Friday, February 8, 2019

Love of money...

"Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have..."
Hebrews 13:5

What's wrong with money anyway? It can be nice to have when the bills come, but why is the author of Hebrews telling us not to love money? I think it's because money doesn't love us back. Earlier in the reading we are told to welcome strangers with hospitality. We are told to visit prisoners, care for the ill-treated and honor our marriages. All imply a mutual back-and-forth; a relationship. Money offers no such advantage. We can dedicate our lives to the pursuit of money and  end up losing relationships. Love of money is not a viable relationship. Today, being Friday, may be payday for some. How can we look at that check in terms of fostering relationships instead of just padding our own coffers? How can we use that money to foster hospitality and care for others--building relationships? Money isn't a good lover. Money is more of a taker than a giver and that makes the relationship very one-sided. How can we turn all that around in our lives? How can we be joyfully content with what we have, and demonstrate that by sharing it? Love, heidi

Thursday, February 7, 2019

One tunic, 100 Days...

"He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick--no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic."
Mark 6:8-9

I'm not sure if Julia Mooney, a teacher in Morristown, New Jersey, is familiar with this scripture, but she is sort of living it in our day. Last fall, she set about a project called OneOutfit100Days. She purchased one good quality, versatile dress and has been wearing it every day of the school year. Next week she will mark 100 days of wearing it on Wednesday, February 13. Her idea is that we should be more mindful of our non-sustaining consumer culture. The amount of clothes we discard into landfills each year is astounding and disgusting. And, besides, shouldn't we be more concerned with what we do and how we affect the world than how we look doing it? I have followed her since last fall and admire her message so much! Why do we have to have so many clothes? Jesus didn't even want the disciples to take two tunics! I encourage you to check out the project website (link below) and see how this message fits into your life.  She is inviting people to join her Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week--her last three days of the project--and wear the same thing each day. I'm joining her myself. Do you think the kids will notice? Her message is great! My message is: the more simply we can live, the more generous we can become! Love, heidi

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Complete the circle...

"Jesus, aware at first that the power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, 'Who has touched my clothes?'"
Mark 5:30

It struck me this morning when I read this Gospel, that Jesus felt the power go out from his body at once when the woman with the hemorrhage touched the hem of his cloak. So it was his healing power that healed the woman, right? But then, when she bravely comes forward and lets him know it was her who touched him in her unclean state (thus rendering him unclean, too), he says to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you..." (v. 34) I thought about that and realized that God's power needs our faith to complete the circuit and let the healing happen. Jesus doesn't inflict himself on anyone. He is there, available and eager to be part of our lives, but he doesn't force himself upon us. Our faith, willingness, openness and invitation are essential for completing the circle of healing in our lives. It would have been so easy for Jesus just to pass through crowds of people, healing everyone of every illness as he passed by. But that is not how Jesus worked at all. Jesus sought personal encounter and relationship with the people healed.  He needed their faith to complete the circle. Today, as we go about our February Tuesday (in Boise, it's snowy!) let's be aware of the faith on our part that is necessary for the circle of God's love to be completed. Let's allow the healing power of Jesus to pass from him into our hands and then into our hurting world. Let's let our faith complete the circle. Love, heidi