November 14, 2016
We are asked, no instructed, to love our neighbors and as holidays approach this becomes extra important for we are surrounded by lonely and physically challenged folks. We know we can help, but shy away saying “I can’t . . . because . . . “insert lame reason (excuse) here ______.
Reaching out a hand, extending a greeting, opening a heart takes so little and means so much. The Lord will rejoice in YOU and show you the way. You only need to be willing!
The gift of joy will change YOUR life!
August 18, 2012
I was just thinking of a television special I saw last year about a Christmas tree farm. It sort of disappointed me and I’d wished I hadn’t watched it. Love pine trees, love the way the branches smell, love the look and color and scent in the lumber from a pine tree. Mmmmmm! Why my disappointment? They paint their trees so they will look like a “Christmas tree is supposed to look.” Didn’t God get it right when He created them?
I also thought of when I learned to paint and draw. It always disappointed me, in those early days, when I looked at my finished field of grass in a painting and saw how “wrong” my grass looked. I used green paint. Grass is green, isn’t it?
The true definition of something, the true meaning of a thing, isn’t necessarily our quick assumption or easy answer. So, what brought this to mind? A friend of mine just excitedly announced that her place of worship, her “church” just bought a real church building. My friend is very active in her church. It’s been meeting in a variety of available and affordable buildings. When you think of church, do you think of a cute country church painted white with a picket fence, double doors swung open to welcome the local faithful? Do you see a bell and steeple and stained glass windows with small brass engraved signs saying “in memory of . . . ” hung next to the windows?
Perhaps your mind sees a big cathedral of stone that’s been there for hundreds of years? Perhaps you can hear in your thoughts the echo of hundreds of years of shoes clonking across the stone floors. Can you see the old well-worn and polished wooden pews? Hear the sound of the of the magnificent pipe organ?
Those are churches . . . but they’re not “the church” for that is you and me. My friend has every right to be excited about her church and its new building which was built specifically to be a church. I’m excited for Mary and her fellow worshippers, but do you know what I’m more excited about? I’m more excited that she’s been every bit as eager and joy filled about the “church” she’s belonged to all along whether services took place in somebody’s livingroom, the ball field, or an empty store at the mall. Church can be anywhere there’s a believer or two and the presence of our loving Lord.
April 21, 2011
“Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.” Mark 14:35-40
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I read of the goings on in Jesus day and the choices made by his chosen 12 and I find myself wondering “what were they thinking” and “why can’t they see . . . ”
We were not there and facing all that they faced. We live in an easier time, yet we are no different than they were. Would we have watched and prayed for one hour? All too often, I believe, we find ourselves too busy to “watch and pray for one hour.” Even though I “pray a lot” it’s often in “stolen moments” as I rush about through my day. Why don’t I more often find the time to “watch for one hour” since I know that when I do so, my life is changed! Grace flows and my soul rejoices, yet I find myself too busy . . .
Busy? I find time to bake a pan of brownies. I find time to catch a 30 minute sitcom on tv. I find time to be online in social networking sites. I find time to run off to the bookstore . . . surely I can find time to “watch and pray for one hour.”
Today I will.