Hey everyone! Hope you are all doing well! I so enjoy the times I get to spend with you, just hanging out during the day between classes, or at worship in our chapel, or in our very spirited discussions on Thursday nights. Please know that each one of you are so precious, in God’s eyes and in mine. And if you are reading this and haven’t been over to check us out yet, come on down! We would love to see you. I promise you will find folks who are glad you came. Find out what you’ve been missing!
This week here’s the scoop:
Tomorrow night at 6:30pm in the chapel, we continue our look at Grace. Tomorrow’s message focuses on the durability of Grace. It’s not a word we are used to in this day and age, but its implications for your life will astound you.
And then what we’ve all been waiting for……
This Thursday night we will meet at the Wesley Foundation at 5PM to begin our tour of all the United Methodist congregations in town. I am so excited about this!!!! We will have such a great time. Here is a run-down of the schedule:
7PM BROADWAY UMC—MAIN COURSE
7:45PM CHRIST UMC—DESSERT
8:30PM FAITH UMC—COFFEE & TEA
Why are we doing this? You may not realize that each one of these churches (as well as many others who are not in our immediate area) provide for our ministry in some way. All of them help feed us on Thursday nights or during finals week providing a home cooked meal. They help us out with worship, sending praise teams to lead us once a month, giving a chance for our student worship leaders to rest and be refueled. They also volunteer for our work days, painting, mulching, cleaning, whatever needs to be done to help us out. Many of them have members that serve on our Board of Directors, making sure we are financially healthy and sound in our business workings. Each one of these congregations loves you, and shows that love of Christ in tangible ways. This is an opportunity for us to see where they are and get to know them as well! And many of you stay in town on weekends and need a place to worship, to connect with a church family where your gifts can be used in great ways too.
So I look forward to seeing you soon. If you have any questions, just give me a call, e-mail, or we always have FACEBOOK!
If you need DIRECTIONS let me know! J
Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:
Time continues to be a topic on my mind. This morning I spent time preparing to teach my University Experience class. We are focusing on the subject of time management, and I have asked all my students to complete a time management chart that has a block for every hour of every day. They have to fill in the chart by activity, color coding each different kind and labeling each block of time according to how it is being spent. Afterwards they are to write a paper on what they learned. In my preparation, I made a time management chart for myself.
It would be so easy to just keep the same one hanging on my wall as last year’s, but there is something about the discipline of creating a new chart each year that is good for me. I guess it has a way of holding me accountable for the choices I am making, or at least it forces me to be aware of the choices I am making. That awareness is a gift; with it I am empowered to make different, wiser choices. Unawareness robs me of the power to choose the kind of life I really want to live.
Here is what I learned this morning. I have been allowing stuff to creep into the time in my schedule that belongs to God. It’s not that I don’t think about God a lot during my day. I do. It’s not that prayer isn’t a regular part of how I spend my time. I talk to God a lot! But what I have not been doing is just being, allowing a fallow time in my schedule where God can just show up and do what He wants to. I have not created space where I have an opportunity to “lie down in green pastures,” to sit “beside the still waters,” to “restore my soul.” God hasn’t had the room to shepherd me because I have been so busy shepherding everyone else. Even my prayer time has been about praying for someone instead of just being replenished. No wonder God keeps waking me up in my bed at 3 am. I’m preoccupied with other stuff every where else. How’s that for confessional!
As I finished coloring my chart this morning, a verse of scripture came to mind, and I wrote it in brown across the top: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Beside it I wrote last week’s verse of inspiration: “My times are in Your hand” (Psalm 31:15). I wrote them in brown to remind me that I am only dust after all. All the grandiose ideas I have about being everything to everybody, and accomplishing everything that lives inside my head, are after all unrealistic. But if I never take time to slow down, and simply be a sheep led by The Good Shepherd, I will never have the insight or wisdom I need to know the season I am in, to decipher which things are most important, and to have that special awareness of God’s Holy Spirit within me that gives life to my days and always directs my steps right to where they need to be.
I share this because old habits die hard. I remember that it’s not just “out of college” schedules that need a heavy dose of heavenly overhaul. I remember that the craziness of my life started way back in the good ole days, when higher education began to demand more of me than I thought I could give. I know many of you live that reality every day. Just know you are not alone. God knows you have responsibilities and obligations. He also knows better than you and I what our deepest and truest needs are as well. When we live each day from the palm of His hand, everything finds its rightful place in the grand scheme of things. It all has a way of working out. My challenge to you is to make sure you have given God time in your life to tend to the needs of your soul. You could do it yourself, but quite honestly, like me, you are only dust. We have no way of knowing what it is that really breathes life into our fallible bodies. We need to allow Someone better able than us to lead us into green pastures, so that eventually we will also walk in right paths. Notice the right paths, those paths of righteousness (right way-ness) only follow the moment spent lying in green pastures and reclining by still waters. Don’t be afraid to let Him restore your soul. It is the best time-management choice you will ever make.
This is me trusting,
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