Friday, April 19, 2013

Change of heart

"So Ananias went and entered the house..."
Acts 9:17

In today's reflection on this reading in "The Word Among Us," the author points out, "Ananias believed God and let his mind be changed." (The Word Among Us) Ananias was the one God appointed to go to Saul and baptize him...after Saul had been persecuting the early members of The Way. No wonder Ananias gave that request a second look! So, he asked God for clarification, God gave it to him and off he went to baptize Saul. So Saul's stunning change-of-heart wasn't the only one in this story! That got me thinking about all the times God has changed my mind. The interesting thing about these times is that God changed not only my mind, but my heart as well. God didn't just get me to do something I didn't want to do, but God changed my desire and I ended up really wanting to do it! God doesn't want us grudgingly going around doing God's will! But God can change our hearts so that we desire to do what we are asked to do. All we need is to be open to having our minds and heart changed. That is indeed something to ponder this weekend! Love, heidi

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I need to see You...

"Show me your Glory!"
Exodus 33:18
I have to admit it. This morning I was really in foul humor. I was discouraged, disgusted, and disgruntled. The world took one bite out of me too many. I prayed to God. "I need to see you. Show me your glory today cause I'm sure not seeing it." I was to work with one of my cute little "lunch-hour" kids for mobility. His mom came along to pick up some pointers on how he uses his cane. He did such a wonderful job for her and during the time she shared with me some of the health problems he had as a premature newborn. They were so distressing and yet, here we were, following this little guy who is so adept at living life! After the lesson, I got in my car and the tears flowed. "Thank you, thank you so much for showing Yourself to me!" I prayed. Brennan Manning says that we often miss seeing the wonders of God...the wonders that God is always so eager and excited to show us! But, we miss them, so caught up we are in daily life and the difficulties of living on this planet. But I asked and God answered. "Show me your Glory!" And God did. The wonder of a precious little boy who is in my life to teach me, not the other way around. Love, heidi

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The most precious gift...

"Nothing can ever separate you from the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Brennan Manning, "The Ragamuffin Gospel"
Brennan Manning asks us to be honest with ourselves about who we really are. Not the mask we don right before leaving the house each day or the person we think we should be. But the person we really are, faults and all. It can be an alarming exercise to sit down and really be honest about who we are and it may take a lifetime to come to peace with our faults and failings. But, in doing so, we can come to God, hat in hand, and open our arms to accept the true gift of God's grace. We come with nothing but a list of things we could do better. We come with a bucket full of short-comings. We come with the humility of knowing that we could be so much more. And God rejoices in welcoming us--the REAL us. We can celebrate with joy that God's love is so much bigger than our faults. The more honest we are in who we are, we can try to be our best selves, but realize we are infinitely loved by God regardless. And the gift of God's grace becomes so much more precious a gift. Love, heidi

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Into your hands...

"Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, O Lord, O faithful God."
Psalm 31:6

The attack yesterday in Boston is a terrifying reminder of how truly vulnerable we are, just going about our daily lives. When innocent people are murdered and maimed while just living their lives we shudder in anger and, maybe fear, too. How to make sense of it? Truly we can't make sense of it because it defies logic and sensibility. It is heinous and horrid. It has God crying real tears. What we can do is stated in this Psalm. The same Psalm Jesus quoted as he suffered a senseless and cruel death. We place our spirits, and very lives, in God's care. And we pray fervently for all who suffer from this tragedy. Hate hurts, my Friends. But God heals. Let's remember that. Love, heidi

Monday, April 15, 2013

Birth (into Eternal Life) of a ragamuffin...

"Although truth is not always humility, humility is always truth--the blunt acknowledgment that I owe my life, being, and salvation to Another."
Brennan Manning, "The Ragamuffin Gospel"

Last Friday, Brennan Manning went Home to Heaven...born into the arms of Abba. He was just short of his seventy-ninth birthday. I enjoyed picturing the glorious reunion of one of my favorite authors with Jesus. As an author, Brennan Manning taught me so much about who Jesus is, as well as Jesus' loving Abba. Brennan Manning, himself, was a ragamuffin, that's how he knew so much about God's love for ragamuffins. And Brennan points out that "Jesus hung out with ragamuffins" (same book). There were numerous quotes I could have used today, but this one really struck me. We ragamuffins can grow to realize the true gift that is the love of God. We can't earn it--it is so much bigger than our abilities. It is completely a free gift, too. We cannot repay it, or even begin to reciprocate. What we can do it accept it in humility and then turn around and share it with others. It is not ours to keep but only ours to share. And so, while I'm sad that Brennan Manning is no longer on this planet, I am so grateful to have met him through his books and I will ever be grateful for the lessons learned at his knee. Thank you, so much...enjoy Heaven, you old ragamuffin, you! Love, heidi