Sunday, March 14

rethinking today

This is taken as I was following Alvin (me in my car) - there is nothing that man can't load and move when he puts his mind and muscle to it!

Today is Sunday. I woke up when Alvin came home from his night shift - and within half an hour - was out of the house following him with the car. He was moving a shed that we had - it used to be the little skating shack when he made the skating rink for the kids. We figure it has a use at the new land. So, after MUCH work getting it on the trailer (Michael helped in these efforts!) off he went - and then I followed shortly thereafter.

After taking side road after side road - we ended up at our location on Henderson, safe and sound. Some parts of the journey were very foggy. We got there, left the trailer in the yard, and proceeded onto the city for church.

Today in church, one of our elder lay preachers spoke on a text from Mark. Mark 13: 1-31 to be exact. I have come to love it when John R. speaks. I will be honest - I was not always his fan. You see, back in 1974 when my friend Josie and I were renting rooms in the "white house" owned by Mennonite Brethren Bible College - we were summoned to the "dean's" office and yes - you guessed it, John Regehr was the dean! (Josie and I were in grade 11 and needed a place to stay in the city while attending high school. We were able to rent rooms in the "WHITE HOUSE". It was such a great year! However, after that year, they no longer rented to high school students. Hmmmm... )

Okay, we were 16. And very intimidated by getting called to the Dean's office! What had we done? Hmmmm. Well, it turned out that our reputation for hosting people over lunch hour in the basement of the white house, had filtered to the Dean. Now, I want to make it very clear that the kitchen was in the basement, and we often had at least two friends over for lunch. (favorite lunch concoction was Kraft Dinner with Mushroom Soup mixed in. And, two of our friends who were often there sharing lunch were no other than Alvin and Al. However sometimes the basement was full of classmates watching the Canada Russia hockey series!! OR doing school projects! Not every day, but once in a while. I have regressed..... back to the Dean's call...

He (John R) suggested that we take our lunch to school and eat it there. WELL that worked for a week. Honestly - we were not even a block from MBCI (lived where the red gym is now built) so it made no sense to take our lunch! But, we did appreciate his concern!

Fast forward almost 36 years. Jo and I are much older, and so is J.R. And, having pastor'd at the church, and been encouraged by John R. I have come to love and appreciate him and his wife. So, today I was glad when I opened the bulletin and saw that he was preaching. In my opinion, with every sermon he preaches, I love each sermon more than the one before.

Today he sang a bit during his sermon as well! He spoke on the return of Christ and "rising" with the Lord. He talked about how some people want to predict the exact time - and give so much time and effort to that. He suggested in closing that we keep three things in mind:

1) that we don't try to figure out the return of Jesus BUT

2) that we keep doing our assigned tasks as servants of the Lord. He said we are servants to the end - no matter what age! I loved this. He talked about how "servants" are not thinking about themselves but that they invest themselves in the healing of others and what they have to give to others. It is about giving...

3) and that we need to be ALERT - "on guard". He said that sometimes it is easy to get sucked into the culture in which we live. (oh, this hit deeply as I have a burden for a few of my friends, people I love deeply and yet I don't know what to do to help, as I watch them make choices that are not life giving or Christ honoring)

There were a couple quotes that I wrote down, that came from JR's lips to my ears... and gave some real good food for thought. He concluded with the encouragement to us ~ "do tasks in love and compassion for the purposes of healing."

So Lord, how do I do that in the cases where my heart is so heavy? Am I the one that can speak your Truth into the situation? Are the hearts soft for these words? When do I hold accountable and when do I just listen? Can I be a friend who loves and supports but also a friend who calls to task? Are the two possible? Oh Lord, have mercy on us all...

This last quote was actually the first one that I wrote down when he said it - and I will admit that when he spoke this, it just fell on my heart... and as I have mulled it over a bit - I know I need to continue to mull. (O Lord, help me figure this one out and to be love-filled not love LESS!) Here is the quote from JR: "strange how loveless we can be when we think we've got it right!"

oh, ouch. I get this on a number of levels. Lord, O LORD, please give me compassion, and grace. Help me to lay it down. to lay it ALL d-o-w-n. After mulling this over a little - I have come to this realization: I think I am healing because when I heard this quote - it resonated with me deeply ~ but it didn't boil up within me! ( O Lord, thank you for your healing... and thank you for teaching me, and impressing on me the way you want me to be - please Lord, make me more and more like YOU!)

Today is Sunday. Thank you Lord for this day. Thank you for the contentment you have brought to my heart! O Lord ~ I love you!


Ashley said...

One of my favorite things he said was during the first story. When he talked about the men at the cemetary, and how they sang songs of faith straight into the pain of death to keep the sting at bay.

his sermon really resonated with me too mom!

Jeannette said...

Well, because of FX, I didn't listen much so it was great to read a summary of the yesterday's message. I have a lot of respect for that man. Enjoy hearing the life in your writing, reading about your walk out back and just listening to you!