Tuesday, January 16, 2018

WATCH WHERE YOUR FEET TAKE YOU


“…I will show you my faith by my deeds.”  (James 2:18b NIV)

Actions speak louder than words in the spiritual world... Jesus tells a parable about a man with two sons. He asks the first to do something for him. He asks the second to do the same. The first son says he won't do it, but then later does. The second son say he will do it, and then later on does not.

There are many reasons why doing is more important than saying. One is because of the very nature of words themselves. Words can be tricky. It's possible to misunderstand them...

Another reason that doing is more important than saying is because it's possible to say all sorts of stuff and really not mean it...

Frederick Buechner once said that if you want to know who you are, as opposed to who you like to think you are, watch where your feet take you. I think he said this because he knows this same truth: the feet don't lie about who we are, because the feet are involved in what we do, not just what we say.

Watch where your feet take you. Take some time to assess not just who you say that you are, but also who you are through what you do. Maybe it's time to recommit your life to not just saying for Christ, but also doing for Christ as well?

-- Copyright Eric Folkerth 1999. All Rights Reserved. (Used with Permission)


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Monday, January 15, 2018

THE THOUSAND-PIECE PUZZLE

Why am I a thousand-piece puzzle when everyone else is already put together?… Who am I now? Who am I, now that my loved one has died? …

All I seem to see are the scattered pieces of my life cast before me on the card table, waiting for me to pick them up and make the picture. But what picture do all these pieces form? I used to think I knew. I used to know who I was and where I was going and how I was going to get there. But now… I can't even remember where the puzzle begins and I end….

Am I still a mother if there is no child to tuck in at night? Am I still a dad if there is no one to loan the car keys to? Am I still a wife if there is no one to snuggle up to in my bed? Am I still a husband if there is no one waiting at home for me at the end of the day? Am I still a sister or brother if there is no one to tease? Am I still a child if my parent has died? Am I still a human being, capable of loving and being loved, if the one person I loved more than anything has become frozen in time? Who am I now that my loved one has died?…

Keep turning the puzzle pieces over. But don't keep trying to put them back into the same picture. That picture is gone. There is a new picture to be made of those scattered pieces. Search for that scene. Search for the new you... search for the new person you are becoming…

There is joy in living… if we allow time… to reassemble the thousand-piece puzzle.

-- Darcie D. Sims in TCF Salt Lake City January/February 2001 Newsletter


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Friday, January 12, 2018

NOTHING TO FEAR

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me;…”  (Psalm 23:4a ESV)

One of the greatest gifts we can give people is the hope that their death is nothing to fear - you know, not that it has no fear in it, but the promise of scripture is that God will lead us through the valley of the shadow of death.

-- Max Lucado


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Thursday, January 11, 2018

LEST WE FORGET

Rabbi Harold Kushner had a story I found thought provoking.  It is quoted in Thomas L. Friedman's book, “The Lexus and the Olive Tree”.  Since Friedman didn't reference it, I assume it can be shared.  At least, it's worth a try: There was a village where people were afflicted with strange plagues of forgetfulness, a kind of contagious amnesia.  Starting with the oldest inhabitants and working its way through the population, the plague causes people to forget the names of even the most common everyday objects.  One young man, still unaffected, tries to limit the damage by putting labels on everything.  "This is a table," "This is a window", "This is a cow; it has to be milked every morning".  And at the entrance to the town on the main road, he put up two large signs.  One reads, "The name of our village is Macondo," and the larger one reads, "God exists."

Friedman says, "The message is clear.   We can and probably will forget most of what we have learned in life -- the math, the history, the chemical formulas, the addresses and phone numbers of the first house we lived in when we got married -- and all that forgetting will do us no harm.  But if we forget that there is a God, something profoundly human in us will be lost."

--  U.M. Bishop William B. Oden in “The North Texas United Methodist Reporter”  November 3, 2000


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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

STITCH BY STITCH AND LOOP BY LOOP

“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.”  (Psalm 139:13 NIV)

Think about how God knit you together in your mother's womb. Our Father uses such a tender illustration of how He lovingly, and carefully created our being. He could have blasted us together, or snapped His fingers and we would have appeared, but He chose a more delicate process in which He could be intimately involved as He formed us in our mother’s womb... knit one, pearl two, knit one, pearl two.

Stitch by stitch, loop by loop, each one of our parts was delicately and carefully crafted by Almighty God. Your life is not the product of an impersonal evolution, but the result of a loving Father, who planned your creation before the foundations of the world, and took the time to knit you together in your mother's womb. You are a masterpiece, and your very existence brings much joy to your Father's heart.

-- Barry Adams in “Father's Love Letter”


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