Monday, November 23, 2009

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving has come and passed. We took the day to give thanks for the blessings we have been given. We are thankful for family, friends, home, food on the table, health, life...and the list could go on and on. Thanksgiving is a day, obviously, give thanks. But what about everyday? Shouldn't everyday be a day to give thanks? Scripture says, "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." (Psalm 118:1) We should be giving thanks daily! Each day is a day to celebrate the grace that our Lord has given us. Each day is a day to celebrate the blessings God has bestowed upon us. Each day is a day to give thanks for life and those around us. God does want to hear the rejoicing also, not just on one day of the year, but everyday. "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where Is Your Focus? hard to do sometimes. Ever find yourself unable to focus while in church? The people across from you might be moving or have a different hair cut. The door opens in the back of church and you can see it where you are sitting, so you watch that person walking in. Focus...staying focused in worship is hard. Wondering what is on the menu for either lunch or dinner. What tasks we have to do on this day. Wondering who gave an offering or if your own offering was given. Focus...where should it be. Our focus should be on the cross. Our focus should be on the Word of God. As we examine our sinful nature and lift it up to the Lord, our focus shouldn't be on the sins of others. Focus...our focus should be on the forgiveness that Christ gave you as it is pronounced in absolution or as we receive the body and blood of our Lord. Focus...the focus should be on the message in the music. The focus should be on meaning of those powerful words of prayer. The focus should and needs to be God. So hard to do sometimes. Where is your focus in worship? Ever catch yourself not focused on the right things in worship? I do -- so I take a deep breath...and focus.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Simple Smile

I'm sitting the back of the church packing things up when I feel this presence standing next to me. I look up and see this bright smiling face. I acknowledge them, but they just continue to smile. After an awkward pause, I thank them for coming. The response...nothing. No words, no head nod...nothing, but a smile. Then they turned and walked away. What a strange experience, but one that was powerful. A smile...a simple smile impacted my day. I wish I could tell you who it was or find that person again and say thank you, but I haven't see that person since. All I can remember is that smile.

We are people with many words. We sometimes feel that we have to say something. We have to respond or we have to be able to speak our mind or feelings. We are a people that sometimes feel we have to say words in order to share the love of Christ to people. But there are times when words mean nothing. All it takes is a simple and meaningful smile. When I picture Christ, I don't see a person who is talking. I don't see someone who is trying to tell me what I have done; good or bad. I see a face...with a smile. I see a loving God who knows when I have done wrong, but looks at me with those loving and tender eyes and smiles. It is the smile that impacts my day. Nothing fancy, it is just so simple. That smile that says, I love you. So I try to do the same...share the love of Christ...and smile.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Still In the Play

Volleyball season has ended. It was a fun time, but a lot of work. One of the things that the team finally started realizing was that even if the ball wasn't coming directly to them, they were still part of the play. It was their role, their job, to help tell their teammates what was happening on the court. It was their job to help their teammate make good decisions during play. There was no such thing as being "out of the play".

The same is true in the church. You are never out of the play. There are so many opportunities to bring Christ to the people. There are opportunities for you to use your talents help build up the ministry or build up someone. You are always in the play. I know that I'm not gifted in many different parts of ministry, but that doesn't mean I'm out of the play. I still have a major role and so do you. You might not be able to build a float. You might not be able to teach children in Sunday school or VBS. You might not be able to give a lot of your time at church because your schedule just doesn't allow it. But you are still not out of the play. Just like in volleyball, the other players have to help their teammates out. We must do the same. You aren't out of the play because you can through prayer. Yes, you can help by praying. Asking God to bless the ministry. Bless the opportunities. Bless the efforts of His people. You are a vital part of the play. Your work builds up the team and keeps the play going. Stay in the play...just take the time to pray!