Saturday, August 20, 2011

Refresh

To refresh means:  "to revive...to give new freshness or brightness..to restore and to fill up again".  


This summer's heat has been excruciating!  There have been plenty of days where just trying to get the car cooled has been a challenge.  The other day was another day in the low 90's and just being outside literally took my breath.  In the midst of the heat I had the privilege of walking into a local restaurant to sit at a table with 4 persons in whom I love and respect. 



As always the conversation was filled with laughter, grace, thought provoking questions and love. Each person adding a moment of refreshment to my life.


I am honored to sit with each of them every single month.  I know that as I sit with them that they rivive my passion for serving God in a personal journey; not just in leadership for the church.  


I am always amazed and in awe of my friend TW as he speaks with honesty and compassion. He simply has a way of talking that speaks the truth in love and grace.  He revives my soul in a way that is indescribable.  Every moment that I am able to share in his presence I experience the power of Christ. 


I am so thankful for my friend DL as his passion for people encourages others to feed the hungry and clothe the sick.  His passion for the least and the lost inspires me to remember those around me.   He brings a bright light into this world.


My wonderful friend JS aways has a way of looking at things with fresh eyes. He strives to think outside the box and confront things that are hard.  He has a way of bringing a freshness to the conversation.  His humor lightens the load and brings laughter to us all.


My sweet and wonderful friend HB is a woman of strength and deep insight. She sees the heart of persons and isn't afraid to lead even when the leading is hard.  She restores my belief that persons are good at the core and that Christ is present in all situations.  I treasure her opinion and thoughts more than she would ever know.


I have many other friends who truly revive my soul.  They add a brightness and freshness that restores my hope and faith in the world around me.  I am so thankful for persons like MW, MNP, LAB,CS, AG-F (and so many others) who bring a sense of freshness into my world.  


While it was another hot day and my schedule had been packed that week, God brought me into the sanctuary of friendship.  A sanctuary and holy ground where my soul was refreshed.


Who refreshes your soul?  Who helps to fill your tank when you are tired and empty?  Where do you find refreshment for your parched soul and heart?  I give thanks that my friends help to fill me and refresh my spirit.   

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hope

God works in amazing ways.  One day last week I had the privilege of watching the sun rise over the trees painting the sky with  beautiful hues of pink, gold and purple.  As I looked into the sky, I took a deep breath and gave thanks for being apart of something so amazing.  That night in a rare twist of events as I drove home I witnessed the sun stretching across the horizon and watched as the light brought forth a different color of red and orange.  I'm not sure that I have ever seen the beauty painted across the horizon twice in one day.  


In the midst of craziness of life the awe of experiencing a breathtaking sunrise and sunset in one day seemed to fade.  The calmness and the hope that each of those sceneries brought into my life faded under the pressure of trying to do the everyday.  Today as I made a quick scroll through the ever changing Facebook status I noticed that someone had asked a simple question: what has given you a bit of hope lately.  


I realized that the sunrise and sunset had given me hope that something new would be created and come deep within me. I experienced hope as a doctor listened as someone I love described their symptoms in a manner of boldness.  I experienced hope as a new medicine was given to help find peace and calmness for the one whom I dearly love. I  felt hope rise as I saw the joy come across the face of a person who felt as they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders be lifted for just a second.  I experienced hope as a group of adults committed to partner with young persons as they grow in their journey of becoming a Disciple of Jesus. I knew hope and goodness and I listened to someone pour words of appreciation and love upon me for just being me.  I realized that I have experienced hope in so many ways in the past two weeks.


Hebrews 11 tells us that "faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see."  I am certain that I serve a God of faithfulness and one that has placed a song deep within me.  I am thankful for the grace that is abundant. I am thankful for that hope that rises (even if for a moment) in the midst of the dangers...in the midst of the absolute darkness....in the midst of the turmoil.  I am thankful that while I cannot see the future,  I have the hope that tomorrow will bring another beautiful sunrise and sunset for me to breathe in and enjoy every hue and stillness.


Where have you experienced the hope of something new being revealed to you?  How have you experienced the hope of a new beginning reigning down upon you?  Where do you need to open yourself so that you might experience the sense of hope in your life?