the tentmaker

daily thoughts on the common lectionary

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Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia, United States

"...because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers." Acts 18:3. Tentmaker is a title taken by bi-vocational pastors. As such, I am both a pastor and a project manager. I am a pastor of a local congregation of moderate, accepting and affirming people who worship in the Baptist tradition. We call our church "Hope Memorial Baptist" and we are about 40 in number. I am also a project manager of major construction projects for the State of Georgia. My home and church is in rural Coweta County, between Peachtree City and Newnan, with a mailing address of Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Year B - Proper 13

Liturgy of the Word:
2 Samuel 11:26 - 12:13a
Psalm 51:1-12
Ephesians 4:1-16
John 6:24-35
The Lord is in his holy temple, let all the earth keep silence.
We have been looking for food that lasts,
the true bread from heaven, Jesus himself.
Those who believe in him will never grow thirsty.
May Jesus our Lord be always
our food and drink for life,
and may he always stay with you.
Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Kyrie, eleison
We now ask the Lord to forgive our sins,
that this eucharist may bring us closer to him
and give us his mentality.

Lord Jesus, bread of life,
you nourish us with your living words:
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, bread of life,
you give us yourself to eat and drink:
Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, bread of life,
you ask us to become
each other’s food and drink:
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, in your kindness forgive us our sins
and sustain us with your body and blood
on the journey to everlasting life. Amen.
Morning Prayer
Let us pray to the Father
that Jesus may be our bread of life

Our living God,
we hunger for lasting life and happiness
and the fulfillment of all our hopes.
Satisfy all our hungers
through your Son Jesus Christ,
our bread of life.
And when he has filled us with himself,
may he lead and strengthen us
to bring to a waiting world
the food of reconciliation and joy
which you alone can give to the full.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil
and grant us peace in our day.
Make us new in mind and spirit,
create us anew in your image
and nourish us with the bread of life
as we wait in joyful hope
for the coming of him
who will lead us into your lasting happiness,
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
For the Kingdom,
the power and the glory
are yours now and forevermore. Amen.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Year B - Proper 12

Liturgy of the Word:
2 Samuel 11:1-15
Psalm 14
Ephesians 3:14-21
John 6:1-21
The Lord is in his holy temple, let all the earth keep silence.
We are gathered here together
by the Holy Spirit as one body,
united in one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
and one God, the Father of all.
May the Lord Jesus, who has called us together,
be always with you.
O god, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Kyrie, eleison
Are we hungry for God’s Word and care
or have we been cold to his love through sin?
Let us examine ourselves before the Lord.

Lord Jesus, you took pity on the crowd
and gave them to eat:
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, you take pity on us
and nourish us with your body and blood:
Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you want us to take pity
on people hungry for food and love:
Lord, have mercy.
Take pity on us, merciful God,
and still our hunger for forgiveness.
Nourish us with the body of Jesus
and lead us to the feast meal of everlasting life. Amen.
Morning Prayer
Let us pray that our heavenly Father
may give us all we need in Christ

God our Father,
you give your children everywhere
all the good gifts for a fully human life.
Let your Son give us the bread
of his Word that nourishes our faith,
of his peace that brings us rest,
of his consolation that gives us hope and joy,
and the nourishing bread that sustains us
on the way to you and to people.
Make us share this bread with all
as a token of the feast meal
which you have prepared for us in heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Deliver us Lord, from every evil
and help us in our day
to bring food to a hungry world.
In your mercy keep us free
from greed and self-sufficiency
that close our hearts to your gifts
and to one another.
Give us bread that does not perish,
as we go forward in joyful hope
toward the coming in glory
of our Savior Jesus Christ.
For the Kingdom,
the power and the glory
are yours now and forevermore. Amen.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I know you are out there

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Food for thought

From: Achtemeier, Elizabeth, Preaching Hard Texts of the Old Testament, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1998.
I was once asked in an interview to explain some of the characteristics that separate great preaching from mediocre preaching. Without going into all of the details of my response, probably the principle thing that should be said is that great preachers talk mostly about God and not about human problems. It is very easy for anybody to tell what is wrong with our world and what are the common struggles and sins of us human beings. We have only to look about us or to read the morning headlines. Even a twelve year old can compile a list of the evils in our society. But it takes a preacher to say what God is doing about them.

Year B - Proper 11

Liturgy of the Word:
2 Samuel 7:1-14
Psalm 89:20-37
Ephesians 2:11-22
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
The Lord is in his holy temple, let all the earth keep silence.
Jesus came to bring the Good News of peace:
peace to those who are far away
and peace to you who are close-by.
May that peace be always with you.
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Kyrie, eleison
We are sure God keeps us in his love
even when we forget him when we sin.
Let us ask the Lord to forgive us.

Lord Jesus, you loved people
and you still love all of us
with a warm, understanding love:
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, you know what we need most:
a word of acceptance and encouragement,
a gesture of forgiveness and affection:
Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you can make us like yourself:
compassionate and healing,
generous and merciful:
Lord, have mercy.
May we bring the forgiveness and mercy
which the Lord has shown us
to all those we meet.
May the Lord lead us to everlasting life. Amen.
Morning Prayer
Let us entrust ourselves and all those dear to us
to our compassionate God

Our loving God,
your Son Jesus has revealed you to us
as more tender, warmhearted, and compassionate
than any mother could ever be.
Be near to all who are wounded in life,
care for all the little people trampled upon.
Make all those who follow your Son
people who can forgive and heal,
who make themselves nourishing bread
for all who are hungry in any way.
Make us care for one another
as you care for us through Jesus,
your Son and our Lord for ever and ever.
Deliver us Lord, from every evil
and grant us peace in our day.
Keep us from drifting about without aim.
Gather us together and make us
shepherds to one another,
as we wait in joyful hope
for the coming in glory
of our Shepherd and Savior Jesus Christ.
For the Kingdom,
the power and the glory
are yours, now and forevermore. Amen.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Year B - Proper 10

Liturgy of the Word:
2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19
Psalm 24
Ephesians 1:3-14
Mark 6:14-29
The Lord is in his holy temple, let all the earth keep silence.
God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
has chosen us in Christ
to live in his presence
and with him to carry out his plan
of bringing everyone together under Christ.
May the Lord’s peace and grace
be always with you.
O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Our lives may have been far
from being Good News to others.
Let us ask the Lord to forgive us.

Lord Jesus, in you we have been blessed
with all love and grace from heaven:
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, in you we have been chosen
to be holy and spotless in God’s sight:
Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, in you the Father chose us
to live through love in his presence:
Lord, have mercy.
Touch us with your healing hand, Lord,
and forgive us all our sins.
Make us free and rich in grace
and lead us to everlasting life. Amen.
Morning Prayer
Let us pray that we may share with all
the Good News of Jesus our Lord

God of justice and mercy,
you have set us free from the evil of sin
by the life and death and rising again
of your living reflection and Word,
your Son Jesus Christ.
Let his life and message inspire us
to voice his truth and bring his freedom
to everyone on this earth.
Give us no other assurance
than that we proclaim his Good News
and that our companion on the road is
your own Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Deliver us Lord, from every evil
and grant us peace in our day.
Keep us holy and spotless
and let us live through love in your presence,
as we wait in joyful hope
for the coming in glory
of our Savior Jesus Christ.
For the Kingdom,
the power and the glory
are yours, now and forever. Amen.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Born on the 4th of July

Lord, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.
--Reinhold Neibur

The Declaration of Independence

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
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For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Source: The Pennsylvania Packet, July 8, 1776

The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here hav4445464748e thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
--Abraham Lincoln

Matthew 5:43-48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.