A friend went to a baby shower. Among the guests were several from the Quaker tradition who are known for their quiet, faithful patience. One of the activities included going around the circle and sharing advice for the mother-in-waiting. When her turn came, one of these women said, "My best advice is to 'pray the baby.'" By that she meant that wherever the baby was in her day--asleep, hungry, irritable--to be with her where she was.
This has been one of the hottest summers I can remember, or perhaps as I get older my tolerance gets lower. Maybe all of us need to take a look at our tolerance levels.
I see a kid on the street with tattoos and piercings, and I wonder not only about him or her but about his or her parents. Do I know this person? NO. I just make assumptions without even taking the time to get to know him or her. When I taught school, which seems like a million years ago now, there was one student about whom everyone made assumptions. He had long hair and dressed like, well lets just say that he played in a rock band and looked the part. I made assumptions about him immediately when he came into my classroom. WRONG!!
He turned out to be one of the kindest, most polite, and likeable students I have ever taught. In fact, after all of these years, and he is in his 40's now, we still keep in touch. He is married to a wonderful woman, he still plays in a band, but he also owns his own business and is very active in his church. I could not have been more wrong about him.
Take time to know people no matter what they look like. Be tolerant. Be flexible. The old adage "Don't judge a book by its cover" is more true I find as I grow older.
Jesus said, love one another. Let's try to tolerate each other. Better yet, lets try to love the differences we find in others. It's what makes life interesting, don't you think?
Well here it is almost summer. School is just about out and the hot weather is coming soon. In the south that means 90 or above. My friends in Scotland think 70s is hot weather and are glad for it. We get bogged down in the summer with vacations, camps, weddings, and of course yard work. We get so bogged down I think that we sometimes forget our church communities. They are still there. They are still trying to be the hands and feet of Christ in this world.
Summer is a grand time, but lets remember who provided this grand time. Thank you God for sunshine. Thank you God for fun time. Thank you God for the time we have for each other. Just Thank You. Thank You!
The garden is in and I see signs of tomatoes and peppers! I am so excited. Last year the garden was a sad, sad sight. This year I have read the books and taken the information to heart. Usually I read the books and say, "Oh, yes I see." but then I disregard all of the directions and go our on my own. Result: only lucky if I get anything worth eating or canning. I am determined to do better this year. I have bought the stinky fish fertilizer and put it on, I have pinched off the suckers, and when the tomato plants get to the top of the cage, I will pinch them off so they will bush. I will! I will!
Does any of this sound familiar? I see signs of God working in my life. I am so excited. I have read the Book, the commentary, and been to the Bible Study. This year I am determined to do what God has for me to do. I have done some of the things that I did not want to do (the stinky stuff), I have cut back on other things in my life, and when I get too big for my britches, I will step back and let God be in charge. I will! I will!
I am determined to listen to the Master Gardens concerning my garden, and I am determined to listen to the Master about my life.
I hope for an abundant crop and an abundant life.
Lent is a time for fasting and prayer, but it is a "new" time for me. A new time in that growing up in the Disciples of Christ we did not acknowledge lent. Acknowledge seems an awkward word for a season of the church, but celebrate which is the word we most often use seems like the wrong word. Celebrate seems wrong for lent...how can you celebrate the crucifiction and resurrection of our Lord? Well, you can't but maybe you can.
The death and resurrection of Christ is a celebration: a celebration of the grace of God, a celebration of new life, a celebration of love. A celebration of God's power and glory!
Lost and found, gone and back, not here then here. Lent is a season of paradox it seems. No and yes, black and white, death and life, destruction and construction!