Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What Happens After Christmas?

When it was first announced that the Blue service that our church was putting on together with another church would be on December 30, I did not know what would be the point. By then I would have survived Christmas and the month of December. But yesterday I knew it was just what I needed.

The Compassionate Friends Jan/Feb newsletter arrived in the mail. Renee's name being there in the list of children loved, missed and remembered for the month of February really hit me. I had submitted one of her poems in her memory to be printed in this issue. It was something she wrote in '05. It expressed how she felt and it is kind of the same as the reading from Job at the service last night from Job 23:2-13. Job looked to the north, south, west and east but could not find God, yet he knew that God was there.

In the newsletter was also an article with the title: "What Happens after Christmas?" "They can be quiet times in which we can work at our healing and growth. the healing will never be perfect, and there will always be scars, because love has the capacity to leave scars. But the scars can produce a growth beyond just survival."

Clara Hinton's quote for the week was really good too. "For every tear you shed, a seed of hope is being watered."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We Need More Faith

In "The One Year Book of Hope" on healing miracles the author, Nancy Guthrie writes, "There is a mystery to God's miracles we do not understand." She goes on to say, " Often I see the body of Christ put so much into pursuing God for physical healing. With great boldness and passion and persistence, we cry out to God, begging for healing of the body. And in these prayers there is often a tiny P.S. added at the end where we say, 'If it be your will.' But shouldn't we switch that around? Shouldn't we cry out to God with boldness and passion and persistence in a prayer that says, 'God, would you please accomplish your will? Would you give me a willing heart to embrace your plan and your purpose? Would you mold me into an instrument you can use to accomplish what you have in mind?' And then, perhaps, we could add a tiny P.S. that says, 'If that includes healing, we would be grateful."

The reading for the next day is titled, "We Need More Faith." The author says," But sometimes I wondered, faith in what? Faith in God, or faith in faith? Submission to God or insisting on a particular outcome? Sometimes it seems as if people think they feel that they must prove to God that they have enough faith and no doubt - that God not only can but will heal them - in order for God to grant their request for healing."

She goes on to say, "Rather than giving the disciples a formula for increasing their faith, Jesus told them that it isn't the amount of faith that matters, but the object of the faith. If the object of your faith is your ability to work up enough to impress God, your faith will be as weak as your flesh. If the object of your faith is a particular outcome for your situation, your faith will be as weak as your wisdom. But if the source and object of your faith is the Almighty God, even if it the weak, mustard-seed variety, your faith will be enough for whatever God allows into your life."

What do you think? Is this an accurate interpretation of what Jesus was teaching his disciples?

The book I'm reading now is "Life of the Beloved" by Henri J.M. Nouwen. I would recommend it as a must read.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

In the bulb, there is a flower.

This is one of the songs they did at the Blue Christmas service we went to last night.

In the bulb, there is a flower
in the seed, an apple tree
in cocoons, a hidden promise butterflies will soon be free!

In the cold and snow of winter
there's a spring that waits to be
unveiled until its season,
something God alone can see.

There is a song in every silence
seeking word and melody.
There's a dawn in every darkness
bringing hope to you and me.

From the past will come the future
what it holds, a mystery
unveiled until its season,
something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning,
in our time, infinity
in our doubt there is believing
in our life, eternity.

In our death, a resurrection,
at last, a victory,
unveiled until its season,
something God alone can see.
- Natalie Sleeth

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