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Church Pastoral Care

Life

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.

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Church Morning Coffee Uncategorized

Monday Morning, November 13th

A few years ago when I was sick, one of my doctors told me rather emphatically to stay away from sugared cereal, especially every brand of Cheerios. Considering the advice was coming from a doctor promoting a whole food, plant-based diet, the “stay away from the presweetened cereal aisle” advice didn’t seem so far-fetched.

Yet to the doctor, the importance of staying away from added sugar was important since a number of studies showed that sugar helps feed cancer. And if you have cancer, my doctor believed the best way to stop feeding it was to stay away from added sugar in foods.

CheeriosA couple of days ago, the New York Times ran a story about Honey Nut Cheerios, asking whether or not this sugar-laden cereal was healthy. Over the years, General Mills, the creators of the Cheerios brand, have reduced the serving size of the Honey Nut cereal from one cup to three-quarters of a cup to reduce the sugar-per-serving visual on boxes. Honestly, have you ever eaten just three-quarters of a cup of Honey Nut Cheerios? No. Do people actually follow the serving size suggestions on the sides of their breakfast cereals? No. All of us end up pouring cereal into a bowl until our eyes smile saying “Yeah, that’s enough.”

My doctor from years ago suggested I eat a more balanced whole foods breakfast. Maybe some scrambled tofu with vegetables, or if I am more adventurous, eat a salad. But my doctor’s advice was clear – stay away from the cereal aisle.

Hat Tip to The New York Times: Are Honey Nut Cheerios Healthy? We Look Inside the Box https://nyti.ms/2hpLggR

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Yesterday, our Voters’ Body at church held their not-so-monthly, not-so-bimonthly meeting. Usually, we hunker down in the weeds of finances and budgets, the workings of ministries and calendar issues, business plans and worship thoughts. Essentially, it is a business meeting that most people don’t want to go to, but do because the running of the operations of the church is important.

One idea that I brought up was to start a conversation that builds on our evangelism team’s efforts to rebuild the outreach of St. Matthew’s. I asked if it would be prudent to sit down with our paid staff at church – our music director, church secretary, and pastor – and evaluate what we expect from and determine the future duties of our staff. Our evangelism team is working on the outreach part of our church life. Our Voters’ Body is going to focus on the structure of our operations. To me, both our Vision and Voters’ initiatives will help redevelop the direction of St. Matthew’s for the future. Both church entities are on the same page, yet are doing different and very important leadership tasks. Sunday’s meeting was good.

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This week, we are going to re-launch our Prayer Team’s digital webpage and newsletter. The webpage should be live on Wednesday, the same day we’re sending out the newsletter.

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One question that we received at church this weekend was when were church announcements due in the church office for publication on the weekend? Wednesday at noon has been our traditional date and time. We’re going to stick with it.

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The recent explosion in sexual harassment and assault allegations against a large contingent of male Hollywood stars and leaders shows us once again that our world is sick. Today, say a prayer for an end to this violence, healing for the victims, and that those who committed the acts repent.

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Church Culture Gospel Life Morning Coffee Pastoral Care Uncategorized

Life is Precious.

I received an email note last night from someone calling themselves “the millennial queen,” whatever that means. All I know is that the queen is a freshman in college in Milwaukee. At least that is what she wrote. Her note contained the following hypothetical:

“Pastor, imagine for a moment you’re in a fertility clinic and there is a raging fire all around you. Behind one door, you hear a screaming child. The door to the adjacent room has a container of 1,000 fertilized eggs. You can save only one. Do you save the child or the eggs?”

The motivation behind the hypothetical story is that if a pro-lifer chooses to save the child over the fertilized eggs, then the argument that “life begins at conception” is futile since you could have saved a thousand “children” over the one child behind the door.

And yes, the question was a little odd since she wrote that the door to the adjacent room had the eggs, not the eggs being in the room.

My response: “So, if I save the child, then I’m a hypocrite, and if I save the eggs, I am a … what?A cold-hearted killer? ”

“Let’s play hypothetical for a moment. You’re in a preschool and there is an out of control fire all around you. In one room, you have a crying little boy. The other room, a crying little girl. All things being equal, you only have time to save one child. Whom do you choose? If you choose the girl, does that make you a sexist?

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Health Morning Coffee Uncategorized

No Rainbow Colors in Real Bagels.

And before writing this weekend’s sermon, I think I must mention the short story about ‘what makes a New York bagel’ on today’s New York Times website.

I agree wholeheartedly with Niki Russ Federman, co-owner of Russ & Daughters (their bagels are classic and amazing) on what is NOT supposed to be in a New York bagel:

“It should not be sweet and you should never find blueberries, jalapeños, or rainbow colors in your bagel.”

Amen.

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Culture

Vitae Foundation and the Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals baseball franchise has been running ads in their home ballpark and on their radio broadcasts from the Vitae Foundation, a pro-life mass marketing foundation that promotes a culture of life.

Crown-Vision-Vitae-Foundation-ad_web-200x300Of course, a left-wing “pro-woman” organization named UltraViolet is attacking the Royals and the Vitae Foundation urging (blackmailing?) the Royals into dropping the advertising. Bordering on the hysterical, UltaViolet’s chief campaign officer Karin Roland said in a statement:

“The Vitae Foundation lies and manipulates the public by spreading extreme, deceptive, anti-choice propaganda not only to those seeking reproductive health care options but also to young children.”

Extreme?

Deceptive?

I’m guessing they’ve never actually seen a Vitae Foundation ad. Here are three they’ve run on Facebook that are highlighted on the Vitae Foundation website:

We should congratulate organizations like the Vitae Foundation for their work combating a culture of death in our society and the numerous pregnancy centers around the country that support life, including the Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center here in Northern New Jersey. Young women facing unplanned pregnancies are served honorably, respectably, and lovingly by the Lighthouse in their centers Hackensack, Paterson, and Wayne.

The Kansas City Royals should reject the blackmail of UltraViolet.