Friday, January 22, 2010

Images of the Church

The church is like a spring in the wilderness.
It’s not the spring itself.
It’s the water.
But if we’re thirsty, we go to the Spring.
If we’re thirsty for greatness, we go to the church!
Not for the church itself, but for the water God gives there.
The stories … the liturgies … the images and the seasons … the rites and the rituals … preaching and praying … in all of it, the greatness of God!
The Spring may be in a muddy field.
And oasis in a dry land.
And we’ll get a little dirty making our way to the Spring.
The church, you see, isn’t pure.
But the water is pure.
And on bended knee,
And with faithful hope,
We will drink.
We will find God finding us.
The soul’s thirst will be assuaged.
And the soul will become great!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Church of Jesus Christ

We compliment one another …
Some can sing and some can pray with a special gift that blesses someone else.
Some can teach and some can preach.
Some have a way with dollars and cents.
Some can plan and organize.
Some have an extraordinary sensitivity and compassion.
Some are visionary.
Some are filled with the passions of justice and social reform.
Some dream dreams and see visions of God.
Some are quiet and some are loud.
Some are hard and some are soft.
Some are heaven-drawn.
Some are earth-anchored.
Some love the past.
Some love the future.
But take all the someones, and we have
The sum of it.
We all add up to the church of Jesus Christ.
And he loves us all.
And needs us all.
To finish his work!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

T-bone Steaks, Yellow Roses and Friendship

A wonderful story brought a lump to my throat ... 

I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn't hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 57 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories.

He often came with me and almost every time he'd pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I'd always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands.

He knew I loved yellow roses. With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since he had passed on.

Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two.

Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how he had loved his steak.

Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blonde, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large package of T-bones, dropped them in her basket.. hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks.

She saw me watching her and she smiled. 'My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don't know.'

I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes.

'My husband passed away eight days ago,' I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. 'Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together.'

She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away

I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products. There I stood, trying to decide which size milk I should buy. A Quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone.

I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front. I saw first the green suit, then recognized the pretty lady coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile I had ever seen. I would swear a soft halo encircled her blonde hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine.

As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my eyes. 'These are for you,' she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms. 'When you go through the line, they will know these are paid for.' She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again. I wanted to tell her what she'd done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away as tears clouded my vision

I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn't alone.

Oh, you haven't forgotten me, have you? I whispered, with tears in my eyes. He was still with me, and she was his angel.

Every day be thankful for what you have and who you are.
(Please read all of this, it is really nice)

This is a simple request. If you appreciate life, send this to your friends, including! the person that sent it to you.

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings. Thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible. Thank you, Lord , that I can see. Many are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising. Thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, tempers are short, and my children are so loud.

Thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the picture in magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced.

Thank you, Lord, for the food we have. There are many who are hungry.

Even though the routine of my job often is monotonous. Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest.

Thank you, Lord, for life.

Pass this on to the friends you know. It might help a bit to make this world a better place to live, right? A friend is someone we turn to when our spirits need a lift.. A friend is someone to treasure.

For friendship is a gift. A friend is someone who fills our lives with Beauty, Joy and Grace and makes the world we live in a better and happier place.


God bless you and yours.

Now send this to every friend you have and don't forget me