Saturday, September 26, 2009

Passing It On

Today I witnessed a grandfather teaching his 12 yr old grandson how to mow the yard. He stood at the edge of the yard while the young boy drove the mower in first gear slowly....very slowly around the 1/2 acre of land. The grandfather had mowed the first set of lines for him to follow which only took a few minutes. I noticed a few things that I wanted to share.
On the face of the boy was a mix of joy and fear. He was smiling, yet a little scared. He held tight onto the steering wheel and had his foot on the ready to hit the brake.
The grandfather stood at the edge of the yard. He was motionless. No yelling. No pointing. No directing. He had taught everything he could and turned the boy loose. On his face was a mix of joy and pleasure. He looked so proud of passing on the skill and knowledge of mowing the yard.
Parents and grandparents often pass down knowledge, habits and numerous other learning's or traits. Some things are passed down through nature. Others are nurture. What are you passing down and who are you nurturing? How many people have taught their children how to play sports and forget to pass down the importance of reading God's word, or praying, or what it means to be a faithful, loving, caring Christian. Spend a few moments and consider what you are passing down.
Go in peace and go with God.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jesus said . . .

13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16

Let your light shine today. You are the light of the world.

Go in peace and go with God.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pray Today

Today God wants you to pray. And maybe you did. Good for you. Millions of students will pray today. They are praying for their teachers, leaders and government officials. They also pray for their family, friends and communities. It's See You At the Pole day. Students meet near their school flagpole, or I heard some will be meeting on their football fields or wherever they can find a place to pray. Pray today for those you love and those who need love. Today is a glorious day in God's creation, perfectly fashioned for wonder and hope. Go in peace and go with God and don't forget to pray.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Functionally Reliable

Are you a functionally reliable Christian? That was the questioned that was inspired by the book- "Brand From the Inside" Libby Sartain talks about the functionally reliable company. Are they delivering on their promises and expectations? As a Christian, there was a commitment made to follow Jesus. That commitment is to be lived out every day. If God looks down and gives us a task or sends us on a mission, can we be counted on? Whether at work, school or in the community, we need to be someone that can be trusted. Reliable. The functionally part for some of us probably is a day to day thing. Some days yes, some days no. Be a person of integrity and faith.
Go in peace and go with God

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hope For the Day

My hope for today is that I might be a good example. I hope that God will use me for a greater purpose instead of my own. Consider this day God's day and live out the purpose that has been placed inside you. No matter the trials or struggles today, we have hope. Some of our hopes are less than holy. Today is full of possibility. The day has only begun for some. The weather here has provided a great day for those outdoors. Enjoy your day with your family, friends and your church. You never know when it will be your last.
Today there will be funerals. Today there will be weddings. Today there will be sadness. Today there will be joy. Make the most of today. Remember the good times and stop focusing on the bad. Rejoice. This is the day the Lord has made.
Go in peace and go with God.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reason to Celebrate

We (a few of the staff) are going to lunch today to celebrate Debbie's last cancer treatment. It's a great moment to praise God and pray for the best. We celebrate with family and friends and we rejoice together during the good times. We are also called to mourn with those who mourn. Yes our days are filled with ups and downs. Do you have reason to celebrate today? If not, think of one. Here are a few-
The leaves are turning and the weather today is absolutely beautiful.
You have family that care about you.
You hopefully have a church that you are connected to and in turn, they care about you.
There are numerous reasons to celebrate today. So, CELEBRATE! Make up a reason to have a good day. Rejoice! Rejoice in the Lord always!
Go in peace and go with God.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Learning From Each Other

Yesterday I had occasion to sit down with 5 preacher friends and talk about preaching. We all graduated and were ordained within a few years of each other. Most of us knew each other along the path through seminary. Most of us are from the area (Missouri/Kansas). Over lunch we discussed a book on preaching and then our approach to preaching. The diversity of styles, planning, preparation and delivery was great! It was wonderful to hear how others approach the task of preaching each week. Some are big planners, weeks or months in advance, some are not planning but a week out. Some use the lectionary and some preach series. We had discussed checking our egos at the door and trying to listen and learn. After our discussion of the book one of us handed out a copy of sermon that was to be delivered soon. It was a truly fun and exciting day to be able to learn, listen and discuss what is next in a friend's church. I know that one of our preacher friends is preaching on signs this weekend and I know that church is going to receive a great sermon because I had to blessing of being able to read it before it was preached. Very cool.
Who are you connecting with these days? Are you listening or telling?
Please pray for your preacher this week as they go about the task of praying, listening, researching and sharing God's word with the church.
Go in peace and go with God.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tame the Tongue

James 3:
3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Simply, tame the tongue. Be careful what you say. Be careful what you hear. Be careful what you see. Be the church.
Go in peace and go with God.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Good Word

Share a good word with someone today. It is really not that difficult. Just say something nice. Try and lift some one's spirits today. Not just a smile, but say something meaningful that will bring some joy to their life. What is the cost? There could be people you know that have just had the worst day of their life. You may not know it or even see it. I believe that the world needs a lot more love and kindness. Spend a few moments this day considering who needs a good word. Then, get out there and share that good word. Go in peace and go with God.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Heard A Rumor

I heard a rumor the other day that Twitter and Facebook were merging. NOOOO! I am not a fan of twitter. I like facebook, but don't like all the twitter, tweets, blah, blah, blah. I thought, if that happens, there goes facebook. Of course, it was just a rumor and well, NOT TRUE. How many times have we bought into rumors about things or people only to have them proved to be wrong? Unfortunately, some rumors even if not true do not die. They continue to recycle and our perception is changed. So for today, don't listen to the rumor mill and start verifying the truth. Gossip is endless some days, but is not fruitful for anyone or anything. It does not usually build up. Be a person of integrity and avoid godless, idle chatter. Set an example for those around you. Love God and love your neighbor.
Go in peace and go with God.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Brother Friend

This is a song we sing at camp. It will hopefully warm your heart as you read (or sing if you know it) today.

Well, you’re my brother, you’re my friend
You’re my beginning and my end
You’re the one that I can turn to
When the others walk away
You’re my sunshine on a cloudy day
You’re the rain to wash my blues away
And I can always count on you
‘Cause you’re my brother, you’re my sister, you’re my friend.

Go in peace and go with God.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sights and Sounds

Birds chirping, geese flying and cars lined up at McDonalds for breakfast. A parking lot full of cars again, whether the high school parking lot, a preschool lot during the week or Sunday morning church goers back from summer hiatus. Some of the trees have already started to believe that it's fall, even though we are only a few days into September. The colors of fall are on their way. The temperature drops and sounds of bugs serenading the evening will soon be gone. The smell of outdoor grilling will be a distant memory soon and such are the seasons of life. The sights and sounds of summer are soon to be over. No more swimming pools. No more jumping in the lake to cool off. Even tough our summer was a mild one, those warms days of golf and grass cutting are nearly gone. Some of the changes happen in life are not always welcome. Sights and sounds we have become accustomed to will leave us. Sadness sometimes makes it's way into our hearts. Today, do not allow the sadness and loss take over. Embrace those memories with tears of joy, not sadness. Even though sights and sounds are sometimes gone forever, they are not lost in our memory.
Go in peace and go with God.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Frowns vs. Smiles

I noticed a lot of people frowning at the thought of one more day in the work week. They were frustrated that it was Thursday and not Friday. And when I say frowning I mean - gripe, groan, whine, fuss, blah! A few words about it- please stop sharing your frustrations with the world. There is enough sadness, frustration, pain and suffering to go around. If you are called to a light in the darkness, and we are, then how about a few positive statements about the fact that you have a job! Or smile that you have family and friends who care about you. Maybe bring a smile into the world instead of a frown. If you cannot function without your morning coffee or caffeine fix then you are probably not in the right job. Take a few moments and look at the joy of children, family, friends, love, happiness and hope. We can so easily slip into the gloom and doom. I would like to believe that most of us can change out attitudes by changing our focus. Focus on what you are blessed with, not what you are missing. Choose to be content with your memories and your blessings. Go in peace and go with God.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Local Missions At Grace 2009-2010

As many of you know Grace UMC serves in mission at Restart (serving monthly meals) and we make monthly donations to Lee's Summit Social Services (also help with the toy drive). I met with a few people the other day to talk about our local missions this next year at Grace. Here is what we hope to accomplish and share with our community.
September- Restart and Lee's Summit Social Services
October- Christmas in October (Oct. 10th) and late October we begin the Christmas Toy Drive
November- LSSS Toy Drive
December- Red Cross Clothing Drive
January- Spofford Home
February- Harvesters Canned Food Drive/Red Cross Clothing Drive
March- Harvesters Canned Food Drive/Red Cross Clothing Drive
April- Ronald McDonald House
May- Restart and Lee's Summit Social Services
June- United Way- Day of Caring
July- Harvesters and LSSS Food Drives
August- School Supplies

That is just a glimpse of the monthly focus on local mission in KC. We will continue to focus on Restart and Lee's Summit Social Services every month, with a special focus in September and May. If you would like to be a part of any of these great missions and charities, please contact the church office and we will help you serve your neighbor. Go in peace and go with God.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rules and Conduct

I recently read a quote that went something like this- Children/Teens really only want to know three things-
What are the rules?
Who is in charge?
Who is enforcing the rules?
Rules are a funny thing. Especially in the light of who is enforcing them. If dad sets down a rule and mom does not enforce, mixed signals are sent. If mom dishes out some punishment and dad does not agree and makes it a whole thing, again, mixed signals are sent. Sometimes children who want to do something will ask numerous adults until they receive the answer they are looking for, especially when the thing they want to do is on the edge of the rules. Christians do this too. If they don't like what they are hearing at one church, they bounce to another. It's called church shopping. Now church shopping is not all bad. I believe that you need to keep searching until you find the church they fits your spiritual needs- and the spiritual needs of your family. But all too often at the first sign of the rules/norms/culture/worship songs, etc. not fitting the life I have chosen to live, people will run for another church, tell stories of how bad the church before was and are embraced with grace, mercy and love. What has changed in the person? Nothing, other than location. People run from problems and difficulties instead of choosing to be in right relationship with others. Where are you in your walk? Do you have something against someone else? Are you mad at God? Are you just lost? Come back to church if you have left, whether it's Grace or another church. Your church family is waiting. You are missed.
Matthew 5 says 23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
Go in peace and go with God.