Copyright Information

The information herein is copyright to Rev. John Franklin, and may be used only by permission. Contact:

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The End of the Week

Sometimes I come to the end of the week and wonder just how deeply I've dug the well, just how much water I've managed to draw, and just how much the crops are growing for my work.  I've come to rest in the idea of God "giving the increase", as the Apostle Paul so aptly states, but I find myself sitting in my office on the last evening of my work week, letting my mind wonder across the landscape of the tending of my flock, the times of simply stretching my soul to engage the throne of Heaven, and the moments of offering the simple Jesus to everyday people I tend to meet everyday.

Tonight, the tired feeling feels good.  I look at the work behind me and find hope and deep seated joy for the work which lies ahead.  The work is good and hard, and what more could a man ask for than to tend the field of the soul... so tonight, I think that I shall sleep deeply, because I have run another week's race.

And there you go... a peek inside of my brain.  

May the grace of Christ find you all tonight!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Afternoon...

Well, Sunday has drawn to a pause for me and my mind is racing with scores of details, developments, and dreams.

Its interesting to watch the faces of parishioners as I preach.  I wonder about the successes and pain, the laughter and sorrows which might have accompanied the week's experience into which I am speaking.  It is, in the end, the space between their ears which forms the fertile field of formation for the precepts of Christ I'm charged to preach.

Today's sermon was all about God as "Father".  It was a fun sermon to preach, because I got to talk about my kids, but tough because so many people have pain in their lives when it comes to the idea of "Daddy".  For me, I am blessed with a Dad who loves me; but I stand at the point of hope on the behalf of those who would dare hope once more upon the love of an Almighty, compassionate God.  

Indeed, in the end, there is nothing new under the sun (thank you, Qoheleth); and the struggle of children to deal with their experiences in the families of origin is nothing new... but today, I preached into that struggle, and I wonder with concern for my people.  If only we might embrace God as He reveals Himself to be... willingly laying aside our own detrimental experiences and biases... wouldn't that be something!

The faces race through my mind, and my heart prays silent prayers after the last notes have sounded, and the final offerings of communion have been taken.  And that is what runs through the space between my ears in the hours after... just in case you might have wondered.

May the blessings of Christ be abundantly upon you today!


Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Saturday Press

Saturday in the mind of a pastor can be a place of many terraces.

By this time, my sermon has been rattling around in my head for at least a week, in this case for a lot longer, has made its way onto my desk for several hours of page turning and translation either during normal hours, or late evening, and is percolating now in my sub-conscience vying for attention in the conversations of my home.

The truth is, I find my sermons growing roots in my own life and relationship with God long, long before I ever reach the pulpit.  And this week, I'm preaching on what it means to believe.

For some years I have lived with the growing realization that the root of Biblical belief is found in followship.  The funny thing is that those who have not spent years in the church seem to sometimes get this more than those of us who have... its interesting to me.  Indeed, the grace of God is beyond our ability to earn, but we must also realize that faith is only proved out through the exercise of it in real time.

Today, I read again a reference to "Moses, the servant of God" in the book of Joshua, chapter 18, and was struck by the reminder that this title is venerated in Scripture unto the uber-committed.  Even the basic Greek word for belief lends itself more to following God than understanding God, though certainly the understanding of the basics of who God is, and the soul's embrace of His grace offered through Christ are integral parts of the whole.

In the end, "I believe" joins us more to the ancient Hebrew fathers, the church fathers, and indeed to Christ Himself as we engage true belief... heart, soul, mind, and strength.  It is in the latter that the three before it find their proof, and that the venerated title, "servant of God" seems to be found.

Oh that I would run this race in such a way as that!

And that my friends, is what runs through the space between my ears this morning as I play with my children, hear the songs of my daughter, and help my son make great adventures in the backyard.

May your belief find feet this morning; indeed may it be so for all of us!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Pushin' Forty

I'm about to turn thirty-nine in just a few months, and the realization that I'm pushin' forty has been creeping up on me for some time now.

I can't really claim mid-thirties anymore, my twenties are somewhere back on the side of the road half forgotten, and college seems like it happened in a different life-time!  Just this past July, I noticed that I had more grey hair in my beard than I could easily count... the funny thing is, I thought to myself, "cool".

It's funny being a part of my generation at this stage of life.  I'm not quite a dead-head, and didn't see Hendrix play the national anthem, but I remember Hank Aaron hitting one out of the park at Arlington stadium toward the end of his career.  I'm not a child of the 50's or the 60's, but still live in the afterwash of the weird combined impact of both eras.  Computers were a brand new thing when I went to college, but I love my macbook pro!  I spend half my journaling online, and half in a leather-bound book that would fit in a study a hundred years ago.  It's cool and weird all at the same time.

Last week I read something cool that put things into perspective for me.  I read about the time when Moses came out to address the people of Israel before they went into the Promised Land of Canaan.  He was passing the torch of Leadership to Joshua, and suddenly it hit me that even Joshua was getting a little "long in the tooth" himself!  It seems that Joshua was between 60 & 80 (if the quick math in my head serves me well) when he picked up leading all of Israel... and suddenly, I felt young again!

I can imagine relating to Joshua in my youth, when every turn felt as though I was about to enter the Promised Land, only to find that life, and ministry, are a long journey home.  I can think of times of my life that felt like wondering in a desert, and suddenly realize that Joshua had to do that with the children of Israel for far, far longer than I have ever experienced.  I think of my life now, even as I sit at my kitchen counter on my day off and type this on a beautiful, easy to use, computer, and realize how very blessed I am!

The days of charging wind mills long past, my life is one of walking with people... leading them to the God I know and have come to love and live for.  Individuals have become more important than movements; the latter serving the former instead of the other way around... and interestingly enough, I still get up in the mornings enthusiastic about giving my life to the movement of, the person of, the mission of God today.

Pushin' forty seems suddenly like a starting place, and something deep within me says that it was always supposed to be just that.

May the blessings of Christ be upon you today!


A New Day in the Big Easy

Well, its a new day... I've progressed into the virtual age and have started bloggin!  For a man who loves real pages of real books, writes with real ink from real pens, this is a big step!

The cool thing is, I get to be connected with all of you in a new, real-time way!

So welcome to my life!  It's where the ancient meets the modern, and technology collides with classical to form the chocolate in peanut butter life I know... and I'm glad you're along for the ride!