"Where your treasure is there also will your heart be."
Not a day goes by that I don't see an article about saving for retirement. According to Conventional Wisdom you need an absolute TON of money set aside before even thinking about retirement. But I can't do that. I feel drawn to be a little more care-free when planning the next step in my life. And people think that's crazy. Maybe it is. I feel called to live more humbly, simply and charitably, and yet, I see stuff piled up in my crawl space that, for some reason, seems important to keep. Why? I see needs of people in our community who are struggling. And yet, I sometimes struggle parting with a donation. I just want enough! But how much is "enough?" Lord, this one is so hard for me to grasp. Please help me and guide me to your will for getting a balance between what I actually need, what I can give to others and what I can save for the future. Help me to trust in your will for my future that my heart will be filled with your treasure and not an illusion of my own treasure. My real treasure is YOU, Jesus! Love, heidi
"Your Father knows what you need before you ask him."
Then why ask? Why did Jesus often ask those he healed what they wanted when it would seem so obvious? Why would Jesus whirl around to see who touched his cloak when he felt the healing power go out of him? I think the answer is relationship. God wants a relationship with us. What do we do when we are in relationship with someone? We talk to each other. One of the most moving chapters in James Martin's book, "Jesus: A Pilgrimage" is Gethsemane. Jesus pours his heart out to the Father. He prays honestly and rather bluntly, showing us how to be in relationship with the Father. God certainly knew Jesus' heart and Jesus wouldn't have had to say anything. But he did. And he shows us how. After Jesus' heartfelt prayer, he was ready to face what was ahead. That works for us, too. Love, heidi
"Jesus said to his disciples, 'Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them..."
I'm having a flash-back to Ash Wednesday, is anyone else? This is the Gospel for Ash Wednesday; why are we reading it mid-June? I think to remind us that the three pillars of Christian life-living--prayer, fasting, and alms-giving--should not be confined to just Lent. Prayer should be a constant activity--Pray Always! Fasting can be a regular reminder that God alone can satisfy us. And, certainly, alms-giving is always necessary. People are poor and struggle all year, not just during Lent. I also think we cannot hear frequently enough that we must examine our motives for why we do good things. Jesus spells it out so clearly that we are to do our good in secret, so as not to bask in the praise of human beings, but to pray, fast, give from love with only God seeing what we do. And that, certainly, is harder to do. Jesus seems to find a way to make things harder, doesn't he? But Jesus, also knows human nature. And he knows that human nature sometimes can trip-up our walk with God. Jesus also knows that he is always here for us--to help us with the hard stuff. Love, heidi
"(Jesus) said, 'But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you...'"
I'm still basking in the glow and peace of the Hermitage, so this doesn't exactly hit home with me today. After four days in the presence of just Jesus, I'm more apt to respond, "Enemies? What are enemies?" I really don't think I have enemies, but people can sure get my goat at times. There's the guy, yesterday, with the Colorado plates who wouldn't move over and let me on the "on" ramp, for one. But is he an enemy? Just like the scripture of the Good Samaritan when the question is asked, "Who is our neighbor?" I kinda wonder who my enemy is? On Pray-As-You-Go this morning, they posed the question that, maybe, our own worst enemy is ourselves. We can be hard on ourselves, at times. But, no matter. Jesus tells us to love and pray for our enemies, whoever they may be. And, a bit later, to be perfect, as our Father is perfect (v. 48) Tall orders, both, this Tuesday morning! The only way we can even approach these is to ask God for a heart full of love as we begin our day. Love, heidi