Thursday, September 19, 2019

Opening our eyes...

Are there people in your life who you are ignoring?

Are there people you want nothing to do with?

Are there people you can’t forgive?

Sometimes as I am driving around with my four year old son, I will hear him shout out, “Dad!  They need a bag!!”  He is referring to the Matthew Kits we have in our car.  These kits offer supplies to people who are experiencing homelessness.  My son always has his eyes open to look for people who might be in need, and he can’t wait to offer a little bit of love to the world.

Image result for open the eyes of my heartThere are days I can become callused to the needs of others around me.  It is easy to see the imperfections.  It is easy to think of reasons why I can’t help.  However, our scripture passage this week calls us to look at the world with love.  We are not called to fix every problem.  We are not called to heal every wound.  However, we can see each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.  We can allow God’s Spirit to flow through us when we offer a genuine smile to our neighbor.

This week I hope I can be a little bit more like my son.  I want to look out at the world and open my eyes to love.  I hope and pray we can all live with this kind of faith…


Pastor Brian

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Rediscovering Joy

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were talking about some of the trips we have taken.  Our oldest child has had a number of great experiences.  We have taken him camping all across the west, and we have carried him to the top mountains in Nevada, California, Arizona, and Colorado.  As much as we love all these trips, we really haven’t gone on any big adventures in the past year.  We were just trying to get a basic sleep schedule figured out with our second child, and it seemed absurd to throw all that out the window to spend the night together in a tent!

Crazy or not, we decided it was time for an outdoor experience.  We were tired of the heat, and we were craving the fresh mountain air.  My wife found a spot in Pine Valley, Utah, which really wasn’t far from us, but it felt like a different world!  We spent time hiking, sitting around a campfire, and splashing in the creek.  Both kids handled the nights well too.  We went through a pretty good thunderstorm our second night and the kids barely flinched!  Sure there were exhausting moments, but we grew so much as a family!  It was a blessing just to cherish the world around us, and it was a blessing to take time to cherish each other!
Today, in our scripture passage, Jesus is going to describe what it means to be lost and found.  There is joy in finding the lost.  There is also joy in rediscovering part of ourselves that we forgot we had.  To me, this is part of the reason I love camping trips.  I am always surrounded by my wonderful family, but sometimes I need an intentional trip to remind me of the joy that God has already blessed me with!  God is always seeking after us, blessing us, and sharing love with us.  I hope we can all take time to find ourselves and discover the blessings around us!


Brian Ward

Loving the Outdoors!!  :)

The view from our tent!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Faith and a Canoe

When I was a teenager, I took a canoe trip to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota.  I traveled with a group from my church, and the trip became one of the most memorable experiences in my faith journey.  Everything was awe inspiring.  We had almost perfect weather, and I remember enjoying even the longest portages.  (This is saying something, because I always portaged with a canoe over my head!!!)  I don’t even remember the mosquitoes being too awful!  I simply recall the amazing landscapes, the loon calls, the stars, and the amazing people around me.  In the end, I couldn’t wait to go back and share the experience with others!
It has been almost 20 years since that first canoe trip, and although I have been backpacking in many other places, I have never returned to the Boundary Waters.  However, last week my wife and I moved one step closer to such an adventure.  We took our four year old son on a short canoe trip from willow beach to the emerald caves on the Colorado River.  We went with some of the young adults from the church, and we figured it would be a great way to introduce our child to canoeing.  He loved splashing around in the water, but we discovered that it was pretty hard for him to trust that wobbly old canoe.  He really did quite well, but faith does not always come easy when a speed boat rushes by!  By the end, he was ready to be back on shore…  We will have to wait a few more years for that epic canoe trip with the family. J
Sometimes life, like a canoe trip, requires trust.  We don’t really know where God is leading us or how we are going to get through the waves.  However, we are called to be disciples.  God promises to lead us on an amazing journey if we let go, have faith, and follow.   

Do you believe God has wonderful plans in mind for you?  Do you believe you are called to something beautiful?  We are going to make mistakes on our journey.  We are going to mess up and fall in the lake at times, but each day is an opportunity to take another step with Christ.  Each day is another opportunity to walk in love toward something beautiful…