Thursday, September 17, 2020

From Broken to Hopeful

 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

-Matthew 6:25-27

Today we have fires in the west, hurricanes in the south, and the corona virus is raging all around us… This year seems to be full of things to worry about, and I have spent a lot of time speaking with people whose lives have been flipped upside down.  There are people who are sick and isolated.  Others have recently lost their jobs and homes because of the recession.  Parents are struggling to balance their work with child care.  Finally far too many people are searching for meaning in what seems like an endless void.  Life is not easy, and the pressure can be immense!

This week at Community Lutheran, we are taking time to find ways to relieve the anxious pressure of the world.  Instead of losing ourselves in the endless cycle of fear, God has come to give us hope. 

As we look at our world today, it is easy to find reasons to despair.  However, I believe God always works in moments of vulnerability.  A colleague of mine once reminded me not to fear the rock bottom moments of life.  Instead, he told me to think of these times as a gift.  These moments of vulnerability can open us to new perspectives and opportunities.

Today I hope we can all open our hearts to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.  I pray that God’s grace would bring meaning to our lives, and I pray that God’s love would lead us to a new path of hope.

Blessings!

 

Brian Ward

Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Spiritual Fruit of Self-Control

 FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: Self-Control | Life-Giving Water

 Earlier this week, I woke up in the middle of the night to hear my two year old son calling out.  He doesn’t have an extensive vocabulary, but I thought I could hear him saying, “Stuck! Stuck!” When I entered his room, I found him in a tangled up blanket with his head on his pillow, but his feet were falling off the bed. I put him in a more comfortable position, and he simply said, “Thank you Dada.” Then he immediately fell back to sleep.

 

This experience made me smile, because I was able to help in a real way.  My child was “stuck,” and I could make everything better.  I love the moments when I have the ability to change things or control my environment.  However, I realize there will be a day when it will not be as easy to fix my son’s problems.  As I look out at the world, I would love it if I could just fix the pain that I see.  However, it is not always that easy.

This week in worship we are looking at the spiritual gift of Self-Control.  There are so many problems that may seem overwhelming, but the Bible reminds us to start with our own hearts.  We do not always have the ability to control or help others, but we can control our own actions.  We are God’s children, and we can decide to let love into our hearts and share it with others. 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Pastor Brian