Weekly thoughts presented by our Pastor, Father Andrew Drapper T.O.R.

Archived lower on this page are the Ponderings of our former pastor, Father Andrew Stanko.

10 November, 2019

Pastor’s Ponderings – November 10, 2019 – He Wore Our Coat

2019-11-10T18:17:38-05:00

They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.    Revelations 7:14

God has only one requirement for entrance into heaven: that we be clothed in Christ. Listen to how Jesus describes the inhabitants of heaven: “They will walk with me and will wear white clothes, because they are worthy …” (Revelation 3:4)

Listen to the description of the elders: “Around the throne there were….twenty-four elders….They were dressed in white and had golden crowns on their heads …” (Revelations 4:4)

All are dressed in white. The saints. The elders … How would you suppose Jesus is dressed? In white? … ”He is dressed in a robe dripped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.” (Revelations 19:13).

Why is Christ’s robe not white? Why is his cloak not spotless? Why is his garment dripped in blood? Paul says simply, “He changed places with us.” (Galatians 3:13)….

He wore our coat of sin to the cross.

from Fr. Andrew, T.O.R.

Pastor’s Ponderings – November 10, 2019 – He Wore Our Coat2019-11-10T18:17:38-05:00
3 November, 2019

Pastor’s Ponderings – November 3, 2019 – Take Jesus at His Word

2019-11-10T18:08:03-05:00

When it comes to healing our spiritual condition, we don’t have a chance. We might as well be told to pole-vault the moon. We don’t have what it takes to be healed.

Our only hope is that God will do for us what he did for the man at Bethesda–that he will step out of the temple and step into our world of hurt and helplessness – which is exactly what he has done.

I wish we would take Jesus at his word:

When he says we’re forgiven, let’s unload the guilt.

When he says we’re valuable, let’s believe him.

When he says we’re provided for, let’s stop worrying.

God’s efforts are strongest when our efforts are useless.

 “In all these things we have full victory through God who showed His love for us.”    Romans 8:37

from Fr. Andrew, T.O.R.

Pastor’s Ponderings – November 3, 2019 – Take Jesus at His Word2019-11-10T18:08:03-05:00
27 October, 2019

Pastor’s Ponderings – October 27, 2019 – A Life of Service

2019-11-10T18:15:49-05:00

God has enlisted us in his navy and placed us on his ship. The boat has one purpose–to carry us safely to the other shore. This is no cruise ship; it’s a battleship.

We aren’t called to a life of leisure; we are called to a life of service. Each of us has a different task.

Some, concerned with those who are drowning, are snatching people from the water. Others are occupied with the enemy, so they man the cannons of prayer and worship. Still others devote themselves to the crew, feeding and training the crew member.

Though different, we are the same. Each can tell of a personal encounter with the captain, for each has received a personal call…. We each followed him across the gangplank of his grace onto the same boat.

Though the battle is fierce, the boat is safe, for our captain is God. The ship will not sink. For that, there is no concern.

“We are many, but in Christ we are all one body. Each one is a part of that body.”     – Romans 12:5

from Fr. Andrew, T.O.R.

Pastor’s Ponderings – October 27, 2019 – A Life of Service2019-11-10T18:15:49-05:00
20 October, 2019

Pastor’s Ponderings – October 20, 2019 – God Looks at the Heart

2019-11-10T18:15:14-05:00

“God does not see the same way people see.  People look at the outside of a person, but God looks at the heart.”

God sees us with the eyes of a father.  He sees our defects, errors, and blemishes. But He also sees our value.

What did Jesus know that enabled Him to do what He did?

Here’s part of the answer, He knew the value of people.  He knew that each human being is a treasure. And because He did – people were not a source of stress– but a source of joy.

Fr. Andrew, T.O.R.

Pastor’s Ponderings – October 20, 2019 – God Looks at the Heart2019-11-10T18:15:14-05:00
13 October, 2019

Pastor’s Ponderings – October 13, 2019 – Live Forever in This Body

2019-10-13T13:19:20-05:00

Have you noticed how many health items and diets are advertised on television or on computers these days? I wondered what the Bible might say.

Are we in any way different from Naaman the Syrian in our readings, or this week from the ten lepers in Luke’s Gospel who ask for a healing? Why do we put so much emphases on what we look like? Well, I guess it’s because “YOU WILL LIVE FOREVER IN THIS BODY”.

You will live forever in this body. Forever. It will be different. What is now crooked will be straightened. What is now faulty will be fixed. Your body will be different, but you won’t have a different body. You will have this one. Does that change the view you have of it? I hope so.

God has a high regard for your body. You should as well. Respect it. I didn’t say worship it. I did say respect it. It is after all the temple of God. Be careful how you feed it, use it, and maintain it. You wouldn’t want anyone trashing your home; God doesn’t want anyone trashing His. After all, it is His, isn’t it?

Fr. Andrew, T.O.R.

Pastor’s Ponderings – October 13, 2019 – Live Forever in This Body2019-10-13T13:19:20-05:00
6 October, 2019

Pastor’s Ponderings – October 6, 2019 – We Can Change the World

2019-10-05T19:46:06-05:00

We celebrated the feast of St. Francis of Assisi on the fourth of this month. Every one knows that saint from yard and garden backyards to bird baths and environmental displays. But there is a lot this particular saint can teach us.

We are capable of so much more than we think. You have no idea what you are capable of. None of us do. God is constantly trying to open our eyes to the amazing possibilities that he has enfolded in our being.

The saints continue this work, encouraging us to explore all our God-given potential, not with their speeches but with the example of their lives.

There are two questions that confront the people of every place and time, questions that confront you and me today: Are you satisfied with your life? Are you satisfied with the direction the world is moving in? These are some of life’s inescapable questions, and we each respond with passionate action or selfish indifference.

Our collective dissatisfaction with the direction of the world leads to the consensus that the world needs changing. And yet, we seem gripped by exasperation and paralyzed by the false belief that we can’t do anything about it. The saints dispel that exasperation and inspire us to bold action. They remind us over and over again: We can change the world.

Fr. Andrew, T.O.R.

Pastor’s Ponderings – October 6, 2019 – We Can Change the World2019-10-05T19:46:06-05:00
29 September, 2019

Pastor’s Ponderings – September 29, 2019 – I’m Gittin’ Old I’m Told

2019-09-29T19:31:03-05:00

I’M GITTIN’ OLD I’M TOLD

– by Chaplain B. J. Tuttleton, Everman Texas Police Dept.

 

When you find you’re growing older. Things keep changing every day;

Aches and pains and trouble hearing, never seem to go away.

When you wake up every morning you’re one day older than before;

You should never stand up quickly, you’ll fall face first on the floor!

But the worst thing we encounter is when our mind starts playing games;

We forget the things that matter, including everybody’s names.

When you go to shop for groceries and you fail to make a list –

When you get back home from shopping there’ll be some things you’ve missed.

Your mind and body may be failing and your hair is turning white;

But if we place our trust in Jesus, everything will work out right.

There are people who will tell you, your time on earth is almost done;

Tell them God makes that decision. Praise Him and Jesus, His only Son!

 

Ecclesiastes 12:1 & 2 ICB

Remember your Creator (God) while you are young. Your old age is coming when you will have many troubles. When that time comes, you won’t have much to enjoy. When you become old, the light from the sun, moon and stars will seem dark to you. It will seem as if the rain clouds never go away.

Fr. Andrew, T.O.R.

Pastor’s Ponderings – September 29, 2019 – I’m Gittin’ Old I’m Told2019-09-29T19:31:03-05:00
22 September, 2019

Pastor’s Ponderings – September 22, 2019 – Living Alone

2019-09-23T06:42:14-05:00

I am a person, like some, who lives alone, and sometimes it’s difficult. Sometimes you don’t realize the difference between living alone and being lonely. Prayer is essential in daily life and even more so when you live alone.

The following prayer is for people like us.

A Prayer For Those Who Live Alone

I live alone, Dear Lord, stay by my side. In all my daily needs, be thou my guide. Grant me good health, for that, indeed, I pray to carry on my work from day to day. Keep pure my mind, my thoughts, my every deed, let me be kind, unselfish, in my neighbor’s need. If sickness or an accident befall, then humbly Lord,  I pray, hear thou my call. And when I’m feeling low or in despair, lift up my heart and help me in my prayer.  I live alone, Dear Lord, yet have no fear, because I feel your presence ever near. Amen

-Author Unknown

Pastor’s Ponderings – September 22, 2019 – Living Alone2019-09-23T06:42:14-05:00
15 September, 2019

Pastor’s Ponderings – September 15 , 2019 – The Prodigal Son

2019-09-17T15:10:22-05:00

The Prodigal Son may be one of the most well-known Gospel stories, not only among Christians, but the world in general. I can attest that this can arise in almost anyone’s life. I can’t explain why it has had such an influence in my life, only to say that it has!

I have often thought of the characters in this Gospel story and wondered which one best reflects my living situations. Was I the loving Father eager to take back the erring son; was I the older brother not willing to forgive the younger, wayward one? I can say that the character of the wayward son was looking me straight in the eye!

As I progressed through my spiritual walk, there were two characters left that were cause for continued reflection. During a Lenten season I came across a book by Henry Nouwen called The Prodigal Son. This was one of those books that touched my heart in many ways. I saw myself too often as the jealous older brother. The book led me to, what for me, was a special item from the parable. A father’s love is always there, waiting to welcome his children back to the fold.

More importantly is that as a person, a Friar and a Pastor, I need to be more forgiving in all areas of my life. Is it easy to do? Certainly not, but when someone shows the slightest move forward to improve relations, I should “become filled with compassion and run to meet them.” Like all things with the Lord, I need only to rely on Him for the grace to have a change of heart.

“I know now that true charity consists in bearing all of our neighbors’ defects—not being surprised at their weakness, but edified at their virtues.”     –  St. Therese of Lisieux

Fr. Andrew, T.O.R.

Pastor’s Ponderings – September 15 , 2019 – The Prodigal Son2019-09-17T15:10:22-05:00
8 September, 2019

Pastor’s Ponderings – September 8, 2019 – Apples

2019-09-08T22:33:16-05:00

PICK YOUR OWN APPLES

Most communities are not too far away from an apple orchard. Look in the newspaper for an orchard where you can pick your own fruit. Call and find out if you must let them know ahead of time when you plan to come.

Take time to see all there is to explore at the orchard. Look at their apple picking equipment. If there is a cider press, try to see it being run. Is there a device for sorting the apples by size?

Enjoy the smells of the apples. Try to pick some different kinds so that you can see variety in texture, shape, color, and taste.

When you get home with your apples and cider have your children help to make a pie or applesauce and heat up some of the cider and enjoy a hot cup of cider with your children.

Family Time!!      – From Family Life Office

Pastor’s Ponderings – September 8, 2019 – Apples2019-09-08T22:33:16-05:00