Finding Ways to Love One Another…

     For the past several years, around October, I start thinking and praying about a spiritual emphasis focus to guide me through the upcoming year. This past autumn, however, has been extraordinarily busy, and the matter didn’t cross my mind until November 8th, while watching the morning news.

     Headlines that morning centered on the massacre at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.

     Another senseless, tragic shooting!

     How could this happen AGAIN?

     I watched as Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean, answered reporters’ many questions. The sheriff spoke with utmost professional competence and composure but was unable to hold back tears when remembering his colleague and friend, Sgt. Ron Helus, one of the victims of the horrific crime.

     My heart ached for so many, including this sheriff who said he was retiring the next day. Instead of recalling joy-filled celebration, this man’s retirement will be marred by memories of a final horrendous event.

     One comment in Sheriff Dean’s interview grabbed my attention. He told about going to the local Jewish synagogue following the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, which had occurred in Pittsburgh a couple weeks earlier. I cannot quote his exact words, but the Sheriff relayed his conversation with the local rabbi in which he told the religious leader, we MUST find a way to love one another.

     Immediately, I realized the sheriff’s conversation with the rabbi was going to frame my 2019 spiritual focus.

     Often, I feel so insignificant. The morning of November 8th was one of those times.

     What difference can I make in a world that’s filled with so much pain, tragedy and hatred?

     It’s a question to which I have no answer, but I know it’s a question I plan to explore.

     I don’t want to sound ‘Pollyannaish,’ but somehow it feels my starting point to find a [better] way to love one another will not happen by focusing on what is broken and who is wrong. Instead, it’s found by exploring with realistic honesty a passage of scripture. Philippians 4:8 & 9 encourages believers to concentrate on:  

     What is true?

          What is honorable?

               What is right?

                    What is pure?

                         What is lovely?

                              What is admirable?

                                   What is excellent?

                                        What is worthy of praise?

     If you’ve never considered choosing a one-year spiritual focus, I’d like to encourage you to ponder the possibility. The beginning of a new year is a great time to begin.

Blessings to each of us as we consider ways to love one another…

Sue Reeve

Coming Home – Body & Soul…

     One of the big highlights of my years growing up in North Central Montana was going to church camp every summer. One of my camp time friends was a nice blonde girl from Conrad, a small farming community on the northern Montana plains.

     Nancie was not only nice, but she was pretty, musically talented and loved Jesus in much the way I did. On the closing day of camp, we promised each other we’d write letters, and we would exchange one or two until the busyness of a new school year overshadowed little-girl-summer-camp promises.

     Nancie eventually married a minister, was mama to five kiddos and became an accomplished author. I’m in the process of reading Nancie Carmichael’s latest book, The Unexpected Power of Home. I loved her observation in Chapter 1.

“Why is it important to reflect on your childhood home?

We look back to see the truth of our story, to understand what shaped us…We learn what to treasure, what to keep. What to let go. We learn how to build a beautiful and good home because we are informed by wisdom… ”

     I recommend highly Nancie’s book, which I ordered from Amazon and am certain is available in Christian book stores as well.

Peter said, “Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.” (1 Peter 2:11 MSG)

The soul’s home transcends that of earthly homes. Throughout my lifetime, I’ve experienced moments of spiritual clarity when it’s felt like my weary soul has found its way back home. One day, I know, my weary, worn-out body will be ready to enter an eternal home, the ultimate hope of one who is a follower of Christ.

Travel keeps me from becoming a stagnant thinker, which happens to be one of my biggest fears. I like the challenge of being a bit off balance because of unfamiliar environments, different time zones, foreign sights, sounds, smells and tastes. I absolutely love meeting folks whose worldview is different than mine, but in whom I see characteristics common in all humanity. While I look forward to and appreciate returning to the familiar comforts of home, I relish returning changed in some small way.

     As I wrap up these thoughts about home, I’m praying we’ll all become more aware of the role we play in creating homes filled with peace, love and kindness.

     Blessings on you and all who dwell within your homes…

Sue Reeve

Happy Thanksgiving!

My Pinterest-inspired Thanksgiving creation!

     Today, the aroma of Thanksgiving permeates the air. The familiar scents, reminiscent of oh, so many Thanksgivings, remind me how much I love home. Not because our house is big and fancy but because it’s a safe place where those who enter are welcome to simply “be.”

     The psalmist said, O, LORD, you have always been our home… My soul feels at home when I meet with the Lord in my too-messy office or curled up on the living room sofa in front of the flickering flame of our little fireplace. I—no one extraordinary or fancy—feel safe, welcomed by God, invited to simply “be” me.

     You, my reader friend, are among the many good gifts for which I give thanks!

Sue Reeve