Monthly Archives: February 2013

Pew… that stinks!

All parents would like their adult children to come to church. If the adult children decide to join the parents in their home church, it’s even better.

One warm spring day my adult son and his family phoned to say they would be meeting us at church for the early service. My adult daughter and her family were also committed to sit with us. “Mom, could you save us seats?” came the request through the phone line. “The baby needs to nurse, and we aren’t quite dressed but we will be there soon!”

“Of course, we will save you some seats!” Okay, maybe a lot of seats since this meant 10 people counting the babies would sit together. When we got to the service our usual pew was waiting for us, so we threw down some sweaters, Bibles and programs to save space for our family to worship together. All this seemed good until the minutes began to tick away with no sign of kids.

Skunk Goes to Church – Sits in Own Pew by Gary Peterson

An older lady who used a walker came in the sanctuary with her faithful daughter guiding her down the aisle. She tried to take a seat at the end of the pew we had saved. Her daughter noticed we had littered the pew with materials, gave me a scolding look and moved up one pew. I knew it was her usual seat but my family was coming. It was difficult to concentrate on the service when the realization that my children weren’t going to show up began to sink in. We had scrambled to get the seats reserved, and another member had been booted from her usual place for nothing! I felt horrible for her and asked God to grant her peace. I thought, “She is quite old and obviously is in love with the Lord. My son and his wife do not yet know the Lord. The seats were being saved for the unsaved. Surely she would understand?”

I just happened to know the woman and knew she had failing health. Her daughter was visibly disgusted with us, especially when the seats were never occupied. It was an unfortunate situation, not easily corrected. We certainly felt unfriended that day, but I did not hold the animosity shown to our family against the feeble woman. I didn’t try to make her understand, I just prayed for her.

God took the woman home within a few weeks of that event. When I heard of her passing, I immediately thought, “Wow, God has just given her a front row seat!” I thanked the Lord for her life and her service to Him. I was not harboring anything against her or her daughter but wondered if they had held us hostage for interfering with their seating assignments. I know this seems like such a small thing, but people really get offended easily when things don’t go their way or they don’t get what they believe they deserve. It’s a great picture of what we do as a church family without meaning to.

I cannot go to the dead woman to ask her forgiveness, but I can release her and her daughter from any wrongdoing. It was my decision whether or not I was going to hang on to that offense or not. I decided to let it go. I decided to forgive and forget – forever.

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Molly soaking up the sun!My old cat Molly loves to soak up the sun. In the summer months she can be found on the patio, in a flowerbed or on a lounge chair for hours at a time letting the warmth of the sun penetrate her fur. When the cold north winds begin to usher in the below freezing temps of winter she tucks her tail and runs for the warmth of her bed inside. She is a great weather forecaster!

With the slightest rise in temperature, she cautiously pulls herself from the confines of her princess pad and ventures to a spot where the sun is shining. It may only be a small beam on a spot just big enough for her, but she takes full advantage of it. She will stretch out her paws and purr, warming her weary bones until she gets her fill. I notice she never misses an opportunity to get into the light and capture its luxurious warmth.

When the sunbeam fades into dusk, Molly is content to return to her bed indoors until the next opportunity to relish in the light of the sun. During winter’s short days she will be content to grab hold of any ray of light she can, and when summer comes again and she can rejoice in the heat from dawn ‘til dusk every day. She didn’t need lessons for finding sun beams, she instinctively knows to go where the light is.

Winter months can be a difficult time to get through because of the long dark nights and short days. This gloomy atmosphere after the hectic holiday season can pull many into a pit of despair. An excellent remedy for those suffering from the dreary days of winter is to find your own sun beam, and get into the light! Bask in its goodness and enjoy its warmth on your skin. Even in the dead of winter, the sun will find a way to warm its captor, and is a necessary component to good emotional health.

Another element to great emotional wellness is following the SON! John 8:12 says “Then Jesus again spoke to them. Saying, I Am the Light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness but will have the Light of life.”

Jesus seems to be saying, “I’m throwing out a beam of light so you can see! Follow me!” It tells me we will have dark and difficult times in life. We need to look for the Light of the world and follow Him so we won’t lose our way!

The Light of the World will never grow dim or burn out, God sent His Son to illuminate our path all the way to eternity. If you’ve grown cold, it could be because you stopped walking! Following Jesus means we are always pursuing Him, and we need to be moving towards the Light! Come on get up and get going, travel into the warmth of the Son, bask in His goodness, enjoy His presence and feel His warmth penetrate your soul.

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