© St. Paul Lutheran Church - 721 Twelfth Ave. Huntington, WV 25701 - (304) 525-9630
St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church 721 Twelfth Ave. Huntington, WV 25701   (304) 525-9630
Advent 1 Dearest Jesus, It has seemed like a long time since I have written to you. I know life is what we make of it. It is the choices that we make that reflect your goodness and mercy that are the most important in life. It is the Advent season once again. A time of reflection on faith and practice. A time of reflection on being your servants in the world. The congregation you have given me to serve has been such a blessing to me and my family. There are many dedicated servants of you in this place. Lately, I have been thinking much about the words: “membership” and “servant”. What do those two words mean? How do they impact who I am as a follower of you - Jesus? I have thought that maybe we should just throw out the word “membership” in relationship to your church Lord Jesus. Not sure if that is a good thing. Do we still need to use the term as it relates to our work – your work – in the church? Maybe we should meld the two together. Something like – member/ servant or – servant/member. I do know that language and how we use it is important. A colleague of mine and a servant in your church has taught me this. I also know that when I think and act like a servant of you Jesus life is different. I am not as anxious. I am a bit calmer when my schedule gets thrown off. Maybe that’s it Jesus! Keep the word “SERVANT OF CHRIST” in my mind – be mindful of it as I live life and interact with others around me. Thanks for your listening ear Lord Jesus Christ. More next week. Kevin L. servant of Jesus and pastor of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church  SOME QUESTIONS TO PONDER THIS WEEK OF ADVENT 1 1. Where can you show Jesus this week? At work? In your family? Be open to the Holy Spirit’s nudging in this endeavor. 2. Pray for someone who comes into your mind. Lift them up to Jesus. 3. Be mindful of the word “servant” in your life this week. What’s it look like to be a servant daily walking with Jesus? Advent 2 Dearest Lord Jesus, The days are counting down to Christmas. Of course, the preparation for us as your followers is something a bit different. Our preparation is both the outward stuff of trees and lights and presents and parties as well as an inward and reflective one. Truth be told I like the inward one the most. Sometimes people drain me. But sometimes people give me strength and energy. Go figure! According to Myers Briggs (a personality inventory) I am right in the middle of the scale of introvert and extravert. Again – go figure!  This is kind of played out as I recently found out that two people of seeming opposing lifestyles share a birthday with me (February 4) – Alice Cooper and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I guess that makes me a bit confusing sometimes to people. We must be totally confusing to you Lord. The good news is that you love us and gift us with Grace daily despite our confusing personalities. I have been pondering Grace lately. It is one of those words we say a lot in the church. A churchy word. What does Grace look like? How do we live Grace – full lives? How does Grace impact my life and all the confusing stuff which doesn’t seem to make sense in the world? What does “doing Grace” in church look like, especially when hard decisions have to be made? How does Grace impact me as a parent/ grandparent/ friend when I have been hurt and wounded? All good questions, I guess. Not sure if I can answer them. But I guess that is what these ponderings are about asking questions. Maybe, just maybe Grace is a lived-out action. It is keeping it in our thoughts. Advent is a time to keep Grace in our thoughts. It is a time to express Grace daily. As your daily “outward” preparations move forward may your Grace – full moments do the same. As always Lord keep me and those I serve in your name in this Grace. Kevin <>< baptized child of God – pastor of St Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church PONDERING QUESTIONS: SEE PARAGRAPH THREE! Advent 3  Dearest Lord Jesus, Well the countdown is on! At least it is in the stores! Eight days to go! It is so easy to be pulled toward all the “outward” stuff of Christmas. Makes me feel good. I like purchasing gifts for my family and friends. I especially like all the lights. Of course we humans sometimes go over the top. I like plain white and simple. Maybe this reflects more on where I am in life than anything else. One of your messages to us in the Gospel of Matthew says: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under a bushel, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.” Doesn’t say maybe we are light. Doesn’t say you can be light if you want to be light. Doesn’t say be light only between the hours of 9 and 5. You say Jesus – YOU ARE LIGHT! So what do we do with this? Maybe it is about reflecting the light of Christ daily all around us. Maybe it is about how Christ’s light shines through when we have times of anxiousness. That is really hard Jesus! Guess life as your follower is about seeing light – your light – in people we would never have thought to see your light. Children are good reflectors of your light. I have always said that whether we are 9 months, 9 or 90 years we are still your child. The other day Alexandria said: “You know what Papa – God is never mad at us – God is only sad”. My heart softened of course. Alexandria is growing faith. Her light is coming out. My job – indeed all the adults in her life’s job is to continue to grow that faith. Special thanks to the adults (that I know of) helping her grow this faith – Shannon, Jill, all the people at Good News Club at Davis Creek Elementary and most especially Kathy – Alexandria’s Mama. QUESTIONS TO PONDER: 1. What does your light of Christ look like? Who are the people who have helped you grow your faith? 2. Too much light can be blinding. Can Jesus’ light be too blinding? Why or why not? Do you need to be “blinded” by Christ’s light once in a while? 3. Where is God calling you to show the light of God’s Son Jesus? Advent 4 Dearest Lord Two more days! As I write this there is two more days till Christmas! Alexandria is excited. I am sure all are excited. It will be nice to be at home with family. To be in our jammies playing games – grazing on cookies and other goodies and just generally relaxing. Last week I wrote at the end of my Advent 3 pondering about faith growth. I have been thinking about this faith growth stuff even more since last week. What does it take to grow faith? Does it just happen? Does it just appear and we are good to go? Which way is it Jesus? Maybe, just maybe it is yes that pure gift – but it is also learning and growing and changing. Seems to me the witness of scripture shows us this. One prime example I can think of is Saul/ Paul. He was zealous (fierce opponent) of the new sect called the Way (as in the Way of Jesus). He was killing them! But then God – you Lord Jesus – knocked him on his can, literally and he was blinded. He had to rely on others to lead him into town. Once in town he met a man named Ananias who had his own vision from Jesus. In the vision he was told to take in this man and teach him, nurture him. The book of Acts says Saul/ Paul stayed with Ananias for several days. Seems to me that was the learning and teaching and pondering time. So where am I going with all this? Seems to me that you ask us Lord to make faith a priority in our lives. One of the ways that is done is through regular worship. It is also done through study of Scripture and prayer. As we make faith a priority in life and we do and grow and are challenged by that faith you move us (with the Holy Spirit’s guidance) into places you would have us go. Where are you leading us Lord Jesus? Into places unknown? Into new ways of seeing your will being done? The baby born in Bethlehem reminds us that you are in the word. This baby reminds us that God IS with us as we grow faith with your help. Alleluia and Amen. Your servant seeking to live faith Kevin <>< Christmas 1 Merry Christmas! Twelve days to celebrate Jesus’ birth among us. When we first adopted our children we did a 12 day opening gift routine. It only lasted one year mostly because the parents (Kathy and I) had a hard time finding 12 presents for under the tree. The other issue of course is that our two young children didn’t want to wait 12 days to get all their stuff. I guess it was a good try on our part. It also reminded me that we as followers of Jesus don’t do like the stores/ retail shops and put everything on special December 26. We celebrate 12 days of Jesus’ birth. Pondering questions: How are you celebrating the 12 days of Christmas? What could you do (besides opening gifts for 12 days) to celebrate these 12 days? Do something with family? Watch 12 Christmas movies, one each day? Pray for 12 different people each of the 12 days? Be creative in your celebration of these 12 days. Pastor Mackey <>< Epiphany – Baptism of our Lord  Dearest Lord, Been thinking much these days about the churchy word “repentance”. Guess it is because I have been prepping for the Baptism of our Lord Sunday on January 13. I have been thinking about this because it seems to me that we don’t talk much about repentance. What is it? What does it mean? What does it have to do with my life as a faithful disciple of Jesus? Your servant John the Baptist is the one who seems to stir people up with a call to repentance. He even calls people “brood of vipers”. His leadership style is not one of collaboration but confrontation. Change and change now. John of course was the one to remind us to get ready for the kingdom come near – Immanuel – God is with us. God IS with us in Jesus. One commentator puts it this way: “We think we know what repentance is. John the Baptist was not offering a better way to live, though a better way to live was entailed by the kingdom that he proclaimed come near. Such a kingdom does not come through our trying to be better people. Rather the kingdom comes through making imperative (RIGHT NOW) our repentance. John’s call to repent is not for us to change the world, but rather John calls for repentance because the world is being and will be changed by the one whom John knows is to come. JESUS! With the kingdom come near God is showing – gifting us with a new way of life. A new way of ordering life. A life that is to/ toward God. A life that through the work of the Holy Spirit is challenged, comforted and encouraged to grow in grace. To grow in faith (see previous pondering). May your faith grow these days of Epiphany. Blessings on our way. Kevin L. – child of God – sent into the world.
Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top

PASTOR’S PONDERINGS – a weekly pondering from Pastor Mackey

Select the Pondering from the list below: Easter Advent 1 Advent 3  Christmas 1 Advent 2 Advent 4 Epiphany
Easter Dearest Lord and Savior, I have been thinking much lately about faith. Not sure why this has come up so much. Maybe it is because faith it is an important part of my life as your follower. Maybe it is because I have had opportunity to talk about faith with others. Faith is what sustains me. Faith is what gives me joy. Faith is what reminds me that I am loved when I don’t feel like I am lovable. Faith also though is something that matures. Is that right? Do I have mature faith? Not sure sometimes. This is especially true at challenging times. I guess this is where I need others to help me. Maybe that is how faith can mature – through others. Other people listen to my challenges of faith. Other people pray with me when faith seems lost. Other people teach and show me faith. Thank you for this community Lord. It seems to me also that Easter is a story of faith. It reminds us that God is out in the world. It reminds us that the world will never be the same. It reminds us that faith matures as we take time to listen and be with others. A prayer of thanksgiving to you Lord Jesus. Thank you for the privilege of being able to preside over the sacraments here at St. Paul – visible signs of God’s grace. Special treat – 4 baptisms tomorrow! That is so cool! Thank you Lord for all and especially thank you for faith. Your servant, Kevin L. Mackey <><
Back to Top Back to Top
© St. Paul Lutheran Church - 721 Twelfth Ave. Huntington, WV 25701 - (304) 525-9630
St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church
Advent 1 Dearest Jesus, It has seemed like a long time since I have written to you. I know life is what we make of it. It is the choices that we make that reflect your goodness and mercy that are the most important in life. It is the Advent season once again. A time of reflection on faith and practice. A time of reflection on being your servants in the world. The congregation you have given me to serve has been such a blessing to me and my family. There are many dedicated servants of you in this place. Lately, I have been thinking much about the words: “membership” and “servant”. What do those two words mean? How do they impact who I am as a follower of you - Jesus? I have thought that maybe we should just throw out the word “membership” in relationship to your church Lord Jesus. Not sure if that is a good thing. Do we still need to use the term as it relates to our work – your work – in the church?  Maybe we should meld the two together. Something like – member/ servant or – servant/member. I do know that language and how we use it is important. A colleague of mine and a servant in your church has taught me this. I also know that when I think and act like a servant of you Jesus life is different. I am not as anxious. I am a bit calmer when my schedule gets thrown off. Maybe that’s it Jesus! Keep the word “SERVANT OF CHRIST” in my mind – be mindful of it as I live life and interact with others around me. Thanks for your listening ear Lord Jesus Christ. More next week. Kevin L. servant of Jesus and pastor of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church  SOME QUESTIONS TO PONDER THIS WEEK OF ADVENT 1 1. Where can you show Jesus this week? At work? In your family? Be open to the Holy Spirit’s nudging in this endeavor. 2. Pray for someone who comes into your mind. Lift them up to Jesus. 3. Be mindful of the word “servant” in your life this week. What’s it look like to be a servant daily walking with Jesus? Advent 2  Dearest Lord Jesus, The days are counting down to Christmas. Of course, the preparation for us as your followers is something a bit different. Our preparation is both the outward stuff of trees and lights and presents and parties as well as an inward and reflective one. Truth be told I like the inward one the most. Sometimes people drain me. But sometimes people give me strength and energy. Go figure! According to Myers Briggs (a personality inventory) I am right in the middle of the scale of introvert and extravert. Again – go figure!  This is kind of played out as I recently found out that two people of seeming opposing lifestyles share a birthday with me (February 4) – Alice Cooper and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I guess that makes me a bit confusing sometimes to people. We must be totally confusing to you Lord. The good news is that you love us and gift us with Grace daily despite our confusing personalities. I have been pondering Grace lately. It is one of those words we say a lot in the church. A churchy word. What does Grace look like? How do we live Grace – full lives? How does Grace impact my life and all the confusing stuff which doesn’t seem to make sense in the world? What does “doing Grace” in church look like, especially when hard decisions have to be made? How does Grace impact me as a parent/ grandparent/ friend when I have been hurt and wounded? All good questions, I guess. Not sure if I can answer them. But I guess that is what these ponderings are about asking questions. Maybe, just maybe Grace is a lived-out action. It is keeping it in our thoughts. Advent is a time to keep Grace in our thoughts. It is a time to express Grace daily. As your daily “outward” preparations move forward may your Grace – full moments do the same. As always Lord keep me and those I serve in your name in this Grace. Kevin baptized child of God – pastor of St Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church PONDERING QUESTIONS: SEE PARAGRAPH THREE! Advent 3  Dearest Lord Jesus, Well the countdown is on! At least it is in the stores! Eight days to go! It is so easy to be pulled toward all the “outward” stuff of Christmas. Makes me feel good. I like purchasing gifts for my family and friends. I especially like all the lights. Of course we humans sometimes go over the top. I like plain white and simple. Maybe this reflects more on where I am in life than anything else. One of your messages to us in the Gospel of Matthew says: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under a bushel, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.” Doesn’t say maybe we are light. Doesn’t say you can be light if you want to be light. Doesn’t say be light only between the hours of 9 and 5. You say Jesus – YOU ARE LIGHT! So what do we do with this? Maybe it is about reflecting the light of Christ daily all around us. Maybe it is about how Christ’s light shines through when we have times of anxiousness. That is really hard Jesus! Guess life as your follower is about seeing light – your light – in people we would never have thought to see your light. Children are good reflectors of your light. I have always said that whether we are 9 months, 9 or 90 years we are still your child. The other day Alexandria said: “You know what Papa – God is never mad at us – God is only sad”. My heart softened of course. Alexandria is growing faith. Her light is coming out. My job – indeed all the adults in her life’s job is to continue to grow that faith. Special thanks to the adults (that I know of) helping her grow this faith – Shannon, Jill, all the people at Good News Club at Davis Creek Elementary and most especially Kathy – Alexandria’s Mama. QUESTIONS TO PONDER: 1. What does your light of Christ look like? Who are the people who have helped you grow your faith? 2. Too much light can be blinding. Can Jesus’ light be too blinding? Why or why not? Do you need to be “blinded” by Christ’s light once in a while? 3. Where is God calling you to show the light of God’s Son Jesus? Advent 4 Dearest Lord Two more days! As I write this there is two more days till Christmas! Alexandria is excited. I am sure all are excited. It will be nice to be at home with family. To be in our jammies playing games – grazing on cookies and other goodies and just generally relaxing. Last week I wrote at the end of my Advent 3 pondering about faith growth. I have been thinking about this faith growth stuff even more since last week. What does it take to grow faith? Does it just happen? Does it just appear and we are good to go? Which way is it Jesus? Maybe, just maybe it is yes that pure gift – but it is also learning and growing and changing. Seems to me the witness of scripture shows us this. One prime example I can think of is Saul/ Paul. He was zealous (fierce opponent) of the new sect called the Way (as in the Way of Jesus). He was killing them! But then God – you Lord Jesus – knocked him on his can, literally and he was blinded. He had to rely on others to lead him into town. Once in town he met a man named Ananias who had his own vision from Jesus. In the vision he was told to take in this man and teach him, nurture him. The book of Acts says Saul/ Paul stayed with Ananias for several days. Seems to me that was the learning and teaching and pondering time. So where am I going with all this? Seems to me that you ask us Lord to make faith a priority in our lives. One of the ways that is done is through regular worship. It is also done through study of Scripture and prayer. As we make faith a priority in life and we do and grow and are challenged by that faith you move us (with the Holy Spirit’s guidance) into places you would have us go. Where are you leading us Lord Jesus? Into places unknown? Into new ways of seeing your will being done? The baby born in Bethlehem reminds us that you are in the word. This baby reminds us that God IS with us as we grow faith with your help. Alleluia and Amen. Your servant seeking to live faith Kevin <>< Christmas 1  Merry Christmas! Twelve days to celebrate Jesus’ birth among us. When we first adopted our children we did a 12 day opening gift routine. It only lasted one year mostly because the parents (Kathy and I) had a hard time finding 12 presents for under the tree. The other issue of course is that our two young children didn’t want to wait 12 days to get all their stuff. I guess it was a good try on our part. It also reminded me that we as followers of Jesus don’t do like the stores/ retail shops and put everything on special December 26. We celebrate 12 days of Jesus’ birth. Pondering questions: How are you celebrating the 12 days of Christmas? What could you do (besides opening gifts for 12 days) to celebrate these 12 days? Do something with family? Watch 12 Christmas movies, one each day? Pray for 12 different people each of the 12 days? Be creative in your celebration of these 12 days. Pastor Mackey <>< Epiphany – Baptism of our Lord  Dearest Lord, Been thinking much these days about the churchy word “repentance”. Guess it is because I have been prepping for the Baptism of our Lord Sunday on January 13. I have been thinking about this because it seems to me that we don’t talk much about repentance. What is it? What does it mean? What does it have to do with my life as a faithful disciple of Jesus? Your servant John the Baptist is the one who seems to stir people up with a call to repentance. He even calls people “brood of vipers”. His leadership style is not one of collaboration but confrontation. Change and change now. John of course was the one to remind us to get ready for the kingdom come near – Immanuel – God is with us. God IS with us in Jesus. One commentator puts it this way: “We think we know what repentance is. John the Baptist was not offering a better way to live, though a better way to live was entailed by the kingdom that he proclaimed come near. Such a kingdom does not come through our trying to be better people. Rather the kingdom comes through making imperative (RIGHT NOW) our repentance. John’s call to repent is not for us to change the world, but rather John calls for repentance because the world is being and will be changed by the one whom John knows is to come. JESUS! With the kingdom come near God is showing – gifting us with a new way of life. A new way of ordering life. A life that is  to/ toward God. A life that through the work of the Holy Spirit is challenged, comforted and encouraged to grow in grace. To grow in faith (see previous pondering). May your faith grow these days of Epiphany. Blessings on our way. Kevin L. – child of God – sent into the world

PASTOR’S PONDERINGS – a weekly pondering from Pastor Mackey

Select the Pondering from the list below: Easter Advent 1           Advent 3  Christmas 1 Advent 2           Advent 4 Epiphany
Easter Dearest Lord and Savior, I have been thinking much lately about faith. Not sure why this has come up so much. Maybe it is because faith it is an important part of my life as your follower. Maybe it is because I have had opportunity to talk about faith with others. Faith is what sustains me. Faith is what gives me joy. Faith is what reminds me that I am loved when I don’t feel like I am lovable. Faith also though is something that matures. Is that right? Do I have mature faith? Not sure sometimes. This is especially true at challenging times. I guess this is where I need others to help me. Maybe that is how faith can mature – through others. Other people listen to my challenges of faith. Other people pray with me when faith seems lost. Other people teach and show me faith. Thank you for this community Lord. It seems to me also that Easter is a story of faith. It reminds us that God is out in the world. It reminds us that the world will never be the same. It reminds us that faith matures as we take time to listen and be with others. A prayer of thanksgiving to you Lord Jesus. Thank you for the privilege of being able to preside over the sacraments here at St. Paul – visible signs of God’s grace. Special treat – 4 baptisms tomorrow! That is so cool! Thank you Lord for all and especially thank you for faith. Your servant, Kevin L. Mackey <><