Grave Clothes

Lazarus

Thursday’s Thoughts from Pastor David!

The first Thursday after Easter and the last Thursday of the month of April!

On Easter Sunday, Christians all over the world celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Out of the belly of death (after being digested for three days), Jesus arose out of the depths and out of the tomb to life once again!

There’s only one person who has stayed dead longer than Jesus to come back to life.
That would be Jesus’ good friend Lazarus.

Lazarus was dead in the tomb for FOUR days!

Jesus arrived at the tomb encasing the dead body of Lazarus and told the mourners and family members to remove the stone.

The response was overwhelmingly negative…

Let me paraphrase…
“Oh Jesus… Don’t do that. Lazarus has been dead for four days and his decomposed body will stink to the high heavens! Can’t you just say a prayer instead?”

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Sitting Still

Sittting Still

“It’s been a rough week…”

That has been my response all week long when people innocently ask, “How are you?”

If someone was expecting the typical, “I’m fine, how are you?”, well… they were in for a big surprise.

On Monday, a dear friend, Jim McManmon – brother in Christ, active Church member, husband to Roberta, father to Sean and Erin, grand-daddy to Maya, brother and lover of life, friend to all… took his own life…

So… yes… it’s been a rough week.
For everyone…

I wish I had magical words that in a paragraph of 50 words or less would explain away and answer all the “why” questions each of us raise and make all of us feel better in less than 90 seconds of reading and then we could go on our way, back to our normal routine.

But…

That’s not going to happen today.

I am wondering if you can do what I and many other have been doing all week…

Just sit with it…
Sit in the presence of the reality that a person you adored took his own life.
Sit with the word “suicide” stuck in your throat, unable to say it out loud without wincing and weeping.
Sit with the blankness that comes to mind when you shout, “Why Jim, Why?”
Sit with the tears that run down your face at the pain of it all.

It’s hard isn’t it?
We live in a society where a pill, an app, a quick fix is always at the ready.
What happens when there isn’t?
We sit!

And as we sit, know this from the lips of Jesus,
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

May you… May I be comforted by the One who can comfort us during such a rough time, a rough day, a rough week…

We will hold a Memorial Service for Jim McManmon on Saturday, February 9th at the Mountain View Presbyterian Church at 4:00 pm (8601 Del Webb Blvd. Las Vegas, NV. 89134).

I hope to see you there…
Until then…
Please sit still…

Grace and peace,
Pastor David

#suicide #grief #comfort #questions #why #sittingstill

The Christmas Story… Once again

Shepherds 2

Twas the Thursday before Christmas, and all through the house
Chaos reigned, presents weren’t bought and I felt like a louse!
The commercial focus of the season reeked of “Get us something to please us!”
Instead of honing in on the newborn baby named Jesus.

So let’s take a moment, a little time to hear the tale
About the heavenly Lord God Almighty being born as a little male
The Shepherds were all out in the fields where they lay
When along came a host of Angels telling them, “Here, you can no longer stay!”
Go into Bethlehem, the quiet, quaint little town
To discover a baby boy whose glow would turn any frown upside down.

Goodbye to the sheep and away they went with great haste
On the cutting edge of the greatest event in human history they wanted to taste.
Arrive they did at the little impromptu manger
Father, Mother and child… no fear, no danger

The Shepherds described the Angels in the sky, in the heavenly crease
Of how they proclaimed, “Glory to God, on earth let there be peace!”
On Mary and Joseph and little Jesus they did shower
The witness of the heavenly host’s power

Soon it was time to return to their field
Where they protected their sheep, serving as their shield
But in their heart of hearts nothing would be the same
Sharing the story, the birth, the love of the Savior they could not tame

And to this day, we continue to hear the Shepherd’s story
Of God becoming a baby, giving up the heavenly glitz and glory
So our hearts, our lives and our future could be seized
By the One with whom God is very well pleased…

 

Merry Christmas!

SeeingGodatWorkEveryDay…
Laugh often and Fear not!
David!

daviddendy@daviddendy.com

www.daviddendy.com

The Empty Chair – Part 2

The Empty Chair

The Empty Chair – Part 2

Twas the Christmas season when all through God’s house

The Angels, The Saints were all hurrying and scurrying.

No one and I mean no one was as quiet as a mouse!

Preparations for the Christmas festivities were all in full gear

The celebration of the Newborn King was drawing near.

Get out the plates, the goblets and the perfectly shined silverware

The fine linen napkins and the brightly colored tablecloths were being placed here, there, everywhere!

Ten gallon sized pitchers with wine, lemonade and Mountain Dew filled to the brim

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The Empty Chair – Part 1

The Empty Chair

The Empty Chair…

“The Empty Chair” sits vacant at every home this Christmas.
It sat there all alone in my house and it sits all alone in yours.
The difficult part about dealing with “The Empty Chair” is that it used to be filled…
Filled to overflowing perhaps…
Filled with sounds of laughter…
Filled with striking smiles and twinkling eyes…
Lips that curled a certain way right before busting out laughing and even crying…
Eyes that narrowed in keen observation, eyes that softened and moistened upon saying “good-bye”…
Eyes that lit up with a joy uncontainable upon seeing your face…

The Empty Chair used to be filled..
Filled with hands that you used to hold and stroke and hands that used to hold yours…
Hands that had wedding rings and diamond rings and mood rings and turquoise rings…
Hands that had dug in the dirt, changed the oil, baked the birthday cakes and
Hands that you just knew you would hold forever and ever…

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The Queen B (6/2/1940-12/1/2018)

I wrote this blog after seeing my birth Mom, Betty Jean Padgett back in July of 2017.
It was the last time I would ever see her…

Betty Jean passed away this evening, surrounded by her loving husband Doug, son Doug Jr., daughters Laura and Ellen.
I was privileged and honored to know and love Betty Jean and the whole family, all of  whom received me into the fold as a true family member with all of its rights and privileges just twelve years ago…
I love you Betty Jean! I will miss you!
We will see each other again, and together we will once again… Dance!
David!

 

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The Queen B sits on her throne, a rocking chair from Cracker Barrel.

Her reign covers towns with names like Gloucester, Mathews, West Point, Ware Neck, Gwynn Island, Urbanna, and Saluda.

Her reign reaches out to bodies of waters with names like Chesapeake, Rappahannock, Mobjack, and York.

From the Commonwealth of Virginia down to the Sunshine State called Florida, so has the train of her regal robe traveled.

The Queen B is married to King Doug, better known in the royal family as Senior.
The King’s thick Virginia accent is soothing to the ears as the phrase, “We are going about the house” would be pronounced, “We are going aboat the hoase.”

The royal family consists of two Princes and two Princesses, an equal balance of beauty, brawn, brains, love, and loyalty.

Prince Doug, commonly called Junior.
Princess Laura.
Prince David
Princess Ellen, the Baby Sis.

Three of the Royal Children share the Queen B and King Doug’s full DNA genealogy, with Prince David only sharing the Queen B’s genes as a traveling Court Jester made his way through the kingdom during the difficult Civil War of 1962-1963. With Prince David’s striking resemblance, the family has teased the Queen B that perhaps the traveling Court Jester was actually the King of Rock N Roll in disguise…

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Masks

Masks

Hello November!
Good-bye October!

The first Thursday of the eleventh month in the year 2018…
November will have five Thursdays… (Don’t forget… the Fourth Thursday is Thanksgiving!)

Last night, I sat in my driveway dressed up as “Captain America” while passing out candy to anyone who came by saying “Trick or Treat!”

Can you imagine trying to explain the tradition of Halloween to an Alien?

Captain America: “Well… you see… there’s this one day out of the year where children are encouraged to dress up in a costume and walk around the neighborhood and knock on people’s doors asking for candy. And guess what? People actually give the kids candy. Lots of candy. Boatloads of candy.”

Alien: “What happens if they come back the next day?”

Captain America: “No Candy!”

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Hummingbirds, Bees and the Birds

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It’s the last Thursday of October…

Very reflective morning spent in the backyard watching the hummingbirds, the bees and the birds feed off the blooms of the flowers against the south wall.

I am not sure how all this works, but these hummingbirds, bees and birds are enjoying the nectar of the flowers and somehow pollen gets all over the hummingbirds, bees and birds.

The hummingbirds, bees and birds then take flight…

Along the way, the pollen on these hummingbirds, bees and birds “cross pollinate” onto other plants and flowers, providing much needed nourishment, allowing those other plants and flowers to grown and flourish.

Got me thinking…

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Love, Monica!

Monica Love

Two days ago I had the wonderful privilege of officiating a wedding for some good friends of mine from Iowa in Zion National Park located in Southern Utah.

Zion National Park is beyond spectacular as it attracts the third most visitors of all the National Parks.

Before I left Zion yesterday, I stopped by the gift shop at the Park entrance and picked up a couple of items. At the cash register I had the distinct joy of meeting… Monica!

She was all “tatted” up. Even though she had on a crew neck long sleeved shirt, her tattoos oozed out everywhere… Some sort of flowery vine serpentined around her neck. Ink was present on all ten digits on her hands.

As I am wont to do when I meet people with tattoos, I always inquire about the stories behind the tattoos. Body art always has a story to tell and most of the time such tales are revealing and fascinating.

Standing at the register didn’t afford me much time, but I did offer, “Tell me about your tattoos on your hand…” (See accompanying photo!)

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Prayer

Prayer 3

Thursday’s Thoughts from Pastor David

On the 27th day of the ninth month in the year of our Lord two thousand and eighteen, I pray with great urgency that the presence of God, the grace of God, the love of God, the mercy of God and the abundance of the compassion of God will dwell richly in your heart this day…

I ran across a new definition of Prayer which I wanted to pass on to you this day by Dr. Ralph Martin:

“Prayer is, at root, simply paying attention to God.”

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