Friday, June 30, 2017

The last laugh...

"Abraham prostrated himself and laughed..."
Genesis 17:17

Well I guess that'll teach him...Abraham under-estimated the power and ability of God to completely change his life.  I think we know who got the last laugh in this story, right? So often things seem impossible to us. Because they are. But that doesn't mean God isn't working within human hearts to change things.  God provided many heirs to a couple well beyond the age of bearing heirs, and while it may not seem that God is working that dramatically in our day, God still is working dramatically.  Today, whenever we may feel tempted to laugh at the idea of God working in a difficult situation, let's instead be grateful. God is working, through people just like you and I. God is working to heal the world!  Blessings on your summer weekend!  Love, heidi

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Give us hope...

"If all you see is present reality, you do not see at all. If you are blind to the mystical dimension of the human scene, you might as well be physically blind for all the good it does you. We need and are nourished by the depths of faith..."
Fr. Matthew Kelty, Give Us This Day

I need to chew on this today.  Present reality seems daunting to me, frankly. I need to go deeper, to draw from a pool of faith deep within, to realize that God is working in the hearts of all of us; working for our good. I watched a documentary one time that showed events of history and how those events influenced what happened later. This event produced this result, eventually. It seemed at the time that the original event was tragic and horrible, but, threading back through history, it was apparent good things occurred. In most cases, no one could have predicted the good result from the bad situation, but there it was--right there in history.  It takes eyes of deep faith to believe that good is happening when things around us feel quite dismal.  But the mystical dimension, uncovered in silence and contemplation, can take us there, and give us hope.  Love, heidi

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Go to school!

"By their fruit you will know them."
Matthew 7:16

Certainly. Let's think about the fruit we are producing in our own lives. In my work, there are some days I feel fairly good about the fruit I'm producing, but other days...not so much.  One thing I've learned though, even the difficult days can yield fruit if we learn the lessons they have to teach us.  If we can learn from our mistakes and change our approach, tomorrow may give us a better batch of fruit. If we dig in our heels and become bitter, we lose the opportunity to improve our yield.  God uses even the hard and difficult times if we just keep our eyes open and are pliable to the lesson. Some of the most valuable lessons have been learned from my biggest mistakes. Isn't it just like our gracious God to use even our mistakes to help us yield sweeter fruit? So today, if we feel ineffective (and this last week of our agency's fiscal year, that can happen!) let's try to be open to the lessons we can learn from the more difficult situations. God is beckoning us to learn and grow during these times, let's wake up and go to school!  Love, heidi

Monday, June 26, 2017

Judge not!

"Can we free ourselves from the need to judge others? claiming for ourselves the truth that we are the beloved daughters and sons of God."
Henri Nouwen, "Here and Now: Living in the Spirit," as quoted in Give Us This Day

Every time I read today's Gospel (Matthew 7:1-5) I resolve to stop judging as Jesus commands. So much easier resolved than done, I'm afraid. We humans are wired to judge. We spend our lives jockeying for position by comparing ourselves to others. It's in our every cell that makes us human. So how can Jesus expect us NOT to judge? The answer here is so beautiful via Henri Nouwen.  We can stop judging by understanding and appreciating who we really are.  We are not people who have to prove our worth to improve our standing with God. We are people who are already so loved by God and nothing we do can ever change that. None of our jockeying for position can change how God feels about us--not one little bit. In fact, our elbowing our way through others to look better is what Jesus is cautioning us against. So, today, as we go about our summer Monday, any time a judgmental thought crosses our minds, let's shake it out with the grateful knowledge that God loves us and God loves the other person we are mistakenly judging. We can love others, because God has first loved us.  Love, heidi