Wednesday, November 23, 2011

May God Bless You

May God bless you today and always.
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and the exploitation of people so that you may work for justice and freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain and rejection and starvation and war so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you, yes you, can make a difference in this world so that you can do for Christ what others claim cannot be done.

May God bless you with a heart that breaks for the things that break his heart.

May God bless you with a divine tenderness.

May God give you an ear that hears his voice.

May God increase the anointing upon your life, for you have been filled with the same Spirit that raised Christ from the grave.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”

Franciscan Prayer (from the blog of Jon Weece)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Unfinished Faith


It hurts to have a prodigal child. We dream such big dreams for our children.

How, I wonder, did Monica, the mother of Augustine, feel among her friends during those years when her brilliant young son, a leader in the heretical "Manichees", lived in open defiance of You?

You have to be brave to parent a prodigal child, Father. It's a hard thing to face the eyes of other parents, good parents, who had good children while you have a wandering one. Oh, they don't mean to be smug or to judge. It's just that they don't understand.

I know.

You do know, don't You? Sometimes You are disappointed in Your children, too.

Do not grow weary in doing good for you will reap a harvest if you do not give up.

You are the God who is able to do more than a parent asks or imagines that You can do in the life of a child.

I am the God of Abram, Isaac and Jacob. I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.

You are the Author and the Finisher of our faith.

Keep in step with the Spirit. Not ahead. Not behind. Walk in My ways.

Little Black Lamb

Fleeing from You
nothing he sees
of Your going before him
as he flees.

Choosing his own paths
how could he know
Your hand directs where he shall go?

Thinking himself free
-free at last-
unaware Your right hand
holds him fast.

Waiting for darkness
to hide in sight,
not knowing, with you
dark is light.

Poor prodigal!
seeking a "where" from "whence"...
how does one escape

~Ruth Bell Graham

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Afraid? Of What?

Afraid? Of What?
To feel the spirit's glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid~Of that?

Afraid? Of What?
Afraid to see the Savior's face
To hear His welcome, and to trace
The glory gleam from wounds of grace?
Afraid~of that?

Afraid? Of What?
A flash, a crash, a pierced heart;
Darkness, light, O Heaven's art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid~of that?

Afraid? Of What?
To enter into Heaven's rest,
And yet to serve the Master blest,
From service good to service best?
Afraid~of that?

Afraid? Of What?
To do by death what life could not~
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid~of that?

E.H. Hamilton

Friday, November 4, 2011

Take a Risk~Dream Big

How do I know what career I will love? Do I want a career? How will I know if I'm choosing the right mate? Will I enjoy life more if I'm single? Am I good at anything that matters? In the scope of things, do I even matter? Will God come through for me? Should I make the safe choices?

The thing I love most about college students is their unshakable belief that dreams can come true. Not necessarily for themselves, but in general. It's also the thing I love least because of obstacles like discouragement, self-doubt and fear.

After a couple of decades living a life imitating one's peers, learning to be oneself at 21 can be burdensome. New ideas, insights and choices intimidate as well as challenge young adults. Life decisions are not only overwhelming, but immediate.

Some of your choices and decisions may leave you disappointed. Accepting disappointments without losing focus on the dream is difficult. It's easier to give up, to become discouraged and even depressed when life doesn't look the way you planned.

Doesn't mean dreaming isn't worthwhile. Dreaming helps formulate goals. Be brave enough to take your dream out for a spin. God blesses from a heart of mercy and love. He is not only the Author of your faith, but the Finisher, able to do more than you ask or imagine in your life.

Your God is bigger than you think! Take a risk. What could you do with your life that would bring God to the edge of His seat? Dream big and dare to make it come true.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tucked into Sylvie's Jacket

Holly stretched weary muscles. Cold rain continued to stream down the window pane and she shivered with dread. Over a sigh born of exhaustion she picked up the laundry basket, walked through the cluttered living room and into the messy kitchen. Dishes were piled in the sink from breakfast. Counter tops were littered with various stacks of papers, toys and books. Spilled Cheerios crunched under her feet as she sat down the laundry and folded into a chair.

"I don't even know where to start," she whispered. "Every day begins this same way."

"Mama, can we have a tea party? I'm hungry," four year old Sylvie asked, crawling onto her mother's lap.

"Sure, honey," Holly softly answered.

"With real tea and cups and cookies and stuff?" begged Sylvie.

A tear slipped down Holly's cheeks as she snuggled the little girl closer to her. "With real tea and cups and cookies and stuff, Sylvie. I think we deserve a tea party. Shall we clean up the kitchen first and start the laundry?"

Sylvie nodded eagerly and hopped down, eager to help complete the morning chores. Little helping hands picked up one end of the laundry basket, efficiently dumping the clothes into the spilled Cheerios. "Oopsie!" she giggled.

Holly smiled and took a deep cleansing breath, knowing there is always a treasure to be found tucked into the corner of each extraordinary ordinary day. Some days you just have to search for it.

The work of a home is love made visible. Tuck a happy childhood into your little ones' jacket.