Friday, August 26, 2011

Waiting it Out by Pastor Bettye

I do not like to wait. I have a time frame and a plan for everything and I like to stick to them, makes me feel safe when I can live in this manner, under my own control and steam. Thus......storms/hurricanes like Irene set my teeth on edge. I did not plan this interruption to our schedule at church and sacred worship. I did not plan this late night trip into and out of Ocean View to rescue my cat and fill my home with outdoor furniture. I did not plan to have that discussion with the Ocean View officials that said I was not welcome to stay in my home. I did not plan for my daughter's new apartment to be flooded causing significant damage. I did not plan to carry 350lbs of sand bags to my mother-in-law's back yard to create a diversion from the coming rains. However......I also did not plan to hear from our Assistant to the Bishop Rev. Ed Kay saying that our church would be supported in whatever needs arose because of the storm and its damages; that Lowes DOES stay open til midnight to help the locals buy necessary items for storm survival, that CLC is on the prayer list of other churches because we are facing a terrible onslaught of nature, that my husband has been given emergency leave to go back to Ocean View as soon as we are allowed to in order to help with the clean up, that I would grieve and worry as much as I have been about a new place on the this earth where I have been called to serve ......I did not plan or look to God's ready intervention even in the storm.

In the Message - a paraphrase of Holy Scripture- we see the title "When the Wind Ran Out of Breath" given to the gospel of Mark's story of the storm. The disciples are very frightened, Jesus is sleeping as the unexpected, unplanned storm howls about them. Jesus dwells with them in the raging winds and waves and quiets the storm. The disciples had not panned on that response either; they were simply crying out as fearful children. God in Christ provided for their needs. Where was their faith? Where is our faith if we plan to concentrate on the fear factors, the unplanned interruptions in life? Perhaps we need to sit quietly in faith knowing that God already had a plan to save us.....from ourselves, our sins, the terrors of nature. We just wait in faith with him till this storm passes by....

til the storm passes over, til the thunder rolls no more,
'til the clouds roll forever from the sky.
Hold me fast as I stand in the hallow of thy hand ,
keep me safe, til the storm passes by.*

Til the Storm Passes By Mosie Lister

Thursday, August 25, 2011




CLC Church Picnic Postponed

Due to the impending inclement weather, our CLC picnic scheduled for Saturday, August 27 has been postponed to a yet-to-be-determined date.   Apologies to all who signed up, but with the uncertainty of the storm track, we have no other alternative.  Pastor Bettye has concurred in this action and has also asked everyone to stay tuned concerning Sunday services.

Dick and Sophia Riehl

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Words from a Journal - #17

Words from the journal of a student of spiritual discipline.

June 21, 2011 - As I was writing it hit me that I either stumble or simply pay lip service to many Bible words that are just not part of our language or even relevant in 2011 in the USA. What are the words that we should use to show respect, thanks to and honor toward? We use the words for God of Lord or master. These terms have little true visceral meaning to us. Now there is yet another idea for a class on spiritual words and terminology. Such a class would have profound effect on our public prayers. I suspect that one reason folks hesitate to pray in public is a hangup on terminology, i.e., using words outside of our day to day experience.

I have been pretty frustrated with myself these past several months. I maintained little discipline and was easily distracted. I think this morning my spirit is like an old engine that is being started after a long time of just sitting. There is a lot of sputtering and banging and clanging and coughing. The spark plug is dirty and the spark is only periodically causing combustion. When this happens the person trying to start the engine gets tired, frustrated and angry, not to mention out of breath and ill tempered. Wow! sure sounds like me Lord. I know that the battery (the Holy Spirit) is fully charged. It is I who needs to keep my plugs clean and provide for clean, plentiful fuel - the word of God. I must come to the Lord every day with an open spirit grasping for truth and a clean windshield to give me vision but to protect me from the "bugs" of life!

R. Jeremiah

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jesus and the Storms by Pastor Bettye

August 7th, 2011
Matthew 14: 22-33
In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face,
While the storm howls above me, and there's no hiding place.
'Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry,
Keep me safe till the storm passes by.*

How would you the listener use this story of Jesus and the storm to help calm yourself or another? The retelling of our gospel text is important in the life of a Christian. It is part of our call to give testimony about how the words of Christ effect our lives as Christian disciples in this world.
Today I would like you to leave this sanctuary with two strengths: one, to be able to share the meaning of this text with another in need; two, have the ability to apply the learning from this text to your own faith walk. One strength is necessary for the other.

Part one: What can YOU proclaim from this story?

The story of the storm on the Sea of Galilee does not appear by accident. The story whether real or metaphor is a call to a critical engagement with God in Christ. The story begins with fear and ends in worship and praise. Fear is a significant theme bombarding the reader throughout this Gospel text. Jesus is the constant relief in the face of that fear. Jesus as an example prays prior to the storms WITHOUT FEAR. Jesus does not pray IN the storm; he comforts, he acts, he is present. Jesus’ prayer life sets for us that example between the prayer life he lives and the things he is able to do.

Within the story exists three people: Jesus as the savior, Peter as the one needing to be saved, and the disciples as a single entity, a single voice watching the risk Peter is taking; one man’s risk is effecting a community of watchers! Jesus does not stop the storm in order to silence the fears of Peter and the disciples. Jesus joins them in the storm offering grace and comfort. Peter takes his eyes off of Jesus in blind fear and sinks into the raging waters. Jesus acts and does two things: he asks Peter what happened to his faith and two, Jesus silences the storm.

What did you hear in this story that can be shared?

Part Two; Engaging Christ in your own storms

Each one of us lives on the edge of a brewing storm. Living on the shore I have learned what it means to be able to watch an approaching set of dark clouds and take cover. Are we all in some way, shape or form struggling on the edge of a storm, living in a storm or sighing a deep breath of relief because the storm has passed us by? I would like you to close your eyes and imagine where you stand in relation to one storm, one fear in your life. Having heard the comforting words of our Gospel text, the promises of an ever present savior I would like you to imagine Jesus extending his hand to you. Trust him as he dwells with you in this storm. Do not take your eyes off of the savior. Do not become absorbed in fearful thoughts which pull at the borders of your peace. Trust the Savior’s hand, his love, his presence.
Now….go and ell, go and worship the one whose grace is sufficient at alltimes!
*Till the Storm Passes By
By Mosie Lister

From the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face
While the storm rolls above me and there’s no hiding place.
‘Neath the crash of the thunder, precious Lord hear my cry,
Keep me safe to the storm passes by.

Many times Satan whispered, "There is no need to try,
For there's no end of sorrow, there's no hope by and by"
But I know Thou art with me, and tomorrow I'll rise
Where the storms never darken the skies.

Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more,
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky;
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand,
Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

When the long night has ended and the storms come no more,
Let me stand in Thy presence on the bright peaceful shore;
In that land where the tempest, never comes, Lord, may I
Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by.

Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more,
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky;
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand,
Keep me safe till the storm passes by.