Today’s Word from Pastor Tom,,,

I don’t have anything pithy. I regularly try for pithy but I am fresh out of pithy. Sometimes the pithy-well goes dry and for a writer (or would-be writer), all that is left can feel stale or mundane.

So here’s the deal, as most of you know my Brenda’s got metastatic brain cancer (she is a trooper), the dreaded annual tax stuff is due (Brenda does it and I am a mess with fear it is up to me), the septic system is maybe going to poop-out (humor), and, and, and…. Oh, did I mention I don’t have anything pithy to fire off this little missive?

So, here’s the real deal. Life is hard for all of us. Bad health, failed relationships, money problems… everyone has brokenness in their lives because the DNA of life is broken. The question is not, “Why?” but, “Why not?” We all have sadness and fear and disappointment to deal with. This is the way it is in life. Yet Brenda and I are blessed with gratitude… seems incongruous in a way, doesn’t it? The Serenity Prayer helps:

God, grant me the Serenity

To accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And the Wisdom to know the difference.

We have found that focusing on the activities, the people, who bring joy into our life is incredibly valuable. Lyra is bringing joy into our life. That’s her photo… she is, as of six weeks ago, our most recent rescue dog. She is a joy and an absolute gift and loves nothing more than a romp at the beach swimming after ducks. She makes us both happy. She is a gift from God. Happy is good, very good.

You make Brenda and me happy. This church community of faithful sinners has held us in love, bestowed on us countless acts of generosity and, along with faithful sinners around the world, wrapped us in a seamless garment of holy prayer. You have no idea how you are strengthening us for the journey which we realize is just beginning. Thank you.

Here’s a thought for you… surrender is not giving up. At least not in the world of faith. We hear much these days in the geopolitical world of how Ukraine (my Brenda is Ukrainian) will never surrender to their invaders. In this context, for these proud people, to refuse to give up is to refuse to surrender. It is tantamount to the same. In the world of faith, surrendering to God’s will is not giving up as much as it is accepting that hardships may in fact be a more profound way to God. Some say it is the path of faith. “Pick up your cross and follow me,” was, I believe, our Lord’s admonition.

There is, I suspect, nothing new in these words. We have heard enough sermons through the years to have these basics down. I suspect in some measure I have shaped these words as much for my benefit as for your edification. Taxes will get done, the septic system will get sorted out (please, Jesus!), and the good doctors will guide us through this stage of our journey. Oh, and we have a beautiful new Lyra in our life. Staying grateful. Keep praying.

“God is good?” “All the time!”
“All the time?” “God is good!”

Pastor Tom