Posts Tagged With: faith

Equilibrium

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Every now and again

Life circumstances line up

A great wall of water

A perfect storm

That knocks you down

And carries you away

You and the balls

You have  been juggling

Faith, hope, and love

 

Now amidst all the wreckage

You find a way to stand up

And breathe

You start your search

Looking for those balls

To throw into play again

Without them you

Really can’t live

For very long

© 2017 Julie Clark

 

 

 

Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Lent, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

For the Sake of our Children and Grandchildren

 

I am novice when it comes to crocheting.  I’m making some progress in and learning new things slowly in what my daughter calls “Venture Crocheting”. That is the kind of crocheting where you don’t really follow a pattern just your instincts. Sometimes it works for simple things, sometimes it doesn’t. I am making a baby blanket for her new baby arriving sometime in February.  I got the basic pattern down for a nice little blanket for him.  The one thing I did not do, which I am learning now I should always do, is roll the yarn into a ball first.  I’ve had two incidents now where I have gotten my yarn all in knots and it has taken me much time and help to get it unravelled.

 

The other day we were visiting friends in their lovely mountain home.  A great time to bring out my blanket. It was cold outside, nice and warm inside, great conversation and food.  Unfortunately, I had one of those times where my yarn got all in a jumble.  It was bad. Fortunately, my friends kindly volunteered to help out.  Some of them more willing than others.  We we will not mention any names or gender here.  The interesting conversation we were having did not exactly stop. We were talking about peace and peacemaking.  How can we be peacemakers in our world filled with conflict?

 

As we were unravelling my knotty yarn, I thought about the knotty problems we were just talking about.  Wars, conflict, ethnic cleansing, apartheid situations that are happening today.  It was a great metaphor as we worked together and didn’t give up, hopeful that the yarn truly would be unknotted.  And finally it was.

 

I thought how for the sake of our children and grandchildren we must do this work and not let the world “go to hell in a handbasket.”  There are obstacles and often it seems impossible.  There are naysayers who don’t believe it is possible, just cut it off (the yarn)!  But how often do we want to cut people off?  Or worse?

 

What if we all were engaged in some way with bringing “peace on earth, good will towards men” and not just waiting for the angels to do it? What if we all have a part in the world we live in or we are called to serve? What if the great areas of conflict were addressed with “faith, hope and love”? What if we practiced forgiveness and truly learned how to “live in peace with each other”? I’m quoting lots of Bible verses here that some will recognize.  Sometimes we who claim to be followers of the Prince of Peace are missing a really important part of the message that He brought us.

 

I was encouraged in my little yarn fiasco.  I have learned a lesson about rolling my yarn ahead of time.  I also had faith and hope it could be worked out.  I had done it before. I want to have this kind of faith and hope when I approach conflict today.  “All things are possible for those who believe.”  It is hard work and takes time and perseverance.  For the sake of our children and grandchildren let us do our part, small or great in this good work of peacemaking.

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Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Life, Love, Peace and Reconciliation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Who Are We?

I Practiced What I Preached on Sunday.  I asked about my new name since battling my third cold of the season I was feeling rather Sick and Tired.  The answer is embedded in the following poem as well as some excerpts from the sermon.

 

“Who are we?”

Asked the Poet King

the Battle Weary Psalmist.

 

There are days I feel

just like a Breath

or a Passing Shadow

as this Shepherd of Sheep

and a Kingdom felt.

 

What is my name?

Surely not

Sick and Tired.

If I listen open-hearted

the message will come

With an eye of faith

I can almost see it written

on the wing of the messenger:

Overcoming One

Who Loves My People.

That’s a name I

can grow into.

 

My identity is not

in how I feel or

how another calls me

or sees me.

No, it is in

How my Maker made me

to be like him

Image Bearer

full of Glory

full Grace.

Categories: Faith, God, Life, Love, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Choices

Choices lie before me

Which path will I choose?

Will I choose a path of faith, hope and love?

Will I take the time to listen?

Will I discern the gravity pulling me?

Will I feel the ancient forces of good and evil?

Will I choose the good?

Will I ask for wisdom in the choosing?

That is my hope

That is my prayer

I’m still learning

I’m still growing

 

© 2013 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ask

They’ve been waiting

Anticipating

This moment

Ready to move

High alert

Waiting

Anticipating

 

The feeble prayer

Forms in the heart

Barely makes it

To the lips

If at all

A mere

Seed of faith

 

Commotion

In the cosmos

“She asked!

We are moving in!”

The cogs begin to turn

Heaven moves earth

Surely help is on the way

 

© 2013 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Lent, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What Counts? Sermon notes from Galatians or Part 2: Seeds, Fruit and a New Life.

What counts?  What is important? What is God looking for from me?  How do I get there?

Paul is clearly concerned for the Galatians.  He is astonished, perplexed.  After he had spent time teaching them the Good News that faith in Jesus the Messiah was what was required, they were turning back to Jewish Laws and rituals.

5:6, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision or uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

6:15 “Neither circumcision or uncircumcision means anything: what counts is a new creation.”

Circumcision represents keeping the Jewish law.  Circumcision was the Old Covenant Marker.  It showed who God’s people were. The males were circumcised.

What is the New Covenant marker?  (God made a New Covenant with us in Jesus)

Ephesians 1:13: “And you also were included in Christ, when you heard the word of truth the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession-to the praise of his glory.”

Keeping the law, or a set of rules or regulations is not what counts.  It’s a new life of faith (which comes from believing in Jesus) expressing itself through love that counts.  This new life is the Spirit’s work in us.

How do we get to this new life?  Does it just happen?  Do we need to do something?  Yes!  We work together with him.  He does the hard part of transforming our lives.  We cooperate with him and this is how.

Here is where seeds and fruit come in.

What are these?  Seed packets!

What happens when I plant these in my garden and the conditions are good?  Good soil, water, sun, etc…. They grow!

If I plant a tomato seed will I get a thistle?

Seeds: 6:8: “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction, the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

What are we sowing?

What are the choices we make?

What do we say yes to?  What do we say no to?

These are seeds.  Our choices are these seeds.

 Fruit: 5:19-23: “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like.  I warn you as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such thins there is no law.”

These fruit grow out of the seeds we plant. Good fruit or bad fruit depending on what seed is sown!

This fruit produces life or death in us. It produces life or death in our relationships.

Listen to some words of Jesus about fruit:

Matt. 7:16: “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?”

John 15:8: “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

People marked by the Spirit of God are bearing good fruit! Our lives tell who we are!  Our words??? Do they match our lives?  Our lives count.  They show God’s glory.

In order to get fruit of love, joy, peace…… we make choices everyday to sow seeds that will grow these fruit into our lives.

We choose to forgive, rather than hold a grudge: peace and love grow.

We choose to help our stressed neighbor: kindness grows.

We choose to not react to the driver who cuts us off:  patience and self-control grows.

We choose sit on the beach and enjoy a sunset: peace grows.

We choose to comfort a crying child:  gentleness grows

It’s not easy but we start developing new habits and new habits grow and become a new life and that is what counts.

Categories: Sermon Notes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Season

Another Christmas Season is here

There is something contagious in the air

Anticipation, excitement, preparation

Makes you want to decorate your house inside and out with lights and color

Get out the flour and start baking cookies

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside

Some of the lights and decorations, however, start having another effect on me

Makes me nervous, like maybe these people are out of control!

The goal seems to be put out as many lights as possible on every eave and tree, along with Santa, reindeer, snowmen and candy canes

You have to understand

I haven’t lived in this country for several years

I notice differences, changes, and extremes

They aren’t subtle for me

How deep are those warm fuzzies anyways?

Do they last?

I don’t think there were a lot of warm fuzzies on that first bleak Christmas in the stinky stable

Animals don’t smell like cinnamon and spice

So what are we really looking for?

Faith, hope and love run deep and stick to the ribs, lasting long past the season

But, they cost much more than lights and tinsel

They are worth the price

That manger baby thought so when he later gave his life for them

Categories: Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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