All of It

Jan 13, 2016 by

On the rare occasion that our family sits down at the kitchen table to eat together, we take turns discussing the details of our day.  Everyone is asked what their favorite part of the day has been.  Answers vary from meal to meal for most of us.  One child will reply, “This is.”  Another will say, “When I finished school.”  I’ve been guilty of answering, “When y’all finished your chores without being threatened.”  But one answer is always the same.  My youngest son always answers, “All of it!“
Even though it has become the expected response, I can’t help but smile each time Connor makes his declaration.  It doesn’t matter how many times he’s been scolded or how many times his older siblings stole his turn on a gaming system.  It doesn’t matter how many times he has fallen and scraped up his knees or been unhappy that we’re having beans and rice for supper again.  Though he may have complained more than once about said things, he has found true joy in life.  Through the good and the bad.  Through the misery he brings on himself and that others heap upon him.  He has found that true joy is only found in “all of it”.
You can’t pick apart only the best moments of life and choose that those are the ones that make you happy.  You will spend your whole life miserable.  Happy and special moments are few and far between and most of our life is spent in the mundane tasks that make up our daily lives.
I love this quote by Kay Warren: “Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life; the quiet confidence that ultimately everything will be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in all things.”
In all that happens in your life today, be encouraged and choose joy – in all of it!
Samantha Sivils – March, 2014

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Advent is Over. Now What?

Jan 5, 2016 by

Advent is Over, Now What?

Advent is over, 2015 is past and 2016 has dawned.  It’s sadly time to take down the stockings from the mantle, remove the ornaments and lights from the tree, and carefully wrap and pack away the pieces of the nativity set.  The question is do we have to pack them all away?  It seems a little strange to pack away Jesus.  We really don’t!

Advent may end, but Epiphany dawns and the 30 year old Jesus appears at the River Jordan seeking baptism from his cousin, John.  Does Jesus need to be baptized?  No, not for himself because he has no sins he needs to repent of.  So what is he doing in baptism?  Here he continues to do what he began at Bethlehem – be there for us.  In his birth he became human so he might be one of us, in baptism he stands with us in our deep and abiding need for forgiveness.  And the baptismal moment leads to the season of Lent and onto Calvary where He dies for us, taking our place on the cross.  And then comes Easter where he rises and lives even today.

The Season of Advent may have come to an end but the season of Jesus is eternal and always.

 

Rev. Milt Whatley, MUMC pastor

 

 

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Christ in Christmas

Dec 1, 2015 by

We have, over the past several weeks during our Bible study time on Wednesday evenings been considering the book, “The Journey” by Adam Hamilton. In his book we have looked at many of the characters from the nativity story, who they were and how they got to Bethlehem that night. The one that stands out to me is Mary – that thirteen year old girl who was servant enough to say to the angel, Gabriel, when she was told she had been chosen to be mother of Messiah (Luke 1:38 “May it be to me as you have said. NIV).

One of my favorite reflective pieces written about Mary is by the popular Christian author, Max Lucado, in his book “God Came Near”. The piece is called “Twenty-five Questions for Mary”. Here are several:

What was it like watching him pray?
How did he respond when he saw other kids giggling during the service at the synagogue?
When he saw a rainbow, did he ever mention a flood?
Did you feel awkward teaching him how he created the world?
When he saw a lamb being led to the slaughter, did he act differently?
How did he act at funerals?
Did the thought ever occur to you that the God to whom you were praying was asleep under your own roof?
Did you ever try to count the stars with him… and succeed?
Did he have any friends by the name of Judas?
Did you ever see him with a distant look on his face as if he were listening to someone you couldn’t hear?

You can find the rest in Lucado’s book.

It’s my prayer that in these days leading up to Christmas we might ask the questions and find the answers that help us never lost our awe for the day and always keep the Christ in Christmas.

Rev. Milton Whatley

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