was offered an official position back in the Methodist fold as the coördinator of international ministries in Europe. Home base would be Germany.

This was all very exciting to me, but my parents had not been too happy with me moving to Colombia in the late nineties, and they still thought Puerto Rico was a bit too far away—even if it was safer—so I had avoided the subject of Germany with them. I didn’t even tell them when in early September 2001 I made a trip to Germany to scope out the place.

I’d been a German major in college and even took a semester off and worked at a winery for a few months. But it had been twenty years since I’d been outside the western hemisphere. And since the final decision hadn’t been made yet and I wanted to avoid unpleasantness, I didn’t tell anybody in Kentucky what I was doing. One minor complication was that I’d be traveling on my mother’s birthday, September 11, but I was scheduled to be back in plenty of time to wish her Happy Birthday on the phone once I got home to San Juan.

To get there, I had to change planes at JFK, and I remember very specifically that around 9 AM, as my flight—Lufthansa 400—was about to enter U.S. airspace...

September 9, 2017

Over All the Earth

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.2.1
Let them know that you alone, whose Name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth. 
—Psalm 83:18

September 8, 2017

Justice to the Weak

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.1.20
Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. 
—Psalm 82:

Hurricane Relief

In the current leadership void, all living ex-Presidents gathered on September 7 to encourage the nation to help in hurricane relief efforts. Left to right: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter.

An Informative Post


September 7, 2017

Honey from the Rock

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.1.19
I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.
—Psalm 81:16

September 5, 2017

Restore Us

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.1.17

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved. 
—Psalm 80:19

September 4, 2017

Horace Somnusson

From the film Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Hayden Keeler-Stone as Horace Somnusson. Source:

Let Your Face Shine

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.1.16

Restore us, O God; 
let your face shine, that we may be saved. 
◘ Psalm 80:3

Angels Unawares

A sermon on Romans 12:13 and Hebrews 13:1-2

September 3, 2017

Forgive Our Sins

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.1.15

Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your Name; 
deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your Name’s sake. 
✦ Psalm 79:9

September 2, 2017

The Shepherd of His People

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.1.14

He chose his servant David, and took him from the sheepfolds; from tending the nursing ewes he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel, his inheritance. With upright heart he tended them, and guided them with skillful hand. 
Psalm 78:70-72

September 1, 2017

Bread of Angels

PSALM OF THE DAY 1255.3.1.12

He commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven; he rained down on them manna to eat, and gave them the grain of heaven. Mortals ate of the bread of angels; he sent them food in abundance.
Psalm 78:23-25