Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Getting the help I need

On Monday, I felt like someone had driven a spike into my sinus'. I was tired and achy, and instead of springing out of bed I rolled over and went back to sleep. I managed to roll out of bed and get ready for a lunch meeting, but came back home and went back to bed until an evening meeting. The next morning it was clear the sinus infection was not going away without help. My wife pulled out the humidifier, I called the doctor and by the end of the day I had antibiotics. Today, I am feeling a lot better and the headache is now much milder.
I am reminded in times like these, I need help to get well, I can get the rest, drink the fluids but I depend on others to diagnosis and treat my symptoms. It is not always easy for me to ask for the help, but during this time of year, I can use all the help I can get! I also want to be there for others to help them so being healthy is important.
How about you? Do you get the help you need?

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Change is hard for me, especially when the changes I have to make come unexpectedly. There are times when I am sailing along through the charted waters of life, and all seems manageable. Then a storm hits sending me off course, and I struggle to get my bearings again. What it must of been like for Mary after she had the visit from the angels, or what Joseph must of felt when he had a dream telling him of the future. Their lives would never be the same, and neither are ours. The child they cared for and raised would become our savior, and he would be all about change, changing the world in ways that still have implications for our world. We are to keep fighting for the needs of those who are often overlooked. The poor the outcast, the oppressed, still need our love. We need to care for the world in ways that change the systems of oppression and keep the poor, poor. Jesus invites us to the ministry that always is changing to meet the challenges we face. Does your heart have room for the changes that are at your door?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Getting Ready

Today I am conscious of how the days are moving along quickly, the activities are unfolding fast and I am scrambling to keep grounded. Writing is one way that I can slow down the pace of life, and reflect. Other times I can take a walk and be aware of nature, have a deep conversation with someone about what is going on in our lives, all these are ways I can keep sane. But even with my best methods there are times when life gets out of hand, and I am unable to keep up.
I come to the end of the week frustrated at all the things I did not do.
When I realize how frazzled I am, I have a choice, to stop and reconnect with my Creator, or try to push onward, and eventually breaking down,my body can only tolerate so much abuse. As I write, I realize today I need to do something to reconnect to God, to the joy of the coming of Jesus into my life. How about you? What nurtures your soul?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

God does not give you anything you can't handle

As a pastor this saying drives me nuts, the Bible says with God the impossible is made possible, not with me the impossible is made possible. When I am in a situation that I cannot handle, it is turning my concerns over to God, trusting in God's love and power to comfort those I care about, and trusting that God can bring good news in the midst of the crisis is how I can make it through.
God does not give you anything you can't handle is usually said to people who have more than enough going on in their life such as a health crisis, a divorce, bankruptcy, and they turn to their friends for advice and support. If someone does give you this response they assume that God is in charge of everything that happens to you. God does not want us to experience these crisis, it is often hard to know what to say, they want to comfort us, but nothing more could be discomforting, God causes my divorce? God causes me to have cancer? God wants me to experience the pain of depression?
This is not the God I believe in, the one who cares for us, mourns with us, works for our well being. Other forces cause the pain, and are often a result of others efforts to harm not heal. We ourselves are responsible for harm through the choices we make, but this is not God's doing. We have been given the freedom to make those decisions.
The world is overwhelming, and if we take seriously the fact that we become depressed, angry, anxious, this is a sign of how just hard life can be some days. This is not the life God hopes for us,desires for us.
To me to say God gives us no more than we can handle is like saying we can stop a freight train by standing in front of it. We can be run down by life, God helps me find hope in the midst of despair, resurrection in the midst of death, joy in the midst of sorrow, peace in the midst of chaos. I find the inspiration to create a different world, one in which the issues we face so huge. Steve

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things -

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things -

For my post today, I would like you to read this article from our United Methodist news. Blessings, Pastor Steve

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Who is Joseph?

This week is a time to reflect on Joseph,the father of Jesus.We do not know much about him from the scripture except that he is described by Matthew, "being a righteous man" (Mt 1:19 NRSV). In those days if a woman was found to be pregnant out of wedlock, well that was not tolerated well by the community to say the least. Joseph,however did not automatically dismiss Mary in a way that would bring her pain, rather Joseph took time to contemplate another way, one that would be don quietly. Sometimes I give into the temptation to jump to quick conclusions without considering all the circumstances. Sometimes I get upset because of what I perceive to be the truth. If Joseph had considered why Mary was pregnant, and how that might have come about, he may of reached conclusions that were not true at all. Mary was unfaithful, she was lying, etc. I learn from Joseph to take time to reflect, to listen to the Spirit of God, and then act in a righteous way, a way that is just and honorable. How about you, what do you learn from Joseph?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Today is World AIDS day, a time for us to focus on this important issue. We may feel the enormity of disease, how many lives are lost, how many new infections, medicines that work for some and not for others. I think of the newly diagnosed and how their lives are changed when they receive the news of their blood test. I think of those who have lived many years, who have watched as their friends die and they wonder if they are next. I think of those who have no one to talk to about what it means to live with HIV, because they are afraid to let any one know. I think of organizations that do all they can to educate and support those who are positive and those who are family members, friends. I think of the funding that supports so many vital programs. I think of the person who is making a decision right now that will lead them to being infected, who is in denial that this will happen to them.
We cannot by ourselves find a cure, or remove the stigma, or provide services, or reach the isolated, but together we can do great things. Do not let the enormity of the issue cause you to be inactive, be an active advocate, start where you are, find out what organizations are in your neighborhood, find one way to be a part of the cure, part of the care, part of the advocacy. Together we can work to change the world by our efforts joined together with others.

Dear God, on this World Wide AIDS day on which we lift up all those who live with HIV or AIDS, we pray for strength for their journey. May each one know your love for them, how precious they are to you. We pray too for those who are working with those living with this disease, thank you for the researchers, the doctors, all the staff of the various clinics and service centers around the world who are on the front lines in the caring of those living with HIV/AIDS. We pray for their families and friends, their support is vital, and so we dedicate ourselves to being a part of this support. Help us break through our resistance, our preconceived notions, our prejudice so we might bring healing a reality for those who often feel isolated by this disease. Break open our hearts so we might pour your tender loving care on all who live with HIV/AIDS, we ask this in Jesus Name, Amen