Rehearsal

Praying Hands

Ever hear of Albert or Albrecht Durer?  They were brothers and both were promising artists..  Both wanted to go to college, but couldn’t afford it, so they hatched a scheme.  They flipped a coin; looser went to work in the mines to help pay for the other’s schooling.  Albert lost the toss and went into the mines; Albrecht went to school.  He became famous; a wonderful artist.  Time came for him to go home, and return the favor.  Long story short – Albert was unable to attend school because his hands were so broken and racked with arthritis he couldn’t hold a brush anymore.  This inspired his loving brother to produce one of the most famous artistic creations the world has ever known.  We call his work ‘The Praying Hands’.  (A replica of his brothers hands.)    The next time you see a copy of that touching creation, take a second look and remember, no one ever makes it alone!

Christ Have Mercy, How to Put Your Faith in Action’ (by Matthew Harrison) talks about relationships!  We were made for a relationship with God and with each other.  James 4 says ‘Come near to God and he will come near to you.’  My daughter graduated Salutatorian from her High School class and there was a lot of haughty talk about her accomplishment until I reminded her it was a rather small class!  She lost sight of the fact that self-made people often worship their creator.  (Think about that one).   I would urge you to do two things this week.  First, make a list of 10 people who helped you become who you are today and thank God for their presence in your life.  Second, pick someone who helped you in your life, and send them a thank you card.  Thank You Lord, for all the people You have placed in my life; the people who have befriended me; who have nurtured me; who have helped shape my character!  Ephesians 4:   ‘….walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’

Rehearsal

4 Things

This is a month when we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.  We are thankful for so many things; so many blessings, so many gifts, so many kindnesses, so many friends.  Seems like we focus on what we get – as opposed to what we give.  I read this recently and thought it was pretty profound:

4 Things You Can’t Recover:  The stone after it’s thrown; The word after it’s said; The occasion after it’s missed;  The time after it’s gone.

 

I think it is proper as we celebrate with a thankful heart, to also reflect on the stones we’ve thrown; the words we said; the occasions we’ve missed and the times we’ve lost.  Let this be an opportunity to pray that we are a blessing to those around us.  In the words of – Etienne de Grellet:  “I shall pass through this world but once.  Any good thing that I can do, or any kindness that I can show, let me do it now.  Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

I like these words in Acts 4:   31After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.  32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had… For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.  There is a wonderful, mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else.

Rehearsal

Why are you a Christian? My Story

1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)  “ …be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…”

Last month, I asked you to put in writing ‘Your Story’.  Hope you did.  Thought you might like to hear mine:

I like to say I was born in the Lutheran Church, but that isn’t exactly accurate.  I was raised in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod from the time I was two years old – I cannot remember a time when the Church wasn’t the main thing in my life.  It seemed like my family had no social life outside Church – all our friends were there and we were constantly doing stuff – working, playing, serving, worshipping – everything together there.  (Almost) everything was accompanied by a meal too – oh, those potlucks and sauerkraut suppers!

I cannot remember a time when I didn’t feel God was real.  I saw Him in a thousand faces: my Sunday School teachers, my choir leaders, the Pastors, the church-workers and of course, all those wonderful Christian people we knew at Church!  Most of all, I saw Him in my Mother, and my Father.  They lived God’s love, as an example to me and my brother.  Were any of these people perfect?  No, sinners all!  But, somehow, for me, what I ‘caught’ was ‘the saint’, not ‘the sinner’.  What I felt was the love, joy, peace, patience – the fruit of the Christian character – they didn’t only ‘tell’ me about Jesus and His love – they ‘showed’ me; everyone of them!

That’s why I’m a Christian, and what my faith means!  I hope I can pass along to others, what was given to me!