Random acts of kindness. Do these acts really do anything? Does it make a difference in someone’s life? Why bother going the extra mile, giving that extra hug, making that phone call…why bother? Why be generous with your time and resources? Kate Bowler knows something almost mysterious arises from acts of kindness and generosity, something unexpected. She gives a blessing at the end of her chapter titled Kindness Boomerangs that helps to answer the “why bother” question.
Dear Body is how Kate Bowler begins this chapter. I love this. She starts as if writing a letter to her body as you would write to a friend. The chapter is titled “To My Body.” I relate to this idea of writing to your body as I often find myself talking to my body. Do you ever talk to your body? You know what I mean, things like come on, body, get out of bed, you’ve got to get going! Or come on, fingers, why are you hurting today?
This Sunday, we are going to talk about listening as prayer. Have you ever thought that listening is a form of prayer? It seems almost counterintuitive, doesn’t it? It seems prayer is about talking to God. If you grew up in the church, you probably even studied different types of prayers, for example, prayers of worship and praise, petition, intercession, supplication, thanksgiving…I could go on and on. The prayer list varies from 5 to 7 to 10 different types of prayers.
Pain and suffering are interwoven into the very fabric of our lives. In the span of a lifetime, there is a repetitive cycle of experiences. Times when things are breaking down or breaking apart, or times when we simply need to rest, and other times when some things must die. But these experiences are all mixed in with times of restoration, renewal, and revitalization. We are people of the resurrection, and we are people who follow a resurrection faith.
Living by the Spirit! We continue going through various devotions by Kate Bowler in her book “Good Enough” and this morning we are looking at a chapter titled Too Few Sparrows. Because of this title I thought I should learn a little bit about Sparrows. From the website All About Birds, I found out that many people regard House Sparrows as undesirable in their yards. It seems Sparrows don’t play well with other birds.
Just as a quick review, you will remember that last week we talked about being in the “in between” time and what a difficult place that is for us. The waiting and not knowing what is ahead…but in the waiting there are choices to make; choices to either give up or grow stronger. This morning we go deeper into the choice of growing stronger, growing stronger by finding God at the very depths of our struggles.
Today we continue to explore Kate Bowler’s book Good Enough. And this Sunday we look at the chapter titled “The In-between”. It seems like no coincidence that this is our chosen topic for today. In-between is where we are right here, right now…we’re in this space of knowing change is coming but we don’t know what that means or what it will look like. We are in this in-between time. Kate writes “the anthropologist Victor Turner wrote about what happens when people go through intense change together, and referred to the in-between times as “liminality.”
Waiting for Hope. We continue looking at Kate Bowler’s book, Good Enough and she takes us this morning to the chapter titled: 2:00 am/2:00 pm. Interesting title, isn’t it? Now I don’t know about you but when I see 2:00 am certain images immediately come to mind. How many of you have your own image that comes to mind when you see 2 am? I’ll share my experience and then you can add your own. I wake up and am wide awake.
The Gift of Presence. This morning we return to Kate Bowler’s book “Good Enough” to the chapter titled: “The Reality-Show Gospel”. She begins by saying, “My friends and I play a game whenever we watch reality television. (Ok for some of us that might not know what this means it’s shows like “Survivor” or “Top Chef” of “the Bachelor”) Kate goes on to say, we send each other clips of the stars claiming, “Everything Happens for a Reason.”
The Scripture 1 Corinthians 13:1-6 13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can...