One of the devotionals I read each morning as I sit in my rocker up in my beautiful sanctuary is “In Touch” by Charles Stanley.
The word that’s cut off at the bottom of that cover photo is “dependent.”
Yes, I am blessed to be dependent! I am dependent on God for my very existence. I am dependent on His scripture, the Bible, for my daily bread! I am dependent on others for my companionship and the fulfillment of my daily mission: to follow the leading of Christ.
What will you do to encourage someone else today? Pray about it and follow where God leads you with a receptive and obedient heart.
Ever wanted to Wear your angel wings right now? Why wait for heaven?
Here I am in wings Before my heavenly home How did that happen?
Sadly, fifty-eight Beautiful souls were gunned down; But their souls live on.
Riverside City Has many wings on display For would-be angels.
They’re just waiting for Angelic folks like I’m not – Ready to pose there.
Doesn’t it look fun To pretend you’ve earned your wings Long before you do?
Keep working at it! You, too, can look angelic… Now – try acting it!!
After our angel tour in Riverside, we went with Janet and Charley to the Mission Inn. The Christmas decorations all still were up – only of course, the outdoor light display was not twinkling. We could see all the light bulbs, though. Must have been a million of them.
I hope you had a happy Saturday, too. You can see mine was quite enjoyable. I think I already see some feathers growing …
There are many ways to “give.” My mailbox is overflowing everyday this time of year for requests to give – donate to St. Judes or St. Joseph’s Indian School; donate to Foot and Mouth Painters or Salvation Army; make an extra donation to Guideposts or my church or the Food Bank. And don’t even ask me how many text messages and e-mails I receive each day from political candidates! Yes, giving money is one way to practice giving… and if you have dough to spare, there are needy, worthy causes out there.
But do you know for sure what percentage of your hard-earned bucks are going to the intended cause? Can you see the light in the eyes of the recipient?
Giving face-to-face changes your life as well as the recipient’s. Pay it forward in the grocery line. Give a hug. Share your talent at a nursing home … maybe it’s a visit and a hug or a half hour of your time to read a little from your favorite poems. Maybe it’s a meal in your home with friends you’d like to have a chance to know better. And you’d like them to know each other. Maybe it’s transportation to an appointment for someone without a car. Perhaps it is time with a child (yours or someone else’s… doesn’t matter… just be there!).
Think of giving in non-monetary terms. Give of yourself. Give joyfully! Why?
Give as the Lord’s Example
2 Corinthians 9:6-9 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”
God Bless You, dear Friends. Have you decided on an answer to “What’s in it for me?” I hope you’re having a “good” day. Thank you for being such generous givers! Tell me about the last time you “gave” – what was it?
Sermon notes from today’s service in Ennis. Montana – Rev. Steve Hundley Taken in poetry as I listened – written through JanBeek’s filters.
Church: A Miracle of God
I can’t scold you today – Not because we are in this place, Not because I’m in a good mood, But because of the love in this space.
Because of the words of Paul (the ones our Paul read so well today), I am encouraged to join in With what Gentle Jesus had to say.
He wrote to the Thessalonians While he was out traveling, making a tent, “We were gentle among you,” He said. “We spoke soft words – whispered encouragement.”
Paul’s words to other churches Were not so gentle and kind. But to the Thessalonians, He set aside Sternness – and praised the ties that bind.
The Gospel is a powerful book. It can and does transform lives. We are astonished at how God’s Word Teaches, changes folks, lives, and survives.
The church, like the one in Thessalonica, Is a place where people love and give. They pray for you, they stay with you, They make life better and help you live.
Our old church in McAllister, Montana was built in the early 1900s. It has no running water, so when we use it for church services once a year, we have to rent a porta-potty, chase the mice away, and clean the mouse droppings from the chairs and alter.
But, it is a place that reminds of how simple God’s church can be. It doesn’t have to be a large, elaborate cathedral to be worshipful.
It is not the building that makes a church. In the early days, many of the “church services” were held in people’s homes. Some people in today’s world still hold their worship services in living rooms, tents, or on an open hillside. The Miracle of God that is His Church is not the place, but the people.
Wherever we gather, with the focus on worship of our God, He is with us. That’s what Paul was telling the church of Thessalonica.
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 was what our scripture volunteer, Paul Carlson, read to us today:
“Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous, and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory. And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.”
As Christians, members of His Church, that is our goal: to hear His Word, and respond to it by encouraging, comforting, and urging fellow Christians to live lives that demonstrate He is indeed at work in us. That is what makes our church “God’s Miracle.” Not the building, but we, the people.
Whether we are in our old McAllister treasure, or our salmon-colored church in downtown Ennis, our job is to love one another, support one another, and spread the Word to those who may not know the Peace of Christ that “passeth all understanding.”
Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
God Bless You, my friends. I hope you have the joy of a supportive church family. And I pray that you are one of those who is God’s hand at work in this world. Have a lovely Sunday night.
Each morning, just before I leave my sanctuary and head down the stairs to tackle the new day, I write in my Thankfulness Journal. It reminds me to begin each day with an Attitude of Gratitude.
So, as this page in the journal suggests, I do just that… I take about 5 minutes to reflect back on the day before… and I write down three things for which I am grateful. Sometimes I can’t stop at three (I’ll squeeze in 4 or 5), and other days (like last week when I was so annoyed at the persistent hacky cough), I can only think of one thing… “Life.” But, always there is SOMETHING for which to be thankful.
Here are the two pages for last week’s entries:
Every month or so, there is a page for reflection – a question to ponder. Today, the page said, “today i am gratetful” and the page across from it invited me to write about a place I am thankful I had the opportunity to visit.
Think about how you would respond to such a prompt. Tell me a place for which you are grateful.
When thinking about a place, this is what came to my mind:
Yesterday I worked at the Food Bank. The shelves were mighty bare. It’s because some folks are getting ready to replace the worn out carpet in there. I am grateful for the Food Bank, for those who donate food and those who donate time, for those who donate money and those who Care and Share in a ton of ways.
Today Bob & I are going to Helena, MT. We have been invited to an AARP Volunteers’ Recognition dinner there. I will tell you all about it tomorrow. It is our privilege to volunteer our time during these “Golden Years” to help those who need it. I am grateful today to Elaine Forsberg who nominated us as “Montana State Volunteers” worthy of mention. We do it for the Glory of the One who blesses us. Giving back is our greatest joy.