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Showing posts from 2016

Friday Coffee with PJ - Special New Year's Edition

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Here we are with just a little more than a day left in the year 2016! So as you pour yourself a cup of coffee ... allow me to wax eloquent ... well at least ramble on as I reflect on 2016 and look ahead to the new year of 2017. 

1. For starters ... a look back at the year that is ending: 

- I began the year loving coffee ... and have finished the year still loving coffee! 

- As the year began ... Sharon was still unable to bear weight on her left leg (due to a broken femur she suffered on November 10th of 2015). During the year, she has made much progress ... but not enough. More on that later.

- We enjoyed getting to know our two newest grandsons, both born in the waning months of 2015 (Logan on November 1st and Lucas on December 31st). What joy they have brought us! 

- My favorite college football team, the Penn State Nittany Lions, exceeded all expectations by winning the Big Ten Championship! Go Nits! 

- I underwent an ulnar shortening osteotomy in August. Still not where I hope to be, …

Friday Coffee with PJ: Special Christmas Edition

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Here we are ... just two days away from what is for so many, the biggest day of the year: Christmas Day! So I invite you to pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy a few random yuletide thoughts with me. 

1. Scholars have debated for years the actual date of Jesus' birth. Sam Storms (pastor and one of my favorite authors) recently addressed this topic, When was Jesus born? As he begins his attempt to answer this question, he offers these words: "It’s amazing how often people get caught up in the debate over when Jesus was actually born. Although we should never be dogmatic on this point, the biblical text does provide us with a number of clues."  The whole article (don't sweat it ... it is not all that long!) is definitely worth the read! 

2. Our staff was asked by our communications coordinator to write a brief paragraph for a blog post she was working on for our church website. She told us she was looking for a Christmas reflection from our childhood and a connection…

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Well here we are ... just 9 days out from Christmas. I guess that means I will have to break out my special Starbucks Christmas blend. I know some don't care for Starbucks, but I enjoy it! And I am talking about coffee ... not those fancy coffee flavored drinks served up by Starbucks that are so sweet they will rot your teeth. I am talking about plain, unadulterated coffee! Well, no matter the brand you might currently be drinking, pour yourself a cup and join me for a few random thoughts. 


1. I am a city kid at heart (well, at least part of my heart). The first 13 years of my life were spent playing football on vacant lots, wall ball on a macadam playground and sledding down back alleys. Then, just a month after my 13th birthday, my parents moved us out of the city of Harrisburg to a lakeside renovated and expanded cottage in northern rural York County. You talk about a culture shift! Now boating and fishing and hunting and farm work became a huge part of my life. Today, imprints …

Friday Coffee with PJ

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I have been on vacation this week ... so I did not put together a post for this morning. In its place, here is a video giving the back story of one of the most iconic (and terrifying!) photos of the last century. I wonder what OSHA would have to say about these guys sitting 80 stories above the ground with no safety harness to keep them from falling should they slip!

And please be sure to take some time to remember the reason behind this season of Advent (John 1:1 and John 1:14).




And just a reminder ... the script is now done! I invite you to join us at Grace on Sunday morning, December 18th for The Steward's Tale.




Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Friday Coffee with PJ

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It's Friday (and this week I am REALLY glad that Friday is finally here ... more on this below) and that means it's time for a cup of coffee and a few random thoughts. 

1. World magazine writes on a recent CDC (Center for Disease Control) report that indicates world abortion rates are falling. According to World, "Pro-life leaders see the new data as more proof the pro-life movement has changed public opinion about abortion." This is indeed good news. You can read World's article here.Please continue to pray for the work of the many pro-life ministries that are actively advocating for the unborn in so many ways. And if you want to "put some money where your prayers are" consider a gift to Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services

2. If you are looking for an advent devotional that will help you get and stay focused on the true meaning of the Christmas season, I recommend one available from the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, Where the Light Shines Brigh…

Friday Coffee with PJ - Special Thanksgiving Day Edition

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Here it is ... Thanksgiving Day! So I thought I would post my blog early this week to catch the holiday. So ... pour yourself a cup of your favorite coffee (and just so you know, I am so THANKFUL FOR COFFEE!) and join me for a few thoughts.  

1. Tomorrow is "Black Friday." Many of you will be numbered among the millions flying from store to store looking for the deals that will lighten your Christmas gift-giving budget! Not me. In all the years I have been on this planet ... there was only one year that I went shopping on a Black Friday. That year I was in need of a sports coat. A store at Park City Center advertised a really nice sports coat as a "door buster." The price was one I could not pass up. So at 6 am I walked into the already packed mall. I walked briskly to the men's department of the store ... found my size ... paid for the coat and got out of there as quickly as I could! That has been it. I now prefer to look for the deals online. Doing so is a lot…

Friday Coffee with PJ

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It's Friday ... so thanks for joining me for Friday Coffee with PJ! Pour yourself a cup of your favorite coffee (just a reminder, mine is San Francisco Bay Fog Chaser ... and it does indeed chase away that early morning fog that so many of us have when we awaken (and looking at its "Best Seller" status on Amazon, I am guessing a lot of other people have discovered that there's no better way to start your day than with Folgers SF BayFog Chaser in your cup!).

1. With Thanksgiving Day now less than a week away, I am sure the big Thanksgiving dinner is on your mind. Hmm, I wonder if there is a recipe for "coffee stuffing?" I think I will check ... so hold on .. I will be right back. I promise I will be so quick you won't even miss me! OK .. I am back. Quick, wasn't I! I struck out looking for a stuffing recipe that included coffee. But I did find a recipe that included coffee in the glaze for the turkey. Check it out here! Now, if you have not yet purch…

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Sorry I missed you last Friday. I was away at a Grace College and Seminary Board Retreat and did not have a chance to write a post before I left. So I made up for missing last week with a rather long post. Thanks for joining me today! And a BIG THANKS to all of you who are serving or have served our country in one of the branches of the military. We salute you today! 

1. As I mentioned above, last week I traveled to Rome .... Georgia that is! Our retreat was held at the WinShape Retreat Center, which is run by the WinShape Foundation, a creation of the founder of Chick-fil-A, Truett Cathy. Just prior to our first session of our board retreat, the activities director (a Grace College alumnus) told the story of Berry College (the retreat center sits on the property of Berry). The college is named for Martha Berry. Martha had a vision to start a school for the academically able and economically poor children of the rural south. Her dream was fulfilled and continues to this day as Berry Co…

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Friday. Coffee. A few random thoughts. Welcome, my friends, to Friday Coffee with PJ! Oh ... and by the way, here is another article - this time from Consumer Reports - on the benefits of drinking coffee!

1. What should one of our chief aims as we attend church on Sunday mornings? Obviously the worship of our AWESOME God is at the top of the list (or at least should be). But let me suggest to you another VIP (Very Important Purpose) you should be striving to do every Sunday you walk through the doors of your church facility: ENCOURAGEMENT! And I am not talking about yours ... I am referring to YOU encouraging OTHERS! The New Testament makes it clear that we all need to be on a mission to encourage our brothers and sisters in the faith when we "come together!" Consider: 

Hebrews 3:13  "But exhort (encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."

Hebrews 10:24-25"And let us consider ho…

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Once again it's Friday! So pour yourself a cup of your favorite coffee and join me for a few random thoughts. 

1. I have been serving on the Board of Trustees of Grace College and Grace Theological Seminary for about ten years. As a board member, I receive via email each Friday a copy of Equip, the weekly communique that is distributed on campus for students, staff and faculty. In a recent issue of Equip, I read the following about coffee. I found it to be very interesting: 


The 2016 Grace College Organic Chemistry I students under the guidance of Chad Snyder, recently analyzed coffee samples donated from several of faculty and staff. Although not all coffee samples were able to be analyzed it was discovered that some coffees possessed higher caffeine levels than others. This is not surprising nor is it new information, however, the CHM 2620 (Organic Chemistry I) students found trends in caffeine levels that were region or country dependent. Coffee beans analyzed from Ethiopia, Rwan…

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Today follows 15 days that have revolved around the death of my mother-in-law, Bessie Pietrowski. Yesterday, we laid her body to rest in the Brigadier General William Doyle Memorial Veterans Cemetery located in New Jersey (my wife's dad was a WW II veteran of North Africa, Sicily and Italy). So for those of you who prayed ... thanks! And please continue to pray for my wife as she processes her emotions upon the passing of her mom.

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Seeing that today is Friday ... I invite you to pour a cup of your favorite Joe and join me for a couple of random (but I hope) fruitful thoughts. 

1. The destruction and devastation that hurricane Matthew is leaving in its path is downright heartbreaking. For the people of Haiti who have suffered loss of life ... and for the survivors the loss of what little they had ... is heartbreaking. I am sure in coming days, opportunities will arise to give toward relieving their suffering. Please consider doing so. Every gift, no matter how small, when put together with other gifts, will go a long way toward helping these people who have to put their lives back together after having them ripped apart. Our world-wide Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches has set up a storm relief fund through Encompass World Partners' Crisis Response Network to help assist in the relief effort in Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida.  


2. Death. It is something we will all one day face (unless, of course, Jes…
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It's Friday ... so it's time to pour yourself a cup of your favorite brew and join me for a couple of thoughts. 

1. In case you missed it, yesterday was National Coffee Day, and some places were giving away free coffee! Why celebrate coffee? Why not? Is there a better beverage out there? Coffee hot or cold can't be beat. And not only does it taste great ... but it is chock full of great health benefits. So if you missed the fact that yesterday was National Coffee Day you may have missed a free cup. But given the upside of coffee drinking, coffee is worth every dollar you have to spend on it! Oh ... and by the way, today is National Chewing Gum Day. Since people have been chewing gum for several thousand years ... why not celebrate with a chew of your favorite brand? 

2. Long time Los Angeles Dodger baseball fans will no longer enjoy the voice of Vin Scully when they tune in to listen to Dodger games next season. After SIXTY-SEVEN years, Scully, known as "the Voice of th…

Friday Coffee with PJ

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It's Friday so pour yourself a cup of your favorite brew of coffee and join me for a couple of random, but I hope fruitful, thoughts.

1. Today is the first official Friday of the fall season (autumn officially arrived yesterday at 10:21am). This is somewhat ironic given the fact that the high temperatures for yesterday and today are from the mid to upper 80s. Just shows that the thermometer doesn't always agree with the season. But the forecast for next week is much more fall-like. You see, the seasons come, and the seasons go. And they always come in their proper sequence. So we know that the summer type temperatures won't continue forever… For autumn has now arrived. And the temperatures will progressively trend downward  as we approach the next season of winter. Life is a lot like this. We go through seasons of life. As I look back at my own life I think fondly of the season of childhood. My earliest memories go back to when I was three years of age. Childhood passed and…

Friday coffee with PJ

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It's Friday so pour yourself a cup of coffee and join me for a few random thoughts…

1.  Monday evening of this past week, my son, Tim, invited me over to his house to watch our favorite NFL team play (which is the Pittsburgh Steelers of course!).  Since our granddaughter, Ella, was attending art club at our church facility (which is only a couple of minutes from our home), I offered to pick her up and bring her with me to save my son a trip. When we arrived in the house my son informed Ella  that she needed to do some reading. The conversation went something like this:

T -  OK Ella, before you do anything else you need to do some reading.
E -  How long do I need to read? Ten minutes?
T - No, you need to read longer than that.
E - So  how long?
T - Well why don't we negotiate? How about 40 minutes?
E - Well (with a sigh) ... OK

With that Ella proceeded up the stairs to retrieve her book. After she went upstairs, I looked at my son and said, "I guess she needs to learn what…

Friday coffee with PJ

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It's Friday!  Hard to believe that another work week is almost in the books!  Go ahead and pour yourself a couple of your favorite java  and join me for a couple of random thoughts.

1.  On Wednesday of this week I finally got my removable splint made for my arm and wrist. It was a rather fascinating process watching the therapist make the splint for me. But I must  admit I would've rather had the experience watching it made on YouTube! What really struck me most when she took off the cast that had been on my arm was just how much my arm had atrophied in the past three weeks. It is a shadow of its former self. She pointed out that once everything is healed with my wrist and arm I will have to work hard at strengthening the arm back to its pre-surgery state.  Now I was not surprised that my arm had atrophied.  That's what happens to muscles when they are not used. What is true in the physical realm is also true in the spiritual. When we fail to exercise certain spiritual pr…

Friday Coffee with PJ

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Well, it's Friday again. So I invite you to pour a cup of your favorite coffee brew and join me for a few random thoughts. And since I am still in recovery mode and typing comes with some difficulty, I will begin with a quick update on my health followed with a post I wrote a while back.
1. On Wednesday I returned to see my surgeon for my postop  appointment (15 days following my surgery). For the most part he was pleased, although he is concerned about a hematoma which has formed. He is hoping it will dissipate on it's own. If it does not then he will have to care for it in the OR. Normally I would be seeing him in four weeks, but due to this I will be seeing him in two. I did get my cast off and the sutures out. I have a temporary splint on. Next Wednesday I see the hand therapist who will fit me for a splint I can put on and take off myself. Yea! Thanks for your own ongoing prayers!
2.                                You Can Run but You Can’t Hide!
CSI (Crime Scene Investigatio…