Thursday, July 25, 2013

What's in a (Royal) Name?

George Alexander Louis, the new royal prince, has three names that all have family associations on William’s side of the family which is a very strong tradition for naming eldest sons in Scotland (remember there is much Scottish blood in the Queen’s ancestry).
 The press has managed to figure out two of the three connections correctly.  They are a bit baffled by the choice of the middle of the three names, and this is strange to me because the connection is very clear indeed.
George is of course for Queen Elizabeth II’s father, King George VI.  Louis is for Lord Louis Mountbatten. 
Alexander is for the Queen Mother’s beloved brother Alexander Bowes-Lyon (1887-1911) who was called Alec by the family, and who died quite suddenly at the age of 24.  Now you know.
Perhaps at some point the parents will speak more about this choice, which is a tender one and which also suits the other two names quite well.
Congratulations to one and all.

Come home to God, today.

Hearing that the well-known evangelist Major Daniel Webster Whittle was in town, a group of leading citizens approached him, and asked him if he would preach a sermon before a large crowd at the civic opera house in Pittsburgh.
The Major agreed, but he had only a few minutes to prepare. 
            He asked his wife, “What shall I say?”
            Overhearing the question, his daughter answered, saying earnestly, “Papa, tell them to come home!”
            That is exactly what he did.  And God blessed his message, which led to the conversion of many.

God is always invting us to come home.  All we need to do is answer God's invitation. 

Come home to God, today.  This is a Wekivaword.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Richard Clarke, who has served as the music director of the St. Bartholomew Faith Community in Wayzata, Minnesota since 1994, has recently become a friend through the wonderful connective powers of sacred music. 

Recently, Richard asked me to take a look at a hymn called "All My Hope On God Is Founded" which is a hymn based on two different author's words which were set to music by Henry Howells in memory of his son who had died.  The hymn tune is MICHAEL named in honor of Michael Howells.

MICHAEL is a marvelous hymn tune and one that I did not know until Richard asked me to look at it.  So many thanks to him, for introducing it to me.  I have been working on it ever since he suggested it and had about three of the five stanzas nearly done, and then set it aside.  I awakened early this morning to find that the remaining work was more or less in my head, so finished it around daybreak today.
I have tried to stay close to the intention of the original in this version which, because it uses some lines from the original, I have said is: After “All My Hope On God Is Founded”.

In the writing of the hymn, I saw the connection to the passage from Colossians, so placed the quotation within the subtitle.  I also was very moved by the account of the writing of the tune, by Howells, in memory of his son.  In a way, I fear that treading on so personal an experience might be an intrusion upon grief expressed in faith, but on the other hand, I do feel that a hymn using first person plural instead of first person singular is more appropriate for congregational song. So those changes were part of this new hymn.

Also, I like to see some sense that our faith is at work in what we do, so have tried to incorporate a sense of doing and action in some of the lines, which might not have been expressed as clearly in the original.  I understand the first three stanzas in the original are from Jaachim Neander (1650-1680) and the last two were apparently written by Robert Seymore Bridges (1844-1930).  I hope they will forgive my tinkering with their poetry.

If you find that you like this new hymn text, please contact me regarding permission for its use in your worship.

Colossians 1:23  "Continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.
 Text: John A. Dalles, 2013
Tune:  MICHAEL (In memory of his son, by Herbert Howells, 1892-1983)
Meter: 878767
 Every hope we have is grounded
In God’s grace forever true;
Change may challenge, chance may frighten,
Only God will see us through.
Do not fear; God is here—
Day by day and year by year!
Fame and fortune, gold and glory,
Tempt us and betray God’s trust;
Yet, with care God plans and fashions
Lasting works of righteousness.
God’s great power, hour by hour,
Is our temple and our tower.

God’s great goodness lasts forever—
God’s is brilliant, bold and wise,
God is light and life and splendor,
By God’s word new worlds arise—
Evermore from God’s store,
God creates us to adore.
Daily the Almighty Giver
grants us overflowing gifts;
God, our Maker, Guider, Savior,
Leads us forward and uplifts—
By God’s hand, may we stand,
And with joy do God’s command.

One and all, our voices raising,
May we pray “Thy will be done!”
High above all praises praising
Every grace of Christ the Son—
Do not fear; God is here—
Day by day and year by year!

After “All My Hope On God Is Founded”

Copyright © John A. Dalles, 2013.

 Permission granted for use in worship to Richard Clarke & the St. Bartholomew Catholic Faith Community, Wayzata, MN

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Forbearance is the Hallmark of Your Creed...


IV. Nine Visible Attributes of the Christian Life

A Sermon by The Rev. John A. Dalles

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Numbers 14:18; Galatians 5:22-23

The other day, I came across a list of words that have gone out of use, but maybe should not have. You decide.

Here are some of them…

Snoutfair: A person with a handsome countenance. Yes, just try using that one on your spouse today, “Honey you sure are looking ‘Snoutfair’!”

Lunting: Walking while smoking a pipe. Maybe we could repurpose that one for “Texting when driving”?

Groak: To silently watch someone while they are eating, hoping to be invited to join them. Our dog Brantley is an expert at this.

Curglaff: The shock felt in bathing when one first plunges into the cold water.

Tyro-man-cy: Divining by the coagulation of cheese — I think someone wrote a book on that and called it – The Curds and Their Ways.

…Oh! Here’s a great one…

Resistentialism: Which means: The seemingly spiteful behavior shown by inanimate objects. You know, like when the coffee table whacks you in the shin.

Old fashioned words keep disappearing. When they go out of use it suggests that the action or quality they represent is become scarcer and scarcer.

I doubt that few people beyond those born before 1930 use the term icebox any more – even when refereing to a cake recipe.

If you have an icebox in your house, let me know.

And let me know what day the iceman cometh…

“Forbearance” is one of those disappearing words.

I ask you…

Have you heard anyone say it conversation within the past several decades?

No. Nor have I.

And that is a problem.

Because if the word is going, going, gone…than the quality it stands for is also doomed like the passenger pigeon and the moa.

There ain't no moa any moa.

But I digress. So back to the word forbearance…

Often this Fruit Of The Holy Spirit is translated into the English word “Patience”. It is a fair rendering of the meaning Paul is getting at. When we are patient, we know that something is going to happen, but we wait for it without fretting and without agitation.

The quality of being forbearing, however, goes beyond patience.

To forbear is to meaning 'stop yourself from doing something'.

And that is even harder than being patient.

We know ourselves to be rash and hasty at times.

We confess it is true.


Often we go ahead and do something or say something that we later regret.

Here is a helpful hint:

To live with less regret, cultivate the fruit of forbearance.

When one cultivates the fruit of forbearance…

- One takes Thomas Jefferson’s rule to heart:

When angry, count to ten;

When very angry count to one hundred.

When one cultivates the fruit of forbearance…

One takes Ann Lander’s advice to heart:

Write that letter that gets out all of your frustration and concern, and then put it in the desk drawer for several days and then get it out and read it and put it back in the drawer and repeat until you get it out of your system and then tear it up and throw it away.

Yes I know, I can hear you saying, “No one writes letters any more. We text and we email, the way we live now.”

And therein lies a problem.

Because once you press that send button, off it goes into the wonderful world of cyberspace… and there is no possibility for you to forbear.

Is there?

To be fair, some things need to be said. But we are advised by our Lord Jesus Christ that we are to walk an extra mile, to give not only our shirt off our back but our coat as well, that we are to forgive seventy times seven which is not a mathematical number (by the way), but rather forgive again and again and again to infinity and beyond. Once we have walked the extra mile and forgiven even our enemies, then, maybe things need to be said.

But then again, maybe not.

One of my friends told me those three rules from her grandmother that I think are appropriate in every satiation.

Ask yourself:

- Is it true?

- Is it kind?

- Is it necessary?



If it isn’t true…

Then, why in the world would you repeat it? Sooner or later, the people around you will come to know that you are a liar.

If it isn’t kind…

Then why in the world would you want to be thought of as unkind, callous, pushy and mean person? Those who are unkind soon find themselves with few friends and many needless pains to bear.

If it isn’t necessary…

Then it is more superfluous than a parsley garnish. And if you are always talking about things that are not necessary, people will soon figure out that you are a scatter-brained, dizzy and ditsy person.

Consequently, when you want to be taken seriously, they won’t. Because they have become accustomed to your majoring in the minors year after year.


- politely or patiently restrain an impulse to do something;

- refrain

- endure it

- bear with it

- 'endure the absence of something,

- do without'

- bear up against,

In short…control yourself.

Ask yourself:

- Is it true?

- Is it kind?

- Is it necessary?

Here is one more thing to keep in mind regarding forbearance in all things…

When you do not forbear…

Eventually people will come to the realization that what you do and say reflects only on you.

Now someone will say you nave not mentioned God much so far, or the Bible… So let’s do that…

If we were to look for those who demonstrate a lack of restraint in scripture, we first find it in Geneses. Lack of restraint led Adam and eve to eat that fruit God said not to eat. And down through the ages, people have been eating bad fruit and it has disagreed with people terribly. How wonderful it is that the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to eat The Good Fruit Of Forbearance, every day.

I suppose we could say that forbearance is the stealth virtue.

- It is under the radar.

- For someone to forbear, they are busy NOT doing something.

- It is so subtle, you very well might miss it altogether.

- And that is the point.

- Forbearance whispers.

- It never shouts.

Did you notice what the Old Testament says about the Lord God Almighty?

- 18 ‘The LORD is slow to anger,

- abounding in steadfast love

- forgiving sin and rebellion.

That is a divine definition of Forbearance.

It seems that God looks at us and counts to ten. And many times, to one hundred. And two hundred. And one thousand and two thousand.

It also seems that God looks at us…


God cares so much about us, that God writes that letter about our sinful behavior. And then, God hides that letter away in some heavenly credenza, where it can rest awhile while God cools off. After that, God gets it out. And God reads it again. Then, God puts it away again. And so on and so forth. With some of us God has stopped keeping track of how many times the letter has been in and out of that drawer.

When God feels the need to discipline us, it is apparent that God firsts asks those grandmotherly questions:

Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

All of that is packed into our Old Testament lesson from Nehemiah.

We are so blessed that--

- 18 ‘The LORD is slow to anger,

- abounding in steadfast love

- forgiving sin and rebellion.

But did you read the rest of that verse?

- Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.

The other day, I came across a list of words that have gone out of use, but maybe should not have. One of them is forbearance.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wekiva Presbyterian Church History

Looking back to the origins of what was to become Wekiva Presbyterian Church we see that the Presbytery of St. Johns anticipated the growth of the area that now comprises Sweetwater, Sabal Point, Wekvia Hunt Club, Sweetwater Country Club, and The Springs in the early 1970s. The New Church Development Committee of the Presbytery had recommended the purchase of land, here, in keeping with the expected growth in our area. In August 1976, the Rev. Hugh C. Hamilton was appointed by the Presbytery to begin developing the congregation and soon a nucleus of people began to form.

The church was chartered on May 1, 1977 with 134 persons signing the Charter, making Wekiva the 40th church in the Presbytery. (Now there are more than 70--our Presbytery is good at New Church Development). 

We will post more Wekiva history from time to time.  Come and join us for the next chapter in the ongoing history of this lively and faithful congregation!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I Cor. 13:12

I Cor. 13:12 – God is giving you glimpses and reflections of the fullness of God’s glory right now and throughout this day.  Pay attention to them.  This is a Wekivaword.