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

About Drexel Gardens Christian Church Today.

About us today:

We are a small church with a mostly older congregation, which has a lot of wisdom to share with the coming generation; we are active in our community as an advocate for our neighborhood. We have developed strong relationships with the MSD Wayne; The Wayne Township Trustee’s office; IMPD Southwest District and also have developed strong relationships with those in state and city government, so that our neighbors in Drexel Gardens can be better served. We are also in partnership with the Drexel Gardens Neighborhood CrimeWatch which meets in our church every other month and was founded by one of our members 5 years ago and is now led by a husband and wife team who do a great job in representing our church and neighborhood throughout the city. The church has also sponsored and hosted Neighborhood Cleanup and Community Day’s in the spring and summer for the last five years. These things are all part of our work here in the neighborhood, of Seeking, working and praying for peace in this place.” – (See Jeremiah 29:7 below). But our primary mission here is simply to be the Church (The Body of Christ) in this place where God has sent us. The work of seeking and saving the lost; the work of making disciples; work of restoration and reconciliation; these things are at the heart of everything we do. We love our neighbors here, it is what we are called too, our ways may seem a little unorthodox to some but it is who we are and what we do. We are simply working with God’s help to be his Presence in this place.

While we are growing closer in our relationship to God and each other and while we are also building relationships with our neighbors, it hasn’t really translated into church membership growth and may not for sometime, it is a slow process and church really should be slow shouldn’t it. – Peace, Pastor Gary


But seek the welfare (peace) of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare (peace) you will find your welfare (peace).Jeremiah 29:7-ESV

You Matter

So many things to say/do, so little time it seems to say/do them, a lot of those things I hope are relevant to someone, but I know that they may/will not be relevant to all, and that is okay, because I know that my life has not touched everyone, but I also know that it has touched way more people than I could ever imagine. I also know that I am not alone in this type of thinking and I want you to know for certain that it is true, that your life matters; that your story matters; that you matter.

These words could be for anyone or even an institution, but today they are for you, because you matter.

So when you think you don’t matter, know for certain that you do, because you matter to me.

Who I am does matter; you matter…   

Pondering… Numbers and Community

It has long been a concern of mine that people have been reduced to numbers and statistics. It has come more to light recently in the debate over the proposed Indianapolis (2014) city budget. I personally admit to not liking numbers, because at times they can be overwhelming to me in the light of some health issues that I struggle with. But since this is not about me, let me get on to what I believe the point is.
The point is that we can make the/our numbers say whatever we want them to say as we nuance them to fit what we are trying to accomplish.
It is disturbing to me that this is often done at the expense of the very people those numbers represent. We have seen one whole new people group being created; *the free and reduced lunch students group and we use our numbers to represent that group, these kids need our help we say and again we nuance our numbers to meet our agendas, saying it is all for them. I am left to wonder how we are truly serving that people group.
One wonders how any work can get done at all in a political arena that functions under these conditions, instead of serving people we are serving groups/numbers, and most everyone seems to have their favorite. We have depersonalized a process which was never meant to be depersonalized. We have made it about different groups/numbers and not about the overall community, and in this process we have destroyed any real sense of community; a community which is both God ordained and constituted in the founding documents of our republic. We all are a people created for community, but that very community is being destroyed through a political process of number manipulation; people have been conditioned to believe that they are all different and that they cannot exist outside of their own people group (and some have been lumped into several different groups so that any sense of identity has been lost). Their only hope is that someone will be there to fight for them, let us fight for you they have been told and in the end they relinquish the power to fight for themselves. This ultimately leads to a cycle of perpetual hopelessness, destroying communities and neighborhoods. It is at point that the tables are truly turned over on them, they are told that if you would only come together as a community or neighborhood we will come to your aid. But they have no knowledge, ability, power or resources to do so, and so we abandon them on this island of despair that we have created for them. Numbers never lie they have been told and you just don’t have the numbers. But we are more than numbers they pleadingly say and their cry falls on deaf ears, until the time comes again when their number might be needed.

*any people group and comments on that group can be included here

Martin Luther King Jr. – I Have a Dream for Community

As we approach the celebration of King’s birth to honor both his memory and legacy.

Seeking Peace

Martin Luther King Jr. I have a Dream Speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs) has long stood in my mind as a source of inspiration; it was a great speech, a rallying call for a people, for all people to come together in community, in a community that God intended for us all, where we could all live together and work together for the good of the whole. I believe that in the generations since while his message has made a difference, a generation of people (all people) was changed forever, and future generations of all people are reaping its rewards. But King’s dream I feel for many was for another day and time; that its vision has been fulfilled, believing that; all that it would accomplish, had/has been accomplished. Those who believe such, I believe have no clue as to what King was saying, his dream was not just for a…

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King’s Legacy Iconic or Eikonic

Nearing the celebration of King’s birth in honor of his memory and his legacy.

Seeking Peace


What would be the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. if he had not (in my opinion) been turned into an icon, a brand. A large majority of people, I believe and it brings me great sorrow to say associate King with a brand or as a celebrity.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a son; husband; father; friend to many; a Baptist minister; a renowned civil rights leader; a Noble Peace prize winner, a peacemaker of broad scope and influence. He was many other things to many other people as well, but the one I hear talked about the least is that he was a child of God, a disciple of Jesus Christ, created in the image of God the Father Almighty, that he might bear witness with that image and likeness to a world that desperately needed to hear God’s message of peace that was for all those…

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A Reflection on New Birth and Advent

 “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? Romans 8:22-25 –  ESV 

I wonder if new birth isn’t just a process of striving and struggling in life until we are ultimately fully redeemed, and so we wait for it patiently in the community where God has placed us. We live and breathe and strive and struggle and laugh and cry together in steadfast faithfulness, while all the time God works in all that we do to bring forth new life that we never realized was possible, but yet it ultimately happens.

During Advent we are called to wait patiently for the coming Christ, but of which advent do we speak; his birth as an infant into a world that had been waiting somewhat impatiently for him; his second coming in glory to which we also wait at times impatiently or do we day by day wait for him into come to the world. I believe that all three are important and significant, but the one that proves out our faithfulness, is in believing that he does come daily into all of our lives and that he does and is making all things new on a daily basis until the day that full consummation takes place.

Just when and where will Christ reveal himself to us next, we were never intended to know, instead we are called to wait/ to live in steadfast awareness of his presence today.

Just some thoughts that I am pondering…

Bonhoeffer and Community: more than an Idea

“Humanly speaking, we could understand and interpret the Sermon on the Mount in a thousand different ways. Jesus knows only one possibility: simple surrender and obedience, not interpreting it or applying it, but doing and obeying it. That is the only way to hear his word. He does not mean that it is to be discussed as an ideal; he really means us to get on with it.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Community must move from being just an idea to be coming a real place(s). But in order for it to make that move, do we have to begin with some idea about what it is? I think so, but maybe not… 

I took out “the Sermon on the Mount” from the above Bonhoeffer quote and replaced it with “community” to help me to try and process this. 

   “Humanly speaking, we could understand and interpret community in a thousand different ways. Jesus knows only one possibility: simple surrender and obedience, not interpreting it or applying it, but doing and obeying it. That is the only way to hear his word. He does not mean that it is to be discussed as an ideal; he really means us to get on with it.”

Hear O Israel(Church): The Lord our God, the Lord he is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. … And you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:29-31) 

I believe that we were/are created to live in community, it is at its very core part of who we are. Love God, love your neighbor everything flows from those two commands and so does community.