Monday, November 30, 2009


Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent--the Sunday that specifically looks at hope. But what is hope? Christian hope is not the same as how many people use the word. They say, "I hope it doesn't rain," or "I hope I pass this test." That is not the hope we are talking about. Christian hope is so much more.

On Thanksgiving Day we offered a free dinner to anyone and everyone that wanted to sit down with us. Rich or poor, saint or sinner. We prepared enough food for at least 100 people. Fifty people showed up. Some people would look at that as a failure on our part. I don't. We knew the Lord had something in store for the food that was provided. It was our hope in the Lord that led us to fix the amount of food we did. So what happened? Well, our refrigerator gave out and we were forced to find a place to store the food overnight. Our local Fire department generously provided the space. Then on the next day we took the food to Manna House (a place in Newton that provides meals for those who need them every day. When our members showed up with the food they found out that the Mann House's refrigerator had gone crazy during the night and frozen all the food that they were going to use for the meal that day. As the food was brought in to them--turkey, ham, veggies, and deserts--they felt it was a gift from God (and it was!) Instead of being in dire straights as to what to do, God provided food for the hungry through our abundance.

Now, some would say that it was just a coincidence that our refrigerator died and the Manna House's refrigerator went crazy, but I know better. God is in control and made sure that the food would be used for His blessings to be shared (though it would have been nice not to have to kill our refrigerator to accomplish His will!) The hope we have in God's provision for us and for others was greatly rewarded. THAT is the hope that we have--not simply a wish for something--but a knowledge that God is in control and will work His will in and through us if we just let Him.

Let the true hope of God shine through YOU this Crhistmas!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Never Forget

Today, the news is about the USS New York, the ship whose bow was constructed with 7.5 tons from steel from the Twin Towers. the ship's motto is "Never Forget." I agree that we must never forget the tragedy of 9-11-2001. But to be honest, I believe that there is something much more important that we must never forget--the fact that the Son of God gave His life for each of us.

Jesus, God incarnate, came to earth with the sole purpose of redeeming the lost. His mission was carried out and completed when he was willing to sacrifice himself for us on the cross and rose again on the third day. Forty days later, Jesus gave us a mission to carry out, a mission that remains unfinished--to seek and save the lost.

As Christians we come around the Lord's Table to remember what God has done for us. It is time for us to take that memory and let it prompt us to the service the Lord calls each of us to complete. "Never Forget" should be each Christian's motto as well. we must never forget what God has done for us AND what God commands us to do!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Learning to Co-exist

Well, it's official, Calvin will be staying with Kizzy and me for a while. It is just too much for Amy to give him the time he needs and do 30+ hours of Field education while a full time student. I am not sure how she can do it without Calvin!

Kizzy and Calvin are learning to co-exist. It isn't as easy as it was a few weeks ago. Calvin is a little bigger, bolder, and ornery! Kizzy is constantly making sure that Calvin is not "taking her stuff" while at the same time trying to take Calvin's stuff! And it isn't just Kizzy, Calvin is doing the same. As for me, I am adjusting to the extra care that Calvin needs and trying to get him on "my" schedule. It is an adjustment for all of us.

It is very similar to when new people come and get involved in the local church. The people who have been around the longest feel threatened by new people and the new people sometimes feel threatened by the "old guard." Just as Kizzy and Calvin need to continue to learn how to live together in peace and harmony, congregations have to learn to live together. This is the fusion that I often talk about. New ideas may come with new people and they need to be given a chance to be put into practice while making sure the "tried and true" is not abandoned in the process.

One of the biggest problems for Calvin and Kizzy is the food situation. Kizzy wants to eat the puppy food and Calvin wants to eat the puppy food AND Kizzy's food! In the church we need to make sure that those who are older in the faith don't get upset that the "newbies" are getting a special diet. Those who are new need the spiritual food that is good for them and those older in the faith new to move on to stronger spiritual food. It is simply the only way for us to do the work that God calls us to do.

So, let us all begin to work together to see the kingdom grow and set aside petty squabbles for the sake of the lost!