I have to make an admission – my prayer life isn’t very vibrant.
This is terrible since I’m a pastor. You’d think of all the people on the planet, the last person to complain about their prayer life would be a clergyman.
Yet, my prayer life isn’t great.
I don’t pray enough. And when I pray, I feel as though I’m rushing through the petitions so I could get onto doing something else.
I’ve thought about setting aside time on my schedule to pray, kind of like saying, “Between 8 and 9 AM, all I’m going to do is meditate and pray.”
It sounds good, but it ain’t happening. Life gets hectic very fast.
But the hectic life is my fault. I don’t organize my time well enough. Honestly, I’ve never been great at organization when it comes to merging my personal and professional lives. I compartmentalize too much, setting up group times for stuff needing to get done so my personal life doesn’t crash around me and stuff that the pastor needs to get done.
And even with compartmentalizing, setting up “Prayer Time” never happens.
I think I need to pray for my prayer life.
This weekend in church, we’re praying for:
- An end to senseless violence as another horrific shooting happened this week at a bar in California. Truthfully, I’m getting tired of adding these petitions in our weekend prayers every time when a crazy person shoots up a public gathering. The sadness of these events rips at our souls.
- Sunday is Veteran’s Day and we’re going to remember the Veterans of our church, community, and nation.
- That the weather gets better in California that will help curtail the wildfires that are burning up the landscape and ripping apart lives as great numbers of people and families are losing so much.
- And, for the Church and all Christians. We need to be better people.
Of course, our regular petitions for the sick and needy, asking for greater faith so we can trust God more, and for our church’s leadership here in New Milford.
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.
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.
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.
Anger and hatred.
There is way too much of it in our world.
Politics. Family. You name it.
Anger and hatred are tearing apart our lives.
But there is a way to change it, to make life better.
It’s all about living Life to the fullest.
This Sunday, our new sermon series begins.
What does God say about all that vitriol in our nation?
How do we respond to it?
Join us Sunday morning at 9:30 AM at St. Matthew’s in New Milford, NJ and 11:30 AM at Holy Trinity in Garfield as we take a serious look at Life.
How God shows us that we can be better people.
We have one Life to live in Jesus. Let’s make our lives the best we can.
See you Sunday as we talk about Life.
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.