Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Give thanks!

"O sing to the Lord, giving thanks;
sing psalms to our God with the harp..."
Psalm 147:7
And now we give thanks!  Let's pull out our harps and sing psalms to our Glorious God!  We all have so much for which to be grateful, it's hard to know where to begin.  Let us start with our health, our families, our loved ones, those with whom we work and play, those we encounter each day in our comings and goings, those with whom we share our towns, cities, country lane.  Our family gets even bigger once we realize that all of us human beings are the family of God.  Our figurative Thanksgiving table grows to include all with whom we share this planet.  Today, let's all consider our human family...billions of us (phew! That's a lot of pie!)  My prayer for this Thanksgiving is our grateful hearts lifted up to God, safe travel for all who are leaving home, and our open hands, sharing with those who have less.  Blessings on your holiday and next time I write it will be Advent!  Love, heidi

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The essence of faith...

"The essence of biblical faith lies in trusting God."
Brennan Manning, "Reflections for Ragamuffins"

All the study, talk, conviction, all of it, can be reduced to this one sentence.  Trusting God.  It is easier in some cases than it is in others.  There's a situation right now, that, while I'm sort of up-in-the-air in it, I am totally at peace, knowing it will work out.  But there are many other situations that I stress and worry about and can't seem to let go, peacefully trusting God.  Why would I trust God in some things, but not others?  Well, that is the mystery of me, but I think we all have some situations that test our faith. It is easier for me to release situations that are more spiritual in nature to God than the more secular areas of my life, but that doesn't make sense either.  Isn't God involved in EVERY area of my life, not just the spiritual?  I can look back through my whole journey and see God in every bit of it, not just in spiritual endeavors!  So, as we begin the bustle of Thanksgiving preparations, let's practice the essence of faith--trusting God.  God is certainly worthy of our trust, because no one loves us more!  Love, heidi

Monday, November 25, 2013

Our King serves...

"Above him there was an inscription that read, 'This is the King of the Jews.'"
Luke 23:38
Yesterday was the Feast of Christ the King, so I spent some time praying and pondering what that means for us now, when kings seem so out of style.  I realized that Jesus does not sit on a throne, as a king would, but instead hangs on a cross.  What does this mean? I think it means that our human death is not the end.  We will live on in another realm--another kingdom--Jesus' Kingdom.  Also, I realized that Jesus' last words from his cross/throne were directed to and for others.  Jesus forgave and encouraged the Good Thief (Luke 23:43).  Jesus took care of his mother (John 19:26) and Jesus forgave those who persecuted him (Luke 23:34).  This tells us that our King is a king who serves and cares for others, even in his own agony! It tells us that we must be about others, too.  Our King is leading us by example, all the way to his cross.  Even in our darkest hours, it is not just about us.  Let us think today how we can best follow the example of our King! Love, heidi