Monthly Archives: April 2016

Open Doors

Softball catcherI had many interruptions that week, several years ago, as well as several urgent tasks that delayed my sermon preparation later and later in the week. So on Saturday morning I took my laptop to to our daughter’s softball game, hoping to make a little progress while watching her over the top of the screen. At first the sun was in my eyes. I moved my chair a few times. But even when I could find that exact angle, with the sun out of my eyes and the screen shaded, I could barely read my notes, and I couldn’t really remain aware of the game. Finally I realized why I had come to the ball park and put my laptop away.

Paul does not say exactly how the Spirit of Jesus had kept him from entering Bithynia before giving him a vision to go to Macedonia or how that the Spirit had prompted him to choose the city of Philippi. But once he had arrived the Spirit had great success extending the Church.

How has the Spirit led you to new adventures?

I will have more to say about Acts 16:9-15 on Sunday, May 1st, 2016 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.
Robert Shaw, Pastor

Turn Around

Who would you invite to dinner?

restaurantOccasionally on arriving at a crowded restaurant  with dozens of people waiting for a table I wonder if I could convince strangers to share a table with us, so the hostess could sit us four to a table instead of two at two different tables. I wonder if the hostess might be able to seat us sooner and if we might meet another interesting couple. But such an impromptu meeting could have all kinds of unintended negative consequences.

Peter ran into several unintended negative consequences after accepting an invitation to visit the home of a Roman military leader.

So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?”
— Acts 11:2-3 (NRSV)

This difficult passage reminds us that the Holy Spirit continually challenges us to welcome people different from our way of life. Even those who might confront what we consider important and essential to following Jesus.

I will have more to say about Acts 11:1-18 on Sunday, April 24th, 2016 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.
Robert Shaw, Pastor

Wear-It and Share-It and Community BBQ

Somewhere near you a child needs the clothing that your child has out grown.

Somewhere near you a family needs a meal when the month lasts longer than their income.

short pantsPolo ShirtHelp us help our neighboring families provide clothing for their children. Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church is collecting new and gently used clothing for infant to children 12 years old. We anticipate parents looking for clothing appropriate for summer weather. We will fold and sort all of the clothing we receive so parents can “shop” for free.

You may clear out your closet, drawers and give your children’s gently used clothing a second life. Should you feel generous, we also appreciate gifts of new children’s underwear and socks. Please drop them off as soon as practical, ideally by Wednesday, May 25th, so our volunteers will have time to sort and fold.

HamburgerhotdogOn Friday, May 27th we invite everyone who enters our facility to “shop” for their children and eat with us for free from 5 pm to 7 pm. We will gladly dine with everyone who joins us for our free community buffet dinner of BBQ chicken, hotdogs, hamburgers, baked beans and salads plus an assortment of homemade desserts, until the food runs out.

Sponsors providing clothing, food, or drinks may opt to be acknowledged on our “thank you” sign, our newsletter, and our website. Please contact Susan Sampson, Leader for Youth and Family Ministries, for more information.

Get Up!

bottle_640Our daughter enjoys found art, the process of finding items considered as trash and arranging them into new pieces that tell a new story. She would collect old bottle caps, interesting shards of glass, parts of dolls, buttons, machine parts. After she had assembled these items, not as their designed has envisioned, but as new interesting commentaries on society. The rusted gears no longer turned or turned other gears. The dolls are no longer useful as toys. And bottle caps become wheels or saucers or …

Is it possible that God does similar things with us? Taking our brokenness, our weaknesses, our failures, and making them new possibilities, new objects for ministry.

I will have more to say about Acts 9:36-43 on Sunday, April 17th, 2016 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.
Robert Shaw, Pastor

Gone Fishing

What was your most recent life changing event? Moved to a new town? Graduated from school? Married? Birth of a child? Fired from a job? Started a new career? Retired? Death of a parent making you the oldest in your family?

Recalling that day, did you suddenly feel disoriented?

When the unusual happens, when the familiar pattern of life had suddenly vanishes, we suffer a disorienting loss of the purpose.

Remember for a moment how you might have coped with a loss. Many people return to a previous place when they had felt comfortable: A school they had once attended. A former home, to see how the current owners maintain the building. A familiar book from childhood. They call an old friend.

I remember sitting at my father’s desk after he had died. I had gone there to figure out how to file his final tax return, a task that he had done for us and had now become my task as eldest of our family. Instead I sat for a long time, just looking at the things in his desk drawer.

Many retirees report getting dressed for work, and then remembering they do have to go to work any more.

Fishing from a boat with a hazy sunriseThe disciples’ world had been turned totally upside down. Their friend and mentor, their savior had died a cruel publicly humiliating death, he was buried, and even more startling had been raised from the dead. So they went fishing and caught more than they had expected. Not only in the number of fish, but also direction for ministry.

Now he said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
— John 21:6

I will have more to say about John 21:1-19 on Sunday, April 10th, 2016 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.
Robert Shaw, Pastor