Here’s what’s happening this week at HBPres. Click on our Happenings tab for more information on these and upcoming events.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
- 11:00 AM Do-In Parent Meeting 216
- 11:00 AM Sunday School Teacher Meeting 209
- 11:30 AM Yoga with Betsy Session Rm.
- 12:00 PM Louisville Korean Fellowship Eline Hall
Monday, August 31, 2015
- 9:00 AM Attendance Meeting 208
- 9:30 AM Prayer Group Prayer Rm.
- 7:00 PM Louisville Philharmonia Rehearsal Sanctuary
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
- 9:30 AM Staff Meeting Session Rm.
- 6:00 PM Trustee Meeting 206
- 6:30 PM Do-In Group Leader Meeting Eline Hall
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
- 7:30 PM Boy Scouts Troop 315 Youth Loft
- 7:30 PM Louisville Korean Church Chapel
- 8:35 PM Boy Scouts Gym Time Emory Hall
Thursday, September 3, 2015
- 10:30 AM Lou. Korean Ladies Bible Study C26
Friday, September 4, 2015
- 5:30 PM Do-In at Cedar Ridge Camp
Saturday, September 5, 2015
- Do-In at Cedar Ridge Camp
- 6:30 AM Louisville Korean Church Chapel
- 9:00 AM HB Quilters 209
Sunday, September 6, 2015
- 8:00 AM Chapel Singers Rehearsal Chapel
- 8:30 AM Worship Chapel
- 9:00 AM Summer Choir Rehearsal Sanctuary
- 9:30 AM Korean Adult Sunday school C26/C27/C28
- 9:30 AM Korean 1st-5th Sunday school 107
- 10:00 AM Worship Sanctuary
- 11:00 AM Louisville Korean Church Chapel
- 11:00 AM Blood Pressure Checks Living Rm.
- 11:30 AM Yoga with Betsy Session Rm.
- 12:00 PM Louisville Korean Fellowship Eline Hall
A number of people have died who were very significant to my development as a pastor and, I’d like to think, as a human being. At the risk of leaving someone out, I would highlight the deaths this year of Fred Craddock and Charlie Cousar and in recent years John Coffin and Shirley Guthrie. I began thinking about them recently as I read a David Brooks column in the New York Times. Brooks posits that there are two sets of virtues: resume virtues and eulogy virtues. Resume virtues are those that enable you to find a job. Eulogy virtues are the ones the pastor is going to talk about at your funeral. The latter basically explore whether you were capable of deep love. Each of the men I have mentioned had every reason to be puffed up with pride. All had amazing accomplishments, all wrote books, all in many quarters were household names, yet each of them had a deep sense of humility. They all had, as I said, achieved a great deal of success and yet they were not filled with competitiveness. They did not have to win all the time. They did not have to diminish others in order to lift themselves up. Each of them understood the importance of being connected with colleagues and friends. They had no illusions that their “success” was an individual effort. Each would freely give of himself to others and found time to be involved in mission. They all had a deep sense of call. You could see quite clearly that the work they did was much more than “just a job.” Each of them viewed every day not as an opportunity to prove they were better than others but, rather, as an opportunity to be a bit better than they were the day before. I am deeply indebted to each of them for helping me develop my resume virtues. Now I pray that I can develop those“eulogy virtues. For those, I know, are why these men are unforgettable to me....read more
In her book, Pastrix, Nadia Bolz Weber writes, “As a teenager I loved how I looked in the outfit of using drugs and exercising poor judgment. I had tried it on, spun around in the mirror, and decided I would choose this look, this image, this identity. But eventually and without realizing it, the ability to choose had gone. I had become what I had pretended to be. “When you can’t control something—like how if I take one drink all bets are of no matter what motivation I have for controlling myself—it’s easier to arrange a life in which it looks like you’ve chosen it all, as opposed to facing the truth: You have lost your ability to choose any of it.” (p. 35-36) Lent is the time to stop pretending we still want the life we have chosen. Lent is the ongoing effort to be freed from our bad choices. Most of those choices we actually thought looked good on us at the time. Most of those choices seemed to fit us like a glove. Unfortunately that which clung to our bodies so cleanly at first and seemed so suited for us began to choke out the life created in us. The life God had put in us. The life God wanted for us. What had begun as a gentle waltz suddenly turned into a violent wrestling match. We had lost our God given ability to choose. Even worse, we had lost our ability to “un-choose!” Lent is that time to be freed from bad choices not by our will power, but, rather, by God’s grace. Lent is a time to practice the disciplines of prayer, scripture reading and worship that graciously free us from our bad choices. John ...read more
This morning in our weekly staff meeting, as a part of the devotional, we were asked what sounds we associated with Christmas. As I reflected on that question it sent me on a bit longer journey. What are the sights, sounds and smells that we associate with Christmas? As I child, I recall walking into my Grandmother Roper’s house at Christmas time. There would be a wreath on the front door and greenery throughout the house, so naturally it smelled like cedar. Her house had a very long hall with three bedrooms, a bathroom and a screened-in porch on the left side and a den, dining room, pantry, kitchen, back bedroom and formal living room on the right. It seemed like a long walk just to go to the back of the house. When I spent the night it felt like a journey just to go to the bathroom. But at Christmas the whole house was decorated and smelled of wonderful food and cookies. The rest of the year it mostly smelled like Bengay and mothballs. Perhaps it made such an impression on me because of the contrast. While it was primarily the sights I remember at Grandmother Roper’s, it was the smells that I recall from my Grandmother McNeil’s. When we entered her front door at Christmas time, we were greeted with the wonderful smells of spiced tea and fresh homemade mints. It was at my Grandmother McNeil’s that we also were allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve. This was a practice that was firmly forbidden at our house and at my Grandmother Roper’s. This alone was enough to make us look forward to our trip to “Mamma Neil’s,” as we called her. My house today is much smaller than my grandmothers’ homes, though it too is filled with wonderful sights, sounds and smells. But when I think of Christmas, I immediately think of my grandmothers’ houses. Perhaps it has to do with the contrast. You see, I think that is what Christmas is really all about. We are completely familiar with the world the way it is and suddenly God, in the person of the Christ Child, gives us a glimpse of the world the way it will be. Merry Christmas!...read more
My daughter-in-law, Leslie, sent us an email the other day sharing what happened on our grandson Jordan’s second day of school. She said that only a few days earlier she had been lamenting all the paperwork involved in enrolling him in kindergarten. They live very near the school so she was walking him to school on his second day. She reported that he looked up at her with a big grin and said in a joyful voice, “I wonder what we get to do at school today?” I cannot speak for everyone but when out children were young, it occurred to me that one of a parent’s greatest challenges is to get children to enjoy that which is good for them. Jordan, for example, is going to spend many, many hours in school over the coming years. It will feel like an eternity if he dreads every day. It will feel even longer for Mom and Dad as they worry about him during school and then have to battle the tears every night as the homework must be completed. So I want to say thank you to the wonderful teachers in our church school, who give time and attention to all of their students young and old. To those who prepare the food on Sunday morning so they can start with a full stomach, I also say thank you. I also want to thank our preschool and Parents Day Out teachers and leaders for making the children feel welcome and loved, all the while teaching them the socialization skills and the knowledge that will be so vital as they grow and develop into the people God wants them to be. Now if I can just get those parents and grandparents to look at each other over breakfast Sunday morning and say, “I wonder what wonderful things we will do today and hear today in church school and in worship?” And oh yes, it would be nice if they had a smile on their faces when the question was asked....read more
The Good News about the bad news is that people say they go to church more than they really do, according to recent research. That’s right, people lie about how much they go to church. The other night Jimmy Fallon told a joke about a man who was arrested for stealing a Bible from a bookstore. When the man was arrested the police officer said, “Don’t you know the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not steal?” and the man said, “Don’t give away the plot before I read the book!” Yes, friends, truth is stranger than fiction. But there is some good news in perhaps both of these items. If people say they go to church more than they do, then it must mean they think it important to go even if they do not. If the man would steal the Bible it must have been because he wanted the Bible (and clearly he needed to read it). OK, so here is my idea. Make it your goal to find one of those people who said they went to church more than they did and invite them. Who knows, you might just make an honest man or woman out of them. Find someone who doesn’t have a Bible and give that person a Bible. Who knows, you might be preventing a theft. You might even be saving a life....read more
How secure do we really want to be? My wife called me from Chicago a few days ago. She is there to help with our daughter’s new baby. She is enjoying herself but her different location is causing issues. Needless to say, there is an acute concern these days with credit card theft and identity theft. She already had her identity stolen about a year ago. She recently paid a bill and inadvertently sent the payment with her old credit card number on it rather than the new number she had been issued after the identity theft. What a hassle! Using her credit cards and accessing email from her computer in Chicago has sent up all sorts of red flags. I have gotten a number of warnings that her account may have been accessed without permission. I am then asked to verify that the card has not been misused. Here is where the trouble becomes double trouble. Thieves are constantly trying to get us to give them information in order to validate that our accounts are not being hacked and then using the very information we give them to hack our accounts. The bottom line is we become afraid to trust anyone. Eventually community is destroyed. The Ten Commandments have been around a bit longer than credit cards. At least I assume Moses did not have a Visa, though given his connections he might have had a MasterCard. (I’m sorry. I just could not resist.) God was not just trying to make our lives difficult when God gave us the Ten Commandments. These were not rules just for the sake of having rules. God knew that lying, stealing, and covetousness, to name just a few, were behaviors that destroy community. If I cannot trust you then I cannot live happily in community with you. There is nothing wrong, I suppose, with having a pre-nuptial agreement* prior to a marriage. However, if such an agreement is necessary, it might not bode well for the marriage. I have nothing against lawyers. Over my career, lawyers have been some of the finest people I have known. A lawyer in my church in Nashville is the only member I ever had to increase his pledge at the end of the year because his bonus was larger than he expected. Nevertheless, I am going to guess that if you have to have a lawyer draw up the agreement in order for you to be married, it may not be the best sign. A good friend says that no one should get married unless they are in a “marriage coma.” In other words, blinded by love. If you are so in your right mind that you draw up the contract before you enter the covenant (of marriage that is), it might just be a sign you should not be married. If you are going to get on a two-person life raft for a journey to who knows where, it is not a bad idea to trust the person with the only other oar. The bottom line is this: trust is demanded in order for us to live happily in community. If someone steals your identity, they steal much more than that. They also take your ability to trust. If you want to know how damaging...read more
It was Sunday afternoon and my wife told me that someone from Cedar Lake Lodge was going to be coming for a clothing pick up on Monday. She asked if I had anything that I wanted to donate, so we both headed upstairs to check our closets. We found a number of items. Then I decided to check the closet in the study that only I use. Imagine my shock when I found four pair of what looked like new pants. I have lost some weight, so I decided to see if I could wear them. I was thrilled to discover that I could. Then I said, “But how did those pants get in there?” Suddenly I realized exactly how they had gotten in the other closet. As I had gained weight over the last two years, each time I put on a pair of pants that was too tight I would move it to the other closet so that I would not be reminded of my weight gain. Gradually, I had moved those four and bought pants with expandable waists because they were more comfortable. I had forgotten all about the pants that were now out of sight and out of mind! I began to wonder if this is how we get into so much trouble in our relationships. Do we just gradually stop saying, “I love you?” Do we just gradually stop listening to our spouse, to our children? Can we no longer remember when it happened because it came on so slowly over time? The truth is that as many, if not more, relationships die of apathy as die of anger. So here is a weird thought for a Christmas gift to give to your spouse and or to your children—for Christmas, give them back the good you that you were before you gradually slipped into the grumpy you that you have become. Surprise your spouse and your children by listening to them and showing your love for them. Who knows, they might just appreciate you more than whatever that gift is you are planning to buy for them. Surprise them by showing them that even though the pants may not still buckle, you can still slip right into the love you have for each other. Give it a shot. It is, after all, the season for miracles!...read more
I sat down on a Thursday morning a few weeks ago next to my bowl of cereal and morning paper. The headline read, “Food stamps cut 36 dollars a month, more cuts still being debated.” Thursday is one of my two mini-fast days. In order to lose some weight, I had been eating 600 calories two days of each week. I stayed on my regular diet the other days. I have now reached my goal and am simply trying to maintain my weight, so I still eat my 200-calorie breakfast four days a week. Odd isn’t it, to be reading about people not able to get enough to eat as I sit fretting over eating too much? Our miniature Dachshund, Teddy, scratched on the door as I was pouring my coffee. I let him in and opened the drawer where we keep his treats. He gets one a day and he absolutely loves them. They are supposed to be good for his breath and his teeth. They may be helping his teeth but his breath—well? I think they cost 17 dollars and these are the generic version! I sat back down and starred at the headline. Hum, 36 dollars and my dog is getting treats that cost 17. Oh yes, this is in addition to his low calorie dog food. Then there is that story about Ruth that we find in scripture. Ruth is a widow. She is living in a culture where it is very hard for a single woman to survive. The law among God’s people was that when grain was harvested there should always be some left in the field for the poor, the orphans and the widows. Ruth will wind up gathering food in the field of Boaz, who tells his servants to be sure and leave enough grain behind. He and Ruth will eventually be married. Ruth you will see when you come to the New Testament is listed in the lineage of none other than Jesus. Our Lord came into the world, in a sense, because someone remembered the poor and the hungry. I got up from my empty cereal bowl and thought about still being a little hungry. But then again that was my choice....read more
I had to twist and turn one night recently trying to get to sleep. I was having trouble making the pain in my back go away. I have gotten to that wonderful age where you have to turn just a certain way to finally get comfortable enough to go to sleep. Age does have its woes, doesn’t it? But Saturday morning finally did come. I had a wedding rehearsal on Friday night that was filled with joy and excitement. I find particular delight in doing a wedding for someone I watched grow up in the church. I went for my walk early, rain was predicted. When I arrived home, my wife had prepared blueberry coffee cake. This, of course, is a divine sign that my daughter, Suzanne, who is expecting her first child in December, was home for the St. James Art Fair. I sat drinking my coffee and marveling at my now very pregnant daughter. Sorry, I am one of those hopeless romantics who honestly believes that a woman cannot be more beautiful than when she is expecting. It seemed just months ago when she was told she could not have a child. Modern medicine definitely has its wonders. I just figure science is one of the ways God works his miracles. Children, I believe, are God’s way of saying he will never give up on us. When Suzanne arrived, Teddy, our Dachshund, whom Suzanne had named when he was a puppy (Teddy because she thought he looked like a teddy bear), ran down the steps and jumped into her lap. Even though it had been months since he had seen her, he knew it was her before she could ring the doorbell. They have had a permanent bond ever since she first held him and named him. God has a permanent bond with us. It began when God chose us and called us beloved. It was reaffirmed in our baptisms. Even as we get older and the aches and pains move into our lives, God never moves out of our lives. When we pay attention, we see that age may bring miseries, but it also brings miracles, like children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. It brings deep, lasting, life-long friendships. It may even open our eyes to love we never even appreciated. When my father-in-law was near the end of his life, his oldest daughter, Barbie, moved him to a care facility near her home. She stopped by every day and would even feed him when he could no longer feed himself. I was visiting him one day and he confided in me with tears in his eyes that he had never realized how much she loved him. There may be people in your life who love you far more than you realize. Moreover, I am absolutely certain that God loves us far more than any of us realize. My prayer is that even as age may visit us with aching backs, it might also open our eyes to this love! ...read more
We are continuing our exploration of how stewardship relates to our mission statement of “making a difference by making disciples.” This week we will be exploring how, “Making a Difference Continues with Thanksgiving.” I am writing to give you a devotion to use throughout the week. Begin by reading the two scripture passages that we will expand upon on Sunday: Jeremiah 29:1, 4-15 and Luke 17: 11-19. Both of these passages involve people giving thanks. In Jeremiah the prophet tells the people to thrive while exiled into Babylon. On Sunday we heard the lament of Psalm 137, which was marred with the anger and pain of worshipping in a foreign land. Now we hear the word of God coming in response to a people who are suffering instructing them to take root in the lands they now live. God has a plan that remains steadfast and full of hope. There is a transition from a time of suffering and pain for the people to a time of thanksgiving. Even in places that don’t feel comfortable or remotely like home, we can find hope in God and give thanks. The passage from the Gospel of Luke recounts the healing of ten people with leprosy. Of the ten who are healed, only one returns to give thanks. The one who returns happens to be a foreigner. Much like the Israelites to whom Jeremiah prophesies who give thanks and thrive in the foreign lands of Babylon, the Samaritan returns to Jesus to thank him for the healing. Jesus, clearly surprised by the foreigner’s return tells the man to go for his faith has healed him. The gratitude expressed in both passages is transformational. Regardless of whether the people are maimed by the depression, anger, or shame of being exiled or disfigured by a skin disease such as leprosy, their thankfulness transforms their perspective. We too can give thanks each day and transform the world around us. This week you I want to challenge you to make a difference through gratitude. Express your thanks, and be genuine when you do, for all the blessings you encounter each day. When you wake in the morning, think about the things that you are thankful for. When someone helps you, thank the person. Celebrate the small fortunes of each moment and give thanks each day as often as you are able. When you come to church on Sunday, you will have the opportunity to share what you are thankful for as a part of the worship service. I hope you are able to celebrate the many blessings that you encounter throughout the week, find reasons to be thankful in situations that seem thankless, and embrace this challenge of making a difference through gratitude. Peace,...read more