Jesus & JoAnn

I have been to one of the seven layers of hell. It is JoAnn Fabrics on Friday night, 5 minutes before closing time. There is one register open for a line of 12 people waiting to check out. Three other employees stand at registers, but no lights are on. When those waiting in line stare […]

The Joy of the Gift

I love Christmas, but it’s not like I had another choice. Christmas in the Hannon house growing up was both magical and extravagant. But of all the things that made Christmas great, I’d be lying if I said one thing didn’t stand out above the rest. I’m sure you can guess it… Presents! (What’d you […]

I Clapped

I clapped. I confess it. I will not deny it. I clapped. I was watching Peter Pan Live! on NBC. My wife and children were sound asleep. There were no witnesses to point fingers. There were no so-called friends or incredulous relatives watching who could laugh or judge. I could have kept it a secret […]

Combination

You see a hungry person, what do you do? You come across a naked hobo in the street, how do you respond? You see or hear about a family in need, do you give? You have a friend in the hospital, in prison, or homebound, do you visit? If you’re like me the answer to […]

Jars of Clay

I had lunch recently with a church member who shared his frustrations with health. He said he recently gathered with his friends and for an hour they took turns sharing their medical dilemmas. One person had lost a grandchild, another was battling cancer, another was in therapy, and one was still looking for answers. Not […]

The Privilege of Believing

One of my friends who is not Christian recently asked me how I could believe in God. After reflecting for a minute on my own I simply replied, “Why would you not?” I understand that people – good people like my friend – may think Christians are crazy or blind for believing, but I also […]

OCD

Contributing Writer Pastor Scott Hannon St. John Lutheran Church, Amhert, NY By far the most concerned I have ever been about cleanliness was in the days and weeks following the birth of my first daughter, Molly. My wife and I, who are far from neat-freaks, became OCD overnight when it came to hand washing and […]

God loves you. Love one another.

Contributing Writer Pastor Scott Hannon St. John Lutheran Church, Amhert, NY There once was a pastor who stood up in front of his church to deliver a sermon and said, “God loves you. Love one another.” As he sat down, the congregation smiled and said, “Amen!” The next week the same pastor got up to […]

Joy-Full

Contributing Writer Pastor Scott Hannon St. John Lutheran Church, Amhert, NY I have a tendency to dwell on criticism and shrug off positive comments. Instead of remembering my achievements, my mind likes to replay moments when I made a mistake. I give more attention to the one “thorn in my side” than the many people […]

Wolves

Contributing Writer Pastor Scott Hannon St. John Lutheran Church, Amhert, NY There’s an old Native American story in which a grandfather teaches his grandson about good and evil. He said, “Within you there is a battle between two wolves. One wolf is good. He is capable of love and kindness, of truth telling and compassion. […]