Monday, September 14, 2009

Losing hope?

“To live in love is to live in life, and to live in life is to live in love,
To me, life is God’s gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to God. Make it a fantastic one”-Leo Buscaglia
There is no doubt we face many challenges in life. There are days when we wonder if we can make it, days we want to just quit our jobs, turn over our children to the local orphanage and scream. There is news that falls on our souls with a thud, and we feel burdened, wondering how we can take the next step in our lives. The above quote has been on my desk for the last couple of weeks and I have taken comfort from this insight. God gives us life, our lives are a gift to God. The intersection of the cross is a helpful reminder to me of the heart of life, that moment when the pain of this life is met with the love of God. It is a reminder for me to dwell in the heart of God, to find that place where the problems and pains of my life are met with the abundant love of God.
I was listening to a program about how in the time of disasters, people come together to support one another. Neighbors, sometimes who have never spoken, will help one another through the crisis, putting their lives on the line in some cases for perfect strangers. I think of the firefighters who have been fighting these wildfires in the mountains above my home, and I am amazed at the commitment they have to protect houses, lives of those who people they may never meet.
It is hard to sustain that sort of neighborliness after the tragedy is over, yet this is exactly what I think we need to do when Jesus calls us to love our neighbors. We need to reminders of the love of God which sustains us in our every day disasters, challenges that cause us to give up hope.
I believe the key is allowing ourselves to be open to how God calls us to live in the midst of the reality of life, it is not up to us to fix life, only to live with love, to give to one another the love from our hearts. Today is the perfect opportunity to start loving God, and one another so the world will be a more fantastic place for everyone.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wildfires in California

I have just moved in to a new community due to my wife being appointed to a new church in July. We live close to the San Gabriel Mountains, and lately we have been impacted by the wildfires that are raging above us. There is the ash and smell of smoke, there is the constant warnings to stay inside and not breath in the air filled with particles we cannot see, but fill our lung. There is the news of church camps that were threatened and the miracle that they were not completely damaged, only minor out buildings were destroyed. And because we moved next to a small airport we have had an extraordinary amount of air traffic due to the helicopters, sky cranes, and planes using it as a base to refuel and stay at night. I have been amazed at the effort it takes to keep the aircraft up in the air, the tankers bring fuel, maintenance crews work through the night to make sure the aircraft is ready to go at the break of dawn, the pilots who make such precise drops, and the spotters who help bring the resources to the right places at the right time. This does not even include all the ground crews and the effort of all the firefighters on the ground. What a blessing it is witness the miracle of cooperation that it takes for everyone to use their skills in an effective battle against the fires.
Again, I am not even aware of these crews are getting fed, and the effort of so many to provide shelter for evacuates, evacuate animals of all kinds, wow, it boggles the mind!
I wonder how different the world would be if we could learn to corporate with one another to fight oppression, homelessness,and establish wellness and peace on earth.

" may be filled with the blessing of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him as you bear fruit in very good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God" (Col.1:9-10)

We all bear fruit, we all have gifts and skills to offer to the Lord to make peace a reality, not all of us can be pilots some need to be ground crew, others to be on the front lines, those who need to be strategic and plan. It will take the full effort of everyone to make sure the hard issues of life are addressed and the challenges met.
What do you think? Steve