Neighborhood Pastor – Missionary – Advocate

I have for about the last 13 years been working at defining the work that I have been charged with at Drexel Gardens Christian Church. The following is a summary of where I am at in that process as of today 5/10/17:

 

I am the pastor for the people of Drexel Gardens Christian Church, meaning that I am called to care for all of those who share in our fellowship here. I am a teacher, I am a preacher, I am a facilitator of care giving, I am one who disciples, I am a disciple; I am a lover of all the people here.

I am a neighborhood pastor, which to me means that I am called to care for and love all of our neighbors who are a part of our neighborhood.

I am a missionary to neighborhoods, meaning that the work that I am called to do, while primarily for the Drexel Gardens Neighborhood, also includes work in other neighborhoods and/or communities where restorative work is needed.

I am an advocate for not only our neighborhood, but also for the very idea of what it means to be a neighborhood.

I am a firm believer that we are and I am called to “seek, work and pray for peace in the place where God has sent us, for in its peace we will all find peace.”   – paraphrase of Jeremiah 29:7

 

#RecoveringAddict

Would it be that we were all recovering addicts and willing to share our story’s. 

Because the truth be known we are all addicted to something, but we put a nicer spin on on them by labeling them as habits.

I do believe that to be addicted is to be human and that even in the most positive of things that our addiction(s) can take control of one’s life.

I further believe that the only means of overcoming addiction  (learning to live with might be a better way of wording it) is to relinquish control to what we recognize as our higher power and for me that is God.

But why is it important to make this recognition (of being addicted), I believe it is important because in most recovery circles a key element of recovery is confession and testimony, it is the sharing of one’s story of making one’s self vulnerable, so that healing and recovery can take place. 

Hello, I am Gary, I am a recovering addict and I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. 

For those who may be wondering, yes I have been and I am still addicted to a number of things, but I am in recovery…

... confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. … from James 5:16

…giving community

Community: A place where you all care about each other; with a common goal of doing what is best for the community as a whole; which would mean that the idea of community is seen not only as virtuous, but also as necessary for sharing life together.

It would also flow from this thought that preserving the shared life of those living in community would be of great benefit to the whole world.

It may start out with only a few and take patience and perseverance to achieve, but the possibilities are endless.

First I believe it starts with God, who by his very nature is communal and then it flows through Jesus and by the Holy Spirit it flows through us.

As people created in the image of God we are created for community and through God’s plan, he chose the church to show the world the importance of living in and as community; it is to be a place that embodies the possibilities of a commonly shared life.

It is something that takes time effort and energy, which we trust God to provide as we faithfully, obediently and patiently follow his ways.

At the core of community is its heart of …giving –
Thanks…
For…
Life…

Seeking, working and praying for peace in this place where God has sent us.

Not Learning War Anymore

Pondering…

What would it look like if we did not learn war anymore? 

Would we have?

Less hate 

Less violence

Less rape

Less murder

Less anger

Less domestic violence 

Less child abuse 

Less depression 

Less suicide

And yes…

Less war

Would we not have?

More peace

More hope

And yes…

More love…

If only we would quit learning war…

Shalom

Inspired by – Isaiah 2:4 (1-5); Micah 4:3 (1-5) and Jesus…

Sometime 

​Sometime, it is as good a time as any

Sometime, could be anytime you want

But usually sometime is a mystery

Maybe more like an excuse

I will help sometime

I will love sometime

But some will ask

what if sometime never comes

But it must,for their is a time for everything

Or so says the Preacher

Or so says the Preacher

Poem

​He sat in car all alone.

Reading a book

But he was troubled

He had a TBI which at times impacted his behavior

Some days he was on the verge of going crazy

Others he just battled the pain

Some days he was sad

Some days happy

But everyday he was in pain

What will happen if I lose control

What will happen if the pain won’t stop

Some days I forget a lot

Other days I just want to forget

Today he was confused

Today he couldn’t take the pain anymore

Someone is yelling get out of the car

Get out of the car

But I am just reading my book

I want to be left alone

Please leave me alone

I just want to be left alone.

Why am I bleeding 

I just wanted to be alone

Then everything went quiet

The Lord’s Prayer/Our Father Prayer with Love 

​Pray then like this…

Our omniscient loving Father, whose loving presence fills heaven.

Hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom of love come,

your will of loving be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us Today your loving presence,

and forgive us for not always being your loving presence that you call us to be, 

even as we strive to be that loving presence for and with others.

Father let us never be moved from your pathway of love,

but always deliver us, always restore us to your love, whenever we go astray.

Amen.

My attempt at paraphrasing the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father Prayer using the word love in various forms. – Peace, Gary

Pondering Father’s Day for My Children

Pondering Father’s Day

I ponder the meaning of what it means to be a father, who do we learn this from, from our father; maybe a step-father; a grandfather; an uncle; an older brother perhaps; maybe a mentor; a teacher; a pastor, all of these are possibilities but there is only one true example that all of these learned from, that would be Our Father who art in Heaven, yes from God the Father.

But how can I learn to be a father from God whom I cannot see. We first look I believe to his Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Bible gives us a starting point in that – For God so loved the world, that he gave us his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16.

Our heavenly Father loves us so much that he gave His only son that we might have life, a possibility for this age and for the age to come; eternal life.

So love involves sacrifice, but what does that have to do with being a father, you might ask. You see love in and of itself has only one true characteristic, and that is to give of itself, for if it doesn’t give, it is not love, you will always know love by its willingness to sacrifice.

But what is the connection of this love to being a father, and how does God as Father fit in to it all. Scripture tells us in 1John 4:8 that God is love, it is his very nature, God knows no other way, than love and that to me is at the core why God as Father is so vital to all of us today, as a Father he knows no other way than to love. There is not a better example to be found anywhere as to what a Father should be, I certainly hope as a father that I express this love to my children, I know that I have tried to love them like God loves and I know at times that I have failed, but I am thankful that my heavenly Father is always there when I do fail to pick me up and also them, because His Love is the one thing that never fails.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong doings, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends… 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

You see God as Father shows us all how to love, as a father I learn how to love from him, the main thing is that I love always, always, I know no other way.

Thank you Father for showing us all how to love. Even if for some reason your earthly father may have let you down, know that your heavenly Father never will.

And for my children Rachel, Jessica and Justin just know that I love you always, always. – Dad