Change: it’s a six—letter word that most of us try to avoid. It’s hard to avoid change when it is all around us. Change in the weather; change in the seasons; change in our plans; change in our circumstances; change in our relationships; and so on and so on. Change is a part of God’s plan for each one of our journeys. That’s why I like to look at life as an adventure. We never know what God has planned for us next.
There are times that we embrace change. At other times, we may be indifferent to change. And then there are those times that we resist change defiantly, as we try to dig our heels in the ground, resisting change all the way. Despite our efforts, change happens anyway.
Our focus is on Lent at this time. Imagine what life would be like if God didn’t send Jesus into the world; or if Jesus refused to fulfill His role. Where would we be right now? Would we live our lives without hope? Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection brought about change; change for the better. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
We do have one constant in our lives and that is God. God is present throughout all the changes that occur in our lives. God loves us with a never—ending love. A love that surpasses all of our understanding. One of my favorite poems of all time is “Footprints in the Sand.” It tells how God carries us through the most difficult times of our lives and during the easier times of our lives, God walks beside us.
So, when change comes about, don’t slam the door in its face. Take the time to “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently” (Psalm 37:7), and wait to see what God has planned for your journey; for your adventure. Take the time to look at all of God’s creation around you: this includes the people He surrounds you with and this includes nature and anything else that you may see around you. Give thanks for all that God has done; is doing; and will do in your life. Change is part of our journey, but God is always with us!
To God be the glory!
Pastor Cathy Allison
Praying the Psalms
It’s hard to believe that we are going to enter the Lenten Season soon. What do you normally do during the Lenten Season? Do you fast? Do you pray? Do you give something up for Lent? Do you reach out to others? Or, is it just like any other time of year?
For many years, when I was growing up and well into my early 30’s, I always gave something up for Lent. Along with giving something up, I also gave up eating between meals and I didn’t eat meat on Fridays and on Ash Wednesday.
I was told that it was supposed to make me more aware of Jesus’ presence in my life. I have to be honest, I think it made me focus more on not being able to eat meat on certain days during Lent and I was more focused on not eating between meals. I don’t think I actually focused more on Jesus. For those reasons alone, I dreaded the Lenten Season.
I have a new appreciation for this season now. I quit depriving myself of meat and snacks. It’s something that never worked for me. If that is something that works for you, then do what works for you. I truly give you kudos.
During Lent, I try to find new ways of connecting more with Jesus. It’s the least I can do when I think about all that Jesus gave up for me. This year I prayed about what we could do differently during this time, and I came up with “Praying the Psalms.” I personally would like to delve deeper into Scripture. I invite you to join me. It’s not difficult. It’s not something that you have to add to your “To-Do List.”
I have chosen four psalms for each week during Lent except for the last week of Lent. During that last week, I would like for you to focus on your favorite Psalms. For more information, I have included the information sheet in this newsletter for “Praying the Psalms” during Lent.
You may do this completely on your own. There’s no pressure. If you don’t want to do this completely on your own, I would like to invite you to join me on Wednesday evenings starting March 13th at 6:30p.m. in the Founder’s Room at church. Let’s discuss the Psalms together.
Jesus says in Matthew 18:20 (NRSV): “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
Too God be the Glory! Pastor Cathy Allison