The Pondering Pastor

These "Ponderings" originally appeared as articles in our church newsletter or bulletin or just as the musings of one bald pastor. I place them here to encourage you, my fellow blogite and maybe to help us all in our pondering.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Making a Difference

THE TRAGIC EVENTS OF THIS PAST WEEK, at Virginia Tech, cause us to cry out, “Why?” Sadly, no answer we are given adequately answers that cry. As I have watched the events unfold I have felt helpless to do anything to help. Yes, I know I can pray, and that I have done, but I feel like there must be something more I can do.

Those who are close by the college have attended memorial services, or dropped by the campus to offer comfort. Those who knew those murdered have written blogs and sent emails. The rest of us tune into CNN and continue to ask the question, “Why?” We long for something to do, but what? There is very little I can do besides to continue to bring this tragedy before the Lord in prayer. Or is there?

As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to be peace-makers in our world. That world can be as close as our neighbor or classmate, or as far away as Africa or Asia. Statistics tell us that over 500 million people are facing the danger of battle, the loneliness of false imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of deep hunger. Looking at these numbers can leave us with the same feeling as hearing about the tragedy at Virginia Tech, feeling helpless to do anything.

The problems are just too big. But, there is something you can do. You may not be able to change the world, but you can help to change one life. Maybe it means reaching out with the love of Jesus to the one next to you or maybe it means reaching out to a child in the two-thirds world who is going to bed hungry.

That’s what Compassion Sunday is all about; making a difference in a child’s life. Showing God’s love in a very tangible way. Yes, you can be a peace-maker in our world. Now the question is, “What’s stopping you?”

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Life is Taxing

I REALLY DO MEAN WELL. Every year I have plans to do my taxes in February, but it never fails, things get left to the last minute. At least this time I had things well organized. One of the reasons this time of year is so taxing is that I (we) make it so. When we push things off until the end life gets taxing.

That which is true about my tax preparation can also be true about other areas of my life as well. If I leave things to when “push comes to shove,” then life is going to always be more taxing than it was meant to be.

If I don’t care for my physical body, then I will pay a price in regards to my health. If I do not take time to maintain my home, I will myself having to do twice the repair work for often twice the cost. If I don’t take time everyday to enrich and development my family relationships, then when a crisis erupts (and they do), the damage repair will be much more costly in terms of emotional energy. If I fail to keep my relationship with God fresh and growing, then when I happen upon the valleys of life they will seem that much more dark and foreboding.

Being prepared reaps great benefits. Keeping on top of things, whether home maintenance, family relationships, or my walk with the Lord, pays great dividends. To leave things to the last minute only makes life more taxing and who needs that? Take time today to make life less taxing, especially as it relates to your family and your faith.

Now, where did I put those receipts?