Friday, May 12, 2017

Do not let your hearts...

"Jesus said to his disciples, 'Do not let your hearts be troubled...'"
John 14:1

I should start every day with this quote...seriously! There are so many things that trouble us, aren't there? All the way from a weird ailment my dog has struggled with recently to the pain and suffering of human beings, to much larger fears nation and world-wide. It can all seriously beat us into despair. And then we are reassured by our Jesus, who has walked and traveled our very earth with many of the same or similar troubles. The way of Jesus' cross is very much our way of our individual troubles, too. We fall, we struggle to get up, we fall again, others step in to help us, we mourn what we see in each others' eyes. Jesus shows us how to traverse it all with dignity and with our heads high, because God has us through it all. Today, as we go about our May Friday, let's pray for those who feel the weight of their crosses. Can we step in and help carry? Can we pray for those who may be far away and struggling? Can we celebrate the fact that God holds and cherishes us, through it all? Do not let our hearts be troubled this day...but let's trust that God's got us and holds us securely. Love, heidi

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Set apart...for the work

"While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them...'"
Acts 13:2

So, if we received our vocations that obviously, we would think about our hum drum days a little differently, wouldn't we? How often do we trudge off to work thinking we have been called as vividly as Barnabas and Saul? Especially if our jobs seem quite secular! But, I learned a very rich lesson while on a retreat years ago, and that is that any work that is done with love and for the glory of God is a spiritual vocation.  If we do what we do honestly, with concern for the other guy, to help and to serve the people of God, God honors that.  Some professions are a bit easier to see as an extension of God's work, but whatever we do in our day to help someone else and to serve God, we are being "set apart," even as the Holy Spirit called Barnabas and Saul. Today, as we leave our homes to get our there and do what we do, let's think of ourselves as being especially called forth, this May Wednesday, to do something special for God and God's people. It may seem small to us, but to God, it's big...and needs doing!  Love, heidi

Monday, May 8, 2017

Just and merciful judge...

"If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?"
Acts 11:17

Who indeed? Who are we to hinder God by thinking we have all the answers about who is "in" and who is "out?" Or who God approves of and who God doesn't approve of? Certainly we can appreciate that God loves everyone, right? I find myself looking to Jesus, who went far out of his way to reach out to the folks on the fringes of his culture...those who would not be welcomed in the temple, those who people weren't supposed to touch. Those are the very people Jesus gathered and with whom he mingled. So, who are we to make those hefty decisions about who God includes? God's love is so much more inclusive and bigger than anything we can imagine, really.  We should relax and rest assured that we will never have to judge the people of the world--that will never be our job. Let's just trust that God is the only just judge of anyone, and merciful as well. Love, heidi