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Showing posts from April, 2018

Sunrise on the Sea of Galilee

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Waking up to the sunrise on the Sea of Galilee a beautiful and meaningful experience. The Lake of Kinneret is full of life—the result of the Jordan flowing down from Mount Hermon from the north and settling 600 ft below sea level. It's where Jesus met the first disciples, James and John, sons of Zebedee, and Andrew and Peter, all fishermen on this lake. Today we will go to Capernaum, Jesus' home-base, a border town that included Centurions and tax collectors.

Across the lake to the east are the Golan Heights in our day, and in Jesus' day it was the Gentiles—the Decapolis, Kursi and pigs. This is the place of faith testing—Jesus walking on the water with Peter, calming the storm, checking for fish on the other side.

This is the countryside. Quiet. Calm. Peaceful.
Yesterday, we drove up from Tel Aviv where we spent the night after our 14 hour flight from San Francisco. We started at Joppa, or Jaffa, where Jonah found a ship to run away from God, and where Peter ran toward Corne…

Sending and Blessing

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Last Sunday was my last at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church for the next four months while I’m on sabbatical. Paula Taylor reminded us of what was true about us and the church: We love God, his church and each other; the church loves us, wants us to be blessed while on sabbatical, and look forward to our return. Paula then prayed a prayer of blessing for us. Hands raised, the congregation was sending us away, so that we might be refreshed and renewed to return again. She prayed for God’s presence to be with us as we journey together to Israel, and then walk the five-hundred mile Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.  We all prayed together from the Northumbria Community... Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and wit…

Sabbatical Plans: Pilgrimage and Practices

Solana Beach Presbyterian Church has a long tradition of providing for the care and renewal of staff, including sabbatical for ordained pastors every seven years. Session has approved the timing of my sabbatical from April 21 to August 5. Amy and I are ready to grow and are grateful for this opportunity. Sabbatical means a planned discipline of rest, or Sabbath; unplugging from the day to day for soul refreshment and renewal; trusting that God is at work when we are not; practicing healthy detachment, so that we spend a season apart and then come together with energy and vision for what’s next. This year Amy and I celebrate 33 years of marriage, 28 years of ordained ministry, and 15 years at SBPC. Although I serve as senior pastor, we have always approached ministry as a team, and realize that the health and vitality of our marriage has a direct impact on ministry. We look forward to the ways God will transform and renew our hearts together. The themes of our sabbatical are pilgrimage an…