The Serpent Crusher, Dragon Slayer, and Stronger Man

This past month, the blood pressure of one of our members skyrocketed. It caused her to go into a coma. In less than a week, God called her home.

Within that same month, about a dozen of our members spent time in the hospital because of cancer, strokes, falls, infections, and a myriad of other ailments.

As the school year came to an end, I dealt with grumpy parents, grumpier students, and probably the grumpiest of all – teachers. I gave advice or counseled people for addictions, anger issues, and guilt. I did marriage counseling with couples who were butting heads. And, I did pre-marriage counseling with couples to prevent them from butting heads in the future.

Shabbat

When I was blessed to take a tour of the Holy Land in 2010, our group spent a few days in Jerusalem. We stayed in a large, twelve story hotel. There is nothing unique about that.

What was unique was Friday evening to Saturday evening – the Sabbath. There were two elevators in the hotel. One was a regular elevator. I pushed the button and it took me from the lobby to the tenth floor, where my room was.

Questions at Night

On Wednesday morning, Shoreland Lutheran High School senior, Cameron Nahf, and his sophomore brother, Caden, were driving to school for their exams. Half a mile from the school, the car careened off the road and struck a tree. Caden was flown by Flight for Life to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. He is expected to recover.

Cameron died at the scene.

Stories About Jesus

The Lord of life and death called my grandmother home to heaven four years ago. I’ll admit that I was not very pleased with the Catholic priest’s homily at my grandmother’s funeral. He said lots of pleasant things about my grandmother in his homily – how she was the mother of seven children and married to a World War II hero. He told nice stories and then one of my relatives read a sappy poem.

The one thing that was missing in the priest’s homily was Jesus. He did not mention Jesus at all in his homily. Not once.

What Is Better Than a Mother?

A recent study, conducted by Welch’s juice company, revealed that the average daily start time for a mom is 6:23 am – much earlier than when most people start their working day. Whether she works a full-time job or is a full-time stay-at-home mom, she ends her work day at 8:31 pm.

There aren’t too many jobs that require a 14-hour work day – and most moms do this every day of the week.

In total, that makes a mother working a monumental 98 hours a week – or 2 ½ times the average job.

Be Faithful Unto Death

For the past ten years, there has been an influx of Marvel movies. Heroes taking on bad guys. Iron Man vs. Iron Monger. Captain America vs. Red Skull. Dr. Strange vs. Dormammu. Thor vs. Loki. Black Panther vs. Erik Killmonger.

Then the heroes team up against bigger and badder villains. The Avengers vs. Ultron. The Guardians of the Galaxy vs. Ego, the Living Planet.

If some of you don’t know any of this stuff, that’s OK. Obviously, I’m geeky enough for all of you.

Pruning

Pruning is good for roses, vines, and fruit trees. But, most people I know don’t like to be pruned.

Mary was in legal trouble. She had run up some gambling debts and then borrowed from the place where she worked. “Borrowed” – that’s what she called it. The company caught her, and although it didn’t take her to court, it fired her and escorted her to her car.

The Good Shepherd

Recently, I have enjoyed illustrating my sermons with famous works of art. But, I can think of no better image to illustrate Jesus as the Good Shepherd, than our own Good Shepherd window. This window was created for the building of our new church in 1927. It cost a mind-blowing $250 91 years ago. I cannot begin to imagine how expensive it would be to replace that window today.

Peace Be With You

One of the blessings of being a pastor is being at the bedside of an elderly saint and ushering that Christian brother or sister home to heaven with the resurrection comfort of God’s Word. My first year at Epiphany, I was blessed to conduct fifteen funerals. I had conducted only two funerals during my previous eight years in Kentucky.