I am excited to have been given another chance at something I thought I wasn’t very good doing.  God works that way a lot.  Several years ago some members of our congregation got a chance to see how very poorly I perform certain fix up, clean up, and paint up jobs on a mission trip to Rockford Illinois.  It was a grueling week for others who had to either work along side me, or worse, follow after me making ‘corrections’.

I told Shelley after that week was over that she had permission to cut off whichever hand I raised the next time a mission team was being formed.

Detroithas done well, and will do well, without me.

But not Kenosha…that city on Lake Michigan and I will reacquaint this next week because I remembered some other things from our week in Rockford.  I remembered how much I enjoyed some of the work we did, and how much I enjoyed working with the youth that went with us on that trip.

And this is a youth mission trip after all.  And I don’t believe I read the word ‘scaffolding’ in any of the literature, so I’m on board with both hands and with God to help me and the 11 saints who will put up with me.

I’m not only ‘on board’, I’m excited.

Mike Shultz

I have a story I have been feeling a need to share.

My sister-in-law Elisabeth most likely doesn’t remember this incident because Elisabeth is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Many years ago I was the manager of a gas station in not the best part of the Twin Cities.  One day at work Elisabeth came to visit me (a very rare occasion).  While we were talking, a young lady came in and asked me if I could give her $10.00 worth of gas but she didn’t have any money.  She gave me the same sob story I had heard a hundred times before.  She assured me she would come back and pay me later.  I declined her request as I always did.  Elisabeth was appalled that I didn’t believe the young lady or help her in any way.  Elisabeth then bought the young lady’s gas.  The young lady thanked her and took Elisabeth’s name and address and said she would send her a check.  After she left I told Elisabeth she would never see that money again.  She said it didn’t matter but she was sure she would get a check.

Several weeks later when I was visiting my brother, Elisabeth made sure I saw the check and thank you note from the young lady. This incident caused me to change my views about other people’s needs and the generosity of others.

While sitting in church last Sunday, The Bible verse that was read triggered this memory and moved me, so much so, that I took my program home and posted the verse on the bulletin board in my office.  It is now my favorite passage.

Hebrews 13: 1-2     Let mutual love continue, Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

I know now that back then I unknowingly entertained 2 angels.  My sister-in-law Elisabeth and the young lady she helped.

My Prayer:   Dear God,  Please walk with Elisabeth during this trying time in her life for she truly is one of your angels.   Amen.

Paul McEathron
 

“Can a Christian Pray for a Horse?”

Dan Patch days are nearly here in Savage.  You probably know well the story of the great harness racer.  Our city was named after the horse’s third and last owner, Will Savage.  In mid-September 1904 a brief news item appeared in the papers that Dan Patch had taken ill and would probably die.  That word sent tremors of anticipatory grief not only through the racing world, but through millions of people with no interest in horse racing but knew the exploits and achievements of Dan Patch.

Dan’s driver spoke to a Minneapolis Journalreporter and said, “Dan has no chance on earth.”  His vets agreed.  Will Savage wouldn’t believe it.  He went into Dan’s stall, sat on the floor and took from his pocket a vial of colic cure, got help getting Dan to take it, and then asked to be left alone with the horse.  He sat on the floor, took Dan’s head in his lap, petted him, talked to him, and being the devout Methodist that he was, he prayed.  Savage stayed with Dan all through the night.  At dawn one of the handlers crept into the stall, and in a few seconds ran outside smiling.  “Anyone know where we can get some apples?”  The paper’s headline, “Dan Patch Doomed to an Early Death” had to be changed.  Dan recovered so quickly that in only a few days he was back on the practice track, and by October was on the circuit.  He went on to race and was never beaten!

Is it right to pray for a horse?  Can we pray, and expect God to answer?  Yes, we can.  Whatever is of concern to us is of concern to God.  So we ought always to pray and not lose heart.  The fellowship with God alone makes prayer always worthwhile.

Jim Ross

A Fathers Day Reflection

With Fathers day this Sunday I have been thinking about my Dad.

Here find some of what I consider his God given gifts.

He had a great laugh and loved telling a joke and then seeing the reaction from others and hearing their laughter.

He was always approachable, kind, patient, loving, and gentle. He was a quiet guide in my life growing up.

He was a farmer who loved to plant seeds and then got to harvest God’s bounty in the fall.

After leaving the farm he was a manager for a business in our small Wisconsintown. He cared about others and they cared for and respected him in return.  I could share much more about my Dad but I will save those stories for another time.

This Sunday I would like you to set aside time to either remember and /or spend time with your Father or a Father figure in your life that helped shape the person you have come to be and tell them just how much they mean to you.

Shelley Shultz

When Larry and I were married, June was themonth in which to get married.  Recently July, August and September have become more popular than June for a variety of reasons. 

Larry and I turned out to be one of the trend-breaking couples.  Our reasons were that I was going to school nearly 300 miles away from where we would get married, and I wouldn’t even get home until the end of May.  We opted to get married in early August so that I would have the time to make final wedding plans. 

Sadly, we cannot predict the success of a marriage based on the month in which a couple marries.  Even though we’ve been married for nearly 46 years, we know that our August wedding had no bearing on whether our marriage would last or not. 

We have been married long enough that people are beginning to ask, “To what do you attribute your success?”  I usually tell them, “Be head over heels in love when you get married, promise each other it will last for as long as you live, be flexible because the other person will change, and then always be looking for ways to make sure you are living up to your promise.”  In other words, each person is 100 percent responsible for having the marriage work.

Larry and I recently had the opportunity to visit the Mark Twain Museum and Boyhood Home in Hannibal, Missouri.  It was interesting to see his views on marriage.  In 1852 Samuel Clemens wrote in the Hannibal Journal,

What a world of trouble those who never marry escape! There are many happy matches, it is true, and sometimes “my dear,” and “my love” come from the heart; but what sensible bachelor, rejoicing in his freedom and years of discretion, will run the tremendous risk?

However, 17 years later, he had discovered Olivia Langdon, a sister of one of his college friends, with whom he fell head over heels in love and to whom he had proposed.  On September 8, 1859, he wrote these words to her:

This 4th of February will be the mightiest day in the history of our lives, the holiest, & the most generous toward us both — for it makes of two fractional lives a whole; it gives to two purposeless lives a work, & doubles the strength of each whereby to perform it; it gives to two questioning natures a reason for living, & something to live for; it will give a new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth, a new mystery to life; & Livy it will give a new revelation to love, a new depth to sorrow, a new impulse to worship. In that day the scales will fall from our eyes & we shall look upon a new world. Speed it!

They were married 34 years, and when Livy passed away in June of 1904, Sam was so brokenhearted that he died in the fall of the same year.

We are human beings and what we plan does not always work out, but whether you are getting married, newly married, or have been married a very long time, may God bless you with the determination to have a love that lasts a lifetime.

Barbara Moore

 

Matthew 25: 15… To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.

During Annual Conference this year Jorge Acevedo, one of the worship leaders, talked about how God bequeaths all people with talents. Some people get 5 talents…they would be the UM Church of the Resurrection’s Adam Hamilton’s of the world, some people get 2 talents and some get 1 talent. Rev. Acevedo told us that we are all not equal and that God gives us the amount of talents that we are personally able to manage. We are instructed to make the most of the talents we are given. When I thought about what Rev. Acevedo said it gave me pause. I tend to get caught up in the “it’s not fair” ugly thinking cycle. After hearing that indeed, I’ve been given the exact gifts God wants me to use in the perfect amounts that I can handle to do the best job that I possibly can do without getting into a lot of trouble or be in over my head.  Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all had the talents of Adam Hamilton…chaos! God knows best. Whether we are given 5, 2 or 1 talent, our lives are full. Using those talents for the glory of God, we are living the life God intended us to live. The trap comes with the person who buries their talent, afraid of what might happen.  God did not intend for us to live scared. As Pastor Becky Jo instructed us on Sunday, we need to “Just Do It” and if that is a frightening idea, well, we need to “Just Do It…Scared”. God is with us and will see us through.

Paula Gaboury

“Just Do It!”

James 2:14-16, 23-24 “What good is it, my friends, if you have faith, but don’t put it into action?  If you see a person who is inadequately dressed or hungry, and you say, ‘Go in peace; keep warm; eat your fill, and yet you do nothing to provide help, what good is that?’ ….It’s the mesh of believing and acting that got Abraham named ‘God’s friend’.  Isn’t it evident that a person is made right with God not by a barren faith but by faith abounding in works-in action?” (paraphrase, NRSV and The Message)

This Bible passage can be particularly helpful during times of confusion or despair.  Rather than giving more attention to those emotions that can knock us off-balance, we can engage ourselves in acts of service to others who are struggling more than we are….  This is an insightful prescription for restoring health and vitality.  It feels “good” to be of service.  It helps us feel like we’re contributing something of worth.  It helps us create meaning in our lives.

Our God is good!  When we invest in sharing our truest selves with other people, the rewards reinforce and reward our efforts.  May you risk reaching out, and may you experience joy in doing so!

In Christ’s love,
Ann Scarborough