August 17, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

August 17, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

August 17, 2020

Haven Lutheran Church

WORSHIP AT HAVEN  We were able to have two of our three options available last weekend. We taped the on-line service on Friday. There were seven who worshiped at thee Friday 5 p.m. spoken service.
Sunday morning was a tough call. We need to make the decision by 8 am on Sunday so we can post it on our voice mail system by 8:30 am. At 8:00 am the temperature was great but the ground was very wet (danger to the electronics & those using them?) and the forecast still gave a good chance of more rain. Reluctantly we decided to cancel. Of course, within the half-hour the sun kept peeking through. Sigh! We really do try our best! We hope folks remembered our suggestion to call the church to check about the outdoor service before coming during uncertain weather and were then able to catch worship on-line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRATITUDE AND GOD SIGHTINGS
Pastor our garden is a God sighting!  I have enjoyed watching it progress, and hope that members of the congregation are enjoying the tomatoes and your wonder zucchini bread.  I still have not stopped to bake bread—it is on my to-do list today!  Peace, Amy (Mason)

HOW MANY BOOKS OF THE BIBLE CAN YOU FIND IN THIS PARAGRAPH?  There are twenty. It’s tricky. Some may be contained in a word. Some are found by joining the end of one word with the beginning of the next word. (Note there is one abbreviation in this) Just have some fun.  To make it a little more manageable, here are the books you can find.

ACTS
AMOS
ESTHER
Gal. – GALATIANS
HEBREWS
HOSEA
JAMES
JOB
JUDGES
KINGS
LAMENTATIONS
LUKE
MARK
NAHUM
NUMBERS
PETER
PROVERBS
REVELATION
RUTH
TITUS

Someone showed me this story and remarked that there are 20 books of the Bible hidden here. He challenged me to find them. Sure enough they’re all here. Still this thing’s a lulu; kept me looking so hard for the longest time. Some of you will get bogged down with facts, others are hit by them like they were some kind of revelation or something. You may get in a jam, especially since the names are not capitalized and often leap the spaces between the words. This makes it a real job to find them, but it’ll provide a most fascinating few minutes for you. Yes, there are some really easy ones to spot, but don’t get the big head, cause truthfully, you’ll soon figure that it would take most federal judges and preachers numbers of hours to find them all. I will admit that it usually takes a minister to find one of them and that it is not uncommon for there to be loud lamentations when it is pointed out. One lady says that when she is confronted with puzzles like this, she brews a cup of tea to help her concentrate better, but then, this gal’s a real pro! Verbs, nouns, and all that stuff are her thing. See how well you can compete. Relax! There really are twenty names of Bible books in this story. If you fail to find them, there’s a penalty. You’ll have to fly a kite, sit on a banana, hum the battle hymn of the republic, or hose a dog (a mean one). Get to it!

AUGUST 17, 2020 is NATIONAL BLACK CAT APPRECIATION DAY… NATIONAL THRIFT SHOP DAY…NATIONAL VANILLA CUSTARD DAY…AND INTERNATIONAL GEOCACHING DAY   Who gets to decide these things? Is there a central place where you submit your request for a national or international day? Apparently not — I found each I mentioned on a different list on a different website.
I’ve had three black cats in my life — Skippy, Sable and now, Domino. Skippy was my growing-up family’s only cat. She was feisty — the dogs in the neighborhood stayed out of her way. See only ate one brand of Tuna cat food, LOVED my Mom (good taste) and she lived to be 20 years old. Sable was a sweetheart. She was placid and got along the other cats introduced into her life. She moved with me eight times, adapting each time. Domino was found in a snow storm as a kitten. She is my scaredy cat, except when it comes to my other cat, Isabella, who she enjoys irritating and chasing. You may catch a glimpse of Domino in the parsonage front windows but not if you come into the house.
Let me see, to celebrate August 17th properly, I need to pet my black cat, go to thrift store, eat vanilla custard (will frozen do?) and figure out what geocaching is. Hope you have a happy August 17th, whatever you choose to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A PAUSE IN GOD’S WORD

Read  Psalm 138

1I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
2I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
for you have exalted your name and your word
above everything.
3On the day I called, you answered me,
you increased my strength of soul.
4All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O LORD,
for they have heard the words of your mouth.
5They shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
for great is the glory of the LORD.
6For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly;
but the haughty he perceives from far away.
7Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
you stretch out your hand,
and your right hand delivers me.
8The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Reflection  (Reflection by Professor W. Dennis Tucker, Jr.as posted on www.workingpreacher.org)

“In Hebrew, the name for the book of Psalms is tehillim, or “praises,” because from beginning to end, the God we confess is the subject of our praise. Yet we must be clear, this unbridled praise is always grounded in gritty reality. There is no room for escapism or denial in these texts; the Psalter does not afford us this kind of luxury. What the psalms do provide, however, is a lens through which to see this world, and even more, a language that can lead us to full confession in the midst of it. Psalm 138 provides both.

This psalm is typically labeled as a psalm of thanksgiving, as the opening line suggests. Yet, the verb “to give thanks,” yadah, can also mean “to praise,” or better still, “to confess” in the sense of giving testimony. To thank God is always to confess something about this God; gratitude apart from testimony always falls short.

The psalmist announces, “On the day I called, you answered me” (verse 3). Although some thanksgiving psalms provide specific details regarding deliverance (for example, Psalm 118), others such as this psalm remain rather muted in their description, perhaps leaving us to wonder: What testimony is being offered here? The point, however, is not what God did, it is that God did; it is that God moved in response to the psalmist’s cry and God answered. The testimony is that the God who made the heavens and the earth (Psalm 115:15), the one who stands over all, heard a cry and answered. God’s willingness to answer serves as the ground of our hope. It is the very thing that strengthens our souls (verse 3); it is the very thing that makes possible the larger confession of this psalm.

These thanksgiving psalms always ask us to look backwards and forwards simultaneously. We glance to the past—to those moments where the faithfulness of God was on full display—so that we might stare into our present with great hope for the future. Such a perspective should not be underestimated, however; it is an act of a bold, and even at times defiant, faith.”

So Professor Tucker has me wondering — What is it that I am confessing/saying about God when I give the Lord thanks? What are you confessing/saying about God when you give the Lord thanks?

Prayer   (ELW Psalm 138 prayer)

Compassionate God, you look with favor upon the lowly. Keep us safe in the midst of trouble, make known your love in our words and deeds, and bring us to new life through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Music

A suggestion sent by Carol Shull – A great way to start a week!

The Solid Rock (My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less) – Virtual Choir #6 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkIr6eHjqXI&feature=youtu.be
This virtual choir piece features the performances of 329 singers and 7 American Sign Language interpreters from over 50 countries, recorded individually and assembled by David Wesley into what you see and hear!

Psalm 138 – “You Answered Me”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0uIGGiJBIY

“All Creatures, Worship God Most High!”  ELW #835  (David Crowder Band) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSFK7UiH5Us

“Grateful” Elevation Worship  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh2goMABFPc

“I’ll Give Thanks” (Housefires)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUn76R_OFuM

Puzzler — the Bible books in the paragraph

Someone showed me this story and remarked that there are 20 books of the Bible hidden here. He challenged me to find them. Sure enough they’re all here. Still this thing’s a lulu; kept me looking so hard for the longest time. Some of you will get bogged down with facts, others are hit by them like they were some kind of revelation or something. You may get in a jam, especially since the names are not capitalized and often leap the spaces between the words. This makes it a real job to find them, but it’ll provide a most fascinating few minutes for you. Yes, there are some really easy ones to spot, but don’t get the big head, cause truthfully, you’ll soon figure that it would take most federal judges and preachers numbers of hours to find them all. I will admit it usually takes a minister to find one of them and that it is not uncommon for there to be loud lamentations when it is pointed out. One lady says that when she is confronted with puzzles like this, she brews a cup of tea to help her concentrate better, but then, this gal’s a real pro! Verbs, nouns, and all that stuff are her thing. See how well you can compete. Relax! There really are twenty names of Bible books in this story. If you fail to find them, there’s a penalty. You’ll have to fly a kite, sit on a banana, hum the battle hymn of the republic, or hose a dog (a mean one). Get to it!