All posts by Sue

A Lesson in Simplicity…

     Late last year I chose three words to guide me through 2020.

          Serenity

               Stillness

                    Simplicity

     I then selected one of my husband’s photos to represent each word. This lone sandpiper wading on a Pacific Ocean seashore spoke to me of simplicity.

     Most days, it feels like the world in which we live is pretty complex, and complexity doesn’t seem to cohabitate well with simplicity.

     I have no profound insight to offer on the matter of simplicity, but the past few days, a little wounded chickadee in our backyard is teaching me a thing or two.

Meet Abby. (This is what our granddaughter named the bird, although ‘she’ may be a ‘he’ more aptly named Abe!)

     Over the years, I’ve grown fond of chickadees, loving the sweet tune they whistle. They are skittish little birds, flitting from tree to tree, never landing for long. Even though my husband takes plenty of bird pictures, he rarely captures a chickadee.

     When Ron first told me about Abby, I said, “God cares about that little bird.” This thought was based on words spoken by Jesus:

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God….Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
(Luke 12:6 & 7 NIV)

     For over a week now, we’ve been watching Abby hop around. Ron scattered seeds on the ground since she’s unable to cling to the birdfeeder. We’ve seen her fly short distances, but just in case she’s unable to fly to the bird bath, we’ve set out a shallow dish of water.

     We speak gently to our little feathered friend. Sometimes, she squawks in protest at Ron’s deep voice, but my softer granny tone doesn’t seem to frighten her.

     Simple acts. Simple caring.

     Each evening before going to bed, I follow an Ignatian prayer practice called The Examen. There are many different interpretations, but this is my favorite:

Prayer of Examen
1) Give Thanks.
2) Ask God to reveal your sins.
3) Examine how you lived this day (thoughts, words, deeds).
4) Ask forgiveness.
5) Ask God for the grace to amend your ways.

Ask these 2 Key Questions:
Where did I experience God’s love today?
How did God’s love impact the way I lived my life?

     I appreciate the simplicity of The Examen. For the past few evenings, one of my thanks has been that little Abby made it through another day.

Abby’s injured wing is evident in this photo.

     As I said earlier, I have no profound insights concerning simplicity, but one I’m learning from Abby is:

simplicity is not complex.

And, perhaps that’s the point Jesus was trying to make!

Prayer:
Jesus, Teacher on our Journey,
You used the simple story of a little bird to illustrate the certainty of God’s love
Enable me, despite life’s complexities, to welcome and walk into the simplicity of this profound truth.
Amen

Blessings as we consider complexity and step into simplicity,

Sue Reeve

Freedom to Live Freely…

     This week began with thankful remembrance. Memorial Day, a day to remember those who gave their lives, fighting and defeating threatening forces, to preserve our nation’s freedom.

     What a debt of gratitude we owe to these men and women!

     Sunday, May 31, is Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost marks the coming of the promised Holy Spirit on followers of Jesus. When the Holy Spirit descended on them in the Upper Room, they were transformed. No longer frightened and confused, his disciples were empowered to preach and teach the message of the risen Christ.

     Ten of Jesus’ disciples, and undoubtedly many others in that room, would die a martyr’s death. They gave their lives to declare and preserve the spiritual freedom for which Jesus came.

     What a debt of gratitude we owe to these men, women, and above all, Jesus!

     Speeches have been orated; poems have been written; and sermons have been preached concerning these four words:

Freedom is not Free!

     Today, I ask myself, and wonder if you’d like to join me in asking:

  • Where the rubber of my faith meets the road of my everyday life, what do these four words mean for me?
  • How will I be a good steward of freedom, both as a citizen and a Christ-follower?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
You made us in Your image.
Thank You for implanting a desire for freedom into the human heart.

Jesus Christ,
You paid the ultimate price for freedom.
Thank You for giving Your life willingly
to free us from the entanglement of sin and the fear of death.

Holy Spirit,
Thank You for giving wisdom,
for showing us how to best live out God-honoring freedom
that reflects the character of Jesus.

Amen

Blessings on your journey of freedom…

Sue Reeve

Memorial Day Thanks to All Who’ve Served Our Nation

     Ron was driving through a nearby American Indian Reservation a few months ago and stopped to take photos of this impressive memorial dedicated to veterans from the Coeur d’Alene tribe.

     How appreciative I am to every man and woman who has served or is serving currently in the armed forces. How my heart grieves for everyone who has lost a loved one who has served.

     Today, Memorial Day 2020, we remember. We express gratitude for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

Prayer:

God of Mercy and Grace:

Thank you for every man and woman, regardless of race, creed, or ethnicity, who has or is serving the nation in which you’ve blessed us to live.

Amen

With gratitude…

Sue Reeve