An Ode to Robin Williams

Author: | Categories: General No comments

RobinI was standing in friends’ kitchen last night when they told me Robin Williams had died. It would have been loss enough to a heart attack or an OD. To an apparent suicide seemed infinitely worse. Like so many people I loved Robin. I grew up watching Mork and Mindy. My friends and I owned all his early comedy albums and quoted the great routines (of which there were so many) all the time.

I was so impressed then when I saw “The World According to Garp” and “Moscow on the Hudson” at the incredible dramatic talent he displayed. And so I was absolutely delighted when he started getting roles like “Good Morning Vietnam” and “Dead Poet Society” which allowed him to combine his incredible comedic talent with his dramatic acting ability.  I loved the “Dead Poet Society” so much that after the second viewing I wrote a poem called, “An Ode to Neil.” In the movie Williams played a teacher who deeply inspired his students, but unfortunately one student seeing his dreams squelched commits suicide. That student was Neil and the poem described how the movie theme of “seize the day” can go to far…that we hold onto life so tightly that it’s strangled.

I can picture the scene in the movie where Williams as the teacher reads a line of Henry David Thoreau about “sucking the marrow out of life” and then drops his head in grief. I’ve felt like that the last day. It seems such irony, to me at least, that one of Robin’s greatest roles was about a senseless suicide.

Through the years I’ve not only enjoyed Robin’s comedy and movies, but especially interviews. In those you saw his manic talent for free associating and how so full of life he was.  Robin seemed like such a “seize the day” and “suck the marrow out of life” kind of guy that it doesn’t seem like depression could conquer. And yet mental health professionals tell us how incredibly powerful depression can be. I fully admit I know little about his personal life as I try to avoid the tabloid magazines. However, it seems clear to me that Robin had many more hilarious scenes, amazing improv displays and great movie roles in front of him, but the sadness of depression precludes seeing them.

As a Christian and especially a Christian leader I love talking about our gifts and living life to the fullest…being everything God means us to be. Of course I did not know Robin Williams personally or anything of his personal life, but it certainly seemed to me that he was being used by God. His talent made my life and countless other millions more enjoyable. And I’m sad that things got so low he didn’t see the next day when God would use him again. For anyone and everyone who ever thinks about suicide, whether you’re a person of faith or not, please believe God has something more for you…tomorrow!

And for Robin, I feel like the last scene of “Dead Poets Society.” He’s been kicked out of the school and there is nothing that will change this. The headmaster tells him to go, but the boys want to express their love and thanks for how this man has changed their lives.  They use a line their teacher told them they could use if they were bold. The line is from a poem which Walt Whitman wrote to commemorate another great soul, Abraham Lincoln, and the boys proudly proclaim it standing on their desks. To you Robin, I thank you, “O Captain, My Captain!”

How’s Your Prayer Coverage (Part 5)

Author: | Categories: Growing in Faith No comments

Prayer and cell phoneWe ended this prayer series by celebrating the great connection we can and have had with God. I started with part of this call to worship. Although Louis C.K. can often be pretty profane, I mention in the sermon how he’s onto something we need to face as we grow in faith. I truly hope this prayer series was a blessing to you!

Pastor Stuart

 

 

Play

How’s Your Prayer Coverage (Part 4)

Author: | Categories: Growing in Faith No comments

prayer without titleThis sermon dives into the difficult problem of unanswered prayer or maybe a “Bad Connection” with God!  This call to worship by Garth Brooks is one that might help and especially this insert was created to describe some of the challenges in this area.

Play

How’s Your Coverage? (Part 3)

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized No comments

prayer without titleThis week as we’re continuing to grow in prayer, we covered some “terminology” and concepts about prayer that should be especially helpful!  I really hope this sermon is a blessing!  You also might like this peaceful rendition of the Lord’s Prayer that we used as a call to worship!

Play

How’s Your Coverage (Part 2)

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized No comments

Prayer and cell phoneThis week as we continued talking about prayer and particularly how we could use the same methods of learning to use a cell phone to grow in our prayer life.  I had this handout to bless people and I also used this call to worship which you might enjoy!

If you would like to connect and how to grow in prayer, please feel free to drop me at email at swluce@gmail.com!

God Bless!
Pastor Stuart

Play

How’s Your Coverage (Part 1)

Author: | Categories: Growing in Faith No comments

prayer without titleThe first in this summer worship series as we talk about and grow in prayer. You might also enjoy this call to worship I used!

Play

Where Are We Headed?

Author: | Categories: General No comments

who-do-you-say-i-am_3166_1024x768This mornings sermon took inspiration from Bishop Wolfgang Herz-Lane’s sermon at the 2014 DE-MD Synod Assembly as we think about the direction and future of the church.  Click here to see the Titanic video clip I used in worship. Also the call to worship can be viewed here. In the sermon I also mention the book Who Stole My Church which would be an important read for anyone struggling with the future of the church.

Certainly anyone who would want to talk about this sermon or the future of the church, I’d be glad to be in dialogue!

Play

Earthly and Heavenly Fathers

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized No comments

Father and SonThis Father’s day message many people said was a special blessing, as we wrestle with having and being father’s….and our relationship with our Heavenly Father.  You probably will also want to share this awesome video by The Skit Guys, who do a great job of making us laugh and cry about Fatherhood!  Hit me an email if this message is a blessing to you!

Pastor Stuart

 

Play

Receive the Holy Spirit

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized No comments

ConfirmationToday was a special day as we celebrated the confirmation of four young people! But as we prayed for the Holy Spirit to be part of their lives, each and every one us need it as well!  I hope this message blesses your faith and life as the Holy Spirit is stirred up in you.  And oh, I used this call to worship that might also give you a chuckle!

Play

The Graduation Bible Survival Kit

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized No comments

Graduation CelebrationThis message was especially meant to bless the graduates, but I think you’ll find it a blessing for anyone…and I hope for you!  In case you wanted to see the list of scripture verses or perhaps even make up a “kit” for someone you love, you can view the document here!

Play