During my day off today I took some time to "count my blessings," reflecting on all that I am thankful for.
I am thankful for the beauty of Ives Run Recreation Area on this beautiful sunny day, and all of the ducks gathered together on the open water.
I am also thankful for a lot of people in my life. I'm most thankful for Erin, and for our dog Ivy and for Dovie and our other pets. I'm thankful for my extended family; and I'm thankful for my friends; I'm thankful for the people whom I get to work with each week.
One of the groups of people I'm most thankful for are those I'm acquainted with who are in recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. A big shout
out to those in the recovery community I’ve had the privilege of walking
alongside as your pastor. Without exception you all (you know who you are) have such big hearts and you inspire me in your commitment to healthy living while trusting in the power of God's love.
As a pastor in a Christian denomination I have hope that all will come to know
the power of God’s love in Jesus. That being said, my goal is not to convince anyone to think and believe exactly as I do. I started this blog with the hope that all
who believe in a personal and loving God might encourage one another in our
journey of faith; be they Muslim, Jewish, Christian, unaffiliated with a mainline religious tradition, etc.; in a spirit of non-judgment and mutual encouragement all are welcome here. To me these qualities of non-judgment and mutual encouragement are some key ingredients of what it means to follow the example of Jesus.
I am also aware that there are those who follow this blog for the love and
service component of it...or for hearing about some good things happening in
community; or even for the sake of reading about the stories of particular individuals who have been highlighted.
I do hope that all will come to know the power of God’s love and that we
can all live lives that are rooted in relationship with God who knows and loves each of us. The fantastic news is that I believe God has already empowered each of us live our best life possible. Each of us
has always possessed within ourselves all that we will ever
need to live the best life possible. Sure, the gifts that God gives us need to be developed ...but the
gifts were always there...Erin has always loved animals...that is one of her gifts...and she received training
to be a veterinary nurse and that activated her gifts to a fuller degree.
Jesus said that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed (that's a tiny seed!)...I'm paraphrasing a little here...that is more than enough. If you struggle with the idea of believing in God, of trusting in God, and of taking a step in faith you are not alone; not even close! If you have doubts, if you wrestle with unbelief; I want to acknowledge that
even the tiniest step towards being open to a relationship with God is always
more than enough. Not just a good start; more than enough.
Do you believe that you are known, loved and empowered by God to live your best life possible?
Is your answer a confident "YES!"? Is your answer a tentative "sometimes"? Is your answer, "I want to say yes"? Even if you believe it with faith the size of a tiny mustard seed, God will work through that and make it grow.
You are known, loved, and empowered by God. You have always been and always will be MORE THAN ENOUGH.