It’s Monday March 19

Last night: Crashing thunder. A deluge of rain. Lightening sizzling across the sky. Looming threat of tornadoes and golf ball sized hail. Take cover. My family huddled in the basement.

This morning: Brilliant sun. A shimmering blanket of dew laying over lush new growth of spring. The family dispersed. Life moves on.

The rhythm of the natural world calls to mind the variant nature of our everyday lives, our journey with God–destructive storms re-construct our story-lines, fear constricts and hope releases. What seems impossible in the dark of night awakens possibility in the mornings of our lives. The storm ends. We emerge from the place where threat prevails, pick up the refuse, and move forward.

It’s Monday. The storm has passed over. Hope covers us as a blanket of dew laying over the new growth of our spring-time. How will your life move on today? Peace. Kai

It’s Monday March 12

This weekend a number of our congregational leaders attended a conference led by Peter Steinke. Peter’s work is immersed in family systems theory especially as it relates to communities, congregations, or families in crisis. What is it that allows some to move beyond the pain of the moment? What is it that frees some from the downward spiral of despair or malaise? Hope.

Quoting Alan Deutschman, “Thee real key is to give people hope, not facts… The first key to change is; you form a new emotional relationship with a person or a community that inspires and sustains hope.” People need to believe that they can and will change their lives.

Hope is embedded in the narrative of Jesus’ followers. “The days are surely coming…” (Jeremiah 31) “I will put my spirit in them and they will live.” (Ezekiel 37) “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10) If it is embedded in the narrative, it should also be embedded in hope-filled lives.

It’s Monday. Need hope? Make time this week to be with someone who embodies this hope-filled story. Conversely, maybe you will be the person who embodies the storyline of hope for others. Peace. Kai

It’s Monday March 5

My golf game has deteriorated significantly in the past years. Lack of playing and lack of focus have finally taken their toll. I was never great but I had gotten to the point where I really enjoyed the game. I reveled in my strengths and laughed off my weaknesses. The tipping point came when my weaknesses overcame my strengths. My delight in the game waned.

One of my prevailing issues is that every time I take the course I can’t figure out why I haven’t gotten any better. I pay no attention to the fact that I play only 3-4 times a year and rarely practice in between. It should be like riding a bike, right? Why can’t I just get back on and resume where I left off?

Well, I gave in this spring. I bought my son some lessons knowing I would go along and take in as much as I could. During the first lesson the instructor said something that resonated with me. “You are not going to hit the perfect shot every swing. So, I want to make your misses, better.” The shot may not be straight down the fairway but it will be in play. I’ll have a chance to swing again.

Then it hit me. Maybe that’s why we need to practice our faith, rather than simply professing it. We are not going to be perfect. God’s grace covers that one. Maybe, we can make our misses better so we can stay in play. Maybe we can think before we react so as not to cause hurt in a relationship. Maybe we can be silent before we speak so as not to cast aspersions. Maybe we can suspend judgment before condemning so as not to cause a greater divide. Maybe we can mark with hope rather than imprinting despair so as not to perpetuate apathy and indifference.

It’s Monday. What do you need to practice to “make your misses, better?” Peace. Kai