Monday, January 31, 2011

Blame vs. Me

It's easy to blame others for our problems.  This week we are talking about hopes and dreams.  Just because I hope or pray that something will happen does not mean God will deliver it.  My hopes and dreams must be connected to God's purpose.  Never is that more evident than in discerning the call of God on our hearts.  A mature Christian will not blame others for where they are in life.  Blaming people or groups of people for our problems only makes us bitter and angry.  The first place a Christian must look is to God, then inside.  What is the state of my soul?  If I don't like where I am in life spiritually or vocationally, have I done everything I can to change it?  The answer for most of us is a resounding, no, we have not.  We may think we have, but we have not.  How do I know this?  Because I have been there too.  Yes, I too have worked diligently (or so I thought), but in reality did not.  Think about the baseball player who in their mind is the best player ever but never practices.  Was he cheated?  Probably not.  True gifts shine through.  No matter who or what seems to be against you, those gifts will shine through!  If you feel you have others to blame or maybe you have been wronged, stop.  Take a moment and look to God.  What is God's plan in this situation.  There is not some huge conspiracy against you.  Listen.  Pray.  Discern.
If you want to be a great preacher, then you need to work on it.
If you want to be a writer, then write.
If you want to be a pro baseball player, start practicing.
Nothing comes easy.  Even though in many instances people who are successful look like they just arrived, it was preceded by years and years of hard work.  Friends, stop blaming others and start living.
Go in peace and go with God.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hope

Even though today was not what you might have expected, there is hope.  There are many days that do not go as orchestrated.  Expectations are created and then when not met, we find disappointment.  In that, there are two ways to go.  Misery or hope.  If you are disappointed with life and see nothing changing, you can just keep going down a spiral of shame and sadness.  Going it alone will lead to that, if you let it.  But there are people around us who care.  Some days it might not seem like it, but they do.  We should not shut people out because we are angry or upset.  And blaming others gets us no where.  So, we turn to the God of faith, hope and love.  We find faith when we take a leap.
We find love that is freely given if we can receive.
And there is hope that today I can make a difference.  There is hope in salvation.  There is hope in the kindness of a stranger.  There is hope, sitting right next to us saying, "You can make it, I'm here."
If you know someone who is struggling, don't ignore them.  Be there for them.  Be the light.  Help them find their path.  Give them space, but let them know you are here and there is hope.
Go in peace and go with God.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Martin Luther King Jr Week in Lee's Summit

Dr. Martin Luther King’s message of service will be the focus of a week of activities scheduled for the 14th Annual Celebration in Lee’s Summit.  “Celebrating the Dream through Service” is the theme of communitywide activities that will begin on January 8 and conclude on January 17 with dancing, singing and inspirational messages.
The community is urged to get involved with the “Week of Service” opportunities January 8 - 17. Among those opportunities for involvement:
  • preparing meals for the residents of Cabrini House and Langsford Home
  • participating in the blood drive from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. January 17 at Saint Anne’s Episcopal Church, 1815 NE Independence Avenue, Lee’s Summit
  • providing gently used clothing and household items for the First Baptist Church of Lee’s Summit’s “FREE” Garage Sale to be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on January 15 at the church located at 2 NE Douglas St., Lee’s Summit
  • donating to Lee’s Summit Social Services and One Good Meal using a coupon gift card available at the register of Hy-Vee stores in Lee’s Summit
  • helping the families of Hope House by donating to the Blessed to be a Blessing Ministry of New Generation Christian Center to purchase gift cards; call 623-9900 for information. Also, New Generation and New Beginnings Christian Church will have a joint church service on Sunday, January 16, beginning at 4 p.m. at 601 NW Libby Lane.  
Project Warmth barrels will be at City facilities and throughout the community for the community to donate coats, hearing aids and eye glasses. Stay up-to-date on service projects and opportunities for participation at cityofls.net, click “Main” site and select “Volunteer.”
The week of activities culminates with everyone convening for the citywide Celebration on January 17 in the Pavilion at John Knox Village, 520 NW Murray Road, Lee’s Summit. The celebration begins at 6:30 p.m. with a preshow featuring the Lee’s Summit West High School Jazz Band and cultural exhibits by local students.
The 14th Annual Celebration features performances by music, dance, and vocal groups as well as a slide show of volunteer activities in the City throughout the year.
Reverend Dr. Tom Haley will be the keynote speaker.  Rev. Dr. Haley is associate minister of Community Christian Church on the Plaza and was the former senior pastor of Lee’s Summit Christian Church for 25 years. NBC Action News Weekend Anchor Cynthia Newsome will be the mistress of ceremonies and Lee’s Summit Mayor Randall Rhoads will welcome guests to the celebration. There will be a presentation of the flags by the Lee’s Summit High School Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard and the performance of the national anthem by Lee’s Summit North High School.
The celebration will feature performances by: 
  • Kiddie Kollege
  • Men of Note choir
  • Nartan Academy of Dance
  • New Generation Mass Movement of Praise
Emmanuel Ngomsi, Ph.D. is the chairperson of the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration that is sponsored by the City of Lee’s Summit’s Human Relations Commission.
For more information, call (816) 969-1000 or visit the City’s Web site: cityofls.net.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year, New Relationships- Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New

There is a great poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson that many of us may not know, but we know one of the phrases.  The poem is called "Ring Out, Wild Bells".  The line we know is "ring out the old and ring in the new".   I just wanted to share his poem with you.  It was published about 1850 but still feels timely today.



Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out thy mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.


It is a new year and a time for resolutions, pledges and promises.  Some stick, some don't.  Over this past year some relationships have ended, others have grown.  New friends will be made this year, but do not dwell on the one's lost.  I hope and pray that you are on the path God has for you.  If not, take a step in the direction of the one who loves, gives and saves.  Go in peace and go with God.