Friday, July 17, 2015

Take nothing for the journey...

"(Jesus) instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick--no food, no sack, no money in their belts."
Mark 6:8
I'm still chewing on this Gospel from last Sunday (I know, it was rich!) and spent some time thinking on why Jesus would send the disciples out to preach with so few provisions.  What struck me was that Jesus wanted to get them used to depending on God for help doing what they were to do and not their own resources.  The more we have in our own backpacks, the more equipped we may feel based on that.  The more we carry along with us, the more pride we can take in our own abilities, tools, stuff, equipment.  And thus, we may not be relying enough on God.  Jesus wanted his guys to rely on God to equip them, especially since, at this point--early in their apprenticeship, they really didn't have much of their own to offer. Today, let's recognize our own dependence on God to fulfill all of our particular duties through the day.  We may think we have the training, education, talent, and equipment to do our job, but what we really need to depend on is our loving God to put it all together and allow good to come of our efforts.  Blessings on your Friday and weekend!  Love, heidi

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Live and in person

 "God replied, 'I AM who am...'"
Exodus 3:14
Never mind that these Exodus readings all remind me of Charlton Heston in "The Ten Commandments." That is the drawback of watching biblical movies at a young age--when I get to heaven I wonder if it will be hard to tell Moses from the actor who played him...but, I digress. Today, reading this, I think of the Mysterious God, giving Moses the mercurial answer, "I AM who am." Huh? Lucky for us, God didn't stay so mysterious forever. God is revealed in Jesus, many years later. God seemed to realize that this "stiff-necked" people needed to be able to see God, touch and be touched by God to be in relationship with God. This relationship is what God wanted from the start. It is easier to be in relationship with one of our own than with a mysterious burning bush or a fiery booming voice from a mountain top (thanks, again Cecil B. DeMille). So, God, ever wanting relationship with the people, came to us in Jesus. Wow, that, today!   Blessings on your day! Love, heidi

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Chosen, called, equipped...

"In him we were also chosen..."
Ephesians 1:11
Forgive me, but I want to go back to the readings for Sunday and reflect a bit on them.  They have a beautiful common thread that is worth pondering.  In first reading from Amos (Amos 7:12-15), Amos explains that he is NOT a prophet, but was plucked out of his regular job to prophesy.  Just like that.  And in the morning prayer reading, Jeremiah is questioning God's choice as God calls him to be a prophet: "I do not know how to speak, I am too young!" (Jeremiah 1:6). Then in the Gospel for Sunday, Jesus sends the disciples out, two by two, to preach.  They were probably no more comfortable with this mission than you or I would be, but off they go.  St. Paul pulls it all together with this one line from the second reading..."In him we were also chosen..."  God chooses, God calls, God equips.  In all cases, regardless of the gifts and abilities of those called and chosen, God works through them to accomplish the task.  Today, we may feel ill-prepared for what we are called to do, but we must remember the rest of St. Paul's letter, "...we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will..."  We can do this! Love, heidi

Monday, July 13, 2015

I'm a little tea pot...

  “Woe to you...You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. Cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean."
Matthew 23:25-26

Yesterday was a Silent Sunday and I had a fabulous day, reading, sitting outside, the tea pot.  Cleaning the tea pot?  What's holy about that?  Well, as it turned out, it was a very holy exercise.  (Stay with me here!) I was shocked when I noticed how covered with hard water deposits the bottom of the tea pot was.  How had this happened? I used it all the time and didn't ever notice?  What can I possibly do to get it clean again? The deposits are hard as rocks!  To make a long story short, it took three things:  the first being time.  I put vinegar in the bottom and let it soak all day.  The second was a cleaning agent--vinegar in this case. The third thing was a bit of scrubbing after the long soak. What did it teach me about growing closer to God? Well,  my difficulties with others, sins, if you prefer to call them that, are like the hard water deposits.  I may not even notice them until after they are ingrained in me, and by then, they are harder to remove.  There aren't going to go away instantly, much as I'd like that to happen. But over time, with awareness, God's grace, prayer, and a bit of scrubbing, I will change.  Loving others is the best way to show my love for God.  Today I feel a bit shiner, just like my tea pot, and I'm ready to love better! Love, heidi