How often do we find that we are lacking what we need for the moment? We need another hand to hold the board while we nail it. We are not tall enough to reach the top shelf of the cabinet. We don't have the knowledge or skill we need to fix what is broken. We are too sad, too heartbroken, too much in despair... too human... to handle the situation before us. We all have moments of feeling like we don't have what we need to handle the current crisis. And by ourselves, we might not. But with Jesus and others, we do. The saying... "We may not have it all together, but together we have it all," reminds us that we have everything we need to make it through the rough times and "live a life that pleases God" (2 Peter 1:3 CEV) today, everyday, together. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=047R95-A2XA

There is a saying or an idiom for every situation. Some are just fun. Some provide helpful wisdom... - If you want to fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. - Stop and smell the roses. - Get your ducks in a row! - Teamwork makes the dream work! If we will but employ the best of these, our everyday lives can be more effective and productive. But what wisdom would Jesus impart to us to help us be more fruitful and faithful followers of his on an everyday basis? A vibrant and meaningful everyday faith means moving through the world like Jesus. An everyday faith begins to make a difference every day when we routinely ask ourselves, "What would Jesus do?"... Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j39mv235hQw

We may still be enjoying some leftover Easter candy and the lilies we picked up at church or the grocery, but the big day is behind us. Easter, the highest, holiest day on the Church calendar is already a memory. So now what? Followers of Jesus spend the majority of their time outside of the church building and outside of faith formation practices (such as prayer and Bible reading). Most followers spend as much as 98% of their week NOT doing religious stuff. We spend most of our time at home, at work or school, with family, friends, colleagues, and more. And where is God and our faith in all of these other hours, activities, relationships and pursuits? God and trust in God's goodness (faith) is found throughout each and every day, if we will but look. Faith is found in our joys and cares, in our challenges and conflicts; faith informs our thinking and our action; faith has the power to infuse our days with joy and our activities with purpose. Faith is simply an ongoing encounter with God through Jesus. Everyday Faith is just as holy and special as Easter Sunday. Maybe more so... Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=verjZTUDuYU

Jesus Is ... Alive!

When pain, heartache, and death cover you in their shroud of darkness and silence, it can be so very difficult to imagine a way back to the light and to life. You feel like those flower bulbs that have been shut up in the earth over the winter months - dead, cold, lifeless. But just as surely as spring always comes to this part of the country, so life returns to those bulbs. And on some warm day, often when we least expect it, life breaks out of the ground, and the green shoots up, and a flower blooms! Winter doesn't reign forever and new life emerges from the silent bulb each spring, and there is hope that our darkness and silence will end, too. On this Easter, we celebrate Jesus' victory over death. The tomb is empty! Jesus is alive! And not just Jesus, but us, too! Jesus' victory is not just over his death, but over our darkness and silence, as well. Happy Easter! Jesus is alive - and so are we! Worship Link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dEoA0Ir2bI

It is jarring how quickly life can turn from great to grim. A single phone call, an instant in a moving vehicle, or one brief conversation can change everything. The pain, the heartache, the grief can take us from very high to very low very quickly. But we are not alone in our anguish. Jesus himself experienced this same thing. In the matter of a few days, Jesus went from receiving the adoration of the crowds as he paraded into Jerusalem, to being arrested, to suffering a painful death on the cross. On this Palm Sunday, we walk with Jesus from celebration to silence and wait for the dawn of hope and new life. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oennF4Azmec

We sometimes wonder if we’ve got the right gifts for the job of loving as Jesus loved, serving as Jesus served and entertaining strangers. God uses whatever gifts we have to share God’s grace and hope with others. A spiritual gift is abilities given to us by God, and carried out through us by the Holy Spirit.Our repeated patterns of hospitality create habits that shape our character. If we're going to be people of hospitality, we need the power of the Holy Spirit. We need to use every gift that God has given us to make the difference, to make the impact. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY8tzHeQiuA

Simple Kindness: Christian hospitality is the active desire to invite, welcome, receive and care for those who are strangers so that they find a spiritual home and discover an unending life in Jesus Christ. When we build a relationship with someone they cease to be a stranger. We should notice that the actions Christ desires us to perform are not beyond our ability. The simple act of sharing a meal has implications for our eternal reward. Spending our time with those in need matters a great deal to Jesus. After all, he committed all of his time to the needs of the world. He wants those who serve him to share in this same attitude... Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_KJFdcbpXo

Welcome: All You Need is Love

For some people, it's fun to throw a nice party. For some, to plan an interesting guest list, set a nice table, and plan special food is the epitome of hospitality. To be remembered for a lovely event is thanks enough for their efforts that welcomed others into their presence and home. In the Gospel of John, Jesus welcomes people into his "home," his dwelling place and relationship with God. He does it not with a lavish setting and fancy food. He does it on his knees as he washes the guests' feet. To welcome and love like Jesus is a tall order. But the Beatles taught us just how easy it really is... All You Need Is Love. <3 Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TffWrzKRQzQ

God's Gift

Few of us make it through this life without disappointments, mistakes, and outright failures. Falling down is a part of life. And it's easy to let those negative experiences define us. Our shortcomings cling to us much more insistently than our successes and achievements. We might even come to believe that we are less than others, not as good as the people around us, and not worthy of care, respect, love, or affirmation. But the good news is that God doesn't see us that way. Even if we - and others - don't think much of us, God loves us passionately and completely. It matters not who we are or what we and others think of us, God welcomes you into the family of God. Come on in! There's a place for you here. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtuXEanmMuo

Lent: God’s Extreme Love

It's become popular in retail establishments and stores for someone to greet you when you enter. Sometimes this is a person who stands at the door and has the sole job of saying, "Welcome!" to everyone who enters. Sometimes it's less formal, as in an employee behind a counter shouts out, "Welcome!" while attending to other matters. But rarely does the welcome go much beyond that. No one invites you in, learns your name, provides for you or seeks to really serve you. The welcome God offers through Jesus is all of this - and so much more. Because of God's great love for us, God not only shouts, "Welcome!" when we turn toward God; God also gets to know us, meets us in our needs, serves us as both Master and Servant, and ultimately leads us in welcoming others. God's welcome makes us one with God, one with Jesus, and one with each other. Welcome to the family of God! We've been saving a place just for you! Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxGcSXJ1BRE

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