Thursday, September 29, 2011

It is well...

"When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,
It is well, it is well, with my soul..."
Horatio Spafford and Phillip Bliss, "It is Well With My Soul"

I heard this song the other night during a TV show, of all places. It jumped out at me immediately and I forgot about the rest of the show and looked up the song. To me, it means that even when the world around us is spinning wildly out of control, we can have peace within. True peace doesn't come from the world but from our walking hand-in-hand with God. Horatio Spafford wrote the song during a time of Job-like events surrounding him. His world was completely brought down around him, and yet, he reached in and touched God within his soul. His connection to God kept him from losing his own self after he lost so many others in his life. I urge you to look up this song on You Tube (Jeremy Riddle's version is splendid) and really listen to the words. Pray the song, eyes closed and heart open. Indeed, our peace cannot come from the world around us. Our peace can only come from the Prince of Peace who lives within us, never to leave us! And, for that, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my Soul! Love, heidi

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I will follow, but first...

"I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home."
Luke 9:61

This jumped out at me this morning, but not the entire sentence. All I saw the second time I read it was, "I will follow you, Lord, but first..." God wants us to look inside and finish that sentence for ourselves. What is keeping us from full surrender and walking with Jesus? I believe two things about full surrender: 1) It is a lifetime journey. The decision to surrender may be instantaneous, but the actual fruition of it takes a lifetime. It is a decision we take up daily. 2) Full surrender is manifested in how we live our lives every single day. It has tangible, visible qualities. Surrender can be seen in how we respond to the various situations of our lives. Surrendering to Jesus helps us look like Jesus in the difficulties and the joys of our lives. So, let's answer the question today..."I will follow you, but first..." What is holding us back? Or are we picking up our cross and daily living our lives for Jesus? Love, heidi

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Set a match to it!

"Do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?"
Luke 9:54

You've just got to love James and John, the "Sons of Thunder." They are traveling, with Jesus, through a Samaritan village, on their way to Jerusalem. The Samaritans basically refuse to welcome them, because they are traveling to Jerusalem. James and John ask Jesus if they can burn down the village in retaliation. Jesus' response? He scolds James and John. No fire; no revenge; mind your own business and let's move on. Jesus is practicing what he preached. No eye for an eye here. No tooth for a tooth. No torching a village because they don't welcome you. Be nice to people. Jesus did what he told others to do, all the way to forgiving those who put him to death on the cross. We have so much to learn! Today, let's be aware of all the times we may be tempted to retaliate or nurse an anger towards someone. Let's think of James and John, who thought they were completely justified in burning down a village and then let's fill our minds with Jesus' response. Jesus not only told us how to live, but he showed us! Love, heidi

Monday, September 26, 2011

Serve others!

"Do nothing out of selfishness or vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also for those of others."
Philippians 2:3-4

This was yesterday's second reading but it really hit me between the eyes. I think we start seeking recognition and attention early in life, as little kids. "Mommy, watch me!" "Look at me!" We are so self-centered as kids and it is only as we mature and grow that we can look to the other guy and appreciate the others' gifts and talents. And that growth and maturity can take a lifetime! Only a real grown up can look out for the interests of others before his or her own. That growth can come from walking with Jesus daily and looking to Jesus constantly throughout our days. We are not simply on this earth for ourselves, to better ourselves. We are put here to serve others. Serving others may not sit well in a society that rewards accomplishment and people who look out for Number One. But serve we must. In today's gospel, Jesus says, "For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest (Luke 9:48). How can we serve others today? How can we walk humbly with God, serving the needs of others? Love, heidi