Thoughts for the Journey by Pastor Ray “Initiatives, Musings, and Grace”

4th of July Week

“The 4th of JULY.” What a great reason to celebrate, with family, community, and even country. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights-that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Wrote the authors of the declaration of independence.

John’s Gospel reminds us of what Jesus came for and what he gives us, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” I would hope that now and again we might pause and reflect on life, not in general, but specifically. What is it about your life that you celebrate, what is it  about you that you celebrate, what is it about you that is gift to the rest of us. Often times we are far to hard on ourselves, and forget just how unique and special we are. If we are to celebrate liberty, and pursue happiness, then we need to learn to celebrate the self.

I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July week, celebrating with family, community, and country, embracing the gift of you and the abundant life Jesus gives.

Peace. Joy, and Love.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-13

The rain is falling this afternoon as I work on updating our web page and I noticed to my surprise the last post I did was April 29. What happened to May? Several things, our computer was down for almost a week, synod assembly happened one week and now here we are the third week of May. I do not mention the events as an excuse, just saying time seems to get by awful fast. It is not a new matter this time passing faster than we would like. Of course that is more situational than anything. It’s like if you are early for a meeting, the traffic will flow with out a hitch, you will catch every stop and go light on the green. But be late for a meeting and the traffic will move at a snails pace and you are sure to catch every traffic light on red, which by the way are twice as long as the green lights on the cross street.

When I become impatient I think of Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 (I am using Eugene Peterson’s “The Message”).

“3:9-13 But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.”

I think we can get to caught up in self importance and the busyness we create for ourselves that we simply forget, or we simply ignore the present moment and before we know it, it’s gone. The moment, the present is what matters, what we do with it and what we don’t.

Now I have been told the older you get the faster time goes. Fact is, the speed of time never changes, only our perspective of it, as I mentioned earlier regarding being early or late for a meeting. And I would say as one ages ones perspective changes, and the meeting in fact is getting closer. For me that is not a fearful thing or a surprise, it is simply part of the rhythm on life. “I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job (your life). It’s God’s gift.”

I am doing my best to enjoy this gift God has given. Some days I do really good, and some days not so much. In the end I try not to get bent out of shape which ever kind of day I have had.  I hope and pray you do as well.

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