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Living Hope Morning Coffee

More Than Seeing

John 20:29

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”


When we think about believing in things that you can’t see, it takes a lot of trust, doesn’t it? 

There are so many people who believe in UFOs and intelligent life on other planets. Have they seen an alien from a far away planet walking around the streets? No, but they still believe that somewhere in space there is intelligent life on some planet we haven’t discovered yet – life they believe is more intelligent than anyone of us – and one day their space ship is going land here on earth wanting to speak to our President.

There are some who believe the narrative in the “War of the Worlds” novel, movies, and television shows, that these intelligent beings are going to arrive here one day and try to kill all of us.

How much real evidence do they have to prove their beliefs? None.

They haven’t been privy to any real evidence, only conjecture and imagination, yet they believe.

To believe in God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is a completely different understanding of seeing is believing. Historical and archeological evidence has proven that the stories of Holy Scripture are accurate. 

The evidence is there. No need to dream that this evidence exists.

The question of faith and believing in Jesus is a deeper spiritual topic. Proving faith is not possible; it is all about believing and trusting in something greater than what we can see. And at the core of this faith is a deep-rooted living hope that the Creator of the world wants us to be with Him forever and He will do and has done everything to make this a reality. 

Faith is not touching the man Jesus and believing. Faith is believing the story of God that He loves us. And by the Holy Spirit, we say we believe and trust the God who created us, redeemed us, and sets us apart to be His own. 

We Christians who believe in Jesus don’t need to see the nail marks in His hands or the spear mark in His side to believe. We trust Him that when He said He came to fulfill the Law of God on our behalf and redeem us, He did just as He promised.

It is a wonderful feeling to live my life by my faith in Jesus Christ. Seeing this world through the prism that things can get better if all people come to faith in our resurrected world is a great feeling. So all of us work in tandem to bring this living hope of Jesus to all people on this blue ball floating in space. 

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Health Living Hope Morning Coffee

Jesus and Breakfast

My go-to breakfast is simple: Oatmeal, mashed up banana, 2 tablespoons of ground up flax seed. Quick. Easy. Nutritious.

It is a very filling breakfast – lunch is rarely on my schedule nowadays. As my doctor explained, this simple meal clocks in with around 10 grams of fiber and eating this amount can keep you full for a while.

Yesterday, someone asked me what Jesus ate for breakfast.

Good question.

I know he didn’t eat Apple Jacks or Fruit Loops. And I’m guessing a grilled peanut butter and jelly wasn’t in his diet.

Fish and nuts and flatbread and olives and fruits and vegetables were staples of the region of Israel. He probably ate some combination of those foods to start his day. Oh, and garlic.

Why garlic?

The Israelites loved garlic, they even complained about the lack of the stuff to Moses in wilderness. 

So I’m thinking that Jesus ate his fair share.

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Morning Coffee

$81.10

Yeah, I laughed as I checked out at CPH ordering the 2019 Pastoral Desk Diary. Imagine, paying $81.10 for residential shipping. Granted, I’ve made fun of CPH’s shipping charges in the past, but to see a cost of $81.10 to ship a relatively small and light book made my day.

#HolyCow

#FiveBucksShipping

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Church Morning Coffee Pastoral Care

Meatless Good Friday

Balancing the spiritual desires of Holy Week with the realities of real life sometimes causes me to shake my head.

I’ve been asked a half-dozen times in the course the last two days whether it is a church rule that you can’t eat meat on Good Friday. The “understanding” of not eating meat on Friday is burned into the minds of Roman Catholics who will this Friday eat enough salmon or tilapia that will cause a shortage of the little critters come Saturday morning. And because most of us here in New Jersey have relatives who are Roman Catholics, their ideas on refraining from meat on Fridays is passed onto us non-Catholics through words or osmosis.

It is not a church law that you must refrain from eating chicken nuggets on Good Friday.

Coming from a strictly Lutheran perspective, Good Friday is a holy, introspective day where one could, if they so choose, fast, that is, to refrain from eating. Good Friday offers Christians an opportunity to use that day as a spiritual exercise by reflecting on our lives as God’s children knowing that He sent His Son to pay our debt of sin. But this is an exercise, not a law. So, if you really are hankering for a cheeseburger on Friday, God isn’t going to hit you with lightning as you walk out of Burger King.

Yet the “eating fish, not meat on Good Friday” lives on.

The owner of a local deli told me yesterday that he is going to have four fish options for “Christians” on Friday, one of which is a lobster bisque soup, another is pan fried tilapia. Supermarkets have great sales on everything fish this week including tuna in a can that is going for less than a buck at some stores. And as I see what deli owners and supermarkets do for us “Christians” this week, I wonder why don’t they offer deals on tofu dishes? That way, no animal flesh at all on Good Friday!

Well, I don’t eat meat any day. It’s not a spiritual exercise; it’s a health exercise. Should you stop eating meat this Friday for a day? It won’t kill you, but don’t do it because you may think it may make you more holy. Focus your day on Christ and fasting. That’s a better way to tackle the spiritual aspect of Good Friday.

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Church Morning Coffee

Back to Normal

It is chilly outside this morning.

While thermometers say it is 9 degrees outside, the real feel temperature is -8.

That’s cold.

Here in Northern New Jersey, we received anywhere from 5 to 9 inches of snow during Thursday’s nor’easter that walloped a large chunk of the northeast. But we remember the people of the area in and around Boston where high tides washed seawater onto the streets that froze. Cars are encased in feet of ice and the more than the foot of snow that fell. And with the frigid weather pounding the region today, it isn’t melting anytime soon.

It is going to be a miserable time up in Massachusetts for the next couple of days.

Around here, we’ve cleaned up pretty well. Streets are drivable, many of the main roads are down to blacktop. Side streets are mostly a mix of icy blacktop and snow. Schools here in New Milford are open but are under a 2-hour delay. Life is getting back to normal quickly, though I think our supermarkets are going to be a little low on bread and milk following Wednesday’s onslaught of people rushing to stock up before the storm.

For us at St. Matthew’s in New Milford, it means that our regular schedule is back on track. This schedule includes Saturday morning’s “undecorating” of the church beginning at 10:00 AM.

Yeah, it is going to be a cold weekend. Dress warmly. See you Saturday morning at church.