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Silent Saints

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 We all know them but we don’t.  We see them every Sunday. We smile and greet them.  We know them as true believers and exemplary Christians.   What we may not know is that they move throughout the church and community, serving in many ways and never taking any credit or asking for recognition.  They serve joyfully, willingly and continually.  We don’t even know all the things that they do.  They say yes when they are asked or volunteer where they see a need.   

I call them the “Silent Saints.”   These folks do not ask for or expect recognition, so it is hard to know who they are.   I shouldn’t be surprised, but I usually am when I discover that someone I have known for a long time belongs in this category. These are the people whose service to God and His church are a way of life.    There are a few who would come to mind for all of us, but there are many others serving God in this place and in the world outside our walls whom we do not even know.

 So many thing in the church are transparent – time goes along, we come to worship and these things just happen.  I never thought about how many people are behind it all.  When I first came to work at the church I was overwhelmed at the enormous amount of work the pastors and staff do to make everything happen seamlessly.  There are also many lay members of the congregation who are an integral part of these seamless operations.

I never thought about how the communion elements actually got to the table or that someone baked the bread.  I never knew there were people who coordinated the Christmas decorations or provided the palms for Palm Sunday.   I never realized how many people participate in praying for us each week, or how many prepare meals for Kairos and Divorce Care.  Who knew that there are three bereavement teams full of hard working volunteers or that we have four wedding coordinators?  And what about the building and grounds?  I look out the window in my office and see people planting flowers and tending to the weeds.  I see people keeping the Memorial Garden swept and trimmed. 

I could go on and on.  There are so many people doing great work for God’s glory.  There are so many people serving God’s people in this place.  So I ask, “are you a Silent Saint?”  Do you try to say yes when asked to volunteer?  Do you sometimes just volunteer because you see a need?    I know I could surely do better.  I would like to be a silent saint.  Not for recognition or “credit” but to please God and serve Him.   So I challenge all of us to get out there are serve; to say yes I want to work.  Or better yet to volunteer, to say, “use me where you need me!”  It can’t be that hard, let’s give it a try

Peace, Blessings and The Light of Christ be Yours

 Annette

 

Posted by Annette Blair with 0 Comments

Dangerous prayers

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Did you know that it can be risky to pray?  There are such things as dangerous prayers:  they are dangerous because our God will possibly answer them by giving us what we ask for.  If we pray for patience, God may present opportunities that force our patience to increase.  If we pray for humility, it is likely that we’ll be placed in situations that humiliate us, an effective way to rid us of pride. 

During a Christian retreat my freshman year of college, I prayed, “Bring it, Lord,” which probably serves as a modern-day equivalent to Mary’s prayer in Luke 1:38; she says, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”  I invited God to mess with my life, and God has been answering that dangerous prayer ever since.  For example, I think one of the reasons why I ended up moving to Ohio, a state where I knew no one, is because of my willingness to yield to our “bring it” God.  It is risky to pray and yet it is so worthwhile to open yourself up to letting God reign in your life.  Adventure awaits you as a result.  Growth in character awaits you.  Love awaits you.

In C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, one of the characters, Lucy, asks about Aslan, the lion who represents Christ:  “Is he quite safe?”  Mr. Beaver responded, "Safe?" [...] "Who said anything about safe?  'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."  When I say that praying can be dangerous, I mean to say that God is not safe.  But the Lord is good:  God is trustworthy and kind and powerful.  Though prayer may feel perilous, being vulnerable to our good God is exactly right.  The Lord is making us into the people we were meant to be.

Indelible Grace has a song that tells the story of one dangerous prayer.  I have been challenged by the lyrics, and so I am including them below.  I invite you to reflect this week on how God might be at work in the difficult and painful circumstances of your life to bring about grace and faith and freedom.  I hope that, as we surrender ourselves in prayer to the Holy Spirit, we gain confidence in declaring, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith and love and every grace
Might more of His salvation know
And seek more earnestly His face
 
Twas He who taught me thus to pray
And He I trust has answered prayer
But it has almost drove me to despair
 
I hoped that in some favored hour
At once He’d answer my request
And by His love’s constraining power
Subdue my sins and give me rest
 
Instead of this He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart
And let the angry powers of Hell
Assault my soul in every part
 
Yea more with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Cast out my feelings, laid me low
 
Lord why is this, I trembling cried
Wilt Thou pursue thy worm to death?
“Tis in this way,” The Lord replied
“I answer prayer for grace and faith”
 
“These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free
And break thy schemes of earthly joy
That thou mayest seek thy all in me,
That thou mayest seek thy all in me.”

 

Let us seek our all in the Lord,

Emily

Posted by Emily Mitchell with 0 Comments

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