Transformation

Transformation

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day Thirty-One ~ Patience

There are times when I am more patient than others.

Would you be able to affirm that comment?  Do you resonate with an internal reality that some days are calm while others seem to be hyper and almost out of control?  I hear pastors talking about Holy Week and the various gatherings as a pressure that pushes their patience.  It never seemed that way to me.  Sure there are more things to do but they are all good and fulfilling.

Patience.  It is listed as one of the Fruit of the Spirit.  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience...apparently it is a gift God wants to provide and evidence that we give back to God to confirm our obedience to his will.

The spiritual life is often challenged in the area of patience.  We try really hard to slow down so we can reflect appropriately.  We continue to be challenged by random thoughts while we are trying to read Scripture.  Our we discover that we are trying to accomplish too many tasks all at the same time.

In the end, patience is about waiting.  It is about slowing down.  It is about putting others first.  It is about having the same attitude as Christ who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped...but made himself nothing by taking on the nature of a servant....sound familiar?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day Twenty-Nine ~ Security

To be secure, let's see, to be free from danger, risk, care, or anxiety.  To be safe with all needs being met.  To faithfully avoid poverty by being free from want or financial care.  To be secure.  To live in a spirit of security.  It seems like such a simple thing until you really think about it or until you loose some feature of security for your own life.

Several years ago my brother was incarcerated in a federal prison in Mexico.  He was 'securely' confined in his setting but he was far from being safe and secure.  In fact, his secure setting created a very dangerous environment.  We all long to be safe and secure even though we know that we will never live with no cares in the world.  But we can work to limit the areas of concern that we may encounter.

Security.  A couple of weeks ago I had an interesting conversation with a friend and co-worker about food security.  It is a new concept to many.   Most of us wake up in the morning with little concern about daily food.  However, a fairly large percentage of people around the world wake up each day with thoughts of food security on their minds and hearts.

What could you do today to help the people around you feel secure?  And how wide would you be willing to draw that circle?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sabbath

I am not sure about what you do for sabbath but I know the concept is critically important to my life.  I can not say that I 'honor the sabbath' with every breath I take or that my absolute weekly practice is pure and without fault.  But I can tell you that without sabbath, I tend to wither.

Sabbath for many means a day of worship.  A day set aside to shift gears away from the regular schedule so you can be with family or friends.  For others it is a day that is entirely focused on God.  It can be a day that is set aside for study, renewal, and spiritual conversation.  Or it can be a day of serving the Lord in a way that provides a measure of refreshment for your spirit.

Today, I will play a very small part in a ministry that has been going on for many years here in our community.  It is the Lord's Dinner that is served to anyone who would like a hot and nutritious meal on Sunday evening.  It is designed to fill a gap when the regular meal providers are off duty.  Volunteers arrive early to prepare the meal and set the table.  Then another group will take their place to serve the meal and distribute it to over 100 people.  Homeless individuals will arrive on foot.  Families will come with young children.  Soon the fellowship hall at Sacred Heart Catholic Church will be full and dinner will be served.  Sabbath!

I pray that you will find sabbath today.  I hope that your sabbath includes worship in a place where your spirit can be fed.  Once you are full, share the abundance with someone else.  Peace!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day Twenty-Eight ~ Slow Down!

Sorry about yesterday!  Believe it or not, I got too busy...Sorry!

But really isn't that what we need to talk about today...aren't we all just a bit too busy?  We overload our calendars, we overlap events, we calculate the time it will take to accomplish a task, and we try to pack way too many things in to a short time frame.  We are busy people!

Some folks even cherish the identity of being busy.  It becomes a part of their ego identity.  Their self esteem begins to depend on the number of things they can juggle at any one time.  They even design and develop different responsibilities that challenge their time and ability just to give the outward appearance of being important or significant in the eyes of others.  In a weird way, they actually want people to know how much they do and have some sympathy for them all at the same time.

But it does not need to be pathological to have an impact on our spirits.  Busy with other things often means that we have placed our relationship with God on the bottom of our to-do list.  Our spiritual lives suffer, our discipleship is diminished, and our investment in serving others suffers.

Are you busy today?  We are getting ready to sell a house, buy another home, make a major move, say good bye to wonderful friends, and start fresh in a new community.  Even so, I want to be available to my family and to my faith.  Without that, I am fooling no one!  How about you?

Slow down...you will be glad you did!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day Twenty-Six ~ Back to the Basics

What are the basics of life for you?  We all need food, water, shelter from the elements, and some connection to relationships around us.  From there we would enjoy the option of choosing the kind of food we eat, the quality of water we drink, the type of home that will provide shelter, and we enjoy being able to select the people who will keep us company on the journey.  

Folks who are not able to make those basic choices are either incarcerated, living under extreme dictatorship, or deeply entrenched in poverty.  There may be other options but I think you catch my drift.

We consider choice and options to be rights that have become essential to our human journey.

I am pleased to say that I have a number of friends who live in a state of intentional poverty.  They are Trappist monks living in the household of the Abbey of Gethsemani in central Kentucky.  Take Father Damien Thompson for example.  Years ago he served as a missionary, then as a community organizer in Chicago and he supported himself as a taxi driver for a time.  Ultimately he 'came home' (like John Denver) to a place he had never been before.  He entered the Abbey of Gethsemani, became a part of the house, worked the fields, cooked the food, packaged the cheese, became the Abbot, and today is serving as Guest Master for the community. 

Along the way he took vows of celibacy, poverty, and stability (committing to never leave the Abbey).  He eats what is available, sleeps where he is assigned, wears what he has been given, awakes at 3:00 AM for worship, and becomes fully obedient to Christ through the discernment of Abbot Elias.

Most of us live a very different life!  Most people who live in poverty do not choose the life.  They may be culturally trapped, or economically snared, or even socially limited...but they did not make the choice.  In fact, if they had the option, they too would love to choose the food their children will eat tomorrow.  They too would like to be warm in the winter, have attractive and adequate clothing, and be able to interact with people they can only see on television.  But far too many know that tomorrow their children may not be able to eat, they may not have shelter from the cold, they may not have utilities like running water and electrical current.  Their time is taken up with the basics of life.

Perhaps we need to get back to the basics of life, appreciate what we have, and share the abundance.  Joshua would say, choose this day who you will serve.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day Twenty-Five ~ Walking With Children

It has been clear to me since I was quite young that children need adults.  Not just to keep them on the straight and narrow, not just to raise them up in a positive way, but especially to provide for those who do not have the option of making their own way in the world.

When I was 15 my family physician Dr. Albert Wolfson took me under his wing to show me how to care for children who could not care for themselves.  His son Scott had been born with multiple difficulties that impacted his ability to learn, to interact with others, and to care for himself.  Dr. Wolfson had the opportunity to develop a small ranch setting outside Idaho Springs, Colorado where he created a place for kids like Scott to experience life.  He was kind enough to include me in the journey.

Years later, God (although I did not believe in God at the time) led me to the Fort Logan Mental Health Center where the Lord (did I mention that I did not believe in the Lord at the time?) provided the opportunity to work for 10 years with emotionally disturbed children. 

Dr. Wolfson's ranch and the Fort Logan kids solidified my thinking about adults and kids.  Especially kids with special needs.

Today, Chris Seay's video takes us directly in to an orphanage bedroom in Haiti.  Francine lives there.  As you will see, it is basic at best.  But you can also easily imagine how deep the need is for that little girl and the children who live with her.  They need you.  They need adult folks who care.  They need believers who actually believe and put legs to their faith.

Today (actually at midnight tonight) our Wilson community of faith here in Colorado Springs will be sending forth a 14 member mission team that will be traveling to Gressier, Haiti to work with a remarkable Christian school and a team of incredible disciples who are making ministry happen.  Our team will work with the kids, provide support for the continued construction of the school, and share a first hand experience of how God is at work around the world.  They will make a difference!  And they will be changed.  They will be changed by the experience for sure, but mostly they will be transformed by the Holy Spirit into a deeper image of Christ in the world.  That is a special thing!

Pray for the children.  Pray for the team.  Pray for yourself.  Pray for Francine.  It will make a difference!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day Twenty-Four ~ Covet

Covet, not exactly a word we use every day.  In fact, you seldom hear it without the rest of the commandment...you shall not.  I am always interested in the difference between 'shall', 'will', and 'may' when it come to legal language.  When it comes to the commandment, it is always shall with clarity.

You (the people of God) shall not covet.  Not property, not relationships, not identity, not abilities, not wealth, not attractiveness, not vehicles, not homes...you name it, we are to keep our hands and minds to ourselves.  Sometimes coveting happens with our hearts, sometimes it takes place in our minds, and to the extreme we might even participate in a little shoplifting!

Did you ever get caught shoplifting as a kid?  Do you remember that paranoid feeling as you looked around to see if anyone was watching?  That feeling in your gut was a sure sign that you instinctively understood the nature of coveting and the personal impact that comes to play if we are caught.  But it is not just about getting caught.  It is also about our heart and soul.  It is the ache in your heart when you know you have done something that is outside the will and design of God.

As adults, we 'shoplift' when we see the new car in our neighbors driveway.  Or have dinner at the home of a friend and experience desire for the things we see.  It happens every time we evaluate ourselves by using someone else as the standard.

Do you remember God saying, Be holy because I am holy?  Be my person.  Use me and my holiness as the standard.  Do not covet because I, the Lord your God, have great things in store for you.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness...that beatitude is the opposite side of covet!

Lent will soon be leading us into Holy Week with unique opportunities for worship.  I pray that you will worship well, pray faithfully, and serve significantly so the Lord can fully bless you at Easter!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day Twenty-Three ~ Commandments

I have mentioned that our congregation is reading through the Bible this year.  We are using the Grand Sweep by Dr. Ellsworth Kalas.  We are entering week number 12 with the Book of Joshua at hand and the Judges close behind.

Like all good Bible explorers, we started with the first five books.  Some would call them the Pentateuch while others would simply say Torah.  In the Grand Sweep of things, it was a discovery of creation, the family of Abraham, and the ministry of Moses.  Along the way we discovered Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 with the Ten Commandments.  In between we also excavated any number of smaller but very significant laws and commandments.  What a blessing to see the foundations of our faith described in the language of our fore-parents.  (is that a word?)

  • You shall have no other Gods before me.
  • You shall not make for yourself an idol.

What better time (Lent!) to rediscover what it means to honor God in this way.  It is our chance to refocus and to be certain we are not putting anything else in front of our relationship with the God of Eternity. 

I invite you to take some time today...set aside 10 minutes...to quietly come before the Lord in prayer.  Ask God it reveal to you any place where your life might become better alined with the law of the Lord.
It is your day, make the most of it!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Celebration!

Today is Sunday!  A day of worship, celebration and hope.   I pray that you are fasting and feasting with a spirit of deep commitment and a desire to know God better during this season of Lent.

My prayer for you is simple.  Find a place to worship, offer yourself to God, discover new ways to serve as you express your faith in Christ.

Some of you are in Kentucky where the talk will be about the UK Wildcats.  Others are in Cleveland where you are looking forward to spring.  Still others are in places around the globe where you are seeking to live your faith to the fullest.  Wherever you are, know that God loves you and that the grace of God will sustain you.

Whatever you face today, God has already touched that situation.  Celebrate, feast with your friends, find time to pray, and remember...God is with you!

Peace

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day Twenty-Two ~ Prayer

Today we are thinking about God.  I don't know about you, but I think about God every day.  Not with questions or concerns about the nature of God or other deep theological questions, but I think about the presence of God in my life every day.  It is a common issue for many people.  It happens every time we pray.

Prayer, what a gift.  The actual ability and opportunity to speak directly with the God of eternity!  Can you imagine?  I confess, in the early days of my Christian journey, I wondered if God could possibly be interested in hearing from me.  It seemed so unreal that the Living God, the Creator of the Universe, the Author of Life, the Alpha and the Omega could be concerned with my small issues and questions. 

As it turns out, God really does care!  Not just about the issues I bring, but every thing that is on your heart today and tomorrow.  Have you spoken with God lately.

For me and my house (our congregation is reading the Book of Joshua right now!), my wife is really the fully committed prayer connection in our home.  She puts me to shame.  But this is not about me, or about my wife...it is about a total journey of the people of God during the season of Lent. 

Lent is a great time to pray!

Chris invited us to pray for a Compassion child named Aailyah who lives in Kenya.  While your prayers are focused on Kenya, I invite you to pray for the Global Hope children's home that is just outside Nairobi and for my friend Bishop Pius Kagwi who oversees the Methodist ministry in the country.  Good people, doing good things, all to the glory of God!

BTW:  Happy St Pat's Day!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day Twenty-One ~ Family of God

Have you ever found yourself using the word 'family' with great technical focus or with a very broad definition?  In years past, I served under Bishop Roy Sano.  Bishop Sano had a very definite and specific understanding of family.  During World War II he (and his entire family) was incarcerated in a camp that was created specifically for people of Japanese decent.  Folks were scooped up by the thousands, removed from their homes, considered to be a national security issue, and forced to live in concentration camps.  They were officially known as "War Relocation Camps."

For Bishop Sano, family was not a broad term.  In fact, it was a term that spoke about exclusion rather that inclusion.  He objected loudly when someone referred fondly to the church as a family.  He heard that image as a way of excluding people who were outside the family structure.

I'm not sure that all makes sense but here is the bottom line...I am wondering who is your family?  What are the parameters, the boundaries, the limits when you think of family?

I think about my wife, our children, grand children (even great-grand children here and on the way!).  But I also think about my close friends, leaders in the church I serve, fellow believers who seek to live in harmony, and the broader family of God.  For me, 'adoption' is a big deal.  We are adopted into the family of God.  To those who believe, God gave the right to become children of God...that's the way the Gospel of John speaks about the family.

The scope of your 'family' also speaks about the nature of love and the abundance of grace.  How much love, how much grace can you muster or spend.  The answer to that question will make a difference on the size of your family.

For today, I want to invite you to give thanks, to celebrate, to offer gifts of goodness to your family.  Big or small...invest and be thankful!

Peace

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day Twenty ~ Gratitude

I hope you took a moment to watch the Chris Seay video (at www.chrisseay.net) for today.  He is in Ecuador smiling with a group of joyful kids.  Today is a day of joy!  I hope it is joyful for you.

From a Biblical perspective we find wonderful messages about the nature of joy.  We hear the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:4 say "Rejoice in the Lord always!"  James reminds us not to boast but to be thankful.  A faithful spirit of thanksgiving will always lead us to and expression of joy.

As so we are people of gratitude.  For me personally, today is a day of gratitude that flows and is expressed dominantly through relationships.  The relationship that believers share together is really the heart of ministry.  I am grateful for relationships!  I met with a group of key leaders last night to discuss some issues in the life of the church.  I am grateful for the faithfulness of those leaders.  I want to express my gratitude through a joyful spirit of prayer on their behalf.

Who will you pray for today?  Who will top your "I am grateful" list?  You might want to start with more fundamental issues like being thankful for life and the gift of breath.  But eventually, I am guessing you too will settle in on a relationship or two and give great thanks for people who make life worth living.

Gratitude ~ it is a gift that offers great blessing to others and then boomerangs back to your own heart.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day Nineteen ~ Going Deeper

Friends!

We are challenged today to consider who we are under the surface of our identity.  We all have layers.  They are not the kind of onion layers that make us cry.  But there is a spiritual process of knowing, owning, and transforming our internal identity.  I think we all know that there are much deeper things going on inside than we let be known on the outside.  Is that true for you?

Maybe you are one who says everything you think and acts on every impulse.  Or maybe you are more closed than most.  Either way, the spiritual process is the same.  It often happens in three steps.

Step one involves letting your own self actually see and interact with your inner identity.  Do you know that the best secrets we keep are often from ourselves?  It is true.  We can become convoluted in the way we see into our own hearts.  We get captured by trying to be the person we think everyone thinks we should be!  We work so hard at being something we are not...that before long the real self can no longer be found without an intentional search party being dispatched.  Look deep, find who you are!

Second, we need to run a bit of an evaluation tool on the things we find.  Is it really us in there?  Have I hidden so long that I have developed a patina that no longer allows the refined gold to shine?  We need to evaluate what we find in the light of Scripture and through the lens of trusted friends.  Are you willing to take that risk?

Third, we need to allow ourselves to smile at what we find!  It is easy to frown, feel bad, get guilty, connect to anger, be frustrated, or just lock it back in the cabinet of our heart never to be seen again.  That is the easy part.  The hard, and truly spiritual path, is to discover a way to enjoy what God has done in your life and smile.  Smiles make growth much less painful!

Take a look, sift what you find, and smile at the hand of God that has shaped you in a wonderful way. Then give thanks to God for all the things you have.  At the same time, you can stop feeling sorry for all the things you do not have.

Go deeper.  That is where God resides!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day Eighteen ~ Clean Water

My father loved to sing.  Unfortunately, he was the only one who loved to hear his singing!  None-the-less, he had a cluster of favorite songs that were likely to show up at any time.  One of his long time favorites came from the songbook of the Sons Of The Pioneers.  They recorded it during the days when a fellow named Roy Rogers was a part of the group.  I promise, their harmony was well beyond my dad's range but well within his desire.

The song is called Cool Clear Water.  You can check out the original version at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDtCa8ZgAk4

"All day I face the barren waste without the taste of water...cool clear water!"  That was dad's favorite line, he sang it over and over.  Many times, we all sang along just for fun! 

So let me ask you, have you ever been thirsty?  I mean really thirsty!  Thirsty enough that you would love the taste of cool clear water?  Or maybe even thirsty enough that you would drink water that was not so cool and clear.  Maybe you would even drink water that you knew would make you sick.  Have you ever been that thirsty?

Today, Chris Seay talks about a group of folks in Nigeria who wanted and needed nothing less than a drink that would not make them sick.  Literally a cup of cool water that could be provided in the name of the Lord.  Take a few minutes today to check out www.water.cc to see how you could be a part of making a huge difference in the lives of people around the world.  Check it out,  you can even sing as you make the click!

Peace.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Day Seventeen ~ Remembering

The process of remembering is remarkable.  What actually happens when we remember?  A neurologist would love to tell us about the synaptic connections that provide a way for electrical energy to move from cell to cell until we are able to capture a thought in our mind or frame a picture in our imagination. 

Remembering, a remarkable ability that has been created by God and refined in the human species.

Then there are times when we can not remember.  It may be something simple like where did I put my keys.  Or I may be tragic like those who can no longer recall the name or face of a spouse.

Throughout Scripture, we are invited to remember.   People of Israel, remember that it was God who brought you out of slavery.  Followers of Jesus, do this in remembrance of his life, death and resurrection.  Remember that the Lord our God has a gift of grace to add into every situation.  Even the darkest days have a measure of grace if we allow ourselves to see through the darkness through the power of memory.

Lent is a great time to remember.  In spiritual terms we often say it is the discipline of reflection that allows our intellectual abilities to connect to our emotional center and link our spirit to the daily realities we all face.

Remember, you have been blessed to be a blessing.  Remember your blessings.  Remember the people around you.  Remember:  It is far more than a synaptic junction.  It is the gift of life.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day Sixteen ~ Grace to Walk

A confession is in order.  Yes, I missed a couple of days in our journey.  I could make excuses and tell you how pressed the schedule has become, or just say ~ Hello ~ an move on from there.

So here is goes ~Hello~ Great to see you again!

Most Christians find themselves talking or at least think about grace from time to time.  Grace is a great and wonderful mystery that connects people to the heart of God.  In the thinking of a fellow named John Wesley (one of my theological and spiritual heroes) grace is a gift of God that comes to all people at all times.  Non-believers receive grace that invites them to shift their hearts toward God.  Believers become recipients of grace as a gift that solidifies the God / human connection and assists us as we continue to grow.

Have you seen God's grace lately?  Have you had a moment to ponder the abundant love of God that has been directed your way since your first breath?  Do you see God working in your life today?

The study of anthropology invites us to recognize the human context for any one person or group of people.  It challenges us to think about the power of culture, the impact of language, and the essential values that bring shape to our life journey.  When you mix culture, language, values (and a number of other factors) with the potent gift of grace from the hand of God...you get something very unique.  Christian community begins to take shape.

As grace shapes our hearts, we begin to look to God for leadership.  We begin to ask the Lord how we should respond to such a radical gift. At the end of our conversation, we often find people who need the same gift we have received.  Grace.  Thank God grace is abundant.  Thank God that grace is free.  Thank God that there is nothing the can stop the flow of grace from the heart of God.

Lord, bless those who are feeling separated from you because they do not have resources.  Bless those who think you do not care or that you are not present because they are hungry.  Draw close to fellow believers so we can speak on your behalf and share the grace we have received. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day Fourteen ~ Deep Prayer

If you have not logged on to chrisseay.net to watch the brief video for Day 14 I invite you to take a moment, go there, watch the video, and then come back.  We will wait.  I promise, it will be a powerful experience.


I don't know if there is a more potent scene around the world.  A mass grave where thousands are buried.  Most of them died on the same day.  It was January 12, 2010.  Some must have lingered but they are all buried together.  Many families still do not know where their loved ones are for sure.  They have an idea but it all happened with such chaos that many will never know where their father, mother, brother, or sister are buried.


Thousands of people.  They died of massive poverty.  Sure, I understand that the they died when the cinder block structure collapsed and they were crushed.  I know that the earth swallowed some.  And we all understand the devastation that we saw through the safety of a television lens.  But they died of poverty.

They died because generations of poverty, corruption, and painful expectation all came together at the same moment.  Please don't call it an act of God.  Please don't tell me that it was the result of individual sin.  They died of poverty.

Now there is just a simple place.  A mass grave.  Acres that are covered with white surf smoothed rock.

The reality of absolute and extreme poverty around the world continues to be evident.  Chris speaks about Burkina Faso in west Africa.  He identifies the need for basic things like food and clean water.  I think about our friend Joanna who lived and served in Burkina Faso on behalf of the Peace Corps.  Thank you Joanna!  Thank you to all who serve around the world.  We lift you in prayer today and commit to working to alleviate extreme poverty around the world.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day Thirteen ~ Distractions

Distractions...As you read the reflections in A Place At The Table, you will be engaged by Chris' conversation about distractions in his life.  Isn't it interesting that many of our distractions today come in electronic form.  Does that happen to you? 

For example, this morning, at 5:30 AM, I read the Day 13 reflection on my iPad while catching up on my email and trying to resolve a glitch in the online course I am teaching.  At the same time I am thinking about some very important decisions and doing my best to breathe deep in a spirit of quiet devotion.  Distractions!  Most of the time they are ours creation and ours to overcome.

Distractions don't just keep our minds going in circles.  They don't simply diffuse our attention so everything seems to flow together.  They actually separate us from God.  Even if that separation is just for a moment...it is a barrier!

What distracts you today?  Is there something on your heart?  Is there an electronic gadget in your pocket that continues to capture your attention?  How about this, take a minute to set everything aside, calm your heart, breathe deep, and ask God to enter into the space that was once occupied by your distractions.  Ask God to create in you spirit of refreshment.  Invite the Lord to show you a path that will lead you into the day with a spirit of hope and clarity.

For me, I am going to follow my own advice!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Day Eleven ~ Release from Addictions

Friends:

First, an OOPS related to the video.  I say it is day 10 but please excuse that misstep...it is really Day Eleven in our Lenten journey.

I hope you had a great day of feasting yesterday.  I was able to feast in a circle of friends as we heard details about mission ministry in Haiti.  It was a joy!

Today, we are thinking about addictions.  You may not think this is a major area for your life.  Or you may know exactly the addictive behavior that haunts you every day.  Eating too much, smoking, drinking, you name it, we all have them.  The key is to find release.

You know that God is in the business of transformation!  In fact, the gift of transformation is central to the themes of Lent.  God doesn't invite us to pray, study, and fast just to see if we will do it.  It is all about transformation.  It is about a change process that is continuous in the life of a disciple.  Learning new things is a part of transformation.  Discovering new paths for the spiritual life is a part of transformation.  We all need continual transformation.

I invite you to pray to day ... ask God to show you the invisible addictions in your life.  Then ask God to provide an exodus, a release from bondage, a journey toward freedom, a spiritual reality that provides growth and transformation.

May God lead you forward into a land of promise!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Another Feast Day!!

Happy Sunday to you all!  It is the Second Sunday in the season of Lent and we are faithfully making our way to Holy Week and the celebration of Easter!

I pray that your week has gone well and that your spiritual disciplines are strong.  Remember, Lent is a season of fasting, prayer, study and service.  Don't forget the service part of the spiritual life.  Be sure you are reaching out to touch others.  Not just with a spirit of satisfaction because you have been faithful in the past, but with a heart that is always looking to the future.  There are remarkable possibilities for serving the world that will unfold right before our eyes if we are only watching and ready to act.

As a feast day, we pray that you will eat well.  Eat with friends, make a connection with someone who has not been readily available to your, perhaps even go out of your way to be a surprise blessing to someone.  Feasting comes in lots of shapes.  Feast on your faith.  Feast on your relationships.  Feast on you ability to bless others.  Feast well!

May the peace of Christ be yours today and every day!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day Ten ~ Compassion

The word compassion has different meanings to different people. To some it is the intentional and deeply personal application of passion that flows from our faith.  For others it is a gift that is received in a time of need.  For still others it is a word that carries a much larger and more intense gift of love that goes well beyond anything that could ever be expected.

If you watched the Day 10 video at www.chrisseay.net, you will know that Chris recorded todays scene on site at the office of Compassion International in Ecuador.  You might also know that the main office for Compassion is located here in Colorado Springs.  I drove past the office the other day.  I must tell you, if you know anything at all about the ministry of Compassion International...you can not let their work cross your mind without entering into a prayer of thanksgiving.

Hundreds of people around the world find hope through positive employment while thousands of children find life through the gift of sponsorship.

One of our good friends (Hi! - a little shout out) recently left employment with Compassion to launch an educational journey that will lead to mission and ministry.  I can tell you this, employees of Compassion live out the name of the organization and the organization truly lives up to its name.

The call for today is a typical element of Lent.  It is a call to pray.  Pray for the people who carry out the daily details of ministry that create a link between ministry organizations and the people who have deep need around the world.  Pray for the folks who open the doors, clean the office, care for the computer systems, enter data, engage children, and provide resources.  Pray for those who make decisions, direct traffic, and share vision.  Pray for your favorite mission ministry.  Surround it with prayer, love and the compassion of your heart!

God bless you all as you enter the weekend and make plans to worship!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Day Nine ~ Food Security

I wonder how many of us woke up this morning wondering if we would be able to eat today?  Probably not.  In fact, reality is, it never crosses our mind.  Do we have food in the house?  Is there something for the kids?  Will I manage to eat today?

We may think, do I need to stop at the store to get milk?  Should I call ahead so I can pick up a pizza on my way home from work?  Or I need to get something out of the freezer so it has time to defrost.

Many people in your own community will wonder if their food source is secure.  They may have enough for today but they need to stretch what they have so it lasts until the end of the month or until Tuesday when the food bank is open.

Today we will hear from Rev. Steve Brown who is the Executive Director of Westside CARES here in Colorado Springs.  The multiple Westside food banks are a major part of this interfaith ministry.

Spend some time thinking about what you would do it you lived in a constant stage of food insecurity.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day Eight ~ A Day of Reflection

Do you love movies?  Or maybe you just love popcorn!  Do you love to ski, run, play video games, watch sports, take part in political conversations, or drink coffee at your local shop?  We all love to do certain things.  I have several 'obsessions' that give me something to think about, ways to spend my money, and that tend to take up my time.  Right now I am outfitting a new bicycle and dreaming about a trip that would take me from Utah to Kansas on my new wheels!  We all love something.

Today, we want to stop and reflect a bit.  We want to think together about the things we love.  What are the essential elements of focus for our love?  What can we set aside?  What is helpful?  What is a problem?

Think out loud with someone you love about the things you love.  Be honest.  Let God speak...and then take the steps that will enrich your spiritual journey.   Peace!