God Sightings!

We held Vacation Bible School last week. It is a wonderful time when the building is filled with young children, youth volunteers and adults leading the various rotations – all to learn and teach about Jesus. This year the children learned about “God Sightings” and to look for them every day. My husband, Dave, was one of the volunteers and he told me a story that I thought worthy of sharing. There were a set of triplets, all boys, enrolled in VBS. They presented a little challenge that required a little extra monitoring, but Dave wanted to make sure they enjoyed the VBS experience and was happy to have them at Gloria Dei.

Finger puppets were passed out one of the days and one of the triplets had his and found another which he took also. He saw a younger girl who was upset because she lost her finger puppet. The triplet you found the extra one saw the upset girl and promptly gave her the finger puppet he had found. He did a good deed without hesitation. He was Dave’s “God Sighting” that day. He felt that this one experience was worth whatever minor challenges the triplets presented. It made his day.

I encourage you to go around today with open eyes to the “God Sightings” that are around you today! I guarantee that when you see one, it will make your day! Then create a “God Sighting” of your own that will make someone else’s day!

Have a “God Sighting” day today!

Joyce Pauly

Hope...

Psalm 33:22

May your unfailing love be with us, Lord even as we put our hope in you.

 What more can we want as Christians? Hope... a confident expectation of what God has promised and its strength is in His faithfulness.

 A beautiful way to begin everyday.

Time with God- read a His Word. Pray- remember the acronym A.C.T.S ( shared by Pastor Kral)

A-adoration....praising God for who he is and what he has done

C- confession....asking God’s forgiveness for anything we have done wrong

T-thanksgiving... thank God for health, family, friends, and so on

S-supplication... praying for ourselves, our friends, and others.

So we have reading His word and having a conversation with God through prayer. Don’t forget to worship, our time to get together with other Christians, hear what God is saying, encourage one another, and make new friends!! May God’s blessings be felt today for you!

 Blessings

Jacque Ortegel

 Let us pray;

Dear Lord,

We give you thanks for all you have created, for the sunshine the rain, and the double rainbow yesterday. We ask for your forgiveness for the things we have done and left undone. We thank you for our family and friends. We pray Lord for those who are suffering, be with them as they face tough decisions and guide them. Show us how to serve those who need our help. In your name Jesus we give thanks and pray.... All God’s Children say.... AMEN

Walk the Walk; Talk the Talk

But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.” Luke 12:20-21

There is always that one person who has “it”.  The rest of us, like the landowner in Luke 12, may need a sharp rap on the head to properly balance the material and spiritual realms. But we all know that someone who walks the walk, talks the talk, and persistently encourages us to do the same.  My friend Gloria was just that example.

 She was a shoe-leather evangelist.  Gloria learned everyone's name and never forgot. She'd walk up to anyone and ask them, well, almost anything.  A relentless recruiter for church activities both large and small, when she caught your eye and asked, “Do you have a minute?”,  you were anthropomorphically transformed into something between a deer in the headlights and a wriggling fish on a hook.  Helpless in light of what was to come.

Yet, nobody really minded. OK, a possible moment of annoyance.  But we all recognized that God was using Gloria and her very special gifts his precise purposes, strengthening the body of Christ and raising up leaders.  When she “nailed us” we knew that the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, as well as Gloria were offering an opportunity to further God's Kingdom.  Such a powerful and personally delivered offer is hard to refuse.  Countless individuals over the decades have responded to the traditional group icebreaker “So what brought you here?” with three words: “Gloria asked me”. 'Nuff said.

The world is a lesser place without you, friend.  Blessed Homecoming!

Mary Beth Frederick

Where is Your Treasure?

Luke 12:21
This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.

Treasures in heaven... what do they look like?
Stop by the church anytime from 9- noon this week through Friday and you will see “Treasures” of all ages all around you.
Visit Gloria Dei on Saturday evening and on Sunday .... more treasures!!!!!
Treasures on earth you can touch or not touch
Treasures in heaven is living for God’s Glory and the good of others.
We are eternally rewarded when we:
Love our enemies 
Pray and fast in secret
Serve the Lord and his people
Forgive someone 
Share the gospel 
Endure insults and persecution 

But our GREATEST TREASURE is seeing Jesus face to face!
Make your day a SUPER TREASURE HUNT!!!
Live for Jesus so you can be with him!

Blessings and love 
Jacque Ortegel

Martha and Mary

Martha didn’t say anything and finished with the preparations and joined Mary at the feet of Jesus.

 Mary went and helped Martha and together they sat together at Jesus feet.

 Jesus said to Martha, “Come join us!”

 We all have a little of Martha and Mary in us. The main thing is they loved Jesus and loved their time with Jesus. He was a close friend of theirs.

 When you have that “ONLY ONE THING IS NEEDED” in your life, you have the peace that Mary felt listening to Jesus. Jesus wants each and everyone of us to be at his feet. He wants to have a relationship with us EVERYDAY! When you begin your day in the quietness of his love, you too will serve and love just as God has planned in your life!!!

 Blessings;

Jacque Ortegel

Let the Little Children Come to Me...

No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.

            Deuteronomy 30:14

 

 

The VBS leader looks out over the volunteers and children gathered and says, “ When life is unfair...”  Hundreds voices shout “ God is good!” “And when life is scary...”, she continues.  The children scream even louder “God is good!”.  Smiles and laughter all around.  Many years ago I volunteered as a VBS 2nd grade teacher.  After listening politely to the story of Jesus raising the little girl back to life, a precocious 6 year old asked me, “ Why can't Jesus bring my Grammy back to life?”  Since then I've stuck to games and snack duties.  In addition, I've  wondered if we are doing our children a favor by indoctrinating them with charming stock phrases of faith.  How will these stock phrases wear when that girl or boy runs smack dab into brokenness of this world?

 

And the world indeed is broken and evil exists. Two weeks ago  37 year- old Clayton Stocks was bit by a bee, suffered anaphylactic shock, followed by a heart attack that left him in a coma from which he could not wake up.  Last week his family said goodbye as he was wheeled into surgery which would allow his organs to live on in others.  Clayton's mother is an acquaintance. In late June a young Colorado man went to Lisbon, Portugal, for a few days before flying on to meet up with a friend for a summer European trip.  The night before his flight out, he never returned to his hotel. Days went by.  His family flew to Portugal.   Later his body was found in a Lisbon waterway.  Alex Tyk was my younger son's housemate. Two tragedies. Too many unanswered questions. The unimaginable.

 

Perhaps the VBS themes and the delightfully simple songs the children love to sing and dance to are the framing for a foundation yet to be poured.  It creates a space in the heart that can be filled with a connection to God or Jesus, with wisdom and maturity later cementing the connection with God's all powerful love.  So when the winds of misfortune blow life apart or the hand of evil shatters that which is beautifully dear, the foundation has a chance of remaining. A symbol of resistance, of determination, of hope in the power of love. Perhaps the once children will know that the word, Jesus, is near to them, both in their hearts and on their lips.

 

Let us be good Samaritans in the weeks ahead and remember in prayer the Stock and Tyk families as they live with the unimaginable.

 

Mary Beth Frederick

Who are our Neighbors?

Luke 10: 25-37 is Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan.  I love the parables that Jesus told as they are so easy to understand and so easy for your children to understand.  A lawyer asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus said, “What is written in the law?  What do you read there?” The lawyer answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”  But, the lawyer asked, “Who is my neighbor?”  Jesus told him a story about a man who was walking along a road when robbers jumped out and attacked him.  They robbed him of everything and beat him until he was almost dead.  A priest was going down that same road a little time later and came across that man lying in the road.  The priest saw the man and crossed to the other side of the road and hurried away.  Later a Le’vite came by and saw the man.  He too crossed to the other side of the road and hurried away.  Then along came a Samaritan.  When he saw the man, he was moved to pity.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them.  Then he put the man on his own animal and brought him to an inn.  He cared for the man and the next day, when he had to leave, he gave the innkeeper two denarii and said, “Take care of him and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Now Jesus asked the lawyer, “Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?”  He said, “The one who showed him mercy.”  Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

What a wonderful way for Jesus to help us understand what is meant by our neighbors.Our neighbors are not just the people who live next door or down our street.They are all people everywhere.Teaching your children to be kind and compassionate is one of the most important things you can teach as a parent.Reading Luke’s message of the Good Samaritan story is a great way to open another wonderful discussion from the Bible with your children.Please find ways to share the Bible with your children.Learning the word together is another terrific way to bond.

Jan Barker

The Good Samaritan

In the story of the Good Samaritan the story is not quite as straight forward as it appears and would have had additional meaning for those of that time. Some scholars believe that the lawyer may not have been testing Jesus in an adversarial way but was truly seeking out information. One of the reasons is that he asks questions that a legalistic in nature who exactly is my neighbor?

It’s easy to say that the priest and Levite did not want to deal with the man in the road and are an example of passing by those in need. In reality it may have been hard for them to tell from a distance if the individual was alive or dead. If the person was dead, it would have made both the priest and Levite ritually unclean and would not be able to perform their duties for a while. The Samaritan is the one person Jews despised if not hated, yet he was the one who helped. It is also interesting that Jesus made the Samaritan the hero in this story since they would not let him stay with them when he was making his way to Jerusalem. Lastly, Hebrews of the time tended to view only their immediate communities as their neighbor and Jesus shows us that everyone is our neighbor. He also shows that loving God and neighbor is paramount and is more important than ritual.   This parable can be a tough one since at various times we can see ourselves in the story good and bad. The parable shows us that it doesn’t matter what group you belong to we are all one and worthy of love.

Denise Marnen-Jirka

God is Good!

As a mother comforts her child,
    so I will comfort you;
    you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. Isaiah 66:13

                    

 To a successful kingdom surrounded by great  powers, a defeated people taken to live in a foreign land,  and 1st century disciples sent on the road with nothing,  today's scriptures have a word of comfort: “Wherever and however you are, God, his power and his love go with you.” Or, as the VBS curriculum for “Roar: Life is Wild: God is Good” reads and in Golden, Colorado, next week 280 children will shout:

             When life is unfair:...God is good!

             When life is scary...God is good!

             When life changes...God is good!

             When life is sad...God is good!

             When life is good:...God is good!

 

Out of the mouth of babes.  Sometimes the scriptures are just not that complicated.

 

Mary Beth Frederick

Happy Harvesters!

Luke 10:20

However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but REJOICE that YOUR NAMES are WRITTEN in HEAVEN!

 Happy Harvesters we are for Jesus. We are chosen! Like the 72 disciples appointed by Jesus, two by two, we can share our stories with others. We can plant the seeds and God will do the rest. What is comforting to me is Jesus sends them out two by two, he invented the buddy system long ago. Look at how much more we accomplish together then by ourselves.

 Take time today to look at your spiritual journey. Thank those who have been your buddy in your spiritual journey.

REJOICE THAT YOUR NAMES ARE WRITTEN IN HEAVEN!

 Blessings;

Jacque Ortegel

Dear Lord;

Thank you for choosing us to be your harvesters. We are ready to share your story and our stories. Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Bless us today as we use the gifts you so graciously gave to us. Help us to spread your seeds of love.

In your name Jesus we pray.

All God’s Harvesters say.... AMEN!

July 4, 2019

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” …. But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”….Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9: 58,60,62

 

 

After reading Luke 9:57-62, one might think that in order to be a disciple one has to volunteer for homelessness, skip family burials or shun family and friends. I think it is more  complicated than that.  Each man had his unique hesitation to discipleship which Jesus perceived and addressed with brutal directness.  So what shall we take away from Luke's story?  We should expect that following Jesus will entail hardship and uncertainty about many things. This was too much for the first man. As ones who are called by Jesus to follow him, as was the second man, there are many understandable duties and worthy activities to which we should attend.  But we should be aware that these duties and activities can become excuses to defer or ignore what God is asking us to do. The final man merely asked to say farewell to family and friends.  Why did Jesus take a harsher line than Elijah took with Elisha in 1 Kings?  Perhaps Jesus knew that for this man looking back would mean drawing back – commitment would always be difficult with the human chains which bound him. 

 

Only discernment can help us avoid the pitfalls of these well intentioned men.  By staying close to God through prayer, worship and reading scripture we can hope to be alert to the nudging of the Holy Spirit.   When we feel that nudge, we should not be afraid or hesitate, but push forward. We can trust that God will bless our efforts, however imperfect, and lead us to fulfilling our roles as disciples within the circumstances of our lives.

 

Mary Beth Frederick

 

Prayer: Gracious Lord, by your grace help me to avoid timidity, procrastination and fear of commitment on my journey as your disciple. Amen.

July 3, 2019

Psalm 16:11

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with JOY in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

 

What Peace and joy awaits all of us in our eternal home.

 

FIRST- how has your week been going? Any God-sightings?

I saw 2 yesterday within 3 mins of each other. I was driving home from my Sister Jan’s home.

The FIRST was on a church sign;

It said,” For we walk by Faith, not by Sight. “    2 Cor. 5:7

Then within 2 blocks from the church at a stoplight, I looked to my right at at a truck who had this bumper sticker on the side of his truck:

Faith has two parts:

One is patience, the other is gratitude.

Oh Lord thank you for speaking to me! As I turned left at the next corner, two lanes were reduced to one and my ride home just doubled in time. I thanked God for the patience he gave me and how grateful I am this morning to spend some extra time together with him in the car today.

 

Let God be first in your life!Give Him the steering wheel!

 

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with JOY in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

 

God Bless all of us on our journeys.

Jacque Ortegel

Let us pray;

Lord we thank you for being first in our lives. We thank you more for putting us first in your life!

Thank you for steering our paths in life. Thank you for our family’s and friends you have blessed us with in life. Guide us to help and encourage others. Let our lights shine. Thank you for all the freedoms you have richly given us. God Bless America. In your precious name Jesus we pray. All God’s Children say..... AMEN!

Keep It Simple!

Psalm 8... verses 1& 8

Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth.

 

This psalm begins and ends with the same verse.

David speaks of glorifying our God and His Greatness. God uses weak things to display His glory and strength.

 

Two things stand out for me after reading this psalm.

The beauty and innocence of children. If you want to see what we take for granted in life, spend some time with a child. Watch what joy jumps from their hearts as seen from the eyes of a child.

It’s a reminder to me to “ Keep It Simple”

Secondly, I remember looking through a telescope for the first time. It is said, we can see 5000 Stars with the naked eye. Actually, probably only 2500 because the earth gets in the way.

With a four inch telescope one can see about 2 million stars.

This psalm reminds me of the greatness of God. Also, God has a personal connection and contact with each of us. He is constantly thinking about us and acts in our lives. “Keep it Simple”

Don’t miss out on His Grace and Love for you!

 

Blessings;

Jacque Ortegel

Let us pray;

Dear Lord;

Lord, Our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth. Help us to see you from the eyes of children. Let us take time to enjoy your Creation. Everything we see Lord is the WORK OF YOUR FINGERS! Let us share our blessings with others today. In your name wondrous Jesus we pray... All God’s Children say.... AMEN.

Let Your Light Shine Today!

Acts 16:31

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved-you and your household.

 

I don’t know if you have ever had a day like Paul and Silas. They were being followed by a female slave who could predict the future. She received a great deal of money by fortune telling for her owner. Yet, she kept shouting “these men are the Servants of the Most High God, and telling you how to be saved.”

 

This happened for a couple of days and finally Paul had enough and turned around and said to the spirit,”In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her.” And the spirit left her.

 

Paul and Silas were flogged and thrown in prison. The jailer was ordered to guard them. At midnight that evening Paul and Silas began praying and singing.

Then it happened, an Earthquake!! All the doors of the prison were opened and the chains became loose. The jailer was so worried that the prisoners had all escaped. But, Paul and Silas said,” Don’t harm yourself, we are all here!”

The jailer called for lights and ran to Paul and Silas trembling, falling to his knees and asked,”Sirs, what do I need to be saved?”

 

They answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved- you and your household.”

 

I haven’t had a day like that, how about you?

Have you shared your love of Jesus with others?

Have you prayed and sang songs at midnight?

 

Today let your Light shine!

Today share your Love of Jesus with others, may not be in words, but maybe by your actions. It might be a prayer you say for someone. Your Life today witnessed by another May FREE them..... you never know!

Let us pray;

Dear Lord;

Shine Jesus Shine.

Fill this land with the Father’s glory.

Blaze Spirit Blaze.

Set our hearts on Fire.

Flow River Flow.

Flood the nations with grace and mercy.

Send forth your word Lord and let there be light!

In your name Jesus, we SHINE

AMEN

 

Blessings;

Jacque Ortegel

The Holy Spirit

Be still, the dawn is breaking, listen as the blackbird sings
Find a heart to share your journey together for all life brings
The hunger and the longing, the wonder and the will
Your world is enchanted, when your mind is still
Be still, be still, be still

From Celtic Woman, Ancient Land

 

The morning is my favorite time to read devotions. The house is quiet. The day hasn’t begun. What a perfect way to begin the day and get my focus on God and not on problems, deadlines or other worries. I especially like it when the sun is shining, the weather is warm enough so I can have the patio door open and hear the birds in the backyard chirping as they gather at the feeders.

I am reminded of the song that Celtic Woman sang in their recent PBS special, Ancient Land entitled Be Still. This is the perfect time to “be still”.

This is the time of day I am particularly thinking of the Holy Spirit. I feel the wind moving and coming in through the open windows. I see the wind moving the trees. The presence of the Holy Spirit is all around me, which is comforting. The Holy Spirit was a gift that Jesus left with his disciples (and us) before he ascended into heaven.

This is a time to get in touch with nature and recognize the Holy Spirit in everything and everywhere. Letting go of the TV, computer, yes, even your smart phone and listening. Thinking about the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. Thinking about how the Holy Spirit is talked about all through the Bible – beginning with the creation story when God breathed into the nostrils of Adam and gave him life. Life depends on breath.

When I think about how we have been entrusted with caring for God’s creation, it saddens me to look around seeing how we fail. Man-made pollution is in the oceans, air and land.

How do we turn this around? One person at a time. When you feel the wind on your face, think about God’s Holy Spirit, thank God for this gift and find ways to show your thankfulness by being a positive force in taking care of the creation – land, water, animals – that God left to us.

Joyce Pauly

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for leaving the Holy Spirit as a Helper that is with us always. (John 14: 15-17) The Teacher who will teach us all things. (John 1:26) The Intercessor who helps us in our weakness. (Isaiah 11:2) And the gift giver who gives us spiritual gifts to accomplish God’s will. (1 Corinthians 12: 1-11). Help me to feel the Holy Spirit moving over the earth and to remember that your Spirit lives in me. Amen.

May 15, 2019

Psalm 23 is one of my favorite readings in the Bible. My Sisters and Brothers and I sang it at my Mom’s funeral. This psalm was also a favorite of my Mom’s too!

We had pictures surrounding us in our home of the Lord as a Good Shepherd and another picture of Jesus knocking on the door. My Mom wanted us to feel God’s love as well as invite others to know him and his endless love.

 

We are so blessed to be a sheep and a part of the herd. Apart from our SHEPHERD, we are helpless. Let us be reminded of his promises today. 

   * Having God in your life is MORE THAN ENOUGH!!

   * God will ALWAYS strengthen us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He rest us in green pastures, THE BEST type of grass to eat!

   * God gives us instructions. God WANTS THE BEST FOR US!

   * God will protect us when danger comes. Life is not always tranquil or a mountaintop experience, we become more aware of his love and protection in the valleys of our life.

   * God will provide the best table for us filled with joy, and anoint us with the purest oil.

   * God rewards those who follow him. This psalm ends where our lives are headed-

GOD’S HOME!

 

God is ALWAYS WITH US!

Blessings to all the herd!

 

Jacque Ortegel

Jacque Ortegel - April 24, 2019

Today my Sister Annette would be turning 60. She was called to her heavenly home at age 43.

17 years have past and we all miss her dearly. She is enjoying her new home, I’m sure.

My faith reassures that for me. Our Lord’s resurrection assures that for me.

The POWER of the RESURRECTION.....even those who were close to Jesus didn’t understand at first. Jesus called his disciples at times “little of faith”

Today, let go of that “do-it-yourself” attitude and let the POWER of the RESURRECTION live through you and guide you!

Feel that EVERLASTING JOY and the HOPE of tomorrow!

Let us pray;

Dear Lord,

Thank you for dying on the cross. Thank you for the POWER of YOUR RESURRECTION!

You live eternally to save, to grant us rich supply, to guide us with your eye, to bless us with your love, to help us in time of need, to grant us daily breath, to prepare Our mansions, to help us in times of need, to love us to the end. Thank you Lord! We know that OUR REDEEMER LIVES!!!

And ALL GOD’S CHILDREN SAY

AMEN!

Blessings

Jacque Ortegel

Denise Marnen-Jirka - Word of the Week, April 23, 2019

One of my favorite Easter hymns is “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” and I have an expectation on Easter Sunday to sing it. Many Easters that expectation is met, like this one, and sometimes not. In our reading for Sunday Mary Magdalene and others had an expectation that they would be anointing a dead body and they of course did not. They did not expect to see to men in clothes that gleamed when they entered the tomb. They did not expect to find no body in the tomb. They probably did not expect to be the messengers that Jesus has risen from the dead.

The disciples did not expect this fabulous tale the women told them to be true (although Peter checked it out). They did not expect Jesus to appear to them. I also have to believe they did not expect at that time to travel and preach the Gospel as they did. There were a lot of things that first Easter morning that no one expected to happen or what was about to happen. That is the thing though expect the unexpected from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and amazing things will happen.

 

Prayer: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you. 27 The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine on us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. 28 You are my God, and I will praise you; you are my God, and I will exalt you. 29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Amen. (Psalm 118:26-29).

Jan Barker - April 16, 2019

Isaiah 53: 3-6                                                                                   John 10: 30-33

 “The Jews took up stone again to stone him.  Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?”  The Jews answered, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.”

A few years ago, a young teen girl was taking a piano lesson from me.  I asked her if she was going to attend a particular event that our church (at that time) was planning for the upcoming week.  She got very quiet and I could tell she wanted to say something but did not know how to say it.  I asked her what was wrong.  She said, “I need to tell you something, but I know you will hate me when I tell you.”  I said that no matter what she had to tell me that I would never hate her but only love her as always.  Then, with much hesitation, she told me that she did not believe in God.  As somewhat shocking as this was, because her family was very active in the church, I said a quick prayer to as God to guide my words.  I took her hands and looked directly into her eyes.  I said, “I am glad that you told me and no, I do not hate you.  What you believe (at this time in your life) is how you feel.  I will respect that and not think any less of you.  I can only tell you why I do believe in God.  When I look around me and see the beautiful blue sky, green trees, gorgeous birds, darling animals, sweet babies, insects, and daily miracles, I know that God exists and is still working for us every day.  I know that He loves me unconditionally and that I can talk to him anytime and anywhere I want to.  He is my best friend who will never, ever leave my side.”  She listened intently but said nothing.  A few months after this, she quit piano as her teen life was getting very busy.  I am no longer at that church so do not see here anymore.  I can only hope and pray that she has experienced some special times in her life that have brought her to God.  I hope that perhaps she will remember what I said.  I feel as if God spoke through me that day and I hope it was the right things to say.

The Jews wanted to stone Jesus, not for the good deeds he did in the name of God but rather because He was making Himself God.  They did not realize that God had sent him as His son to show the people what God can do.  I would add that if you are ever in the same situation that I was in, just tell that person why you believe in God and of the things that God does that we, as humans, cannot do.

 Dear God, thank you for being inside of me and guiding me in what to say to my young “doubting Thomas”.Please watch over her throughout her life and make yourself known to her along the way.Keep her safe and happy.Thank you for the wonders you give us every day that only you can give us.Amen

Mary Beth Frederick - April 11, 2019

I am about to do a new thing;
                                          now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

                                                            Isaiah 43:19

 

 

One week before Holy Week and I have hit rock bottom.  Cream sneaked its way back into my coffee about week two. A  4 a.m. wake up call and the rest was history.  My fifteen minutes of silent contemplation lasted a bit longer. Two weeks on the road in other peoples homes with dogs, relatives and  children as my near constant companions that fifteen  minutes was hard to find and I too quickly gave up looking. When I was younger my Lenten practices required heavier lifting and I rose to the challenge. No Caffeine. No potatoes ( hey, I'm Irish and German!). Daily bible study guides. Weekly Wednesday night services without a miss. Am I old, lazy or have I drunk the water of what Dietrich Bonhoeffer coined “cheap grace”?  That is to say, “Hey it's OK, God will forgive me so no big deal. “

 

Today's verse from Isaiah speaks hope and renewal to me.  God says, “ I am about to do a new thing...”  It's true that God does not care about the coffee or potatoes.  God, however does care about the Spirit within and how that Spirit manifests itself in his kingdom. How do my actions reflect the depth and width of the love He has bestowed on me?  Today, like every other day, by God's grace I have the opportunity to perceive and be a part of that “ new thing”.  I can be a little different, more Christlike, than the day before.  So today will I be a “new thing”?   I'll have to finish my coffee first.