The beauty of poetry is that it can touch the hearts of each reader individually with the picture it paints and thus seeds are planted where winds may have blown them away. – Martha L Shaw
Sometimes listening and following Christ is so much like learning to walk, to swim, to ride a bike. We tremble with excitement and fear and cry out “show me . . . help me!” Suddenly, if we open our eyes, we discover we are not where we used to be. We are away from the water’s edge. What is next is up to us. Do we sink or realize He was there all along and it was easier than we thought!
Your PASSION . . . strong, powerful, compelling. It is NOT what you WANT to be. It is not what you CHOOSE to be. It is what you ARE. It cannot be denied for to attempt to do so would be to choose not to breathe. It is what gives you LIFE.
Naomi Shihab Nye
Photography Copyright 1-10-2013 Martha L Shaw
My life, while containing a huge question mark in one way, has been rich with blessings which provide me with the assurance of my Savior’s love and fill me with hope in Him.
For some time now, as some of you know, I’ve been praying and prayed for in the need for provision and my desire to be His minister in a new vocation which He clearly has prepared for me. His timing is not our own yet we know it is perfect. Many times it has been revealed to me in my own spirit from HIm and through others praying for me that a new door will be opening. I believe that as we grow in Him and surrender to His will we find many new doors along the way as we grow ready for more and more work . . . I am excited to serve in the ways He leads me. Yes, fear comes but with His hand holding me, I can walk in fear and not be held back by it.
As I stood in my dining room the other day, I saw the doors to my sunroom and thought of them in a new way. Yes, it did remind me of the “door” or “doors” the Lord is leading me to and through, but also of a puzzle to be solved. We’ve all seen those puzzles in which we are to count how many squares we see . . . well as we follow Christ, the puzzle pieces that are our life come together in beautiful ways as we are blessed to serve Him.
Now, a puzzle for you. No, I’m not asking you to count the “squares” as those familiar puzzles ask. I’m asking you to count the crosses! When our Lord died on the cross, we were awarded Eternal live. The doors to Eternity with Him were flung open! So, ponder that and look at these doors. How many crosses do you see?
Have you heard recently about how “the church” is failing in its mission? How about those priests and pastors? Seems there’s a lot of discussion on how they should do their jobs . . . it doesn’t matter which denomination or “church” you belong to. If you are slowly walking to your car after services and aren’t overhearing criticism of what “they” should be doing and how “they” have failed . . . get your hearing checked. More is often said in lunchrooms, bars, and so forth. I’ve heard plenty said by folks who don’t go to church at all. Seems the comments against the work of the church (and I question their source of information) are many from folks who may not know what a pew looks like. I’m not judging, just repeating what I keep directly hearing. There’s always some newspaper article, television news report, etc., and it’s rarely a shout of “hallelujah.”
So, in thinking about this and in thinking about my role, about the load carried by those in ordained leadership roles within “the church” and the like, I did some reading. I had a preformed answer but was seeking “higher authority” for facts. Well, folks, we may not be living into the vocation, but as baptized and/or baptized and confirmed Christians (depending on your own denominational doctrine) we are all ministers. Those sacraments and the promises made by and for us gave us that role. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost enables us and we have much to do. Not some vague “they” at all.
Seems to me that when those who are not part of a church body offer “reasons” related to all the “church” is doing wrong, their words sound a bit like “the dog ate my homework.” I can’t know what’s in another’s heart, but my ears sometimes hear it that way. It also seems that if we spent just a small percentage of the time we devote to lamenting “what’s wrong with the church today” we might come to realize we yes WE are the church and WE have a vocation and commitment made with the Lord to be His ministers.
My church has hundreds of members yet 2 fulltime priests and 1 part time priest. How then can the ordained clergy fulfill their own roles AND the roles we ourselves have formally and sacramentally committed our lives to? It is time to do our part. What’s wrong with the church these days? It might just be that the answer is OUR idleness in not meeting our commitment. It is time to prayerfully step up and live as Christ has called us to.
Acts 6:2 ” “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God”
Today is a totally delightful day. Not saying everything is life is perfect for we know that this side of heaven can’t be exactly that, but my smile is as bright as the sunshine would be if I weren’t wearing dark glasses!
A very dear friend who I have not seen in 7 years has flown in to visit me and be my houseguest for a week! He is a wonderful man who is full of life, full of the love of Christ, is eternally young, and is a retired Episcopal priest. I am smiling as I say retired priest because I don’t know any priests who’ve pulled off retirement . . . I think they just live on and one day they say “go in peace to love and serve the Lord” and find themselves face to face with Him. Vocation . . . . it’s so much more than work.
Many of you are aware that I’ve been seeking a “job” or more correctly financial provision since relocating to SC 4 plus years ago and a permanent answer hasn’t yet come, but spiritually life is AMAZING so no complaints. That being said the Lord has planted a seed in me which can only be described as a passion for a vocation and not just a job. I am beginning to know what that is, only just beginning.
I ask you to pray with me that I will continue to hear His voice and follow Him faithfully in the path and plan He has for me and kn0w that though He asks me to do things that make me gasp sometimes, I have never known more joy in my life than when I follow Him NO MATTER WHAT HE ASKS OF ME. He is always there with me.
This will be a delightful week for me and I am sorry if I am a bit off schedule on sharing with all of you but fear not, I will have lots to share when time permits. Meanwhile, having an extra person in the house and it being a man with a healthy appetite literally, spiritually and otherwise, I’ve got an excuse to do a lot more fussy things in the kitchen than what I usually do as this house usually is home to just my elderly Mom who is on a restricted diet, and me. I enjoying having someone to spoil lavishly. Just now I have a pot roast with all the expected accompaniments cooking and can I tell you my house smells great? There will be home-made bread in the house, home-made corn chowder, and all sorts of scones, muffins, other elaborate things to feed the body with as we share at table and feed our hearts and souls.
Time to check my roast! Can you smell it?