Saturday, October 10, 2009

End of Life Issues

An October 8th article in USA Today underscores the value
of hospital ethics panels, noting that “every day, in a hospital
somewhere,” such groups are “called in to help people make the
choices of a lifetime.”

Ethics committees, the article notes, have “worked in US hospitals for nearly two decades.” Hospital Ethicist Dawn Seery observes that “only 25 percent of Americans have advance directives,” adding that the “sticking points” of such decisions “are almost never cost or insurance” but culture and religion, which influence “every decision about health, illness, disease and care.”

I have found that it is always best if people decide in advance how they want their personal end of life issues to be taken care of. And not leave it to family members who may not know what you would have wanted. Melanie and I have made our advance directives and our daughters have copies of them.

Do you have your advance directives made out and do the important people in your family have copies? If you are over eighteen you need to take care of this issue ASAP. Let you voice be known now so that if you can not speak for yourself later your loved ones will know how to handle the situation.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall Color

Our little sourwood tree planted in the spring with mint green leaves now sports it Fall color of red leaves and tiny green fruit.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Jealousy Monster

In Genesis chapter 37 the brothers of Joseph were convinced that their younger brother was their father’s favorite child. Their jealousy reached a destructive point and they were willing to beat him and sell Joseph as a slave. They then faked his death to be rid of him and their feelings of jealousy forever.

Their feelings of jealousy were replaced by feelings of remorse and guilt for what they had done to both Joseph and their father. The green eyed monster of jealousy over ruled love, family and common sense. It is easy for us to become jealous of another’s good fortune and dive into “Oh woe is me” and forget our highest moral values in a moment of self loathing. When we become jealous of someone else we forget how much God loves us just as we are. That is a time when evil creeps into our lives and we are capable of creating a lot of pain for others and ourselves as well,

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

When I was a very young pastor I served a church that had an annual bazaar to raise money for the building fund. That year things did not go well and the event did good to break even. The Sunday after I was walking down the hallway heading for the sanctuary when one of the women stopped me and said, Pastor this is all your fault! If you had done more with publicity more people would have come to the bazaar.” Then she turned and stormed off.

I was stunned and then I was angry. How dare she lay that on me? I was not responsible for the bazaar publicity. My temper sometimes scares me so I keep it under tight control but I was about to loose it. I entered the sanctuary to set up the pulpit for worship. I opened my bible but it fell open to a different verse than I was going to use.

It was Luke 23:34 where Jesus was dying on the cross and said, “Father, forgive then; for they do not know what they are doing.” Guess who was talking directly to me about my anger? Jesus was asking God to forgive those who were killing him. I stopped and prayed for God to forgive me and I forgave that woman in the hall. I learned an important lesson that day.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A shared thought about truth

The Possession of Truth

On day I saw the Truth shining like a bright star.
It was very small and I could see it fully.
“How great I am - I can see the Truth fully,” I thought.
“Let me go and possess it,” I decided. I began my journey in possession of Truth.
As I journeyed days and days my enthusiasm great greater.
I felt I was close to it and the day to possess it is not too far off.
But as I walked further I found a grew change.
The closer I came the bigger the star grew.
I journeyed and journeyed until I was surrounded by it.
I lifted my head to the sky and found myself under the radiance of the star.
I could see neither its beginning nor end.
I stood there motionless without knowing where to go.
Whichever side I saw I found its radiance.
When I started it was smaller than me, now it is bigger than me.
When I started it was outside me, now I am inside it.
I started in possession of it, now I find myself possessed by it.
I never knew the Truth appears small when you are far away from it.

You Are the Light: Rediscovering the Eastern Jesus
By John Martin Sahajananda

Sunday, October 4, 2009

World Communion Sunday

Today is World Communion Sunday in most churches all around the world. This is a day when we all celebrate around one table with Jesus as our host even though we may use different methods, slightly different theologies, and different elements.

Different elements??? For some the bread is a loaf and others it is a flat cracker. For some the wine is just that wine and for others it is grape juice.

Go to church and take communion today to thank Jesus for His gift of salvation.