Life is full of surprises. The joy and happiness, successes and accomplishments offer constant reminders of vows voluntarily taken at my Ordination and Consecration. For those compelling vows, I thank God. None of my struggles, illnesses, disappointments and faith challenges leaves me with anger, regret or bitterness. Would I change the path of my ministerial journey? Nay! I would do it again the same way! To God be the Glory!
Paul’s plea for unity in the church flows from his understanding of God’s call upon his life. Hence, he writes “Live your life according to God’s call.” This is the clarion call of a man of faith who understands the problems diverse groups of people face living in Ephesus. Yet Paul places the highest priority on behavior God expects of God’s people 24/7, even when our issues are not fully addressed. For Paul, loving God and loving the neighbor stand as God’s non-negotiable.
By now, you have heard reports of several shootings involving citizens and police in Baton Rouge, La.; St. Paul, Minn. and most recently, Dallas, Texas. Shooting deaths, families heartbroken, television coverage, suspects killed, fingers pointed, demonstrations and prayers prayed to Almighty God have challenged the church and the world to find a better way.
"It's easier to balance a simpler life," says Odette Pollar. "For a life worth living, eliminate the unimportant, whether it be relationships, tasks, responsibilities, possessions or beliefs."
Research shows that friends are important to our physical and mental health. "... people who do not have strong support from friends and family live shorter lives and suffer more from stress," says Cheryl A. Richey, Ph.D., professor of social work at the University of Washington. "Support from friends can give people the strength to make positive changes in their lives, like staying away from drugs or leaving an abusive relationship."
We made it through Annual Conference! Thank you to those of you who stopped by the PCC display table and picked up information on the available services and resources through Pastoral Care and Counseling or through the Clergy Assistance Program.
Did you know that the average person has 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day? The difficulty isn’t that we have negative thoughts but rather we often believe that our thoughts are true.
Four years ago, we arrived dead tired. Moving from the capital city of Michigan to the capital city of Illinois was a challenge. Packing the house, leaving our two daughters behind, saying goodbye to the good folks in Michigan, embracing our new leadership role in IGRC, moving in the Springfield residence etc. left our energy reserves virtually depleted. Once again, we obeyed the call trumpeted anew in the theme of the 2016 General Conference, “Therefore Go.”
Healing stories in Mark’s gospel are not fictive. They are real, not imagined. A man asks Jesus to heal his daughter. She dies, but our Lord raises her up. Without permission, a woman hemorrhaging for twelve years touches the hem of his garment and receives healing instantly. She is no longer the same.
Now that it’s just about time for me and my beloved Beverly to say goodbye, I want to talk about “the fields are ripe for harvest. It’s a subplot buried within a famous Bible story of the woman at the well.