Pastor's Corner

Weekly thoughts to inspire and motivate

Rules for Fathers and Sons

One of my favorite clips from the Andy Griffith show was circulating around Facebook sometime ago. Opie, Sheriff Taylor’s son, comes into the Sherrif’s office one day and asks his father if there are rules for fathers and sons. The sherif asks what kind of rules he is talking about. “Oh, the 75-cent-rule.”

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Joel SutherlandComment
/ˈst(y)o͞oərdˌSHip/

Stewardship seems to be a bad word in the church today. We rarely hear it preached about from the pulpit and when it is, the sermon is usually concluded with an appeal to give more money to the church. We throw around the word whenever we have to fundraise for a furnace, air conditioner, or new church building. This has left many people with anxiety whenever they hear it mentioned. So why is stewardship something I get excited about?

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Eight-year-old Driver

The employees at an Ohio McDonalds last week were positive they were the object of a prank. A vehicle pulled through the drive through and an eight-year-old boy was at the wheel, chauffeuring his younger sister. As they came to the window with their piggy bank, the employees peered in the back seat, sure that the parents must be up to something. The two kids, however, were all alone.

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Joel SutherlandComment
Glass Mingled with Fire

It was a beautiful Friday evening in northern Scotland. Chelsea and I had spent the afternoon driving around the countryside and walking the grounds of Dunrobin Castle. Neither of us were feeling the best. I think the days of traveling were catching up with us. As the afternoon sun got lower in the western sky, we drove back to the little village we were staying in and ate a delicious supper in a lovely restaurant right on the water of a small lake. After paying for our meal, we walked out onto the pier to watch the sun go down.

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Joel SutherlandComment
Holy on the Outside Only

One of the things Chelsea and I enjoyed most about our time in Europe was the opportunity to see so many cathedrals. No matter which town we were in, we knew we could see at least one grand edifice, with its lofty ceilings, soaring buttresses, and towering steeple. These buildings did a lot to remind one of the holiness and grandeur of God. Simply stepping inside a cathedral made me want to whisper and act with the utmost reverence. One cathedral, however, proved a disappointment.

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Joel SutherlandComment
The Knowledge

London has to be one of my favorite cities in the world. I love the culture, the people, the parks, and the taxis. Very few things say "London" more than the Black taxi cabs. Something I learned while I was there was how difficult it is to become a London Cabby. You see, it takes much more than owning or leasing a black car and putting destinations into a GPS. In fact, a GPS isn't even allowed in the front of a London taxi.

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Joel SutherlandComment
Family Tree

It's amazing how much you can discover by looking at family trees. A few weeks ago I learned that ancestry.com gives a two-week free trial to new users. I have always wondered if I could trace my family name back to Scotland, so I jumped at the opportunity. I spent a couple of hours tracing name after name after name and I was not disappointed.

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Joel SutherlandComment
Building for Eternity

A glimpse of the Eiffel Tower immediately takes ones mind to Paris. This landmark has stood for nearly one hundred thirty years and continues to draw millions of visitors each year. The Eiffel Tower was not supposed to be still standing, however. It was built specifically for the 1889 World Fair, held in Paris. The contract stated plainly that the monument must be easy to dismantle because after twenty years, in 1909, the tower was to be taken down.

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Joel SutherlandComment
Metaphors

How does one understand the trinity, this concept of three co-eternal persons making up the godhead? What symbols can we use to explain such an unfathomable mystery? When I was a boy, my family had a book about the trinity, likening it to an apple. Just as the apple has three parts: the skin, the flesh, and the core; so God has three parts: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In college one of my professors preferred the metaphor of water. Just as it has three forms: solid, liquid, and gas; so does God have three forms: Father, Son, and Spirit. According to legend, when Saint Patrick arrived in Ireland during the fifth century, he used the shamrock to show the people what God was like. Just as the shamrock has three leaves yet is still one plant, so God is three persons yet still one God.

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Joel SutherlandComment
The Wedding Garment

As you read this, I am on an airplane headed to California for my wedding. This will be the culmination of days, weeks, and months of preparation, hopes, and dreams. There were so many little things we had to think about. There was the wedding venue that had to be booked. We had to ask friends and family to be a part of our wedding party. We had to buy the decorations and plan the menu for the reception. I had to choose the outfit for myself and the groomsmen and Chelsea had to find and buy the perfect wedding dress. Even now we need to pick up our marriage license and lock down all the last minute details.

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Joel SutherlandComment