Sunday, April 21, 2013

Who is My Neighbor?

The following thoughts/quotes are taken from the sermon we heard at Calvary Church this morning. Our guest speaker, Steve Moore from Missio Nexus, challenged us to think about what we call the story of the Good Samaritan, from Luke 10.

"It's a small world after all, and it's getting smaller faster."

"As the world gets smaller, the neighborhood gets bigger and loving your neighbor gets harder." 

"Information is the gateway to responsibility...Seeing leads to compassion, which leads to action."

 1. How you respond to the needs of others is determined by whom you love the most. If you want to become more compassionate to others, become more intimate with God.

 2. Find your passion and you will find your neighbor. What kingdom resources (gifts, talents, etc.) are inside of me? Use them to bless other people. 

3. Do for a few what you wish you could do for many.

These thoughts were helpful to me as I prepare to leave for Mozambique later this week. Poverty and suffering are rampant there, and I cannot meet the needs of everyone. But I will have the opportunity to touch a few lives, and I pray God will help me do that well. When I come home, I hope and pray these thoughts will impact my life here in the USA, and will give me insight in how to live my life here.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


" God pours his love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us." Romans 5:5

Oswald Chambers says, " you have to 'work out' what God 'works' in you ... so you will exhibit the evidence of a life based with determined, unshakable faith in the compete and perfect redemption of the Lord..."

God pours His love into our hearts.  Don't block the flow or hoard it. Instead, display the evidence!

Friday, March 11, 2011

What Should I Give Up for Lent?

Lent is traditionally a time of remembrance and sacrifice. On Sunday our pastor encouraged us to give up something during Lent to help us remember the suffering of Jesus - to "journey" to the cross with Jesus. I've held back from declaring what I intend to give up. Friends are giving up chocolate, sweets, facebook, and other various pleasures. While I've given up different things in the past, I don't feel like any of those would be much a sacrifice for me. So far the best suggestion I've seen this year came from Ann Voskamp, who suggest giving up ingratitude for gratitude. I've been thinking about what it would look like to truly give up my self, not just a "guilty pleasure." Less of me - more of Jesus; less of my agenda - investing more time in another person. Definitely worthy sacrifices, but, oh so difficult to put into practice. I'm still asking God to show me what He would like me to do.

"My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, you will not despise." Psalm 51:17

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

- Isaiah 58:3-8

Sunday, January 23, 2011


A few weeks ago, this blog post by Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience inspired me to consider memorizing Colossians this year. I really didn't want to formally commit to it, because I was afraid I would fail. So I just sort of toyed with the idea, rolled it around in my head, and thought about it some more. I even learned a verse or two, but I was still unwilling to say or think, "I am going to do this." However, this Sunday, I decided to make the commitment when my pastor challenged our church to spend more time listening to God. A friend or two has even agreed to join me on this adventure, and I think that will help keep me on track.

By the way, the original meaning (around 1590) of the word memorize is "to commit to writing." It wasn't until around 1838 that memorize came to mean to commit to memory (or the mind). It's my desire that memorizing Colossians will not only commit the book to my mind, but to my heart and that the results will be seen in my life.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A First Step Toward Simplicity

Last week my facebook status read, "Why am I so attracted to books on organizing when I am so seldom organized?" I feel the same way about simplicity. I say I want to live a simple life, but too often I make it complicated. This week I've been working on Chapter 1 of Becoming a Woman of Simplicity. Part of the assignment was to meditate on Psalm 23 and answer some questions about what it means. Today I am posting a personalized application of Psalm 23 which I wrote out several years ago.

Praying through Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; God cares for me. He provides for all my needs, and guides me on my way, just like a shepherd cares for his sheep. I can trust Him.

I have everything I need. I can be content. I don’t have to worry about food, or clothing, or a place to sleep. God will provide for me. I can trust Him.

He lets me rest in green meadows. Rest! I can be at peace. I don’t have to be agitated. I don’t have to be perfect to receive God’s love. He gives me rest instead. I just have to trust Him.

He leads me beside peaceful streams. Peace! Walking or sitting beside a stream (or any kind of water) is my idea of the perfect day. Enjoying God and His creation produces calmness of spirit in me. I am content just to be with Him. He knows the way, so I don’t have to worry about where to go. I can trust Him.

He renews my strength. When I feel weak, God gives me His strength. He makes me a new creation! (Gal. 2:20) Troublesome circumstances look different when I have His perspective. I can trust Him.

He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. I don’t have to rely on my own skills, or find my own way. He will show me the best way to honor Him. I don’t have to worry or fret about where I am going. I can trust Him.

Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. The darkness isn’t scary, because God, the shepherd, is right beside me. Fear is gone, because the shepherd nurtures and protects me. I can trust Him.

Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. God’s discipline is for my good. His discipline shapes my character. I can trust Him.

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. I can trust the shepherd to provide for me. He will bring justice when I have been wronged. I don’t have to. I can trust Him.

You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil. God welcomes me into his family. He makes me feel important and loved, and treats me like royalty. I am precious and honored in His sight . I can trust Him.

My cup overflows with blessings. In Him there is abundance! Knowing Him is all I need. I can trust Him.

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life. God satisfies my desire for love. I am always in His thoughts. I don’t have to worry that His love for me will “run out.” His love is always seeking the best for me. I can trust Him.

And I will live in the house of the Lord forever. I am His forever. His love is eternal. Forsaking All I Trust Him (FAITH).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Keep a Quiet Heart

This morning I joined a new bible study and we are studying Becoming a Woman of Simplicity by Cynthia Heald. One of the Bible verses we read today reminded me of a quote I read a few years ago in Elisabeth Elliot's book Keep a Quiet Heart. I needed to be reminded of these wise words.

Do Not Rush. TRUST. And Keep a Quiet Heart.
" I think I find most help in trying to look on all the interruptions and hindrances to work that one has planned out for oneself as discipline, trials sent by God to help one against getting selfish over one's work. Then one can feel that perhaps one's true work - one's work for God - consists in doing some trifling haphazard thing that has been thrown into one's day. It is not a waste of time as one is tempted to think. It is the most important part of the work of the day - the part one can best offer to God. After such a hindrance, do not rush after the planned work' trust that the time to finish it will be given sometime, and keep a quiet heart about it."
- Annie Keary

Sometimes I get so focused on my own agenda - on getting my work done, that I don't really consider what it might be that God wants me to do on any certain day. Maybe my work for the day is to help someone else, or maybe it is to spend time alone with God.

Isaiah 30:15 - This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Thoughts from the Transforming Center

Let Me Live Grace-fully
by Ted Loder

Thank you, Lord,
for this season
of sun and slow motion,
of games and porch sitting,
of picnics and light green fireflies
on heavy purple evenings;
and praise for slight breezes.
It's good, God,
as the first long days of your creation.
Let this season be for me
a time of gathering together the pieces
into which by busyness has broken me.
O God, enable me now
to grow wise through reflection,
peaceful through the song of the cricket,
recreated through the laughter of play.
Most of all, Lord,
let me live easily and grace-fully for a spell,
so that I may see other souls deeply,
share in a silence unhurried,
listen to the sound of sunlight and shadows,
explore barefoot the land of forgotten dreams and shy hopes,
and find the right words to tell another who I am.
Copyright © 1981 Ted Loder, Guerillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle (Minneapolis: Augsburg Press, 1981), p 131.