Flowers

“Flowers”

So now what?

This morning as I was carrying Paul into daycare, he asked me to put him down.
He said he wanted to smell the flowers.
He literally wanted to STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES.

And so we spent the next few minutes smelling the beautiful flowers that grace the walkway into the daycare.
After a while, I told Paul, “Time to go to school, son.” He replied, “Okay.”

This morning, my friends, I want to tell you it is time.
Time to stop and smell the flowers.
Time to go back to everyday life.
Time to work together in order that my son, my daughter, all our children, will always have flowers to smell.

Time to focus on how WE can make our world better.
Because it is up to us, the people.
We cannot put our faith and trust that a politician or a political party will make all things better.
Because they can’t.
Only GOD can, and God does it through us.

You want to talk about an election.
Well, here is a Newsflash for you:

God has elected US to be his people.

There is no run off.
There is no question.
God has cast the one vote that counts.

That means God has called us to work together.
To love one another.
To build and comfort, and in some cases rebuild and reconcile.

It’s time to smell the flowers, my friends.

And it’s time to get back to work.

So this morning I pray for:
President Barak Obama
President-Elect Donald Trump
Hilary Clinton
Gary Johnson
Jill Stein

For all the candidates, those who won and those who lost.

For all our elected officials.

For a renewed sense of understanding between all people.

For a renewed sense of love for our neighbor.

And for the flowers that they may always be there.
-PJ

Sermon for All Saints Sunday 2016: “Save Us Some Seats”

Readings:
Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18
Ephesians 1:11-23
Luke 6:20-31

Sermon for All Saints Sunday 2016: “Save Us Some Seats”

Let me start off this morning with a confession.
I am still recovering from Wednesday night.
Actually, correction.
I meant early Thursday morning.
I watched Game Seven of the World Series from beginning to end.
And I am paying for it. Continue reading

Sermon for October 30, 2016: “This SERMON Is Rigged!”

Gospel: Luke 19:1-10
1 He entered Jericho and was passing through it. 2 A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. 5 When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. 7 All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” 8 Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” 9 Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”
Also:
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Romans 3:19-28
Psalm 46

The Sermon for October 30, 2016: “This SERMON Is Rigged!”

Last Wednesday, Kristen, Paul, Maddie and I went on our first family outing.
We went up 109 to a pumpkin patch and picked our Conrad Family 2016 pumpkin. Continue reading

Sermon for October 23, 2016: “The Gospel According To Larry The Cucumber”

Luke 18: 9-14
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Sermon for October 23, 2016: “The Gospel According to Larry the Cucumber”
When Paul gets home from school, and he gets his milk, crackers, and chocolate chip teddy bears:
These are the orders he gives me:
“I want Apple TV.
Put on songs
Put on Vegetables.”
Veggie Tales. Continue reading

Sermon for October 16, 2016: “The Give-Up Gospel”

10/16
Luke 18:1-8
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3 In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4 For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’”[ 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them?8 I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Sermon for October 16, 2016: “The Give-Up Gospel”

Every morning I have to tell myself, “I am not giving in.” Continue reading

Sermon for October 9, 2016: “Mr. Fix-It”

Reading: Luke 17: 11-19

11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13 they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16 He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18 Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

Sermon for October 9, 2016: “Mr. Fix-It”

One of my proudest moments as a father came about two months ago.
As he woke from a nap, Paul started crying.
His toy, a flashlight, wasn’t working.
And he wasn’t taking it very well. Continue reading

Sermon for October 2, 2016: “What The Habakkuk?!”

Readings:
Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4

The oracle that the prophet Habakkuk saw.
2 O LORD, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not listen?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?
3 Why do you make me see wrongdoing
and look at trouble?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
4 So the law becomes slack
and justice never prevails.
The wicked surround the righteous—
therefore judgment comes forth perverted.
2 I will stand at my watchpost,
and station myself on the rampart;
I will keep watch to see what he will say to me,
and what he[d] will answer concerning my complaint.
2 Then the LORD answered me and said:
Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so that a runner may read it.
3 For there is still a vision for the appointed time;
it speaks of the end, and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it;
it will surely come, it will not delay.
4 Look at the proud!
Their spirit is not right in them,
but the righteous live by their faith.[e]

Also:
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Luke 17:5-10

Sermon for October 2, 2016: “What The Habakkuk?!”

Lemme tell ya…

When I began to look at our bible readings for today, I was really happy to see this passage from Habakkuk. Continue reading

Sermon for September 11, 2016: “Stranger-Er Things”

Gospel Reading: Luke 15: 1-10
1 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3 So he told them this parable: 4 “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. 8 “Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Sermon: “Stranger-er Things”
Recently I fell in love with a television show called Stranger Things, and it can be seen on Netflix.
The show had a great story and it was filled with characters that you wanted to cheer for and villains you wanted to boo.
I will not go into too much detail on the show or its premise, but for me the underlying theme of the show was the lengths a parent will go in order to find a missing child. Continue reading