Saturday, June 28, 2008


Early Christians, especially those of Jewish descent struggled with Sabbath keeping. Many still observed the Sabbath on Saturday and celebrated Jesus' resurrection on Sunday. In 321, the Emperor Constantine decreed Sunday instead of Saturday to be a day of no work, but of worship of the Lord, thereby effectively changing the Sabbath to the first day of the week.

With the coming of Christ, the Sabbath has taken on new meaning. As well as pointing backward to creation, it points forward to the rest and peace we will have in Christ when he comes again. Instead of being bound by lots of rules and regulations, it became known as the "feast day of the Lord". Sunday became a day for Christians to gather for worship, prayer and generally a meal, including the Lord's Supper. The Sabbath should be a day of joyful worship and Communion, a day of rest and a day of reliance upon God.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Four Rooms

Click on the link above then pick the doors one at a time. Listen to "Audio Two". It's an eyeopening experience.

Grace and Mercy

Mercy: When we don't get what we deserve
Grace: When we get what we don't deserve

See the difference?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ten Things Adults should know about Teens

1. Teens are people too. Don't speak as if they're not in the room.
2. Teens need time. Especially during discussions, give them time to think about what they
want to say.
3. Teens like adults. They like us, they're not always sure we like them.
4. Teens have a lot to teach us. They are unique and have their own talents, gifts, attitudes
and perspectives.
5. Teens' body clocks are different from ours. They need 8 - 10 hours of sleep and are not
usually "morning" people.
6. Teens are passionate. They have very high highs and very low lows.
7. Teens want to "own" their experiences. Their struggles are real and they want them to be taken seriously.
8. Teens are fun to be around. Their take on life is refreshingly honest, hopeful and new.
9. Teens can be a great source of frustration. You must be willing to be flexible.
10. Teens are not adults. As much as they hate to admit it, they are still children. Don't
expect them to act as adults.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

On Children

by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


God ordained that work is good. We all get caught up in the "Sabbath" commandment but what about the other six days? It's easy to focus only on the day of rest but God intended that we should all have work for our hands, whether in the home or outside of it. Genesis 2:15 tells us "Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it." God gave Adam a job! He should be visible in yours too.

A career consumes up to half of a lifetime, shouldn't it be dedicated to God? You may not be in a place to witness to others with words but you can always make an impression with your actions and your attitude. In case your wondering, school is a job too! God honors work, so honor God with your work.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Say it...

Have you ever been around someone who sends mixed messages? They say they believe in one thing but their actions say something else. If you really believe don't you want to incorporate it into your own life?

Even though the advice or information you're given may be correct or positive, does it carry as much weight if they aren't living (or at least trying to live) it? What is more important, what we do or what we say? Do you ever wonder how the world sees you? Always what you say and say what you do, then there will never be any confusion as to where you stand.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

New practices/Old Faith

I recently read about a book called "Dancing our Prayers" by Richard Twiss. In the article he talks about Christianity from a Native American's point of view. Not that they see Jesus differently or that they know something we don''s mainly about incorporating some of their ancient practices into their worship. By ancient practices I mean their use of drums, songs, dances, etc.

Evidently there are many people who feel this shouldn't be included in worship. Guess I missed the memo...if these things are done for the glory of God, where's the harm? If we look back in the Bible, we see God working using Jewish culture to reach the Jews yet He didn't impose these same customs on the Gentiles. Instead, He chose to reach them through their own customs and culture. If it was true then, why would it be any less true today?

Just some food for thought...personally I'd love to be a part of that least once in a about you?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Praying at Meals

Thoughts (questions really)...How many of you pray at mealtime? Are they short and sweet or do they take a really long time? Do you pray at every meal or is it just at family gatherings like Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. Maybe you pray at home but feel too awkward to do so at restaurants. Do you pray over the food or is it a time to include everything and everyone?

When I was growing up, one grandmother called it "asking the blessing" and the other called it "giving thanks" (when asked why she reminded me that Jesus always gave thanks before He broke the bread). Either one can be correct but they follow two different paths...asking the blessing means asking God to bless the food and perhaps also those who are eating and those who prepared it. Giving thanks means just that...taking a moment to say thank you to God for the food.

Whether you choose to bless or give thanks, try to make it a habit. It doesn't have to be a large demonstration, doesn't have to include anyone else and can be done silently with your eyes open. Taking a moment to acknowledge that all gifts (even liver!) come from God is just one more way you can stay in touch with Him during the day.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Compassion International

Compassion is hosting a "Day of Prayer and Fasting" for the Global Food Crisis...please visit the following:
and read the details about what they're doing...
When you get the details, read the following about what you can do...

And then do whatever you can!

Clear Communication

When I was in middle school my father was forever asking me questions whenever I made a statement. I finally came to realize he was trying to make me think through my ideas and be more specific. Opinions are important but are not worth much if you can't express them. Of course at that age, I thought he was just trying to drive me crazy!

After a few months I think he realized he wasn't getting through and brought home this poster: I know you believe you understand what you think I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant! He proceeded to hang it on the wall across from my bed...I saw it every morning when I woke and every night before I went to sleep. One day, it finally made sense! Perhaps this is what helped me develop a love of words, you need plenty of them in order to make yourself understood. Think about this whenever you're having trouble communicating with someone else...have you thought through the idea, are you using the right words? And no, you don't have to memorize the poster...this is not a test.

Monday, June 16, 2008


You have within you the divine spark of God. Through the gifts of the Spirit, God equips each of us with talents to serve Him and each other. Our job is to discover and develop these talents and then use them, as often as we can. Don't worry about the skills you may not have. Don't covet someone else's skills. You are gifted in your own unique way.

God seeks us where we are,
not so we can stay there,
but so we may come to be where He is.
So we may get beyond ourselves.

To Question...

I believe God wants us to use the brains He gave us and in doing so, ask questions. If you are one who loves to read, learn and explore, your questions may not always fit into the "Christian Question" box. Some people would have you to believe that we are NEVER to question God. Take His word, preferably as someone interprets to you, and leave it at that. Those questions fit into the box.

I must admit I often ask Him questions and believe with my whole heart that He is big enough, loving enough, compassionate enough and patient enough to let me ask. He'll then help me work them out.

He has give us the Bible as our instruction book but doesn't ever it and memorize it but don't ever try to figure it out for yourself! He wants us to ponder the mysteries of the universe and loves for us to explore science and see His handiwork. After all, He made the universe for us.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Most Important Label: Child of God

The labels others put on us can tear us down or lift us up. Praise and criticism by anyone can effect us deeply. The key to how we hear these comments, how we react to the words of others lies deep within us. If we have an incredibly strong self image (very few people do), we will receive the praise as an appropriate congratulation and we will evaluate the criticism to determine if there is any validity, anything to learn from it. If our self image is not very strong, we will dismiss praise as meaningless and focus on the criticism believing it to be true.

The truth is that God loves us so much he sent his Son to accept the responsibility for anything we have done - no mater how bad - so our sins, our shortcomings, our seeming inability to live a perfectly good life can be and are forgiven. Our belief in Jesus Christ and our willingness to follow leads all of heaven to exclaim, "You are a child of God!"

There is no one or no thing more valuable in the Kingdom of God than his family. Whenever anyone insults you, embarrasses you, humiliates you, remind yourself again and again and again:
"I am a child of God. God loves me more than I can ever imagine. Bless those who seek to do me harm. May they come to know the love of Christ in their hearts."

More Labels

We not only limit the way we view people by placing labels on them, we do the same to the events of our lives. Without a doubt there are occasions where we find ourselves threatened, fearful, nervous, or worried when we find ourselves in need of strength and courage. Changing the way we label these moments enables us to expect and eventually discover good, in spite of the physical or emotional pain.

It is important to trust God to see us through and to help us see why the experience was not only good for us, but necessary for our spiritual development. When things are tough, say, "OK Lord, you're going to need to explain this someday, because right now it just hurts too much. Until then, I trust you will work this into your plan for my life."

I might be tempted to say, "Oh Lord, do I need another lesson, another opportunity to grow right now? A little rest would be appreciated!"

There is a reason why many Christians memorize Philippians 4:13 NRSV
I can do all things through him [Christ], who strengthens me.

How do you view them?

The terms "enemy", "adversary", "opposition", "renegades", and the like are often used by the media to describe parties at war, political rivals or other groups opposed to one another. When we label people, we stop thinking of them as our brothers and sisters. We find ourselves justified in our actions, some of them quite hostile, because we are dealing with our "enemies".

The same thing happens with any type of label we may apply to another "foreigner", "old person", "authority figure"...each label we add colors the way we look at someone and blinds us to the "real" person. Do these labels make them who they really are? How do you feel when someone labels you? Especially if they choose one that is not accurate.

Next time you find yourself thinking in these terms, look at them through Christ's eyes...He saw all people as brothers and sisters and loved them as such. Can we do the same?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Something to ponder

I often read (and have linked below) to a blog called "Stuff Christians Like". His posts are often lighthearted and perhaps a little irreverent but great reading none the less. Given his normal tone, this post is quite different but says so many things we all need to hear...go and read.

Tolerance Part II

I am blessed to have a friend who reads my work. He does not chastise me for my thoughts but often questions my direction...and that's a good thing. I am most comfortable expressing myself through the written word but this comfort doesn't always translate into complete thoughts.

I spoke yesterday of tolerance from the point of "drawing a line" and I do truly believe there are times in our lives when we must make a stand. But,more often than not, we should take time to consider the thoughts of others. My friend mentioned "An aspect of tolerance often overlooked is respecting and honoring another person's beliefs. Some people can cope with dissent or disagreement as long as they feel they have actually been heard." Once again, he has made me stop and take stock of my thoughts. I allowed a couple of incidents in my life to come out in the earlier post and in doing so, made myself look quite intolerant. "If neither side will listen, nothing is gained except greater animosity and division"...listening costs us nothing but a little time; it can make all the difference in the world to the one we're listening to...

Thanks friend!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


A certain amount of tolerance is not a bad thing. Tolerance means: "sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own belief." Notice I said, a certain amount. But rest assured there will times in all our lives when we must draw the line on tolerance and make a stand. A time when we must put forth our ideals and refuse to waiver. Like the Papa in Fiddler on the Roof, we can all bend from time to time but when the issue is important to you, if you choose to bend too far, you will break. When these events occur we must not fall into sin and be complacent.

This quote says it best..."In the world it is called tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair. The sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die." Dorothy Sayers

Church Website

After seeing this, I'm glad I didn't ask Rich to bless this blog!

Cartoon from:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

God Heals

God's healing extends to all parts of us...physical, mental and spiritual. When we're sick, when we are facing personal disaster's or tragedies, when we are betrayed, oppressed or abused; He even heals us from our own sin. While He is healing He is also creating. Changing us into the people He wants us to be. It is His desire to make us new, over and over again. We are redeemed repeatedly throughout our lives and are invited to grow in His Grace. It's not a matter of age or station in life. It's not even a matter of circumstance...He is with us continually ever transforming us into His image. Pretty comforting, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Empowered to Be

I found this on the "Henri Nouwen Society" website:

Who are we? Are we what we do? Are we what others say about us? Are we the power we have? It often seems that way in our society. But the Spirit of Jesus given to us reveals our true spiritual identities. The Spirit reveals that we belong not to a world of success, fame or power but to God. The world enslaves us with fear; the Spirit frees us from that slavery and restores us to the true relationship. That is what Paul means when he says: "All who are guided by the Spirit of god are sons of God, for what you received was no the spirit of slavery to bring you back into fear; you received the spirit of adoption, enabling us to cry out, 'Abba, Father!" (Romans 8:15)

Who are we? We are God's beloved sons and daughters!

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Poem

Like many of my generation, when I was young I wrote was my one avenue of creativity...I ran across this one the other day and realized, I've still not reached the summit.

Up on a mountain,
far from flat land,
there's a man alone with his soul.

Satisfaction is denied,
until he knows himself,
his God,
and is a friend of his own.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Showing Respect

People in India have a simple, yet powerful way of greeting one another. They place their hands together as in prayer and bow to the person greeted. The other person often responds with the same gesture. The sign is called Amchara and the gesture is as common in India as a handshake is in the west.

We, as Christians, are called to respect and love the Christ in the other people we meet. It is the heart of Christian humility. Remember this the next time you greet someone, whether it is an old acquaintance or someone you're meeting for the very first time. Showing Christ's love can be very powerful especially if you're nervous or fear that the discussion may become heated or angry. By recognizing Christ in each person, we are including Him in the conversation.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Question the answer

The following is from a blog called Naked Pastor ( before you get all giggly about the name, his nakedness is spiritual, not physical. Think about what he has to say...

The question is more important than the answer. To press it further: the question is the answer. Jesus often answered questions with a question. He did this because he was answering (questioning?) people who needed a fixed answer and who lived according to their answer and demanded that everyone agree with their answer. They questioned Jesus to expose His disagreement with their answer so they could justifiably execute Him. Jesus answered them with questions to expose the emptiness of their answer and the fear which sponsored their answer and the murderous hatred which their answer spawned.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


While my children were growing up, most of the time they called me "Mom" or "Mama"...if I heard them say "Mommy" I knew something was up. They were afraid, confused or hurting and I immediately reached out to hold them...they needed to feel safe and loved.

In the New Testament you will see the Hebrew word "Abba" used for God. This word goes beyond calling Him "Father", it means "Daddy". Did you realize you could reach out for your heavenly Father the same way you can your earthly one? When life's troubles push you to the point of needing someone to take care of you, call out...Abba, Father and He will be the one to put His arms around you and bring you peace. Remember Romans 8:26-27a, "In the same way the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit..."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Can you help?

I don't spend much (if any time) on this blog asking you to spend your money but I just can't help pointing this one out. This campaign has really touched me.
You'll notice on my list of links below one called "Nothing but Nets". Read this article... and then go to the website. They mention a gathering of 6,000 youth in North Carolina last summer that gave $16,000.00...we were part of that.

Bottom line...children 5 and under do not have a strong enough immune system to fight off malaria...they die. Of all the malaria deaths each year, the majority are children. You can send a net for $10...and save more than one'll cover a bed big enough for 2 or 3 children...think how that would make you feel!! Save a life, send a Net!


Do you ever feel guilty? Have you done something that you know goes against what you know to be right or wrong? How do you feel about guilt? Do you just ignore selfish or angry deeds? Do you let it motivate you to change as a person? Do you allow it to make you sick...physically, emotionally and spiritually?

God offers us forgiveness, for free! In order to accept His grace, you must repent, try to learn from your mistakes and move forward. The Bible tells us that God forgives and forgets. He doesn't hold it over you head...neither should you. Learn and then let it go.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What price would you pay?

By taking the name Christian, we are telling the world that we are committed to following Christ. Along with the name Christian, most also take the name of a denomination where we meet with like minded people in pursuit of Christ's example to help ourselves, one another, our community and the world at large.

Do you feel that you deserve to wear these names simply because you have stated you will? Do you feel we should be granted them or work to earn them? I know God's Grace cannot be earned, I know it is a gift given freely to all who ask...but is that it? Doesn't that make us responsible for spreading the Word, living the life and furthering the work of the Church? Isn't there a price to be paid?

We are scheduled to have a Mini-Retreat at our Church this Saturday. Everyone is invited to many of you will be there? What are you willing to give up in order to have a voice? Do you really have something better to do?

Monday, June 2, 2008


Spirituality is not a spectator sport. We cannot rely on others to get us into shape. A spiritual life requires personal effort, for a lifetime. Many of us want to be stronger in our faith but are we ready to exert ourselves?

Should we put any less effort into exercising our spiritual muscles than we do our physical? Has our culture trained us to expect immediate results with little to no effort? What are you willing to do and how would you like others to think of you? If you are called a Christian athlete, would people see the same strength in your faith that they do in your body?

Sunday, June 1, 2008


AS APPRENTICES [of Christ] we are … unskilled, unformed, undeveloped. The good Master will present us with tasks just beyond our reach, tasks that build on our strengths and challenge our weaknesses, and he will stand by us in our clumsiness as we learn. Our ignorance and mistakes put us into a searching, inquiring mode: How can we do this better? Are there others who could give us tips? Have we understood the instructions? Being an apprentice means starting, quite honestly, where you are rather than where you should be. Wrestling with Grace
Robert C. Morris