"Jesus said to his disciples, 'Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven."
Talk is cheap, as they say. Words are easy. Which is probably why words aren't enough for Jesus. Jesus wants actions behind the words. He wants our words to translate into something good for someone else...he wants our words to manifest into action, benefitting others. When I was praying on retreat, I prayed that my life be all about Jesus. How can I do that? I prayed. Jesus answered me with just two words, "Love others." My life can only be about Jesus if I love others. That's how THAT works. Jesus won't know that my heart belongs to him unless I show him by loving others. And Jesus will help me with that every step of the way. Thank you, Jesus, for giving us such clear marching orders! There is no question how we are to behave in the world...love, heidi
As I ponder this reading today, I am thinking of the adjective "genuine." We all know people who are so genuine and real. You can see immediately the sincerity, the lack of pretense. I think these people are the good-fruit people Jesus is talking about today. These people don't do what they do so others will praise them. They sincerely do what they do because it's the good and right thing to do. They are honest, true to themselves and others. They are kind to strangers and the people they love know they are genuinely loved. They are good listeners and don't try to impose their views on everyone else. They share what they have with others without judging. They are compassionate and kind. Who are these Divinely-inspired people and where to we find them? These people are actually all of us, when we stay close to Jesus and live the love we find in him. Let's go out there, this summer Wednesday, and bear good fruit, worthy of all the love we receive constantly from Jesus! Love, heidi
"The Lord called me from birth, from my mother's womb he gave me my name."
It isn't just the "famous" people called into God's service...like John the Baptist, whose birth we commemorate today. On Pray-As-You-Go this morning, the point is made that we all are called to do God's important work here on earth. Each one of us is named by God before we are even born into the world. We are given gifts that will enhance our ability to serve God. Wow! Makes you sit up a little straighter, doesn't it? It's a wonderful day to spend some time with God pondering what God wants us to do and to be grateful that we have all we need, already, to do it! We have God in our corner, cheering us on, giving us tips on how we can do better. Our job is to look around and see where we can help. So, today, let's appreciate the fact that we are uniquely gifted with all we need to do God's work. We are named and called by God to be just who we are! Isn't that something to celebrate on a summer Tuesday? I think so! Love, heidi
"Would it spoil some vast, eternal plan? If I were a wealthy man?"
Tevya, "Fiddler on the Roof"
I attended a wonderfully fun production of this play over the weekend and it really got me thinking. I love Tevya's relationship with God! Because it IS a relationship. Tevya talks to God as he carries out delivering his milk orders and he is honest and even blunt in his side of the conversation. (Actually, he often sings his side of the conversation, but the point is the same.) He relates to God, even questioning God's reason for this or that to happen. Why did a bad thing have to occur at his daughter's wedding? Why that, God? Was that really necessary? Tevya talks to God the same way he talks to his neighbors and family, even beginning a sentence with "As the Good Book says..." But then to God he realizes, "Oh, I don't have to tell YOU what the Good Book says!" Tevya gives us a great example of relating to God honestly, constantly, and relationally...just the way God likes it! If you get a chance, catch the play at the Civic in Idaho Falls tonight or tomorrow night. Or rent the movie, or listen to the CD. How would it feel to have such a relationship with God? Love, heidi