Pastor's Blog
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December 16, 2016, 12:00 AM


So I walked into the church building on Thursday morning, 12/15/16. As I approached my office I noticed the green holiday wreath that adorned the door had been replaced by a different one. It had Christmas tree ornaments on it and canes that looked like the candy ones. As I got closer I noticed there was writing on the ornaments and the canes - one word: PITT. Someone (and you know who you are) had crafted a holiday wreath for my office door celebrating the University of Pittsburgh. The humor in all of this is that when you open my office door and walk in, you realize pretty quickly that I am a fan of WEST VIRGINA, not Pitt. The colors of my office are WEST VIRGINIA blue and yellow and a quick glance around reveals at least eight different things that say WEST VIRGINIA, including my bachelor’s degree that hangs on the wall. Mountaineers and Panthers have not cared for each other – at least on the football field – for a very long time. Even now that the “Back Yard Brawl” has gone the way of the dodo, it is hard for me to acknowledge the great season the Pitt football team has had this year, and hard for me not to brag about WEST VIRGINIA’S  10-2 record, particularly to Pitt fans…….

That being said, if you visit me at my office you will see the Pitt wreath is still hanging on my door. I confess I have thought a lot about taking it down…maybe using it to start a fire or something like that. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that’s one of the challenges in our culture today – turf wars. We spend huge amounts of time trying to defend and prove the correctness of our particular ground, and all that happens is the canyon between us gets wider making it harder and harder to build a bridge. As long as there have been more human beings than one on this planet, people have viewed things differently. History is replete with examples of progress that only came from different viewpoints choosing compromise and giving a little bit so that a relationship, an organization, a nation could find its way forward. The most rewarding moments in my journey of ministry have been the times we have let go of who wins and who loses and searched hard for the ground where all of us could stand shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, even while we saw things differently. It is hard work – this work of compromise and common ground – but it is key to following Jesus, seems to me. Romans 12: “Live in harmony with each other…If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Verses 16a, 18) And I just read these words from Jesus yesterday, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

Sooooooooo…… the spirit of those verses, here goes….. (swallow)…….HAIL TO PITT!!!!.....especially a running back named James Connor, who would be exciting to watch no matter whose uniform he had on……. And remember…

Keep Lookin’ Up!
Pastor D.


12-17-2016 at 6:20 AM
Tom Young
I am NOT a poster of things on media sites, however in this case I need to say: SPOT ON BROTHER. There are those who would say that this is about a football rivalry, but it is much more than that. Your scripture verses are as relevant today as they were when they were written, perhaps even more. Just as you and many of us Pitt fans jockey back and forth about sports, we are all here for the glory of GOD.
12-16-2016 at 3:11 PM
Pat Mann
Great "blog." I remember reading this verse somewhere as such: "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone, especially those of the brethern." Makes sense!! Often enough, opposition or oppression comes from within the church, as Nehemiah found out. BUT, not in this case, Praise God.
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