Bishop William Murdoch - All Saints Day - October 30th

By , October 30, 2011

The Call

A long time ago we sang a song, “I heard the Lord call me name, listen close you’ll hear the same.”  Peter Marshall, the Chaplain to the US Senate a generation ago, described the call of God as being as though you were walking along a crowded busy sidewalk and from behind you are tapped upon the shoulder.  At once you turn and respond to the call of God and follow Him.

In the end (as it was in the beginning) what matters most is following Jesus.  If we follow Jesus everything falls into line.

In Isaiah 43:1-3, the prophet writes, “But now, this is what the Lord says – he who created you, O Jacob.  He who formed you, O Israel:  ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you;  I have called you by name;  you are mine. …When you walk through the fire you will not be burned. … For I am the Lord your God.’”

If you respond to His call and follow Him, he will always show you the way to go.

With joy in the journey,


On the Mark October 30th

The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


The Rev. Gabrielle Beam -October23rd

By , October 23, 2011

St. James the Just

By , October 22, 2011

Today is the feast day of St. James the Just.  He was one of Jesus’ younger brothers, as was Jude.  He was not one of the original twelve disciples, but after he saw Jesus risen from the dead, he believed!  For thirty years, he was the bishop of the church at Jerusalem.  During that time, he wrote the book of the Bible, the Epistle of James.

Through his preaching, his prayers, and his example, James converted many people to Christ.  He was on his bare knees so often, worshipping God and praying for forgiveness for the sins of the people, that his knees became numb and calloused, like the knees of a camel.  This also earned him the nickname of ‘James the Just’.  He was respected by everyone, even many who opposed what he taught and believed.

“Feeling threatened by the rapid growth of the church, the chief priest, scribes, and Pharisees came up with a plan.  They would force this well known church leader to deny his faith before the multitude.  But James refused to cooperate.  From his place at the top of the temple, he preached with more boldness than ever.  Every person in the crowd below looked up as he proclaimed, ‘Jesus is the promised Messiah!  He is sitting at the right hand of God, and shall come again in the clouds of Heaven, to judge the quick and the dead!

“When the crowd below saw his courage and heard his bold words; they loudly praised God and magnified the name of Jesus. Enraged two or three of the religious leaders jumped forward and pushed James off the temple roof.  Miraculously, James was not killed by the fall;  only his legs were broken.  Then the priests, scribes, and Pharisees said, ‘Let us stone the ‘just man’ James.’  They picked up rocks to stone him to death.  James, kneeling on his broken legs, prayed, ‘Lord, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’

One of the priests, when he heard James praying, begged the others to stop, saying ‘What are we doing?  ‘The Just’ is praying for us.  Stop the stoning!  Stop the stoning!’  While he was shouting this, another man ran up with a big, heavy stick in his hand and struck James in the head.  James died instantly from the blow, still in prayer.” [from Jesus Freaks by D.C. Talk]

Next Sunday we will have a special Family Service, celebrating the Feast of All Saints.  Those who have gone before us are celebrating in heaven around the clock.  Are you ready to party with them, as we thank God for their example?  I’m thankful for St. James the Just.  I’m thankful for every one of you.

Your brother


The Rev. Jordan Easley


On the Mark - October 23rd

Sunday School Memories

Some of my earliest memories are of Sunday School.  Because my parents had a call to minister to children (they did so well into their 70’s), I was exposed at an early age to Sunday School picnics, classes, and youth group meetings.  I remember vividly coloring in a picture of Jesus the Good Shepherd with His sheep.  I don’t think I was over three years old.  My parents were Janet’s Sunday School teachers, and she credits them with helping her to know Jesus in a personal way.  My mother and father hosted a youth prayer meeting in their home on Monday nights that went on for fourteen years, unabated.  My catechism in Sunday School prepared me for my conversion experience when I was sixteen.  Everything came together, like the first time a well-built engine had received ignition.  I have never looked back, or turned back.

What would you like the earliest and strongest memories of our children to be?  There are many forces vying for their attention, and some are evil.  What a privilege and a joy it is to build a Sunday School filled with love in Jesus!  We believe we are led by Him to train the faith of our young people so they can walk in His miraculous power.  I call upon all members of St. Paul’s to pray for our Sunday School – our teachers and children – and to pray about becoming servant leaders as you are able.  It will be  a memorable experience

Your brother in Christ,


The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


On the Mark October 16th

Fr. Christopher Leighton - October 16th

Our Father is Younger

By , October 9, 2011

Lately, I’ve been thinking and praying a lot about our children at St. Paul’s.  In the midst of this, the Holy Spirit brought to mind a profound passage that I read a long time ago:

“Children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, they want things repeated and unchanged.  They always say, ‘Do it again’, and the grown-up does it again until he is nearly dead.  For grown-ups are not strong enough to exult in monotony.  But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.  It is possible that God says every morning ‘Do it again’ to the sun;  and every evening ‘Do it again’ to the moon.  It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike;  it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them.  It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy;  for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” [G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy .]

Christians often speak of “child-like faith”.  But what about “child-like monotony”?  What a profound thought:  our heavenly Father is somehow younger than we are, that he never tires of “do it again”!  Perhaps this is why Jesus said, “Unless you become like a little child, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven”. [Matthew 18:3]  Perhaps this is why Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE!”

Now that Sunday School is underway, now that we have started our “Supernatural Children’s Curriculum” I hope that you keep on praying LIKE A CHILD for our children.  Pray AGAIN and AGAIN that the Holy Spirit (who dwells within the hearts of those who so naturally say AGAIN and AGAIN) will come with power on the children of St. Paul’s.  Pray that He will fill us (adults) not just with the youth of a child, but with the youth of God Himself.

Your brother,


The Rev. Jordan Easley


On the Mark October 9th

Fr. Jordan Easley - October 9th

By , October 9, 2011

Prayer is the Key

The key was left there for us.  At least that is what I thought.  But when Janet, the children and I arrived, the house was locked.  We had traveled two hours at night to a place set aside for us to enjoy a couple of nights of rest and recreation.  But the ice cream we had purchased locally was melting, and there was just no way for us to get in.

The caretaker in the house down the lane was gone, and all lights there were off.  What were we to do?  We decided to pray.  I had learned to be as concrete and simple as possible when I prayed with young children.  That year in Vacation Bible School we prayed for the rain to stop so we could go outside, and voilà! At the “amen”, it had stopped.  So I led a prayer in our dark car that God would bring the key to us right NOW.  It was risky, and it could have disturbing consequences if we didn’t get the answer we hoped for, but I figured God could handle all consequences that are a result of faith.

At the “amen” of the prayer, headlights came up the lane, and the caretaker came to open the door!  As we ate the ice cream, Susannah said, “This is something I’ll never forget.  I’m going to tell my grandchildren!”

What still strikes me about this incident was that we “prayed in” the key, and it has become a metaphor for my faith:  that prayer is the key.

As we embark on this adventure in training our children in the supernatural, let us remember that all God expects of us is that we pray with faith – no matter how small – in a God who is great!

He loves us!  Prayer is the key.


The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton

On the Mark October 2nd


Fr. Christopher Leighton - Matthew 21:33-46 - October 2nd

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