Friday, May 25, 2012

4G #1

One thing that has helped me grow in my faith is understanding God's story-- and how it is that I am part of it.  When I realize we are all a part of the same story as Noah and Moses, I become more alive. God intends for our lives to have great purpose, and I try to live it out every day.
I read something recently that broke down the story we are part of into four words starting with the letter “G:” Good, Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude. These four words wrap up the story of humanity and God.
The first "G" word is Good. 
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
 (Genesis 1:31 NIV)
We were created to be good.  We were made to live for so much more than what we ever could expect.  We were made to live like that.  We were made to be lovers of justice, to make right any wrong, and to make sure all people feel the love of God.
Adam and Eve felt what it was like to be in a complete, right relationship with God in the garden. It was a wonderful feeling they had.  It was GOOD. 
I think we forget that this is how it all started: in a garden, where it was all good. 
You might be thinking it would be pretty nice to start out completely good, to not have to go through a lot of crap.  On this day, know that God is working in you so that you will seek goodness, that goodness will win out, and then justice will flow out of your life. 
God intended for us to be good. We all have this goodness in us.  Some of us have it hidden behind pain and suffering. And some have years' worth of sins that have covered up our goodness for a long time. But that doesn't mean God's goodness is missing. It's still there.
God began the story and it was good, and I believe he wants our stories to be good. Let God make your life as good as it was intended to be!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Month of May

But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
May is the month of racing! I love it.  We start the month with the Kentucky Derby and end the month with the Indianapolis 500! I think it is fitting that the month of May always seems to go really fast.  The school year comes to an end and summer plans begin to take shape.  Life is busy running from one thing to the next. 
Sometimes, in the midst of our running, it's easy to forget what's going on because chaos is winning.  Usually I am not kind when I am tired. And I should never make a decision when I'm exhausted. But if I am rested because I have taken a "pit stop," I am able to go for longer stretches and at a faster pace. 
I think that in this month of racing, we have a lot to do in the life of our church.  We are preparing to host a mission trip.  We are seeking out ways to serve our community and bring them the love of Christ. A phrase we will use to for our mission trip is, “Love Union City.” So as we lead up to what will be a great experience for youth, adults, and our community, there is work that needs to be done.
I hope that in the midst of the hustle and bustle of this month you are setting apart time to pray for our mission trip and all the kids that are coming in to serve.  I hope you are also asking God for ways you can serve during this mission week. I encourage you to always pray for those who are far from God, and that they will find their way back to Jesus. We are hoping for 100% participation from our congregation, and I know that the people of Wesley UMC are up for the challenge. 
May is a great month full of races! I hope that you are running with God and taking pit stops along the way so that you can serve Christ in all you do!
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Hebrews 12:1