From Pastor Joe: This past week I finally hung all of my pictures in my office here at the church. That’s not the most important thing I’ve done since I’ve arrived at Peakland, but my pictures on the walls of my office help me feel more at home. One of the pictures I have on my wall is this version of the Serenity prayer. A clergy colleague gave it to me 20 years ago as I was starting at a new church. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I cannot and wisdom to know the difference.
From Pastor Dave: There was a period of time in the life of Charles Wesley , where he devoted himself to reading and studying the Holy Scriptures with a deeper intensity. He did so as an act of spiritual discipline in order to grow closer to God. As his read and reflected prayerfully on these sacred words; he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
From Pastor Joe: Last week Peakland hosted Vacation Bible school. We had three sessions in the evenings and then a session Sunday morning at the 9:45 worship. As part of the Sunday worship service, we had printed on the bulletin a picture of a cross made up of a variety of words, some positive like Kindness, justice, light, and shine. and some negative words like Bitter, hateful, fear and abuse. Folks were then to block out the negative words with a pencil leaving the positive words to shine forth.
From Linwood: I found myself humming the hymn Jesus Is All The World To Me. I had been thinking about what to record for today’s devotional and that hymn floated to the surface. It’s been a quiet morning and so peace drifted to my soul. This medley recognizes that inner peace. The songs are Jesus Is All The World To Me, My Jesus I Love Thee, Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus and then returning to Jesus Is All The World To Me.
From Peakland United Methodist Church in Lynchburg, Va. From Pastor Joe: Friends, fair warning here. In our Gospel passage this morning Jesus sounds like he’s facing the day without his morning coffee. Our Prince of Peace sounds angry and frustrated with the world around him as he talks about division and our inability to interpret the present time. In the sermon we’ll look at how we today interpret Jesus words and discover the challenge he has for us to live in unity when we are feeling divided.
I’m sitting here at the church and each Sunday all sorts of folks gather here in this room to worship God and to listen to the words of Jesus. All sorts of people come here to worship. Mommies, Daddies, grandparents, friends, older people, younger people tall people and small people. In today’s Bible story we’ll hear about a man named Zacchaeus who was too little to see Jesus.
From Pastor Joe: Last week, I started answering some questions about myself and asked you to send me your questions. I’ve got two today. 1. What is your favorite thing to cook, not necessarily eat but to cook. 2. I was asked What is my feeling/position on marriage between members of the LGBTQ community?
From Pastor Dave: Over the past few weeks, I have been reading some of Charles Wesley’s Hymns and Poems on select passages of Holy Scripture. The collection includes over 2,300 short poems which were first published in 1762, and hundred’s more published either in Hymns and Sacred Poems or only discovered after Charles’ death. . .
From Linwood: If you watch our online Sunday service, you will recognize this arrangement of both of the Doxologies we use in our church services as part of our response to how we have been blessed by giving our offerings. The words are magnificent and the organ is the only single instrument I can think of that can adequately express the wonder and power of these two Doxologies. They are both titled “Praise God To Whom All Blessings Flow, but set to different melodies and with some different wordings. Please allow me toe read these to you before I play my arrangement.
. . . from Peakland United Methodist Church in Lynchburg, Va. What makes you afraid? What fills you with fear? Climate change, economic instability, someone somewhere doing something you don’t approve of? Does that make you afraid? Well fear not, Jesus has some words for us, lifesaving, life changing words for us in our scripture today.
From Pastor Joe: I have a story that I want to read to you. It’s not a story in the Bible but it is one you may know. I read this story to my sons when they were very small. It’s called the Runaway bunny written by Margaret Wise Brown and pictures drawn by Clement Hurd. I want to read parts of it to you.
From Pastor Joe: This week I am answering questions about myself. If you have a question for me, email it to me, and I’ll answer as many as I can. Children, youth and adults all are welcome to ask. The church staff are starting us out. . . Pasgtor Joe's email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
From Pastor Joe: Recently I asked the Peakland church staff what questions they had for me about me, so they could get to know me better and here were three of their questions: Here are their top three . . . Here is Pastor Joe's email: email@example.com
From Pastor Dave: Linda and I attended worship at St. Matthew’s UMC in Goochland Virginia on Sunday. I served this congregation for 10 years and it was good to reconnect with some longtime friends. Pastor Mark Montgomery delivered an inspiration sermon; concluding a series on the Lord’s Prayer. During the service my mind wondered a bit of ways I could use his theme for a Wesley devotion. As soon as I returned home, I began my research on Charles Wesley’s reflections on the passages in Matthew and Luke’s gospels where Jesus instructs the disciples how to pray.
From Linwood: I don’t often record pieces I play on the organ, unless it’s what I call service music - you know, hymns, the doxology and things like that. Recently, though, I found an arrangement of an old hymn, at least I think it was a hymn, that I really liked so I decided to record it. I happened to have the video camera with me in the Sanctuary so decided to set it up. It’s a beautiful arrangement of I Have A Savior.
From Pastor Joe: Girls and boys welcome, a few days ago I was the Master Storyteller for vacation bible school here at Peakland. I told the stories of Jesus birth and when he walked on the water. I told the story of the Apostle Paul in the jail cell. Today, I want another vacation Bible school story from last week The story of 3 faithful people: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
From Pastor Joe: This past Sunday in worship, I described how the early church came to understand that Jesus is God. His disciples saw how he loved everyone, even those who hated him and even those everyone else hated. The disciples saw how Jesus always followed God’s will and helped everyone else draw closer to God. To see Jesus is to see God. We believe that God sends us Jesus and that Jesus is God.
Wesley Wednesday: Charles Wesley on Psalm 73 PODCAST EDITION by Peakland UMC
From Pastor Joe: I have a reusable cup here that our church created in 2015 to celebrate a successful capital campaign project. As I understand it there were some expensive plumbing issues at the church that we needed to take care of and Peakland needed to raise some funds for it. The church raised the funds and solved the plumbing problem and then through itself a party to celebrate.
From Linwood: A week or so ago. I featured my son, Matt, along with my friend Lynn Nash on an arrangement we did of Jesus Saves. Today, I’m featuring my daughter-in-law, Bri. She has a lovely voice and a gentle spirit. She is Matt’s wife, and the mother of our grandson Jameson. Bri has on occasion contributed to our daily devotionals with her wonderful insights to daily living series, entitled Stories of Life. But today, Bri sings for us - Grace Flows Down.
From Pastor Joe: This morning I am so pleased to welcome Rev. Dave Drinkard, who is the Director of Senior Adult Ministries here at Peakland. Dave will be delivering this morning’s message. From Pastor Dave: My message this morning is about the conversion of the Apostle Paul.
From Pasotr Joe: Girls and boys welcome, last week I was sitting in the sanctuary which is one of my favorite rooms in the church. Today I am in the fellowship hall where we also worship and have church meals and church fun and this is also one of my favorite rooms in the church.
From Pastor Joe: There was a television episode I was watching a few years ago, when two adult siblings, brother and sister were arguing. Brother and Sister were both faithful people and they were so mad at each other. Sister ended the conversation saying to brother, “I’m going to pray for you, brother. I’m going to pray hard for you.”