Sunday, June 7, 2015

Pieces of Light

Having just come from one church where lovely stained glass windows added to the worship experience in a myriad of ways, I was delighted on seeing the new church windows.  Lovely stained glass all around!  I was struck by both the similarities and the differences.  I was reminded of a quote attributed to Michelangelo, "I live and love in God's peculiar light.”  For me, that phrase seemed to speak of how God responds to needs in various ways according to specific needs and the character of the people and that place.
In the one church were towering spires, wooden arches and jewel toned deeply rich colors that muted and glowed in the light.  The mind was turned to the quiet, shadowed moments of meditation, of prayer and reverence.
As I looked around at the church in which I currently sat, I was aware of a golden amber glow that suffused the sanctuary. It kissed the area with warmth. The sunny hue brought smiles to faces and fit the joyful music that danced on the air.
Neither windows, or church, were better or more lovely than the other one.  Just as the stained glass windows take shards of colors and unite them in a specific purpose, God also takes human shards - of every shape, size, color and form - and crafts something unique and special from them. They are perfectly crafted to fit their place. They are set carefully to function in their role to reflect God's love. They, like those windows, have a purpose to uniquely and brilliant shine out into, and onto, human lives.

We are - in the end - pieces all living and loving in God's peculiar light.

Marilyn A. Hudson, 2015

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Simple Rubric to Find Your Spiritual Gifts


Circle the areas in each category that best describe what you love to do. Count the circles and add the number to the bottom left.  A possible high point could indicate areas of gifting or special ministry.

·         I love to pray
·         I love to spend time alone thinking about God
·         I love spending time reading the Bible
·         I sense when people are ‘down’ and try to make them feel better
·         People leave me feeling better about their problems; they have more hope
·         I try to find ways to let people know they are loved
·         I love pitching in ‘behind the scenes’
·         I really like cleaning
·         I enjoy preparing food or cooking
·         I enjoy activities that are active
·         I much prefer to be “doing”
·         I like to offer to help people when needed
·         I live to go on mission trips that help people
·         I love visiting people
·         I love hosting people at my home
·         I love meeting people
·         People love to hang out at my home
·         I am first to greet newcomers or regulars
·         I like sharing my faith/church with people
·         I like inspiring others to positive change
·         I like to set the pace for effective work in the church and the community
·         I love bringing organization to chaos
·         I pay attention to detail
·         People respect  and trust me
·         I like feeling I helped in successfully accomplishing a goal
·         I see a need and initiate actions to fill the need
·         I see needs of people around me
·         I give because it give me joy
·         I seek ways to share what I have with others
·         I like to find concrete ways to help those in need (feeding, job placement, medical care, literacy, etc.)
·         I think of how others will react to actions or programs
·         I like to learn
·         I get excited learning new things and sharing them with others.
·         I like studying the Bible and helping others to understand it better
Encouragement / Prayer   ___
Optional: If you would like to hear about your responses, write your name and contact information here.

 This simple form can be printed and used in small groups, churches, or other settings. It very simple and serves only as a means to help begin the process of identifying possible areas of strength, interest, and possible gifting.
--Marilyn A. Hudson, 2015

Monday, June 1, 2015

Cue the Music!: On the Road Again!

The move. That intentional weeding of the life of an itinerant minister and his or her family. Where did we store those boxes from the last move?  Why did we get all this 'stuff'? Can my back take this???  The single largest component of the move is not, despite snide comments, from the female side of the shoe storage!  It comes from the books in the pastor's home and office study/office.  Those who love the academic side of life tend to add to the collection via big, massive, academic tomes. Those who do not tend to have a few paperbacks, the 'Conference says read this' works, and those gifts by people of what they (or a sales clerk) think constitutes approved reading for the minister. The result, is a large library and that means many boxes and empty shelves.