Category Archives: Thoughts and Prayers from Pastor Rich

Preacher’s Post: Grinchlike Christmas Expectations

I’ve come to accept that expectations are a part of the Christmas celebration whether I like it or not. It’s not the expectations which can trip me up, it’s whether I hold my expectations and acknowledge the expectations of those … Continue reading

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During our “Healing Group” meeting

  During our “Healing Group” meeting that uses the twelve steps to address what ails us, not just substance abuse, we read about the spiritual companions who are our “balcony people.” While we’re trying to live our lives on the … Continue reading

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Dr. Seuss’ “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” is a Classic

Dr. Seuss’ “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” is a classic. His strategy was to steal everything related to Christmas so the people of Whoville would awaken to find all their hopes for Christmas dashed. But, alas, as the story tells … Continue reading

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PREACHER’S POST: When Christmas Needs An Encore

Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is a classic. The Grinch, a grouchy, solitary creature attempts to put an end to the Christmas hooey by stealing everything related to Christmas from the homes of the nearby town … Continue reading

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Preacher’s Post: Gratitude Keeps The Main Thing The Main Thing

As we come to this Sunday and our national celebration of Thanksgiving, I’ll state the obvious: these are challenging, difficult times. Looking back over the sweep of our history, we’ve experienced deep divisions before as a nation. I don’t know … Continue reading

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Preacher’s Post: Thin Places

I didn’t coin the term, but I’m wanting to make the concept of “thin place” part of our shared vocabulary and experience. “Thin places” are those places and/or moments when we sense God’s presence in an extraordinary way. There is … Continue reading

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Post-Election Thoughts from Pastor Rich

I left Sonoma last Wednesday, 11/2, and while sitting in Istanbul airport on the way home, I feel it’s not the same place I left. The most contentious, bitter and nasty election in memory is now history. Some of us … Continue reading

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Preacher’s Post: Love the Sinner—Hate the sin.

Love the Sinner—Hate the sin.* I’ve heard the phrase so often I almost believe it. Then I realize that’s only something God can say—not me. And when God says it, I’m standing among the sinners, for we’ve all fallen short … Continue reading

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Why do I jump from my job description and keep trying to do God’s job?

Why do I jump from my job description and keep trying to do God’s job?  I’ve been given the clear assignment to love, not judge my “neighbor,” and that the judging part, if there is any judging to be done … Continue reading

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Preacher’s Post: “God said it–I believe it–that settles it”

“God says it—I believe it—that settles it!” Bumper sticker Christianity is so tempting, but so wrong. “The God’s Must Be Crazy” is about a man from an extremely remote village in Australia who discovers a soda bottle that was dropped … Continue reading

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Last night the church fire alarm went off just before 10pm

  Last night the church fire alarm went off just before 10pm. I jumped in my car and roared up to church, remembering a similar drive the night of March 19, 1989 when the fire destroyed the old carriage house … Continue reading

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I anticipate three very difficult meetings today dealing with three very different situations.

  I anticipate three very difficult meetings today dealing with three very different situations. The first has to do with figuring out how a couple of teams can work together instead of one team trying to do the other team’s … Continue reading

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Preacher’s Post: God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle?

I don’t know if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of this piece of cherished Christian advice, but it is devastating and destructive: “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” I’m not sure where to even begin … Continue reading

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Preacher’s Post: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves?

“God helps those who help themselves” has to be the most quoted verse that’s not in the Bible.  But it’s one of our favorites when pointing to the fault of someone else for not being able to “pull themselves up … Continue reading

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“When we deny our stories, they define us; when we own our stories, we get to write the ending.” Brené Brown

“When we deny our stories, they define us; when we own our stories, we get to write the ending.” Brené Brown You’re invited to a deeply power a spiritual process of owning your story and revolutionizing your life with a … Continue reading

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