Saturday, August 18, 2012

Happy Saturday! 

Today I met my Lay Training Committee.  It is made up of two lovely women who are very nice, seem very kind and genuinely want me to succeed in this adventure in Supervised Ministry.  There is one more member of the committee who was unable to make it today.  I hope to meet him soon. 

My fall semester of classes begin at Brite on Tuesday.

Prayer:  Father, I thank You that I am Your child and that I can live in the security of this relationship.  I pray that throughout this day You will direct my ways so that I will be a child who brings You honor by living in the power of Your holiness.  In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.”

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.”
Luke 11: 2A

This passage is a real turning point in the lives of the disciples.  It changed the relationship between God and the disciples.  In all of the Old Testament God is referred to as Father 14 times and references all of Israel.  When the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray using these words, the relationship changed from one of corporate to one-on-one.  God desired the relationship with the disciples the same as He had with Jesus. 

God is a holy God, but not an unapproachable God.  God, our creator desires relationship with us through prayer.  When we recognize the holiness of God and go to God in prayer we enjoy the intimacy of His presence and are invited to come boldly into His throne room of grace as a His beloved child. 

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  Count your blessings and say your prayers.  Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy Thursday! 

Today I may have had an even further glimpse into the calling God has on my life in ministry.  I was on call for about 5 hours today and received a call from the hospice house to come and pray with a family as their Dad and grandfather was nearing death.  I went to the hospice house, located the family and spent time with them.  We prayed together, I sang to them and we talked for a long time. 

These were sacred moments and this is a ministry that seems to fit the right places in my soul.  While still remaining open to God’s call, I think I might really have a lot to offer in the hospice ministry.  I embraced the holiness of this calling, the sacredness of the space and those who inhabit it. We share the laughter in the stories of the past and the hope of the future for the one who is losing their earthly life and the ones who will live on after their loved one passes.  I ended up ministering to two families in this capacity today.

Prayer:  “Lord, I want to thank You for Your good, pleasing, and perfect will for my life.  Thank You that today You have plans and purposes for me.  There will be no accidents today—only divine appointments. I pray that Your Word will light my path. Amen.”

“We also since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”
Colossians 1: 9

In my meditation tonight I read the following, “The apostle Paul was never content to merely know people were justified and safe for eternity. He prayed for those who embrace the gospel to move forward into God’s will for their lives. He prayed they would live in the awareness of their calling in Christ, which is to bring God glory and bring others to knowledge of the Savior.”

So here is the question…What is God’s will for your life?  I have prayed for a long time, especially through the last ten weeks, as to where this ministry of pastoral care will take me.  I may have gotten a glimpse into that answer today.  

I still have another year of searching and praying as I become an intern in a church. There, I will experience many avenues of ministry to explore and discover.  God’s Word tells us this for sure…God brought us to salvation for us to surrender ourselves and our lives into His service,  Luke 19: 10 “to seek and save that which is lost.” When we show others what God has done for us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus then we help others gain knowledge of God and His will for them.  Let God use you today and begin the journey.

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  Count your blessings and say your prayers.  Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Tuesday! 

Today (Tuesday morning) I got up at 4:30 AM, hopefully for the last time at least for a while.  I was “on call” at Huguley from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM for the last time this summer.  As intense as the last ten weeks have been, this experience and this ministry has gotten under my skin and I am going to miss visiting with the patients, listening to them, praying with them, being with their families, providing them with comfort when families have lost a loved one and being with those who are in their final moments on earth. I do not know exactly where God will lead me in this ministry, but I believe with all my heart that it will be in the area of pastoral care. It just feels so right.  Please continue to be in prayer for me about this.

Prayer:  “Good morning, Lord! I want to thank You for praying for me.  I ask for grace to keep my focus on You and Your Word. Help me to obey You and do what You command regardless of how I may or may not feel. Amen.”

(This is being continued on Wednesday because I fell asleep last night. Sorry!)

“And when He sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.”
Mark 6: 46

Today, Wednesday, I went to University Christian Church for orientation for supervised ministry.  I will begin a yearlong internship at Rush Creek Christian Church being supervised by its senior pastor.  The pastor has set up a guideline of the different ministries that I will explore: worship participation and pastoral care.  While being involved in supervised ministry I will still attend classes at Brite.  This semester I will take New Testament, Pastoral Care with emphasis on Parish Issues (timely, huh?!) and the reflection group for supervised ministry which is also a class. 

I have shared all of this with you to emphasize the importance of this scripture.  Jesus was a busy man.  He preached, taught, healed, visited with people, performed miracles and held classes with the disciples.  There were times that Jesus needed time to Himself to regain His strength, to process these activities, to rest and to refuel.  In pastor language we call this practicing self-care. If we read the scriptures carefully there are times when Jesus is absent.  
In those absences Jesus got away from the crowds and even His disciples to spend time with God, His heavenly Father.  Jesus knew how important this self-care was to the intensity of His ministry.  Jesus got away to be alone with God to pray, rest, reflect on scripture and receive instruction. 

We are all busy people.  We usually go from one activity to the next with little or no break sometimes exhausting ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is hard to help others when you feel all used up and empty.
I invite you to take some time each day to get alone with God. 

·        Find a scripture passage and ask God to reveal its message to you. 
·        Pray, giving thanks, praying for others, asking forgiveness and praising God. 
·        Finally, be quiet before God, resting in His holy Presence, listening for His voice and practicing your own self-care. 

My supervised ministry class was instructed today to practice spiritual self-care.  I encourage each of you to do the same.

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Take care of yourself.  Count your blessings and say your prayers.  Love you all so very much and thank you for all of your prayers and support, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Blessed Sunday to you all!  

We had a great day spent mostly with family. 

Prayer:  “Thank You for going to the Garden on my behalf.  Your struggle had eternal consequences for me.  Thank You for surrendering to the Father’s will.  Help me to surrender to Your will today. Amen.”

“He went a little father and fell on His face, and prayed saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Matthew 26: 39

This passage of scripture is one of the most powerful passages in the Bible.  It is the most human moment in the life of Jesus.  What would cause Jesus, to look into that cup and completely dissolve before God?  The moment Jesus began to pray I think the full realization of the last steps to the cross were fully revealed and He prayed, “Father, let this cup pass from me.” 

It do not think it was necessarily His death on the cross that was the sum total of what He discovered.  I think Jesus came into the full realization of the sin of the world that God revealed to Him.  It was the combination of the pollution of seeing all of our sin, knowing that he would bear the weight of that sin, separation from God, His Father, and the horrors of the public humiliation and death that awaited Him that Jesus saw as He prayed. 

But the next sentence is our salvation, “Not My will, but Thy will be done.”  My friends, the battle was not won on the cross, but in the garden.  For just a few fleeting moments as Jesus understood the full weight that the cross would have to bear including the violation of His body, He did not want to surrender His final act of obedience to His Father.  For me, it is the most human moment in the life of Jesus.

We have all had garden moments in our lives.  Those moments offer us the opportunity to trust God with all we are and all we have believing in God’s love, mercy, grace and the assurance that God will work His perfect will in our lives just as he did for Jesus.  Here is the good news…Jesus died on the cross so we would never have to bear the weight of our own sin. In our most difficult moments, He will once again go in the garden before the Father to plead for us. Give thanks for the moments and the garden where Jesus meets us.

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  Count your blessings and say your prayers.  Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Greetings from Huguley Hospital

Happy Saturday! 

One “on call” almost complete and one left to go.  I am not sure if I have shared with you what I will do following this journey of CPE. I will finish my clinical work this coming Friday the 17th.  My classes at Brite begin on Tuesday the 20th and I will return to Huguley for summer intern graduation on Friday the 24th, followed by final evaluation with supervisors and the intern group. 

During that week I will begin supervised ministry.  (I am not getting a break between adventures!) I will spend a year with the congregation of Rush Creek Christian Church in Arlington under the supervision of Pastor Chris Wilson, senior pastor of the church.  During the fall and spring semesters Pastor Chris has developed a plan to involve me in different ministries in which the church is involved so that I get a more complete picture of the workings of the church and this congregation.  I know you have prayed for me all summer, so since I am already on your list please keep me there as I continue on this journey of discernment and discipleship.  Also, pray for my dearest Bruce.  We have really missed our time together this summer.

Prayer:  “Dear God, when others meet me, I want them to know how loving and real you are in my life.  Please teach me to represent you well. Amen.”

“Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.”
Philippians 4: 5

“Let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that. Brethren, together follow my example and observe those who live after the pattern we have set for you.”
Philippians 3: 16-17

The other day it was nearly the end of the regular work day and I was walking back to the office still cheerfully greeting those who passed me in the hallway.  One of the volunteers said, “You have entirely too much energy for this time of day! Why are you so cheerful at 4:30?” I answered, “Life is too short to be unhappy.”

It is not always easy to look happy all of the time.  And as we all know there are times we are not happy for whatever reason.  Sometimes there is great sadness or concern or anxiety over things that happen during the day.  The way we greet people can shape the way they see God.  If we are known to be Christians and someone meets us when we are having a voice of harshness or bitterness that person might assume that God is harsh and bitter towards us. 

Even in the most difficult of times I really try to find a blessing or some small element of good.  If we can find that small piece of goodness in a really tough time our hearts can have a gentle spirit and a trusting attitude that says no matter what I will trust in God to see me through.  If we can find a place of joy every day then those who greet us will see the loving kindness of God lived out in us. 

God works through us to show others how very real He is. Our example may encourage someone to experience the Presence of God is a precious and personal way.

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.