Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lessons from the River--Part Trois

 This is the final day of Lessons from the River.  If you've missed a day, you can catch up below...
 Lesson #5.  There may be times the river is just too swift, too scary and too everything and you need someone else to "fish" you out (sorry, couldn't resist). We are often so independent and sure-footed we think we can make it on our own, but we cannot.  Accept the help of others! Deeper lesson: People who need people are the luckiest people in the world. It's OK to admit you need help. In Jesus' story about the paralytic on the mat, his friends lower him to be near Jesus.  We all take turns being on the mat and taking a corner of the mat to help someone else.
Lesson #6. And, just as important--watch out for times we may be called to help others.  Our eyes and ears must be open to the needs of others...they may be calling for help quietly, or the wind may be carrying the sound of their voice downstream.  Be aware of others floating with you; watch and listen for how they are doing.  Deeper lesson:  Others may be quiet in asking for help, or they may not say anything at all but still need help.  Keep vigilant watch and always be willing and ready to help strangers and friends alike.
And, finally, the last lesson of the river:
Lesson #7.  Wear life jackets!  Have awe and respect for God's creation.  It is beautiful, but also powerful and unpredictable. Honor it with care!  Deeper lesson:  Be safe in other areas too...wear seat belts, look both ways when crossing the street, get a designated driver, don't send money to people who say you've won a cruise.  Life is a precious gift, treasure every minute and live it to the fullest! love, heidi

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lessons from the River--Part Deux

  These are the lessons I learned floating, in an inner tube, on the Stillwater River last weekend...if you missed the first two you can catch them below...
Lesson #3.  It's always easier, while tubing down a river, if you can see where you're going and anticipate what's coming up, but it isn't always possible. Sometimes, you'll be floating backwards and things will sneak up on you and hit you. When that happens, try to be light, breezy and buoyant and let the current carry you. The river knows where to go. Deeper lesson:  Despite your best efforts you can't prevent difficulties from hitting you from behind.  Best to try and relax and allow God to carry you through the rough patch. Go with the flow!
Lesson #4. If you get in a tight or difficult situation, like losing your inner tube in swift current, find something stable and hang on! You may need to let go of unnecessary stuff, like a shoe or hat (or God-forbid, your shorts!), but hang onto what is stable and secure, like a tree branch. Deeper lesson:  Lose the useless, like harsh judgments or bitter resentments and hang onto what is stable and secure, your faith, good friends, those you love.
One more day of lessons tomorrow! Love, heidi

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Lessons from the River

Last weekend, I floated the Stillwater River (in an inner tube) with friends.  I learned many wonderful lessons which I promised God, if I survived the harrowing parts of the float, I would share with others.  I will share a couple per day the rest of this week. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

All we need...

"When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions."
Matthew 19:22

This reading always gets to me, for many reasons.  The main one, though, is the sadness in the rich, young man, because he just can't do what Jesus asks of him. He cannot give up his "many possessions" and follow Jesus.  I get hung up on the possessions part and think to myself that I have way more possessions, too. But I think that isn't the whole point.  The rich, young man doesn't recognize that, in following Jesus, he won't need his possessions.  Jesus will help him with his need for so much stuff and fulfill him in such a way that things are no longer necessary.  Just being with Jesus and following Jesus will curb his human need for earthly possessions.  And that seems to be the point for me this go-around with this Gospel. Jesus, you know my weakness for things--shiny things, white shirts (!), even things like control, acceptance and approval of others.  All you really desire is that I follow you and let you take care of all those needs in me.  Following you closely will fulfill all my needs and wants.  I don't want to turn away from you, sad like the young man, but I want to understand and appreciate that you are truly all I need!  Love, heidi