Archive for the “Church” Category

Below is the prayer I wrote for my Dad’s wedding this past weekend:

Heavenly Father;
Thrice Holy Lord of the universe enthroned in splendor;
most righteous, most gracious, most merciful, most loving God:

We lift up our voices to you to give you praise and thanks. We thank you foremost for the love that you have shown the world in the work of Christ on the cross for those who place their faith in him. Your name be praised above all others throughout all the Earth.

We also have occasion to thank you today as we celebrate the love between my Dad—Roger—and Sherry—this wonderful woman you have brought into his life according to your good providence.

We ask your blessing upon this marriage. When they laugh in times of joy, may they give you praise. When they cry in times of distress, may they seek comfort from you. When they labor in the work that you have given them, may they find their hope and strength in you. When they hurt each other, may they have the courage to recognize and confess their fault, and may they have the grace to offer forgiveness just as you offer it to us.

Challenge and enable them to grow together in grace and godliness—to grow in love for each other, for you, and for others. May they help each other more fully develop the gifts that you have given them.

As they make vows today to love, cherish, and care for one another, and as they seek to fulfill those vows in the years to come, remind them that it is only in the power of Christ that they have hope to overcome sin and remain faithful to such promises.

Keep them forever in your love and care. We pray these things in the glorious name of your faithful son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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During the Lenten season this year–the time of the Church calendar where we especially mourn for our sin—my church installed a sculpture by one of our members in the sanctuary.

Darkness
Darkness

Here’s how the artist, Liz Wheeler, describes it:

Sin, brokenness and death are all we have without Christ. Like a tornado sweeping through our lives, sin is terrifying and completely life-shattering. Thankfully we have Christ who came to fix our broken lives by resisting the temptation to sin and by sacrificing his own life for ours. “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:46)

In keeping with the meaning of Easter, the sculpture—as a symbolic representation of sin—was removed between the Good Friday service and Easter Sunday.

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Blog? What? Oh yeah…

You may be interested in what I’ve been doing the past few weeks.

M-F, Jan 4-9 – First class of the Jan-term, “Relationships in God’s Image” with Scotty Smith. Class held all morning and afternoon.

M-F, Jan 12-16 – Second class of the Jan-term, “PCA Polity”. Class held all morning.

Sat, Jan 17 – Adult Nurture Team meeting in the morning.

Sun, Jan 18 – Presbytery-wide Sanctity of Life Sunday evening service hosted by my church. I help get everything set up all afternoon.

Tue, Jan 20 – Presbytery meeting all afternoon. Missions Team meeting in the evening.

Wed, Jan 21 – I take the PCA Polity take-home final. Staff meeting.

Then, coming up…

Tonight – Youth Group LAN party.

Monday – Registration

Tuesday – Session meeting

Wednesday – Spring semester starts. Jan-term assignments due.

Yowza!

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Happy New Year all! 2004 is here, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s off to a fine start. On New Year’s Eve, I was scheduled to preach at my church’s annual New Year’s Eve Communion Service. In preparation for this event, I had written a sermon on the Lord’s Supper for my preaching class last semester. Although I got a B+ on the sermon, I had only put 2 days into it, and I wasn’t satisfied with it. During my trip home for Christmas, I spent a considerable quantity of time improving the sermon. The revised version turned out much better, and went over well at the service.

After the service, rather than go across the street to Forest Park where the big St. Louis New Year bash was being held, I went to a small party at the home of the McGarrys. This turned out to be a wise decision, since the organizers of the events at the park had planned on 25,000 people and 3-4x as many showed up. Needless to say, it was a mess over there, and I was glad to avoid it. Anyway, the party with the McGarrys was the expected subdued yet fun affair featuring a variety of cheeses, people I’ve never met before, a quick round of Taboo, an appearance by the other Steve Jam(i)eson, and a screening of Airplane 2.

And then there was the pickled herring. Amongst the wide variety of cheeses I noticed a bowl of gray matter that appeared to have a fishy texture. Upon inquiring what it was, Jessica challenged me to eat it before being informed of its identity. And just to prove that it was safe, she placed a piece of the mystery matter on a cracker and consumed it. Nevertheless, I declined for the moment. Later in the evening however, the challenge came up again. Despite having discovered that the substance at hand was pickled herring, I agreed to give it a try. Feeling like I was on “Fear Factor”, I took a bite from the chunk of the repellent smelling fish on cracker that I had been given. For the first nanosecond of mastication it was tolerable, but soon my taste-buds began to rebel against this foul fish. My face contorted in many strange ways as I chewed and fought the urge to puke. After I managed to swallow the small bite, I immediately downed a can of soda to wash away the revolting aftertaste. Jessica can keep her pickled herring. As for me, I have a new rule: If it looks nasty and smells nasty, by no means am I to put it in my mouth!

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Steve & Willy @ The Headwaters of the Mississippi

[Fifth entry in a series on my mission trip to Minnesota.]

Wednesday was a half-day of labor with the rest free for restful (or not so restful) recreation. My group headed up to Itasca State Park, home of the headwaters of the Mississippi. You see, Lake Itasca is the starting point of the mighty Mississippi river, which happens to flow right past Saint Louis. Of course, way up here in Minnesota, the mighty Mississippi starts out as a dinky little stream flowing out of the lake. It’s the many tributaries such as the Missouri and Ohio rivers that make the Mississippi the mighty beast that Saint Louis knows and loves (and sometimes hates). However, since it’s so small up in Minnesota, it’s quite the tourist attraction to wade the 15 feet or so across of mid-calf deep water and thus say that you walked across the Mississippi. It’s kind of like going to the North or South Pole in order to walk “around the world”, only more convenient.

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