Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Making Room for Radical Grace

Earlier this week, I received a phone call.  The family on the other end of the line did not attend our church, but their mother was dying, and they needed a Pastor.  It was my day off, and I was actually up to my eyebrows in unfinished projects.  I was feeling stretched for time as it was, but these people were in a place of desperation.  I wound up visiting the family.  I listened to their stories, and I had the opportunity to share a few words of grace for a wonderful woman as she gave up her spirit. 

There are times, especially when I am busy, that I need to stop and take a moment to remember all the blessings I have in life.  When I sat down with this family, I didn’t think I had time for anything, but as they shared stories of love and grace, it reminded me how blessed we all are.  This week I hope you can all take time to appreciate the Radical Grace that is in your life!



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Helping Others

Before I became a pastor, I worked with a boy in Minneapolis.  He was really an amazing person.  I remember him being incredibly athletic and also very gifted academically.  However, he really struggled to apply himself.  I remember trying to convince him to study for his classes or go out for sports, but he preferred to play video games, drink, and use drugs.  It was hard for me to watch this kid fail his classes and really just give up on life.  Personally, I think I will always regret being unable to do more for that boy, but I know there are times when I failed to share my God given gifts as well... 

Have you ever struggled to find meaning in life?  Living in the world can be hard, and it’s possible for anyone to be torn apart.  The Bible says that each one of us is created in the image of God, and we all are here for a reason.  It can be difficult for people to believe this, but I have noticed that those who find ways of helping others tend to find more meaning and hope in life.  I love working with the kids in our youth group at CLC.  These kids are incredibly passionate about serving and caring for others.  There are certainly moments when we make mistakes, and we don’t wind up reaching the people we wanted to.  However, we are growing every day.  It’s amazing to watch these kids start conversations with people who are homeless, lost, and otherwise rejected.  It inspires me.  It also gives me hope. 

This week is Youth Sunday at Community Lutheran.  I hope you can come and hear a few stories from the youth.  They are connecting to God by serving others, and I think there is something we can all learn from that.



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Simple Things

Life has been pretty busy the last few weeks, but Easter was incredible!  I love this time of year, and I love all the hope that comes with it.  I’ve spent the past few weeks preparing for church services, Bible studies, and so much more.  It’s been great, but today I am also enjoying the fact that life is starting to return to normal. 

You can buy a lot of wild stuff of kids at Easter...
However, with a 13 month old baby, Easter also means lots of loud electronic toys that seem to appear out of nowhere... :) People love to give us singing and dancing rabbits, Easter eggs, and tons of other stuff.  It’s pretty fun to watch the baby interact with it all, but living in a fun house can also get a little exhausting.  One of his toys has started playing music randomly in the middle of the night… (This causes us to wonder, in our sleep deprived state, if burglars have broken into our house and are playing with baby toys…)  I guess it’s just hard keeping up with a one year old!  However, the baby recently started to become interested in story books.  These are not electronic, loud, or crazy.  They’re just normal children’s books.  He loves sitting on our laps and listening to a story.  It’s kind of cool to see something so simple become so incredibly powerful…

This week at community we are talking about the power of sharing our story.  This is how faith grows.  We don’t have to have an advanced degree in theology.  We are called to simply share who we are, and we are told to share the faith we have.  In the end, this is simple, but it has amazing value in the world!