Thursday, November 11, 2021

A Different Kind of Road



Have I mentioned this before?

I was on my way to visit one of our daughters at her new job and I missed the road sign where I was supposed to turn.  This happened because I was expecting a different kind of road.  I thought it would be a busy, four lane road when it was actually a quiet, two-lane road.

It seems like this is how life works.  We imagine something to be a certain way, and when it doesn't look like what we expected, we miss it altogether.

This is true with religion as well.

So many imagine Church to be an institution beset by cold demands, where freedom is lost, when in reality it is a place of many encounters with the living Christ.  It is a place where we find friendship and true freedom, as well as salvation!

Keep this in mind if you have had the sense that something is missing in your life, but you have been avoiding the community life of a Church because of what you imagine it to be.

Sometimes you have to make that "right" turn to discover the path you have been on is not the one you need to be on.

Janet Cassidy


Monday, November 8, 2021

A Smidge of Faith


In the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 17, Verse 5, the apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith.  What is the measure of your faith?  Do you have just a smidge of faith, or a lot? 

Interestingly, Jesus seems to imply that it doesn't matter.  

You see, just a morsel of faith is incredibly powerful.  In his words, he tells the apostles, "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to [this] mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you."

I checked out mulberry trees.  They don't actually have ears, so they cannot hear you tell them to move.  Neither do they have the ability to move themselves, so what gives?

Oh I'm just kidding.  Well, not really.  They don't have ears nor the ability to move themselves.

But seriously, mulberry trees shoot up quickly and have a few different varieties.  They reach maturity in about ten years.  Truthfully, their roots can be so aggressive that they can even lift up sidewalks!  

We saw a sidewalk that had been lifted up many years ago when some straight-line winds plowed through a vacation spot where we were staying.  It was a pretty amazing sight.  The uprooted tree revealed the strong, powerful wind that moved against it.

So I guess it's like that.  If you have just a kernel of faith--the size of a tiny mustard seed--the potential impact that comes from putting your faith into action, can be tremendous.  Don't worry if it seems like your faith isn't as big and splashy as you think it should be.  A little can go a long way.

Janet Cassidy

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Come on, it's Time!

I was in a conversation recently where the subject of passing on the faith came up.  The discussion brought up my concerns that if the present (younger) generation does not take up faith, generations from now could be in a position of essentially being faithless.

Now I know that it will not necessarily come to pass, as there are still plenty people of faith.  Plus, God is always victorious, so even if it seems like all could be lost, there is always a remnant to continue.  But still, if a whole generation let's their faith slip past, who will teach their kids, and their kids after that?

In Psalm 145, we read:

"Generation after generation praises your works and proclaims your might.  They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty and tell of your wondrous works."

Do you give praise to God and share what he has done for you?  Or, do you really not know his saving grace, his constant outpouring of love or his unlimited mercy (forgiveness)?

What do you think will happen when death arrives and you have to give an accounting to your Creator?

I have baptism on my mind because so many people today do not baptize their children.  Do they not see the point?  Do they not realize the necessity of baptism?  Is there just an assumption that children who have not been taught the faith will someday magically turn to a God they have never heard of? 

These are tough questions, I know, and not ones that we like to spend too much time thinking about.  If you happen to fall into the category of "not knowing God," why not do some investigating of your own.  Why not do a deep dive into what people believe and why, so that you can make an informed decision?

God has been so present to me, throughout my life.  He has opened my eyes to faith and I have accepted what he has revealed throughout time.  If you are a "count your blessings" type of person, please consider who those blessings come from.  

Many people say they believe in God, but continue to live life as if he doesn't really exist, as if he stands back and doesn't care about us.  Many people say they believe that Jesus is the Savior, but they do nothing that he asks us to do.  They don't see a need for Church, even though Jesus himself lived in community.  Jesus would go up to the mountain to pray for a little solitude, but he also went to temple.  He never--not once--taught that the mountaintop was all that is needed.

Get yourself to Church today.  Seek answers to the tough questions.  Don't wait, for God is ready for you to accept his love.  You really do not know what you are missing if you are not part of an established community of faith.

And while you are at it, if you are a parent, take the kids, too!

Janet Cassidy