Just Your Presence Can Be A Blessing!

I’ve been having problems with my computer. I think all is fixed now. Here is last week’s blog that didn’t go out. Thanks for your patience.

Just Your Presence Can Be A Blessing!

by Janet Stobie

“What can I do to help?” Is a familiar question to many of us. Whether it’s a death in the family, or a flood, whatever the need, we want to help. Often we don’t think we have the right words, but we still want to do something, to make it better.

When my wonderful biological mother died I was far, fJar away and feeling very lost. I had had only twelve years to love her, and I wanted longer. Since I’d found her, I had travelled to Tucson, Arizona every year to visit her. Those were very precious visits. I wished I had gone more often and stayed longer. We hadn’t shared enough of either of our stories. I believed that my friends and family wouldn’t understand because they all knew I loved my adoptive mother totally while she was alive. I wasn’t sure if I should even tell others that I was sad.

Carved forever in my heart is my daughter’s response to the news of the death of this other Grandma she barely knew. “Oh Mom,” my Connie said, “It must be so hard for you to be here and not there. I’m coming over for the day. I’ll just get the children off to school and then I’ll be there with you.”

Connie took a day off work, came and sat with me. She held me while I cried. She listened. Her presence brought such comfort and peace. I needed her and she was here.

Today I remind all of you that your presence is the most precious gift you can give. Of course, there are things you can do – send flowers, bring food, help with the arrangements and …   But most important of all is the blessing of your presence.

Jesus reassured his followers with: “And remember I am with you always till the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 20)

Is Life a Guessing Game?

Is Life A Guessing Game?

by Janet Stobie

Last week, I answered the phone to a caller who didn’t identify himself.  About two sentences into the conversation he asked, “Do you know who this is?” Although his voice sounded familiar, I didn’t know. A wise answer would have been, “No.” Instead, I guessed and got it wrong. Embarrassing.

A minister meets a huge number of people in the course of their lifetime. Recognition is not always easy. I want to get it right but I often fail. When I’m asked, “Do you know who this is?” I feel like saying, “Don’t do that to me. I’m going to fail this test. Life is not a guessing game.”

Life is not a guessing game. Every day we make a myriad of decisions, sometimes wise and sometimes foolish. We need guidelines so that we can recognize the paths to healthy living and caring for others. Our faith can give us those guidelines. As Christians we follow the “Way” of Jesus. He offered us two supreme commandments that gather up all our rules for life. “Love God and  love your neighbor as yourself.”  I believe Judaism, and Islam and many other faiths have some form of these same two rules that help us make choices in our lives.

We don’t have to guess whether or not choosing to share of our abundance is a good thing. These two commandments tell us, yes, we are called to share as we love our neighbour. We don’t have to guess whether or not getting adequate sleep is a good thing. These two commandments tell us as God’s creation we need to love ourselves enough to take care of ourselves. That’s the only way we will be able to love others well. We don’t have to guess whether or not prayer and worship are good things. Loving God means taking time for God. Decisions become easier because we have guidelines that help us recognize the path to follow. Life does not have to be a guessing game. I am grateful.

Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”                                                                                              (Matthew 22: 35-40)

Just Your Presence Can Be A Blessing!

Just Your Presence Can be a Blessing!

by Janet Stobie

“What can I do to help?” Is a familiar question to many of us. Whether it’s a death in the family, or a flood, whatever the need, we want to help. Often we don’t think we have the right words, but we still want to do something, to make it better.

When my wonderful biological mother died I was far, far away and feeling very lost. I had had only twelve years to love her, and I wanted longer. Since I’d found her, I had travelled to Tucson, Arizona every year to visit her. Those were very precious visits. I wished I had gone more often and stayed longer. We hadn’t shared enough of either of our stories. I believed that my friends and family wouldn’t understand because they all knew I loved my adoptive mother totally while she was alive. I wasn’t sure if I should even tell others that I was sad.

Carved forever in my heart is my daughter’s response to the news of the death of this other Grandma she barely knew. “Oh Mom,” my Connie said, “It must be so hard for you to be here and not there. I’m coming over for the day. I’ll just get the children off to school and then I’ll be there with you.”

Connie took a day off work, came and sat with me. She held me while I cried. She listened. Her presence brought such comfort and peace. I needed her and she was here.

Today I remind all of you that your presence is the most precious gift you can give. Of course, there are things you can do – send flowers, bring food, help with the arrangements and …   But most important of all is the blessing of your presence.

Jesus reassured his followers with: “And remember I am with you always till the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 20)

Which did you celebrate? Mother’s Day or Christian Family Sunday?

I do apologize for being late with this. Life happens.

Which did you celebrate?  

By Janet Stobie

As I planned worship every year, I struggled to decide between celebrating “Mother’s Day” or “Christian Family Sunday”. In today’s world, families seem to be at risk. Often a child has two families, one with Mom and one with Dad. Even when a child lives with two parents, often only Mom appears to be determined to teach her child the Christian faith. Besides, not everyone is a mother so Mother’s Day leaves out and even causes pain for some women. So celebrating the Christian family in all its forms is important and valuable. Still, most often, I chose to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Why? Although all of us may not be mothers, all of us have a mother. Whether we love and respect our mother, were disappointed or hurt by our mother, or don’t even know who is she is, still, we do have a mother. Sometimes our neighbor or a family friend has taken the place of our mother.

From conception, mother offers the egg – the fruit of her being, her body – the child’s first home, her life-blood – food for being and growing. Whether willing or not, being a mother requires offering your whole being to this child. A mother’s love, when given freely and healthily, is precious and life giving.

Of course, it’s not all beautiful. The pain and joy of birth is only the beginning. Becoming mother (in any form) means committing our entire lifetime to loving, teaching, challenging this new human being. Not every mother accepts that commitment, but those who do need our support and appreciation, not on just one day, but every day of the year. Therefore, I believe the church needs to set aside one Sunday every year, to celebrate God’s love and presence in mothers. As Christians we are called to love and support not just our own mother, but all mothers as they strive to be the people and the mothers that God intends them to be. We can choose another Sunday for the much needed celebration of Christian Family.

“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

 

 

 

 

A Ministry of Presence

A Ministry of Presence

By Janet Stobie

“What can I do to help?” Is a familiar question to many of us. Whether it’s a death in the family, or a flood, whatever the need, we want to help. Often we don’t think we have the right words, but we still want to do something, to make it better.

When my wonderful biological mother died I was far, far away and feeling very lost. I had had only twelve years to love her, and I wanted longer. Since I’d found her, I had travelled to Tucson, Arizona every year to visit her. Those were very precious visits. I wished I had gone more often and stayed longer. We hadn’t shared enough of either of our stories. I believed that my friends and family wouldn’t understand because they all knew I loved my adoptive mother totally while she was alive. I wasn’t sure if I should even tell others that I was sad.

Carved forever in my heart is my daughter’s response to the news of the death of this other Grandma she barely knew. “Oh Mom,” my Connie said, “It must be so hard for you to be here and not there. I’m coming over for the day. I’ll just get the children off to school and then I’ll be there with you.”

Connie came and sat with me and held me while I cried. Her presence brought such comfort and peace. I needed her and she was here.

Today I remind all of you that your presence is the most precious gift you can give. Of course, there are things you can do – send flowers, bring food, help with the arrangements and …but most important of all is the blessing of your presence.

Jesus reassured his followers with: “And remember I am with you always till the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 20)