Knocked Off a Horse

Knocked Off a Horse  Acts 9:1-20  John 21:1-19   Russell Eidmann-Hicks I hit the log straight on.  John, on the bike in front of me, pulled up on his front tire and jumped right over it.  But not me.  As he sped away, I found myself flipping up and over the handlebars, flying high momen-tarily through the warm spring morning – before smashing head-first onto the cold, wet ground.   My first though was of Superman, Christopher Reeve, and how he was paralyzed for life after a fall from a jumping a horse.  I stumbled to my feet, rolled my neck, and found I was fully functional.  But I learned a valuable lesson: don’t be an idiot while riding full speed in the woods! Have you been knocked off your horse recently?  Good!   Sometimes it does us good to be thrown down off your high horse – as long as you get [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 April 14th, 2016|April 2016|Comments Off on Knocked Off a Horse

Spirit Guide

Spirit Guide   Acts 5:27-32  John 20:19-31 From ancient times and in many cultures, a spirit guide is an animal spirit – encountered by a native shaman – to bring healing or guidance into the spirit world.   In New Age circles, a spirit guide is often seen as a heavenly being – like a glittering, smiling, (often blond) angel – who offers spiritual guidance and cheerful healing energy.  This radiant angelic guide is there for your biding – to bring you what you want – like Aladdin’s Genie – no strings attached.  You get this because you’re special, ‘spiritual’ and enlightened. It sounds appealing – but a bit too easy and sweet…. Jesus comes as Spirit Guide, but as one who is earthly, grounded.  He does not come as one who forces control or who possesses our souls – but as one wounded and vulnerable.   He comes to serve – not to [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 April 5th, 2016|April 2016|Comments Off on Spirit Guide

Easter Sunrise Meditation 3.27.16 7am

Easter Sunrise Meditation   March 27, 2016   7am      Russell Eidmann-Hicks Resurrection is a live experience, and it often takes time – it is a slow dawning – a gradual revelation.  It is the revelation of God’s love – like the sun rising from the dark, through the trees, bathing the world with joy. An example of this comes from the deep South as the Civil Rights movement was dawning. Clarence Jordan was born July 29, 1912, to prominent white citizens of Talbotton, Georgia. The American South of his youth was one of racial segregation and prejudice. Even as a boy, Clarence was sensitive to the rampant hypocrisy evidenced by such injustices, particularly when they intersected religion in Bible-belt Georgia. At age twelve, Clarence joined a local church after a summer revival. But during Sunday school he wondered why, if their song – “Red and yellow, black and white, they [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 March 28th, 2016|March 2016|Comments Off on Easter Sunrise Meditation 3.27.16 7am

Good Friday Meditation 3.25.16

Good Friday meditation 2016      Russell Eidmann-Hicks Writing in 1947, when the full horrors of the Holocaust had only just come to light, C. S. Lewis wrote, “There is all the difference in the world between forgiving and excusing.” Forgiveness is not about excusing or exonerating people, nor is it about weighing the morality – or immorality – of their actions.   Real forgiveness means looking steadily at the sin, the sin that is left over without any excuse, after all allowances have been made, and seeing it in all its horror, dirt, meanness and malice, and nevertheless being wholly reconciled to the person who has done it. That, and only that, is forgiveness. Tonight we look without flinching at one example of a brutal arrest, torture and execution of an innocent man.   This is not unique in this world, in fact it happens quite often – and still goes [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 March 28th, 2016|March 2016, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Good Friday Meditation 3.25.16

Dawning to New Life

Easter Sunday 2016   March 27, 2016  Isaiah 65:17–25    John 20:1-18    Russell Eidmann-Hicks Have you ever been possessed by a demon?  Demons take many forms – anxiety, addiction, depression, rage, jealousy, greed – and so many more.    It says that Mary Magdalene had been healed by Jesus of seven demons that had inhabited her soul.  What was her story?  Perhaps she had been locked in a tomb filled with evil voices – voices of self-degradation or criticism, of emotional confusion and terror, fear, or compulsion.  Her life had become a living hell, a tornado of self-loathing and defeat, of self-abuse and neglect.  Mary was trapped in a tomb, walled up inside, without light or hope. Then one day Jesus walked into her life.  A glimmer of light cracked through the door.  “Is it possible to find a new life?” she may have asked.  “Are these demons so strong they [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 March 28th, 2016|March 2016|Comments Off on Dawning to New Life

Like a Rolling Stone

Like a Rolling Stone   Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016  Psalm 31:9–16     Luke 19:28-40 Rabbi Lawrence Kushner told a story on the radio show “On Being” last week:  He said that his education director asked him to talk to the pre-school class on the synagogue’s ‘bima’ where the Torah scrolls are stored, behind a curtain.   The class was ushered in and just as they were facing the curtain, Rabbi Kushner was told that he had an important call, and had to leave right away.  The little kids were led back to their classroom – and told they would be able to see what is behind the curtain another time.   Later the teacher told Rabbi Kushner that the children were intrigued by the curtain and what might be behind it.  Many had opinions abut what might be found behind the curtain.  One child, described by the rabbi as being a [...]

By | 2016-03-21T14:17:37+00:00 March 21st, 2016|March 2016|Comments Off on Like a Rolling Stone


Diakoneo      Isaiah 43:16–21     John 12:1-8 The spiritual writer, Parker Palmer, went through a protracted period of deep, agonizing depression.  In his writings, he blamed it on ways that he had flown too high, become too judgmental of himself and more.  But truthfully, depression cannot always be explained; it just happens.  Palmer holed up alone in the Pendell Hill Quaker retreat center in a small cottage.  Friends wrote to him, visited and tried to give him advice, or they gave him veiled criticisms, asking why he, a spiritual writer, should be having such difficulty.  (Physician heal thyself!)   But then, every day an elder Quaker would come by Palmer’s cottage, let himself in, and bend down and rub Palmer’s feet.  Without a word he would quietly massage his feet, and then stand, and show himself out.   Palmer said his was the very best of care at his worst moment. [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 March 21st, 2016|March 2016, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Diakoneo

The Running Father

2 Corinthians 5:16-21     Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32                                                  Russell Eidmann-Hicks The prodigal son was no hero – right?  He was a mess: immature, selfish, stupid and short-sighted.   The word “prodigal” means excessive, wasteful, over-the-top.  He took his father’s open-handed inheritance as the 2nd son, and he blew it on parties, wine, women, fancy food. Instead of saving a penny he ended up with empty pockets when a famine struck.  When he got work, he envied the filthy pigs because they were given pods in their slop and he was given nothing.   We’ve known people like that – people who just wouldn’t listen to reason, who drive too fast, who get drunk, don’t save, or take drugs, who use others, and rush as foolishly as possible toward the edge of the cliff.   We shake our heads, turn down their invitations, don’t return their phone calls, and write them off.   Good riddance, right? In my [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 March 7th, 2016|March 2016|Comments Off on The Running Father

Trust in the Promise

Trust in the Promise    Genesis 15:1–12, 17–18     Luke 13:31–35 The sun was broiling, baking the asphalt of the narrow road through endless miles of jungle.   Before the tire blew out, we had driven for at least an hour without seeing a town or garage, so chances of getting help were pretty slim.   Martha and I couldn’t sit in the car because the sun was too intense, so we got out to look at the tire and to see if the rental car had a spare and a tire iron and jack.  As I rose out of the car, I was confronted with a dozen men dressed in rags stepping silently out of the forest and quickly surrounding the car.   We stopped and stared at each other – native Mexicans from the wilds of the Yucatan, and two stranded, privileged American tourists.   Could we trust them?  We were completely [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 February 24th, 2016|February 2016|Comments Off on Trust in the Promise

All Gifts Matter

All Gifts Welcome  I Corinthians 12:1-11      John 2:1-12   Rev. Rusty Eidmann-Hicks In his book, Community: the Structure of Belonging, Peter Block writes: “If we care about transformation, then we will stay focused on gifts, to such an extent that our work becomes to simply bring the gifts of those on the margin into the center.” Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians that each gift of those in the community of faith – especially those on the margins - has value.   The various talents and callings of its diverse members contribute to the health of the common good.   We differ – and what we have to offer is unique – but working together we make one body, one whole.   In Paul’s day the Corinthian community in Greece was amazingly varied, since the Roman Empire drew upon people from its widest reaches.   Travel was easy and safe because of its roads, and [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 January 19th, 2016|Sermon - January 2016|Comments Off on All Gifts Matter