Pastor Mark’s Devotions, May 14

“Your Smile Matters!”

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them’.” Psalm 126:2

I received the following email a few weeks ago. It put a smile on my face and in my heart. I hope it does the same for you. Smile, God Loves You MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW!!!

Read Psalm 126:2 once more: “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them’.”

Today, share your smile and laughter with someone. They might need it MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW!!!

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-I used to spin that toilet paper like I was on the Wheel of Fortune. Now I turn it like I’m cracking a safe.

-I need to practice social distancing from the refrigerator.

-Half of us are going to come out of this quarantine as amazing cooks. The other half will probably come out with a drinking problem.

-Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.

-Homeschooling is going well. 2 students suspended for fighting. 1 teacher fired for drinking on the job.

-I don’t think anyone expected that when we changed the clocks, we’d go from Standard Time to the Twilight Zone.

-This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house, told my dog…..we laughed a lot.

-Homeschooling: One of these little monsters called in a bomb threat.

-I hope the weather is good manana for my trip to Puerto Backyarda. I’m getting tired of Los Livingroom.

-Classified Ad: Single man with toilet paper seeks woman with hand sanitizer for good clean fun.

-Homeschooling: My children said, “I hope I don’t have the same teacher next year”….I’m offended.

-So, after this quarantine….will the producers of My 600 Pound Life just find me or do I find them?

-Smile – Better 6 feet apart than 6 feet under.

Have a great day. Wear that smile all day long. You have a great one!

“The LORD BLESS you and KEEP you; the LORD make his face SHINE upon you and be GRACIOUS to you; the LORD TURN his face toward you and give you PEACE. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

God Bless You All!     Pastor Mark



Pastor Mark’s Devotional March 20

 

“Grace and Space”

“…All of you share in God’s grace with me.” Philippians 1:7

St. Paul begins his letter to the church in Philippi by sharing his heart with his people. He expresses thanksgiving, gratitude and love for the joyful opportunity of their partnership in the gospel.

Listen to his words, “I thank my God every time I think of you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.    It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.” Phil. 1:3-7

Like Paul, my heart is full of love and gratitude for all of you as well. I thank God for our partnership in the gospel. And whether we feel chained in our homes or not, I give thanks. I am convinced that when this pandemic subsides, we will quickly return together and share the joy that will carry us forth in power and love.

We have a crucial message to share. The world needs to hear it. For you and I share in the grace of God.

Watching Channel 13 News this morning, I heard about grace from an unexpected source. It reminded me about extending undeserved favor. We all need to be reminded about grace in this time and space – for ourselves, for others.

The story was reported in the New York Times. The article was entitled, “I Am Not Turning My Home into a Coronavirus Home School.” A woman explained that she was unprepared and overwhelmed trying to set up a school schedule and routine so that her children would learn.  Lesson plans, packets and snack time was just not going to happen. So, in these unprecedented times, she was going to bake cookies with the kids, watch movies, play video games and allow generous access to the refrigerator.

The News 13 reporter went on to explain that he felt compelled to do a google search on this woman.  Turns out that she has been trained at Harvard University. She has a Phd. In Education. She is a woman who teaches teachers!  She is an educator, but the reality is, she is also a human being. She is trying to manage life’s stresses and because of this she is giving herself and her children some grace.

Is she a terrible mom? Will the kids grow up illiterate, uneducated and living in poverty? Probably not. What I heard is that she is taking a deep breath and extending love and favor to herself and to her children. Will the projects need to be completed? Probably. But right now, she is giving herself and her family some grace and space.

Today, let us acknowledge that we live under a canopy of grace. God’s grace! God has recklessly thrown out the lesson plans with all its deadlines and expectations and has lavishly loved us through his Son, Jesus Christ. WE ALL SHARE IN THIS GRACE TOGETHER! Whatever expectations you might have of yourself and/or of others, take a deep breath. Jesus arrives wanting to give us a breath of fresh air. And then for us to breathe that grace filled air upon others – just stay 6 feet away from them or I’ll have to throw you in jail – just kidding – are you smiling.

Let us smile. Let us laugh. Let us enjoy this beautiful sunny day God has given us. Let us eat that chocolate cake for breakfast. Do you need to take a break from your exercise routine? Do it. Do you really need to vacuum the house again? Don’t do it. Let us take a break from reading, writing, doing whatever it might be. Maybe we just need to “be” today. Receive the grace. It is granted. Let us receive it. Let us share it. Heck, even the government is giving us until July 15 to file our taxes. Can you feel it? GRACE ABOUNDS!

We are in the midst of serious times that require serious action. Let us temper this intensity and allow for some of the grace and space we all share.

It is right for me to feel this way. As you have given me a thick slab of chocolate cake, and extended much grace and favor to my family and I. So, I hope to share that same grace with you, and make it alamode. Thanks be to God that we all share in God’s grace together. So, go ahead. Have a second piece!

Grace and Space through our Savior, Jesus Christ,

Pastor Mark