Thursday, February 05, 2009

Chili Prayers--Wesley Foundation E-letter (Methodist Campus Ministry)

Dear Friends,


I hope you are staying warm in all of this cold weather!  If you want a ride to the Wesley Foundation just call 270-842-2880 thirty minutes before we meet and someone will come and pick you up!  Also, this should warm your insides:  We were able to give $94.11 from our student offerings to help people who are still suffering from the winter storm.  I know many of your families remain without power.  We pray God’s protection and help for them.


Tonight is our FREE MEAL and program.  It will be lots of fun.  The food is always good.  So join us at 6:30pm.  Next week we will be in DUC for our Valentine’s outreach to campus giving away warm fuzzies.  Come and find out how you can be a blessing!


Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


Last Sunday night we had our annual Superbowl party at the Wesley.  We also had some special guests join us (hi Justin and Beth!).  It was a wonderful time of fellowship and fun.  And the game was so exciting even I got into it!  Like most events in life, it took some preparation.  And as I began that afternoon to brown the beef for our chili feast, my heart began to think fondly of those who would be consuming the very thing I was in the midst of cooking. 


I think all things in life can be holy when offered to the Lord, because the Lord is always near.  On a plaque at a retreat house I often visited in Florida were these words:  “Bidden or un-bidden, God is present.”  How true.  There isn’t anywhere He is not.  Psalm 139 puts it this way: 


Where can I go from your spirit?  Or where can I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.  If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.  (Psalm 139: 7-10)


And even when we exert all kinds of energy to go to places He is not, even then our efforts are wasted because He is still there.  How much better then to give up running and simply welcome the inevitable; let Him join us where we are, even as we are. 


I think one of the biggest reasons people run from God is because they expect Him to try and squash them.  Kind of like the new reality show called  “Wipe Out,” they think God is just waiting for an opportunity to wipe them out and knock them off of their feet for all the ways they haven’t been able to live up to what they think are His expectations.  I remember in high school English having to read a sermon by Jonathan Edwards called “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”  In high school I think I believed it.  But since then, as I have gotten to know the Lord in a very personal way, I have discovered Him to be nothing like that at all.  I have found that God is funny and gentle, tender and wise, mischievous and good, constant and persistent, steadfast and patient, creative and comforting, new and challenging, unrelenting and stubborn, consistent and expectant, hopeful and helpful, generous and courteous, everywhere and intimate, knowledge giving and mysterious, loving and leading, inviting and welcoming, sending and commissioning, quiet and consuming.


So I stood at my stove top making chili, thinking fondly of those who were about to eat it, thinking fondly of the Lord, and I began to pray that all who eat would be fed with God’s love, even as they would be fed with ground beef, tomatoes, beans, and spices.  And just as that chili would give nutrients to sustain, I prayed that the Love of God would make its way all through their lives giving strength and guidance where it is needed most.  God is as present to us as chili in our stomachs.  And the pervasive love of God works its way into our lives in ways we are totally unconscious of, making ripples of impact the way the co-centric circles of water ripple forth from a stone’s throw.  Often we only hear the stone drop and think the event is over.  We rarely are patient enough to see water lapping gently against the shore. 


And so here is to chili prayers and a Superbowl party, a holy event in the life of our ministry.  Jesus chose a party to perform His first miracle.  And those who received it were barely conscious of the grace that had just changed their lives forever.  In the same way our precious Lord still shows up at parties.  And He still transforms ordinary things into miracles of grace.  May His chili blessings be with you always.  (Just not the indigestion!)  And may you know that you never have to run from God’s love.  His love is everything your are trying to run to.


This is me hoping,




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Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry



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