Some new music from band I just discovered. Digging it.

Today the Church celebrates James the Elder, Apostle.

O gracious God, your servant and apostle James was first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the Name of Jesus Christ: Pour out upon the leaders of your Church that spirit of self-denying service, by which they may have true authority among your people; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Art: Calling of Saint James and Saint John, James Tissot 1886-1894

Calling of Saint James and Saint John, James Tissot

When I’m making coffee for just myself, the Aeropress is a method I enjoy often.

Here’s my recipe for a largish 12-14 oz mug:

2 Aeropress scoops of espresso-ground coffee in an inverted Aeropress.

Pour water just off-boil half way, saturating grinds and allowing a brief bloom.

Pour in just a bit more water, leaving some room at the top. Stir for about 10 seconds.

Put filter on, wait 2 minutes.

Place Aeropress on mug, and press.

Top off resulting concentrate with hot water as desired.

This will make a very bold cup of coffee! For some people, it’s too strong.

For the same large mug size, you can use one and half or even just one Aeropress scoop of coffee, to taste, for a milder mug.

Accidentally initiated a factory reset a couple of weeks ago. Took the opportunity to not reinstall social media (excepting micro.blog) and re-think how my home screen and app library should work for me.

Good news! Successfully replaced the light switch yesterday without killing myself.

Gearing up to replace a few switches and outlets around the house. This video was super helpful.

Today at St. George’s Anglican Church Pastor Shane reminded us that pride is the source of judgmentalism, and that ultimately, no one has any cause to compare themselves to others.

All pride in ourselves is ultimatley misplaced, because we all miss the mark when it comes to what’s most important: eternal life now and forever.

God pours out his mercy on all, and that’s all that matters.

Hope for the renewal of all things in and because of Jesus is what keeps me going when I consider and experience the suffering of the world. I’ve also found light in the ways that ultimate renewal manifests in the present–in true worship, in acts of kindness between strangers, in the refusal to receive the injustices of the world as the status quo.

Dusty’s stress at my wife Amber going out on the lake is palpable in this photo, I think.

The Downward Way of Christ and Salvation

We want our comfort and convenience. We want our power. We want to point out our success in pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps. But Jesus subverts these “saviors” and offers something different. He offers himself. He offers forgiveness of sins and grace to forgive others.

And many of us simply can’t see how this can work in the real world. What’s the point of living if we’re uncomfortable much of the time? How will we get anything done without requiring others do what we think is best? Where’s our identity if we can’t build up ever-improving sense of accomplishment and expression?

These are reasonable questions, and this is why the message of the Cross, the Good News of God in Christ, the Gospel of Jesus, is a scandal. We often say it is counterintuitive, which means it doesn’t conform to how we might thing things go.

Yet, Jesus conquers our objections, because as God in the flesh, he conquered death. When we look a the results of our pursuit of saviors apart from him, we all find the same ending point: death itself, with no hope for anything past that. We might find temporary comfort, we might have our way for a bit, we might experience a self-esteem high that feels great! But that doesn’t keep us from dying as result of our and everyone else’s selfish and self-destructive attitudes, actions, and affections.

Jesus, on the other hand, proved that his way is the way of life by coming back to life. This why he said people had to understand “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected… and be killed, and on the third day be raised…”

The Resurrection vindicates the downward way of Christ as the ultimate way of life and health and peace.

This commentary on Luke reads like a bunch of really great sermons. Which is probably its genesis!

Lashed to the mast of Word and Sacrament

This how I try to understand and live out my pastoral and priestly vocation: “lashed to the mast of Word and Sacrament.”

“One more thing: We are going to ordain you to this ministry, and we want your vow that you will stick to it. This is not a temporary job assignment, but a way of life that we need lived out in our community. We know that you are launched on the same difficult belief venture in the same dangerous world as we are. We know that your emotions are as fickle as ours. That is why we are going to ordain you and why we are going to exact a vow from you.

We know that there are going to be days and months, maybe even years, when we won’t feel like we are believing anything and won’t want to hear it from you. And we know that there will be days and weeks and maybe even years when you won’t feel like saying it. It doesn’t matter. Do it. You are ordained to this ministry, vowed to it. There may be times when we come to you as a committee or delegation and demand that you tell us something else than what we are telling you now. Promise right now that you won’t give in to what we demand of you. You are not the minister of our changing desires, or our time-conditioned understanding of our needs, or our secularized hopes for something better. With these vows of ordination we are lashing you fast to the mast of Word and Sacrament so that you will be unable to respond to the siren voices.

There are a lot of other things to be done in this wrecked world, and we are going to be doing at least some of them, but if we don’t know the basic terms with which we are working, the foundational realities with which we are dealing – God, kingdom, gospel – we are going to end up living futile, fantasy lives. Your task is to keep telling the basic story, representing the presence of the Spirit, insisting on the priority of God, speaking the biblical words of command and promise and invitation.”

Eugene Peterson, Working the Angles

Christians, prayer for the world is an essential aspect of our vocation

Christian brothers and sisters, Prayer for the world is an essential aspect of our vocation.

We must stand firm in prayer always, and especially in this terrible moment for our human family that is unfolding in Ukraine.

Let us pray:

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Almighty God, from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed: Kindle, we pray, in the hearts of all people the true love of peace, and guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth; that in tranquility your kingdom may go forward, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God, the Creator of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you in Jesus Christ; in whose Name we pray. Amen.

Prayers from BCP2019 p. 654-655

Battle station ready for my Monday morning sermon prep focus session (reading/research)

I am pretty excited to preach about God’s heart for the nations tomorrow morning–not least because I see how that heart is being manifest in our local church. What a joy!

You are God's Delight

It’s the Third Day of Christmas. We remember St. John the Theologian.

He wrote:

“…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, ESV)

This is an indispensable part of the Good News: God delights in humanity! Why else would he become one?

God doesn’t become something he doesn’t love.

And—get this—God delights in you!

We are told in the Scriptures that—by the Spirit—the Word of God dwells in all who will receive him, which is our guarantee of eternal life.

God doesn’t dwell where he doesn’t want to be.

“Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light; that we, being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and evangelist John, may so walk in the light of your truth, that at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

Promise & presence. Light & life. This is Christmas.


Photo: www.blessedmart.com/shop/hand…