Thursday, February 14, 2013

Invitation to Love

On today's celebration of Valentine's day, many are seeking ways to show love - through hearts and flowers, chocolate and wine.   "Love" is one of those words that gets used to express a myriad of emotions, preferences, and thoughts.  I can say that I "love" chocolate, but it does not compare to my love for my husband, family or friends.

What does God's love have to do with all of this?

Read I Corinthians 13 - a familar passage that is often used at weddings.  But this time, replace your name everywhere the word "love" is used or indicated.  What is your reaction?  How does our love "measure" up?

Read it again, this time replace the word "love" with God's name (use Jesus, Lord, Spirit or whatever name you are most comfortable with).

This is the love that Paul was referring to as he wrote this letter to the Corinthians.  This is the love that we are called to point to and to share with others - a neverfailing and everlasting love.

On this day, when we focus on the faith practice of INVITE - How is God inviting you to share his love today?


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Beginning Lent

As we begin the Lenten season on this Ash Wednesday, we enter more fully into our journey of faith with Jesus. In participating in these Faith practices, we are given a gift that we are called to open and live out daily.

The Word for Wednesday is ENCOURAGE. Here are suggestions to help your practice this gift:

Write words of encouragement or inspirational quotes on sticky notes and them around your house or office for you and others will see that they may bless you.
Some ideas:

§ “Trust in the Lord with your whole heart and lean not on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”(Proverbs 3:5-6)

§ “I can do all things through the One who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)

§ “Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.” (MLK, jr.)

§ “Everything that seems empty is full of the angels of God” (St. Hilary)

§ “The world will belong tomorrow to those who brought it the greatest hope.” (Teilhard de Chardin)

§ “Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.” (CS Lewis)

§ “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.” (Emily Dickinson)

§ “Have patience with all things but first of all with yourself” (St. Francis de Sales)

Do you have other quotes or sayings that inspire and encourage you? How might you share them with others?

Daily Faith PracticesMonday: Study
Tuesday: Prayer
Wednesday: EncourageThursday: Invite
Friday: Serve
Saturday: GIve
Sunday: Worship

Monday, February 11, 2013

Marking our Lenten paths

! am writing this on the eve of Mardi Gras (a.k.a. Fat Tuesday or sometimes called Shrove Tuesday). More than excuse to party in New Orleans or to eat pancakes, this day arose as a way to “prepare” for the Lenten fast. It was a time to get rid of all the fats in the home before the time of giving them up as a Lenten practice.

Yet, Lent is about more than just giving up something (usually chocolate) for 40 days. It is the opportunity to grow in our relationship with God. It is a call to develop new ways of living that help us become the person that God has created us to be.

Yesterday (Feb. 10th), I asked the congregation to write down the commitment that they are making to Christ. After copying them, they were placed in the offering place as an offering to God. I have made the commitment to pray for each of you as you seek to live them out. (Note: if any would like any specific resources or ideas to help with their commitment, please let me know). If you have not already done so, prayerfully consider making your own Lenten commitment. If you would like me to pray for strength, guidance and help for you in fulfilling this commitment, just send me a note.

Another aspect of my Lenten commitment is to daily provide ideas, reflections and resources around the 7 Faith Practices (see schedule below; will begin on Ash Wed.). Each day of the week will highlight one of the practices. If you would like to receive any or all of these emails, please let me know and I will send them to you. I will be posting them on Trinity’s Facebook page as well.

Reminder: This Wednesday, Feb. 13th is Ash Wednesday. We will be having services with the imposition of ashes at noon and 7pm. I will also be at the Southeast Train Station on Wednesday morning for commuters who would like to receive ashes (I’ve not determined the time – those of you who commute, what time do you get to the station? Please let me know as soon as possible).

I pray that this time of Lenten discipline may be a time to grow in faith, understanding, and commitment to the One who gives us life and breath and meaning.
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Jen
Faith Practices daily postings
Monday: Study
Tuesday: Pray
Wednesday: Encourage
Thursday: Invite
Friday: Serve
Saturday: Give
Sunday: Worship
 (NOTE: my former blog was somehow deleted - which is unusual since I didn't use it much - so this is the "new" and hopefully, "improved" and even more hopefully, written more often)