Maintenance Required

When you are driving along in your little car and that flashing light pops up on your dashboard, it can only mean one thing: MAINTENANCE REQUIREDMaintReqd

Some of us take the flashing light as a warning.  Note to self, we say.  We wonder how long we can go without finding out what the issue is, much less handling it.  Your mind floods with questions:

What is wrong?

What will this cost me?

Will this keep me from moving forward?

A pause should not induce panic.  We should feel blessed that we even get an alert letting us know when something needs attention!  We are trained to constantly be productive and available, so anything that prevents us from doing that is considered a problem.  Oftentimes, a pause can be a blessing!  

We need moments of renewal. In nature, God models this truth.  Perhaps you have built a lifestyle that has you running on E, but we must consider the fact that we have to tend to ourselves as well.  There is nothing on earth that moves that doesn’t need a rest.

I recall reciting the 23rd Psalm every spring at our Easter pageant in Sunday School.  When the weather turns to spring, I am reminded of to take rest in my Savior.  Give this oft repeated Psalm a review with new eyes and be reminded that caring for yourself is trusting in God.

Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

by Daina Troy

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The Still, Small Voice

11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
1 Kings 19:11-13 (KJV)

It’s a new year!  We are full of possibility and excitement. And noise.  And plans.  And responsibilities. And the distraction of other people’s plans – which they somehow seem to have prepared already…what?  I mean, when? How?  Why is every one else together but me? I fasted, I prayed, I even did a vision board! Why can’t I get it together?

We entered this year with our world in the midst of an upheaval.  For many of us, it is the first time we have witnessed such turmoil on this grand of a scale.  For others, it is reminiscent of things we experienced in our youth.  For the elders, this foolishness is old hat. And that is on the large scale, it does not even speak to what may be going on in our individual lives. But all of us can look toward the same thing for our strength – the still, small voice.  

In this new year, the catchy headline is not likely going to speak to you.  But you may find your answer in the third paragraph, second sentence.  The hook of the song may not inspire you, but you may find your hope in the second verse.  Most likely, the horoscope that came on the widget on your phone didn’t light your path, nor did the snarky blog you read on ‘New Year, New You – For Real This Time’.  But the still small voice, the wave of assurance that floods over you after your sincere prayer, that quiet connection with God – that is your guide.

favim-com-23550Our world is enamored with connection; further buffered by our fascination with technology. But your connection to the Lord has existed for all the ages without any assistance. You don’t need a list, a bullet journal, a make-over, or new clothes for this new year.  If you want to do something great to claim the year, dedicate some time to spend with your Lord daily.  Just you and God.

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

Proverbs 8:17 (KJV)

Begin your year with God in the lead and see how far you go!

by Daina Troy

Healing Lesson

Last year, to the day, our executive pastor taught this simple lesson:

While teaching is going on, healing us supposed to happen. If you receive the Word in faith, the Word can heal you.

Luke 5:17 (KJV)

17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

He referenced the scripture above.  He didn’t pause to mark it or focus on it, but I noted it. He went on to teach about Jesus healing the man with palsy and reminded us further that:

God will interrupt a lesson to heal someone.

Our Bishop has a refrain he will often utter during his sermons, “Are you getting this?” When I hear it, it signal to us that there is room at the pool for healing and its time to get in! When the Word is being taught, a window to understanding opens up.  We can be healed and our minds renewed in these moments.

I work in education and have many friends and family members that are educators.  We agree that there is nothing on earth that compares to the moment when a student “gets it.” I would like to say that this is similar to the way God feels when we finally trust him at his word.  It completes the circle!  A Word received in faith is our connection point with God, the thing that binds us together.

There have been occasions when I have listened to a Word and have not been healed.  My mind was closed in those moments and I could not get past my situation. In brief, my faith was diminished. But there has never been an occasion when I was walking in faith in which I was not healed.  Just like any student, we must commit to focus and trust our instructor.  If we recognize that we have to meet our teachers with an open heart and mind, we can always get a healing through our lesson.