Thursday, May 10, 2012
This is one of my favorite songs of all time. Mercy Me says it best--I can only imagine what heaven will be like. I can only imagine how I will respond to being surrounded by the glory of God. The good news is that while we can only imagine what it will be like, it will happen! As Christians that is one of the amazing promises we have from God. As God's children we have a heavenly hope. And not just hope, but the assurance that we will one day come before God's presence. That day could be today or tomorrow or a long time coming, but it WILL happen. So, knowing that God has so much in store for us, what are we doing TODAY for Him? Are we walking in the light, working to reach those who do not know God? Or are we content to sit back and let others do the work? We have been called into service by God. We are all have a job to do in the Kingdom. Are you doing your part?
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
WIIFM or rather "What's in it for me?" seems to be how most people approach most everything these days. Why should I help out at a soup kitchen? Why should I be kind to others? Why should I go to church? What's in it for me? While some might think that is a selfish question to ask, I don't. Seriously, Why should we do any or all of those things I mentioned in the first paragraph? The simple answer is that as Children of God we should feel the pull to help those in need and to be a part of the gathering of God's children. But nothing is ever that simple. Americans especially want to know what benefit they will receive for investing their time, talent and money into anything. While that seems on the service to be a bit shallow, it still rings true. So why should we do these things? Because God tells us to do them! We are repeated told in Scripture to help the needy, to take care of those who can't take care of themselves. We are also encourage not to forsake the meeting together of fellow Christians. It is at these times of worship and fellowship that we "recharge" our spiritual batteries in order to continue to do the things God expects us to do. I could give you a long list of Scripture to back this up, but I will settle for one from the Old Testament. Micah 6:8 tells us, "And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." If we follow that one verse, we can rest assured that we are doing what God expects of us. More importantly in our American culture, we will find what is "in it for me." What we will find is God's blessings poured out. Does that mean that we will never have troubles? Of course not! But it does mean that God will be with us through all those troubling times and never forsake us. Let us all do our best to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God, and experience what God will do for us!
Monday, May 7, 2012
Yesterday was a big day in our household. Amy was ordained as a Teaching Elder (formerly Minister of Word and Sacrament) in the PC(USA). Ordination is a "setting apart" for ministry. for Amy, that means she can now preside over the Lord's Supper and administer Baptisms as well as conducting weddings. But, in reality, it is so much more. Before ordination, Amy (and all who choose this path in the PCUSA) must first go through a long process of discernment (personally, by her home churches Session, and the Committee on Preparation for Ministry.) The is also the process of going before the Presbytery--to move from Inquirer to Candidate and to move from Candidate to being approved to receive a call and be ordained. While all that is going on, Seminary is required (for a Masters of Divinity Degree)as well as passing five written ordination exams. As you can see, it is a long process that was finally completed with her actual ordination yesterday! I am so very proud of Amy. She has come a long way on her journey, but in reality, it is just beginning. There will be many highs and lows that come from being in the ministry. Amy is more than ready to face them all head on. Anyone who knows Amy, knows that she has the heart of a servant. What more can you ask of any minister? So, the next time you see her, feel free to congratulate her, but in the mean time, pray for her as she begins this great adventure!