Monday, October 22, 2012

In Love With the World

Xander, my little grandson, is totally in love with the world. At just 18 months old, he already anticipates that the minute he opens that front door, there are going to be so many new and wonderful things for him to learn. Today he fell in love with leaves. Today he learned that it is fun to sit in a big pile of autumn leaves. He learned that they make a wonderful scrunching sound when you stamp on them; that leaves can be big or small, brown, or gold, or orange, or red. He discovered that it's fun to throw them in the air, or kick them around; that when they are dry and fall in your hood, they scratch your neck, and when they are wet, they can stick to your cheek. He learned that when the wind blows, autumn leaves go rushing and dancing down the fast that even when you chase them you can't catch them. Who would have thought that there would be so much to learn about leaves?
And it made me think...when I open my Bible, do I anticipate all the new and wonderful things that God wants me to learn about Him and His purpose for my life?  And if I could see all that wonder through the eyes of a child, then maybe, just maybe, I'd get to fall in love with God all over again, like Xander is in love with the world.

Monday, October 15, 2012


My husband had a dream. In his dream, he envisioned a wooden sailing boat, built by his own hands. Together, we would venture out on the water, harness the powers of nature, and sail along in the wind. I thought it was impossible. But several years later, his wooden boat was finished and we set out for the lake so that his dream would become reality. But guess what? On that beautiful summer day, there was not one breath of wind. We sat, with the sail up, floating around and going nowhere.
Our second attempt was a spectacular failure.... at the first gust of wind, the mast snapped, the sail crashed into the water, and we had to beat a hasty retreat back to shore. But my husband refused to be deterred. He went back to his barn, repaired the mast and we valiantly set out for the third time. Could we succeed now? Unbelievably, the mast snapped again.
By now it was Fall. The warm weather was failing and summer was drawing to an end. I thought that we should give up on the dream, and try again next year. But my husband thought differently. Driven by that dream, and that longing to succeed, we ventured out, and .......sailed. Two weeks ago, on a crisp Autumnal evening, with no other boats in sight, my husband's dream finally became reality. I had to admire his perseverance.
Has God given you an impossible dream for your life or your ministry? Hold on to that dream. Don't let it go. Don't give up. Refuse to be deterred, despite what others may think. Your dream can still become reality. But only if you persevere.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hope for Haiti

If you had been with us in worship yesterday as we celebrated World Communion Sunday, you would have seen many kinds of breads arranged on our altar table, each one representing the different children of the world. Underneath the breads hung some beautiful pictures, gifts from the children of Haiti for our Sunday school children as part of the Peace Pals project. The pictures were made from paper that had been torn into squares, but this simple craft was something that the Haitian children found hard to do. in Mizak, the mountainous region of Haiti where these children live, there is no paper to spare. There is no electricity, no plumbing, and no water filtration. But there is hope, brought to these people by an initiative called HAPI. Haitian Artisans for Peace International was founded in 2007 and began as a community of fair trade artisans using their creativity to make a variety of products for the international gift market. A Haitian business with US encouragement, HAPI is empowering women and bringing hope to their families for a brighter future. What a wonderful initiative for the United Methodist Church to be part of, and what a wonderful opportunity we have to introduce our children to a world so very different from their own.
Listen to Mark Doyal as he tells the story of the recent mission team to Haiti