Know the Generosity of God…and never thirst! (John 4)

Posts from May 2017 (Page 2)

The Goodness of God

In a conversation with a friend from Pennsylvania, she told me she was thinking of leaving her church.  When I asked her why, she said that many of the ‘20 somethings’ would go out on Saturday night, drink heavily, even to the point they would show up for worship on Sunday morning still intoxicated.  But, they would claim that it was OK because they were covered by God’s grace.  In other words, how they lived their lives did not matter because God would just forgive them.  This is referred to as “Cheap Grace,” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Theologian and Martyr for Jesus Christ.  He states, Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”  If any of us fall into this mindset of “Cheap Grace,” we are headed for a very slippery slope that has the potential to lead us to the wrath of God.

Judgement Day

As a pastor, I am frequently asked about my thoughts on the GLBT community.  Mostly I am asked because the Lutheran Church has allowed gay men and women to be ordained.  Here is my response: I have been a part of a congregation where the pastor was gay. I was a witness to the fact that this pastor reached a community of believers that I could not ever possibly reach – just for the reason I am not gay.  This community worshipped on Sunday, participated in growing God’s Kingdom in that place, and engaged in the Word of God through Bible Studies and the Holy Sacraments.  Therefore, for me it is obvious that God calls all kinds of people to preach God’s Word.  Because we are human, we tend to want to judge others thinking that we are more righteous.  However, in God’s eyes, a sin is a sin.  Therefore, be careful before judging others until you have taken a good look at yourself.

God’s Power in You

I called them my monsters.  My monsters are those voices in my head when I am out of my comfort zone that tell me that I am not good enough, smart enough, or equipped to do the job.  When I was in college and then Seminary, testing and exams were very difficult for me.  I would have so much anxiety that sometimes I would go and take the test and begin to freak out.  The monsters were there.  They wanted to take away my confidence, make me think I wasn’t capable, or even smart enough to pass the test.  With many tears and even failure on occasion, no matter how much I studied, I began to test myself to prepare for exams.  In this testing, I began to learn the cure for my anxiety. It is through my weakness that I found the power of God living inside of me.

How do You See the World?

Most people think that to become wealthy, they need to save every penny, be so frugal that they can literally squeeze blood from a turnip, and they are usually not risk-takers.   Most people who have this mentally see the world through the lens of “scarcity.”  They are worried they will not have enough, concerned they will lack in what they need, and focus on hoarding for themselves…for that time of “just in case…”  However, through my own experience and witness, I have learned that the more I give to others, the more I receive.  I have never been hungry or lacked in anything that I needed. In fact, I have more than I could ever possibly need. God calls us to this new life that is a change of heart. It begins by having the ability to see the world through the lens of “abundance.”

Ambassadors for Christ

There is so much conflict in our country right now.  People are outraged about how to handle immigrants and the refugees.  Some people are unhappy about the presidential election because of their moral standards and values.  Others believe that those who are different than them should not be excluded and judged.  Well, I hate conflict!  I’m not sure that anyone ‘really’ likes it.  When I am in the middle of a conflicting situation, it sucks the life right out of me.  I cannot sleep.  I sometimes cry.  I feel angry and perhaps, even hurt.  I just want it to go away.  I want everyone to be happy and get along.  However, unfortunately, it hardly ever works out that way.  And so, here is my struggle…how do we make a wrong – right?  How do we discern who is right and who is wrong, especially when there is so much grey?  And, finally, how do we become agents of change in a world filled with chaos?

Ministers of a New Covenant

To have confidence in something or someone is to have trust and belief that you can rely on that person for whatever it is you are seeking from him or her.  For example, I have confidence that my husband will fulfill his promises of faithfulness to me. I believe that he will be loyal and faithful.  I trust him!  So, I pose the question: What then would it take  for you to put your confidence in Christ Jesus in order that you may proclaim His Word?

The Heart of the Gospel!

Have you ever wondered why Christmas is such a favorite time of the year?  Unfortunately, I’m not sure we get so excited for the right reasons; however, I know as a child, I loved Christmas because I got presents!  My mom and dad would tell us kids that we had to be good so that there would be presents under the Christmas tree.  And, of course Christmas eve we could hardly sleep because we knew the next morning we got to open the presents and see what was inside.  But, the point I want to make is not the presents themselves, but the fact (at least for me when I was a child), was that there was a condition attached to us receiving Christmas presents – We had to be good!  Therefore, the gifts were a reward for our good behavior.

Forgiveness Leads to Love

There was once a newly married couple. It wasn’t long after their wedding that they began to get on each other’s nerves with all the petty things – he didn’t pick up his clothes off the floor. She never took the trash out, and on and on. They began to find themselves fighting all the time.  So, to settle things, they created a box that instead of saying anything they would write down the things that bothered them. At the end of the week, it was agreed that they would open the box and talk about their grievances.  When the end of the week came, they opened the box.  He began to read each slip of paper, one-by-one all the things that he did wrong that upset her. Then it became her turn…With each slip of paper, she read, “I forgive you.”

Who, do you think, demonstrated true love?

The Good Life!

I hate nights that when I know I need to be sleeping and getting rest, my mind just won’t shut down!  I even feel like I can hear myself talking!  Or, I get awake for whatever reason and then I cannot fall back to sleep.  It’s always about the stupid stuff that I cannot do anything about.  I’ll try to give it all to the Lord, but within seconds, I am already grabbing it back and making it my own problem.  Why do humans do that?  Why do we carry burdens and heavy loads when we don’t have to?  Why do we allow things in life to rob us of the life God intended for us?

Nothing that is Good in this Life is Easy

Nothing that is good in life is easy.  Have you ever wanted something so bad that you would do whatever it took to accomplish it?  For me, what comes to mind is my degree – my education.  I would have done anything!  In fact, I did!  I had four children, a husband that traveled, a full-time job, and went to school full-time.  I went to classes on the weekends, the evenings and early mornings.  I did whatever it took to complete my degree.  But, it took discipline!  Every second and minute was planned so that I could complete what was required of me – not just as a student, but also as an employee, a mother, and a wife.  And, believe me, there were some ‘really’ difficult days in which, I wanted to give up!