Watched pots

A watched pot never boils, they say…oh, but it will eventually, if you stand there long enough watching. And if you’re willing to waste that kind of time. And if the heat is on…

Clicking on my inbox doesn’t make that desired email come…but it might come eventually. If I sit here long enough refreshing. And if I’m willing to waste that kind of time…And emotional energy.

Staring at my phone won’t make it ring…but it will ring eventually. If I wait long enough. And if I’m willing to waste that kind of time…And emotional energy.

I’m waiting for some news…and it hasn’t come yet. And I find myself obsessively clicking on my inbox, glancing at my phone, beginning to wonder if the news is ever going to come.

While all around me, prayers are being answered…operations are going successfully, meetings run smoothly, finances are settled peacefully, arguments are ended amiably…

Pots are boiling…given their fair share of time and heat.

*sigh* The time is in abundance here…I guess I’m feeling the heat…And I reckon I should pray instead of wasting my time and emotional energy.

James 5:16-18 reminds me…The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again.

Call

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John Wesley (1703-1791)

>Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.

>Catch on fire and people will come for miles to see you burn.

>The best thing of all is God is with us.

>I look upon the whole world as my parish.

>I the chief of sinners am, but Jesus died for me.

#rethinkchurch #johnwesley #umc

Live

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He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot— come, let us rejoice in him.  ~Psalm 66:6

Sea Fever
~John Masefield
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
                                                   And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
#Lent2015 #rethinkchurch

Mueller-ed

To understand this post more richly, you might want to read the previous post about George Mueller, a pillar of faith in God.

Here’s some backstory too:
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On the day of our church’s annual Easter egg hunt, we engage in a mission project of some type. Before releasing the children to hunt eggs, we work together on a project to help others. Then, we share the Biblical story of Easter…how the selfless sacrifice of Jesus saves us from our selfish sins. After these two events, we turn ‘em loose to hunt eggs and play outside.We started this itinerary about three years ago.

The first year, we spray-bottle painted onesies and shirts for the youth to take on their summer mission trip. It was a great IDEA but messy to execute in an small enclosed space with over-zealous, candy-craving children. The picture here was my experimental attempt…I didn’t take pictures the day of the egg hunt/spray painting bonanza because…well, there were 50 kids trying to spray paint. (It was a good idea…just not for this function…here’s the pinterest link.)

The next year, we collected health care items (combs, brushes, travel size shampoo/conditioner/toothpaste/toothbrushes/

deodorant/soaps and washcloths) for a few weeks prior to the egg hunt. On the day of the hunt, we had parents and kids move through an assembly line to drop one of each item into a gallon-size ziploc bag. These health care kits were given out during our youth group’s two mission trips that summer. This activity was MUCH more suited to the event…families worked together, it was quicker, not as messy…much less stIMG_0023ress!

This year, we are planning to stuff Socks of Love. We have collected health care items again, and the plan is to stuff a man-sized sock with shampoo/conditioner/soap/toothbrush/toothpaste/deodorant and roll the matching sock up and stuff it inside too. We’ll tie them off with a bit of ribbon or yarn and presto! A sock of love for the visitors at our local food kitchen.

So here’s how we got Muellered (unexpectedly blessed at our point of need):

I met Wednesday with our youth minister Jason to go over the schedule for the upcoming egg hunt. We have collected lots of hygiene items, but very few socks. We were saying, somewhat disappointedly,  that we’d have to go out and buy them, as they were of primary importance. When I went to church Thursday morning to sort out the hygiene items for our assembly-line next week, I discovered 55 pairs of socks! Jason had not purchased them…he had not mentioned the need to anyone else, nor had I. But there they were 55 pairs of lovely, clean, wonderful socks…awaiting their higher calling. IMG_0022

The first year, we painted 101 shirts and onesies for distribution in the Dominican Republic. Last year, we assembled over 75 health care bags (more were assembled after the egg hunt day, so I’m not sure of the total) for needy people in our state’s capital and in the Dominican Republic. This year, we will be able to hand out, at a minimum, 55 socks of love.

I love my church, our mission projects, the faith it builds in me, and the amazingness that is my God.

Stay tuned for an update after the egg hunt!!!

See

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One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.

            ~Psalm 27:4

#Lent2015

#rethinkchurch

#See

Get to know George Mueller

If you don’t know who George Mueller was, you need to.

George Mueller was a rotten Christian…a Christian who made fun of other Christians. A questionable Christian who partied too hard, gambled too much, got arrested too often. He was invited to a Bible study by another Christian friend, and he went…to harass the attendees. Imagine Saul, the persecutor, without the threat of death. Never did rapscallion Mueller think that Bible study would change his life.

After a week of attending, he realized his actions needed to change. He asked God for forgiveness and began his life transformation. Mueller decided to focus his attention on helping poor people and orphans. With this decision, Mueller lost all financial funding from his parents. He truly felt this mission field was where God wanted him to serve, so he began studying Scripture, meditating on what he read, and praying.

Prayer became George Mueller’s bread of life…literally. He never asked people for contributions to his orphanages…he just prayed. Time after time, God supplied for the 300 orphans. Food would be left on the orphanage porch by anonymous donors. Neighbors who just felt ‘led’ to bake loaves and loaves of bread stopped by and donated their goods. Milk showed up for the children. Clothes were always provided. Volunteers were always available. George Mueller only talked to God about his needs…and God was the only one who needed to know.

From his book, Answers to Prayer:

‘Truly, it is worth being poor and greatly tried in faith, for the sake of having day by day proofs of the loving interest which our kind Father takes in everything that concerns us.’

‘Through reading of the word of God, and especially though meditation on the word of God, the believer becomes more and more acquainted with the nature and character of God, and thus sees more and more, besides His holiness and justice, what a kind, loving, gracious, merciful, mighty, wise, and faithful being He is…’

‘If we, indeed, desire our faith to be strengthened, we should not shrink from opportunities where our faith may be tried, and , therefore, through the trail, be strengthened.’

‘Because he delights in the prayers of his children, He had allowed us to pray so long; also to try our faith, and to make the answer so much the sweeter.’

‘May the Christian reader be encouraged by this, should his prayers not at once be answered; and, instead of ceasing to pray, wait upon God all the more earnestly and perseveringly, and expect answers to his petitions.’

Want to read more? Great! Go get his book Answers to Prayer…it will transform your faith and your prayer life.

For a quick biography, click here. And there’s always wikipedia, though I don’t always trust it, I did get Mueller’s loving little face photo from there. So here’s that link, too.

Meditate

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#Lent2015 #rethinkchurch

Meditate

Psalm 121

Assurance of God’s Protection

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
    from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time on and forevermore.

When Mama Comes Home Tonight

I have chosen to work during my children’s young years. I realize there are mixed opinions of that, and I’ve battled my own decision some days. Having endured two rounds of post-partum depression, I know how beneficial it is for me to get out of my house and into the grind of my classroom. As a teacher, I am blessed to share time off with my children.

When my son, my oldest, was an infant, I was struggling with my choice to return to work. Many gals at my church had chosen to stay home, and I felt guilty for making the choice that was really best for me. When I found this book, I was encouraged.

The rhythmic poetry of the story tells all the tender ways the mother celebrates her child when she comes home from work. They dance and pick up toys and have tea and snuggle…all the things a working mom cherishes about home time. Mama also mends clothes and bathes her child, showing her love for her little one through her after-work-home-work. The author shows the beautiful balance that moms have to establish once they come home in the evening.

I didn’t read this book to my son very often as he was more of a rescue/construction fan. When I first read it to my daughter, she snuggled in closer to me and said, ‘Read it again!’ The gentle tempo of the text is like a mother’s rocking…and the words hang around after the story is finished.

‘When Mama comes home from work, dear child/ When Mama comes home tonight…’