Sunday, October 13, 2019

Reflections From Sunday Evening

I have reflected on scripture that says “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21)
Have you ever wondered how to store up treasure in heaven?
Here is a thought. When we give of our time, energy, or money, we make a heavenly deposit. Then I envision something interesting taking place. We make an earthly deposit and then there comes a heavenly blessing. Heavenly blessings are not necessarily material or financial. Heavenly blessings are things we do not expect or anticipate. Heavenly blessings provide what we truly and deeply need. Perhaps that is why we often feel peace when we would be expected to feel anxious. God’s blessings can prove pretty amazing.
We offer our time, energy, and money - our whole lives- not in order to get something but simply because we love the Lord.
Your heavenly account is vastly greater than you realize. Heavenly blessing are coming in ways we may not recognize.
So, maybe we could recognize God’s blessing more fully.
Just a thought.
It’s been a good day. I hope you’ve had a good day too.
Steve

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Reflections From Sunday Evening

Autumn. The Fall season.
The leaves change colors.
Football season is in high gear.
Basketball teams are preparing for their season. The same for hockey.
Baseball playoffs are going strong.
People are enjoying October vacations and weekend get aways.
New TV shows premiere.
Holiday decorations appear in stores.
Sports, entertainment, and culture dominate life in the Fall. ( This may be true in any season, but we are thinking Fall now.)
I look at things that seem most prevalent in my life and take note that I did not immediately list “faith” matters.
That is not because I do not value or pay attention to my faith. I do.
I prayed this morning. Just like you.
I read the scriptures this morning. Just like you.
I went to worship this morning. Just like you. ( I acknowledge that is an expectation but I was there and engaged.)
So, our faith is vital to us. We would not be the people we are becoming apart from faith in Christ.
It is a wondrous time of year to fully enjoy God’s gift of life.
Seek the Lord and live your faith by the Holy Spirit. Faith provides meaning to all of life.
It’s been a good day. I hope you’ve had a good day too.
Steve

Monday, September 30, 2019

Further Reflections

When I prepare to communicate the faith I pray to be able to first, communicate God's heart to those who will hear.  Secondly, I seek to communicate with clarity, accuracy, and truth. 
In my recent blog I failed on the accuracy principle.  I quoted a James Taylor song and INACCURATELY attributed it to "You've Got a Friend".  The real song is "Fire and Rain."
It was an oops in the message I was sharing.  I got the main point across - Truth.  I felt it was okay with the Clarity idea.  But it was inaccurate.  So there is my correction.  The rest stands.  Now I feel better.
It's been a good day.  I hope you've had a good day too.
steve

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Reflections From Sunday Evening

James Taylor said (actually sung) this.
“I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend.”
Of course the song is “You’ve Got A Friend’.
I have a unique vantage point of a congregation of Jesus followers. I see you in sunny days. I hear the joy of your faith expressions. I witness the pleasure you find in service. I see your sunny days.
I also see you in lonely times. I see your heart aches. I walk with you through the shadow of death.
The thing that brings wonder is seeing you live this life with others.
I hear laughter in the midst of service.
I see acts that are life giving in times of loss.
It is a joy to see us living our faith in groups. We are not alone. The risen Lord comes in many ways. He comes through others who rejoice with us  and and mourn with us.
It’s been a good day. I hope you’ve had a good day too.
Steve

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Reflections From Sunday Evening

It amazes me when working on communicating the Gospel, ideas emerge. This weekend the message on Go - Go Shine the light of Christ in witness - found three ideas to think about.
Uniquely positioned. God has uniquely positioned you to minister fruitfully in your sphere of influence.
Authentic. Since you have faith in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit fills your life, your witness is authentic. You need not use impeccable words or perform perfectly. The Lord uses your authentic witness.
Personal. We do not wait for others to shine. We shine. It’s personal.
Now to take these ideas and put them to practice this week. Join me?
Steve

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Reflections From Sunday Evening

Saturday afternoon Cindy felt very uncharacteristically bad. She got overheated working outside. We went to have her checked and ended up spending the night in the hospital. She never felt there was anything really wrong but appreciated the tests that confirmed she is in great health.
Gratitude.
We all appreciate good news. We appreciate good health and the host of blessings we enjoy.
Cindy’s overnight in the hospital provided me many opportunities for gratitude.
I am certainly grateful for Cindy’s good report.
I am also grateful for all the professionals who cared for her.
Doctors were amazing as they listened carefully, made good decisions and gave us great confidence.
The nurses, technicians, and other personnel were true blessings.
From my sideline vantage point I could see the grace of God working through person after person.
It serves as a reminder that God desires to use all of us to extend His love, grace, and care to others.
I am eager to see how God might use me this week. I am also eager to see God use you.
The downside of things was that I missed church today as we embarked on a next step in worship.
We watched online and felt the Spirit even in a hospital room.
Oh yes, got home to have lunch with the kids and watch the Chiefs.
It’s been a good day.
I hope you’ve had a good day too.
Steve

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Reflections From Sunday Evening

The Spirit was good and the joy evident as we gathered to serve by packing meals this morning. Oh, I talked with some who had been out of town, were new to the church, or simply did not realize we did not worship today but devoted the weekend to service. I had some great conversations.
As a result of several hundred people serving, tens of thousands of meals will be provided for hungry families. Housing will be provided through Habitat for Humanity.  Students will arrive at school and see an example of God’s beauty in creation. ( A little landscaping makes a great difference.). An Hispanic congregation got blessed and more joy will be felt. Hungry brothers and sisters received food at Lazarus’ Table. Of course Hillcrest Ministries gave us an opportunity to serve people.
It was a truly joyful and meaningful weekend as we served in the name of Jesus Christ.
It’ been a good day. I hope you’ve had a good day too.
Steve