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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Song of the Nightime

There is an old song entitled, "In The Still of The Night." I used to know all the words to it and when my father's radio station would play it, I would sing along. The song spoke to me of the night, when the world was mostly sleeping. It seemed a time of magic, or even a time to imagine scary things. It's easy to imagine things when it's dark outside and you can't see down the street.

I'm older now, and the dark time at night seems more restful, not quite as scary as it used to. I am more aware that the scary, evil things can come in the daytime, too. Night isn't a guarantee that nothing bad will happen, but neither is the daylight. What I have come to realize, though is the presence of the Spirit with me. Sitting with me while the "world is in slumber." And walking with me in the daylight as well. Sometimes I don't feel that presence, but when I think I'm most alone, I have come to rely on the Advocate. It does not take away the pain or the anxiety, but it reminds me that even in the still of the night the Spirit breathes with me. And I am comforted.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Singing an Old Song

There is only one place on earth I can sing with other people and they don't mind. It's in church. There is only one place on earth I can talk about the things that bother me about the world today and receive some kind of understanding for my rants. It's in church. There is only one place on earth, that I know of, where I feel like part of a family with people I'm not related to, who share a past and a hope for a future and share all the mess in between. And that is in our church. I have been a member for a long time. I haven't counted the years in a while and don't intend to do so right now, so don't worry. I have a family that loves me, a husband, two children and siblings and a mom and step dad and cousins. But my congregational family seems to think I'm okay too. They uplift me when I am down and sometimes surprisingly even when I'm not down. We share stories of our faith and our lives and we trust each other to hold those stories and the emotions tied to them within our hearts. But we pray together too. And complain sometimes. And meddle other times. Because the people of God are--wait for it--people! That's right our Christian community is made up of human beings. Which means we can be mean and spiteful. Or hurtful. But we are welcomed and loved as we are. In all our moods, in all our brokenness. Loved and welcomed. This is the hardest part of being a community of faith, I think.Some of the broken and bitter people like themselves they way they are and I'm a fixer-upper. I want them to be happier or at least act happier. I want them to be Christians the way I am! But that isn't the deal with faith and belief in God. It isn't up to me (or you either, come to that) to change the way a person believes or practices their faith. It is up to us to welcome and love them. You don't have to agree with them! Jesus taught many things but the greatest thing he taught was that we need to love one another as God loves us. And this is hard sometimes. But I figure if a bunch of people can stand next to me when I sing or rant and rave about the condition of the world, then I can stand next to them as well whether they sing on key or off or know different words to the same song. We're still singing the same song. To love and welcome.

Monday, July 14, 2014

In a Hurry to Wait

I've noticed something lately about me. I am not very patient. Those of you who know me I'm sure are chortling with glee as this is an understatement if I ever made one. But it's true. I want things to move along at the pace I want them to, or I feel like I have to push them along. At work, if I have to wait for either a return call or someone to stop by and give me information I practically wear a hole in the floor, pacing impatiently. I don't know if I've always been like this. If so, there are probably a few dozen people to whom I need apologize.

I've asked The Lord for patience lots of times. I remember seeing a bumper sticker which said, "Lord, give me patience and I want to now!" It could be a motto tattooed on my forehead.

But I was reminded of my lack of patience today in a most humbling manner. A friend of mine is sick. Very sick. He is battling for his very life these days and sometimes we're not sure he has many of them left. But he is doing what he has to do every day, carefully, with deliberation and patience. And he's gracious about it as well! What an example he is to me. A model of learning to live each day in the here and now as tomorrow is promised to no one. I want to be like him, not sick, but able to be patient with the world, with life, with myself. He is teaching me without even trying. I will try tomorrow to be more aware of life, more cognizant of the world and the people therein. And pray once more for patience, only just not right away, maybe.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Things Can Change

I write this blog for a bunch of reasons. I need to write. I like to think about my faith and the way it presents itself in my life. I like to think that once in a while, someone else reads it and either agrees or disagrees with my sentiments. It's a good outlet for me, but it's not for everyone, I know.

After 6 years, our Pastor will be leaving for a new call away from here. It's hard to think he won't be here anymore. We've gotten used to his slight Southern twang, his droll sense of humor, his wonderful musicality. I know I will miss him. But I also know that God is with us at St. Marks in Oaklyn. And there must be something amazing in store for us if we would be open to that idea. I hope you will join us to see where God will lead us. I hope you will pray for Pastor Jeff and Karla in their new endeavor. And I hope you will pray for us as we walk this road of faith into the future. Everyone could use a little prayer!