May 27

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
                                                                                                                  Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

As I was driving the other day, I noticed all the signs that provide direction. Our lives are a path directed by God. We must pay attention and select the choices he makes available. There are times he directs us to STOP, look at the choices and follow the right path. Sometimes there is ONE WAY to go, requiring strength and faith.  At times, there are options and we must decide which is best for us and others involved. We may find ourselves with a message that says, DO NOT ENTER. In other words we should be guarded, hear the word of God, and go in His clear direction.
Our lives are like a trip, with many options to arrive at our destination. There will be detours, shortcuts, new routes, but all require trusting in the direction of God.

With God, we can stay the course….


May 25

What I find vital to understanding the mystery of faith is that God never intended the relationship between us to be forced. We all have access to the word of God and it is up to us to choose whether or not to accept him into our lives.

God could have created a sinless world if he wanted to. Or he could have just forgotten about the human race and left us to the consequences of our sin, but he didn’t do any of this because he loves us. He sent us his son so that those who believe in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.  For Jesus said, “Blessed are those not seen and yet have come to believe.”(John 20:29).


May 23

     I find such delight in the sweet breath of a new baby. Each breath celebrates God's precious gift of life. Each breath confirms His love for us. And each breath holds the hope of a promise kept to His people. 
      The Breath of God, the Holy Spirit. As close as your next breath. As sweet as the breath of a new baby. Thank you, God, for the gift of life in this world, and for the gift of life re-born in you.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with Thee the perfect life
Of Thine eternity.

by Edwin Hatch


May 21

This is the time of year for endings: end of the school year, graduation, end of the program year at church.  This is also the time of year for beginnings: beginning of summer, beginning of planning new programs, beginning of the next step.  All endings are also beginnings.  Even death is a beginning.  We think of death as the end, but we forget that we live on.  God has given us the gift of eternal life.  The end that we think of as final is really only the beginning of our eternity.  That beginning will never end.


May 19

            Let’s start with a little quiz. Look at the following list, and see if there’s anything wrong with it. If so, what?
            Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.
            Time’s up. What was your answer?
            Some of you probably said that there is nothing wrong with the list. It’s a list of all the planets in the solar system. Well, yes, it was.
            But, unfortunately, there is something wrong with that list. Pluto is no longer considered a major planet, and this has been true as of 2006.
            Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto has always been a bit of an oddball as a planet. It was the smallest, but it was out beyond the four giant planets. And its orbit was well above the other planets. In short, it just didn’t fit.
            Have you ever felt like Pluto? You try your best to fit into a group, only to find out that, despite everything, your attempts to fit in end in failure. I know I’ve been down that road many times, and it’s not pleasant to contemplate.
            But there’s another way to look at it. Yes, Pluto was demoted to what is now called a “dwarf planet,” but when it happened, a remarkable transformation took place. It went from being the runt of the litter to (as of this writing) the second-largest known object of its type. From zero to hero.
            This classification turned out to be a better fit for Pluto, and it also in no way diminished its uniqueness as a member of the solar system.
            This is also true for us here on Earth. We are all members of one family, and we all bring our unique set of strengths to the gathering. When we were designed, God made us all unique, and He knew just how we should use our strengths. Psalm 139 describes us as being “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” (New Living Translation)

            So, take heart. If you are disappointed to discover that you’re not a “planet,” keep in mind that something else – something better – is waiting over the horizon. We are all unique, yet we are all of the same family – the children of God.


May 17

We have been praying for our church leading up to Pentecost.  The pastor asked us all to pray at least one minute every day for 15 days to seek God's direction for our church. Where does God want us to go?  What does God want us to let go?  What does God want us to try? What risks does God want us to take? How does God want me to be a prat of all that? These are big questions.  How well did we do asking God those questions and, more importantly, listening to God's answers?

Loving God, please lead us in the direction you want us to go, and help us to help one another to get there. Thank you for walking with us.  Amen.


May 15

"When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit ... Those who accepted Peter's message were baptized.  God brought about three thousand people into the community on that day."     Acts 2, CEB

Lord, send your Holy Spirit upon us that we may come alive in your name.  Amen.


May 13

Thank you, Lord, for those people who offer themselves to do your work, for those who seek to use the gifts which you have given them, for those whose hearts turn toward people in need, for those who are committed to helping our young people learn about you, for those who reach out to those who are ill or infirm. for your children.  Thank you.  Amen.


May 11

A group in our church has been wrestling with the concept of foundational beliefs. What do we believe that sets the foundation for everything else that we believe?  What beliefs do we hold that are nonnegotiable?

What beliefs do you have that are the bedrock of your life?  What beliefs do you hold that are unshakable?

Gracious Lord, help us to know you better.  Help us to be open to learning more about you and how you would have us live.  In Jesus' name, we pray, Amen.


May 9

    Some of my friends, as well as I myself, are in the midst of difficult family situations. We are finding that we don't have control over these challenges that we are experiencing. There are no quick solutions to any of our problems. Learning to depend on God during these times draws us closer to Him. If we trust God when we are sad, fearful, and weary, we will discover that He will give us the strength to get through these times. We will experience God's love during these tough times, and quite often it is through the support we receive from others.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.  Phil. 4:13 (NLT)


May 7

Tomorrow is Mother's Day, the day when we say thank you to our mothers and let them know how much they mean to us. I actually didn't know how much I appreciated my mother until I became one.
The balance between directing our children's lives (where they go, who they are with, what they wear and eat, etc.) and stepping back, even to the point of not knowing where they are, who they are with, what they are wearing or eating, etc. is a changing and delicate one.  As my children grow, my role in their lives diminishes, as it should. But, it is hard. I anticipate problems and can see how different choices would probably make things better for them.  I can give advice, make suggestions, maybe even nag a bit, but ultimately, they must act or not act.

I think that God must feel much the same with us.  I only have my own children for whom I feel this tension and balance.  God has all of us!  God gives us great advice, excellent suggestions, but ultimately it is our choice to act or not to act.

I can't be present with my children in every moment, but of course, God is always with us. Yet, God steps back and allows us choice.

Holy God, thank you for my mother.  Thank you for the lessons she taught me and continues to teach me.  Thank you for the balance she kept in her mothering.  Thank you for my children.  Help me to keep a balance in my relationships with them.  Help me to turn to you as I make choices in my life.  Help me to live the life you want me to live and to be the person you want me to be.  Amen.


May 3

           It seemed like it was the first morning in  quite a while when there were no immediate deadlines, no impending appointments, no delayed obligations to be met, no matters on which I had to focus my thoughts and energies.  Most things that seemed recently to have driven me weren’t worries; they had not intimidated me.  But they had demanded my focus and my action.  Now my calendar was blank for a day or so, and I felt a good kind of tiredness.  So, I rested, and in so doing, dozed off.

            Suddenly, the ringing of the phone roused me out of semi-consciousness. I knew it was the phone.  My senses seemed to be reacting to an emergency; my un-focused mind suddenly sent out feelers to this phone call for an emergency, a forgotten appointment, a reason to suddenly get myself in gear and going. I felt a  bit of panic as I scrambled to acquaint myself to the time of day it was and to what this phone call might be about.

            And then suddenly it all fell into place.  The phone call was a wrong number; the time of day was morning; I had fallen half asleep in rest; and the only things at hand were the daily duties we handle almost absent-mindedly.  God’s peace that had caused me to sleep hushed my unfocused thoughts and energies like the loving hug of a parent who quiets a child’s confusion.

            How quickly and surely and wondrously the love of God restores our perspective!  Life can be demanding and doing the things and responsibilities of life can be exhausting. But if God’s loving presence is one to which our hearts are tuned, then the words of Paul are wonderfully borne out: “…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)