Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mid-winter hike

We took advantage of some warmer weather and a free Saturday and took to the plateau for a hike. First step, fuel at Ingrid's German restaurant, where they have built a near life-size gingerbread house:

Next up is a hike through the woods to the spring at Roman Nose State park. We saw cactus, animal tracks and some leftover snow and ice.

Then onto the plateau for some scenic views & lots of wind:

Some more pics of the day. We ended up in Guthrie to eat dinner at the Stables Cafe. It was a great day!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

"Love Letters" Preaching Advent 4A

Love Letters
Advent 4A 12-22-13
This time of year the post office usually sees a big increase in how much mail they are handling. Folks are sending parcels of gifts to friends and families, care packages to soldiers and letters, cards and well-wishes to loved ones. The postmaster general estimated that this holiday season, Thanksgiving through new years, that the postal service would process over 500 million pieces of mail every day, every day!  
That would total over 15 billion pieces of mail for the season. That’s 2 credit card offers for every person on the planet! In reality it’s greeting cards and Christmas letters and family correspondence and letters to Santa and everything else that regularly goes through the mail. It’s a 12% increase from last year, the postmaster suspects, and they think they’ll deliver to over 150 million different addresses this year alone. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

"Redemptive Reversal" - Preaching Advent 3A

Below is my sermon from Dec. 15th, 2013. It was my first Sunday at First Christian Church, Kingfisher, OK as the Senior Minister. 
Redemptive Reversals
Advent 3A, Dec. 15, 2013
The third week of Advent is a focus on Joy. It’s sometimes called Gaudete Sunday – meaning “rejoice” and we light the rose colored candle to signify the shift in tone from the previous week’s readings, from underlying themes of somber penitence to full on rejoicing for the Lord’s coming. It’s a pretty easy theme to begin a ministry at a new church – Joy is such a great thing to preach about.
There is real joy in this season. We’ll sing “Joy to the World” in the coming days, and, if nothing else, the businesses and shops have done their part to help us be joyful spenders; they pump holiday music through their stores and offer discounts and sales to tempt our very last dollar. It is a joyful time; we’re in the giving spirit. There is real and profound awe and wonder on the faces of children at the sight of lighted trees and candles. The sights and smells of the season hearken us all to recall fond memories that won’t soon fade.