Monday, November 30, 2009


See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight--indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:1

I read a devotional concerning this verse today. It asked an interesting question: "For whom do you prepare the way?"

Preparing the way for the Lord is an important role that we all have. Are there ways you can think of that you have or are preparing the way for God?

  • I hope I prepare the way for my children. I worry that I don't make the way clear enough for them.
  • I am the coordinator for our church's devotional ministry. I hope that maintaining the subscription list and recruiting writers is preparing the way for the message of God to be communicated through this ministry.
  • I believe there are ways that the work we do at the Foundation prepares the way for ministry.
  • I teach Sunday school and sometimes I am privileged to preach. Is that preparing the way?
  • When I serve on an Emmaus walk, I hope there are times that I prepare the way.

I do know that there is joy in the preparation.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Now and Not Yet

Our Sunday School lesson today was based on 2 Peter 3:1-13. It is an apocalyptic passage -- concerning the second coming of Christ.

The teacher of the class said that we are living in the time between the coming of Jesus and the second coming. His thesis was that we are to be always prepared, because we do not know the time.

I think saying that we live in an in-between time negates the idea that Christ is living with us at this moment. It doesn't speak to us of the idea that we are presently living in the Kingdom of God -- the now and the not yet. The theme that we are waiting for the coming of Christ only focuses on the not yet.

The now is important. The now is the hope and faith that when we enter a room, Christ enters it with us -- has arrived there before us, and follows us. It is the idea that Christ comes every day into our hearts and minds to lead and guide us in his father's kingdom.

The now is important and living in the now assures that we are prepared for the not yet.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Serve them?

This week's Discipline readings had a total of 42 chapter. It was a lot of reading.

I'm enjoying the reading. I'm part of this class because I wanted to read the Bible and explore what it means with a group of people from my church, so I'm not fussing about the length of the reading. I'm glad we had two weeks to get it done -- I was able to work steadily on it for the past two weeks so that I didn't feel rushed.

What was a challenge about this week's set of chapters was some of the content. It was the stories of Samuel, Saul, David, Solomon and the beginning of the split between the kingdoms. Not that I ever tried to count the bodies, but there is much killing of both humans and animals in these chapters. They are bloody.

With that in mind, I was surprised to by the last days' set of chapters -- the beginning of Rehoboam's (Solomon's son) reign. He goes to Shechem (1 Kings 12) to be chosen as King. While there, the people ask him to make their yoke -- forced labor and taxation -- lighter. He takes 3 days to think about it before giving his answer.

What surprises me about this passage is the response of the older advisers. They tell him, "If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants for ever." All of the disregard for human life and politics of the other chapters, in this one, he receives the advice to be a servant leader.

He doesn't choose to follow this wisdom. I wonder what would have happened if he had.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Story of a King

I was working on Disciple reading this week -- much, much reading. I came to the chapters in 1 Kings that have to do with King Solomon. As the chapters were moving along, Solomon made a treaty with King Hiram of Tyre. Hiram provided the wood needed for the temple and the palace.
After the temple is completed, Solomon dedicates it. Chapter 8 contains the prayer of Solomon concerning the temple. Following that, God visits Solomon. I noticed a couple of things about this theophany.
  • God lifts up David as an example for Solomon to follow -- an example of obedience and faith for Solomon. I thought that was interesting. God's role model for Solomon was certainly not a person without sin. David was someone who made mistakes, and yet God still lifts him up to be an example for Solomon.
  • God remind Solomon of the covenant between God and the new king. I thought it was interesting that right after this speech from God, Hiram complains about King Solomon. Solomon has provided 20 villages for Hiram. Once Hiram goes and visits these cities, he rejects them as proper payment for the wood that Solomon has imported. I wonder if there is a literary reason that these two stories are placed side by side in the chapter. God has reminded Solomon that they have a covenant and that he has responsibility to uphold it. Right after that we see an example of how Solomon has not fulfilled his side of a treaty to the satisfaction of his neighboring king. Is it foreshadowing for the rest of Solomon's reign and his ability to live up to his part of the covenant with God?

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Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What's next?

Last weekend Steve and I toured Fallingwater, a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The house belonged to the Kaufmanns. I may be misspelling the name, because it's late at night and I'm baking pies, and I my contacts are blurry, but ANYWAY....

Kaufmann's -- remember the department store? Those Kaufmanns. Their son was a student of Wright -- the connection that created the business relationship that lead Wright to design the house.

It is built into a waterfall, with each floor cantilevered, allowing the walls over the water to be mainly windows -- the outer walls didn't need to support the weight of the floors above. It's a masterful design, incorporating the house into its surroundings.

Wright was 67 when he drew the design. He thought he was retiring, reaching the end of his career. The house was a turning point for him, and after that, he designed over 200 more houses.

We can never predict what will happen next, what use God may have for our lives.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Friday Five from RevGalBlogPals:

The Cure
Lying around all day
with some strange new deep blue
weekend funk, I'm not really asleep
when my sister calls
to say she's just hung up
from talking with Aunt Bertha
who is 89 and ill but managing
to take care of Uncle Frank
who is completely bed ridden.
Aunt Bert says
it's snowing there in Arkansas,
on Catfish Lane, and she hasn't been
able to walk out to their mailbox.
She's been suffering
from a bad case of the mulleygrubs.
The cure for the mulleygrubs,
she tells my sister,
is to get up and bake a cake.
If that doesn't do it, put on a red dress.
--Ginger Andrews (from Hurricane Sisters)

So this Friday before Thanksgiving, think about Aunt Bert and how she'll celebrate Thanksgiving! And how about YOU?
  1. What is your cure for the "mulleygrubs"? Dinner and coffee with friends -- or just conversation; the food and drink is really just an accessory
  2. Where will you be for Thanksgiving? We'll be home -- sort of. Steve and I are preparing dinner and taking it down to Mom's house. We'll have dinner with family.
  3. What foods will be served? Which are traditional for your family? It's a very traditional menu -- turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, etc. The traditional meal is a tradition for our family.
  4. How do you feel about Thanksgiving as a holiday? I like Thanksgiving. I'm not crazy about the idea that the Christmas rush is beginning, but the idea of a day set aside for gratitude is a great one.
  5. In this season of Thanksgiving, what are you grateful for? Many, many things. I'm making it a part of my Disciple reading to list items for which I am grateful that day, as I begin to read. It's a good habit, and on days when I've got too much to do, it is strengthening to remember why I am grateful.


Monday, November 23, 2009


What is the role of accountability in faith and in the lives of the faithful?

I've been reading about King David for my Disciple class. David had those who spoke to him in a way which served to keep him accountable to God.

  1. Nathan comes to David following the events with Bathsheba and Uriah. He speaks with all honesty to David, and David finally sees what he has done wrong.
  2. Joab, David's general also serves to remind David of his sin. when Joab sends a messenger back to tell David of the results of the battle, he predicts David's response and tells the messenger to remind the king that Uriah died, too. There were consequences to his actions.
  3. Later, after David's son, Absalom is killed in battle, Joab has to go before David and tell him the truth -- get up and act like a king.
David as a better man of faith and a better ruler when his advisors are honest with him and provide accountability. I don't image that any of them liked doing it or hearing it.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Turning Aside

This weekend, Steve and I went to Pennsylvania. We began our day on Saturday with a stop at Fallingwater, a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. On the way, we came down a hillside and were surprised to find a beautiful set of waterfalls in a river running along the side of the road. We had to pull over and take pictures. It was beautiful to look at and gorgeous to listen to.

And it was completely unexpected.

We had planned the weekend, but we couldn't have planned this. It reminds me that we need to be open to the unexpected -- the interruptions -- the grace of the moment. It was a spectacular treat for a 10 minute stop on the way to our destination, and if we hadn't stopped, we would have missed it.

Take the time to stop.

We went to a Thanksgiving service this evening. It was a community service held at our church. The rabbi from the nearby synagogue preached the sermon. He told about an interpretation of the story of the burning bush. He said that perhaps other people walked by the bush as it burned, ignoring it, not taking the time to stop and explore this magnificent wonder. Moses stopped. Moses paused and turned to see what was going on, and God said, "You're the one I have been waiting for."

Turn aside, and notice the work of God.


Saturday, November 21, 2009


A different perspective on a waterfall -- standing on one of the terraces of Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, looking down on the waterfall. It is a reminder that sometimes our interpretation of something is based on where we are standing.

Go see Fallingwater -- a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Failure in Disobedience

Our Disciple reading for this week (and next -- no class this Sunday, so I get to spread out the reading over two weeks) is from the books of Samuel. I just finished the chapters about Saul yesterday.

Saul was a pitiful character, although I don't imagine he would like that characterization at all. He was anointed by a prophet/judge who didn't believe he should be king, and was only doing it because God had commanded it. Samuel promises to meet him, and perform sacrifices before a battle. He's later, so Saul, whose army is leaving, takes matters into his own hands, and performs the sacrifices himself. Such a no-no. In addition, later, when commanded to defeat the Amelekites, and let no one live, he does the first, but not the second. He captures the king and takes some of the animals.

His disobedience costs him his kingship. Samuel goes forth at the Lord's command and anoints David. David ends up in Saul's palace and then as his warrior.

I think Saul is threatened by David. His fear leads him to violent acts against him. His son, Jonathon and his daughter Michal both choose David over their father. None of this would serve to make him feel more secure.

The author of the notes in my bible says that this is a common deuteronomic (is that a word?) theme -- victory in righteousness but failure in disobedience.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Grace abounds

So all this talk about Ephesians, and I keep saying that God is calling us to something else, something more. What do I propose that is?

Husband and wife, living with the most important commandment -- love God and love one another -- as the center of their marriage, walking together as they did in the Garden, before sin was an issue.

The better way, the way to which we are called by God, is for both to live in submission to God and to each other, placing the other first, loving and caring for each other. Grace abounds.

Ephesians tries to move people closer to that ideal. We shouldn't see it as a command of how to live, but as a path from God to show us a better way. Don't go so far and then stop. Keep moving onto perfection.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On to a better way

I know, I should just move on to a different topic, but this one is on my mind, and while it's on my mind, I suppose it's bound to end up on Sandpiper's Thoughts.

I know there are those who argue that the complementarian role of men and woman described in Ephesians that I quoted on Monday and Tuesday is not demeaning to women. I disagree, for these reasons:

  • There is a impossible to deny result of women being told to be submissive to men, and that is that it creates a barrier between women and God. If I am told that my discernment of God's will for my life is only correct if my husband agrees, and that I must place my own beliefs in that area below those of my husband, then I am being told that my husband is better able to determine God's will than I am.
  • If I am to bury my own judgment below that of my husband then I am being told that I am less able to make decisions than he is.
  • If this attitude of women being submissive to men is followed in a family, then the children learn that their mother is somewhat "less" than their father.
I believe that God created us all unique -- a beautiful, one-of-a-kind creation of God. Isn't that amazing? Since I believe that, then it is impossible for me to believe that my skills and gifts can be determined just by my gender. I believe that I am different from my husband, and that I have different skills and gifts from God, but he (God) didn't give them to me based on my femaleness. I can't believe that they are less (or more) than anyone else's.

I don't believe that God would create commands which are demeaning. I do believe that the view of this passage that wives today are commanded to be submissive to men is demeaning, so therefore, I don't believe that it is a command of God. Instead, I believe that this letter was written to a particular church in a particular time in order to move them to a better way of living.

The way of life defined in this passage is not the ideal, but it may have been closer to that than what was happening in Ephesus. God, creating and transforming us to become that which he created us to be, and to live with each other in a way that reflects Christ. He was moving the people of Ephesus closer to that ideal. Why would we think he would stop at that point? Why wouldn't he continue to teach us and to transform us, re-creating us in his image.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In Context

In his comment, Bob says that I when I quoted scripture yesterday, I removed it from its context. He's right; I did. So let's expand the verses quoted:

Ephesians 6:9: And, masters, do the same to them. Stop threatening them, for you know that both of you have the same Master in heaven, and with him there is no partiality.

Ephesians 5:25-33: Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendour, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.

Does the fact that Paul instructs the one in authority to do it with more love and caring make the relationship less demeaning? We would certainly not say that Ephesians 6:9 makes the previous verses less demeaning to those in slavery; the instructions to husbands do not releave the submissive relationship with their wives.

I would submit that the relationship of husbands to wives and vice versa discussed in the Ephesians 5 passage is, in fact demeaning to women, but not only that, it is also demeaning to men.

Just as in the Old Testament, the laws were established to modify justice, to make it more humane -- an eye for an eye, rather than death for an injury -- that this was not the ideal which God wanted for his children. He was and continues to mold us to become more of what he created us to be. He did not create us to strike back in "equal" retribution, but it was better than what we were doing. He did not create women to be submissive to men or people to own other people, but if he could move us to more humane, loving treatment of each other, then we would be going in the right direction.

There is a better way. When we place these passages into their proper context -- using the entire bible as our guide, and placing them in our understanding of God and his loving nature, then we can see that.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Freedom in Scripture

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. Ephesians 6:5-8

There once was a time when those who called themselves Christians used the passage above to justify slavery. It seems impossible to us now, and we can agree now that this passage does not support slavery at all.
Why is it that we would believe that the following passage actually supports the idea that women must live their lives as submissive to their husbands?
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22-24
Why is it that there are some who would never support the horrible idea of slavery but would still say that the slavery described in the second passage is the will of God?
I suppose it's obvious that I have a pretty strong opinion in the matter.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Burdens and Grace

One of the illustrations I used today in my sermon in Barboursville:

Have you ever seen the movie The Mission? The film is set in South America, and there is a character named Rodrigo Mendoza. He is a mercenary and slaver of the indigenous people of the area. To condense the plot, Rodrigo kills his brother in a duel because Rodrigo’s fiancée has declared her love for the brother. Rodrigo has immense guilt over his action, even though legally, since it was a duel, he is not guilty of a crime.

A priest, Father Gabriel, challenges Rodrigo to take up a penance for this guilt. Rodrigo joins the Jesuits in their trip back to their mission, which is built above the Iguazu Falls (imagine Niagara Falls, only larger), but he drags with him a net containing his armor and weapons – through the forest and up the mountain to the mission. It’s a burden that is too large for anyone to carry anywhere, especially up a mountain.

We are like Rodrigo. We carry the burden of our sin with us, and we are stubborn. There are times when we refuse to let go of it.

God’s gift of his son, Jesus Christ, changed everything. Everything. No longer do we have to wonder what we are to do today to earn God’s grace. No longer are we on a treadmill of sacrifices. We never have to ask, “How long must I suffer in order to be forgiven.”


Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Boys' Backs

Attended a swim meet and a "pianorama" this weekend. Talented boys.


Friday, November 13, 2009


Steve and I went to G's swim meet this evening, and we were drafted into being timers. The job of a timer is to stand with a lane, start a stopwatch when he race begins and to stop it when the the swimmer touches the pad.

We were paired on lane 1. I was the clipboard person, recording the times, and Steve had the "pickle." Both of us had a stopwatch, and we both timed our lane. Steve had to push two buttons at the end of each race -- his stopwatch and the plunger on the pickle (to stop the time on the scoreboard.)

This was an unanticipated volunteer position. It was a surprise. What is the benefit of an unanticipated event?

  • You don't have much of a chance to say "no" when you are asked. You just do it. God sometimes give us too long of a time to say "no".
  • Watch out -- you are going to get wet. When the giant kid fell into the pool rather than diving in, we all got splashed. Involvement weather you wanted it or not.
  • Non-anticipation can lead to unexpected enjoyment.


Thursday, November 12, 2009


I'm behind in my reading for Disciple.

I'm behind in my preparation of our church's Advent devotional.

I'm behind in preparing a newsletter for mailing for our Emmaus Community.

I'm behind in getting our house ready for Thanksgiving.

I'm behind. I like being busy, but I do not like being stressed.

And how are you? ;-)

Image: Autumn trees in the park.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


This is the chalice we used for communion this evening. Can you see the bread reflected in it? That's the first thing I noticed about the chalice. do you see the vertical red shape in the middle of the reflection? That's me; I was wearing a red suit jacket.

I kept trying to get an image of the chalice with the reflection of the bread without me in it, but it was impossible.

I gave up when I realized that God doesn't want me to be out of the picture. Communion is a means of grace created to bring me (and all of God's children) into community with Christ. Remember him, and be re-membered, re-created in grace.

God want us to be transformed into the people we were meant to be, reflecting Christ.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I'm preaching in another church this Sunday. In addition to delivering the sermon, I'll be doing the Children's moment. The pastor of the church has started a series for the children's moments which she is encouraging lay people of the church to help with. At a supervisor's training a few weeks ago, we talked about the importance of "artifacts" in building team community.

She is asking lay people to bring in objects for the children's moment that they can talk about with the children -- telling them why the object reminds them of who they are or who they want to be.

So that it my challenge for the moment. What object can I take that can remind us of who we are and who we want to be? How can I relate it to stewardship?


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Monday, November 09, 2009


I've been hoping for about a year or more that our church would choose and adopt a new stewardship program. We've needed one. We keep doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. No surprise; the same program yields the same results each year; results which are OK, but not very stellar.

This year we are using the New Consecration Sunday program, and it feels right. It's good to be focused on the spiritual call to giving -- to the idea of hoping to help the congregation toward growth in this area. Following God's call will bring us all joy.

Part of this program is to present to the congregation a step chart of giving -- the number of people who give at each level of weekly support. No names -- just a count. It surprised me how few people give what I would consider a lot of money.

I was reminded on Sunday of how generous our congregation is when the members understand that their gift will make a difference. I had been hoping for a stewardship program for a while; why should I have been surprised to find that our church needs one? They are generous; I'm excited about this program, and hopeful it will provide the leadership necessary for spiritual growth.

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Five New Things

The Friday Five from RevGalBlogPals asks the question: "What five things do you ESPECIALLY like when they are new?"

  1. Lipstick is great when it is just purchased.
  2. I used to love fresh, new crayons. If I still used them, I would still love them when they were new.
  3. A blank book, a notebook, a notepad -- any of those are especially great before anything is written in them.
  4. I love new sheets. I love clean, freshly "installed" sheets almost as much.
  5. Fresh bread, just out of the oven, is like nothing else.
  6. Peanut butter, just opened, with a smooth, untouched surface is great.
  7. New socks fit perfectly and are much more comforting than new shoes.

OK, that's seven, not five, but I could probably come up with many more.

Image: Leaves in front of Guyandotte UMC.


Saturday, November 07, 2009


Beginning of day at Lavalette UMC.


Friday, November 06, 2009

Radical Faith

Cross-posted from the JM Devotional Ministry, written by me and used as this week's devotional.

Please read Mark 12:38-44

The second half of the Gospel reading from the lectionary this week is probably familiar to many of us. Jesus is sitting in the temple, watching as people place money in the treasury. A widow comes and deposits two copper coins, equal to about one penny. Jesus tells his disciples that she gave everything she had – “all she had to live on.” He contrasts that to the many people who had contributed out of their abundance.

What is it that the widow contributed? She gave a very small amount of money in the “grand scheme” of contributions given to the temple. For her, it probably represented all of her money. For her, it was not a “small” contribution.

But that’s not all she gave. She gave EVERYTHING. When she offered the two copper coins, she was offering them to God in faith. I imagine that she believed what she was doing for God was going to make a difference – what she was giving to God had POWER. Can you imagine that? Could you place yourself in her shoes and actually believe that giving a penny to God would make any kind of difference at all? That’s radical faith.

What difference DID it make? The gift of her faith brought her closer to God – it brought her the joy of living in relationship with her creator. When we step out in faith – when we take any kind of action that is in response to a call from God – we are brought closer to Him. I imagine it made a huge difference in her life, and I know it can make a huge difference in our own lives. Joy comes with radical faith in God.

Did the penny make any difference? When we step out in faith, and move to the calling of God, it’s not a stretch to believe that God gives our actions power. She might never have known how lives were changed through her penny; we may never know the consequences of our actions done in obedience to God, but we can believe that God knows, and that what he calls us to do in His name makes a difference to someone else.

Do you think the widow could have imagined that we would be learning from her actions, even today, over 2000 years later? Could she have dreamed that her donation of a penny – everything she had – would inspire you and me to faithful generosity?

What difference does it make? It makes all the difference in the world!

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Love and Duty

I was part of a conversation a few days ago with a pastor. He was discussing the possibility that some of us don't see a difference between duty and love.

Are there things that we do only out of duty and call love? Are duty and love tied together at time?

Duty speaks of obligation. There are things that I do out of obligation; I do them only because I have said that I would or because I have a responsibility to do them. It's not the same as actions taken out of love. Of course, there are times when I act out of obligation toward someone whom I love. I have an obligation to make sure my children do their homework, and because I love them, I want them to succeed in life, so I try to motivate them to do their homework out of love for them. Those two motivations could be separated, however.

What would it feel like to be loved out of duty? I don't think it would feel like love at all.

Love is grace. Duty is not.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Adam and Eve ate from the wrong tree, sinned, and were separated from God. From that point on, God's mission was set. Redemption.

The Bible is God's story of redemption.

I read part of Ruth's story today -- a story which culminates in her marriage to Boaz. She becomes the great-grandmother of David, and the ancestor of Jesus. I've always loved the story of Ruth, but today is the first time I really saw it as a step in God's work of redemption.

Relentless. Tenacious. Gracious and steadfast.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Random thoughts

Random Thoughts:

  • Being busy at work is good; worrying about the server crashing is bad.
  • I'm not quite sure who my older son's parents are. I mean, I know exactly who they are, but sometimes I look at him, and I wonder how we created such a terrific kid.
  • I'm not sure that granting my younger son's request for a facebook page was a good idea.
  • I love taking pictures in the fall; I wish I had more time to do it.
  • One good thing about our son being on the swim team is that he's learning how to work the dryer.
  • Our dog cuddles close in the winter and stays at the far end of the couch in the summer. I think she gets cold. She's fails to realize that she doesn't leave me any room at all. Or she doesn't care.

Image: Cabell County Court House


Monday, November 02, 2009

The theme for the November/December Alive Now is Refugees.

I was responsible for the devotional in our office meeting today, and that theme kind of stuck in my mind.

If we broaden the definition of refugee to mean someone who has entered a foreign land, then we are refugees. Our home is with God, and this place is separate from him.

It's hard to see God here. If it weren't for his grace, we wouldn't see him at all. He is hidden, and yet is right in front of us. He was hidden completely when he came to the world as a human, and yet, through that action, we were able to see him most clearly. He was hidden behind the veil of humanity, and yet revealed when that humanity died -- an action which revealed to us the very nature of the love of God (ideas from Weavings for this month -- Introduction).

We are refugees, chased, accompanied, and following a hidden and yet visible God. What we come to discover is that while we might be refugees in a foreign land, we are given refuge in our God, who is with us, never leaving us alone, even in this foreign land.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

I'll Fly Away

But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
All Saints Day.
Names, read in solemn, exact tones.
Family and friends, carrying candles,
Flames of remembrance,
carried to the altar,
brought close to the Holy seat of God,
in remembrance.
The church remembers
the ones who have gone before.
Whose fire of devotion has lighted the way,
like the candle.
Their names ring in our minds,
sung by God.
In this life, they were freed for joyful obedience.
As life continues, they are freed from illness and pain.
Flying on the wings of eagles,
Closer to God than they have ever been before.
As we mourn their loss,
we remember their God.
Our God.
And we pick up their faith,
singing of our God-given certainty of eternal life.
He has said it.
We will believe it.
We will proclaim it.
And we will order our steps
so that others will know
that it makes a difference.
Some bright morning when this life is over
I'll fly away
To that home on God's celestial shore
I'll fly away
I'll fly away oh glory
I'll fly away (in the morning)
When I die hallelujah by and by
I'll fly away**
*Isaiah 40:31
** I'll Fly Away by Albert Brumley
Image: Leaves on Court House block

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