Thursday, July 31, 2008

Proud to be Presbyterian

While at Zephyr Point (Lake Tahoe) for Week Two of interim training, several of the Lutheran pastors said, "Presbyterians do this better than anyone else."

My heart swelled with gratitude and pride. Yup, I'm glad to be a Presbyterian.

We do this interim training well, and we do lots of things well.

When Donna and I lived in Detroit and we'd visit our son in Chicago, and if we were there on a Sunday, we'd go to Fourth Presbyterian Church across the street from the John Hancock Center - a vital church pastored by John Buchanan, also editor of The Christian Century.

Our denomination has weathered many a storm since it's founding in the United States.

The first Presbytery was founded in 1709 in Philadelphia, and the first General Assembly was held in the same city, 1789. Our most recent Assembly, the 218th, was held in San Jose.

Through thick and thin, sick and sin, we've come a long way - with great missionaries, colleges and seminaries, hospitals and schools, here and around the world ... and thousands of congregations, just like Covenant, holding forth the Gospel, teaching children, providing fellowship and hope, engaged in community ministries, and lifting up the name of Jesus.

Sure, we have our work cut out for us these days. But I’m proud to be a Presbyterian

Our new Moderator, the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, a 39-year old San Franciscan, represents a new day dawning for all of us.

Let me ask each of you to pray regularly for the Presbyterian Church - say the name, and then the Name above every name, "Jesus my Lord."

Would you do that?

Thanks and God's Peace to all.

Pastor Tom

Monday, July 28, 2008


I’ll tend Covenant’s expanding herb garden a couple of times this week – everything is growing well, and you might want to stop by to see it. I planted one of my favs – Nasturtiums: a peppery tasting leaf and a beautiful/edible flower for garnish. It’s takes about ten days for the Nasturtiums to appear – as of today, it’s been six days since planting … will they come up? Will all of them take root?

Seeds are an amazing thing – that little piece of hard-shelled life sends down a root (how does it know to do that?) and a shoot upward, reaching for the light. A little water and sunshine, a little fertilizer further down the road – and it grows into what it should be.

Most every word we say, most every deed we do, most every thought we have, is a seed.

This week, we’ll plants a few seeds – seeds of love and hope – we’ll encourage our children through a tough time, we’ll help our spouse face a challenge, we’ll bless a friend along the way, and we’ll enliven our own spirit with the seeds of trust and love, planted with prayer and nourished with faith.

We’re all gardeners in God’s Garden of Life.

Have a good week, and keep your eye out for your seeds sprouting to life.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Found this in a friend's email:

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come
alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have
come alive." -Howard Thurman

Monday, July 21, 2008


This morning, I read from Psalm 5 - "a Psalm of David" - and it begins like this:

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD;
give heed to my sighing.
2 Listen to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
3 O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.

Waiting is hard for a 6-year old on her way to Disneyland ... waiting is hard at any age.

David was waiting for deliverance ... when would God "hear" his prayers? when would there be a positive answer - deliverance from hard times?

Why would God delay?

Is there a blessing in our waiting?

A strange blessing?

If you're waiting today, know that you have an understanding friend in David.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Ten thousand pieces of advice – ho hum and oh well.

But let someone say, “You’re terrific!” and the energy begins to flow.

Our spirit thrives on compliments – and though I often forget to offer them – after all, I’m too busy with really important things, right?

There’s nothing more important than offering a compliment to someone – just to say thanks.

Pay attention today (oops, there’s some advice) and be quick to offer a compliment.

Watch them stand a little taller and walk a little more boldly.

And by the way, thanks for being You!

P.S. check out my friend’s blog – she’s terrific! The Blankie Chronicles – insights from parenting.