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Read:  Matthew 14:22-33

In have a lot of memories from playing football in high school.  I was a pretty good lineman (both defense and offense) and I loved playing the game.  One of my memories was a drill where guys would line up in two rows about five yards apart.  Each player would have these padded football shields.  We would take turns running through the gauntlet to the end where our coach was holding on to a 48″ football dummy bag.  Our goal was the run through t gauntlet until we got to the coach and then we would hit him as hard as we could driving him back five to ten yards.  The trick was as we were running through the gauntlet our teammates would be hitting us with these dummy shields as hard as they could, trying to knock us down.  So we would run entering the gauntlet and make it twenty-five yards to freedom.  After a few times doing this drill I found if I absorbed the hits and focused on my coach, I could make it to the other side with very few problems.

I suspect that’s how Peter felt as he started his journey walking on the water towards Jesus.  He kept his eyes focused on Jesus, taking one step at a time and he let all other distracts fall by the wayside.  This worked for awhile but soon the hits became too much and he started to fall, he took his eyes off of Jesus and started to sink into the abyss.

I don’t know how long Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, my guess is a second or two.  But during those few seconds Peter lost his focus and he started to fall into the water!!! Now, I am sure he was terrified, I am sure his life started to flash before his eyes,  I am sure he thought he was going to die but suddenly Jesus came into the picture and Jesus pulled Peter out of the water. Thanks be to God!

We can totally relate to Peter!  Because we too have our battles to face, they might not be football players trying to knock us down or enormous waves come crashing around us.

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Seperation From God

The Story of James and Tony





Read:  Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23


We use to sing a lot at Bible camp. I was a counselor at a camp for about 10 summers.  This past week I took a bunch of my kids from the church where I am a pastor to camp for our yearly confirmation retreat.  It brought back a lot of good memories from summers past.  After reading this upcoming week’s Gospel lesson I thought of an amazing song someone use to sing at camp way back when.


The words are:


Lord, let my heart be good soil,
open to the seed of your word.
Lord, let my heart be good soil,
where love can grow and peace is understood.
When my heart is hard, break the stone away.
When my heart is cold, warm it with the day.
When my heart is lost, lead me on your way.
Lord, let my heart, Lord, let my heart, Lord, let my heart be good soil. 


When I sing this I am brought to the foot of the cross of Jesus and I am praying for God to be with me in my times of trouble.  I am praying that the word of God is planted in my heart and that I can plant the seed of God’s word in other people’s hearts.


That’s what this parable is all about for me.  In the parable of the sower, Jesus is main character.  We can view the sower as Jesus.  Jesus does not care where he is scattering his seeds.  Some people might think that Jesus is wasting much of the seed because many times it is scattered upon ground that appears to promise little fruit.  Jesus spends his time with tax collectors and sinners, with lepers, the demon-possessed, and all manner of outcasts. Will they become faithful disciples? There is no guarantee but the seed is planted.


If we are honest with ourselves, we can probably find evidence of several kinds of soil in our lives and in our communities of faith on any given day.  Jesus does not say that we should be good soil, but that we are to plant the seeds of faith.


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Commissioned to Go