We have passed by Mother's Day on the calendar, and so in this part of the country, we are seeing gardens come to life! The Garden Center at your local home improvement store is as busy as it gets, gardeners are getting their seedlings in, and even the least inclined among us gives thought to putting out a tomato plant or two. And we know that only what is planted, nurtured, and fed will produce good things. The same is true of our own inner life. Only what we plant, nurture, and feed every day will grow in us. Will it be good fruit or something sour or misshaped? The Holy Spirit invites us to produce good fruit every day. What are you growing in your spirit? Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hi9r2xni6g

Everyday Faith: Nothing to Prove

Life is hard. We all face countless demands and pressures every day. Many of these are from other people, and sometimes they come from our own selves. We live in a world where are called to do more, be more, produce more, have more. As followers of Jesus, we struggle to balance all of the doing with the desire we have for a faith that brings peace, calm, and contentment. We feel called to prove that we are worthy and that we bring value to the world and the lives we interact with. Jesus simply calls us to himself. Take heart, with Jesus we have nothing to prove. With Jesus we already have and are enough - every day... Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6ak_k5wDfM

When called to a specific or unusual activity, the invitation might encourage you to "dress accordingly!" If you are helping a friend clean out an old, abandoned shed, to keep you from ruining good clothes they might encourage you to "dress accordingly." When the CEO is going to be at a work function and your own boss wants everyone to look sharp, they might ask you to "dress accordingly." When living as followers of Jesus and each day has the potential to bring a unique or challenging situation, how are we to 'dress?' Scripture has some good advice for how to always be ready, and it's as simple as putting on the right clothes. With Jesus, it's easy to always be "dressed accordingly." Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvsSPhBORxs

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