Do you have 2 minutes? Why not?

Posted: September 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

Need some motivation or guidance to help you through the week? Give us 2 minutes and we’ll give you tools for life! Thursday mornings during New Day Cleveland and on-line, always, Power2ools will inspire, guide and motivate you with entertaining and often humorous episodes on subjects such as The Power of Patience, The Power of an Increment and The Power of Perseverance.

Power2ools: 2minute tools for life premieres October 2nd during New Day Cleveland (Fox 8) and on-line at Power2ools.com (website launches October 1st). Please join us on http://www.Facebook.com/Power2ools and Twitter @Power2ools for lots of fun stuff and conversation about the important things that really matter to us.

I know a guy who knows a guy . . .

Posted: September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

If God was Italian. Had a lot of fun preaching this message on Moses last Sunday.

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I can hardly believe that it was six years ago that I was installed as the 12th Senior Pastor of the historic (1820) and renown Old Stone Church (First Presbyterian Church of Cleveland, Ohio) and the congregation and I began a shared ministry of Loving Christ and Serving city: spiritually, socially and culturally. It was and continues to be an honor for me to serve God in and through this great and living Cleveland institution and to pastor alongside such a faithful, diverse and welcoming community of believers and leaders.

Old Stone Church installation service

Dr. Mark Giuliano was installed as the 12th Senior Pastor to the Old Stone Church in September 2008.

I can’t say that the last six years has always been a walk in the park – for myself or the congregation! After all, there’s almost 200 years of congregational culture challenging our (my) vision of God’s call to be the church of the new and the now. And like any great relationship, we have experienced our fair share of the stress and strain of ideas, passions, beliefs and differing ways of doing things.

I do believe, however, that we’ve been faithful in the heavy-lifting of these early years of our ministry together. We’ve built a trust through our living and dying and healing and loving together, in our serving and risk taking, our succeeding and our failing. I also believe that it is on the rock of that trust that we are now ready to step-up and make bold decisions reflective of the spirit of our courageous foremothers and forefathers – that great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, and the spirit of Jesus, the perfecter of our faith!

To wish me well on this sixth anniversary, my friend and long-standing member of the congregation, John, left me a phone message at my office the other day. He told me that I wasn’t just the Old Stone Church’s pastor anymore, I was also loved. I was so moved by his gracious words that I called Beth down from her office so that together we could soak-up his gracious words. Thank you, John. Thank you, Old Stone Church. I love you, too!

Inhale grace; exhale love,
- RMG

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2

 

 

God bless America  and America bless God!

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My mother-in-law passed away last Monday. More than a full week before she died she said to me, “I must be hallucinating.” When I asked her why, she said, “Because I am seeing people who aren’t living anymore; they’re standing around my bed.” So here’s my question, if we are lucid enough to be aware that we are hallucinating, are we really hallucinating? Do you know people who have seen loved ones previously deceased or had similar experiences before they died?

Puppets Death Bed. From the Bread and Puppet Theater

Puppets Death Bed. From the Bread and Puppet Theater

Three weeks before my father died, he was sure there was a presence sitting in his blind-spot in the corner of the room. Someone very quiet. Someone waiting with him. My father was not in great pain or on any kind of drug which would make him “fuzzy.” The day his oncologist entered the room to tell him that she was stopping treatments, my father beat her to the punch and said, “I know why you are here.”  When she asked why, he said, “You’re stopping treatment today, aren’t you?” When she asked how he could possibly know this, he said that the Voice in his blind spot spoke to him. “Bob,” it said to him personally, “its time to go home.”

In his book, Visions, Trips and Crowded Rooms: Who and What We See before We Die, renowned thanatologist, David Kessler, recounts dozens of stories from nurses, doctors, social workers and pastors who have been with the dying when they claim to have visions of the previously departed who gather near the death-bed. As a pastor, I’ve been with a number of people who have claimed to see old friends, spouses, even the family dog before they passed-away. Many have said that they saw Jesus standing at the foot of their bed or right beside them.

Before he died, Jesus said that in his Father’s house there were many rooms and that he was going to “prepare a place” for us. He said that when the time was right, “he would come again” so that where he was, we could be also (see John 14:1-6). Could it be that before or as we die, Jesus comes to us as an old friend, or family dog, or anyone else we love, trust and may be willing to follow home to God?

What do you think? Do you have loved ones who have had similar experiences? Will you be visited by Jesus, loved ones previously departed, the family dog before you die? Or will it all be just hallucinations?

 

Let the children come?

Posted: August 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

“Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”  - Jesus (Matthew 19:14)

We ought to say to these children, ‘Welcome to America, you’re going to go to school, get a job, and become an American.’ We have 3141 counties in this country. That would be 20 per county. The idea that we can’t assimilate these eight-year-old criminals with their teddy bears is preposterous.”

- George Will on the influx of immigrant children on the southwest border [Fox News, Sunday July 27] printed in Christian Century August 30, 2014.

 

Ever lost your patience?

Posted: July 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

The 14 Year Guide to Patience: Was Jacob patient or just in love?

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