Then they remembered his words… Joy, pain, frustration and elation – We respond to our feelings and they sometimes cause us to do things we wouldn’t ordinarily do, both good and not so good. Lord, your love within us supersedes all feelings and all things. Give us the time that we need to recover from those feelings, helping us to remember that your love is the ointment that soothes and the spice that seasons and preserves our relationship with you. Thank you God, for it is by your love that we seek to live and by your love we call others to life. It is all the treasure that we need.
…all the crowds…returned home… I remember the most difficult time of loss is after everyone has left and you are alone with thoughts and memories. You’re not exactly sure what comes next but you soon realize that as time moves so must you. So you pick up what’s left of who you know yourself to be and you move. Deep within there is faith and hope that was planted and once nourished by a presence that is now gone. But we are the vehicle that carries that faith and hope forward, strengthened by the memory to survive, encouraged by the spirit to live according to God’s will.
Betty Ann Richburg Rouse 1945 – 2005
2015 Still moving on
Let love be genuine… Romans 12:9-6 As I wind down my anti-racism facilitator training my thoughts are racing trying to figure out how to engage a diocese. I ask myself how effective can the words of a few even begin to make a difference. I suppose what’s most important is that the words are spoken and – over time, (perhaps a long time) we can get back to love in its most genuine form, without prejudice, stereotyping, bigotry, or discrimination. Gracious God, thank you for the awakening of your Holy Spirit within me which knows no color and desires only to see your face in others.
Hoy Week: Good Friday – Powerful and compelling, the passion story of God’desire to be known by those created out of true love. Yet even after all the expressions of love including the gift of a son, could such a story grab their attention? Could such a story be powerful enough that it could hold their attention even today. A segment on believing ran all week on a morning show. Though I tried to resist I must admit I was curious as to what many would say and who (the sample) would be included in this exploration of spirituality, faith and believing. Not surprising those participating were at varous perspectives of understanding, but it was the presence of the youth that solidifies the power of a God who desires to be known. Truly the work of something much greater than ourselves and we must continue to share the story of that Love. My soul shall live for him; my descendants shall serve him… They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn; the saving deeds that he has done. Psalm 22:29-30
Have you not heard? From the very beginning, I’ve been blunt and spoke as clearly as possible to my sons. I never wanted either of them to come back and say to me “Why didn’t you tell me…”. I know that sometimes they probably weren’t listening but then I don’t remember all of the times I didn’t listen to my parents. Of course their journey is not mine, yet even if they remember a small fraction of what I’ve shared, the overall message of my love for them hopefully, prayerfully will never be questioned nor forgotten. Upon baptism into this faith, God speaks to us even when we are not listening. Prayerfully, hopefully we remember God’s Love even when we forget God’s Word. Love is our foundation. Love is our redemption. Love is our destiny.
Saying Yes to God is like saying yes to Love. Today – as we see Christmas approaching, let us consider the importance of our saying Yes to God’s love and how our saying yes to that love is able to bring to birth new and marvelous things, and how it prepares us and others not just for the coming of the Messiah but for everything God has in store for us.
If we continue to follow after the the things of the world, we miss opportunities to live out true Love today. If we are always living in the familiar and the comfortable, we miss the true rewards that come with challenges and change. If we are always looking backwards, we miss the true pervasiveness of God’s grace in front of us .” …the Kingdom of God is among you.” Luke 17:20-37
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I have a closet full of clothes, most of which I bought myself. However, there are some items that were given as gifts. Giving clothing as a gift is a huge risk because you never know if the person is going to like the item. If the person doesn’t like the item they are probably not going to wear it. God has given each of us a gift, not of clothes but the gift of God’s Word. Every day we are invited to wear this gift of God’s Word on our hearts like a wedding garment. One day when all the invitations to the wedding banquet (Matthew 22:1-14) have gone out, we will be wearing our gift and arrive fully prepared and clothed with the garments of God’s Word reflected by our love, righteousness, peace, and justice, for one another and faithfully chosen to sit at the celebration table.
…he thought he was seeing a vision. Acts 12:1-17 It is possible to look upon something and think that it can’t be real when in fact it is, such as unforeseen opportunities. Unless you act on what seems a reality you may never know that it was in fact real until it’s too late. The freedom to act is a gift. When our time comes, may wisdom in Love be our guide to use such a gift. Real freedom is making the right choice out of love for God and not one’s self.
If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:21-32
What God has made clean, you must not call profane. Acts 10:1-16 I am often reminded of the things I said I would never do like going back to school. As we grow and mature we change our minds about a lot of things when we realize our resistance hinders our own growth. What we make sacred and what God makes sacred are often entirely different. If we can subject our heart and mind to be led by what God makes sacred, through us, we make way for God’s faith and love to grow as well.