Closing and Opening Doors To God

On July 11, 2021, I was asked to deliver the sermon at Grace United Methodist Church in Wyckoff, New Jersey.

The following is the transcript of my sermon.

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God asks a lot of us.  All the time.  He wants us to be reverent.

He wants us to love him.

He loves us…

He asks us to pray.  He even had Jesus teach us how to pray.

God wants us to follow the Golden Rule.

He wants us to be kind, to be generous, to love… to love one another as he loves us. 

He asks us to honor our mothers and fathers, to not lust, or want, or use his name in vain.

Or take false idols.

Or to kill.

He asks a lot of us.

Because he loves us.

Continue reading “Closing and Opening Doors To God”

My Appearance on KSJE Discussing “Scattering The Ashes”

I am so please that so many people are loving my novel Scattering the Ashes. If you have not read it, I highly recommend that you do.

I was recently interviewed on KSJE’s “Wrire-On Four Corners” program.

You can listen to that interview here: Write-On Four Corners- June 2, 2021: Paul Semendinger, Scattering the Ashes

Setting A Place At The Table

Thanksgiving 2020

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This Thanksgiving will be different from ones in the past.  This Thanksgiving might be the first one that includes the complete absence of friends, family… loved ones.

There will be smaller gatherings and many empty seats.  

There will be empty homes.  And empty hearts.

The turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and the rest may taste less rich and be less fulfilling because they cannot replace the void that will be continually present on this day.

There will be an absence of voices and of laughter.  

It will be a Thanksgiving with seemingly little to give thanks for – a Thanksgiving of emptiness.  

But, it doesn’t have to be that way.  Not entirely.  

Continue reading “Setting A Place At The Table”

The Humans of Teaching Podcast!

The newest episode of the Humans of Teaching podcast has been released!

This episode, #013 A Principal’s Principles, features Dr. Paul Semendinger who shares his great insights, philosophies, and more!

You can listen to this podcast through any of the following links:

 

Hey, It’s About YOU!

The Beatles song Hey Jude was in my head as I prepared to write my Weekly Memo to the teachers at the school where I serve as the principal. 

As I started humming the melody and quietly singing that song to myself, I quickly realized that there is a great deal within the lyrics that delivers an important message.  I quickly scrapped the original idea I had for the memo and began writing about this epic Beatles tune…

Let’s take a quick look at the messages that I took from one of the Beatles’ most famous songs:

Hey Jude, don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better…

If that’s not one of the biggest lessons in life, I don’t know what is. 

The message here is simple – Don’t make it bad.  Just don’t.  The world, life itself, is often filled with bad things, hurtful things, sad things…  Each day (and sometimes it really is each day) we’re faced with things that upset us, things that hurt us, things that frustrate and annoy us.  That’s life.  It is what it is. Continue reading “Hey, It’s About YOU!”

Being Santa Claus

(The other day, I went back into the archives of passages that I wrote to the teachers at my school.  I found this piece from 2009.  This brought back a lot of memories, and also, with them, the reminder to savor every single moment.  That little boy sitting on Santa’s lap is twenty years old.  I genuinely miss those wonderful moments from long ago…)

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Each year I get a terrific honor.  I’m Santa Claus at our annual church fair.   For the better part of Friday evening, and on Saturday morning, I am Santa.  I’ve been doing this for a long time – since my kids were little.

When my kids were little and they talked to Santa, they didn’t know that the Santa they were talking to was me.  It was a very special time – priceless might be the word for it. I savor in those great memories. 

Continue reading “Being Santa Claus”

NYC Marathon: Rejoice In Suffering

I have had the great pleasure and honor of sharing inspirational words with my fellow runners at the Interfaith Chapel at the start of the New York City Marathon a number of times.  I find it extremely inspiring to share God’s word before the race as we all prepare for the long miles ahead.  This year I participated in two services and, as such, delivered two “sermons.”  I will share both of these messages here on my blog.  The first message I delivered is directly below this one on the blog’s home page.  I hope, these words inspire you and your faith as well.  

Rejoice in Suffering:

Continue reading “NYC Marathon: Rejoice In Suffering”

NYC Marathon: God Is With Us

I have had the great pleasure and honor of sharing inspirational words with my fellow runners at the Interfaith Chapel at the start of the New York City Marathon.  I find it extremely inspiring to share God’s word before the race as we all prepare for the long miles ahead.  This year I participated in two services and, as such, delivered two “sermons.”  I will share both of these messages here on my blog.  I hope, these words also inspire you and your faith as well.  

God Is With Us Today:

Continue reading “NYC Marathon: God Is With Us”

Me On The Radio – Quite An Honor

One of the most wonderful parts of being an educator and a writer is that my ideas and words seem to inspire other people and bring them joy.  

I am absolutely honored (and humbled) to be featured on WCBS News Radio 880 A.M. in New York City. 

Thank you Sean Adams and WCBS!

Here is the story:

Stories From Main Street: A Principal Who Writes To Inspire Kids And Adults