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Showing posts from May, 2016

Renew Strength

God promises that we can renew our strength like eagles in Isaiah 40:29-31.  He gives strength to the wearyand strengthens the powerless.Youths may faint and grow weary, and young men stumble and fall,but those who trust in the Lordwill renew their strength;they will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary;they will walk and not faint.  My life is testing this promise.                Balancing moving and downsizing, selling my home, preparing for a pilgrimage and holding down a full-time job, I have certainly been in need of strength.  Anyone could recognize this fact as they listen to me vocalize my list of things to do.  (The check-list for selling the home alone minus the move is enough to make my head spin.)  Yet here is where I find myself; it’s obvious that I am up against an impossible goal.  I’m embarrassed to say that it took me way too long to remember the truths of Isaiah 40.  It was in the midst of a conversation with a friend when she bro…

Don't Waste Your Midlife

Most of us think of midlife as a crisis that explains why some folks stray from their spouse of several decades or purchase a red sports car.  Actually midlife is a spiritual gift, an opportunity to ascend to a more spiritually significant way of living.  It is an opportunity to pause and use your decades of life to lead you the true art of living.  If you have the privilege of living past your midlife, I hope you will not let it to be a crisis but an invitation to deeper meaning about how best to use the years of living you have left.           For the past nine months I have been leading a group of people to think about their midlife. Even after adding more responsibilities to my job this past summer, I couldn’t help myself; I felt an urging to offer this class.  As the minister of Congregational Care, I wanted to offer some response to the statistics that suicides at midlife are increasing and almost rival adolescent suicides.  I have a sense of urgency to lead people to G…

God's Good, Pleasing, Perfect Will

I’ve always been intrigued by the way Paul describes God and His will in Romans 12:2. Paul writes: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Other versions describe God’s will in the three ways using the words, good, acceptable and perfect.  I’ve often wondered why God’s will would be described in these three different ways.                I see them now as a progression of deeper connection to God.  First we must come to believe that God’s will is good.  The world defines God’s will as unprogressive.  We are seeing this reality even within the church.  It is not God’s will for us to have sexual relations before marriage.  Yet It is less common to find a couple seeking marriage in the church who are not living together or having sex.  These couples do not believe that God’s will is good.  God is not trying to keep somethi…