Friday, February 23, 2007


TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.


Watch a child and you will see how to live.

Toy or box? How many times have you seen a little child take a toy, usually an expensive toy mom and dad are excited about, out of the box? Do they play with the toy or the box? Yup, the box. It is only when we get older that we see dollar signs.

Rose or dandelion? Children at play will leave roses alone. Not because of the thorns, but because of dandelions. Children’s eyes light up when they see those yellow flowers. They see hair decorations, they see yellow under chins and they see seeds blowing in the wind. It is only when we get older that we discover the weed.

Shoes or bare feet? Oh, the freedom of bare feet. Wiggling toes in the grass. Splashing in a puddle. Picking up rocks with toes. It is only when we get older that we discover stones hurt and mud has to be washed off.

It is only when we get older that we change how we look at the world.

Children want to play ball. Adults want to organize a team.

Children love heroes. The good guy always wears a white hat. Adults do not care what color of hat their hero wears, as long as they know how to handle a ball, or act, or sing, or ……..

Children, with a child's honest curiosity, will ask a person why they are in a wheelchair and then accept it. Adults will turn their head. They do not know how to ask those hard questions.

Children know how to blow bubbles, look at clouds, laugh, sing off key, take naps, ..........

Adults know how to …….. What do we know how to do? What can we learn from children?


Do you remember what it was like to lay on your back and look at the clouds? What did you see there? What is your best childhood memory?


We come to you as your children, Dear Lord, We want a simple faith. We want to celebrate with the joy of a child. We want to smile when we pray. We want to appreciate, not question, the wonders of your world. We want to lift our eyes to heaven and say ………………………………… Amen

Friday, February 16, 2007

Prayer request: I have a friend, Barbara, who has Lou Gehrig's Disease. Barbara and her husband really, really need our prayers. Please say a prayer for them. Thank you, Mary



1 Corinthians 10:12-13 -- So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Psalm 119:9-10 -- How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.


When I used my first computer, I used it much like a fancy typewriter. I honestly – and this is no exaggeration – tried to find that “any key” the computer book told me to hit. There was a Ctrl Key, an Alt Key and all those F1, F2, etc keys. No “any key” to be found on that keyboard. Talk about feeling silly when I finally figured that one out. Then I learned about entering formulas, and formatting, and copy and paste. Then email. The internet. Wow, this was getting fun. I learned and my abilities grew. I am still learning and believe me; I do not want to go back to a typewriter.

We can apply the same principles to our lives. We can go on using our lives like a fancy typewriter and never move forward or we can learn. We can study. We can listen. We can change. We can grow.

Then there is that “delete key” on the computer. One very handy key! There are so many wonderful things about being online. There are also many not-so-wonderful. There are emails I just delete, delete, and delete. Then there are the ones that look okay until I open them. That is when I use the delete key quickly.

Again, just like life. We encounter “stuff” everyday we delete very quickly from our lives. We know to turn our backs and walk away. Sometimes, though, the outside looks good and it is not until we get past the pretty packaging that we realize things are not as they seem. We need to use the delete key quickly before we fall for the deception.

Make your life the best it can be. Learn. Grow. And most important of all, delete the “stuff” out of life that can get between you and God.


Where do you need to use the delete key in your life? God provides support when we are tempted. He does not expect us to fight alone. Where can you turn for help?


Almighty God, I am so thankful that you are strong. I need your strength to surround me when I am tempted. I need to have you carry me when I cannot stand and to guide me away from temptation when I am weak. Give me eyes that see temptation and the ability to turn away. Let my feet carry me in the opposite direction. Make me strong as I battle against the temptation to ………………………………… Amen

Friday, February 09, 2007


TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:19-20

“Again, I tell you that if two of your on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”


In Indiana, February is a dreary month. The sky is usually overcast. The snow is melted (although this year we still have snow) and you can see the winter’s accumulation of trash along the roadside. The ground is muddy and the sun hides behind those clouds. There is one really good thing about February – IT DOESN’T LAST VERY LONG!!! Bill always says there is a reason February has only 28/29 days. That is long enough. I always hope when February leaves, it takes the flu and winter colds with it. But even during February, there are committee meetings.

Sometimes I get to church early for a meeting and I go to the sanctuary for a few quiet moments. Well, not quiet during the day. You can hear the pre-school children, you can hear people walking down the hall, you can hear the furnace, you can hear the traffic and you can hear the chatter in the church office.

At night, it is a little bit quieter, but not much. Sometimes cleaning is being done and you can hear the sweeper. You can hear other committee members coming in. And choir practice. And the furnace is running. And there is traffic noise.

Would I want to hear just quiet? No children’s voices. No choir. No furnace. No fellow church members. No traffic. No custodian. No church secretary. “NO WAY!” These noises mean our church is alive and busy. The traffic noise makes me realize we are a part of the world. I do not want to shut the world out. I want to invite the world in.

Next time you are in the church, listen to the sounds your church makes. Be a part of the noise.


What noise do you make in your church? Is it a good noise?


Dear God, Your church is a busy place. It is a place where children come to learn. It is a place where adults praise you with song and glorify you with worship. Your church is a place where I can come to pray. Your church is a place where I can join other believers. Thank you for your church. When I am in church let me ………………………………… Amen

Friday, February 02, 2007


TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: Matthew 25:21

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’


A section of our Sunday School quarterly was on the Book of Revelation. Talk about confusing. Confusing until David and Joyce shared a story with us about a Methodist work trip they had just finished.

David told about their time spent working at a school - a school for kids in trouble. He told how the youth wanted to see their motor homes and were amazed at the size (or lack of size) of those homes on wheels and, of course, all wanted to see the bathrooms. Then the kids were treated to those irresistible graham crackers topped with marshmallows and chocolate. But not all of the kids.

Each day they work for the privileges they will receive the next. That evening, some had to stand on the sidelines to pay for their behavior of the day before. How hard to watch others having fun and realize that you blew it.

Then it hit me – That is what Revelation is all about. It is a picture of tomorrow. We are working now for our reward tomorrow. We do not want to be on the sidelines. We do not want to see others receive rewards that we could be sharing. We do not know when Revelation’s “tomorrow” will come, but, come it will. One question – When your day of Revelation comes, where will you be? Standing on the sidelines, realizing that you blew it, or celebrating your reward.


It is a good thing we cannot see into the future, but if we could -- if we could see when our last day would be -- and that last day was -- right this very instant -- where would you be? Enjoying your reward or standing on the sidelines?


Dear Heavenly Father, I do not know your plan for me. I do not know when you will ask for an accounting of my talents, my actions. I will try to live each day for you. When I hear “Well done, good and faithful servant!”, I hope it is because I have lived my life in such a way as to earn my reward. I will ………………………………… Amen