I looked forward to going to church this weekend. My husband and I have been away on vacation for the past month. I've enjoyed the time away though I did miss my church family.
Its a funny thing about my time away. Part of me felt actually a bit guilty for going. So many of my friends have to work through the summer. I feel so undeserving we can afford to take one (even though we have super-frugal vacations) and I feel a twinge that I have chosen to be a stay-at-home wife who can pick up and go whenever it fits with my husband's schedule.
I don't think its BAD to feel this way, for this very thing gives me compassion in thinking of others - making me aware the very thing I am enjoying might be an unattainable luxury to someone else, therefore I will be praying for them. And I also know where do draw a line in my mind where I can at some point let go and enjoy the time away - to know that I've prayed to God to use me no matter where our travels take us.
As we all know, many studies show that taking vacations are good for us. They give us much needed rest and refreshing. I looked up the word vacation in the dictionary and it defines it like this:
1: respite or a time of respite from something
2: a scheduled period during which activity (church, for instance) is suspended. b a period of exemption from work granted to an employee
3: a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation
4: an act or instance of vacating
Upon this definition I would count our time away as a bit of the three, though it does not define WHY we have vacation. My mind was caused to ponder the times that Jesus spent "away" from people. I believe he wanted his disciples to take that time away so they could rest too. There's no doubt that a true vacation is a refreshing experience. I'm not talking about an over-organized 4 star hotel sort, it could be something as simple as staying in your own home for a day with no phone calls! For the 'vacation' part is opening up some UNPLANNED, uninterrupted time to relax. Especially in this day and age we busy ourselves SO much that our minds are constantly being pulled this way and that way. We need time for reflection. There are special thoughts that blossom only when we still ourselves. So we are told to make that time happen. Jesus took that time now and again and so clearly we can follow His example in this in freeing ourselves up for refreshing and using the time to reconnect with Him, to ponder His word and sometimes just to appreciate WHERE we are at any given minute. We can take a vacation in HIS presence.
I can tell you that I did a lot of thinking on my holiday. My mind was opened to things I'd never have allowed my imagination to wander to. It caused me to appreciate His creation in it's beauty and wonder at how amazing it was. It gave me time to appreciate the wonderful husband I've been blessed with. It allowed me to rest.
And now I have joy in re-connecting with my Church family and friends. Thank you Lord, for blessing us with the wisdom to value "vacations"
Thank you to each of our church's visitors who dropped in this past Sunday.
As I post today, our Pastor - Jim Caruso, will be arriving home after having spent time down in Columbia, Maryland taking two instructor's courses in the area of "Pastoral Crisis Intervention" and Grief Following Trauma" No sooner will he arrive home then he and Elaine will be leaving to take part in Pastor's Camp held in Sorrento, BC. Won't you please pray for them as they travel? We wish you both well and thank you to have a heart to cultivate outside connections which we all benefit from! Is this sort of a vacation from regular office work?
Our church was blessed with the funds enough to cover the cost of much needed roof repairs. AMEN! Things like this have been happening to our church over this past year and it continues to amaze me.
Marie - unnamed needs
Congregation of the church in Keremeos - the new Pastor, Jason Weibe and his family. This past Sunday was their first service.
Our RCMP, border security, ambulance paramedics and fire department who keep our communities safe. As you know, there are fires burning all over our province - please pray for God's hand of protection for both the personnel and for the evacuees as they deal with the many fires. If you are reading this from somewhere outside BC you can learn more by visiting CHBC and watching the video by clicking on the fire picture (not taken at these fires)
Pray for a young police officer from Oroville, Washington who was seriously injured in a vehicle accident while on duty. Pray for healing and strength for his family.
Please pray for Donna - medical needs.
Betty delivered the sermon in Jim's absence this Sunday and she shared the story of Joseph's life. She drew our minds into his situation as he was taken from a position of esteem, stripped of all his possessions, thrown into a pit and how further he is rescued merely to become a slave and then how he wins favour in the courts - then winds up in prison... She told us to focus on his manner through all the hardship. Was he bitter? Was he angry? Did he lash out? Would you? Would I?
She reminds us to know that God IS with us, WHEREVER we are. Here. Today. HE has a purpose for you right where you are. It may not seem like it, but it is so. So if we waste time in complaining and resisting then we might miss the opportunity to find the blessing in just where we are!
Joseph's story is a message of HOPE, Betty tells us. I enjoyed hearing this message through the mind and heart of our sister.
I hope to be online this coming Wednesday evening for a MSN Chat meeting - If you would like to join please send an email to our church blog address firstname.lastname@example.org
May you have a great week!