Beneath the surface.

That moment when you see something occurring that just looks out of place...... I went to a local downtown store a few weeks ago and saw this man pushing some sort of apparatus. I think it was a ground radar machine. It had a computer screen on top and the man was walking slowly as he looked at the screen. I covertly snapped this picture. So many questions went through my mind: *Are you looking for old junk cars buried beneath the pavement? *The Lost Ark? *Are you looking for utilities? *Did the construction company lose some valuable equipment? *Lost coins from a former bank? *Can I see what you are looking at and can I push this cool thing? If this was/is ground radar equipment, it then d

When God says, "Watch this."

With each new day comes a certain amount of toil and trouble. With each new day there also comes joy and celebration. It depends on the day which one we see more of and which one seems to disappear. I have experienced too many times when I was at wit's end and ready to throw in the towel. At just the right time, God showed up and showed off divine power and goodness. A disclaimer inserted here might read something like, "God also sometimes displays beauty and majesty not because we need it but because God can." Last night, we finished with Bible study and proceeded out onto the sidewalk. We chatted about the study, the upcoming rally, and other points of interest when I looked west over to

Old on the outside; new on the inside.

I will never forget Pete. Pete, a former parishioner, was a spitfire. He also suffered a heart attack in my third or fourth week of ministry and right in the middle of my sermon, Pete was in trouble. First responders came and whisked Pete to the hospital. After successful heart surgery and recuperation, Pete returned to church and his response to anyone asking about his health was, "I am doing fine. I have and 18 year old motor in a 76 year old chassis." I poked a playful challenge to him about interrupting the sermon that day and Pete gave me his patented sideways glance as he chuckled about the incident. Pete didn't change much on the outside but he did on the inside. His heart was repai

What things?

"I have told you "these things" so that......." WHAT THINGS???? A long time ago, I used to rattle the lawn mower over a protruding rock in the back yard. In the spring when the ground was softer, the mower deck would scrape the rock and mower blades would strike the rock. Not good! The day arrived when the decision was made to pry the rock out of the ground and remove it. With round mouth shovel in hand, I began to pry with no movement from the rock. I removed a little dirt around the rock only to discover the rock underground was much larger than what stuck out of the ground (Think iceberg). More digging followed by more prying with the same results only grew my determination. The end

When Light Pushes Back the Dark.

"The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." (John 1:5, NIV) There is a moment when one is in the woods just before dawn and darkness is still winning. Night vision is still working and one can see slight movements much easier than you would think. Hearing acuteness is heightened and the stillness is almost magical. Mice and ground moles scurry through leaves and an occasional crow flies overhead squawking a forlorn call. The drawback would be air temperature. Most times there is a distinct chill in the air and I personally can't wait for the sun to rise. Funny how I never think how much I want the earth to rotate.... Seriously, the sun remains mostly fixed in

Worry, the great faith killer.

Yesterday was a carefree beautiful early spring day. Breezy, warm, and partially sunny mixed with intermittent rain sprinkles made the day fun. I enjoyed our blooming flowers and the bee pictured here did likewise. It was a day free of worry (for me anyway). Several times, I heard sirens and wondered who might be in danger or in need of assistance. I uttered a prayer and continued to work in the yard. I can't say I have always felt this carefree. There has been a fair share of uncertainty and concern about stuff. Trials and fear have been part of my life and then later the lives of my wife and kids. We did not immediately become enclosed in a protective sheath when we chose to follow God's

When Peace Like a River.

Do you have a place you retreat to in order to seek and find peace? If not, you need one. Last night, we bought some food and drink, went to Victory Park, and enjoyed a meal along the Juniata River. Perfect! As we sat, ate, laughed, and enjoyed one another's company, it reminded me of time spent with my own parents years ago. Every Sunday afternoon, we would jump in the car and go for a drive. Ultimately, we would end up in Clearfield across the river at Miller Dairy. Best milkshakes ever..... Back to last night though. Photo opportunities were all around us. The quiet evening allowed for sounds of inbound trains, ducks softly calling to one another, and the occasional car driving over the

Roll with the changes.

Life can be fun and frustrating all within the blink of an eye. Yesterday was one to consider these polar opposites. Leaving the church, I went in search of an ink pen refill. I checked one store; then another. As I scanned the aisle for my quarry, I heard a loud conversation a few yards behind me. Within seconds the louder of the two gentlemen ventured near. I stepped back to allow him passage and inadvertently stepped on a two pack of crazy glue that was lying on the floor. I hadn't seen it when I entered the aisle. As I stooped to pick the package off the floor, the gentleman said, "Ha. Ha. I saw it laying(sic) there but didn't pick it up. I have a bad back." Normally I try to be courteou

Reflections of Jesus.

Have you ever hand-tossed pizza dough? I have not. I liked to watch trained professionals do it but I don't think I possess that spiritual gift. The art of efficiency is born out of intentional listening and practice, practice, practice. I suppose all things are possible, but a call to do any vocation is so important. I do not hear a call to toss pizza dough. We had recently heard of a local store that has good hoagies and wanted to try them out. Yesterday I went to the small store to get them. My first experience there was good. I was greeted at the door with a 'good afternoon' and a smile. Good start! I wandered around the cozy confines of the place. I was not sure if they premade hoagies

"I don't know." is a legitimate response.

What is the translinear coefficient of propulsionary resistance in the interconstabulary constrictor chamber of an incoming mosquito during a heat wave in August? Thinking...... Thinking..... "I don't know." The fabricated nonsense in the initial sentence probably has no definitive answer....or maybe it does if the right intelligent person could decipher it. If you read the sentence and said, "I don't know." then you have answered well. It's okay to not have all the answers all the time. For the past several weeks I have been journeying through our Sunday school classes and have been asking each person the following question, "Why do you like First church and why do you come here?" T

A quality sorely lacking.

We're talkin' leadership this morning. Wanna join? What elements do you look for in a leader? Is it charisma, bravery, ingenuity, or some other quality? A couple days ago, I listened to a local christian radio station and the speaker was describing the quintessential leader. The topic was pastoral leadership but I believe the concepts shared in this radio spot would work in any discipline. Here is the gist of what was shared. There are three things one should expect to find in outstanding leaders. Credentialing - One who has been well trained and has internalized the teaching material to a degree that all of the information is demonstrated through a life well lived. Effective leaders know t

Bro, do you even Lift?!?!

Do you even lift? That question is often thrown toward those of us who don't have the strongest looking physiques. Usually the question is coming from someone who looks like Charles Atlas. For you youngins' you'll have to 'google' Charles Atlas. The sentiment is that a wide strength chasm exists between those who lift and look fabulous and those of us who don't lift and look....well, scrawny. I'm fine with scrawny; how about you? In a couple weeks on Good Friday, we'll gather at Sacred Heart Church here in Lewistown to participate in the annual Cross Walk. The faith community comes together to carry the cross around town, sing hymns, pray for specific churches, organizations, and service g

Following in our footsteps.

I chuckle when looking at the photo here. This little guy following me around is now a bit taller than I am. This pic was taken about 4-5 years ago and much has changed in that time. We no longer live in York county. I am serving another parish. We are proud grandparents. And, I am shorter than our youngest son. It is pretty heady stuff to consider our children follow in our footsteps. Physically speaking, I the father, have been surpassed by the son. Mentally and spiritually, I am still growing and still on the clock to pour into this little fellow all that God has given to me. It is important work. The picture here shows us walking around a manmade lake that had been drained a bit for sp

Listen, Learn, and Honor.

The current issue in our household is the daily telemarketer calling to gather funds for X charity. The episode goes something like this. Ring..... Ring..... Ring...... Me: Hello. (Silence and clicking on the other end of the line.) Me: Hello. (slightly agitated) Voice on the other end: Hello, is Mr Meyers there? (Voice sounds odd, like it is computerized.) Me: Sorry, There is no Mr. Meyers living here. You have the wrong number. Voice on the other end: (Haltingly) Oh, that's okay. Maybe you can help me. I am representing X charity and I am seeking donations to help X charity support their cause. Can we send you a pledge card? Me: (listening politely to the spiel) I already support X chari

Unchanging Nature.

Every evening, I connect my pedometer to the computer, upload my steps for the day onto the Virgin Healthmiles website, and register my daily actions. One question that is asked of me is this: "Did you reduce decision fatigue by sticking to routines for basic needs?" The program sponsored by our health insurance company strives to keep us active and healthy. One area of health and wellness is in having daily routines that keep us focused. At first glance, doing the same thing every day sounds like drudgery, but in our health program the notion of having routine in our schedules is a good thing. Reducing decision fatigue.....Hmmmmmm, I never thought much about thought fatigue or the tiring pr

Time to check the fence.

In a time long ago, we would begin the task of walking the pasture fence checking for breaches and rickety fence posts in need of replacement. We would check for broken barbed wire and fractured insulators that carried the electric fence. Ultimately, the electric fencer would be plugged in so that we could test the electric output. All this preparation was necessary for the initial release of our black angus cattle in the springtime. They had been housed inside the barn all winter and were bit frisky come early April. So, the integrity of the cow was most often gauged by the integrity of the fence and vice versa. I can remember watching one young steer come blazing out the barn door one spr

Starved for Fuel.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26, NIV) The great storm of late winter and early spring-ish 2017 hit on Pi day! How did you fare? How much snow did you get? We had about 14 inches of the stuff here. I awoke at 5 AM and proceeded to bundle up and hit the driveway and sidewalk to get the initial snow dump removed (about 6-7 inches). Note: I went outside before consuming breakfast and coffee. After about an hour of strenuous shoveling, I was feeling a bit weakened and fatigued. In that same hour timeframe, another 1.5 inches of snow had fallen where I had already shoveled. I gave the new snowfall a tired salute and retre

Holdin' on to Jesus.

I like to think I'm pretty witty. I'm not. I like to think I can throw one pun after another into a conversation. I cannot. I like to think I never foul up. That is laughable. It may appear as though I have everything all tied together and that is an illusion on most days. Yesterday, there were at least a handful of moments when I had to look around to see if anyone else saw my mistakes. For instance, I had left my wallet in wifey's vehicle the day before and I thought to myself, "I'll need to get that wallet before I leave for the office." I intended to get gas in the truck on my way into work. Yep, you guessed it; I walked past wifey's car, jumped in the truck, and off I went. Four mile

Jesus is Missing.

Yesterday, we took a trip up the mountain to visit the Boalsburg Military Museum. The historical artifacts are diverse and the guided tours really fill in much detail. The tactical gear, guns, and vehicles that have been used down through the years are fascinating. Military technology has developed far beyond what we saw displayed in the rooms of the museum. There were a few things I noticed that probably will never change however. 1. Duty, Honor, and Country are things that never get set aside for the soldier. They serve to protect. 2. The reverence I felt for soldiers who have defended our country over the years was evident. I felt thankful (maybe 'overwhelmed' is a better word) that so m

We Have Two Jobs!

Misspelled words and missing punctuation marks seem harmless, but in some cases those boo-boos have created great loss and damage. Take these dubious moments in history. NASA’S MISSING HYPHEN The damage: $80 million - Hyphens don’t usually score high on the list of most important punctuation. But a single dash led to absolute failure for NASA in 1962 in the case of Mariner 1, America’s first interplanetary probe. The mission was simple: get up close and personal with close neighbor Venus. But a single missing hyphen in the coding used to set trajectory and speed caused the craft to explode just minutes after takeoff. 2001: A Space Odyssey novelist Arthur C. Clarke called it “the most expensi

First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~