Friday, April 27, 2007

Hi, This is posted a little later in the day than usual. We had a storm and that caused our server to be down. Hope you were not in the path of a tornado or high winds.

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE: John 21:15-17

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.


Sometimes in an emergency, not knowing what is going on until it is over is a good thing. When our (three years old at the time) granddaughter, Kailyn, went missing, was one of those times. How frightening not to know where your child is, especially in this scary world.

She had been standing there. Just two minutes before and Bill, our son, thought he heard a door shut. "Kailyn," he called. No answer. Outside and louder, "Kailyn." No answer. No Kailyn. He checked inside again. No Kailyn. Outside again. No Kailyn. Bill was becoming very afraid. Is Kailyn upstairs with her mother? No Kailyn. Now they are really afraid. The call for Kailyn became very loud. Did she cross the street to play? No, she is not on the playground. Call the police. Yes, they will begin to search. Neighbor children on bikes ride by. No, they have not seen Kailyn, but they will look. Everyone is looking. NO KAILYN!

Then Kailyn came out of the house. "Wasn't I playing hide-n-seek good? I never answered when you called."
After the police went home, after the children on bikes were told to quit looking and after everyone had calmed down, Kailyn understood -- She had to tell BEFORE she played hide-n-seek.

I then turned this into a children's story at church. I told the story of Kailyn being lost and of the number of people who were willing to help. I asked the children who would help them. Their parents. Okay, would the parents of these children stand up? Who else? The ministers. Okay, would all the ministers stand up? Who else? The Sunday School teachers. Okay, would all the Sunday School teachers stand up?

Then I took a chance, because you never know how well the congregation is listening. I told the children that I bet there were other people out there who would help them. Guess what? Before I could get the sentence out of my mouth, everyone else had stood up. One little boy turned to me and said, "They all stood up." Yes, they had. Do you know how impressed the children were to see the whole congregation standing, to show they were there for them? The kids knew. Hopefully, they will not forget and will call on the members of the church when they need help.


Who can you call on when you need help? When you want to laugh? When you want to cry? When you want to pray?


Dear God, You are always ready to listen to me. But you have also put other people into my life. People I can call on when I need to pray or cry or celebrate. Shepherds who will come look for me, when I am lost, and then be there for me. I thank you for ………………………………… Amen

Friday, April 20, 2007


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE: Matthew 14:22 - 23

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.


Last week I mentioned that you should take time for yourself. I did that this week. Our grandson Noah had a slight problem with the baby blanket I made him 5 years ago. It has been used to the point of absolute destruction. To be honest, the experiment he did with scissors did not help the blanket, but I think it had just been loved to death. I thought I could fix it, but upon close examination, there was no way to repair it. It says in the Bible that you should not put new wine in an old wine skin. You should not try to sew new material onto old either. It was time for a new blanket. Out came the sewing machine and I thoroughly enjoyed my day. It had been a long time since I had made something. Since I took the time to be off in a room by myself, doing something I love.

Jesus went off to pray -- by himself. We need to learn that. We need to take time for ourselves. It is not a selfish act.

I remember one time, when the children were grade school/junior high age and I had a really rough day. Not with the kids. Just one of those days. Things to do for the children. Things to do for my husband. Things to do for church, for scouts, in the house and for work. Things to do -- FOR EVERYONE EXCEPT ME. I discovered something that day. It seemed there was no me left. I was a mother. I was a wife. I was a committee member. I was a worker. But where was I in all that. I learned two things -- I could easily have walked out the door that day (I would have come back.) and I needed to find myself again. I first needed to be the person God had created. Only then could I be a good wife. A good mother. A good Christian. It may sound selfish, but I learned to take time for myself.

Do you ever feel like that? Do you feel like you have no life other than how other people need you? Your job is important. Your family is important. Your work at church is important. But YOU are important. Take care of yourself. Take time for yourself.

Remember -- Jesus went off to pray.


Again back to last week -- it is a matter of time and how you use it. Do you know how to say no? Are you on too many committees? Are you trying to be a super person --thinking you can do it all? Do you make time for yourself? How can you make time for yourself?


Dear Jesus, I have so much in my life. So many blessings, but sometimes it seems I am running here and running there. Show me how to be the child you created. Teach me to go off to pray. Teach me to be the best, whole person I can be. Make me a strong me, because then I can be there for others. ………………… Amen.

Friday, April 13, 2007


TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: Ecclesiastes 3:1 - 8

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.


Are the days getting shorter? I know there are 24 hours in each day, but it sure does seem like time is flying by. It is April already! Time can go so fast. Just yesterday --

Just yesterday, we were eating turnips and now it is time to plant the garden again. Bill has the potatoes and onions planted. The rhubarb is up. When the snow quits (Yes it is still snowing in Indiana. In April!) He will plant corn, green beans and tomatoes.

Just yesterday, I did the monthly reports and it is time to do them again.

Just yesterday, I cleaned the house and – okay, so it was not yesterday and we will forget this example.

Just yesterday, Kailyn was born and she is in the sixth grade now. Matthew is in the fourth grade. Joshua is in the first grade. Nathan is in kindergarten and Noah and Timothy are not far behind.

Just yesterday, I graduated from high school – oops, that was 43 years ago.

Just yesterday, I married Bill – oops, that was almost 42 years ago.

Just yesterday, I had a baby – oops, that was 40 years ago.

We mark our lives by the passing of time and events. The garden season. Work to be done. Grandchildren growing up. When we graduate, when we marry, when we have our own children.

Time goes fast, so do not let life pass you by. We must enjoy and take advantage of each day.

Do something today to celebrate. Blow bubbles. Wiggle your toes in the mud. Sing even if you are not in the shower. Watch the sunrise and the sunset. Talk to God.


Do you think time is going too fast? What do you wish you had time to do? How can you change your life to allow more time for the important things -- for family? For friends? For yourself? For God?


My Precious God, Slow me down. I rush from this to that and forget to enjoy the day. I want to laugh like a child. I want to enjoy the rain. I want to thank you for flowers and trees. I want to close my eyes, take a deep slow breath and quietly talk to you. Hear my prayer and quiet my fears. Lord, help me have time for ………………………………… Amen

Friday, April 06, 2007



On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " Then they remembered his words.


We are having Sunrise Service at our church and the Minister asked if I would write a responsive reading. So, I started thinking about Easter and I started thinking about how it must have felt to walk to the grave. That thought sent me to the scriptures. As I was checking in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, I discovered that there were a few differences on just exactly who went to the grave.

Matthew says Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. Mark agrees but adds Salome. Luke (who I think might just be a little bit of a male chauvinist) referred to them as "the women," until he finally named names and added Joanna and others. John comes in with another story altogether. He has Mary Magdalene going to the tomb, finding it empty, calling in the guys, who look around and go home. Mary, waiting because she didn't know what to do, was blessed because Jesus appeared to her.

And then no one could agree on if it was one man or two in the tomb telling the good news. TAKING ALL THAT INTO ACCOUNT --- going to grave -- be it one, two or many -- would not have been an easy journey. I came up with this responsive reading.
Walk with me up the path to the grave. Be beside me as we go to prepare the body. Each step is hard. I know I should hurry, but I am so afraid.

Do not be afraid. Remember everything Jesus told you.

We all listened as Jesus spoke. His voice was always so sure. So calm. To know that I will never hear that voice again breaks my heart.

Do not be afraid. Remember everything Jesus told you.

The grave is closer now. I wonder how we will roll away the stone. We have the spices and perfumes. We will attend to the body, of Jesus, with love and respect. But how will we roll away the stone?

Do not be afraid. Remember everything Jesus told you.

We are almost there. No one is saying a word. We are each lost in our own thoughts. Each wondering what will happen. How can we go on?

Do not be afraid. Remember everything Jesus told you.

There is the grave. I don't understand -- The stone is rolled away. The body of the Lord Jesus is not here. Where is my Lord?

Do not be afraid. Remember everything Jesus told you.

Hurry. Hurry. We must tell the others. How afraid I was until I heard the truth. Why did I not remember? The men in gleaming clothes simply asked -- "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!" Remember -- "The son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again."

He is risen!! He is risen!! He is risen!!

How do you feel about Easter? Did you prepare for Easter by understanding the Last Supper? Did you prepare for Easter by realizing the forgiveness made possible by the cross? Did you prepare for the absolute joy of Easter morning? Are you prepared for a risen Lord?


Dear Jesus, Thank you that the women found an empty tomb. An empty grave with angels to proclaim that you are risen. Not dead! Alive! I am brought to my knees at the thought that you held a Last Supper, suffered and died on the cross and then arose from the dead. AND YOU DID THIS FOR ME. FOR ME!!! My Jesus -- A RISEN SAVIOR. Let me go from Easter with the Holy Spirit so wrapped around my soul that I am never even one heartbeat away from you. This Easter I thank you for the sacrifice you made for me. Help me always be worthy. .................................................... Amen

Note: Celebrate Easter. It should be a time of smiles. And joyful noise. And wondrous praise. It should be a celebration!!!