Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Season for Kindness

Dear All,
I don't know if you read the blog by Miriam Rockness about Lilias Trotter, but today is such a good one I want to share it with you. It is about kindness and how it changes us and others. With the season of Thanksgiving upon us and Christmas around the corner, this short devotional may change the way we journey through it. Another changing season ... enjoy...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Courage for the Changing Seasons

I just downloaded an upgrade for my Mac. One change that came with it ... I was able to answer a phone call with my iPad! At first, I didn't know what to do. But, I couldn't find my phone so I tapped that little green button that said, "accept". And, voila! I was speaking to my sister. Now, I can text through my computer, make a call from my iPad, and well, as it has been all along, I can do almost anything with my phone. Changing seasons.

These changes only make me aware of other changes happening around us all the time. There are changes in the natural world, the nations of the world, our communities, our churches, our families. There are changes in the seasons, in knowledge and understanding, in laws and governing, in relationships, in treaties, in headlines, in ... fill in the blank. It was Heraclitis that said, "Change is the only constant in life."
So, how will we face these changes?
In the love of God our Father.
And, we will walk into them with courage and faith in His love for us to keep us and guide us and save us from all the unknown of these changes.
In change we have no fear ...
because we know that God our Father is for us.

This song from Bethel Music has become one of my favorites for this changing season that I live in. I hope it will encourage you as well for whatever season you find yourself in. The words of the song follow the video.

I stand before You now
The greatness of Your renown
I have heard of the majesty and wonder of You
King of Heaven in humility I bow

As Your love, in wave after wave
Crashes over me, crashes over me
For You are for us, You are not against us
Champion of Heaven You made a way for all to enter in (to Your love)

I have heard You calling my name
I have heard the song of love that You sing
So I will let you draw me out beyond the shore
Into Your grace

You make me brave
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
You make me brave
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now the Love that made a way
You make me brave
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
You make me brave
You make me brave

No fear can hinder now the promises You’ve made

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Seasons Change

The fall color right now is spectacular ... S - P - E - C - T - A - C - U - L - A - R !
I have watched this tree change color over the past weeks as I walked Jump and Joy. They are oblivious to the beauty around us. Well, that's not completely true. They have watched the increasing number of squirrels storing up nuts and the like for their winter reserves. This has ushered in another new season for me. I need to be on "squirrel alert" as I walk my two "squirrels". This has caused me to consider this new season that slowly unfolds before me.

Last Thursday, my friend Martha and Team Martha* seemed to be at the end of a season. Her doctors here told her they had nothing more that they could do to help her win her battle again AML. BUT ... what a great word to give hope ... BUT ... there was a doctor in another hospital who may have ... something? So, off went Martha, and yesterday she got the news that there are more than one options for her! She may still be in this season of battling AML BUT there are other things that can be tried to win this battle! Same battle but a new season ... with renewed and greater hopefulness.
As I walk through my own season of looking for full-time employment, I want to be more like Martha. I want to be more like Jump and Joy. I want to walk in hopefulness ... even if I can't see the way ahead. I need to be on full "squirrel alert" in order to see the change of season, to see the different ways God is at work on my behalf ... because He is working. He is. This change of season means I continue to put my faith and hope in His unfailing, faithful, chesed love ... because it is unchanging.

I started thinking about this season change when I went through the Pittsburgh Airport a few weeks ago. Every time you ascend the escalator to the gates this is what you see:
Yep! You see T-Rex in all his glory. Here is someone who had trouble adapting to a change of season. As I passed him, I thought to myself that I don't want to become like him. I don't want to break under the change of seasons and become fossilized. This requires what I mentioned before ... being on "squirrel alert" for the ways God is working on our behalf and to hope in God's unfailing love.

The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalm 147:11

*My name for those of us who are walking with her through her season of battling acute myloid leukemia (AML).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Eucharisteo - Remembering Corrie

How do we remember Corrie? Such a big person in such a small package, her life compressed into such a short time. It made her a full-fledged time and again day-to-day miracle. She didn’t think of herself as a miracle. I mean … she knew that she was living each day because of God’s miraculous work in her life … but she didn’t think of herself as a miracle. … But, she was a miracle, she was. She was a miracle for each one of us because of the way she lived her life and in her generous spirit, shared herself with us … she let all of us be a part of the miracle of her life.

So, how do we remember this miracle called Corrie?
The first word that comes to mind is COURAGE. Within the first few months of meeting Corrie I asked her if she wanted to drive with me to IKEA to purchase some supplies for the church. IKEA Atlanta. She showed up with a full bag of her own supplies just in case anything went awry and also knew where the closest hospitals were located along our route. And, off we went. What I didn’t know at the time was that Corrie hadn’t been off the island since her initial surgery let alone a 10-hour round-trip to Atlanta! It took great courage for her to do that. Time and again Corrie pushed herself outside of her fear … in order to live life … most recently buying a scooter to go back and forth to the beach. It’s parked in the Meyer’s garage.

The second word for Corrie is COMFORT. Corrie took comfort in knowing Jesus her Savior and Friend. She loves Jesus. And, yes I use the word love in the present tense. While she lived among us she looked to Him for help and strength, for purpose and hope. Through her prayers and in her worship, in her serving she relied on Jesus … for her life. She took great comfort in Him … and showed us how to do the same. And, now … in the present tense … she sees him face to face and she loves Him. That is her greatest comfort.

And, my last word? COLOR. It’s the best “C” word I could come up with for her joy, happiness, and delight! Whenever Corrie greeted me she would fling out her arms, phone in hand and cry out “DeVaticus!” … All those nicknames she had for us: Shannie, Joogles, Neeser. … Such joy she had. And her greater gift of joy was being with the St. Luke’s children and youth. Godly Play, Backyard Bible, Sunday School, Wednesday Family Night, Middle School … teaching them, laughing with them, loving them, … giving them her joy … in Jesus Name. She so loved you all and wanted you to know her greatest love … Jesus.

So, how will we remember Corrie? Let’s live with COURAGE, pushing ourselves outside our fear … in order to live life! Let’s live that life in the COMFORT of knowing Jesus, relying on Him for help and strength, for purpose and hope. And, let’s share with one another the COLOR, the joy of loving in Jesus’ Name. When we live like that, we remember Corrie. AMEN? AMEN!