February 20th, 2024

February 20th, 2024

ps from ps –
Lenten version during the season of Lent, we have a tendency to slow things down.  To be a tad more intentional.

So during these “40 days” we will be adding Soup and Psalms in person at SPEC each Wednesday at 12pm.  When we gather, we’ll read a particular Psalm (the same one that will come up in the weekend worship) and ask ourselves a few questions and then take time in prayer.

So I’m inviting you to do the same thing.  Join us in person if you can (4007 Main St, Eggertsville NY 14226).  But if you can’t, join us in spirit through email.

Here is our Psalm for the week: Psalm 22:23-21.  Read it through once, giving yourself a chance to breathe after, and then read it one more time.  
 Psalm 22: 23-31
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
    All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
    stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24 For he did not despise or abhor
    the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
    but heard when I cried to him.25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
    my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
    May your hearts live for ever!27 All the ends of the earth shall remember
    and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations
    shall worship before him.
28 For dominion belongs to the Lord,
    and he rules over the nations.29 To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
    before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
    and I shall live for him.
30 Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about the Lord,
31 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
    saying that he has done it.
Then ask yourself the following:
1.  What caught your attention?
2.  What questions does this bring up?
3.  What do you hear God saying to us through it?

Feel free to share any of our thoughts with me and if you email steve@stpaulseggertsville.com before 11am Wednesdays, I will share them with the in-person group.

Enjoy Lent.  

Lord, speak to me.  Amen

Still in One Peace,
February 14th, 2024

February 14th, 2024

ps from ps“
Beware of practicing your righteousness before others in order to be seen by them”  (Matthew 6:1)

Interesting reminder on a day that we make a special trip to a church or a parking lot and have ashes placed on our foreheads.  

In this monologue in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus actually mentions several things that can enhance our connection, return and relationship with God.  He’s inviting us into more intentional time and space with God so that we ourselves will see God’s incredible love for us.

Many subtract things in this season of Lent.  Meat on certain days.  Swearing.  Candy.  Alcohol.  And more.

Many add things.  Ashes.  Exercise.  Prayer.  Worship.  Bible reading.  And more.  

I guess I’d just invite you to go back to Jesus’ original invitation – whatever you do, make it about deepening your relationship with a God who loves you.  

So what will your intentions be for this Lenten season?  Whatever they are, God’s intention is for you to know that you are loved! 

Lord, help me be more intentional, Thanks for Lent.  Amen

Still in One Peace,
February 7th, 2024

February 7th, 2024

ps from ps
“Swing hard in case you make contact.”  That’s one of my favorite phrases for my golf game.  And my life game I guess.

 And certainly, our church game!

 We don’t have to be in church to be IN church.  In fact, I bet if you look around today, you’re going to see it.  And hopefully you will see it in action.  Check out this quick clip to see where I saw church this weekend by clicking HERE.

What I loved about the Snowball Classic is that even the bad shots were STILL church.  $13,000 raised to battle hunger from both good and bad shots!  

God doesn’t ask us to be perfect.  God invites us to just be active.  Swinging away.  Today I hope and pray you’ll see church around you.  Look in the mirror…there’s church.  Take a selfie…there’s church.  Go to work or school…there’s church.  Gather around the table for your meal…there’s church.

Let me know where church is for you today!  I know that wherever you go, it’ll be right there.

Lord, open my eyes and let me see….be…church, Amen

Still in One Peace,
January 19th, 2024

January 19th, 2024

ps from ps “Slow down, you move too fast.  You’ve got to make the morning last…”

 Dating myself here, but I love that Simon and Garfunkel song!  It’s all about slowing down.  Feeling groovy.

 Have you slowed down at all this week?  And when you did, did you feel groovy?

 Maybe you are in the 716 and have somewhere between 6 inches and 6 feet of snow?  (Those two numbers may only be separated by three miles!). School/Work/Stores/Games/Restaurants/Roads closed and slowed you down?  Or maybe you had foot surgery and can’t really walk at all yet?  This week, I experienced both so I got double slowed down.  Wasn’t feeling very groovy pre-surgery because I knew the snow was coming and at 9685 Hilton Dr, I am the CES….Chief Executive Snowblower.  Michelle assured me this would be no problem, quoting Genesis where God created us to be partners and have equal snowplowing spiritual gifts.  (Genesis ?:??….Genesis somewhere, I’m sure). 

So the snow came, she readied the plow after a brief re-training, started her up, and bingo!  All good.  Put the plow in gear and……six feet in, she died.  The plow, that is!!!   And the flakes kept coming.

 Slow down, this morning is going to last a loooong time.  Not feeling groovy.  

 Until we slowed down enough to hear it.  That sound.  That beautiful sound!  The sound of other snowblowers growing as they moved up the street toward our house.  And then, like the glorious light of a new day’s dawn, two of my neighbors showed up with their snowblowers and cleared the whole driveway.  And then later cleared it again.  And then later cleared it again.  (Welcome to Buffalo Lake Effect snow).  And I was feeling groovy!

 Why do I share this story.  (1) Because I’m bored and can’t get out too much yet to get around anywhere.  But (2) and way more importantly, when you slow down and don’t panic, things usually work out.  God has a way of showing us that again and again but we are sometimes traveling too fast or the world is spinning too fast or the flakes are coming down too fast for us to see.  God’s active and groovy.  

 So (3), can you be part of God’s action today?  As stated in Genesis, you are created with gifts to be stewards of the world.  Can you take those gifts up the street for others in need?  Paul refers to them again in the New Testament: compassion, grace, teaching, empathy, snowplowing, phone calling, driving, meal making, money sharing and more.  (Cor ?:??…Somewhere Paul said all these types of things in the NT)

 We’re going to get to worship in person this weekend!  Very exciting.  And when we do, we’ll slow down together, see it, name it, and be thankful for it.  Can we slow down today and see it too?  If you do, I bet you’ll feel groovy.

Lord, thanks for being active, Amen

Still in One Peace,