Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Thirteen-Year-Old Seminary Paper About Prayer Beads

Thirteen years ago, I wrote a paper in seminary about Prayer Beads. It is FAR from my best work, and it's not the most compelling read (I hope my writing has improved since then) but it has a lot of interesting information about the history of prayer beads as used in spiritual practices. Since our Lenten theme this year is about being still and knowing that God is God, and since we created prayer beads in worship tonight, I thought I'd make this paper available as a resource for anyone who might be curious and want to develop their own practice.

(Also, from tonight's worship service, to prove that my writing has gotten better:)

A Greater Sin than Hypocrisy? (Tangential Response to "He Gets Us" Campaign)

 So.

I didn't watch the Superbowl on Sunday (except for a few minutes while we were out at dinner) and I have no regrets, so you may already be skeptical of any opinion I may have.

But I do like to think that I know Jesus and the Bible pretty well, and I've seen the "He Gets Us" ads before as well as many of the commentaries that have followed, so I figured I'd give my two cents.

Liturgy: Lent 1 Lessons and Carols, Mark 2:1-4:34 (February 18, 2024)

    *You are welcome to use or adapt any of my resources for free, but I ask that you provide proper citation AND comment on this post to let me know.*


Additional Hymns:

Hymn GTG #738, “O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee”
Hymn GTG #281, “Holy Spirit Come to Us”
Hymn GTG #542, “God Be with You Till We Meet Again”

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Sermon: “A Mountaintop View of Mark’s Gospel”, Mark 8:27-9:8 (February 11, 2024)


When we refer to a “mountaintop experience”, we generally mean any moment of revelation or transcendence, regardless of where it actually takes place. It’s a solid metaphor; after all, a mountaintop is both literally and figuratively far above the monotony of everyday life, where the air is fresh and the view is clear – ideal conditions for an epiphany. It’s no wonder that so many important biblical moments take place on top of a mountain: Abraham’s almost-sacrifice of Isaac, Moses’ encounter with the burning bush and receiving of the Ten Commandments, and of course, Jesus’ transfiguration. It’s hard NOT to gain new perspective on top of a mountain. It’s the sort of place where the heavens and the earth meet, where we can see and understand the divine in ways that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

Friday, February 9, 2024

Liturgy: Transfiguration Sunday, Mark 8:27-9:8 (February 11, 2024)

    *You are welcome to use or adapt any of my resources for free, but I ask that you provide proper citation AND comment on this post to let me know.*


Hymns:

Hymn GTG #191, “We Have Come at Christ's Own Bidding”
Hymn GTG #414, “Be Still and Know”
Hymn GTG #462, “I Love to Tell the Story”
Hymn GTG #267, “Come Christians, Join to Sing”


Sunday, February 4, 2024

2024-02-04, "I Am WEnough", Mark 6:1-13 (February 4, 2024)


I’m not necessarily on what you’d call the “cutting edge” of popular culture, despite my apparent youth. I usually see new movies at least a year after they come out, if not more. So, I guess by those standards, the fact that I finally watched the new Barbie movie a mere six months after it was released in theaters makes me, if not cutting edge, at least temporarily edge-adjacent. The important part is that I managed to see it before the Oscar nominations came out, just in time to watch all the drama unfold.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Liturgy: Fifth Sunday after Epiphany, Mark 6:1-13 (February 4, 2024)

   *You are welcome to use or adapt any of my resources for free, but I ask that you provide proper citation AND comment on this post to let me know.*


Hymns:

Hymn GTG #494, “Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts”
Hymn GTG #281, “Holy Spirit, Come to Us”
Hymn GTG #761, “Called as Partners in Christ's Service"