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Daily Devotion – January 27, 2018
01.27.18

Mark 1:16-20

 

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

Walking along the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea – for they were fishers.  And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.”  And immediately they left their nets and followed him.  And going on a little farther, Jesus saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets.  Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired help, and followed him.*

 

Devotion by Julia Shiver

What was it about Jesus, a carpenter, that he called to these men and they dropped everything – job, family, to follow him.  What was it about these men that they would drop everything – job, family, to follow him?  What did Jesus see in these men to even call them?

Lots of questions, but not many answers.  If I were on that shore, would Jesus have picked me?  Would I have what he was looking for in a disciple?

Even more importantly, would I, could I, have left everything I had ever known to follow this man?  I have been called into discipleship with Jesus.  I have been called into ministry with Jesus.  God has been with me every step of the way.

What would I do if Christ asked me to leave everything I knew and loved to follow him?

 

*The New Testament and Psalms:  An Inclusive Version.



Moving….Day Something…
01.26.18

The days are starting to blur.  Requests for meetings and bulletin information at the new place.  Goodbyes, delegating, and final packing details at the old place.  Fierce love for two congregations.  Concerns about how the move will affect Dayo and Gracie, our cats.  Concern for Allen in his own transition.

It’s enough to make you want to crawl back under the covers.

About a year ago, in the midst of a sinking spell, I prayed to God, “Holy One, the path has grown so dark.”  A response came:  “Light the way with thank yous.”  Wouldn’t you know?  It’s worked every time.

In the coming days and weeks, there will be many people to thank.  Today, I want to thank one person, in particular–Pilgrimage’s Administrative Assistant Lynne Buell.

I’ve often said that Lynne far surpasses any Admin I could dream up.  (And I’m a big dreamer!)  She’s extremely competent, creative, kind, and exudes love for people and for Pilgrimage UCC.  The church is–and will continue to be–blessed beyond measure by Lynne’s work and presence among them.

Lynne, working with you has been one of the great joys of my life.  Thank you!



Daily Devotion – January 24, 2018
01.24.18

Psalm 62:11-12

Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
For you repay to all
according to their work.

Reflection by Duke Yaguchi

This psalm contradicts what I’ve learned about God. My understanding is that God loves us, and we are to love God in response. But here, it appears that we are to bestow love and power to God, and in response, God repays or responds to us. Does it make a difference?

Let’s take another look. If we love God because we expect God’s love in return, then the ancillary would be true. If we don’t love God, God will not love us. I can envision a world of diminishing love. Without God’s love, people could become skeptical, resentful, and angry. In response of a lack of love from God, people would love God less. This makes sense in a world centered around humanity.

Now let’s flip it. What if God loves us no matter what? Then even if we don’t show love back, at least there would be God’s love in the world. This is more of a God centered world, because God’s love would be constant and assured. There would still be love in the world, even if mankind could not muster any love at all.

Does it make a difference? It does to me. If God’s love is constant, then there is always hope for God’s love and grace to triumph over humanity’s shortcomings. Not everyday that a daily devotion respectfully disagrees with the Bible selection! I’m not saying that I am right. Just providing some food for thought.

Prayer

Dear Lord, I humbly believe differently from today’s reading. I choose to believe in Your steadfast love. May my responsive love please You. Amen.



Sermon: “Fishers of People” (Epiphany 3); Mark 1:14-20 [1/21/18]
01.22.18

Have you heard about the new appointment in Great Britain?  On Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May appointed a Minister for Loneliness.  The move came in response to a 2017 report that “more than nine million people in the country often or always feel lonely.”

“For far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life,” Ms. May said in a statement.  “I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones — people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with.”

When I saw this report, I did a double-take to see if I had clicked on The Onion instead of the regular paper.  I hadn’t.  The UK’s undersecretary for Sports and Civil Life, Tracey Crouch, is now the country’s Minister for Loneliness.

Don’t get me wrong.  Prolonged loneliness can be devastating–physically, emotionally, perhaps even nationally.  “Government research has found that about 200,000 older people in Britain had not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month.”  And former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy notes that loneliness brings with it “a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression and anxiety.”  It’s true.  Loneliness can quickly diminish our quality of life.  It’s even been known to shorten lives.

But can a cure for loneliness be legislated?  Can a government appointment solve a spiritual problem?

On the same day I read the article about the UK’s new Minister of Loneliness, I read this in Psalm 68:  “God creates families for those who are alone.”  (Psalm 68:6)

That rang a bit truer for me…largely because of what I have experienced here at Pilgrimage.  It’s not so much that this church is a family.  Churches that call themselves “family” often become insular and hard for newcomers to feel a part of.  That’s not been the case here.  I’ve seen you be there for each other in every aspect of your lives–through the births and baptisms of babies, through marriages, deaths, and everything in between.  At the same time, you welcome newcomers as if they already are family.  I remember hearing Neil Clark once say this to a newcomer:  “We don’t know you, but we love you.”  That about sums it up.

There is something special about this place.  It’s not just that you’re a church.  It’s not just that you’re ONA.  It’s not just that you’re small enough for “everyone to know your name.”  Somehow, it’s all those things together.  Somehow, somewhere along the way, Pilgrimage United Church of Christ decided to become a community of Jesus’ followers.  You are such a gift to the wider community!  There are so many people who are looking for a community just like this one.

…which is why it’s disconcerting to learn that folks like Trudy and Cathe drove by here for years without knowing who or what we are.  How did that happen?  Who’s driving by right now who would love to participate in a church like this one?  How do we get folks up the hill?

Based on what guests to Pilgrimage tell me, at this point there are two things that work hardest to bring folks up the hill–the website and the sign down by the road, the one that says, “Jesus didn’t reject people; neither do we.”  I’m telling you–when that sign wears out, buying a new one will be well worth the investment.  Just look at who it’s brought up the hill!  Cathe, Carlos and Richard…

Image result for jesus didn't reject people picture

So, how do we—how do you–get more folks up the hill?  How do you let them know that, even though you don’t know them, you love them?  That even though you don’t know them, you do know that God has, does, and will always love them?

Last week, we eavesdropped on Jesus’ call to Nathanael.  When Philip told Nathanael about his encounter with Jesus of Nazareth, Nathanael cynically responded:  “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”  Jesus reached Nathanael by reminding him of some private thing that had happened while he was sitting under a fig tree.  “Before Philip went to call you, while you were sitting under the fig tree, I saw you.”  Nathanael immediately responded:  “Rabbi!  You are God’s Own; you are the ruler of Israel!”

Jesus takes a different tack with Peter, Andrew, James, and John.  He goes out to the lakeshore and watches them ply their trade of fishing.  Then he invites them to “Follow me.  I will make you fishers of humankind.”  The minute he says it, the two sets of brothers drop their nets and follow Jesus.

On the face of it, Jesus telling some fishermen, “I will make you fishers of humankind,” sounds like a cute turn of literary phrase.  But maybe it went deeper than that.  Maybe in extending the invitation to “fish for people,” Jesus was inviting Peter, Andrew, James, and John to use their work in helping them to follow Jesus.

How might the work of fishing for fish have shaped their work of fishing for people?

It probably gave them a ready pool of co-workers and clients with whom to share the good news.  Because they were fishermen, they knew how to talk with fishermen.  Because they knew fish, they knew how to talk with people who bought and ate fish.  Their jobs as fishermen gave them specific knowledge of the area, of the people, of the weather, of the economics of the region…  When you think about it, Jesus’ selection of these fishermen as part of his band of disciples probably wasn’t random.  I suspect he knew exactly what he was doing.  He knew that their work life, their unique skills equipped them to do the work of sharing God’s vision for the world.  When it came to acting the world into wellbeing in God’s name, the skills and contacts of the fishermen were going to be crucial.

But of course, Jesus didn’t only call fishermen.  He also called a tax collector, a zealot, and probably a couple of tradesmen.  As Jesus created his community of confidants, he seems to have given some thought to the diversity of gifts and skills of those he was calling.  It’s a theme the Apostle Paul will take up years later when he describes the church as the body of Christ.  We can’t all be hands or feet or eyes or ears.  If we were all feet, where would the seeing be?  If we were ears, where would the smelling be?  We all have gifts to use and skills to employ in helping to build up the body of Christ…and together as the body of Christ, we have the opportunity to use that diversity of gifts and skills to act the world into wellbeing in Jesus’ name.

So, what is your gift?  What are your skills?  If Jesus were to watch you at work–or see you engaged in your favorite hobby–how would Jesus call you?  “Follow me and I will make you…what? for people.  Administer?  Write?  Teach?  Code?  Account?  Nurse?  Sing?  Serve?  Organize?  Clean?  Exercise?  Paint?  What are your gifts?  What are your skills?  How might God be calling you to use those gifts and skills to act the world into wellbeing in God’s name?

And how might God use the diverse array of gifts and skills in this community to act the East Cobb area into wellbeing?  How might you as the body of Christ here on Sandy Plains Road communicate who you are so that the people who are desperate to find a place just like this will know you’re here?  How will you use your wide diversity of gifts to proclaim from this hilltop that the community for which so many are longing is right here?

I got most of this sermon written early last week.  By Saturday, it still wasn’t finished.  About midday, Allen asked if my sermon was done.  (He’s a brave man.)  I told him no, I hadn’t finished it.  “I don’t know how.”

I was trying to inject some humor into the process…but late yesterday afternoon as I stared at the blank page on the computer screen waiting for something to emerge, it hit me—I really DON’T know how to finish this sermon.  We’ve gotten far enough in this goodbye process that I really don’t know how you might use your wide diversity of gifts to proclaim from this hilltop that the community for which so many are longing is right here.  Offering a vision of where God might be leading Pilgrimage…that’s no longer my job.  Now that job is yours.  And as I said last week, you’ve already gotten a good start on living into your future as a community of Jesus’ followers…which is exactly as it should be.

I might not know precisely what direction you’re heading now, but I do know one thing that will help guide you as you discern the way forward.  In both worship services today, we’re baptizing children—Emily and Carson Stoddert at 8:30 and Josephine at 10:00.  We all pledged our support to Trudy and Carlos and Richard to assist them in any way we can to nurture these children into faith until they are able to claim it for themselves in confirmation.  In the simple ritual of baptism, we acknowledged the lives of these beautiful children, welcomed them into this community, and promised to be there for them.

I want to suggest another pledge you might make—not just today, but with every child’s baptism.  Perhaps you might also promise to learn from these children.  As you consider their lives—their futures—what might that say about the future of faith, the future of this community?  One of the Christmas Eve Scripture texts ends with these words:  And a child shall lead them.  What if that’s not just about the Messiah being born, but about all children?  All youth?  Might these children—Emily, Carson, and Josephine…all the children in our midst—might these children be leading you into the future God has planned for you?  There’s only one way to find out….

reallifepastor | January 21, 2018


Daily Devotion – January 22, 2018

Psalm 62:9

 

  1. Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie;

If weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath.

 

Reflection by Darlene Wagner

 

The brevity of the human life span is typically a source of sorrow and fear. Our 70-

something/80-something life spans are tiny compared to the timescale of Earth and

the powers that brought Her into being. Worldly human preoccupations such as

wealth, status, and fame are all dwarfed into nothingness against a backdrop of a

four-billion-year-old Earth. Many people in the 21st century who claim to have faith

in “God” refuse to believe in such grand time scales. Yet, Earth and the surrounding

solar system provide a testimony to the immense Divine Spirit which brought them

into existence. The older and larger the Universe, the larger the Divine. The blind

dogma of human institutions, the political games of ambitious individuals, and the

rat-race of consumerism are all nothing on a Divine scale of time and space.

 

Meditation:

 

Great Mother breaks the will of scoffers blinded

In their hubris, teaching them humility.

Yet, in her generosity she bolsters up

The lowly with her dignity, consoles

The sorrow-struck with tenderness, and feeds

The hungry with her richest sustenance!

 



Daily Devotion – January 21, 2018
01.21.18

Psalm 62:8

8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
   pour out your heart before him;
   God is a refuge for us.
          Selah

Devotion by Anne Mooney

I am grateful scripture gives us this reminder to trust God.  Sometimes I forget that God is there for me, that I am never alone.  I work at remembering this fact with daily routines of scripture reading and prayer.  Weekly worship and time spent with others in spiritual practices helps, too.  But when I forget that God is always with me, I feel alone, desolate, and frantic.

When my husband moved out of our home, I felt very alone and afraid.  I thought the loneliness would swallow me up.  I remembered to pray then.  It was about all I could do at the time.  On the first night he was gone, I got a call as I was going to bed.  It was a friend who lived nearby.  He had children who often spent time with mine.  His wife had been in a wreck and it looked like they’d be at the emergency room for a long time.  He asked if I could help by keeping his girls overnight and get them to school in the morning.  His request was a gift to me.  It was a reminder that I wasn’t alone.  It also showed me that God had plans for my life that went beyond my marriage.  My friend’s plea for help was a comfort and an answer to prayer.

Prayer

Hear my prayer, O God.  Watch over and comfort me in my grief.  Listen to my cries when I am afraid and alone.  Give me courage to face the day.  Amen



Daily Devotion – January 20, 2018
01.20.18

Psalm 62: 7

On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

 

Reflection by Monty Wyne

In these uncertain and troubling times, it’s nice to know God has your back. These are angry times. Many times hate overshadows love and understanding. Drowns out reason and compromise. Makes the world feel like a dark and overwhelming place. Where is the light, I’ve asked myself?

 

And then, this morning, I discovered an email in my inbox. It was from a trusted friend. We go back to the Vietnam era, also dark times. We were on the other side. Both second lieutenants in the Air Force. We were the enemy, the scapegoat. Reviled versus honored and respected.

 

I was going to delete the email because I was so overwhelmed with work. But for some unforeseen reason I opened it. The first thing I saw were the words Good ol’ Charlie Brown. As I scrolled, and my eyes moved down the page, I stopped. It said, Remembering Charles Schulz. One of my heroes. And then I saw the Header: THE WISDOM OF PEANUTS. There sat Snoopy and Woodstock, “Never Forget To Smile,” read the caption.

 

I continued to scroll. Next came Charlie Brown and Linus, sitting on a bench, forlorn. “Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening. It just stops you from enjoying the good stuff,” read the caption. And then came Charlie with Snoopy hugging him, “I don’t have time to worry about who doesn’t like me…I’m too busy loving the people who love me.”  God, I felt great. I was smiling ear to ear.

 

I scrolled on! There was Charlie and Snoopy once again. Snoopy hugging him with all his might and the caption drew a tear, “I love the kind of hugs where you can physically feel the sadness leaving your body.” This was light in the darkness. This was love. This was hope. This was something I almost dismissed because I was too busy to take the time.

 

Well, there is no doubt in my mind that God is my mighty rock and my refuge. And I take comfort in that. Or as Snoopy put it, ”When my arms can’t reach people who are close to my heart…I always hug them with my prayers.”  So that’s my devotion and my prayer. And I’d like to leave all who read this with one last thought. Click on the link below.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=Remembering+Charles+Schulz+the+Wisdom+of+Peanuts&client=firefox-b-1-ab&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6p4uz6ObYAhUDRa0KHWRJDiUQsAQIOg&biw=1600&bih=788



Daily Devotion – January 18, 2018
01.18.18

Psalm 62:5

My soul, wait in silence for God only,

For my hope is from Him.

 

Devotion by Molly Broderick

In my old, ratty Bible (my kids just laughed when I called it that). OK, my old, well-used Bible, I wrote the word “expectation” in the margin of this verse with an arrow pointing to the word “hope.”

Expectation is a good word for hope. But boy do I get disappointed by expectations a lot! I expect my kids to obey me. I expect my husband to always be sensitive and meet all my needs. I expect the weather to be nice. And on and on. I have a lot of unrealistic expectations.

But when I hope in God, when I expect good from him, I receive! Hope in God is never misplaced. In fact, hope in God is the only sure and realistic place for my hope and my expectations. Even when my expectations are not met in the short term, I have hope that God is making all things new and will bring peace to the world one day.

My Rock and My Salvation, my hope and expectation is in You. May I always trust in the goodness of God.

 



Daily Devotion – January 17, 2018
01.17.18
Psalm 139:16-18
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
I try to count them-they are more than the sand;
I come to the end-I am still with you. 
 
Reflection by Janet Derby
 
Uncertainty is one of the most difficult aspects of changes in our lives. Whether we are changing jobs or moving or dealing with a difficult time, it seems that once a determination about our direction is established, the change becomes a little easier to accept. The psalmist believes that though we do not, God knows our future. Perhaps that can be a comfort to us in times when we are unsure of the future.
Prayer
All-knowing God,
Help me to trust that whatever is coming my way, you will be with me and guide me. Amen.


Sermon: “Listen!” (Epiphany 2; John 1:43-51) [1/14/18]
01.15.18

Lately here at Pilgrimage, there’s been a lot more talk of feeling “called” to do something than of simply filling slots.  Instead of—“Since no one else will do it, I guess I will”–people are saying, “I think God is calling me to do this or that.”  A case in point is our new VP, Trudy Stoddert.  Here’s what Trudy wrote me in an email.

I am super. freaking. nervous. When Matthew started asking about folks being interested, I had a thought to do it, then I was like “You (roller derby word) lunatic. You’re already stretched so thin …you don’t need this.”

Then, every time Matthew got up during announcements and said he was still looking for someone, I kept feeling that pesky tug on my heart that we all know who’s doing the tugging. But I still tried to ignore it. I always over commit myself and I’ve got so much going on; I wouldn’t do the position justice.

Then I stepped down from my chair position with the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.  Then a month later I stepped down from my Board of Directors position with Atlanta Junior Roller Derby.

Then Matthew made another announcement and after church I found my feet bringing me over to him and my mouth opening and saying “Hey, I might be interested.” And honestly, I almost slapped my own self right then and there…what the Sam Hill was I thinking?? But then another person overheard me saying that someone would have to take over the communications chair and they poked their head into the convo and mentioned that they might be interested in that…or at least doing some of the communications stuff so I could vacate that position. That was the next sign that this was what I was supposed to do.  So I told Matthew I would think about it over the holidays.

Then I asked Ben to chat with me about what to expect as the VP and then as the prez (gulp).  He offered his confidence in me and offered to help me as much as possible when I become the prez, so that sealed the deal. I emailed Matthew the next Monday.

I have a lot to learn about the UCC in general and PUCC (historically and such) so I can go into the prez position with enough knowledge to be a responsible leader.

And man, am I still super nervous.

When I asked Trudy if there was anything in the statement she’d like me to edit before making it public, she said, “Just tell them you edited it to make it more sermon-appropriate, because we all know Trudy is really an old drunken sailor disguised as a middle-aged mother.”

************

By virtue of our baptisms, each of us is called by God to use our gifts in the community.  In fact, that’s why we have the gifts we have–so that we can use them to build up the body of Christ.  So, how do we figure out what our gifts are?  How do we hear our calling?  As Trudy’s story demonstrates, if we want to hear our calling, we’re going to have to listen.

Trudy listened to all kinds of things as she discerned her call to the VP position.  She listened to Matthew’s announcements; she listened to the needs of the Pilgrimage community; she listened to her own needs in terms of commitments—and her penchant to over-commit.  The thing to which she listened most intently was the strange stirring inside her, the force that took her feet where she hadn’t planned for them to go.  Our Executive Committee is now fully-staffed because Trudy listened to God’s call in her life.

It’s been a joy to watch you make your plans for the pastoral transition.  It’s also sad and a little surreal not to be involved in that planning…but mostly, watching you plan for Pilgrimage’s future and seeing how engaged you are in that process makes me very happy.  It makes me especially happy that Cathe and Tom will be joining Pilgrimage today.  Who joins a church when the pastor is leaving?  Visionaries….people who are able to see that a church is about so much more than its pastor.  Church is about a community acting the world into wellbeing in God’s name.  Tom and Cathe today are answering that call.

So, by virtue of our baptisms, we all are called by God to engage in the important work of acting the world into wellbeing.  In order to hear God’s call to us, we have to listen.  And while old-drunken-sailor-middle-aged-mom-roller-derby-goddess-new-VP Trudy Grenon Stoddert has given us a terrific example of how to listen to God’s call, it’s not always easy, is it?  Sometimes, there’s so much static on the line, it’s nigh on impossible to hear God’s call.

So what causes static?  What prevents us from God’s call?  For one thing, we might find the idea of “listening to God’s call” strange or hard to understand.  Or we might find our lives too busy to listen.  Or we might not believe ourselves important enough or gifted enough for God to even notice us, much less to call us to some specific task.

There’s another source of static that’s kind of hard to own up to…it’s the thing that gets in the way of Nathanael hearing Jesus’ call in today’s Gospel lesson:  prejudice.

When Philip comes to Nathanael, excited about his encounter with Jesus, in not-so-nice language, Nathanael reveals his prejudice –“Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (Program note:  I wrote this next sentence before Thursday’s news cycle.)  Nathanael’s regionalism–perhaps even racism–blinds him to the good that might come from the person reared in what he considered to be a backwater of the region.  Jesus persists and reminds Nathanael of something we’re not privy to.  When that happens, Nathanael’s tune changes completely.  ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’  Suddenly, Nathanael is able to set aside his bias and hear Jesus’ call.

The connection between today’s Gospel lesson and this week’s comments by our president couldn’t be clearer.  Old-drunken-sailor words used playfully by a middle-aged-roller-derby goddess is a completely different thing than our nation’s president crudely denigrating entire nations of people because of the color of their skin.  As fruitful as exploring the connection between today’s Gospel lesson and this week’s events might be, I invite us instead to hear today’s Gospel lesson in the context of our life together as a community.

So…what’s creating static in God’s attempts to call you?  Is there any static on the line in God’s call to this community?  Are there biases?  Are there prejudices?  Who have you already written off as a bearer of God’s message to you?  Who in this community aren’t you seeing?  Who aren’t you hearing?

In his short book outlining community life, Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer identifies the “ministry of listening” as a key aspect of community life.  Isn’t that great?  The ministry of listening.  (It’s not inconsequential that this section is preceded by one called “the ministry of holding one’s tongue.” J)

Bonhoeffer writes:  “The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them.  Just as love to God begins with listening to God’s Word, so the beginning of love for the community is learning to listen to its members…”

God is creative.  And playful.  God speaks to us through all kinds of people.  If we write some people off from the get-go, though, it doesn’t matter how loudly God is speaking through them, we aren’t going to get the message.

As you seek to use your gifts to build up this community, through whom might God be calling you?  As you as a community discern God’s call for you in the coming weeks and months, through whom might God be speaking?  What might happen if you open your minds and hearts to someone—or someones—you’ve never before considered being a bearer of God’s word?  What might happen if you recommit yourselves again to the ministry of listening?

Listening to you all these last 16 years, God has said some crazy things…

Ric Reitz:  “What about stained glass windows?”  My response:  “We aren’t a stained glass window church.”

Chris Shiver when we were gluing glass to the mosaic cross:  “I could engrave words on the glass.”  My response:  “No.  I don’t think so.”  Ric Reitz, when I told everyone to fill in all the remaining blank spaces with glass on Palm Sunday that year, “But isn’t God still speaking?”

Holly CothranDrake:  “Let’s start a Joys and Concerns page on Facebook.”  My response:  “Oh, no.  I don’t think that will work.”

Julie Binney and Janet Derby at separate times.  (I’m still trying to decide if that was a coordinated effort. J):  “Hey, Kim.  I heard about this great program called Family Promise.  Do you think we might participate?”  My response:  I’d already thrown the Family Promise materials in the trash.

Based on this list, it sounds like you all might do very well if I just get out of the way!  J  Seriously.  You are some of the most authentic, compassionate, creative people I have ever known.  Your gift for hospitality is astonishing.  I have no doubt—no doubt—that God has great things in store for you.  And because I have learned so much from listening to you, I have no doubt that you have much to learn from listening to each other.  God isn’t just speaking TO you, God is speaking THROUGH you to each other.  Want to know how to find the way forward on this next leg of your journey?  Listen to the still-speaking God.  Listen to the tugging inside you that we know who’s doing the tugging.  And listen to each other.  Who knows?  God just might have some more crazy things to say.

Image result for listen with the ear of your heart

In the name of our God, who creates us, redeems us, sustains us, and hopes for our wholeness.  Amen.

Kimberleigh Buchanan  ©2018