Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Let it be a Renewing & Refreshing Spring

Wow, life is crazy! I'm reminded of one of my favorite Bible verses from the book of 2nd Corinthians which says, "If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. Either way, Christ's love controls us" (NLT 5:13-14a). Dear Lord, may this be true! May it be your love that controls us in these crazy times and may we be crazy - in a healthy way - for you!

This year has been one of the most challenging years of my adult life. There has been a WHOLE LOT OF NEW. To be honest much of the time it has not seemed that the crazy has been caused by Christ's love. However, then I must remember that Christ's love is much more abundant and all encompassing than you or I could ever truly know and grasp.Yes, God is in the good AND in the bad of life. Jesus meets us where we are each and every day and God continuously sends the Holy Spirit to reassure us that we are loved and taken care of. For, "God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it" (NLT Eph. 2:8-9) *recapping scripture from Sunday* By the GRACE of God we have been SAVED through FAITH in Jesus Christ dying and RESURRECTING and THERE'S NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT!

The JZ News Flash of the week is that the church we have been working with this year is undergoing leadership change - again!  This is sure to continue to be a learning, changing, growing time for our church and for the various leaders - those that are here now and those yet to come. It has been a learning, changing, growing time on various levels this year for Z and I. Amidst the joyous times and despite the challenges the Spirit is still whirring around, through, and in us gifting us the faith of Jesus in God and reassuring us that our calling to be ministers in the Lutheran church - more importantly in the Christian church - are on the right paths. We're learning to live in the grace that has saved us and finding ways - old and new - to love like Jesus. If we truly believe that Jesus' death and resurrection on the cross is our salvation in God and that there's nothing we can do about that then what else is there to do than love?!

One of the more common questions is, "So how does this affect you two? What does this mean for you?" It means that we are in limbo and have been for a few months now. However, in that limbo we can learn from the experience and use the fact that we are still students - and hopefully always will be. We can choose to encourage each other and those that we work with and help each other process through the hardships and negative factors. We can love with the best of our ability and remember to be in the Word of God so that the ultimate source of love - meaning the Trinity - is obviously alive in our midst and through that we learn to pray/communicate more closely with our creator and Lord.

We have only a few months left at this site and then back to the Twin Cities for our final year of seminary. Life will continue to be new and crazy. It's easy to get down, become anxious, and sneer at at each other on a regular basis, but that's not why we have been made. God says in the beginning of the Bible "Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us" (NLT Genesis 1:26a). When the world is crazy - good or bad - we can find comfort in remembering who we came from and the mystery of how we got to where we are today.

Happy Spring!
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