Pastor’s Desk 01-19-2020

John the Baptist, the Essene preacher who introduced Jesus as the “Lamb of God.” When John’s parents died, he may well have been still too young to be on his own. Zechariah and Elizabeth had been very old when John was born, so that would not have been a surprise, but...

Pastor’s Desk 01-11-2020

Origin of baptism: Neither John nor Jesus invented baptism. It had been practiced for centuries among the Jews as a ritual equivalent to our Confession. Until the fall of the Temple in 70 A.D., it was common for Jewish people to use a special pool called a Mikveh --...

Pastor’s Desk 01-05-2020

A survey was made among school children asking the question why they enjoyed reading Harry Potter novels and watching Harry Potter movies. The most common answer was, “Because you never know what’s going to happen next.” This sense of suspense and surprise prompted us...

Pastor’s Desk 12-29-2019

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before...

Pastor’s Desk 12-22-2019

Jewish marriage started with an engagement arranged by parents, often between children. Just prior to marriage, couples began a year-long betrothal very much like marriage except for sexual rights. Betrothal was binding and could be terminated only by death or...

Pastor’s Desk 12-15-2019

Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American writer. When he died in 1864 he had on his desk the outline of a play he never got a chance to finish. The play centered around a person who never appeared on stage. Everyone talked about him. Everyone dreamed about him. Everyone...

Pastor’s Desk 10-11-2019

Perhaps the most grateful person I've ever heard of was an old woman in an extended care hospital. She had some kind of wasting disease, her different powers fading away over the march of months. A student of mine happened to meet her on a coincidental visit. The...

Pastor’s Desk 09-29-2019

What parable would make a man with three doctoral degrees (one in medicine, one in theology, one in philosophy), leave civilization with all its culture and amenities and depart for the jungles of darkest Africa to serve as a missionary doctor for 47 years? What...

Pastor’s Desk 09-22-2019

One stormy night many years ago an elderly couple entered the lobby of a small hotel and asked for a room. The clerk explained that because there were three conventions in town, the hotel was filled. He added, "But I can't send a nice couple like you out in the rain...

Pastor’s Desk 09-15-2019

On February 3rd of 1998, the State of Texas executed Miss Karla Faye Tucker Brown for her part in two extremely brutal murders committed in 1983. Karla was the first woman executed by Texas since the 1860’s and she was a born-again Christian. She had a childhood full...

Pastor’s Desk 09-01-2019

By this time all of you must have seen the new statue of Mother Mary in our grotto at our rose garden. Unfortunately the old statue of Mother Mary was stolen in the month of January 2019 by a robber at midnight. The CC cameras around our church had captured his...

Pastor’s Desk 08-25-2019

Bishop Sheen tells us that we will have three surprises in Heaven. The first surprise: We will be surprised to see that many people we expected to be in Heaven are not there. St. John of the Cross gives the reason why they are not there: “At the evening of our life,...

Pastor’s Desk 08-11-2019

According to an old fable, a man made an unusual agreement with Death. He told the Grim Reaper that he would willingly accompany him when it came time to die, but only on one condition – that Death would send a messenger well in advance to warn him. Weeks turned into...

Pastor’s Desk 07-28-2019

A colleague asked C.S. Lewis if he really thought he could change God with his prayer for the cure of his wife’s cancer. Lewis replied: "Prayer doesn't change God; it changes me." William McGill summed it up this way. "The value of persistent prayer is not that God...

Pastor’s Desk 07-21-2019

A true story is told about an advertising executive at Reader’s Digest, who found her emptiness filled in by prayer, listening to God, as Mary did in today’s Gospel. In spite of her successful career, she had felt emptiness in her life. One morning, during a breakfast...

Pastor’s Desk 07-14-2019

Niemoeller was a German Lutheran pastor who was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp in Dachau in 1938. Amazingly, he survived the prison camp experience and was set free by the Allied Troops in 1945. Out of that horrible experience, Niemoeller...

Pastor’s Desk 06-30-2019

One leader in the Old Testament who possessed both expressive and instrumental leadership abilities was Josiah (2 Kings 22-23). King Josiah was a great leader. When he came to the throne of Judah at age eight, the nation was essentially pagan. Heathen altars stood on...