Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday pick-me-up

"You will trust God only as much as you love God."
Brennan Manning, "Reflections for Ragamuffins"

This next couple of weeks, is seems like all the kids are embarking on adventures.  There is a big music festival near Portland that both Jeni and Blaine are working.  Sam is off hither and yon for various athletic endeavors.  And, for some reason, my mind goes to all the things that could go wrong with these journeys.  Bother, that!  It doesn't help that I just read a book by a faith-filled woman whose young adult son died tragically. But, two things have occurred that really gave me pause.  First I got behind a car with a license plate that read, "Heb 11." And that, of course, starts out: 

"Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

And then this reading this morning in Ragamuffins: "You will trust God only as much as you love God."  And, between those two, is my answer.  Trust God.  Pull your faith out of your pocket and use it! Faith is nothing if it is not taken off the shelf and put to good use.  And Jeremiah 29:11 comes to mind too, "For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe; plans to give you a future full of hope." With all of this encouragement, have a fabulous weekend! Love, heidi

Thursday, July 18, 2013

God's will today...

"Concretely, abandonment to the will of God consists of finding his purpose for you in all the people, events, and circumstances you encounter."
Brennan Manning, "Reflections for Ragamuffins"

For some reason we may be under the impression that we have to run off and seek God's will for our lives.  God surely must want us to do BIG things and how could anyone do BIG things around here?  I must go off to the farthest reaches of the world and do something important! Not so, not so.  God wants us to embrace God's will right here where we happen to be.  But what can I possibly do here? We can listen to the will of God that whispers within us.  Each of the people we encounter today are people that are hand-picked for us to meet.  What could be God's purpose in that?  Are we to visit with an older lady who is obviously lonely and doesn't have many visitors?  Maybe we should stay longer than fifteen minutes--that could be God's will.  Maybe we could accept the fact that the TV streaming thingy isn't working and use the opportunity to do something more constructive? Could that be more God's will than whining about how nothing is working?  For some reason, these warm summer days are making me short-tempered and irritable.  Could God's will in those instances be to do something for someone else and take my mind off myself?  We are where we are.  That doesn't mean we wait for things to change, our lives to start so we can really DO something.  We DO something right here.  And that probably doesn't mean wallowing around in our own bumbliness.  It might mean reaching out.  Love, heidi

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Take heart!

"I will be with you."
Exodus 3:12
Do you ever have times when you feel you're just not cutting it? You walk away from a conversation thinking, "Why in the world did I say that?" You feel like you're falling short at work? You feel like you're letting people down? You feel like you're not living up to your potential? We all feel this way from time to time; we can be our own worst enemies.  So, as disappointed as we can feel about ourselves, we can look to the giants of scripture and take heart. In this passage, Moses has just encountered God in the burning bush.  God has told Moses he wants to free the people of Israel and he knows just the guy to do it--Moses, himself! Moses had fled Egypt, after a life of privilege there, because he killed an Egyptian.  So, Moses replies, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh?" (v. 11) Who indeed? Moses had all the poor self-esteem the rest of us have and then some.  But God says the most important words..."I will be with you."  I have your back.  I got this.  And God says the exact same thing to us when we are calling ourselves up short.  In the end, God will not let us down.  Let's take heart and chew on that today.  Love, heidi

Monday, July 15, 2013

Who is my neighbor?

Question: "Who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:29)
Answer: Anyone who needs me.
Yesterday's Gospel was the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37).  Just like the lawyer confronting Jesus we are often puzzled by "Who is our neighbor?"  Jesus went completely against the thinking of his time and featured a Samaritan as the good guy in his parable.  The Good Samaritan didn't know the fellow he chose to help.  He went out of his way to be kind, generous, and compassionate to a complete stranger, unlike the others (religious figures) who crossed the road to avoid the injured wayfarer.  Jesus tells his inquisitor (and us) to follow the example of the Good Samaritan.  During our homily, Fr. Raul asked us what may keep us from going out of our way to help our neighbor.  Fear is a common excuse.  We may be fearful of repercussions, or for our own safety; valid concerns, those.  But, in addition to fear, I find what keeps me from more neighborly actions is my selfishness with my time.  I cherish my free time and seem to need large chunks of it!  That selfishness keeps me from doing more for my neighbors.  A good wake-up call for me!  We learned in the homily that our neighbors are not just those who live near us.  A neighbor is anyone who may need us.  And just like Jesus told the lawyer, we must do just as the Good Samaritan--go out of our way to help anyone who may need us.  Love, heidi