Thursday, August 14, 2014


Father God,

Almighty God, you are a great and awesome God.  You are worthy of our praise and service.  You are sovereign of all domains.  But yet you care about each one of us.  You are filled with compassion.  You want the best for us.  You want us to follow you with our whole heart.

Father, thank you for loving my family even more than I love them.  Thank you for watching over them and caring for them even when they are far away from me.  Thank you for giving them even better gifts than I could give them.  Father, I would ask that you show your favor to them.  Be gracious to them.  Show them your faithfulness.  Show them your powerful hand at work.

Father, do not let them go.  Allow them to walk in the light as you are in the light.  Illuminate their minds so they can see you in their science, so they can see you in their churches, so they can see you in their relationships.  Mold them and shape them into the people you want them to be.

Amen

written by Ross Hoffman on August 13, 2013
photo by Jolie Leonard

Sunday, April 27, 2014

"Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things."
 
(1 Corinthians 13:7, ESV) 

Monday, March 31, 2014

trust

"There are seasons in our lives we cannot prepare for. We come to a fork in the road. One of them steps back and says, 'I knew it. This is the way it always go.' It quits and lets go.

The other one trusts and says, 'I have no basis for saying this except for the character of God. I trust him.'"

(Pastor Steve DeNeff)


Saturday, March 15, 2014

together

"At the end of the night we all lined up to receive communion and prayer from our Pastor and his wife. It took a long time to get through the line that night, but while waiting I recall looking around at the many different families who stood there ready to receive the bread and wine. As I looked at the different people gathered I was taken with the sacredness of what I was witnessing. I watched some who seemed so full; full of thanks, and life, and love because the person whose hand they held was now cancer free. But there were others who stood in line whose loved one recently died from cancer. They had no hand to hold...

That night I saw them all gathered in a line: the hungry and the full, the broken and the healed, the joyful and the mourners. There we stood, moving towards God, but also “creeping toward each other, [with] the frightened, bold agreement to be in this thing together”. “Frightened” simply because we know that we, at any point, may change places. Those who comfort may soon need to be comforted. Life is both valley and mountain. Sometimes both at once. “Feasts and fasts are bound inexorably” Adler writes. P. T. Forsyth put it like this, “The depth is simply the height inverted…”. That night at church we both gathered at the table; the hungry and the full. Is there a better place to gather? It’s there, after all, that feast and fast, joy and sorrow, kiss. We meet God at the table, but don’t we also miss him? Maranatha (“come quickly”) is a cry of hope, but isn’t it also a cry longing? Of homesickness?"

(Phil Aud, Fasting and Feasting)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

leaving

“Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving. When the child leaves home, when the husband or wife leaves for a long period of time or for good, when the beloved friend departs to another country or dies… the pain of the leaving can tear us apart.

Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking." 


(Henri Nouwen)

Monday, July 22, 2013

winter sun


Yesterday was beautiful. Thus far, New Zealand winter involves a few days of rain and clouds followed by sunny, happy ones.

The past few months have been exactly that, cloudy and sunny. It's push and shove of feeling stuck and growing. Moments of homesickness and disappointment with the nursing council, but also sweetness of new friendships and the expanding of the Well.

This past month sprinted. Re-experiencing Soul Shift, completing the first bereavement group, adventuring our first Church retreat, hosting wonderful people, finishing at the clinic, starting at the university.

There are parts I wouldn't want to face again, but also lots of bits that were real good. Like the winter sun, a little cold and hopeful.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

the sunday before last

Two minutes before ten, I am standing near the back of the school hall. Glancing around, very few seats filled, and I feel guilt. Will more come? As I make my way to the keyboard, my thoughts multiple. Did I send enough texts or connect this week? How could I have encouraged others to come? We start the first song, my eyes downcast as we sing:

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.

When I look up, the front row crowded with sweet kids, families together, familiar faces, the room filled. God corrects me. Emilie, this is my church. I am reminded not by my own ability, but His Spirit at work in each person. My thoughts turn into prayers, for every one who sits in our congregation, that they hear from God. His voice whispering: I am yours, you are mine.