Sunday, April 26, 2009

God's Gifts

Good Afternoon,
Today's economy causes us all to tighten our belts. Yet sometimes when we don't realize it God still use's his children to spread his gift's. In our church alone I have lost track with the shear number of efforts we support, there's World Hunger, Heifer, Habit for Humanity, Pine Ridge, Kid's Against Hunger, Echo Food Shelf, and On and On and On... It just seems the list never ends! And then to top it all off I still need to tithe! So where does it end? how do I keep giving and giving...Oh and then you want MY time too? YES He does, and if it is HIS plan then whether you want to or not you will. Now I know that sounds harsh in a way but God has and does work through others to use the Gift's he has given you. Let me explain...sometimes when you least realize it God works through each and everyone of us by putting a single can of corn in the food shelf basket. Or how about when the confirmation Kid's did there food scavenger hunt during lent. While we had designated areas I focused on member's of the congregation that lived within that area...Why? Because God want's your Gift's and he knew that if you knew who was collecting it and why they were collecting it that you would freely give. His plan was to make sure that you as a congregation within the body of the church where able to give your gift's and YOU did!! We collected...we'll you saw it as we brought it up front for his blessing. and God's gift's that day just didn't end with collection God used people that are not even active member's in this congregation to drive those kid's around to make sure that food was collected. YES we had people freely give their time to make sure that those kid's where able to collect food. God truly moves in mysterious ways in our life. Next time when someone ask's that we have a need, ask yourself if God is asking for your money? or is he asking for your other Gift's? You see giving money is the easy way out and it keep's you in your comfort zone. God doesn't want your money...He want's you to use the gift's he has given you! Now if the Gift he has given you is money well then...But I doubt the ONLY gift he has given you is money. He wants your time he wants your talents that HE GAVE you. He wants you to use them to further his kingdon to feed his children, to clothe and comfort the weary. God's knocking on the door and he wants you to answer. He wants you to step out of your comfort zone and to do something you cannot even believe you would do! For me it was the thought of working with the confirmation kid's even knowing my daughter will be in confirmation this next year, I didn't even give it a thought...but, this year has been one of the most rewarding and fulfilling years I have ever, EVER spent in my life! Helping these boys become young men and to help them with there questions about God and about why he is important in their lives. You know, when I started this I prayed for his guidance and asked him what he really thought I could do? After all I have only been in Church for the last two years what can I possibly give these kid's? His answer to me was give them your love, attention, and I will fill your mouth with the words to help them with the questions! And he truly did! He was there for me everytime, every Wednesday, filling my lips with the words to help guide and shape them into the young men they are becoming! I KNOW...I did not have the skill to guide these boys...but God knew that I needed to be there for them and HE knew that HE would guide me words, my actions, my gifts to be there for them. I didn't matter to him that I wasn't comfortable with them after all these are boys! I have raised daughters I don't know the first thing about guiding 13 year old boys! And believe me there ARE difference's! God want's us to live outside of our comfort zones so if that is what he wants for me then I need to surrender to his desires and his what about you?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Holy Week

An old (Longtime) friend of mine has recently come back into my life and we have been corresponding frequently about our faith and love for God. She has helped me to renew my love and to be re-energized in my faith. I was stalling on my bible study and not keeping up with this years challenge. I have promised myself and God that I will be more faithful in my reading and prayers.

I saw this renewal in the faith of a child this weekend...
We have a young boy in our church that has just started attending KFC this past September. He is a neighbor of ours and recently asked his parents if he could be baptized and take first communion. He told his parents that he wanted what my daughter had. When asked what he meant, he couldn't quite describe it but he knew that she was happier because she went to church. So a few weeks ago his parents started coming to church with him and yesterday. This young boy was baptized and took first communion. He through his faith is now beginning to lead his parents into church and I have seen some amazing transformations in their entire family. I will say that this young man made his choice to be in communion with God freely and without reservation. So when I read that people believing in God is down in America I guess I have to wonder if those numbers are really right? But then again who cares? When children learn from their peers and can see the light shining in others around them. Maybe we need to think a little more like our children.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

To be child like in faith

Ok before this post get's out of hand like another on my blog...This was emailed to me by a friend and I don't know where it came from but I Laughed hysterically as I read it and thought all could use a good laugh. Enjoy!!

Judas Asparagus

Makes perfect sense to me!!

A child was asked to write a book report on the entire Bible.

I wonder how often we take for granted that children understand what we are

Through the eyes of a child:

The Children's Bible in a Nutshell
In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God,
darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, 'The Lord thy God is one, but I
think He must be a lot older than that.

Anyway, God said, 'Give me a light!' and someone did.

Then God made the world.

He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren't
embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from
the Garden of Eden.....Not sure what they were driven in though, because
they didn't have cars.

Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.
Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who
lived to be like a million or something.

One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of
his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and
some animals on it. He askedsome other people to join him, but they said
they would have to take a rain check.

After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his
brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some
pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.

Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston.
Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh
after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh's people. These plagues included
frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.

God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His
Top Ten Commandments. These include: don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or
covet your neighbor's stuff.

Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.

One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use
spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the
After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a
slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500
porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise
to me.

After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was
Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore.
There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to
worry about them.

After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The
New. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a
barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, 'Close the door! Were you
born in a barn?' It would be nice to say, 'As a matter of fact, I

During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees
and the Democrats.

Jesus also had twelve opossums.

The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a
terrible vegetable after him.

Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some
Germans on the Mount.

But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the
Pilot. Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.

Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up
to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is
foretold in the book of Revolution.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Very Interesting Week

I have had such an interesting week so far that I really felt the need to share some of it tonight. It started on Sunday with Church of course but then I helped the worship band for whom I run sound during the service, move equipment out to a local hotel for the Fall Synod Theological Conference. So we got set-up just before the start of the conference on Sunday evening. I had already made arrangements to take the day off on Tuesday to run sound during the contemporary worship service for the conference, but as things progressed on Sunday it was clear that there would be need for sound on Monday morning as well so I volunteered to do it. After the Monday service I stayed to hear Susan Briehl discuss the Psalms. Wow!! I was pretty moved by her discussion and she made me realize the importance of the psalms in our life. Thanks Susan from the sound guy in the back!
So of course Tuesday I was there as well and enjoyed the contemporary service. The band of course played beautifully...and they made me cry which happens on occasion.
BTW...If you ever get a chance to sit in a room FULL of pastors during a service DO IT!! I highly recommend it. It is fun to watch their different styles in the way they each worship and it is very moving. And if you think it would be a room of stuffed shirts...NO WAY. And if the bishop is reading this...awesome sermon!!
I digress...So tonight we took all of the confirmation classes to hear a very inspiring speaker, Tony Campolo. Again WOW!! Very moving, he gets right to the heart with the kids. Absolutely incredible to hear him speak about his personal journey's and those around him. He was incredible and moving.
So to sum this up I believe I have had a pretty incredible week so far and filled with inspiration. Those pastors in that conference don't know it but they helped to reinvigorate my spirit and I think God is speaking to me. I just need to listen a little closer.
In Him!

Monday, October 20, 2008

In Love with God

Faith moment given at Messiah Lutheran Church Oct 19, 2008


In love with God

I am going to speak from the heart. I want to talk about Love. So I want to talk about the first time I fell in Love. Let's go back to late summer 1982. Star Trek Wrath of Kahn was released, and for the ladies…An Officer and a Gentleman, Music, Journey's Open Arms was big hit, one of my favorites Shadows of the Night by Pat Benatar, or how about Workin for the Weekend, or Shakin by Eddie Money.

Nancy and I had been dating on and off for about a year at that point. One night she was dropping me off at my house when as I was getting out of the car, she said; "I Love You"

My response; "I Know"

I got out of the car and went in the house. Well even back then it took a smack over the head for me to realize a good thing.

A few days later though, I had the massive realization that I LOVED HER TOO!

I also realized that I would do things for her that I had never done for anybody else in my life. Like wear the pink IZOD polo shirt she bought for me, or paint the kitchen in our house in Tucson, Dusty Rose because after all, that was the color of the flowers at our wedding. But that's what you do when you're in love right?

You do things you wouldn't have done for just anyone.

And when the girls came into our lives it was the same way. Volunteer to haul cases of girl scout cookies around, or spend hours making sure the science fair presentation was done, or willing to give an organ just so your child doesn't need to suffer through shots and blood tests multiple times a day. But these are things that we do because we love our children.

But let's consider for a moment the greatest love of all.

God's Love

Just consider all God has done in the name of Love for us.

The heavens and earth, the fish in the lakes, (so Dave can catch them with one of those rappala's in his tackle box), the birds, the trees, summer & winter, and more winter, and more winter…did I mention winter? Roofs over our heads, food in our mouths, children singing at the Christmas program, rain, the warm summer breeze during outdoor worship service (ok the breeze at outdoor worship service, not so warm)

One thing I have learned though about love is that when you're in love you give freely with no expectations of receiving. You see, when you love like Nancy loved me it wasn't about my response, it was how she felt, and nothing was going to change that for her (Thanks God). She knew deep in her heart that I would come around to her way of thinking with a little time. In the mean time, she continued to give.

So whether you realize it or not God continues to give his love to us freely. Want Proof? Right there on the wall is the proof. He so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son and whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

He gave his son because he loves us.

And all he asked in return was to believe in him.

He says to us daily "I Love You"

How do you answer him?

"I Know"?

Or do you answer him

"I Love You Too"

Do you answer him?

Now I know your response to the next thing I say will be "Wrong Religion" and your right, "it's not act's that will get you to heaven", but, its acts that are done to show our love for God. Acts like giving of our time to help with worship, or KFC, giving of our talents to help paint, or sing, or help in the nursery, and yes even giving of our money to support the various ministries here and throughout our community and the world, like the building fund, like echo food shelf, like Kid's Against Hunger.

So are you "In Him"?

Are you in love with God like he is in love with you?

I am

I am in love with God.

I am "In Him"

I wasn't always though.

I said to him a lot more times than I did to Nancy, "I Know"

So how did I fall in love with God?

Well he came to me two years ago and said "I Love You", and for the first time I said "I Love You Too"

But that just wasn't enough, I had to show him I love him, I need to prove my love, Not to you, not to the world but to HIM. I WANT to prove my love to him. I want to do things to please him and I know, I realize it doesn't help me get into heaven it doesn't give me eternal life because I sit in back and run the sound and the powerpoint slides. It doesn't get me into heaven because I come to work with the 7th grade confirmation class. It doesn't get me into heaven because I am in bible study…none of it get's me there and honestly I am not worthy to be there…the things I have done…the things I have said…there isn't enough deeds in this world to get me into heaven. I do these things BECAUSE I love him. Loving God makes you want to give…makes you want to do…to do anything you can…to show your love for him. To LOVE HIM…to be IN HIM.

Do you want to Love Him? Read this (the bible) and you will. You can't help but love him. Pray to him, thank him, and beg him to forgive you, listen to him, worship him, praise him, laugh at his jokes, yell at him when you feel he hasn't been fair with you, but always…always…remember to tell HIM you love him.

Pray with me,

Dear father, thanks for your sense of humor, thanks for your support, thanks for my wonderful family, thanks for my wonderful church family, thanks for bringing me back to you and willing to accept me even after all of the times I rejected your love, thanks for the wonderful things you have brought into my life with you, I ask only one thing, continue to love us and know that we love you.