Friday, May 16, 2014

Moms: the regular & the Grand!

[From 9-17-13]

"I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and now, I am sure, lives in you."
(2 Timothy 1:5)

So much of our faith is transferred to us from the women in our lives.  Not exclusively, of course.  But in general, woman have been "giants in the faith" over the ages.

In his 2nd letter to Timothy, Paul recognized this.  Evidently he was familiar with Timothy and his family for some time now.  He reminded Tim fo the incredible faith of his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice.  Paul even assumed that seminar faith had been transferred to Timothy as well.

When I think of my grandmothers, the one whose faith comes immediately to mind first is Grandma White.  Louisa White: grew up in Montana... was a nurse, by trade... I also knew her as a cook, gardener, fisher-woman, painter, storyteller, and Christian.  We'd go to church with her and Grandpa whenever we visited.  When I graduated from high school, she flew out to Hawaii for it.  When she asked me about my future plans, I told her I wanted to be a lawyer.  "The world needs more Christian lawyers!" she said.  She died before I knew I was going to become a pastor.  I'm grateful for her deep & abiding faith that was passed to my Dad, and also to me.

Paul also reminded Timothy of his mother, Eunice's faith.  I've been blessed with 2 moms in my life.  Sylvia gave birth to me.  She was a librarian, athlete, friend of many, leader, and Christian.  She died when I was about to enter 1st grade.  My "formative" years (0-5) were spent in her arms & shadow.  I can only assume her influences in me are great at my core.

My dad remarried a year later, and I had the privilege of growing up with Pat as my "2nd mom."  Pat was a teacher, an athlete, a leader, and had a tremendous sense of humor (still does, actually!).  She was also strong in her faith - in fact, she was actually a nun at one point (how many kids can say that about their mom!?!?).  When she met my Dad, she transitioned from Catholicism to Protestantism, and her faith remained strong (in case you were curious, she wasn't a nun when she met my dad).

So much of my own faith has been formed, shaped, and influenced by my moms... both my "regular" ones, and the "grand" ones, too.  Thanks be to God.

No Fear!

[From 9-10-13]

"...but they shall all sit under their own vines & under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth oft he LORD of hosts has spoken."
(Micah 4:4)

The crisis in Syria is at a crossroads.  Many, many Syrians have died at the hands of their own government, whether or not chemical weapons were used.  "Genocide" has been spoken of.  But the "rebels" fighting the government aren't all united, nor are they all Syrian.

The entire Middle East region of this world has been fraught with conflict, violence, fear, and devastation.  For centuries.  Today I was reading from the book of Micah, chapter 4. The famous "beating swords into plowshares" chapter.  "Neither shall they learn anymore," is also there.  But the phrase that spoke loudest to me this morning is a vision of folks being able to sit under their own trees (presumably in their yards) "and no one shall make them afraid."

What an amazing gift to give the world.  To be able to sit in your own yard and not be afraid.  Ever.  That's the kind of world God wants us to create.  Can we?  Will we?  Syria is just the start.  

"Come, Lord Jesus... help us live into this promise!  AMEN."