” . . . rejected as worthless . . . “

“Jesus said to them, ‘Haven’t you ever read what the Scriptures say?

‘The stone which the builders rejected as worthless turned out to be the most important of all.
This was done by the Lord;
what a wonderful sight it is!’” (Matthew 21:42)

This is Peter Pan, “Pete” for short.  He’s twelve years-old and has been training Patti and me since he was a young puppy.  He’s also blind, deaf, and can barely smell – the results of a series of strokes.  Some might say he’s not worth much as a pet.  Don’t tell Pete, he’s handicapped.  He acts more like a four year-old.  We call him the “Bandit” because he loves to steal things.  Every time I walk in the door, Pete somehow knows I’m home and immediately comes to find me.  He makes me stop and give him a good petting.  In the evening when I sit back in my lounge chair, Pete jumps up on top of me and demands that we “talk.”  Since he can’t hear, that means he sits on top of me while give him a good rub-down.  Once more he forces me to stop whatever I’m doing long enough to connect with him through touch.  It’s a much more deliberate effort to connect than simply saying, “Hi Pete.”  It requires my full attention, and draws me more into his world.  Pete won’t let me ignore him, and it’s always a blessing when I don’t.  I guess it’s safe to say that after twelve years he’s still training me, and I’m loving every minute of it.

This coming Sunday we celebrate the greatest parade of all, the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem.  Apparently it was a big deal, and made a big splash in the community.  The high profile entrance got the attention of many, so much so that Jesus’ enemies commenced their plot to have him executed by the Romans.  God often works quietly, but sometimes gives us a jolt to get our attention.  Sometimes we risk allowing our business, fatigue, shortsightedness, etc. rob us from the potential blessing God might have in store for us and others.  Sometimes, we miss the important “stone” and have to be reminded.

I’ve been tutoring a couple of young fourth-graders at a local elementary school.  I confess that a couple of weeks ago I was busy, tired, and not in the greatest mood to go to my weekly sessions with the young men – but I went.  I’m building a model motorcycle with one of them.  That morning, in the midst of gluing and painting, out of the blue he looked at me and said, “You know, this is the highlight of my week.”  What a gift he gave me that morning.  That became the highlight of my week as well.  Immediately, I thought, “Okay God, I get the message.”

I pray that as I enter this especially holy time in the Christian year, I will once more heed God’s call to draw closer, and be revitalized to serve in Jesus’ name.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,


Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

My other book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at and

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”


~ by revgenelson on April 5, 2017.

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