Welcome to our blog! This is a place to share ideas, thoughts, concerns and joys of our faith journey. I'll be posting sporadically, but hope you will feel free to comment and join in the discussions.

Monday, June 28, 2010


I've noticed something recently. There is a certain responsibility to be a believer of Jesus. See, technically, it's easy to be a believer. 'Cause you know, you just believe. But if you really believe and become a follower--ah, then--it is no longer an armchair activity. You find yourself compelled to do something at the oddest times. If you attend a committee meeting, you find you offer to help out by baking a cake or bringing in macaroni and cheese in a box for certain efforts. You notice other people, the things that are important to them, the things they care about. And you begin to see what they are doing about their concerns and you think, hey, it might be nice to do that too! You have a "penny" bank on the kitchen counter which you put your spare change in (and your kids get a kick out of the sound it makes when they contribute, too) and you don't mind doing that. You read about Vacation Bible school needing some food or some craft items and even though you "don't do VBS" anymore, you find yourself looking out for sales on certain things so you can bring them to church on Sunday. You read up about the mission trips that the people are making to Bosnia or Africa or or Haiti or even the Gulf and you think, I could give something for that, even if I can't be there. And you also notice that the church is at work defining itself through it's social statements on things like Genetics and Sexuality. And even if all you do is read up on this stuff, you find you are no longer just sitting and staring at the television. You find yourself caught up in caring and paying attention.

And that's what being a believer is really about. Taking responsibility for your beliefs. Of course, the really nice thing is that you are not alone in your responsibility. You are part of a community of faith. So how about it? Will you join in the work? I guarantee, the benefits are out of this world!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cleaning House

I haven't posted for a while. It's not because I'm not interested, it's because I'm cleaning. Well, that technically isn't true either. I have just as much dust in my home as I ever have. And the vacuum and I don't even remember each others names. No, the kind of cleaning I'm doing is done on the inside, where others cannot see unless I show them.

I've begun to unclutter some of my thinking, not unlike throwing out the junk in the attic, I guess. I find that when I think about myself and my "lot in life" too much, I get kind of cranky. So I'm trying to think outward instead of inward. I find I worry, too about things that I really can't do anything about in the long run. I can worry about the greening of the environment and can do my part, but I cannot solve the BP spill by worrying about it. I worry about my siblings, hoping they are okay with the pitfalls of life, but really, I can't change their circumstances without their wanting to do so, so I find I must leave it to God. And that basically is what cleaning up is all about--for me anyway. I have to stop backpacking, storing up sorrows and worries. I have to begin to trust that God is not only in the big picture, but if I give him half a chance, he's probably in the details as well. My prayer life is getting into shape. My worship life is being exercised. My Bible reading is lifting weights. I'm using spiritual muscles that I've let go for a while and it feels healthy to use them again. I'm airing out the closed windows of my mind and scrubbing those stains of stubbornness and pride with more vigilance. Who knows what I'll tackle next? So perhaps I'll post a little more in the next few weeks before I fall back into my old habits. But maybe this time I will have cleaned up enough space to let in the light of God. I certainly hope so!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Memories of Heinz

While looking at the bulletin this Sunday, I noticed an announcement at the top of the page on one of the inserts. It mentioned the family of Heinz Menzel asking us to keep them in our prayers. I knew then, that Heinz has passed away. Many of you probably don’t remember him, a quiet gentleman, his white hair neatly combed, who usually sat towards the back during the early service.

But he was an important part of my life in our church community and I wanted to share a little of that with you in memory of him. When I was searching for a place to do service, I was finding it difficult. I had at the time a small daughter who accompanied me everywhere I went. She was (and is) a delightful person, her smile is infectious. But she was not yet in school and it was a challenge to do something for the church while keeping her occupied. Pastor Kitz tapped me to do the “Tape Ministry” which included coming to the church during the week, getting the cassette tape of the service copied, then placing the copies in a box for the volunteers who visited the shut-in members of the congregation. The copying of the tape involved a unique machine which, at the time, would enable me to copy these cassettes one after another. But the machine was located at the church, so I was required to spend some time in the building copying the service, whilst my daughter danced, fidgeted and sometimes careened around the building looking for something to amuse her. Enter the men from the Property Committee. At that time these were gentlemen who were retired and puttered about with their tools, fixing whatever was wobbling, creaking, squeaking or immobile. They began to notice my daughter and began to include her in their conversations. I can’t recall all of the guys, but two of them Sam Woodside and Heinz would make special trips just to see her. She was shy with them, but they were kind and paid her court, which was enormously endearing to me, trying to do the job entrusted to me.

After giving up the tape ministry for other things, I rarely saw the men of the Property Committee, but they always asked after my daughter whenever they saw me. Eventually the only member of that original committee was Heinz. I soon began coming to the early service and he greeted me warmly every single time, remembering our camaraderie of those mornings. He was not one to show his emotions, but when his wife passed away, I knew he grieved enormously.

Because life moves on, I did not really take notice when he wasn’t in attendance as often, but when he did come; I made sure to share the peace with him. And now I realize how long it had been since I had last seen him. I will miss his presence, but know he rests with the other guys of the Property Committee, taking care of the Lord’s House in which he dwells.

Friday, June 4, 2010


The rhythms of our days can be as monotonous as the sea crashing to shore or as predictable as the way a bird will sing in couplets outside of your window when you're trying to sleep late.

But the rhythm of your faith life can be a little more erratic, a little more unpredictable. I know people who pray at the same time every day, in the same way using almost the same words. But their prayers are as vibrant and new as a sunrise each morning. I know of people who almost never read a devotional but find the glory and wonder of God in everything from the ants in their kitchen to the fuzz on a sycamore leaf and make sure they tell everyone about it. I used to receive a devotional reading on my e-mail at work every day. The writer has recently been less than punctual, but when he does get around to sending something it is worth the wait. What do we do with the 24 we've been so generously graced with? How do you find rhythm in your faith life? Are you regimented and strict with your time? Or are you serendipitous and quixotic? I don't believe either of the extremes are either right or wrong. They just are. Your faith life is a reflection of who you are and what is important to you. But remember at least to speak with God. He's listening always.