The Small Switch 
Wednesday, August 30, 2006, 01:08 PM - Extra Christy
There is a small switch in the firehouse in the town I lived a few years ago. It is blacken from years of firetruck exhaust and neglect. If you look hard, you'll see an ancient piece of masking tape dangling from it proclaiming "DO NOT USE". No one I asked knew what it was. I finally asked a firefighter whose father was a member before him. He knew. "That switch turns all the traffic lights in town red."

How many other small things of great power are in plain sight but neglected? Jesus talks about the power of a mustard seed of faith. (A mustard seed would cover Lincoln's nose on a penny; see picture below.)
I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.- Matthew 17:20b

The power of faith expressed in prayer and life is seldom acknowledged. We rush by putting out fires and forget the protection and power of small acts of faith close at hand.

This week look for mustard seeds of faith in prayer, in good deeds, and kind, hopeful attitudes both inside and all around you.

Hoping you'll move mountains!

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Wearing the Maker's Logo 
Wednesday, August 23, 2006, 01:06 PM - Extra Christy
We honored our graduates recently. One of the presents was a necklace with the Presbyterian Church Logo on it. I told the graduate that we wanted folks at college to know who she belonged to!

Wearing logos is very popular from the Nike swoosh to the polo shirt, we are branded by brands. I asked someone what did it mean that folks wore athletic sportswear logos, was it because they wanted folks to know the brand of clothes they wore? She told me it was more than bragging, it could mean that the wearer liked sports or valued physical fitness. Sportswear with team logos are taken as a sign that the wearer is a fan and supporter of the team.

Logo is from the greek word, "Logos" meaning "word". Logos has a deep meaning in the Bible. Jesus is named as the Logos (Word) in the Gospel of John:
In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God and was truly God....The Word became a human being and lived here with us. - John 1:1,14 CEV

Wearing the Logo of God would be to put on Christ. I suppose some wear Christ for vanity, like expensive sports accessories, but I like to think most wear the logos of God, because they are Christian; they value and identify with the love and grace that Christ gives and are on his team.

Remember Who You Wear Today

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Watch Your Hat and Coat 
Wednesday, August 16, 2006, 10:49 AM - Extra Christy
Not Responsible for Lost Articles read the sign at a restaurant my wife and I were at recently. It proudly proclaimed the coat rack's lack of trustworthiness.

I wondered what I am trusted with; who gives me things to take care until they need it back. I first thought of the church I serve. Someday I will be a former pastor and I will give the leadership of the church back to God and the congregation. What condition will it be in after being entrusted to my care?

I then thought of my children, the bundles of joy entrusted to my wife and I decades ago. Now as one enters her senior year of college and the youngest turns 18, the time to give up our daily care of them looms large. How well will we have done our job to prepare them to care for their own lives?

Finally, I thought of my life. Given to me by the Creator to use for nearly half a century so far, but ultimately to be returned to Him. What return will he get on his investment?

Jesus had a story about being responsible for articles in Matthew 25. The master didn't leave coats but talents, money, for the servants to care for.
Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them...After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.- Matthew 25:14,19
Unlike the restaurant coat rack, we can't so easily reject what has been entrusted to us. And I know in the case of the church I serve, the children I love, and the life I live, I wouldn't want to.

Hoping You Take Care Today.

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30th High School Reunion Prayer 
Saturday, August 12, 2006, 09:27 AM - Prayers
The folks running our 30th Firestone High School Reunion (Spirit of 76!) were nice enough to let me pray for the event:

God of all Abraham's children: Jew, Muslim, and Christian we gather here as graduates of a common place and common time but we have moved on from our alma mater and have histories that separate us from our common heritage.
Bless this food and fellowship that we can renew old relationships and find new connections that bring us together again; as we knit our histories together. And as we who are many join together in shalom, may all your children in the world come to a glad reunion of peace. Amen.

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Used to Be; Yet to Be 
Wednesday, August 9, 2006, 10:46 AM - Extra Christy
I've returned to Akron after a 20 year absence. Much has changed and I find I navigate by the method that used to frustrate me as a new person in a community, the "used to be" map.

You've probably heard these type of directions: "You turn left where the Anderson barn used to be..." "It is right next to the old Douglas place". My favorite direction was the one I found in the newspaper of my first small town. Having just moved in, I wanted to see the parade that weekend and searched in vain for a map or a listing of the parade route in the paper. Finally, I found it: "The parade route will be the same as last year."

On grace filled days, Christians choose their route not by what used to be, or even what is, but what is yet to be. The prophet Isaiah told of this place where former things would not be a limitation:
Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. - Isaiah 65:17-18

Isaiah is not advocating forgetfulness but poetically speaks of trust in God and confidence in God's future even in the midst of suffering in a foreign land.

People and communities are not bound by the past and neither is God. The parade doesn't have to be the "same as last year" but can break out into joy and delight as we follow God into a new future.

Hoping you follow the call to what is yet to be
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