Monday, February 28, 2022
Thursday, February 24, 2022
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Tuesday, February 22, 2022
Monday, February 21, 2022
Thursday, February 10, 2022
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Monday, February 7, 2022
Sometimes when you take a moment, slow down, and notice, you witness something that can help shape your day. When that happens what you witness becomes a "God moment.". . . And God moments can be shared. Let me share the story with you from Sunday worship. . .
The Sunday service was proceeding normally. Bert, our liturgist, blessed our hearts with an a-cappella opening as part of her welcome. With each line and stanza of the song that she sang, I felt my heart lifting up and a smile coming across my face. God was good and the service was a blessing.
As we prayed for the needy of our community, God was close at hand. With each shared prayer concern, we noticed how great our God is and we know how great He could become in the lives of other people who need His touch. . .
And then something small, something most of you didn't notice, happened.
Reagan Hall sat down at the piano to play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. I imagine she took a deep breath, relaxed, and started playing. . . If you are familiar with the piece you know its pacing and sound. She was doing well. I noticed LaRayne watching proudly from the back row of the choir area, and then it happened.
Sitting a row in front of LaRayne was Reagan's sister Katie. Head slightly cocked toward her sister, she sat silently listening with her legs crossed. But the thing you didn't see was her hand. Katie had her fist resting on top knee with her thumb sticking up. She was giving her sister, who I imagine was a bit nervous, a silent 'thumbs up' in support.
She didn't smile. She didn't look anxious herself. Instead Katie sat there offering a tiny little gesture to her sister that said in its own way: "You got this." Indeed she did.
Reagan finished playing and sat down. The silent "thumbs up" slid away and the service continued onward. There was no acknowledgment of that silent gesture but I imagine, as I bet you do, that it was appreciated.
We don't always have to make a grand show of support to another person. Instead we just 'show up' and allows God to act. Nothing needed to be said. Nothing was said between the sisters. They were just there to support one another.
I wonder if today you might be able to offer that same silent support, encouragement, and presence to another person? And I wonder how that might bless them?
Thursday, February 3, 2022
Do you ever get tempted with the idea that you are too busy for to be faithful? Too busy to practice your faith? And in that confession you become frustrated and upset with yourself and with the life that you are living?
For many of us we believe that our faith is a private, personal matter. It's no one business by my own--well at least its between God and me. No one should worry about how I manage my faith or how I find the time to be faithful. . .
Perhaps like me, you have had a busy couple of weeks and you find that the regular activities of the faith, those that you cherish and affirm on Sunday with the Body of Christ, aren't happening as regularly as you'd like.
Perhaps you mean well. Perhaps you truly love God and would never confess to moving God to a distant second-seat in your life. . . But that happens from time to time. The events of the day taking priority over the devotion we need. And when it does, the response that brings us back into faithfulness feels like an impossibility. It feels like climbing Everest rather than just walking with Jesus along the path of life.
On my way home from an appointment with Emma's guidance counselor I listened to a new podcast that I have come to appreciate. The host, in her regular gentle tone and timber, confessed that she likes to find space and time to travel to the beach which is near her home. Doing so, she says, is part of her practices of Christian faithfulness. It is part of her devotional time with the Lord that she loves. The 15 or 20 minutes it take her to get to that beach is time when she can contemplate how God is at work in her life.
Then as she thinks about how God has been close to her this week, and notices the gentle nudges of the Holy Spirit, the two of them (She and God) can talk about how to remedy any shortcomings and grow closer together relationally. . . But this week that has not happened and she confessed this failing on the episode that I listened to.
She said that she has been trying to get to the beach and yet cannot do it and was becoming quite discouraged and frustrated by her apparent lack of devotion to God. The things that occupied her time were meaningful and worthy, yet something did not feel right because she and God did not walk together this week as they normally did. . . I wonder if you know something that feeling?
For a few days the host of the show said that she was irritated by this fact and began to judge herself and judge those who were keeping her away from her faithfulness-practices. But then she finally got to take the way. . . and as she took it, God and she spoke again.
God reminded her that the busy life that she had was part of His plan. He was there. Why did she believe that God would only walk with her as she went to the beach? Why not think that God was close at hand at every interval of life?
I wonder again if you and I might learn something from her lesson?
Perhaps through the business of the week, through the pressure and commitments, God might be wondering where you've been? . . . Why did you think that he was only waiting to walk with you toward your own 'private beach?' Maybe God was there in the hectic-ness of life?
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Tuesday, February 1, 2022
I wonder if you would pray with me for someone you have not met? Today I had my yearly physical with my doctor and it went very well. Heart...
I just had the most wonderful experience that I want to share with you. And as I share my story, I wonder if you can find your own way to sh...
As Vacation Bible School wraps us for another year, I find myself feeling blessed. . . and a bit tired. It has been a great week. I have wa...
I just returned to the office from visiting with some members of the church in the hospital. Their health is compromised, and as I leave the...