Father, we offer our prayers to you for all who are afflicted with the Covid19 virus that has claimed so many of our brothers and sister, and for the families who have lost their loved ones. We pray for those who are sick, those who are still fighting for their lives, we pray for the doctors, nurses, first responders and scientists who are doing all they can to stop the spread of this pandemic. We pray that everyone take the shelter in place, self-isolation orders seriously to help stop the virus from continuing to claim more lives. Let them understand that by staying home they are helping to save lives. We pray that local leaders and state governments will continue to secure supplies for hospital to that they may continue to save as many lives as they can. We pray that in this crisis we will find leadership who is not afraid to stand up and take the best interests of the many rather than the interests of the few. Lord give your healing hands to all of us, that we may find peace in this time of trouble, place your healing hands on the sick, on the families who have experienced loss, give us the strength to see our way through this time of doubt and fear, let us see that in your love and mercy that you are here to help us through this. Let us unite in prayer where ever we are as we are all your children. we ask though our lord Jesus Amen
Over the years that I and my husband have been working as a ministry. I have been asked many times, where is my church? This is of course a legitimate question, if one says they are a ministry, then they must have a church or be part of a church, right?
The answer to that is, no we do not have one, nor are we part of one. For most their ministry would just dry up and blow away at that point. However, ours has not. I believe this is in part to knowing in my heart that God called me, he called me to Shepard those who are un-churched, to those who need to hear the message or receive his blessings yet have no place to go.
Another reason we do not have a church is, we can’t afford to do so. Operating a church is expensive, the overhead alone is staggering, needing to rely on volunteers to assist with, housekeeping, liturgy or service planning. Environment (flowers and decorations). We are not privileged with the collective support of Conventions, diocese, Holy See’s or synods, as we do not identify ourselves as a denomination, nor are we non-denominational. Rather, we are faith based Christian ministry. What does that mean? We do not follow any specific set of canons, dogma or a specific theology other than what we are taught in the Gospels about Christ, and his commandments.
So, for us, having an actual building that people can come to does not exist. What we do, however, is bring the church into the community. We as members of the Body of Christ and therefore members of the church, take the message to where it is needed. Rather than have a destination for people to come to.
When we are questioned about how I can be a pastor, my Husband has answered many people who site 2 Timothy with “Who are we to judge who God calls to do his work?” I think the first time I heard that I was almost knocked off my chair, I was feeling like I did not belong in the role of a pastor. Sometimes that still haunts me, however, I have become more resilient in my belief that I am going what God has called me to do. in Galatians 3:28 Paul tells us, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” I firmly believe this to be true, and as such, we are all called in someway to serve the church and to serve God to fulfill his needs on earth.
Therefore, who are we to Judge who God has called?
From the time I was a child, I have seen many changes in how we live, from the time of rotary dial phones, and pay phones. To the luxury of cell phone and now smart phones. From spending our days at the roller rink or riding our bikes everywhere, to calling uber to take us where we need to go.
Have we become so bankrupt in our lives that we seem to only see the world through the vast expanse of the virtual internet? Have we become so dependent in technology that living our lives in real time no longer exists?
When I was young, we would go to the store to buy food and items that we needed, and now people shop online and have these things delivered to them. We would go to the library and read books or walk around the bookstore just because we loved the way that new books smelled. With our current reading materials people today do not know the awesomeness of the musty smell of books.
Have our lives become so shallow that we cannot put down our cell phones long enough to watch children grow up? Or to spend family time together. Have we become too dependent of buying our food already cooked? And not understand the importance of sitting at table with each other. Or do we find it and inconvenience to go to church services in favor of watching them online?
I believe that if we can put the technology away, even for a few hours a day we can reclaim all that we are missing in our lives. We can remember a time when being together as a family was more important than texting endlessly. If we can take the time to go to the stores, and interact with people we meet, our lives could become richer by socializing with others. If we can understand that, as humans, we need social interaction with one another, we can become stronger in our relationships. Both at home and in public, that we can see one another as individuals, rather than just an image on a computer screen.
I am not making a statement that the internet is a bad thing, in fact quite the opposite. The internet does have it’s usefulness, however, maybe if we can step away from the virtual world for a little time each day. We can find ourselves not missing out on experiences that will enrich our lives, rather than coming to the end of our lives never having lived them.
It is obvious that I have been on my computer today, and on social media in order to post this, however, My suggestion to you today, put down your phone, step away from the computer or video games and step outside and see the wonders of our world, the joys of interacting with others and our families, that we may see all that God has given us that our lives will be better.
When we think about mothers, I think of all the things that they need to be. Comforters, doctors and tailors. They are strong when we are in doubt, they are fearless if we are in trouble. They are there to tend to all the scrapes and bruises, broken hearts and more. When I think of our mothers, they are so many more things than we could imagine.
But there is one important thing that we often over look about them. They chose to be our mothers, they chose to be captivated with us when the first saw us, when we smiled and walked. They chose to stay up with us all night when we did not feel good, and they chose to endure all that they would go through so that you can be here reading these words.
Though they seem tired or worn. Though they work hard for their family, their love never becomes dim. Though they show the weight of age, they still would do everything they can for their families. And though their hands may be wrinkled with age, a single touch from them can still make us understand just how lucky we are that this woman chose to be our mom.
Happy Mother’s Day
As we sit in the silence of the tomb, the echoes of the previous day remain in our ears. The sounds of the nails being driven into the cross, the cries of pain. The jeers of those gathered and the cries of his followers. We sit in the darkness of the tomb straining to hear any sounds that would give us comfort to know that he is not gone.
The only sound we hear is silence, our breath even seems to make little noise as we wait. He told us that the Son of man would die for us, but we did not know what that would mean. We did not understand the horror we would witness. We did not understand the pain that was endured because of us.
Now we sit, in the quiet looking waiting for the smallest noise that would let us know he was still with us. Yet there is nothing but the silence, and darkness.
He gave His life, his broken body, his blood flowed in torrents from the cross, until He gave Himself up to our Father.
Now we sit in silence, in darkness that we may better understand the light that is to come.
As we reflect on what has happened, let us wait in joyful hope for what is to come from the silent darkness of His tomb. Will you sit with us as we wait for the morning to rise?
What is happening today?
Millenia ago on this day. The real cost of salvation was witnessed. The true cost of salvation was shown to the world. The real sight of Christ on the cross, gave witness to the horrors that would await us because of our sin. In a single moment in time, Jesus was given up as the sacrificial lamb. Beaten and broken, bloody and worn. On the cross he spilled his blood on the altar of atonement for all who choose to follow him. Remember what happened today, remember what the cost of your salvation is, never forget how much was placed on the altar of atonement, for your sins to be forgiven.
There are times when we can become complacent in our lives because we believe that we have been given a free pass to behave a we chose to. There are also times where we look to assign blame to someone, or something else.
Both views seem to fit our need to distract fault from ourselves, to not understand our own faults or short comings.
Today, we celebrate Jesus riding triumphantly into Jerusalem, an act that would set into motion events that would change the world forever. I believe that at times we loose sight of the cost of our salvation was. Jesus betrayed, denied by his closet friend’s, beaten and broken. Taking the whole weight of sin on his out stretched arms on the cross and dyeing for those sins.
As we enter Easter week, let us understand what has happened for us, and let us understand that while saved we still must act as Jesus commanded us. While saved we should not assign blame for our sins and short comings to, he who was cast out of heaven.
As Easter approaches let us take time to look at our lives, to see if we are living as Jesus taught us. Let us look at the path we are walking, that we may, enter in to heaven with Christ. Let us look at what we have done that may still be displeasing to God. Though saved, we must all walk the path Christ laid for us. We should own any thing we have done that is displeasing to God. We must never become willing to assign blame for us trespasses, but accept our short comings learn from them, ask for forgiveness, that we may continue the path Christ made for us.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Are you the same person on the inside as you are on the outside?
We meet many people in our daily routines, some we only meet in passing, like at the store. While others we may strike up a conversation with while on line at the register. And others we may only see when they cut us off on the road and then we launch into a flurry of expletives (as if they can hear us)
However, while meeting these people, what face do we put on? Do we show them what we think they should see? A smile and a kind word, while we are holding in the “Why are you talking to me?” Or maybe we show them that we are aggravated or even angry, by allowing the things in our lives that are hurting us to show through? Are we allowing our prejudice to rule how we meet others, or what we show to them?
If we are followers of Christ, then we should consider 1 John 2:6 “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” So basically, if you talk the talk then you need to walk the walk. Are you willing to follow in Christs’ footsteps? Are you willing to place all that is within you in to God’s hand that he may carry your burden? Are we willing to show how Christ is working in us by how we act with others? 1 John 4:8 also tells us “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
Are we willing to show love to one another? Better yet, are you willing to show the love Christ gave to you, to others so they can see him working in you? Are you willing to let God’s love flow from you and onto others?
As followers of Jesus, we must always be willing to show onto others all that he has given to us. John also tells us that we should love each other, as love comes from God (1 john 4:7-8). Are you willing to allow the love of God within you to show through? Are you willing to allow the love of God to guide you in the way He needs you?
What will you show others today? Will you allow what may be turbulent within you to come out? Or will you place that in God’s hands and allow the love He gives to us to one another?
What will you show others?
When we travel on our roads in life, we should understand that we are not all at the same place on this path. Some of us are just starting, while others are reaching the end of this path. Also, there are those who may always be at the same place in their travel, yet others may not be willing to start the journey. Our common factor is that we are all on a path, from birth to death, we are following the path in life, in this place of existence as humans.
The difference between us, is for some, the path leads us to the kingdom of God, while for others this path is only a journey in their lives that is only part of the natural course of life.
Knowing this, and understanding this, should make us all see that our paths cross often. As such, we should take the time to interact with one another, as our common bond is our humanity, our bond is also the desire to make the most of our lives regardless of where our paths lead.
We should take the time to place aside what we perceive as our differences, and instead recognize our similarities. Understand what makes us human, and in our diversities find the common elements that make us all the same.
For the Christian, we should understand that Jesus’ commandment to love one another (John 13:34) must extend to everyone and not only to those who share in the common faith in Christ as savior. We must, as the Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), look beyond our differences and allow compassion and love lead us to do what is right for each other. May you always look for peace and love with one another, may you always see that we are not really all that different for one another.
Pastor Lisa Chachula