February 13, 2017
Depending on your faith or denomination, this might not be completely familiar, but ,I was thinking of Mom at church yesterday and recalled her telling me that as a tiny girl she would march around the house holding an upside down broom and pretend to be the crucifer at church.
So, later in the service, as we sung the Doxology and got to the words “praise Him all creatures here below” I remembered myself as a wee one singing the same words with one tiny mistake. I misunderstood and heard them say “preacher” rather than “creature” AND GOT MAD! I decided they were NOT going to tell me only PREACHERS could praise Him. I WAS GOING TO AS WELL! lol
It should not surprise anyone that both of us have, in our own ways, felt called to forms of ministry from a very young age.
April 10, 2011
What does it mean to die to self? How can that be a good thing? I have to “die” in order to “live?” What’s up with that? Let’s look at it. In Mark’s Gospel, chapter 8, verse 35 we read that “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” Wow, on the surface, that sounds contradictory, but is it? Let’s look at it differently, then. When I was a child and wanted a treat, I’d ask my parents and sometimes the answer just seemed so wrong. It seemed as though what I wanted was either met with a “no” or a “not yet.” For example “if you clean up your room, then . . . “ Well, shoot, cleaning up my room wasn’t fun. What kind of treat is that? Will I like what I get when I clean up my room? Maybe I should forget the treat. So, my room’s messy. I can usually find everything. Yes, the treat I wanted sounded good, but, I can live without it. The example is very elementary, but perhaps we sometimes make life a lot more complex than it is? Oh, come on, don’t you? I know I do. So, how can dealing with the crud in my room relate to dying to self?
Well, our Lord wants what’s best for us. He knows what’s best for us. When I think about the times He’s said “no” or “not yet” the prize I received “at the appropriate time” was amazing. Before I could receive His blessing, I had to clean up my act some. I needed to realize that I didn’t know best and give up my own foolish willfulness and follow Him. Not unlike all those things I wanted when I was a child that I didn’t “get” until I cleaned up my room, grew up a bit more, was more prepared to handle them. Giving up our own sinful ways and following the Lord doesn’t mean life will be simple, but it sure will be better than denying Him and going it alone. The bumpy patches on the road won’t make me fall because I’m holding His hand. The “good enough” life without Him that really wasn’t all that good? It’s nothing compared to eternal life in the Kingdom of God. No, life won’t be a dream come true. It’ll be even better!
April 7, 2011
Love has become a word that’s used so casually these days. Isn’t it also interesting that we are in a time where we need it so desperately and many of us, at times, realize that we so hunger for it? I know I do. We’ve used the word for meanings other than it’s true one so often that we do not always “feel the love” anymore. This is sad. I am not, however, sad as I write this. I am full of joy. I know Jesus loves me. He shows this to me in lots of ways, but on Sunday He gave me a hug. Not for the first time, either!
As I passed through the door leaving the 9am service, a flock of kids and their parents came from the other direction for the 10:15 children’s service. One little boy came rushing up to me and gave me a big hug. He’s done this at least 3 weeks in a row now. I don’t know his name. We don’t get to chat. He needs to get into his pew with his folks and I need to step aside as my service has ended and the next is about to begin. I don’t think there can be any better example of the love our Lord has for us than love expressed by a child.
We, as adults, restrain ourselves. We often don’t want to be touched or are resistant to touch others. We “feel funny” or wonder “what will they think.” Our Lord, however, urged us to be like a child. Do you remember your own childhood? Do you remember when you eagerly rushed to show affection because the world hadn’t changed you yet? The world hadn’t yet reconditioned you into thinking it was somehow “wrong” to express love? Is it really that important to be “like a child?” Well, in the NIV Bible the word “child” is used 108 times. Clearly, yes it is that important. In Matthew 19:14 Jesus said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When this little boy hugged me, I knew it was Jesus Himself hugging me through this child. When I grow up, I want to be just like him!