What This Today Holds

Sunday Dec. 6, 2020

While many of you this Sunday morning are preparing to go meet with your local church, I am sitting home nursing my version of the Covid invasion, which, so far is just been an imperial nuisance for me. Overall, I’m feeling not so awful.

But my friend who has seen a much darker side of this than I is trying to figure out if he is able to walk down the hall and make it to the bathroom on his own today. And, if he does can he make it back to a restful place when he is done.

Another friend is waiting on the medical staff to decide what they can do for him as his version is beginning to get very ugly. I personally know a few and I know of many for whom there are no more decisions to be made.

All I need to decide today is which of the many awesome online church services I’ll look in on. And, for the first Sunday in a few years, my voice will not be a worry. Things could be a whole lot worse in my little corner of the world.

I know something else. I know God is working all this stuff together for the good of His chosen who love Him. Hey, I’m one of them. So, with all I have in me, I’m going to try to walk with Him right through the middle of this trial and whatever the next happens to be as well. And, I’m planning to be very careful to not get ahead of Him which will probably also be a bit of a struggle. Hope you’ll do the same.

See You SONday,
Pastor Steve

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

You Can’t Make Me Be That

July 1, 2020

I want to tell you that I am not racist. I don’t need to tell you this as there is nothing about me which is worthy of that title. I will not allow you to make me think I am racist. I will not believe that racism is a governing paradigm in my life. Nor will I let you convince me that to notice or mention race makes me racist. I notice and mention hair color. This does not make me a hair stylist (pardon the pun, but there are mote coming). I also notice and mention the color of people’s eyes, but I am not an optometrist. I also notice and mention what people wear, how many tattoos they display and the symbolism of their jewelry, but I am not a fashion stylist. I notice their patterns of speech but am not a speech therapist and look at the way a person carries himself when he walks, though I am not a physical therapist. I sometimes form opinions about these people when I notice these things just like someone reading this may have already formed an opinion about me by just these few words, but I am not a columnist. These things do not make me a hater. They make me observant.

I talk about politics and religion publicly – I do not argue about them, I discuss them. I am willing to talk about any of the things above with any sensible person who wants to have a discussion. I am however, not willing to sit through an attack on my character, nor will I attack yours. I am not willing to listen to a harsh indicting tirade which is full of misinformed angry words which are of no value and are not able to bring anyone closer to another occupant of this earth. If you wish to be angry and spew divisive rhetoric, if you resort to name calling and character assassinations when my point of view has more merit than yours and you have nothing reasonable to share, go somewhere else and spew it at someone else. I just don’t have the time nor the stomach for a mean-spirited monologue.

But if you want to find some commonality, if you want to make a friend, if you want to really help address the issues you seem so passionate about, at least between you and me, let’s talk. Maybe we can at least understand each other and find that between the two of us there is not an insurmountable problem after all. If you are capable of having a civil conversation, I’ll make time for you. But if you just want to rant and accuse and label and continue to hate, please just leave me out of it. In fact, please leave everyone else out of it as well. The world is too small, and our lives are too short for all that nasty nonsense.

We have no record of Jesus walking on this earth arguing with angry and hateful people. In one very significant moment, He just remained silent among those angry people who wanted to defeat Him (see Matthew 26). I pray the Lord will help me know just when to keep my mouth shut.

See You SONday,

Pastor Steve

© 2020 Dr. SF Gallagher

Someday – I’m Waiting For Someday

September 7, 2018

Someday, it won’t be today anymore.

Someday, the things which we cannot accept nor control will no longer be in our way. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, the people who are intent on simply being mean and ugly towards one another will no longer have the ammunition to act that way. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, the war behind all wars will be over and it will be clear who was right and that none of us were Him. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, government will no longer be necessary and can no longer negatively impact our lives. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, skin will be of no concern and will have no power to divide. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, depression and guilt will be overcome by peace and grace. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, wrong will simply not be, and all will be right. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, those who believe power is the essence of right will themselves be aware they are wrong. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, those who have lost their ability to smile, who have lost their joy will know nothing other than the deep, overpowering, non-diminishing joy which flows from way down in their insides out to their whole world. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, we will not have to imagine a better time, nor will we have to draw a mental picture of a better place, for it will be a better time and place in which we live. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, the killing will be over and there will be no more death. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, worry will be gone, and our minds will be at rest. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday there will be no more tears, and there will be nothing worth shedding tears over. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday there will be no hunger nor mal-nutrition as all will be well fed. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, there will not be a single child who does not know the overwhelming love and strong support of a father. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, all the dreams worth coming true will have been fulfilled, and the others will not matter even a little bit. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, the disease we call cancer will have no more ability to kill a single living cell. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, blind eyes will see every color shape and shadow, and deaf ears will hear every symphonic sound in all of creation. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, crooked backs will stand tall, lame legs will walk straight and withered hands will grasp with strength. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, the writers’ pens will be still for all will be known, including that which has never been written. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, the singers, oh the singers, will sing songs of glory, songs so beautiful the likes of which we cannot even imagine this day, and their songs will fill the heavens with worship of the only one worthy. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, we will not wonder what God is like, His glory shall be revealed. I’m waiting for someday.

Someday, someone will see all of this from afar, having but a single regret to carry for all of eternity. So, this day, while I’m waiting for someday, I’ll find someone and tell them about Jesus who will make their someday glorious.

And it will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9 NKJV)



See You SONday,

Pastor Steve


© 2018 Dr. SF Gallagher

Some Discrimination is OK

Something has been on my mind for several years now, but it seems too socially incorrect to say. Today, I garner the courage to say it. There are times when it is OK to discriminate and leave others out. Let me explain with a few examples.

Yesterday, we celebrated Father’s Day. Fatherhood is worth celebrating and should be honored highly. But some have included single, divorced and widowed mothers in this celebration. Now, I am not taking away from the sacrifice of these women who do extra duty for their children, but it is not their day. They are not fathers. Honoring only the fathers on this day does not take away from these ladies at all, but, adding them to the honor of the day does change the honor given to fatherhood. This is a day for fathers, not mothers – and that’s OK. Even if there were no Mother’s Day, it would be OK to celebrate the fathers on a day set aside for them. A little discrimination is OK.

Memorial Day is the day set aside here in the United States to honor those who have fallen in battle to pay the price for our freedom. Some want to include veterans and currently serving members of the military and their spouses and children in this day of honor, but it is not their day, and that’s OK. It is a day set aside for remembering and honoring the dead heroes of our country. It is their day and we diminish it when we spread it thinner and include others in the honor. As a veteran myself, I have no problem giving the honor to others on that day. I would have no issue even if there were no Veteran’s Day set aside to honor the service we veterans gave. A little discrimination is OK.

We do this with our kids. Somewhere the idea was spread that everything has to be fair and equal so much that a kid can’t even have their own birthday without all the other kids getting a present. Or be praised for something they accomplished unless the other kiddos get a dose of praise as well. It can go like this. “Son, I am so proud of you today. You really made a good decision and carried it out flawlessly.” So far – so good. So, Stop! But we can’t just let him have his moment, and we go on. “Of course, I am proud of ALL my kids… blah, blah, blah.” Now we should be proud of all our kids, hopefully without discrimination. But it is a perfectly wonderful thing to give one of them a moment of preference when it is his turn. It builds the confidence of the one and the character of the other. A little discrimination is OK.

Please don’t think this writer to be harsh. Neither believe him to be uncaring. Rather understand the reality of our existence in this temporal world we call home is that discrimination happens very frequently. Someone eats, and someone is hungry, this is reality. Someone gets a job, and someone does not, this too is reality. One fisherman catches a record breaker, and another catches nothing at all, reality. Always treating everyone the same or making everything be about everybody does nothing to prepare people for this reality. In fact, it serves to prepare them for heartache and disappointment which will not be handled properly.

And there is another discrimination for which we must be ready. One which will be met with the same kind of whining and begging the unfair things of childhood are met with today, with one very significant exception. No fit throwing and no angry outburst, no cries of unfair and no amount of pouting will ever change the Father’s mind.

We should prepare for this, for, one day God will declare an end to what is and a beginning to what will be for all eternity. The matter will be ended with His declaration to those who have faith in Him being welcomed into Heaven and His presence. It will either be that, or it will be Hell and separation from all the goodness of God for all eternity. Nahum 1:7 says “The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him “(NKJV). HE KNOWS!

He knows who trusts Him and for them He will be a stronghold in that day. He knows those who don’t and for them it will be a day of trouble. Fair??? Who cares? Fair is over-rated, and God never claimed to be fair. Fair is a human thing which is only a thing because of our own sinful and selfish desires. Fair? Probably not. But it is reality. And since it is God, that discrimination is OK as well.  Are you ready?

See You SONday,

Pastor Steve

© 2018 SF Gallagher

My New Title

Saturday December 30,2017

One week from today, I get a new title. It’s not that titles are all that important, nor is it that I am all that important. But I get one nonetheless.

Now this is not the first time I’ve been given a title. In 1965 I was given the title “son.” In 1970 I was called “student” and in 1983 I was called “graduate” then “Dr.” in 2014. I got to be called “Christian” in 1971. In 1987 I was called a “boot” (that’s short for “boot camp” or new recruit to the United States Navy), and today I wear the title “veteran”. One of my favorite titles is “pastor” which I have held since 1990.

In 1991, I got the best title, “husband”, and then “father” in 1994, that title being re-affirmed in 1997 and 1999. And partially because of the last two, I get a new one.

Titles are fun. They say who we are or what we have accomplished and sometimes how we have failed. Some tell what we believe or how we might vote. But there is not one title in that whole list, nor in the list of titles which could have been mentioned, which can tell you everything about me. No one title tells you all I am or all I think or all I do. Each of these identifying words tells a piece of the whole, and all have some dependence on the others.

There have been a lot of people cross my path in the last half century or so, and I do not think I have ever met one single person out of them all who has only one side. I don’t believe there is such a one-dimensional person. We all have many nuances that make us who we are, inside and out, many titles which may describe at least a portion of that which makes us each an individual.

In the Bible we read some pointed words about giving too much heed to those with the more noble titles. Titles showing a person to be in a position of power or to have money or some notoriety seem to cause us to give one a bit more attention or honor. James tells us not to do that in the church as he reminds us that we are all in need of faith and its accompanying works. I guess the converse of this thought is not to think too highly of our own titles either – Romans 3 tells us that.

Josh and Ashley January 6, 2018

But, my new title makes me happy, and just a little proud. It makes me a little sad as well. One week from today, I get to be “Father-in-law.” Just another piece for me, but a whole new world opening for my “son” and my soon to be “daughter-in-law.” And I pray they find fulfillment and joy in their new titles, “husband and wife.”

See You SONday,

Pastor Steve

© 2017 Dr. SF Gallagher



He Never Wanted It To Be What It Had Become

October 30, 2017

“He never wanted it to be what it had become.”

     In 2004 while pastoring in California and working as a truck driver, these words came to my mind as I traveled north on Highway 395. I am still not sure what they were supposed to mean, but there was such an urgency about them in my mind that after I fought the urge for about ten minutes, I stopped all 18 wheels and proceeded to write them on the notepad I kept for just such an occasion.

     So, there I was, in the middle of the desert north of Mojave, California, intending to be about a half minute or so, when I smelled something. It was not a bad smell, but it was familiar, and I knew what it was. Looking out of my windshield, there it was steam billowing from under the hood. A coolant line had sprung a fairly small hole, just a quarter inch or so, but under the immense pressure of the 190-degree water and antifreeze, it was making quite a show. By the time it was done, we had replaced five gallons of fluids, and my half minute turned into five and one-half hours waiting on the mechanic to arrive with a spare hose and repair my engine.

   Now there is a point to my story. You see, if God had not stopped me long enough to jot a quick note to myself, or if I had chosen to use my micro cassette recorder rather than my pen, I might not have even noticed the leak until the engine had overheated and possibly been seriously damaged. The steam would have passed unnoticed right under my truck at 55 MPH. But God got my attention in an abnormal way and got me to do something I would not normally do. It was then that the situation became clear, even though I still have no idea which of the possible meanings the original phrase may have held. That is, except that God needed to get my attention in that moment.

     So, is God trying to get your attention and cause you to see what might not be clear any other way? Are you feeling an urgency to do something you might not ordinarily do, like stop a truck in the middle of the dessert to write a few words, and you cannot get that thing off your mind? Are you annoyed by that strange thing because it is so unusual yet pervasive?

     We are not too far from another new year. We are heading into that 60 days of holidays we face at the end of each year. I wonder if God has something out of the ordinary just waiting around the bend. I wonder if it’s time that He will shake something up.  Maybe we’ll have to wait to see what happens when things are not as normal as we find comfortable. God may have something in that out of place event we need to see. Perhaps it will lead us to something we must do. Perhaps it will be the thing which will give us new understanding of our purpose and help us get back on the road.

Anyhow – I certainly hope so.

See You SONday,

Pastor Steve

© 2017 Dr. SF Gallagher

I Love The Bible

I really do love the Bible. I have centered my education, practiced my occupation, and lived my life, as closely as I could by the timeless and immutable truths found there. I have not always been right, but the Bible has. I have not always been trustworthy, but the Bible has.

Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep Your precepts. I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word. I have not departed from Your judgments, For You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
I have sworn and confirmed That I will keep Your righteous judgments.

Psalm 119:97-106 NKJV

These verses express my heart. I would love to say they express my entire being, but there I have failed – often. My actions and thoughts and habits have not always been perfectly in line with the heart of the psalmist as he penned this psalm.

It is interesting that this singer is not identified. There are several good possibilities for his identity which range from Moses to David, or Daniel or Hezekiah or Ezra or Malachi. Whoever it was, it is clear he had a deep love for God and His Word. He wanted to live for God. He knew God’s word was key to his goal. I like to think he had a heart no too unlike my own.

Perhaps his heart along with the prescription to overcome the failure is in the beginning of his second stanza. He writes…

The Bible pictured above is the last of my father’s preaching Bibles along with a sermon note card written with his hand to use as he presented from the book which he too loved.

 How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.
Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes.

Psalm 119:9-12 NKJV

One might think that the Apostle to the Gentiles, having read or sung this psalm may have had these thoughts in mind as he reminded Timothy to “Be diligent [study] to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV).

So I spend much time and energy in God’s Word, the Bible. I will never feel as if this is somehow wrong or divisive or futile, even though the more I learn, the less I feel I know. There is depth and breadth which cannot be determined this side of eternity, but I intend to keep digging until I get there. I hope you will as well.

See You SONday,

Pastor Steve

© 2017 Dr. SF Gallagher

We The People

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote Image result for United States symbolsthe general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The “we” spoken of here is the “we” who have a new president for the forty-fifth time. Please notice that the authors of the above statement use the term “we.” This “we” is not racial. This “we” is not partisan. This “we” is not lifestyle groups. This “we” is not religion based. This “we” has nothing to do with gender. This “we” has nothing to do with the person named president. This “we” is not an indication of which sports team one supports. This “we” is not about the excess or lack of education. This “we” is neither city nor rural. This “we” is neither rich nor poor. This “we” is “the People of the United States.” All of us – Together.

We should remember this because “we the people” are so much better when we are “we the people” rather than we the smaller and more defined group. While many groups are important and valuable, this writer is a member of many groups, may we never forget that we are the “we” who valued one another and fought and built so that we could have a freedom to be us.

If you want to read more, start with this http://constitutionus.com/

See You SONday

Pastor Steve

© 2017 Dr. SF Gallagher – 170121


What’s Around That Tree?

There are trees out there; lots and lots of trees with different leaves and different branches and different stuff growing on the branches and living in them. It is a forest. It is full of trees. Each of which has a meaning and a significance. And you just stand there gawking a one single little scraggly tree as if it is capable of representing and containing all of the beauty and essence and truth of all the other trees, and all the other forest stuff around it and everywhere else. One example in isolation and solitude is not a complete representation of all the rest of the trees. It can never present the whole reality. It can only represent the one tiny little point of view which is shallow and incomplete.

Step back just a bit. It won’t take much. Swivel that neck and wiggle those eyeballs just the tiniest degree. That set of facts, those packages of emotion, the historical markers and opinions that represent that one bit of scruffy timber upon which you have fixed your gaze for so long may be found to be less descriptive than you may have ever imagined possible. It may be found, and clearly demonstrated, that the tree who crowded your favorite tree, which seemed to do nothing useful and everything detrimental to your precious pet twig, was protecting and feeding that little one which he too loves.

Step back and look around. There’s a forest growing all around that little speck of a place which is burned into your vision. There is much going on in this forest right here and a lot of it might have nothing to do with that which you are convinced is the point of all reality.

And, if you still insist on being a one tune mp3 player, or a one subject search engine, at least be sure that your mental singularity gets wrapped around something eternal. Here’s a good laser point question which is both relevant and eternal. Does your obsession over politics, or gun rights, or someone’s life matters, or oils that have odors, or oils that can spill and make great havoc, or human rights, or global warming, or religion, or terrorism, or GMO’s, or life, or sports, or healthcare, or flag waving, or senators, or your sister-in-law who used to be your best friend’s crabby attitude, or ………… – Has any of that helped anyone look beyond their own little overpowered scrub to see the forest and beyond? Has it helped anyone to notice Jesus Christ, and think on things other, and perhaps bigger, than them or you? Would you let some of that breeze blow through your branches for a bit?

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. (Colossians 3:1-11 NKJV)

See You SONday,

Dr. SF Gallagher

© 2016 Dr. SF Gallagher

Our Greatness

I can trace my people entering this land now called the USA to 416 years ago. They came willingly, but in flight from religious persecution. Some of your families were already here when mine arrived. Mine facilitated the bringing of some of yours here. Others of you have different stories of how your families arrived here in the USA.

My people were light skinned Europeans. Yours may be different. But, whatever they did, and whoever they were, they are neither you nor me. Nor are they us. Their stories are our stories, but we are not them. We are now a citizen of the United States of America. And as such, it is time for the lines of history to be recognized as history – unchangeable and not able to be lived again history. We cannot give the land back to the first inhabitants. We would not send others back to the places from which they were brought as slaves. Most would not want to go there anyway. Too much time has passed and too much history written for that to be possible.

But we can stop whining. We can stop dividing. We can stop blaming. We can stop believing that we are owed anything because of that history, whether privilege or reparation, and simply be the people of the United States of America. Not throwing our stories away, but writing new stories of struggling and celebrating together to be something great.

We should stand together and celebrate our national identity. We should refuse to join and celebrate those whose attitudes and actions are tearing apart and drawing the lines of division. We should celebrate the things which make us each unique, but not to the extreme of believing those unique things as either superior or inferior to others.

We should be accepting of people from all walks of life even if we have an extreme difference of opinion. We should believe in one another, even when we don’t necessarily like everything we see. When we believe we are right and the other person is wrong, we should have respect for that other person especially when we cannot respect their stories. We should offer respect for them even when they offer none for us. We should stop viewing disagreement as disrespect and hate. Most of it is not. In fact, most of it is not even offered disrespectfully. It is only heard so. Let’s stop looking for things to be hurt over. Let’s stop listening for hate and offense. Let’s stop accentuating our differences and get back together and be strong. While we celebrate our diversity, which is part of our greatness, may we not forget to celebrate our oneness, which is the most significant part of our greatness.

One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

See You SONday,

Dr. SF Gallagher


© 2016 Dr. SF Gallagher