Shades of Grey

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Hebrews 11:3  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 

Last weekend I was in Colorado for my daughter’s last homecoming football game. As we drove from our hotel to the stadium I asked her what she was going to miss most about living in Colorado after she graduates in December. Her response was “I will miss the mountains. I love all their shades of grey!”

As I get older, I realize life is not all black and white. We live every day in shades of grey. The black and white areas of life are easy, it’s in the grey areas that are more difficult to navigate.

When we put our faith in God, the grey areas of life aren’t as scary. Because our God who formed the universe sees everything. We do not need to be afraid. God is in control.

Praise God for the grey in your life. Celebrate all the beautiful shades of grey in your world, knowing that God is in control of all things!

 

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The Sheep Pen

John 10:1-4  “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. the man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. the watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 

Have you ever had one of those days, or weeks when you feel too overwhelmed to move forward? Life seems to be pulling you in every direction as you try to be everything to everyone….

STOP! You were not created to be perfect.

STOP! Listen to the Shepherd’s voice.

STOP! Follow Jesus.

He is leading you out of the sheep pen into a life full of opportunity.

Noah’s Ark

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Genesis 6:7-8  So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, who I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Do you ever wonder if the Lord is grieving for our generation? With all the corruption and evil displayed on the news every day, it is easy to become disheartened. Look for the Noahs in today’s world. Or better yet, jump on the boat and become a Noah on your journey through life.

I found the poem below tucked in a pattern I purchased at an estate sale. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah’s Ark

  1. Don’t miss the boat.
  2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.
  3. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
  4. Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, you may be asked to do something really big.
  5. Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
  6. Build your future on high ground.
  7. For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
  8. Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
  9. When you’re stressed, float a while.
  10. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic was built by professionals.
  11. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting!

Protection in the Storm

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Luke 8:22-25  One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” 

Just over a week ago, the Weather Service confirmed 10 tornadoes touched down in our area of Minnesota. The tornado sirens sounded, alerts came over the phone, T.V. and computer for a full thirty minutes before the eerie calm was overtaken by 86 – 135 mph winds. Slowly, one by one, the neighbors came up from their basements as we met in the middle of the street to make sure everyone was safe and to assess the damage to our properties. A couple of trees were uprooted and several branches were down, but we were all OK.

The City Engineer called asking if I could make it to the Police Department where a command center was being set up. The two mile drive through town was difficult as I weaved between downed electrical wires and trees ripped from ground by their roots. Upon arriving at the P.D. I began taking phone calls from residents reporting down trees. For over a week, I have answered hundreds of phone calls, recording storm damage and listening to the residents of Northfield.

The calls were all incredibly similar. They were calls of gratitude. One call after another shared their story of how trees fell in their yards missing their house by inches. Trees fell in every direction, but there were no injuries! God is good.

Over the past week it has been incredible to watch our community come together to help each other with chainsaws, pickups and food. Through the storm, our community has grown closer one another and to God.

Don’t wait for a storm to blow though your town. Meet in the street to visit with your neighbors. Take the time to help one another with fall yard work or bake cookies to share. May God be with you and your neighborhood this week.

The Church Basement Ladies

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Hebrews 6:10  God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

Have you all seen any of The Church Basement Ladies plays? They are incredible. I had the privilege of attending my first performance this weekend with my sisters and cousins. We belly laughed through the entire play. Mostly because the actors were spot on portraying the roles women play in supporting the church.

The women of the church have come together as a community for years to support each other and their congregational families. The work women do in the church is important. God will not forget the work you are doing and the love you show through your calling.

Fall Into Jesus

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Psalm 37:23-24  If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

I love this time of year! The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder. A sweater in the evening and an extra blanket at night feel comforting. Not to mention the colors of fall. Is God showing off or what, with the vibrant reds and yellows popping up in trees? What an incredible display!

Another sign of fall is routine. We tend to slip back into a much needed routine after a season of carefree summer. Classes have started, Sunday School is in full swing, and the fall sports seasons have kicked off.

Fall is the prefect time to evaluate your involvement in structured activities. It might be time to bow out of commitments that don’t add value anymore. Take a hard look at your priorities and changes in your life. This fall may be the year to replace those old activities with ones of more importance.

I have recently resigned from two committees I served on to replace those with becoming a member of the Minnesota Christian Writers Guild, leading a women’s Bible study and teaching a section of Sunday School.

How will you spend your time this fall? As you make changes, remember that if you stumble, fall into Jesus. He will hold you.

Believe in God

 

Birch Bay Sunset.

John 1:6-8  There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 

Believe in God, even if it costs you everything.       #justdoit