Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday at SPUMC - May 30th, 2010

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Today was the day we changed worship times for the summer!  Just a reminder:  Worship begins at 10am with children 2nd grade and under dismissed after a blessing for Sunday School.  All other education classes are on hiatus until September.

We finished up a month focused on the Spiritual Habit of Guidance today.  Pastor Penny summed up many of the things we have learned throughout the month - taking moments to listen for God, being bold enough to ask God for help, noticing the little things that lead us to new decisions...  The Holy Spirit is at work in so MANY ways...  But it's still a two-way street.  We have to be willing to do the asking, the listening, and take some action in full confidence that God is with us!

And Peter did a lovely job singing for us today!

A few of us headed to St. Anne's Episcopal Church on Highway 110 to visit and experience their labyrinth.  What a peaceful way to concentrate on God as you walk this singular path...  A beautiful time to be sure.  If you haven't experienced a labyrinth before, this one is open to the public and very easy to walk!  I'd highly recommend giving it a try!  (I have some pictures I will upload tonight!)

Have a great week!

Friday, May 28, 2010


Another way of seeking guidance from God is through the practice of Examen.  Our guest speaker last weekend, Lois, gave us a nice introduction to this practice.  Here are some notes to help you try this on your own!

"Throughout centuries prayerful people have found direction in their lives through the practice of examen...

"...The examen can open us up to both the difficult and beautiful in our lives, relationships and profession.  The examen is also a useful way of reflecting alone or with others on what God is saying to us through a meeting, a class, a meal, a service project, a relationship or a conflict.

"Examen questions include

*  For what moment today am I most grateful?  For what moment today am I least grateful?

*  When did I give and receive the most love today?  When did I give and receive the least love today?

*  What was the most life-giving part of my day?  What was the most life-thwarting part of my day?

*  When today did I have the deepest sense of connection with God, others and myself?  When today did I have the least sense of connection?

*  Where was I aware of living out the fruit of the Spirit?  Where was there an absence of the fruit of the Spirit?

"The examen is a wonderful tool for discerning the places you feel most alive, most grateful, most present to the fruit of the Spirit as well as the times and places where you do not...

"Perspective and direction for the future happen through listening to where and how God shows up in your day and then interacting with God in prayer.  Awareness of the Spirit's enlivening and enlightening presence puts you in touch with the kind of person God created you to be.  When you begin to recognize who God created you to be, you have the raw material for discerning God's unique call and design for your life."
--Adele Calhoun, "Spiritual Disciplines Handbook"

Thursday, May 27, 2010


"It is possible for business decisions to be made under a sense of the corporate leading of the Holy Spirit.  Quakers have done so for years and have demonstrated the feasibility of such an approach.  Business meetings should be viewed as worship services.  Available facts can be presented and discussed, all with a view of listening to the voice of Christ.  Facts are only one aspect of the decision-making process and in themselves are not conclusive.  The Spirit can lead contrary to or in accord with the available facts.  God will implant a spirit of unity when the right path has been chosen and trouble us with restlessness when we have not heard correctly.  Unity rather than majority rule is the principle of corporate guidance.  Spirit-given unity goes beyond mere agreement.  It is the perception that we have heard the voice of God."
--Richard Foster, "Celebration of Discipline"

How many meetings have you been to - church or otherwise - where this has been the way things work?  How often do we listen for the voice of God in a meeting - rather than rushing in head first to force our own agenda?

At church especially - when meetings take time out of our busy schedules and personal lives...  Do we take the time to view all sides of an issue?  Hear everyone's thoughts and concerns?  Or do we plunder ahead...

Next time you're at a meeting, try to view it as another way to serve and worship God in our midst.  How will this change the way you view the other people at the meeting?  Their thoughts and opinions?  The decisions made?

Take time to open the meeting with prayer and ask for guidance.  Take time to close the meeting with a "thank you" to God and asking for a blessing on the conversation...  Take time to see the others as children of God and the task at hand as a way of sharing God with others...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


"...We cannot be transformed if we close ourselves off to the guiding power of the Holy Spirit.  We must come to believe - mind stretching as it sounds - that God really can and does personally attend to us.  As long as we are going to pray to the God who spoke the creation into being, who communicated to prophets and priests and kings - and ordinary people, who wrote a thousand page book we know as the Bible - and who refers to his Son as 'the Word made flesh,' then surely we accept the possibility that sometimes he may want to get in a word or two with us."
--John Ortberg, "The Life You've Always Wanted"

It's hard to believe, isn't it?  Seems impossible - almost ludicrous?

But it's true.

Make an opening for God in your heart and in your daily life... and you will see God in new ways - everywhere!  And there just may be ways God has been reaching out to you that you didn't even notice... 

All because you didn't believe...

My prayer for you today?  True belief.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Solid Footing

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind."
--James 1:5-6

"At some point we have to move out in faith.  That sounds like an obnoxious statement, but I know I can get myself all wrapped up around the axle, wondering if I really heard God, if I really know what I should do and how it should be done, etc, etc, etc.

"Peter discovered this when he asked Jesus to let him walk on the water (Matthew 14:22-32).  Peter wanted guidance to know if the 'ghost' the disciples saw walking toward them over the water was really Jesus.  The test - 'Lord, if it's you...' - was whether Peter could also walk on the water.  And he did until he realized what he was doing, freaked out and started to drown.  Jesus had to reach out to him and pull him back into the boat.

"How many times have I moved out in faith in something God was calling me to do only to look at the wind and waves of the situation, panic, start to drown and have to have God drag me, dripping wet and frightened, back into the safety of the boat?  Today's verse reminds me that God will generously give me wisdom when I ask, but then my job is to take hold of that wisdom and walk with it in faith."
--Valere Hess, "Spiritual Disciplines Devotional"

Monday, May 24, 2010

Getting in the Way

"God is full of grace and mercy and works in our lives in spite of ourselves.  But if we are truly seeking God's face about an issue and feel we are not getting an answer, it behooves us to ask God if there is something else getting in the way of our hearing where God is calling us next."
--Valerie Hess, "Spiritual Disciplines Devotional"

Do you ever have that feeling that God is not listening?  That there is static on the line... or your call has been dropped?

I do.  Sometimes I search so long for an answer to a seemingly big issue in my life...  And nothing seems to be happening...  No "signs," no promptings, no coincidences leading me a certain way...  Just a big 'ol nothing.

Maybe it's time to ask myself what's causing the static?  What's blocking the signal?  Is it my pride?  Am I trying to force God's nudge into the agenda I've already set for myself?  Is it my arrogance that I already know the answer?  Is it my laziness that I don't want to keep asking, I don't want to spend time in prayer and reading Scripture?  Is it my unwillingness to allow God into all the intimate details of my life - content to go on with life as usual...  Not looking and noticing all the ways God is present everyday...

For me, it could be any one of these things on any given day...  But when I take the time to notice what the block is - I can then also take the time to work towards a more open communication with God.  I can work on the relationship that allows me to hear God when I ask for guidance...  Afterall, any relationship goes two ways, right?

What do you need to be doing TODAY to unblock the airwave so you can be present to God's grace and mercy and guidance?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday at SPUMC - May 23rd, 2010

What a fun energy at church today!  Pentecost is always fun...  There's just something festive and party-like about everyone wearing red and the celebration of the birth of the church!  (Although... I was told I wasn't wearing the correct shade of "Methodist red!"  And as I scanned the congregation, it was very true!)

The Education Hour kicked off with:
*  The Children talking about committing to what they believe in.  And then, they joined us in the youth room so we could all celebrate the "moving up" of our 6th graders into 7th grade (and hence, the youth group).  They got to put their hand-prints on the wall of the youth room while the younger - and older - kids cheered them on!
*  The Confirmands discussed Pentecost - what it meant for the church and what it means for our lives.
*  The Adults were led by Terry and Mary Lou into further discussion about Israel.  From what I've heard, it's been a fascinating learning experience!

Worship was full of fun surprises and ways of celebrating the Holy Spirit!  The Children sang a fun, upbeat version of  "All Creatures of Our God and King" - wonderful and lively!  (Thanks, Jennifer for your amazing leadership this year!)  Then, Cathy led them in a children's sermon about the Holy Spirit - lots of interest in the fan and streamers!  And the choir sang another wonderful song "He Never Failed Me Yet" - complete with excellent soloists!  Thanks Mike, Janice, and Andrea!

We also were graced with the presence of Pastor Penny's friend, Lois, who led us in the sermon-time while Penny was away on vacation.  She spoke of her profession as a Spiritual Director - what that means, how she helps people to notice how God is working in their lives, and the ways she is able to help them listen to God promptings.  She offered us an exercise of taking a moment to think back over the last week - the times where we felt love, gave love, felt grateful, and when we were most aware of God...  Then she asked us to turn to the person next to us and share part of what we noticed.  It was a wonderful feeling to be able to share - to know someone was listening - and then to let them share, also.  Another of the ways God guides us...  Through those who walk the journey with us.  Thank you, Lois!

Just a reminder:  Next week, our summer worship hours begin.  There will be no education classes and worship will begin at 10am.  Following worship will be an opportunity to go across the street to experience a Labyrinth.  The prayerful contemplation of walking a labyrinth is yet another way God can guide us...

Friday, May 21, 2010

All Directions

"As we seek guidance regarding a new job, school opportunity, marriage, or anything else, we are invited to remember that we have a history of goodness from God's hand.  In remembering that goodness, we can begin to look for the continuation of God's goodness in the next opportunity or decision.

"This is a place where the discipline of worship and the discipline of guidance intersect.  When we are reminded in weekly worship of God's work among humanity in all times and all places, we can be confident of God's guidance in the decisions of our daily lives, knowing that he is always calling us forward into a greater harvest of the fruits of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23)."
--Valerie Hess, "Spiritual Disciplines Devotional"

Join us in worship this Sunday as we have Lois Lindbloom lead worship!  She'll be helping us to understand and experience Spiritual Direction... a habit we often ignore as Methodists. 

(AND!  The children will be singing!  So come and support them!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is it Right?

"We all know Christians who are forever questioning whether or not they are doing God's will.  One way to look at it is this:  if you are someplace doing something, then it is in some way God's will.  Otherwise you would be somewhere else doing something different.  We are called to thank God for where we are and what we are doing, trusting that he will move us to a different spot if necessary.

"Another way to discern if you are doing God's will is to ask yourself two questions:  Do you like what you are doing?  Does the world benefit from what you are doing?  If your answer to both of these questions is no, then you need to go through a process of discernment for change.  For example, if you love teaching but are currently in an inner-city school where you feel afraid, then the answer to question two is yes but the answer to question one is no.  If you like your job as a designer but it involves creating provocative clothing for young women, then the answer to question two is no.

"God's will involves our joyful service to others.  If either component of joy or service is missing, then something needs to change.  Otherwise, relax; you are where you are supposed to be for now."
--Valerie Hess, "Spiritual Disciplines Devotional"

Interesting way to look at your life as it is right now... isn't it?  Do you like what you are doing?  Does it benefit the world?

This applies to your job, where you live, how your family functions, what you do in your spare time...  Do you like it?  Does it make the world a better place?

I will be using this as my filter for decisions...  Clear, concise, easy to pray about.  I like it.

By the way - thank you to all those who felt guided to help at Feed My Starving Children last night!  11 people from our church showed up to help about 50 other people.  We bagged over 11,000 meals - which will feed 33 kids for an entire year!

1) Yes, I like doing it.
2) Yes, it benefits the world.
Good choice!  Praise God!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


"God draws a continuous line through our lives, though at times we may not see that line.  God seeks to bring out gifts and soften rough edges in many and various ways.  God gives us desires and a personality that is unique, and he designs opportunities for those desires and that temperament to be useful for others for Christ's sake.

"When we are trying to decide which way to go next, we can safely step forward on the continuous line of where we have been.  It may be a giant next step or it may be a baby step, but it will be a step in the direction God has been leading us all along."
--Valerie Hess, "Spiritual Disciplines Devotional"

Are you about to take a baby step - or a giant step?  How can we be praying for you?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Discipline of Guidance

"The Discipline of Guidance is about improving our ability to discern God's will for our lives through the assistance of others.  With the discipline comes a more confident sense of spiritual direction, which is absolutely necessary for healthful living.  Cultivating a group of trusted friends with whom you can share intimate details of self and from whom you are fed improves the quality of our earthly lives as well as our spiritual ones."
--Valerie Hess, "Habits of a Child's Heart"

Monday, May 17, 2010


"Keep a record of all the times you feel guided by Scripture readings, other people, 'coincidences' (which my mother always called 'God-incidences'), music, literature, artwork, and additional interactions.  After a week, review the record.  Do you see a pattern?  If you felt you heard nothing, ask yourself how much time in quiet contemplation you were able to spend during the week.  Is it possible that God is speaking but that you are too busy to stop and listen?  Or are you expecting him, through the Holy Spirit, to speak in only one way and so are missing other avenues by which his voice might reach you?"
--Valerie Hess, "Habits of a Child's Heart"

I have "coincidences" happen all the time... many seem like interruptions, some annoying, some intrusive...  But in the end, God has used them for wonderful openings to new relationships, and new adventures to know him better.

I'll be keeping track this week - will you, too?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday at SPUMC - May 16th, 2010

Mission Sunday!!!

The Education Hour got things started with:
* The Children talking about being God's servant - and that when we seek to help others, God is always with us.
* The Adult joining Terry and Mary Lou to learn more about Israel!

Worship was focused on how God's guidance helps us when we seek to help others (maybe we took some notes from the Children's class?).  Jill gave a great children's sermon using "geo-caching" as an example of using guidance to find treasure - just like we use the Bible to find God.  Nice one.  Then, we had three people speak during the sermon time about various service and mission projects that they are passionate about, and how they felt God leads them and their teams to help.  Carol spoke for the United Methodist Women, Mark updated us on what the Men's Group has been up to at Lewis House, and Corrine spoke about her many trips to the Gulf Coast with the River Bend Mission Team.

And to finish off the day, the Rosebud Mission Trip Team hosted a spaghetti lunch to raise money for this summer's mission trip.  It was a small turn-out - but the food was delicious, the company was great, and we raised $450!  Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who supported the team!

There are so many wonderful ways to serve God and God's children!  Where are you feeling led to serve?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Do I?

"Ask yourself, 'Do I really believe God can speak to me?'  Think of an example in which you heard God clearly guiding you in some direction.  If you can't think of one, commit to ten minutes a day of complete solitude for the purpose of listening for God's voice.  God, requiring of you few words at this point, understands your prayer.  Take on a purely listening attitude, nothing more.

"You are listening for two things (perhaps you will be rewarded with both).  One is a specific memory of a precise time and place in which God clearly guided you in a certain direction, which you faithfully followed.  Reflect on how this direction affected the course of your life.  The second is guidance God wants to give you now.  Maybe you are wrestling with an issue, or maybe you are too complacent in your own comfortable life.  Maybe you, like many of us, have slipped into self-satisfaction.  Perhaps the 'Hound of Heaven,' as Francis Thompson calls God, is exhorting you to do something more or different with whatever time is available to you.  Be open if your listening exercise results in a distinct prod from God's holy thumb..."
--Valerie Hess, "Habits of a Child's Heart"

Do you truly believe God is interested in your life?  That God wants to be with you and guide you to a more fulfilling and wonderful life?  Are you willing to allow God in, to listen, and to act?

When is a time God has guided you?  How was your life changed?

What could God be guiding you towards now?  Are you willing to follow God's guidance?

Thursday, May 13, 2010


"When we surround ourselves with other Christians and remind each other that we're all in this together, we learn so much more.  We find ourselves being more willing to step out and take risks, knowing that we're never alone."
--Rev. John Ed Mathison, "Treasures of a Transformed Life"

We say it all the time at church - it's important to come to worship, to fellowship and break bread together, and to share our stories of life and faith with each other.  We're not saying it because we want a club to belong to or because we want one day a week to feel popular...  We're saying it because these things are what make us who we are as Christians.

We come together at least one day a week to worship God.  To worship our creator and sustainer - together, in unity, and in community.

We come together for times to fellowship - to talk, laugh, play and get to know one another.  We seek that special time when we can find our similarities and differences and learn from one another and support each other.  We become family and friends through fellowship - not simply neighbors in the pew.

And yes, we tell our stories.  We share where our faith has made us strong, where life has made us weak, and where God has been in the midst of it.  We do this so that we know we are never alone on this journey.  We do this to build one another up, to strengthen one another's faith in tough times, to be able to say "you'll get through this, too."

One way we are guided through life is through each other.  Through our trusted Christian friends who help us discover new paths, old paths, and paths that lead to deeper faith and trust in God.

But we have to be willing to form those relationships.  To reach out.  To share.  To trust.  That's what a faith-friend is.

And we can learn so much about God through those relationships... 

Do you have a faith-friend?  How have they helped to guide you or to help you feel you are not alone?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


"Guidance only makes sense for people who are resolved to respond...

"It only makes sense to ask God for guidance in the context of a life committed to 'seeking first the kingdom.'  The only kind of guidance God gives us is for living as Jesus would in our place.  We may have a great map of Cleveland, but before we consult it, we had better decide whether Cleveland is where we want to go...

"We should be determined that as best as we can, we will be responsive to God's leadings.  If we feel a prompting to write a note or make a call, we must follow through.  If we have a sense that God wants us to encourage someone, we must say the word."
--John Ortberg, "The Life You've Always Wanted"

Guidance is a two-way street.  We ask for help, we ask for advice, we ask for direction...  It only makes sense if we agree to follow it.

Have you ever had a friend seek you out to ask your advice?  You give it lots of thought and give them the best wisdom you have to offer...  and then...  they do the exact opposite.  Sometimes I wonder if God ever has that exhausted, let-down, did-I-really-just-waste-my-time-on-that(?) feeling - like I get. 

God wants us to come to him.  God wants to help us.  God has so many ways of helping us to live our best lives - lives where we are needed, loved, and cherished.  If only we will allow God to show us the way...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


"Let us try an experiment.  This week, as you are interacting with people, listen for the prompting of the Spirit.  As you listen to people, listen also for what the Spirit is saying.  The Holy Spirit will lead you to be with people as Jesus would be with them if he were in your place."
--John Ortberg, "The Life You've Always Wanted"

The time around Mother's Day is always an interesting time at a church.  You tend to hear the joys of being a mother, the trials of parenting, the sadnesses of those who can't have children, and the grief of those who have lost children...  And listening to the Spirit's nudgings in all of those conversations is always eye-opening and life-giving.

The Spirit offers us ways to take a break from what we are doing to clearly and honestly focus on those who speak their hearts to us.  The Spirit allows us to be open to what we are hearing - without judgement, without preconceived notions.  The Spirit gives us the heart to listen, to comfort, and to offer prayers.

And when the conversation is over...  The Spirit finds ways to connect the experience with our own life of faith, with our own connection to God, and with our own path in life.

What conversations have been guiding you this week?

Monday, May 10, 2010


"God's purpose in guidance is not to get us to perform the right actions.  His purpose is to help us become the right kind of people.

"Personhood is formed through making decisions.  We learn to think and weigh options, we discover what we truly value, we take responsibility for our choices.  God wants us to be people, not robots, and that means we must make decisions."
--John Ortberg, "The Life You've Always Wanted"

Friday, May 7, 2010


"I believe that the Holy Spirit really does offer to lead or guide or give direction to human beings - ordinary people.  He wants to do this for all of us.

"We can all learn how to be open to the promptings of the Spirit.  They are not reserved for the elite or for leaders only or for "important people."  They are not reserved for people who work as pastors or missionaries.  They are not reserved for people who are 'more spiritual' than you.  The Holy Spirit can and will give direction to us if we desire it.

"You may be right on the verge of experiencing this.  Your adventure is about to begin..."

But why do I never hear God's voice?

"I believe that one reason why we fail to hear God speak is that we are not attentive.  We suffer from what might be called 'spiritual mindlessness...'  It is a failure to be fully present, a lack of attending to the present moment.  In such a state, we go on autopilot..."
--John Ortberg, "The Life You've Always Wanted"

We spent a whole month talking about fasting...  making room for the important things and our faith, by cutting out the distractions. Maybe we all need to fast a few moments a day - to be attentive and focused on what God may be saying to us.

I'm writing this the morning after Open Sanctuary.  That is one way to find focus, to be in the moment.  There's nothing like staring at the flickering candles, soaking up the beauty of the space, and feeling completely at peace and in God's presence.  Do you need some space to put aside for God to speak?

Thursdays, 5-7pm.  The sanctuary is waiting.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spiritual Direction

A spiritual director asks:

"Where do you sense God in that?"

"How is God drawing you out in that situation?"

"My husband is the one who started to notice subtle changes in me.  Something was happening in the periods between my spiritual direction sessions.  God was somehow, subtly, slowly, and in the most ordinary of ways forming my heart and mind through these very questions that I found so irritating.  It finally began to dawn on me that these were exactly the questions I want to live my life by.  These are the questions that pull me out of my narcissistic world and into the greater world for which God has created me.

"Something broken in me keeps telling me if I just work harder, read more Scripture, and become a better pray-er, God will be pleased and perhaps my life will be easier.  This misconception and myriad of other false beliefs that not-so-occasionally reek havoc in my body and brain are called into the light when I seek spiritual direction.  I notice God at work in places I hadn't considered and in ways I hadn't imagined.

"Meeting with a spiritual director has reminded me of the deepest realities I know, and yet, the ones I so quickly forget:  Namely that God is already at work here in my life and in this world; and that God is the initiator of all healing, redemption, wholeness, conviction, abundance; and I am the one who is invited to respond, and to partner."
--Beth Slevcove as quoted in Tony Jones' book, "The Sacred Way

Spiritual Direction is not something us Methodists talk about much...  But you'll be hearing a lot about it this month!  We're even having a Spiritual Director come to lead us in worship on May 23rd, to help us understand what this is. 

I think it could be something wonderful that some of us find immensely helpful as we journey on this road of faith....  Stay tuned for more insight!

But for now...  Think of a situation you are struggling with...  Where do you sense God in that?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


"As Christians, prayer isn't just something we talk about doing, it's something we actually do.  It's something that we feel deep in our hearts, something that offers us peace, direction, joy, and inexhaustible power.  But it's not a one-shot deal; it's persistence."
--Rev. John Ed, "Treasures of a Transformed Life"

Prayer is a form of guidance.  Pouring your heart out to God.  Saying the words.  Hearing the words.  Listening for God's quiet nudges...

Prayer puts us in touch with God in a profound way...  that only true persistence can develop.

What is something you are persistent about?
What results do you get from that persistence?
What if... you were that persistent with prayer?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


"I can't tell you how many times I get calls from people who are really troubled, and they say, 'John Ed, what does the Bible say about my situation?  Where can I find some help?'  They're basically trying to borrow somebody else's knowledge about the Bible.  But the best thing is for us to be rooted and grounded in God's Word ourselves, so that his direction and guidance will come directly to us.  See, we can't be casual about it.

"Some folks say they just pick up their Bibles every now and then to look.  Have you ever heard the story about the man who decided he'd just flip open his Bible to see what God's Word was for him that particular day?  He opened it up, put his finger on a verse, and read that Judas went out and hung himself.  Not sure how that applied to his own life, he thought he'd try again.  This time he found a passage that said, 'Do likewise.'  He said to himself, 'Obviously there must be something wrong.  God wouldn't tell me to do that.'  So he tried again.  And finally, he flipped the page, put his finger down and read, 'What thou doest, do quickly.'

"See what can happen when we try to just pick the Bible up here and there, rather than looking at the whole picture and studying it regularly?  It'd be like trying to learn to surf while only hitting the ocean one day a year."
--Rev. John Ed, "Treasures of a Transformed Life"

The Bible seems like an obvious answer when we ask "Where do we look for God's guidance?"  But is it?  How many of us read the Bible - really READ it?  How many of us even know what the big picture is?

Looking to the Bible for guidance is so much more than picking it up now and then and pointing out a verse.  Maybe that has helped a time or two...  Maybe you've found word of healing or comfort that way...  But when it comes to seeking guidance and wisdom, it may be a chance to take some serious time to start reading.  Reading to know God better.  To know God's love and grace.  To know that God has great things in mind for each of us.

It's nice to hear those things said by a friend, a mentor, a pastor...  But even more amazing to see it in God's own words!

Monday, May 3, 2010


"Unless we're willing to humble ourselves and admit that God really does know better than we do, there's no way we're going to [take a chance].  The counsel of others who have gone before us is invaluable, too.  Look around you at some of the Christian leaders in your life.  I guarantee each one has something to teach you, if you're willing to learn."
--Rev. John Ed, "Treasures of a Transformed Life"

Any time we ask for advice...  we need to ask with humbleness of heart, right?  We ask because we do not know.  It's the same with God - we ask for help and guidance because we do not know the big picture.

God answers in all kinds of ways!  It may even be through the people that are already in your life...  through words they say, suggestions they make, gifts they give you...

The key is to be open to what is said.

Who are the people in your life you want to listen to more?  You want to pay attention to more?  What do they have to teach you?

Guidance can happen in so many ways...  This is just one!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday at SPUMC - May 2nd, 2010

Today was a lovely day at St. Paul's UMC! 

The Education Hour got kicked off with:
* The Children talking about the ways that Jesus changes their lives - and they were encouraged to find something in their lives to change to become better disciples...  A good question for all of us!
* The Confirmands and Adults met in the Fellowship Hall to listen to Cathy D. share her life and faith story.  And what a wonderful job she did!  You just never know what people have been through and the ways their faith has been rocked, until you ask, and they share.  Thanks, Cathy, for doing such a great job!

In worship, we began our month of focusing on "Guidance."  Pastor Penny shared her story of how she came to be in ministry - and all the ways that God led her to this point.  All the big and little ways that God spoke to her, and guided her - through closed doors and open doors, through the words of friends, and through the "coincidences" that would make new things possible.

We've all had promptings and nudgings like this...  It's simply up to us to pay attention to those signs...

Take a moment this week - where are you feeling guided?