Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday morning... the joys of a new week

Monday morning.

The beginning of a new week.  A fresh start.  The LAST WEEK OF FEBRUARY.  GULP!

The first part of the thoughts are calming, but then I go slightly into panic mode, realizing all that I have on my plate to do this week to finish out my Bioethics class, prepare to teach Disciple's Path, and help my daughter prepare (meaning support her as Mom as she prepares) for solo ensemble this Saturday and for the Beta Convention Sunday through Tuesday.  GULP!

So, as my daughter gets ready for school this morning, I take some time to read an article in Weavings while I drink my coffee.  I chose the article by Pamela Hawkins since I had just done her Advent study over the Advent season and her name caught my attention.  The article was about caregiving, fitting into my bioethics course and my life.  It was an insightful glimpse into what she experiences on her journey.  What a blessing that she was willing to share it.  This is an area that needs a voice for the voice-less.  I imagine Pamela has a solid community around her that reaches out to her, allowing her to take time off from care giving from time to time and also that offers her help with meals and other activities/chores for which she may not have the time or energy.  Yet, many people do not have this community.  Or, maybe they do, yet they don't tap into it.  We too often don't live fully into our community living.  The article, by the way, is entitled "Love's Solitary Confinement:  A Caregiver's Psalm".  You can find it in Weavings Volume XXIX , Number 2 (Feb/Mar/Apr 2014).

Weavings offers a guide on Spiritual Reading online.  Though intended for those interested in forming reading groups, it is a good resource for anyone.

You can access Weavings here.  Though you cannot read it online, you can access their online newsletter here and sign up for it.  Weavings is online via Facebook, so check them out by clicking here to access their page.

My mind is working rather slow for a morning, but maybe not for a Monday morning.  It has been good to drink some coffee, to read an article that touched my heart and mind, to actually be able to sit and write.  Yet, what precipitated me sitting down to write was a moment that made me realize that this truly is a slow Monday morning.

I was preparing to transfer the coffee from the coffee maker to a carafe to keep it warm without cooking it more (you know, to prevent the "burn" taste).  I turned the kitchen sink water on to hot so I could pre-heat the carafe.  Several minutes later, the water was still running cold.  And, then more minutes.... still cold.  I was perplexed.  Until I realized that in my Monday morning stupor, I had it ON COLD, not hot.  LIGHT BULB (a-aha!) moment!  One can not expect the proper thing to occur from the incorrect position. 

I thought about that.  Smiled.  Changed the handle over to the left side to heat up the water and continued to reflect on my teaching/learning moment as the water quickly heated up.

How many times do I attempt to accomplish things in life from the side that won't bring me the desired result?  Or, how many times do I attempt to do something with the incorrect leverage?  One could work through this in several ways, I imagine.

However one goes about it, for me it was a definite "cause for a pause".  Not simply because my hand was very cold and causing my brain to wonder 'what's going on here?' 

Who would think that a kitchen sink and cold water could create a thinking process that might have spiritual and other growth implications?

Check out the Weavings article and the rest of the issue.

And remember that using the proper resources/tools will facilitate the situation.  Hot water warms up a carafe much better than cold water.

Blessings on this week and on your journey,


Sunday, February 23, 2014

1898 Red Bud B&B, Wilmore, KY

This past trip to Wilmore, KY for classes at Asbury Theological Seminary, I booked a room at the 1898 Red Bud B&B at 600 N. Lexington Ave., just a few moments walk to the campus and not even a 1/2 mile in distance.  [You can walk the sidewalk down N. Lexington Ave. or go through the neighborhood and a walking path that comes into the parking lot on the campus.]

My reasons for staying here were that 1) the Asbury Inn was fully booked when I called to make my reservations back in the fall and 2) because of the winter, I wanted to be close to campus and not need to drive my car in case of bad weather.   I say this because I'm not dissatisfied with any of the other places I've stayed in the past and will be staying both at the Asbury Inn and the Corner House B&B in Nicholasville again in the future.

Yet, for this moment, here is my experience at the 1898 Red Bud B&B (website).  To check out their Facebook page, click here.

My experience with booking my room was very pleasant and smooth.  I called the number on the website (see the link above) and spoke with Suzann about dates and policies.  She emailed further information and I mailed in my deposit.

I arrived Thursday afternoon for my two night stay.  I filled out paper work and paid my remainder upon arrival and was shown my room upstairs and around downstairs.  I would be in the Oak Room.  You can look at the pictures on the website of the Oak Room.  Below are a couple of pictures I took of the room and the bathroom associated with it. 


The bed was super comfortable and I slept well both nights.  I enjoyed using the tub, though I didn't take advantage of a soaking, relaxed bath (will do that next trip!).  I did use the spray attachment the second morning for a quicker bath/wash and that worked great too.

Breakfast each morning was superb and filling.  Fresh brewed coffee was ready prior to breakfast.  It was rich and tasty.  Suzann mentioned that she used a special brewing machine that made it more slowly, but I forgot to ask her what she used.  I may have to put one on my Christmas list for next year. 

The top breakfast includes an egg and ham soufflé, French toast croissants with a banana and orange glaze.  The bottom breakfast contains brown sugar bacon, egg casserole, crepe, and strawberry glaze topping.  Did you notice the fork?  Mickey Mouse silverware!  That was neat!  I adore Disney, especially anything Mickey Mouse.  My Mickey Mouse sleep pants were the perfect choice for the weekend.

Each evening there was a snack (banana bread the first night and a warm fruit granola dish the second night) served.  Hot water was available for cocoa or tea.  I took advantage of the array of tea bags and had tea.  Each night there were Disney themed mugs out for us to choose. 

The wrap-around porch looked wonderful, with its swing and rocking chairs.  Yet it was too windy and chilly the day I arrived too enjoy them.  The second day it wasn't windy or chilly, but I stayed in to read when I came back from class. 

The parlor was a nice place to sit and relax with my cup of tea (see above picture).  There is also a community television in there (in addition to the television in the room).  There is a writing desk too.  You will also find abundant information on places to visit, things to see and do, etc. 

There are many antiques in the home, from furniture to pictures to books to teacups to spoons.  There is quite a bit to peruse if you enjoy that sort of thing.  And, I do.  In fact, both the bed and the dresser in the room in which I stayed are a close match to something my parents have in their home that belonged to several generations past. 

Suzann's door was open if we needed her.  All we needed to do was knock.  She was accommodating, helpful, and answered any questions.   She was a wonderful host and I look forward to being back up there later this semester.

Check out the 1898 Red Bud B&B if you're going to be in the Lexington/Wilmore, KY area (or if you're looking for a quiet get-away). 

I think you'll be pleased if you choose to stay!


WO 510-- Day 2 of class (end of class)... Shalom, friends.

We ended class yesterday with a song from the United Methodist Hymnal, #666.  The number didn't mean anything to me.  I don't know hymns by their numbers.  But, as the professor started playing it and I looked at the title, I recognized it.  "Shalom to You."  It was written by Elise Eslinger.  It was written to the tune of «Somos del Señor». 

Ah, another Academy memory moment / connection time for me during my Asbury class time.   Not only did we sing this song often during our 2 year bilingual Academy (#32), but Elise Eslinger was our worship leader one session when our main worship leader, Irving Cotto, wasn't able to be with us.  These connections for me represent weavings of my faith.  They affirm and strengthen me.

This song is found in the United Methodist Hymnal, #666.  According to, it is found in 4 hymnals total.  It is also found in the Upper Room Worship Book (see below).  The lyrics were written (as mentioned) by Elise Eslinger in 1980. 

Here are the lyrics:

Shalom to you now, shalom my friends.
May God's full mercies bless you, my friends.
In all your living and through your loving,
Christ be your shalom, Christ be your shalom.

Here is a version in English. (not very clear, but decent.  This girl has a great voice!)

The tune, «Somos del Señor», is also known as «Pues si vivimos».  In English, this song is "When We are Living". 

Here is a piano version of the tune.

The first verse to «Somos del Señor» / «Pues si vivimos» is anonymous.  The remaining 3 verses in Spanish were written by Roberto Escamilla. Elise Eslinger translated the first verse into English and verses 2-4 were translated by George Lockwood.  This information (and version) is found in the Upper Room Worship Book, #174 and #175.  This information (and hymn) is also available in the United Methodist Hymnal, #356.
Eslinger's "Shalom to You" is verse 4 of "Song of Shalom" in the Upper Room Worship Book, #174.
According to, "When We Are Living" is found in 13 different hymnals (+ Upper Room Worship Book). 
Here is a version in Spanish: (you can follow along with the lyrics on the link, or from the pictures posted below.)

Another version in Spanish: (with lyrics and guitar chords)

"When We Are Living" in English:
Maybe you noticed that I started with the end of yesterday's class.  I'll work my way back to the rest of class in a little while.  I have a couple of blogs I need to get out of my system.  I also have a paper due Friday for Bioethics and a final exam I'm working on.  And, I need to rewrite my personal class notes for Worship class so that they are legible and usable (for me) and start compiling my notebook in my 3-ring binder.
Yet, I wanted to start at the end and share this song with you.
Blessings on your journey.  More appropriately, this time........Shalom!

Friday, February 21, 2014

WO 510-- Day 1 of class.... thoughts and reflections from today's class

Good evening from Wilmore, KY.  I'm here once again for an intensive course.  This time I'm taking an intensive course that meets three weekends over three months (February, March, April).  This is another first time experience for me. 

If you are asking yourself, 'wasn't she just in Wilmore taking a class earlier in February?', then don't think you've gotten your dates wrong.  I WAS here just earlier this month, taking a Bioethics class (and conference) the week prior to the official date of the semester.  That was my first class/conference intensive and my first snow experience in Wilmore at Asbury Theological Seminary.  Both were superb!  (My bioethics class isn't quite over..... there remains a final exam and a case study.)

But back to why I'm here now.  Worship.  Just before I get started on that, let me say that another "first" for me is that I'm staying at the 1898 Redbud B&B Inn at 600 N. Lexington Ave.  I wanted to stay close to campus for winter classes in case of inclement weather.  I'm glad I did for the first week of February due to the snow.  Though it hasn't been necessary due to weather this time, it has been nice to walk to class and has given me a change of pace and scenery.  The Asbury Inn was full for this weekend, thus the B&B.  I will write on the B&B experience another time.  What a blessing to now have two local B&B experiences!

Worship.  That's the focus.  (In more ways than one.)

So, today was the first day of worship class.  Originally this class was to be taught by another instructor.  However, the first week of February (while I was here in Wilmore for the Bioethics class/conference) we (the students on the Wilmore campus for the course) received an e-mail letting us know that there was a change in instructors due to a recent distant learning ruling and we would get an updated syllabus soon. 

Oddly, I hadn't even considered that I was taking a distance learning course until my J-term in Orlando when I learned after worship on Thursday that the guy who led worship was Frymire, my professor for worship class.  There hadn't been anything in the syllabus about it being distance learning so I was wondering at that point how he planned to be on two campuses and quickly understood.  As soon as I figured it out, things changed.

I am not disappointed with the change, though I understand Frymire is an excellent professor and worship was very good that day.

Dr. Bill Goold sent us an updated syllabus and was gracious to keep the same texts.  This made me happy because I had already purchased them all.  He also told us in advance that we wouldn't need technology in class because it would be "low tech".  That also was good news to hear because I don't use technology in class.  If that seems odd to some people since I have taught (and still teach online) plus I blog, etc., the reason is that I simply haven't moved into the realm of taking notes during a class lecture with technology.  I prefer paper and a writing utensil.  The same way I prefer my books.  Paper.  If that seems paradoxical to some, that's okay.  I continue to learn to live in paradoxes. ☺

Maybe it's the retired educator in me.  Maybe it's simply that I can be a tad overly concerned about my classes at times.  However, I wanted to be prepared for class.  I read the syllabus.  I made sure I was ready for day 1.  I knew we would be sitting in a semi-circle, something I looked forward to as I have used it in upper level courses. (As I reflect on this, I think back to my B.C. teaching days and remember one particular class.  Much to the dismay of one student many years ago, bless his heart, I would arrange the desks in a semi-circle pattern.  Then, he would come in and re-arrange the desks.  I would then go back right before class and put them back the way I wanted them.  I wonder if he still carries that memory?!?!  We talked then about those desks... He is a blessed soul indeed, a brother in Christ, and I got to see him on his Emmaus Walk a couple of years ago... but I digress.)

I walked to campus on this cool, brisk morning (.44 of a mile) and found the class room.  When I walked in, I saw the desks in their semi-circle (U-shape), conducive to interaction.

There were eleven chairs awaiting us.  There was a piano in the corner (to the far right of the classroom).  Also, there was a greeting on the whiteboard and the projector was set up and ready to go.  In my exploration of the hallway (one must always know where the restrooms are), I saw several "Grace Spaces" set up with chairs. That made me curious and caused me to think that we would have break out sessions at some point.  That was a correct thought. 

Dr. Goold started class, but didn't officially start class.  That would come later he said.  Sure enough, we didn't get to "class stuff" (syllabus until the end of today), but that was perfectly fine.  What we did cover today was WORSHIP.  Not just thematically or topically or theoretically, but in practice.  We got to know each other in and as community, in the big group and through our Grace Groups times.

We prayed together, we sang together, we read together, we did the work of the people (liturgy) together, we had table fellowship together (a very large snack table in the centered back of the room, covered by a cloth), we learned together.  Bottom line, we worshiped together. 

It was a powerful first day.  I took some notes of things that caught my attention, but didn't have to write down everything that was shared with us because we were given handouts. ☺  These handouts become part of our notebooks.  More importantly, they are tools and resources to use in teaching others about worship, in worship.

Though I attempt to leave my teacher at the door and be student only, it doesn't always happen.  The inner teacher is always with me and is ultimately a part of how I was created by God.  From the teaching perspective, I can say this:  Dr. Goold is a gracious and hospitable host of his classroom (not just the snacks, but how he asks and answers questions).  He is energetic, uses a variety of teaching methods, keeps track of his students' learning progress throughout the class time (and verifies it daily with an exit ticket).  Very good pedagogy here.  He helped us learn everyone's names by calling on folks throughout the day (it helped to have a small class).  In addition, he plays the piano.... very well.  So he led us in our worship time.  Maybe I should have known that, since he also teaching MU 510, but I really don't know much about professors until I take a course with them.  Not knowing what to expect, this was a wonderful first day of learning!

NOTE:  I have learned from all my ATS professors and have not been disappointed with the quality of education that I have received.

One of the requirements for this class is that we keep a journal-- one entry for each day of class and then 15 entries additionally for the semester. 

Though I won't use this (entire) blog entry as my journal entry for today, I thought it wouldn't hurt to get down my thoughts and reflections. 

As is, this blog post doesn't meet the journal requirements as given to us in our "Perfect Class Journal" handout, but this post does express some of my experiences of the day.

What have I left out? 

Today's class has brought back to the forefront of my mind that worship is for many people the one time of learning corporately during the week.  There are many implications to this, primarily that the time/space of worship must be intentional in its planning and its execution, led by the Holy Spirit.  The focus of worship is to always be the "who", God. 

Other things I learned/experienced today:
  • It is possible to introduce new songs prior to the beginning of the worship time as people are gathering by playing the melody through a couple of times and having someone sing it.  By doing this, folks will be more familiar with it later in the service when it is time to sing it.
  • Corporate involvement (reading aloud of a prayer, affirmation of faith, or responsive Psalm) is always powerful.  (Today's Responsive Psalm Reading was from Psalm 66:1-4 and the Affirmation of Faith was from Julian of Norwich.)
  • Singing 4-6 songs in a short time is doable.
  • The power of community within a group of people focused and intentional toward God (and most of us didn't know each other prior to class... or not much at all).  (This speaks to the power and movement of the Holy Spirit.)
  • Worship, being all about God, is made possible through the working and the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • There is much we can teach folks about worship practices to help them better understand and better prepare for a more intentional and focused worship time. 
  • The worship "style" doesn't matter once you have the focus of worship set.  Style is something that can (and will) change. However, if we are not worshiping the One who created us into being, style is insignificant at best and a hindrance at worst (my thoughts... i.e. style doesn't matter if we aren't focused on God).
These are thoughts/reflections from today's class without going back over my small amount of hand written notes or without looking back at the handouts. 

I was very blessed by our classroom learning and interaction as well as discussion.  The class is very interactive.  It's a very gracious space to be as both a learner and a participant of worship. 

As I continue to journey on toward growth in worship, I wish you blessings on your journey in worship, ?


P.S.  I wanted to share just one of the songs we sang today.  "Jesus, Your Name"

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Worship....a word cloud and some reflection

In anticipation and preparation for my upcoming worship (WO 510) class that starts this Friday, I started thinking about different words that I associate with worship.  I decided to create a wordle with my words to use as my notebook cover. The list isn't exhaustive.  My list may differ from yours.  Yet, as I started thinking about worship, these are some of the words that came to mind.  In case the words aren't easily legible in the word cloud, here is the list:

WO510 worship prayer Scripture Eucharist communion cup bread sermon preaching symbols sacraments traditions liturgical silence space word visual singing creeds choir covenant drama healing liturgy music hymnal organ psalter pulpit anoint baptism praise Catechism confirmation clergy laity Spirit confession rituals theology Doxology peace offering lectionary benediction drums guitar piano handbells chimes vocalists orchestra video broadcast interactive creative blended traditional modern contemporary taizé Advent Lent Kingdomtide Ordinary Pentecost Easter Christmas Epiphany devotion discipline formation colors rites community

Now as I write, other words come to mind.  Words such as multicultural, multilingual, intergenerational.  Worship is varied, depending on the community in which it takes place.  Yet, one thing remains in common for all communities that worship (in theory) and that is that each community gathers to worship the One created all things into being. 

I enjoy traditional worship, contemporary/modern worship, and taizé worship.  I enjoy bells and smells and what I call aerobic exercise from kneeling on the kneeling pads in the Episcopal Church in which I grew up.  Hearing liturgy and responding, sharing in the creeds and other traditional forms of the faith are comforting to me.  I enjoy sharing in Holy Communion/Eucharist/the Lord's Supper any way it is served and have been challenged and blessed to receive it in ways that cause me to pause and reflect on its meaning and my response.  I enjoy the old hymns and choruses from the 70s up to today.  I even enjoy Christian rock, some of it.  Not to mention secular rock and some country too.  I have found that I can worship the Creator through songs that aren't specifically "Christian" yet they still point to the Creator, if I have ears to hear.

When I show up to worship ready to participate, with my ears and eyes open (physically and spiritually), I am more likely to be part of the worship experience, to enter into it and not simply be part of the "audience". 

I haven't had lots of training on worship.  I did take a Lay Speaker course several years back from Dan Benedict (Rev. Daniel Benedict) through  That was a tremendous course and he a tremendous instructor and resource!  Most of what I have learned has been through experience and maybe some from attending conferences and from some books I've read.

I am looking forward to some formal education through WO510 over the next three months, meeting for 3 weekends of intensive class time together. 

We'll see how my worship word list changes, if it does.  More importantly, we'll see how my outlook and practice of worship changes.

Blessings on your worship,


Monday, February 17, 2014

Sunshine, trees, rocks, and water... refreshment for my soul!

This afternoon my daughter and I went over to the North Chickamauga Creek and Gorge Wilderness Area.  What a beautiful afternoon to be outdoors!  The temperature got close to 60 degrees Fahrenheit this afternoon, the sun was shining, the sky was blue (with a hint of clouds).

My daughter was in search of pictures for a photo contest she has entered for the upcoming Beta Convention next month.  I was more than glad to accompany her into the woods to one of my favorite places.

Because of the rain and snow that we've had over the past several weeks, the waters were flowing abundantly.

After standing on the big flat rock above the creek for a moment, she saw an area of moving water that she deemed perfect for photography.  We headed there through the woods and over the rocks on the edge of the creek.

Once we got to her spot, she instructed me on how she wanted me to sit and position myself as her subject.  Her intention was to capture someone enjoying the beauty of the vast creation.  She took pictures from nearby and moved to further away. 

Being next to the water for so long, listening to the soothing sound of it gurgling, bubbling, and flowing was tranquilizing for my soul.  It brought refreshment and deep peace. 

I took some pictures too with my cameras and some video of the flowing water.

What an incredible time of refreshment for my soul this afternoon.  Not only was it incredible to be out in God's creation and to enjoy the beauty of the creation, but I got to spend it with my daughter additionally.  I was doubly blessed today.

I was wondering if there might be a Psalm that fit how I felt this afternoon, how my soul felt as it was liberated into freedom from the time spent in creation.

I think Psalm 65:9-13 from The Message might do it and it includes dancing, singing, and shouting in Creation.

Oh, visit the earth,
    ask her to join the dance!
Deck her out in spring showers,
    fill the God-River with living water.
Paint the wheat fields golden.
    Creation was made for this!
Drench the plowed fields,
    soak the dirt clods
With rainfall as harrow and rake
    bring her to blossom and fruit.
Snow-crown the peaks with splendor,
    scatter rose petals down your paths,
All through the wild meadows, rose petals.
    Set the hills to dancing,
Dress the canyon walls with live sheep,
    a drape of flax across the valleys.
Let them shout, and shout, and shout!
    Oh, oh, let them sing!

Lastly, the chorus from Chris Tomlin comes to mind-- "My soul, my soul magnifies the Lord".  That is the deep peaceful feeling that I associate with today's outing.

Check out the pictures and the video (I took the three very short clips and combined them into a 1 minute plus video).  Maybe by way of them, you can get a taste of what I experienced today.  Maybe you can use them as a way to focus visually, a type of visio divina, on God's creation and see how the Creator speaks to you.


Blessings on your journey,


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Unstuck.... reflections from today's sermon by Rowland Buck at Burks UMC

So "unstuck" wasn't the title, but it's one of the thoughts.

The title?  "Moving Forward: Strong & Courageous".  Today was the first part of a three (I think) part sermon series by Rev. Rowland Buck at Burks UMC on "Moving Forward" from the book of Joshua. 

It was a strong message (no pun intended) and I thought I'd share my notes and reflections. Joshua is a special person for me on at least a couple of levels.  One, I can relate to the message he needed to hear over and again, "Be strong and courageous" as he set out to do what he was called to do.  Not only did he have it spoken to him, he also shared it with others.  Two, I don't think I will ever forget the time in Israel digging Ai (summer 2000).  That was one of those highlight markers in my life.

The Scripture passage today was Joshua 1:1-9.  Here are the verses in the New Revised Standard (NRSV):

1After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying, “My servant Moses is dead. Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, to the Great Sea in the west shall be your territory. No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Notes and thoughts from the sermon....

We tend to settle, get stuck, stop short due to resistance (ours or others').  When we lose traction in life, relationships, ministry, work, dreams, projects, etc. it is likely a result of "momentum killers" that have caused resistance.  The momentum killers: fear, scarcity, pride, insecurity, jealousy, control, comparison.

How do we know we are stuck, for example, in a relationship?  Our dialogue tends to be the same, over and over... or dialogue dissipates into argument.  You realize you can't go forward; you can't go back.  You need someone (or something) to help you get unstuck. 

Sometimes we are stuck because we face a challenge or an obstacle that is seemingly too difficult to accomplish or basically impassable.  So, we become inert in our action.

To understand how to get through such a time, we look at Joshua's example.  He didn't attempt to do it all at once.  Basically, he took the next step that was shown him.  In verse 2 he was told to cross the river Jordan.  There would be more after that, but Joshua didn't need to think about that, worry about that or even try to figure it out.  He simply needed to do that one thing.  I have learned over the past several years as well that all I can really do is that next step that is visible to me at the moment.  That is how I (we/you) can move forward.

Moving Forward #1--God gives Joshua a task. (v. 2) It was focus/direction for Joshua.  His next step.
Moving Forward #2--God gives Joshua a promise. (v. 5)  This was for leadership with God's presence.  This offered Joshua encouragement.
Moving Forward #3--God gives his instructions. (v. 7)  Told Joshua how to do it.
Moving Forward #4--God gives a command. (v. 9) "Be strong and courageous."  This empowered Joshua.

Ultimately, Joshua trusted God.  By putting his trust in God, Joshua was able to move forward, to not allow the momentum killers to keep him back.  It would be disheartening in his situation; to be outnumbered, outsized.... Yet, God had a plan that included Joshua.  A plan that put Joshua in a leadership position no less.  That makes moving forward even more difficult at times because one is responsible for more than one's self and one receives criticism from more than one's self.

But, if we are ever going to get through any situation, we will only do so by moving forward.  Remaining stuck, traction-less, stopped will not get us to where we are called to be.

When the going gets rough and I find myself stuck, will I trust or will I settle?  What about you? 

Will you trust or will you settle? 

The message I got today: Don't give up.  Be strong and courageous.  Trust.  Keep moving forward.

Blessings on your journey,


NOTE:  For anyone reading this, you might want to go listen to the sermon online at the Burks UMC website to hear it for yourself so that you can take your own notes and see what you glean from the message.  What spoke to me in each service and what has come from my reflections may be something different than what you hear and receive.  When you get to the website (by clicking the highlighted link in the first sentence of this paragraph, look for today's sermon, February 16, in the Burks worship area or you can click this archive direct link to which videos are added typically by Mondays 5pm.)