Saturday, September 28, 2013


Why is it so hard to recognize the truth in the statement above? Is it merely the need to have others feel sorry for us because of our misery? Is the path to strength seen to be too lonely? And if we manage to stay on the path of strength, might we grow stronger with no one else recognizing the struggle? Why are we perpetually drawn to being miserable?

What is the reward?

Walk the road...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

Do you have to go to church?

Do you have to go to church to be a Christian? Yes and no. You don’t have to go to church to be saved, but to really become a disciple of Jesus, it necessitates being in community with other disciples of Jesus. You see, we are invited to become apart of a community, the Church. When we are baptized, we are welcomed into this Body of Christ, and the body of Christ is filled with people: broken people, prejudiced people, hypocritical people, backbiting people, all who are all being changed by Jesus just like you and me are. There are no perfect churches, just people through churches that God is making perfect. Won’t you be a part of one?

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Each fall, Jews celebrate the holiday of Sukkot, named after the “huts” the Jewish people lived in during their 40 years in the wilderness. Sukkot begins on the night of the largest full moon of the year, the harvest moon. This year it began at sundown on Friday, October 2, and runs through October 10. As a celebration of the year’s largest harvest, Sukkot reminds us to give thanks. The American Pilgrims understood this biblical significance of Sukkot, and made it the basis for Thanksgiving.

Tradition calls us to “live” for a week in a sukkah (sukkot is the plural form) — a hut, open to the sky, with some leaves for a roof. (Eating meals there can qualify for “living,” especially during inclement weather.) Living in a hut reminds us of our interdependence with nature. Our buildings and vehicles are artificial barriers, which insulate us from so many effects of nature. We succumb to an “edifice complex.” They distract us from our constant interaction with nature, inhibiting us from “smelling the roses.” They limit our awareness of the impact we have on nature, so we don’t deal with pollution, conservation of resources — dying species, sustainable development, diversity of energy resources — global warming, or even adequate preparation for “natural” disasters. Just ask the residents of New Orleans. As we become more aware of interdependence, we accept our stewardship of nature.

Check Busted Halo for more information.... 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Who are you???

Most of us have heard of the Myers Briggs Personality Type Test...actually most of us have probably taken one or more during our lives. According to how you answer questions, the test will tell you about yourself and how you react to different situations.

This one seems to be much more fun than just the standard who are you?

I'm a Luna Lovegood! Who knew???

Friday, September 13, 2013

Quality vs. Quantity

We live in an age of quantity. Society shapes us with the notion that larger, faster, and more are often synonymous with better. They tell us that we need to find more time, more possessions, and more love to be truly happy. A smaller quantity of anything high in quality will almost always be more satisfying. A single piece of our favorite chocolate or a spoon full of fresh preserves can satisfy us more than a bucket full of anything that we don't particularly like. Similarly, one fulfilling experience can eclipse many empty moments strung together. It is not the quantity of time that matters, but the quality of each moments experience. Every minute is an opportunity to love yourself and others, develop confidence and self-respect, and exhibit courage.

When you focus on quality, all your life experiences can be sweeter and more meaningful.  A few hours of deep, restful slumber will leave you feeling more refreshed than a whole night’s worth of frequently interrupted sleep. A few minutes spent with a loved one sharing details about family and friends can carry more meaning than two hours spent mindlessly watching television.

Whenever we spend more time in the pursuit of quantity we can cheat ourselves of quality. The quality of a moment can also supersede quantity when you are experiencing such things as hugs, kisses, and love. If given the chance to choose, most would pick a a single, heartfelt grin rather than a lifetime of empty smiles. Ultimately, it is not how much you live or have or do but what you make of each moment that counts.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Large vs. Small

When I joined our church over 30 years ago, the membership was much larger than it is today. This decline has affected all aspects of church including the number of young people I work with through our Youth Ministry. At one point in the last few years, we only had 4 regular members of the Youth group. For this time, we are considered a "small" church. We have a beautiful, large building, but do not have the members to fill it.

I often wondered what I could do to help increase the numbers but also worried that perhaps I was doing something which kept them away. But now, I recognize that it's not "all about me". Most of the youth have been members of the church since they were children and it has been a natural progression that they come to our group when they reach 6th grade. 

As time has passed, I have learned to love small groups. Our meetings are much more intimate and we truly are involved with each other. I'm invited to sporting events, birthday parties, graduations, etc. Not because they have to, because they want me there. If our group was huge, I doubt the impact would be the same. But does that mean I have given up on increasing the number we reach? No, if that is meant to happen, it will. The love of small groups means that I have the unique opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of a few rather than just being the "leader" of many. They know me, where I live, where I work (full time), my husband, my grandson, my children...they know how I live my life. It has been a wondrous discovery to realize that God has blessed me with young people who want to be involved with each other, with me and with our community.

 This is part of an article dealing with large vs. small church from a pastors was worth Daniel Darling:

Where God dwells

Ultimately, ministry jealousy stems from a faulty view of God. During my time on staff at a large church, I mistakenly thought that God only worked through the most cutting edge, organized, streamlined ministries. It's the same misguided view I carried into my experience pastoring a small church.

But Scripture tells us something far different. As Paul reminded the Corinthians, God often works through the "foolish" and "weak" things of this world. Abraham was an impotent pagan whom God raised up to father the nation of Israel. David was the least likely to succeed in his family and yet became King of Israel. Gideon was trembling in fear when the angel of the Lord called him a "mighty warrior." Moses was well past his prime when he led the Israelites out of Egypt. The list goes on.

This is not to say we shouldn't pray for big things to happen in our small churches. But the question is this: what do we consider big? For instance, this year we baptized eight people. For some mega churches, that's the conversion rate of one small group in one weekend. But for these eight people in our congregation, it was a mighty work of God. Heaven's chorus is no less triumphant over one soul than it is over thousands.

I think of the man who stumbled into our humble church a few months ago. His life had fallen apart. One of our elders led him to faith in Christ and this man's faith has grown tremendously. Nowhere in his story will you year anything about how streamlined our programs were or how slick our Sunday morning presentations are (because they are not). What he found in our church was a relationship with Jesus Christ. He found community. He is receiving the vital words of life from Scripture that are empowering his transformation.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Focus and Gratitude

My friend shared another excellent video! So often, we see the ugly side of celebrity. This man knows what is most important in living life...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Embrace Rejection

A very dear friend shared this video with me this morning and I must say, I love his attitude toward rejection and how we let it affect our lives...It's a little long but definitely worth a listen (or 2)!

Jia Jiang from Chris Guillebeau on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A relic?

From time to time in Christian history there have been those who claim to have different relics associated with Jesus. Collectors have gathered together items like the Shroud of Turin, the alleged crown of thorns worn at Christ’s crucifixion, or have found the crypt, used to hold our Lord’s broken body. 
Emperor Constantine’s mother first claimed to have found the true Cross of Jesus more than 1700 years ago. Since then, so many claim to have fragments that if they were all put together they would make an enormous cross! If it could be proved that someone had found an authentic relic of Jesus, people would line up for miles to see or touch it. But to what purpose? 

Obviously, many believers want to experience something real that is associated with Jesus. Those who seek Jesus have a real faith, a real desire, real conviction and they want to prove that Jesus is real.

But when we begin to doubt the reality of Jesus, relics are not the answer. Taking time to read the gospels again tells us His story. He was born poor and lived in poverty all His life. His friends were from the lowest castes of society. He experienced all there is in this human life. No one writing propaganda would ever reveal a character so real, so human, so earthy. He understands, because he has been there himself. And he is still here.

For anyone who has ever felt the sting of rejection, the heart-break of disloyalty, the tears of shame and humiliation, for anyone who bears their own disgrace and failure, Jesus says, “I understand. I am with you. You can trust me; you can cast your cares upon me, because I have been there myself.”

“By sending Jesus as a man," Clarence Jordan says, "God is refusing to take humanity’s ‘no’ for an answer, and places Jesus in the here and now – in the midst of this life.” And that is more real and more holy than all the relics in the world.