The big question

The question I’m most often asked is “are you still happy here?” The here is in the Denbigh area and serving the local Pastoral Charge. Both Nick and I feel at home in Denbigh. We like the hills, lakes, and being away from the noise and traffic of the city. The people are caring and kind.

Small communities are close knit. I’m still learning where people live and who is related to whom. A family is created even if none exist.

The downside of living here is being on the eastern side of Toronto with much of the family living on the west side. The distance can be tough but not impossible.

There’s a test of faith that goes along with both sides of this coin. As a Minister there are boundaries that need to be maintained. Having a sense of what’s appropriate when I share from my personal life and when to phrase things in vague ways which can become very important in small communities.

Faith is tested too when you wish you were closer to the family; grandchildren and loved ones.

Where faith fails, doubt creeps in. Perhaps this is a normal part of living or aging. Preparing for meetings and weekly worship services I find myself digging deeper for answers and a sense of peace that comes from searching for the quiet centre.

How do you identify your faith? Does your faith grow during times of sorrow, fatigue, or uncertainty?

 

 

It is well

It is well with my soul..

A favourite hymn sung by a favourite choir.

When I think of my faith and the rock that faith is built upon I wonder why there are times that these words escape me.

  • when I’m feeling lonely
  • when my body aches
  • when friends struggle
  • when violence over-comes the world
  • when wisdom seems to be at the bottom of the list for so many leaders

In times like this is could sing “blessed hope” “it is well”.

What is your soul feeling today?  What kind words will you speak to remind you of who you are?

“Even so, it is well with my soul”.

Peace and blessed be.

Barbara

 

Wondering Wednesday: Living the Gospel

How do we live out the Good News, the Gospel?

stuck in the snow

How do we move forward when all around is feels like sinking sand or deep, cold snow?

Our Gospel Message from Mark 2 shares a story of hope in over-coming the impossible.  Moving when we’re stuck and feeling out of control is not easy, simple, and sometimes not possible.

Our faith can grow from what seems impossible.  Hope turns to deep rooted faith when we dare to take a step.

What step will you take today?

After the sermon…

Sunday worship was filled with excitement, children’s voices, and words of encouragement. Part of my love of worship stems and grows from the love that is shown to each other when we gather.  This Sunday was no different.

We heard from Mark 4 – the Parables of the Kingdom and the mustard seed.

Both of these parables connected with Father’s Day.  Quite the task but not impossible.

There were seeds:

  • of encouragement
  • of love
  • of joy
  • of hope
  • of family
  • of churches/communities of faith

The seeds, deep roots, stalk, and harvest can be metaphors for our lives and for the Kingdom. What we plant IS important.  What seeds will you plant tody?  sowing seeds

Happy Monday

…and it is a very happy kind of day.  There’s blue sky, gentle breeze, and nature is a buzzing with life.  So much to be thankful for.

happy monday

Yesterday at St. Luke’s United we shared in a time of remembrance for those who have passed since last June.  We lit candles, prayed, and had a time over food to share memories.

The focus of the service was not only remembering but of giving thanks.  From Psalm 138: “To You, Lord, I give my whole heart, a heart filled with praise, for I am grateful;”
We understand that through the valleys and onto the mountain peaks God is with us – we are not alone.  For this we give thanks.

Living in gratitude is Godly living. Giving thanks renews our hearts. Are you living in an attitude of gratitude today, on this happy Monday?

 

Speak Eternal One, your servant is listening.

This song came to my mind as I pondered being still and listening to that still small voice that calls to each one of us.

Samuel rose three times to respond to Eli who did not call to him.

How often do we respond thinking God is calling to us but not taking the time to discern or understand where, why, or how we are to proceed?

This is a week of decisions.  Decisions within the Province of Ontario; decisions of what to do, where to go, what to wear, what to eat. Each moment can present an opportunity to make choices.

Listen.  Do you hear God’s call on your life?  Are you ready to answer, “Yes Lord. Your faithful servant is listening.