Tag Archives: ministry

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)

Expect Great Things of God!

Expect Great Things From God

By Janet Stobie

God's Strenght
God’s Strength

 

Whether you’re a member of a big city church or a small rural church, I’m sure you’ve heard some version of:

“Surely God isn’t calling us to begin a breakfast program in our local school. We’re only a tiny congregation of thirty on our best Sunday.”

“That’s not the way we’ve always done it.”

“We can’t do that. We don’t have the money, or the leadership.”

Yet, we’ve heard stories of God’s people in the Bible and in modern day – amazing stories of ordinary people accomplishing wonderful projects. What is the difference?

I believe John’s gospel has the answer. “Whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do, and greater works than these will he do…” (John 14:12) John is telling us to expect great things of God. Too often our expectations are small. We think God’s goodness, God’s blessings, God’s strength, God’s power are so scarce that God has to ration it.

Every day we witness the extravagance of God. At sunset, the sky, ablaze with colour for fifteen minutes, provides beauty beyond compare. Hidden deep in the woods, a mass of trilliums bring light to the darkness with no one to see them. Scraggly blueberry plants struggle to maintain life on the rocks of Canada’s northern shield country, and yet produce masses of succulent berries. Nature tells us that God believes in abundance.

We need to remember that God is generous and loving. We can step out to do God’s work because Jesus sent us God’s Spirit to strengthen us. We can have courage because God is with us. We can expect great things of God.