October is Coming


Revelation 12       Common English Bible (CEB)

A woman, her child, and the dragon

“12 Then a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant, and she cried out because she was in labor, in pain from giving birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: it was a great fiery red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven royal crowns on his heads. His tail swept down a third of heaven’s stars and threw them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth so that when she gave birth, he might devour her child. She gave birth to a son, a male child who is to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was snatched up to God and his throne. Then the woman fled into the desert, where God has prepared a place for her. There she will be taken care of for one thousand two hundred sixty days.”

What’s it mean?

On the tail of the August 21 Solar Eclipse we experience yet another stunning heavenly event. Many are comparing the upcoming September 23 placement of stars, planets, sun and moon to the scripture we find in Revelation 12. What does this mean?

There are some who read the book of Revelation as a timeline for the end of times. People with this understanding are quite concerned about the movement of the “heavenly bodies” on September 23. As you can see in the picture above, the “scene” depicted in the Bible can be applied to the “scene” astrology provides for us. As a result, people of this thinking, believe this is “one more sign that” the end of the world is coming.

Many have asked for my thoughts on the matter. Some are fearful, some aren’t sure if they should be fearful or not, many are confused. On top of these “heavenly events” Americans are experiencing hate in our communities and streets in a way that hasn’t been typical in the last few decades. This hate seems to be getting stronger right here in our own backyards. Confusion on how to deal with hate without hating has become an imminent concern. Our economy continues to struggle despite increased interest rates and proclamations from on high. Trust in our political system is in an all time low. Stress, hate, fear, signs seem to be everywhere. Our world seems to be falling apart around us. Is it true? Is the end coming in September?

Even more important is the question: What is a Christian’s place in the midst of all of this?

When God revealed to God’s beloved (every human)  then and now: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” Revelation 21:1 God also confirmed: “See, the home of God is among the mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his people and God himself will be with them” vs 3 This is reminiscent of Jesus saying to his disciples of then and now: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? … the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.” John 14 Jesus was speaking to people who knew he was/is/always will be the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the World, the Son of God and the listeners were suffering under the terrible hate, stress and signs in their time. Jesus also said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.” John 14

Was Jesus trying to threaten his disciples into “being good”? Or was Jesus proclaiming the Divine promise of hope that his followers can trust in and hold on to, cherish so they/we can live lives of faithful thanksgiving based on the agape (love in action) defining their/our every decision, every action, every breathe? Was the One Who Loved Us Into Being and who has provided for our Salvation, telling us to cower in a dark corner when terrible things happen? Or was the Giver of Life reminding us of what we are to be about regardless of what happens? Was the Giver of Life reminding us that our role as God’s beloved is to live out the agape and grace and blessings that we are continually given?

True Christians don’t have to run amuck suddenly and “fix” their behavior. True Christians are already, in the here and now, living according to the grace and agape and blessings and salvation given to us freely. Why would we be living this way? Because we grasp the incredibly wonder-full gifts/blessings God has already and continues to deliver to us each and every minute just because God loves us. When we finally understand (as best we can) we can do no less than live our lives in thanksgiving. Sure we mess up, yes we are still stumbling but we catch ourselves AND one another, seeking to truly live according to the grace we’ve been given.

So, are Christians the only one’s given all this amazing stuff by God? Heaven’s no! Every human being is held in God’s blessed embrace of love and grace and salvation simply because God chooses to keep you there. God calls you and every other human being “Beloved” no matter what. The only difference is knowing and accepting these gifts and allowing them to truly bless your life and living.

Heavenly signs, hostility, hate, ugliness of every kind has no hold over God’s Beloved, over those who believe in the Divine. Sure, we hurt, we feel fear, we are saddened, but none of that can control us because “we know that God works all things together for the good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

So, on September 23 walk forward into the day, holding your head high and proclaim the love of God through your walking, talking, living, watching, holding, working, driving, thinking … through it all. And on September 24, go and do likewise God’s good and faithful servant.

May you always know God’s Blessings through all things.


Vacation Bible School in the Upper Keys


VBS  Date  June 12 – 16
Time  9 AM – 12 PM
Location: Island Community Church  83250 Overseas Hwy. Islamorada 33036
Name or Theme    Camp Out    Getting s’more of Jesus
Ages    incoming 5K – 6th grade
Contact info   Amanda   aihrig@islandchristian.org
or:  Trevor-  305-393-5453
VBS Date: June 26-30
Time: 9 AM – 12 PM
Location: 1st Baptist Church of Islamorada
Name or Theme: Galactic Starveyors
Ages: 2 years – 6th grade
Contact info: Click to register


VBS Date: July 31 – Aug 4
Time: 9 AM – 12 PM
Location: 1st Baptist Church of Key Largo
Name or Theme: Galactic Starveyors
Ages: Pre-K – 5th grade
VBS Date: July 31 – Aug 4
Time: 9 AM – 12 PM
Location: St. James the Fisherman Episcopal Church
Theme: Hero Central: Discovering Your Strength in God
Ages: Potty trained 3 year old – 8th grade
To Register: Call the office 305-852-8468
Registration fee: $10

Holy Week and Easter Opportunities


Palm Sunday  – April 9

Worship at all local churches during their regular worship times.

St. James the Fisherman EpiscopalSunday, April 9th.…………8:00AM & 10:00AM:  PALM SUNDAY Services at Church; 8:00 am service procession with palms in Church; 10:00am service procession with palms and incense outside

Coral Isle Church – 10 AM Worship

St. Justin the Martyr Catholic Church –  8 AM mass; 10 AM Solemn Procession

11:00 – 4:00 PM Kindness Festival at Morada way.  Living Springs Counseling will have a booth where you’ll have an opportunity to have your feet washed, pray, relax and fellowship with others if you like.

Holy Tuesday – April 11

St. Justin the Martyr Catholic Church – Sacrament of Reconciliation /Confession 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Holy Wednesday – April 12

St. James the Fisherman EpiscopalWednesday, April 12th…….6:00 PM:      TENEBRAE/TAIZE SERVICE:  Tenebrae is Latin for Shadows.  This beautiful ancient tradition is a special Lenten observance which attempts to recreate the emotional aspects of the Passion Story.  All are invited

Maundy Thursday – April 13

Maundy Thursday is an alternate name for Holy Thursday, the first of the three days of solemn remembrance of the events leading up to and immediately following the crucifixion of Jesus. The English word “Maundy” comes from the Latin mandatum, which means “commandment.” As recorded in John’s gospel, on his last night before his betrayal and arrest, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and then gave them a new commandment to love one another as he had loved them (John 13:34). This is why services on this night generally include the washing of feet or other acts of physical care as an integral part of the celebration.

While John’s gospel does not record the institution of the Lord’s Supper among the events of this night, the other gospels do. Christians therefore keep this night with celebrations both at the basin (footwashing) and at the Lord’s Table (Holy Communion).

Immanuel Lutheran Church –  7 PM – Communion

Burton Memorial United Methodist Church – MM 93 – 7 PM – Communion

Coral Isle Community Church – MM 90 – 7 PM

Matecumbe United Methodist Church – MM 81.8 – 6:30 PM Passover Meal

St. James the Fisherman Episcopal6:00PM:       MAUNDY THURSDAY (HOLY THURSDAY) in Church.  The evening ends with the stripping of the altar followed by time for silent meditation/reflection in our Church or at home.  All will have the opportunity to sign up to sit/pray for ONE HOUR INTERVALS in Vigil throughout the night either in the Church or at home.

Sacred Triduum –

The Easter Triduum begins with the Vigil of Holy Thursday. It marks the end of the forty days of Lent and the beginning of the three-day celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil/Easter Sunday. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council reminded us of the extraordinary significance of the Triduum : “Christ redeemed us all and gave perfect glory to God principally through his paschal mystery: dying he destroyed our death and rising he restored our life. Therefore the Easter Triduum of the passion and resurrection of Christ is the culmination of the entire liturgical year.” (General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, # 18)

These last Forty Days were a time of preparation for these great Three days, which is what Triduum means. These three days lead us to an empty tomb and an Octave, eight days, of celebrating the Resurrection. They also introduce an entire liturgical season, the Easter Season, which lasts for Fifty days until Pentecost.

St. Justin the Martyr Catholic Church – Mass of the Last Supper, 7 PM; Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament until 9 PM

Good Friday – April 14

The source of our term for the Friday before Easter, “Good Friday,” is not clear.  It may be a corruption of the English phrase “God’s Friday,” according to Professor Laurence Hull Stookey in Calendar: Christ’s Time for the Church (p. 96). It is the common name for the day among English- and Dutch-speaking people. It is a day that proclaims God’s purpose of loving and redeeming the world through the cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is a day that is good because God was drawing the world to God’s self in Christ. As seen in John’s gospel, particularly, God was in control. God was not making the best of a bad situation, but was working out God’s intention for the world — winning salvation for all people. We call it “good” because we look backward at the crucifixion through the lens of Easter!

Walk with the crosses on Good Friday to Matecumbe Methodist Church.  Meet at Spirit and Truth Ministries at 9AM —-start the walk from Venetian Shores at 9:30AM……everybody welcome!!!

Ecumenical Good Friday worship – held at Matecumbe UMC – MM 81.8 at noon

Coral Isle Church and St. James Episcopal will offer Good Friday services twice:              The Seven Last Words of Jesus & Adoration of the Holy Cross Service to be let by Fr. Tom & Rev. Kerby (Pastor at Coral Isles church)

12:00 (Noon) at St. James

6:00 PM  at the Caribbean Club

St. Justin the Martyr Catholic Church – 6:30 PM Liturgy

Immanuel Lutheran Church – 7 PM

Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil and Vigil of the Light – April 15

St. Justin the Martyr Catholic Church – 8 PM


Easter Sunrise Services – April 16

Island Grill at Mandalay – 6:30 AM

Harry Harris Park – MM 93 – 6:30 AM

The Islander – MM 83 – 7 AM

Cheeca Lodge – MM 81.8 – 6:30 AM

Chesapeake Resort – MM 83.4 – 6:45 AM

Easter Services

Bluewater Ministries, MM 86.5 Bayside – 9:30 AM with Egg Hunt after worship

Coral Isle Church will have a fellowship time after 10 AM morning worship at 11 AM

Spirit and Truth – 10 AM

Immanuel Lutheran Church – 10 AM communion

Matecumbe UMC – 11 AM

1st Baptist Islamorada – 11 AM

St. James the Fisherman Episcopal8:00AM & 10:00AM:  EASTER SUNDAY SERVICES – Easter Egg Hunt following 10:00am service

Alleluia…Christ is Risen…the Lord is risen indeed…Alleluia!!!!!!!!!!!

St. Justin the Martyr Catholic Church – 8 AM Mass; 10 AM Solemn Mass of the Lord’s Resurrection

At noon – Burton Memorial UMC will have their Easter Egg Hunt

Lenten Opportunities in the Upper Keys

Lenten season

We are now in the season of Lent. Below are opportunities you are invited to participate in:

Living Springs Counseling – 92300 Overseas Hwy; Suite 200                                                                                                              (Bank of America/Tavernier Business Center)

Wednesdays, 5:30 – 6:30 PM         Art and Meditation – book: Becoming: A Spiritual Journey                              Call 305.432.9554 when you get there and someone will come unlock the door.

Coral Isle Church – sanctuary

 Thursdays, 6:00 – 7:30 PM    Lenten Soup and Study – call 305.852.5813 for more info


May God Be Our Guide

This morning America is waking up to intense fear, stunned dismay and a deep sense of loss. Many Americans are asking, “How is it possible that we went to the polls, voted and this is the outcome?” The outrage and terror is more outspoken than I’ve ever heard it. How do we survive this?

I recently heard a recording that comes out of Kenya, We Are All One. Please go to this website and listen to the music. Fear, rage, divisiveness will only hurt us. If you are happy about the outcomes of our Presidential election then please, celebrate, and turn to God with your celebrations, but don’t hurt those who are unhappy. If you are unhappy about the outcomes of our Presidential election then please, turn to God with your concerns and allow hope through God to permeate your being.

Ultimately  happy or unhappy, we must all look to God for guidance. We must stand together creating a space where Divine guidance, for how we treat one another regardless of political stance, race, gender or any other divide; where Divine Guidance may be our center.

Hate and angry words are too easy and only rip and tear apart. We can stand up with integrity in our faith and do so with respect and maturity regardless of how we perceive ourselves to be treated. This is NOT EASY, but it creates a new world.

Please don’t settle for divisiveness.

Reach deeper … (regardless of happy or unhappy)

 “The greatest faith is born in the hour of despair. When we can see no hope and no way out, then faith rises and brings the victory.” Lee Roberson

2 Corinthians 1:10 He has rescued us from a terrible death, and he will rescue us in the future. We are confident that he will continue to rescue us,

Psalm 43:5 Why are you in despair, my soul? Why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, because I will praise him once again, since his presence saves me and he is my God.

Psalm 71:5-6 For you are my hope, Lord GOD, my security since I was young. I depended on you since birth, when you brought me from my mother’s womb; I praise you continuously.

Psalm 27:13-14 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Psalm 130:5 I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word.

Psalm 40:1-2 I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Psalm 10:17 LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.

Psalm 37:23-24 The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.

Isaiah 41:13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom will I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom will I be afraid?

Psalm 143:4-6  So I am ready to give up; I am in deep despair.I remember the days gone by; I think about all that you have done, I bring to mind all your deeds. I lift up my hands to you in prayer; like dry ground my soul is thirsty for you.

Hebrews 10:35-36 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

“God is Good All the Time

All the Time God is Good”

Well known saying of Bishop Cornelius Henderson


Is America Doomed?


We Americans have never expressed fear for our country the way I’m hearing it expressed now. We cry out looking for “someone” to SAVE America. Of course, most people are looking to one of the Presidential candidates to “save us”.

Yet we all know, there is no leader so powerful among us that can accomplish this overwhelming task. In fact, there is no leader so skilled that can even come up with a solution. This fact, that niggles the back of our thoughts, hidden in a deep dark corner because we know it’s true but we think if we hide it, it won’t gain life. Yet it does have life and what a hole we have dug for ourselves.

This is a hole filled with emptiness, a hole filled with the dust and dry bones of our pompous, egotistical, self-serving ideas. It is a black hole sucking in all those get rich quick ideas we’ve tried, big business spiraling in on itself as it seeks the newest, better, best idea to overwhelm competition and stepping all over the underdog again. This is a hole of pain for everyone. It seems to drink us dry with no where, no energy, no ideas, to go.

Sure there are those who are in denial of all this. But denial never wins over reality.

There was a man, hurting terribly for his county in this very state. A country who had lost it’s way. And one day he stood looking into this terrible valley with the dry, dusty bones of his family, friends, community, culture, country, people, life. He stood totally out of breath, in grave pain weeping loudly and cried out: God! Why!

And God heard him, and swept him up with the divine Wind carrying throughout the miles upon square miles of piles and piles of these dead, lifeless, dry, worthless hollow bones until the man could take no more. And God said to the man,: Can these bones live?

The bedraggled horrified man dragged his face from the ground and looked. “Live?!” he thought. “Live?, How can something that never had substance in the first place possibly live?” Slowly brushing his hand over his soaked eyes, feeling the hollowness of loss, he forced his heart, his soul to think. And he said, “God, you and you alone know.” (as he saw that old familiar pierce of light, hope, beyond human skills/knowledge/ability beyond anything human, the hint of hope divinely somewhere/somehow)

God held this man up, in the Divine Palm, and said,: Prophesy, my beloved man, Prophesy to these bones and say “O dry bones, it is now our Creators word, not the impotent work and word of people alone, but the one who gives all blessings, and life, and hope, the One who turns walls into windows and open doors, this One now says to you: I will cause the Divine Wind the Holy Breath to breath in and through you and You Shall Live. I will flesh out these mere bones of structure and there will be a Divine Cause for you and you shall live and be covered by skin, the skin of belonging, the skin of the beloved and Only I shall give you breath and you shall live and you Shall Know that I am God.

So the man, wrapped in the Divine Palm prophesied to the dead dusty dry hollow impotent bones. As he prophesied, only as God commanded him, there was a sudden noise, a rattling and the bones came together. They were no longer the old dry bones; they were now the bones, the makings, the ideas, the commands of God. They came together and the flesh was created on them and skin had covered them. They stood, but there was no breath in them.

Then God commanded the man: “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy mortal and say to the breath: thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”

The man, now stunned and believing even deeper than ever before, prophesied and the breath came into them. The Holy Wind enlivened them and they lived and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

God commanded: Mortal, these bones are the whole house of your family, your friends, your community , your culture, your country. And they cry out “Our bones are dried up and our hope is lost, we are cut off completely. Therefore, prophesy again and say: The Creator, Giver of all Life and Breath and True Being says: I am going to oen your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O MY PEOPLE. And I WILL BRING YOU BACK to me and the home I gave you. And you shall know that I am the Lord. I will put my spirit within you and you shall live and I will place you on your own soil, then you shall know that I, the Lord have spoken and will act, the Divine Giver of Life says.”

As we stand on the cusp of the hole, stop stooping down to hear the dry dusty creaks; but look up and around and cry out to the one who calls you and I beloved and will always always always always … always carry us in the Divine Palm, Breath life in and through us, empower and strengthen us to face any and every monster we encounter as we listen and respond to God’s call and charge for our lives and living.

And may we all know God’s blessing in and through all things