February 17, 2021
Yes, I’m hearing voices, but don’t worry. These are the voices coming from one of my collection of Christmas churches. I have them on a timer so that the lights come on in the morning. This church has not only voices singing alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, but then you hear the ‘small talk’ we remember so fondly at the beginning of worship.
As I’m entering into the season of Lent, I am focusing on improving my ‘big talk’ with the One who has always loved me. Henri Nouwen offered some helpful words in his meditation the voice of love. “To those who … desperately look for the house of love where they can find the intimacy their hearts desire, Jesus says: “You have a home . . . I am your home . . . claim me as your home . . . you will find it to be the intimate place where I have found my home . . . it is right where you are . . . in your innermost being . . . in your heart.” …The tragedy is that we are so possessed by fear that we do not trust our innermost self as an intimate place but anxiously wander around hoping to find it where we are not. We try to find that intimate place in knowledge, competence, notoriety, success, friends, sensations, pleasure, dreams, or artificially induced states of consciousness. Thus we become strangers to ourselves, people who have an address but are never home and hence cannot be addressed by the true voice of love.”
Please join with me, dear friends, to allow God to envelop us in love so that all might know who we belong to. Peace to you.
Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” LUKE 17:20,21 (NIV)
January 27, 2021
Do you enjoy starting a new year? Here we are into 2021. It seems inconceivable that I am living in this time. This helps me keep the current news in perspective. I am reminded to remain humble and be able to accept with gratitude the gift God grants of a new day, another chance to live fully as a Beloved child of God.
How about you? I see glamorous, powerful people making judgments abut others, as if there is a reward for being a ‘better’ Christian than another and that by belittling another child of God we are following Jesus. I must keep stepping back, taking a deep breath and reminding myself that when the disciples were arguing about who was the greatest, Jesus had the little children come to him.
Here he blesses the children as he chooses to bless us. So instead of allowing myself to be manipulated by competing voices, I choose to listen to the heartbeat of Jesus. I welcome God’s blessing on my life, knowing that I need God’s generosity of spirit. God is showing me how to live in the world but not be of the world. God has already done everything needful so that I may live fully.
“Therefore, you should treat people in the same way that you want people to treat you; this is the Law and the Prophets.” Mathew 7:12 (CEB)
December 16, 2020
Have you read about the tunnel they are building under the new construction on highway 14 for deer and other animals to cross safely? It reminded me of John the Baptist’s cry to make straight the paths for the coming of our Lord. As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to make straight the way of the Lord, inviting everyone to know the God who first loved us. In the world we are living in today, we have learned to try new ways of ministry with one another. Digital and social media have become new roads for many of us to encounter Christ.
You and I are building roads to encourage all the vulnerable, the suffering, those who know Jesus and those who don’t. Yes, it requires effort and intention on our part, but our Lord God has always modeled for us encouragement to delight in the new thing God is doing. In this season, where are so thankful to celebrate the coming of light into the world, we continue to look for ways to build roads for one another to navigate safely in a wounded world, crying out for healing. We proclaim with joy; the Lord has come! Let us rejoice, building roads without fear. Let us choose life abundantly.
The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.” Luke 1: 30-33 (CEB)
October 7, 2020
Was the Trip Worth It?
“Teach me to do what pleases you, because you are my God. Guide me by your good spirit into good land.” Psalm 143:10 (CEB)
Recently, I forgot my laptop at home. I didn’t realize that I forgot it until unloading the car at the parsonage. My only option was to drive back to Homer to get it which meant I’d spend around 6 hours in the car in one day. So much for getting the work I’d planned done – I’m so waiting for the self-driving car option! Naturally, I responded in recriminations for myself. Are you also your worst critic? Thankfully, during the extra 4 hours in the car, I found a Christian station to listen to that soothed my soul and reminded me again of God’s great love. It is taking me so long to spend less time criticizing myself and living in the way God teaches, to practice forgiveness. God’s good spirit through the words and music returned me to a good land. There is always more work, but never enough time to give thanks to God. Thank you, God, for never giving up on me.
September 30, 2020
“But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. “Romans 5:3-4 (CEB)
Does anyone remember cassette tapes? I still have one, with the voices of my mom, aunt and grandma, It is very precious to me as 2 out of the 3 have died. My mother is celebrating a year of being on hospice so before I know it all those voices will only be recordings. Precious memories.
They sent it to me when I lived in Germany and other forms of communication were so much more expensive. This was my way to feel at home in a strange country and culture far from home.
Friends, we have so many more ways to savor precious memories today. As I struggle in this time of the pandemic with drastic change, I lean on the scripture above. God is creating precious memories every day and that brings us to hope. Let’s take pride in our problems! LOL.