Monday, January 31, 2011

A Walking Advertisement....

On Friday I journeyed 4,000 miles... from London, to Manchester, to Chicago, to Grand Rapids. Taking that journey with me was a plastic 'Marks & Spencers' bag, which I carried all the way. What a simple, yet clever idea for a department store to ensure that its name is known all over the world.
I am a walking advertisement too. As a Christian, every interaction I have, every word I say and every action I take, should advertise that I am a follower of Jesus. This week, as I walk into my classroom , as I step into the store, as I talk on my phone or visit with friends, I need to remember this simple fact: I am a walking advertisement for Jesus. As Christians together, we can ensure that His name is known all over the world.
We are Christ's ambassadors. 2 Corinthians 5:20

Monday, January 24, 2011

All Over The World....

My sisters & I, outside
Goose Green Methodist Church in Northern England
At 10.30 am yesterday morning, my sisters and I worshiped together in a little brick built Methodist church in Wigan, Northern England. As we stood side by side to sing, I was reminded that 4000 miles away, our church family in Michigan would soon be singing together too. Even though my sisters and I might be separated by the Atlantic Ocean, I know that we are joined together in Christ. Space may divide, but Spirit unites.
Was it a coincidence that one of the hymns we sang said 'the Spirit is moving all over the world'? I think not. And what a wonderful lesson to teach our matters not whether we worship in Michigan or Wigan. We worship One God, in One Church, a part of One Body and One Family.
From Northern England to Michigan, One Spirit is moving all over the world.
If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me. Psalm 139: 9

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Herb's Bucket...

Herb's Bucket, hanging on our fence
  When my husband and I moved into our new home, we noticed a wonderful garden next door, filled with beautiful flowers and healthy vegetables. Our neighbor, Herb, was a master gardener and more than that, he was generous. Herb hung a bucket over the fence that separated our back yards and as he quietly worked in his garden, he would fill our bucket with wonderful things. One day it was tomatoes, the next, zucchini. One day it was cucumbers, the next, fresh beets. We never saw Herb filling our bucket, but the evidence of his presence was undeniable.
One day as I emptied that bucket, I thought about what would happen if I forgot that his bucket was there, or perhaps became too lazy to empty it.... how the vegetables would rot away and be of no use, how Herb would be hurt because he was not able to fill that bucket again. 
Maybe God is like Herb...  working quietly in the gardens of our lives, filling our buckets with gifts and skills that he wants us to use. Has God given you a gift that you are not using? As we step into this New Year in our Children's Ministry, as we prayerfully make our plans and as we set our goals, let's be sure to use every single gift, every single skill and every single talent that God has given to us..... let's be sure to empty and use what is in our buckets, so that God can fill them up again.

Everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Matthew 25:28