pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Ring, Ring

Reading: 1st Samuel 3: 1-20

Verse Nine: “If He calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening'”.

Today we have Samuel’s call story. Before he was born his mom dedicated him to the Lord. As soon as he was able he began serving in the temple. This life is really all Samuel has known for his twelve or thirteen years of life. I suppose he could have rebelled as a young boy, deciding this was not the life he wanted for himself. He wouldn’t be the first. Today people do this all the time – leaving one vocation for another or transferring to someplace else where it must be better.

Then one night God calls out to Samuel. Three times. It is only when old, wise Eli realizes that it was God calling did Samuel know to say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening”. Only with Eli’s help. This makes me think of my call story. God began to give a call to me way back when I began adult life as a middle school teacher in the early 1990s. As I grew in my own faith and became more involved at my church, volunteering in various capacities, the call grew louder. The voices of good friends and total strangers eventually joined the echoing of God’s call. Then, twenty-something years later, I accepted the call to full-time vocational ministry.

Although the span of time was much greater that Samuel’s, over and over I heard God calling. It was a long process convincing me that God was indeed calling. It was like a slow sunrise that quietly creeps across the landscape as God’s light spread more and more into my life. Certainly not all are called into vocational ministry. Most folks are called into a relationship with God that leads them to serve God in their daily lives as doctors or construction workers, as secretaries or teachers, … A few receive a lightning bolt call – one day an overwhelming voice or event catapults them into a relationship with God.

This all leads to the question: what is your call story? Or is God still calling you? We all have a story to tell. When someone asks, as one surely will, about this joy and peace that you have, what will you say? What is your story of faith? How will you explain how God has been and is at work in your life? When someone asks, how will you explain the call of God upon your life?


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Experience God

Reds, oranges, and yellows slowly fill the sky as the sun begins to break forth over the horizon.  At the end of the day, the occasional purple or blue may mix with the reds, oranges, and yellows as God says ‘good night’ and brings rest to the earth.  The beauty, power, and majesty we find in sunrises and sunsets is spoken in every language in every place on earth.  “Their voice goes out into all the earth”, declares the psalmist.

As a Youth growing up in Connecticut, I can remember going out early to a rural turkey farm early on Easter morning.  We would arrive when it was still dark.  It was always cold.  As we waited in only the calm sounds of nature, one could sense God was near.  Slowly the sun would creep up and begin to warm our silent faces, simply watching God’s handiwork unfold.  Once the sun was risen, we would join in song, prayer, and the Word for our Easter sunrise service.  The sunrise was always like God’s welcoming presence coming amongst us.

We were very intentional about awaiting God’s entrance and His presence on those mornings.  Sometimes life can just become so busy that opportunities like this are gobbled up.  We can work and work and work and become so consumed that we miss the beauty of God’s voice calling out to us as it echoes through nature.  We miss those still moments where God is trying to consume us with His power and beauty and majesty so that He can refresh and renew our spirits and our souls.  It is a shame we so often miss it.

“The heavens declare the glory of God” reminds the psalmist.  May we more often make the time to experience the things of God.  Let it begin today.

Scripture reference: Psalm 19: 1-6