Friday, August 23, 2013

What's in a name?

"For wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge..."
Ruth 1:16

I never liked the name "Ruth."  Growing up, my friend's mom was named Ruth and I always thought it was a dreadful name.  But two "Ruths" helped me to change my tune about this ancient name.  Not necessarily in order, but there is Ruth of the bible, Naomi's daughter-in-law, who is so devoted to Naomi and shows us all how to live generously and selflessly with our relatives!  And next, there was Ruth in the book and movie, "Fried Green Tomatoes."  Truthfully, the latter Ruth was so inspiring to me; the way she loved and was loved.  She, too, was devoted to her family and those around her.  She loved God and demonstrated that love by the way she loved others.  She was courageous and strong, too, which are wonderful attributes for a woman to have!  Today, let's think about the Ruths we may know, either in real life, the Ruth of the scriptures, or even a fictional Ruth we admire.  What can we learn from them? Blessings on your weekend! Love, heidi

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The future is now!

"To do your will, O my God, is my delight!"
Psalm 40:8

Really? Spend a few days in silence with God--just you and God--and it may be hard to take a verse like this one lightly.  You may find that what you think is God's will is really your will and God has something else in mind.  Finally, when I was quiet enough, God could share with me what I really need to do, and it was somewhat painful to hear.  One of the things I learned on retreat was that I can't get too caught up in the future and what it may hold.  I need to concentrate on the Right Now that is going on around me.  It's fun to think about the next step, but I need to look no further than where I am right now to serve God and fulfill my destiny.  My future is right now.  It was stunning for me to realize all this and it occurred on the last afternoon of my retreat.  I thought I was spending time discerning what I should do next with my life, once I retire.  "Not so fast," Jesus gently said.  When I asked what I should consider doing in the future, Jesus said, "You're doing it, Little Lamb," (Jesus called me Little Lamb on retreat and I quite liked it).  What I came away with is this:  Do what you're doing as well as you possibly can.  Do it for God, for the glory of God.  You don't know what lies ahead, but this is where you are to serve now.  And that is all that matters today.  All for the glory of God.  Love, heidi

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Celebrate everyone's gifts!

"Am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?"
Matthew 20:15
Of course, whenever I read this reading, I think of my little friend, Helen.  She was a late-comer to the field and yet is enjoying her full day's pay now in heaven.  Bless you, Helen, please pray for me!  But this time reading it, I had other thoughts.  Why is it so hard for us to celebrate the good fortune of others? Why is it hard to acknowledge the great gifts of others if they seem to threaten us and our little gifts? Maybe they bring out our insecurities a bit? When someone young and zealous comes along at our work, for example, and has fresh, new ideas and a better grasp of technology; why can't we rejoice and be glad in that? Why do we see it as a threat to ourselves and our own cozy little position?  It is easier to down-play the gifts of others instead of stepping up ourselves, isn't it?  We really need to see that God gifts all of us; we all have unique and exciting talents.  But when the gifts of others seem to bring out our insecurities, there is a problem.  Lord, help me to rejoice in the gifts of others and celebrate that all are given talents.  Our goal should be, not to measure our gifts against those of others, but to rejoice in You and your great generosity!  Love, heidi