New Testament reading…..

As we have been focusing on the Lord’s Prayer over the last several weeks on Sunday, you may have taken up Pastor’s encouragement to follow along with us as staff in a reading of the whole Testament in one year. 

We are following YouVersion’s “Project 345” and it takes us through five readings a week with two days off for reflection or other reading.  We have started at the book of John. 

There is this theme of light and dark.  Jesus is the light and provides light and truth and direction for His children.  We follow Him and so live in the light. We will always have a pull toward darkness but Jesus invites us and empowers us to live in the light, to communicate the light and to share the light. 

Let me know if you are following along with us (we are at John 12 today) and what you think. 

Meanwhile, Jesus “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:5 Live confidently in the light.

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Generosity and light….

I have encountered people in my path lately that have demonstrated such a kind and generous spirit. What a beautiful thing. Then I discovered that they have walked through deep and hard hurts. What an interesting thing to consider the miracles of beauty that God makes from ashes that are surrendered to Him.
One certainly doesn’t wish for hardship and heartbreak, but there is a harvest of beautiful and fragrant flowers with the death of the seed.
I marvel at this time and again when my path converges with others on this life journey.

I was touched when I read Andres’ guest blog today. I don’t know much of her story but her words of learning to walk in the light ring true. What a blessing that comes to fruition with open eyes!

I invite you to take a read HERE

Once in a blue moon….

I guess i never thought about where that expression came from. Tonight is a blue moon. Its a rare occurence, hence the expression. It is beautiful. I am spending some extra time outside admiring it. An opportunity to simply gaze upon beauty is often just enough pause in the day to enjoy and reflect on the blessings of beauty that are ours everyday.

Pause and leave space in your life for beauty, for gratitude, for peace and for the deep joy that comes from a recognition of God’s blessings and provision.

Yes, its a good moment to reflect on these things! I encourage you to do the same friends. I think i will try to make the discipline of “pausing” part of my daily practice.

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Serving in Tijuana

What a wonderful day of service.  I was just thinking this morning….we all serve, when we do more than is expected, when we do a kindness or share a word of encouragement.  Those are gifts of the heart and God uses them to create beauty.

Today:

1. I got to spend time with sweet friend MSW student Marisa (actually the daughter of great friends from my law school days…and I hadn’t spent time with Marisa since she was a baby!)

2. Got to help the family of Pastor Abdiel get ready for the Quinceanera celebration of their daughter on Saturday. The dirt street will be closed for the 300 plus people who will come to celebrate this special day.

3.  Enjoyed fresh Mexican bread .. my favorite the “concha” –right out of the outdoor oven in the patio of the little church.

4.  Offered a sewing workshop for the community ladies (and children were got to paint, color, put together bracelets and bead necklaces)

5. Got to visit with a family from China who lives in the neighborhood and is coming to the mission church!

6.  Got to see Legna’s new community center… a beautiful, colorful, happy place of service and refuge!

7.  Got to talk to a govt rep about a breakfast program we would like to get started at the Community Center in 3 de Octubre.

8.  I got to give my friend, collaborator and tireless partner in the Gospel,  Tere a birthday hug (and her sweet son Jonathan too).

All in all, it was a great day!

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What has life taught you?

I came across this writing of a woman who upon the celebration of her 90th birthday write 45 things life has taught her.  Even if you are 5 or 95, I bet life has taught you some lessons.  What a wonderful exercise to record them for yourself and those around you and those yet to come!   I wrote a little note to a friend who is a young mom, celebrating her birthday today. My mom will celebrate her birthday this month and I at the beginning of next month. It has made me think.  I might try this exercise.   —Melissa This week’s article came to my attention recently. It was written May 28, 2006, by Regina Brett, then 90 years old, in a column of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. Regina says: “To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life has taught me.” ****************************************************************************** 1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good. 2. When in doubt, just take the next small step. 3. Life is too short, enjoy it. 4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. 5. Pay off your credit cards every month. 6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself. 7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone. 8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it. 9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck. 10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile. 11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present. 12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry. 13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. 14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it. 15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don’t worry, God never blinks. 16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind. 17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways. 18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger. 19. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else. 20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer. 21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special. 22. Over prepare, then go with the flow. 23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple. 24. The most important romantic organ is the brain. 25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you. 26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’ 27. Always choose life. 28. Forgive. 29. What other people think of you is none of your business. 30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time. 31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. 32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does. 33. Believe in miracles. 34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do. 35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now. 36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young. 37. Your children get only one childhood. 38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved. 39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere. 40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back. 41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need. 42. The best is yet to come. 43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. 44. Yield. 45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.