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July 9, 2017
salt, salt of the earth, matthew

In his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) Jesus tells his followers: “You are the salt of the earth.” Eugene Peterson’s translation in The Message highlights Jesus’ intent. “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the god-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.”

June 19, 2017

Grace & Peace to You!

I’m headed out of town this week, first to the Worship & Music Conference at Montreat, then to spend some time with family at the beach. I see from social media a friend is spending his sabbatical as a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago. Still another friend spent last week tossing cabers and sword dancing at a clan reunion. These trips got me thinking about how we renew ourselves. Where do we find our energy reserves or the spark that will help us travel the coming miles on our journey.


June 6, 2017
grace, sin

The word for this week is “Sin.”

I appreciate Frederick Buechner’s take on sin. He says it is “centrifugal.” Constantly spinning in our lives and pushing everything in our lives “out toward the periphery…eventually bits and pieces of the core itself go flying off until in the end nothing at all is left.” Or as Paul notes, “The wages of sin is death.”

May 30, 2017
spirit, heart

Peace and Joy to You!

This spring several friends have shared social media posts of trips to Israel. A regular stop for Christians in Jerusalem is a large medieval room. There a guide will say something like this: “This is not the actual room, but this is believed to be the place where Jesus ate the Last Supper with his disciples. It is also where the Spirit came on the church at Pentecost. This is holy ground for Christians and you should take off your shoes.”

May 24, 2017

Frederick Buechner famously began his description of Abraham of Ur this way: “If a schlemiel is a person who goes through life spilling soup on people and a schlemozzle is the one it keeps getting spilled on, then Abraham was a schlemozzle.” Perhaps the first clue that God is different than we might expect is that still God called Abraham. Yet not just called, God set a covenant with Abraham.

May 9, 2017
mother's day, women, prayer

This Week at Chester Presbyterian Church - Peace and Joy to You! 

In celebration of all the women who have offered to be mothers, mentors, guides, leaders, encouragers, role models in our lives, this devotion is adapted from the Great Prayer of Thanksgiving offered during the 2017 Presbyterian Women’s Spring Gathering: 

May 4, 2017
sunrise he is risen

I have mentioned before that my grandmother was infamous for striking up conversations with total strangers. On trips to amusement parks, it was a family game to bet on how many folks she would be talking with when we returned from a ride to her bench. This trait of hers came to mind the other day when a story popped up on my Facebook feed. The headline indicated that a study had proven that it is never all right to strike up a conversation with a total stranger. I thought, Oh no! My grandmother was guilty of breaking social rules for years.