Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lasagna and Corn dogs

Good morning,
I pray that the day is finding you well.

The sun is shining and the day is warm.

At church on Sunday one of our members mentioned that it was the first day in over two hundred days that had any measurable sunshine. He made the observation, “I am not sure how you measure sunshine.”

Two hundred days is a long time, over six months. Actually in the course of a lifetime it isn’t that long but it can sure feel like a long time when you are going through it.

The “two hundred days without any measurable sunshine” thing got me to thinking. It got me to thinking about the statement, “this too shall pass.” We tend to live in the moment and we do have a hard time looking forward to the things to come; especially when the “things to come” are out in front of us a ways.

I can remember when we were in the midst of the rain the weather people would say things like, “Well, today is rainy, the three day forecast is rain. But Friday looks dry. I would excited about Friday. I would look forward to Friday.

I would get up Friday morning and look outside and expect to see the sun only to see rain continuing to fall. I would turn on the news and the weather people would say, “Today is rainy, the three day forecast is rain. But Tuesday looks dry.” Only to have the same thing repeat itself on Tuesday. This would go on and on and on and as I mentioned earlier it went on for something like two hundred days.

I got to the point where I wished that the weather people would just predict rain and if the sun happened to come out I would have a nice surprise. I started to connect the “predictions” to my wife’s lasagna. I love my wife’s lasagna, this is one reason why my old pants don’t quite fit anymore. These predictions were like me asking my wife what we were going to have for dinner and she would say Lasagna. I would work all day all excited about having lasagna for dinner. When I would get home she decided to make corn dogs instead. Now I have to confess that my wife never traded lasagna for corn dogs but that is what I think it would feel like. I am glad that my wife is not a weather person.

Back to the point Roger. While it may seem that whenever we are going through a tough time it seems that it will never end, it will. While it may seem as if the hurt will never end, it will.

It will if we allow Christ to comfort us, to turn and look at Him, He can and will heal us. He will hold us in His arms and whisper in our ear, “This too shall pass.”

I know that I have used this passage before but it fits very well:
Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

If you are going through a “rainy” season in life know that the sun will come out again.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Paper or Plastic?

Good morning,
I pray that the day is finding you well.

Paper or plastic?

I found myself at the store the other day and I am standing in line waiting. It seems as though I have the uncanny gift to go to the store when it is at its busiest. I like to joke with my wife that I don’t know how everyone knows when I’m going to be at the store. I live in a small town and it seems that every time I go to the store I run into a variety of people that want to talk. Many times the conversation surrounds kids, family, the weather. Often times they ask me to pray and share times of difficulty with me.

So I am standing in line waiting, and I look around and this is what I see. I see moms with their kids. I see dads with their kids.

I am standing in line waiting, and this is what I don’t see. I don’t see moms and dads with their kids.

I begin to take a closer look.

I don’t see the rings on the fingers anymore; something has changed in the dynamic of some of the families. Not everyone at once mind you, but every time I go to the store I notice something amiss.

I am reminded of a book that I once read, “Those that stayed behind.” It is a book about the depression. It is a book about the dustbowl. It is a book very unlike the “The Grapes of Wrath.” It is a book about the people that didn’t go away. It is a book about the ones that stayed behind.

While the depression and resulting catastrophes that it caused to society and to families was a terrible thing, there are many lessons that we can take from it. One lesson is that know matter how bad things may get or how unhappy one may become we are not alone. There are people that still count on them. There are people that love them.

I’m not talking about people living in abuse. I’m talking about people that give up on people. I’m talking about people that start seeing greener pastures, or so they think, and decide that they will leave. I am talking about people that have made a mistake and can’t forgive themselves so they assume the person that they have wronged can’t forgive them and they leave.

Paper or plastic?

We live in a throw away society. We live in a time or recycle. We live in a time were when we are done with it we recycle it back or simply throw it away.

Recycling is good when it comes to paper or plastic. It isn’t so good when it comes to people and families.

Many have been recycled, many have been thrown away.

In the midst of being recycled there is nothing that anyone can say that will make a recycled person feel better. Every piece of advice seems trite. The best that we can do is just stand with this person and be there for them. The act of praying with them gives them a sense of peace and that they are loved.

There are a couple of verses that seem to help. One is Joshua 1:5 “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Just knowing that no matter what God is with you and will never leave you gives you a place to go to lament. The other is Jeremiah 29:11 “11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Remembering that when Nebuchadnezzar took the Jews into captivity there were many that were just everyday Jews that had kept His word and loved Him that were taken with all the rest. They must have been saying, “Why me, what did I do?” knowing that God was telling the people that had been taken into captivity that He is there with them and that better days are ahead is a comfort.

Paper or plastic?

Being recycled is a challenge. But a very wise person once said, “It isn’t the challenge that defines you. It is your response to the challenge that defines you."

Will you let darkness win? Will you dwell on evil thoughts, on how to get even?


Will you let light win? Will you set your mind on the things above:
Colossians 3:1 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”

Just remember that Christ loves you, will you love Him back?

Or in the midst of your pain have you recycled Christ?

Something to think about.