Ponderings for November 21 2018

Getting stuff off my plate so I can enjoy a relaxing Thanksgiving without too much vying for my attention. And then comes December! So here goes…with just a wee bit of my tongue stuck to my cheek.
1. It’s cold outside! I mean too cold, this soon! Ian Neale just joined our staff from Virginia. I keep telling him this is unusually cold for us. Right?!? Come on, agree with me! I am not sure Ian believes me.
2. I will be the youngest person at our Thanksgiving table! Hey, I heard that joke! No, really, it will be quite a collection of vast life experience. Over 270 years of experience between Sue’s parents and my mom! I think I’ll just keep quiet and listen.
3. I am preparing a message for Sunday that makes me both excited and nervous. I am entitling it, “Your Inside Voice.” It is about those inner impressions whereby God guides us and even urges us to act or stop acting. It is exciting to experience the Lord’s “prompting” in specific ways. (I don’t like using the phrase “the Lord told me” or saying that “he speaks to us”—too creepy or at least misunderstood.) It makes me nervous when people use those phrases to shirk responsibility or as a trump card to try and get their way. “The Lord told me I’m supposed to work here,” I was once told. “I’ll call you when he tells me,” was my reply.
4. One of my former staff members suffers from Alzheimer’s. He was a brilliant man. Now, of course, he is a confused man and (dare I say) something of a burden on his wife who loves and serves him so faithfully. I can only think of the total brokenness of the Fall and the beautiful hope of resurrection when I think of my friend and other dear ones who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Okay, so I have been taking a bit of grief for proclaiming my rejection of turkey on Thanksgiving. I do believe, however, that the Cornish hens Sue is preparing actually identify as turkeys. And the pasta can certainly count as stuffing—very carb-worthy, yet tastier.
6. Come to think of it, I think calling this season “autumn” is much more refined than calling it “fall.” Although “fall” may be a better description of the dreary weather conditions that await us. The creation is “groaning” indeed.
7. So, the Lord told me to tell you that I am supposed to see you on Sunday…
And happy Thanksgiving too!
Pastor Paul