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.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Where are you?

Recently, I experienced something that was bad. Very bad. The people around me who are faith filled people hugged me, reminded me of beloved scripture verses, listened. They handed me tissues, a shoulder to lean on and a pillow to punch. I felt loved and comforted by them and thanked God for leading them to me at just the right time. But when I was alone, I quickly reverted back to the frightened follower I always seem to be. By myself, I'm a coward. I find myself afraid of so many things and when I'm afraid I seem to worry more. Does everyone do that? I have read a few devotionals recently that reminded me that worrying never solved anything and it seems almost to be a slap in the face to the Lord. I don't think I can afford to diss the Almighty. So I'm trying to worry less. But fear makes me lonely too. The God of our ancestors seemed to real to them. So present. When bad things happen, I don't always feel the Spirit's presence. And I wonder is that because I'm looking too hard, expecting something tangible. Our faith family in the past must have been able to rely on something to help them feel God's presence. I've tried walking a labyrinth, lighting candles and meditating, tried to close the doors and seek the Lord in my solitude. And almost always, I still feel alone and worried. And that's when I remind myself: when things were really bad, my faith family was right there with me. And when things aren't really, really bad but just well, kind of not great, they are right there as well. The Spirit moves in them the same as it does in times of crisis. I found that reaching out with a simple request was just as effective as sobbing on someone's shoulder. I need to remember to stop trying to solve everything myself. And although that trite saying, "Let go and let God," still is sort of like fingernails on a chalkboard sometimes, it's also true sometimes as well. And so I will talk to my friends in faith and trust them to help me lift myself out of my funk. And they will help me to laugh and remind me that God is present at all times and in all ways. And I am not alone.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I was reading from William Barclay today about the book of Acts. Before I get rolling, I would like to suggest that if ever you wanted to read some superb explanations of the New Testament, Barclay is your man! He brings about a clarity, at least for me that I don't have a lot of times.

Anyway, the passage he was writing about was Acts 2: 42-47, that marvelous passage which talks about the new church and how the newly hatched Christians were with one another and with everyone they met. The verses talk about their sharing, their giving, their camaraderie and their joyous participation in all of this. And it was then that I was struck with Barclay's explanation of the early Christians based on what verse 46 states. It says that the early church was a happy church. Barclay says the following, "Real Christianity is a lovely thing. There are so many people who are good, but with their goodness possess a streak of unlovely hardness. Struthers of Greenoch used to say that it would help the Church more than anything else if Christians ever and again would do a bonnie thing. In the early Church there was a winsomeness in God's people."

A "winsomeness" in God's people. Winsome means-according to the dictionary--charming, with an attractiveness of appearance or manner. What if more people wanted to be like Christians because of what they see when they see us in action? Wouldn't that be great? What if being a Christian in today's world meant more along the lines of "come join us in our attractiveness" than "don't bother, you're not good enough"? Too often Christians are so busy building fences, then we forget to erect ways to climb the fence. We are so busy making sure everything is right according to "the good book" that they forget that the book is for everyone, especially someone who has never heard it before. And that there might not be a right way to either read it or understand it except that it gets read? What a concept! And what if, we made being a Christian such an attractive, warm, loving place, people just started showing up because it felt right that way?? What if? Let's try to be winsome, bonny, Christians. I would like a little more laughter, please and a little less scowling when the service doesn't look, sound or flow the same. A little more smiles, a little less frowns. A lotta more love. That's what the church needs. Wouldn't you agree?

Finding the time

The problem with things spiritual is this: they don't feel required. It doesn't feel like you have to take time out of your busy schedule to stop and pray or contemplate or commune with nature. No one, at least no one I'm acquainted with in my faith life, is threatening me with anything if I don't stop and pray, contemplate or commune. I can go days without realizing that I have not stopped to do these things. Lent is a season to make yourself stop. To become disciplined. To make time. My mother quoted me something she read during her devotions about coming to a speed bump and it made me realize that I do not have any speed bumps in place lately. I have repaved the roads and they are unimpeded until I feel like stopping. I'm not sure this is a good thing. In fact, I'm pretty sure it isn't a good thing. We need time to stop and reflect and yes, there's that word again, contemplate. Everyone needs to do this in one way or another. Even Jesus had to take some time out to talk to Dad once in a while. I'm going to try to build in some stopping places during Lent this year. Because I haven't done so yet, if you notice me zooming by, stick out your foot. I don't want to take a tumble, but perhaps I need to in order to remember who it is that gave me the energy to keep going. And keep me in your prayers, too. And watch out for stop signs and speed bumps.