Monthly Archives: February 2013

Thursday 2.28.13 Insight from Rev. Glen Shoup

Rev. Glen Shoup is the Executive Pastor of Worship and Congregational Care pastor for those who have last names beginning with J – L.

I grew up in a segment of the Christian faith (for which I am grateful) that placed great emphasis on John chapter 3; specifically being born again or “born anew” (vs 3), as this translation renders it.  One did not spend much time at all in my church growing up without hearing of the need to trust in Jesus and be born anew.  Now having grown up as I did, I’ll be one of the first to acknowledge that there can be dangers with overemphasizing Jesus’ clear statement to Nicodemus in verse 3 of today’s reading.  Overemphasizing Jesus’ directive to be born anew can lead to an understanding of the Christian gospel that is grossly reduced.  It can lead to a belief that all that matters is whether one has prayed a prayer asking Jesus into their heart, for this is the greatest of needs anyone faces.  The greatest need the world has isn’t peace for those torn apart by war, food and clean drinking water for those torn apart by hunger and disease or education for those imprisoned by cycles of poverty—the greatest need the world has is to collectively join together in a recitation of the sinner’s prayer—for if we could just get everybody to invite Jesus into their hearts, then the gospel of Jesus would be fully realized.  Of course Jesus himself—makes it blatantly clear in Matthew 25 (among other places) that this kind of thinking is not accurate, nevertheless, this kind of thinking is one of the admitted and observable dangers of overemphasizing Jesus’ admonition to Nicodemus to be born anew.

However, I have also been in and around other segments of the Christian faith that place almost no emphasis on John chapter 3; specifically being born again or “born anew”.  One could seemingly spend their whole life in these churches and never hear of a need to trust in Jesus and be born anew.  Now I’ll be quick to acknowledge that often great emphasis is given to feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, leveraging education for those imprisoned by poverty and seeking peace for those torn apart by war—just as Jesus blatantly instructed his followers should in Matthew 25 (among other places).  But for this segment of the Christian faith, the Christian gospel is fully realized when human beings—no matter the motivation of their heart or the authenticity of their attitudes—just collectively unite in service to their fellow person.  For if this communal sense of responsibility could just happen everywhere, then heaven would come on earth and the hell that so many live in would be eradicated and the gospel that Jesus came teaching and living would be realized.  Believing that following Jesus is synonymous with the Peace Corps is one of the admitted dangers of underemphasizing Jesus’ admonition to Nicodemus to be born anew.

Overemphasizing or underemphasizing what Jesus had to say to Nicodemus in our reading today seems to be where many in Christendom tend to get off track.  And that tends to happen because of human emphasis (most often fueled by human bias) on whichever side of this Gospel coin they personally find most appealing.  But Jesus—for his part—clearly taught that both were essential and it was impossible to authentically live and sustain one without the other.

Being born anew is the grace empowered, faith-transaction by which I receive forgiveness I don’t deserve, mercy I did not earn, peace I can’t manufacture and the Presence of Life (both now and eternal) that is not my own.  Being born of the Spirit (vs 5) is what enables me to live life daily in and by the Spirit (which is the Holy Spirit of God which is the Spirit of Christ).  Being born of the Spirit is what continually reorients me to the need to live out the life and light of Jesus to others by being God’s hands and feet in the world—i.e.—this is what propels and compels me into service. 

And conversely, in consistently seeking to serve others, I realize both how little my own frustrations really matter (perspective) and how much my own tendency towards self-preference needs ongoing treatment (continual need to be born anew) that only life in Christ can provide.  Consistent service to others reveals that I can give all that have, but if I’m only giving what I have, I will quickly be ineffective and extinguished.  Service to others drives me to recognize that I am dependent upon life by God’s Spirit which can only be accessed by being born anew of God’s Spirit continually and daily.

So daily seeking to be born anew by entrusting myself to Christ and asking Jesus to be Lord of my life is what empowers me to live out the good news of Christ socially.  And seeking to consistently live a life of service that seeks to meet the needs of my community and world drives me to the awareness that I must have more than my own life to give to others in service—I need the life of Christ living within me to give to them.

Faith without works is dead; and works without faith is just work.  But—if I may take just the slightest bit of liberty with verse 3 of today’s reading—when one is born anew, one will necessarily be compelled to serve the needs of others and in so doing they (all) will see (God) the Kingdom of God. 

That’s why today (and every day), I need to be born anew.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Wednesday 2.27.13 Insight from Rev. Steven Blair

Rev. Steven Blair is the Congregational Care pastor of Celebrate Recovery and Live Well Emotional Wellness Ministry.

First impressions.

Imagine you had never heard about Jesus. You have no stories to base your understanding on. The Gospel of John was written to audiences who may have heard the other Gospels as well as to people who did not know anything about Jesus. We are only at John Chapter 2, and the Gospel’s audience is still developing their first impression of Jesus.

The gospel writer places this story here to tell everyone right off the bat that Jesus is more than merely human, and Jesus has the power to transform.

In this story, Jesus transforms water into wine. This is more than a magic trick. It is a shame-defeating act. For a family to run out of wine during a multi-day wedding feast would have been embarrassing. Imagine running out of food on day 1 of a multi-day Thanksgiving gathering for all your family and neighbors, which you had the sole possibility of providing for. The village would have always remembered this particular family to be the one who failed to show hospitality. With wine being safer to drink than 90% of the water supply, this fiasco would have effectively ended the wedding party.

Jesus’ transformation of water into wine is not a commercial for liquor. It is a sign (a word you will hear again in John) that this man is more than just a man, that he uses his power for good. It is a transforming power.

The power only happens when the people at risk of shame and embarrassment follow Jesus’ mother’s commands.

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

As you read through the Gospel of John through these GPS insights, may this first impression of Jesus stay with you. Jesus has the power of transformation. May you also remember the primer of any transformation: “Doing what Jesus commands you to do.”

What is one thing you are certain Jesus is commanding you to do? Obey him and watch him transform you.

For a great song about God’s transformative power, visit this link on your computer, or this link for mobile viewing. Notice the first line.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Tuesday 2.26.13 Insight from Rev. Molly Simpson

Rev. Molly Simpson is the campus pastor at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection West.

This past weekend at Resurrection West, we hosted the Holy Spirit retreat as a part of our Alpha class.  One piece of this is a time where everyone gets to put all kinds of questions in a fishbowl for the pastor to try to answer.  One of the questions that has really stuck with me seemed to come from a place of pain–“How can Christ forgive me when I can’t forgive myself?”

There are clues to this question in today’s passage, John 1:19-51.

We see Jesus identified as the Lamb of God.  This is a powerful name, one filled with deep historical and religious meaning.  It links Jesus Christ to the Passover lamb, a lamb without blemish that was offered to bring life to the Jews  and to keep them from death.  The Lamb of God suggests that Jesus is God’s sacrifice, a gift of great cost offered that all people might have life, one that “takes away the sin of the world.”

It’s easy for church people to think about making sacrifices for God–of our time, our resources, our stuff–that’s what we are supposed to do, right?  It’s unbelievably powerful, however, to think about God making a sacrifice for us–giving an offering on our behalf.  No other god does this–no other world religion believes in a deity that gives favor and blessing for free and certainly not at an extravagant cost to the god.

John is boldly establishing from the very beginning that there is no earning God’s love or Jesus’s forgiveness.  The sin of the world isn’t removed by our action but by God’s.  Christ’s forgiveness offered to us isn’t conditional, it isn’t partial, and it isn’t deserved–but it is given to us.

“How can Christ forgive me when I can’t forgive myself?”  The truth is, we find it possible to forgive ourselves because we have already been forgiven by God in Christ Jesus.  The “Lamb of God” is a promise that God reached out to us long before we ever reached out to God.

May you find yourself safe and warm today–and totally overwhelmed by the radical grace of the God who sacrifices for you.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Mondy 2.25.13 Insight from Jeanna Repass

Jeanna Repass serves as the Kansas City Missions Program Director at Resurrection.

“Are you telling me that the light bulb was in here the whole time?!?” These were the words I uttered after being in the dark for six hours. OK – here’s the story…. My house is my arch nemesis. Well actually cleaning my house is my arch nemesis. I have an issue leaving anything out of order. Every morning – every bed in every room of my house has to be made before I feel peace about leaving for work. I can’t sleep well if I haven’t run the dishwasher and I’ve been known to vacuum into the wee hours of the night as a means to help me sleep better. This is actually NOT a good thing – it’s more of a vice – kind of like the character “Monica” from the 1990’s sitcom “Friends”.

I believe I get this vice from my maternal Grandmother and Great-grandmother. My Great Grandmother, Estelle left her home at the age of fourteen seeking work and hired herself out a live-in domestic worker for a white family who live a few miles from her home. She wasn’t just a cleaner – she was a WORKER-CLEANER. Then her daughter, my Grandmother Bernice, was an obsessive cleaner who would literally do the “white glove test” on her home when she was cleaning. For Grandma, there was everyday clean which was extraordinary by most standards and then there was “company” clean which could be considered extraordinary by White House standards. Truth be told – my obsession with cleaning may come from these amazing women, but my domestic prowess pales in comparison. For one thing – I hate the laundry! I even shudder to admit sometimes – I get behind on it. This past weekend, I had to face the reality of how truly far behind I was.

I was so behind that I had a pile the size of Mt. Kilimanjaro sitting in the middle of the laundry room floor. But I had an excuse – the light bulb had burned out in the laundry room and we were out of light bulbs – for days. Finally after being snowed in for two days – no more excuses – time to conquer Kilimanjaro. I woke up at 6:00am Saturday morning determined! But the light was out… No matter – get this laundry done Jeanna even in the dark. So I did. I sorted – in the dark. I loaded and unloaded – in the dark. I folded – in the dark. So when my husband came in from the store with a pack of light bulbs at noon, I was so relieved to finally have light! I asked my daughter to come in while I stood on the step stool and unscrewed the light bulb and laid it down on the dryer. When Ariel informed me that she had put that light bulb in just the day before – I was confused. What do you mean? Dad just brought these bulbs in. “No – Mom, that bulb that you just took out is brand new, I changed it yesterday. Didn’t you check the switch today?” – “Are you telling me that the light bulb was in here the whole time?!?” Six hours working in the dark and the light was there all along.         

John 1:1–5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

The light is there – it has always been there – even when we don’t know it…even when we don’t bother to even flip the switch….even when we choose to be in the darkness… The light is life and it is ALWAYS THERE! AMEN.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Saturday 2.23.13 Insight from Chris Folmsbee

Chris Folmsbee is Resurrection’s Director of Group Life.  He is the author of several books, with an extensive background in applying principles of spiritual growth to real life. He, his wife Gina and their family have been attending Resurrection since 2008.

Love is so central to our faith that to come into contact with it is to find oneself entangled with every element of Christian doctrine and life.* Absolutely every aspect of our stories of faith—past, present and future—is inseparably linked to the very nature and inner character of God. From the creation stories to the atonement to the loving words and actions of Christians all over the world to the coming new creation, we are a part of God’s story of love and restoration.

God’s love is mysterious. It is both fixed and dynamic. It is fixed in that it is never removed from us (Romans 8:31-39). It is dynamic in that it moves to continually cover all of our trouble, hardship and danger. God’s affection for us is most noticed in his desire to be in a mutually loving relationship which can only be brought about by the most loving act of all—the birth, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God’s love transforms what would only be abstract and theoretical into something tangible and real through the life and ministry of Jesus.

God’s love is uninfluenced. The pure, present and perfect love of God is not granted to us because of who we are or what we do. God’s love is granted to us because of who God is—and God is love. God’s love is deeper than the popular concept of love. In fact, God’s love is a profound correction of the modern concept of love. It is not based on emotional and social connection.* Rather, God’s love is based on spiritual truth. God’s love is what gives structure to all of life and leads us to understand other attributes of God (such as holiness, righteousness, justice, grace, mercy, forgiveness and goodness). This is the reason Paul can make the outlandish claim in Romans 8:31-39 that “nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

God’s love is the great equalizer. It destroys indifference, pride and partiality; it levels the ground for all.* Through God’s love all of us are invited to take part in the greatest love story ever told, a story marked by mutual loyalty and devotion. God’s clearest representation of God’s love is the life and ministry of Jesus. Jesus modeled for us—the people of God,  the church—what \ it means to faithfully love God and neighbor. God’s call for the church is to lean into the guidance of the Holy Spirit and find ways to participate in God’s redemptive work in the world. What ways are we finding to interact with non-religious and nominally religious people so that they too might experience God’s love?

*Thoughts adapted from Wynkoop, A Theology of Love. Beacon Hill Press, Kansas City, MO, 1972.

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Friday 2.22.13 Insight from Sarah Newberry

Sarah Newberry serves as the Worship Arts Leader at the West campus of The Church of the Resurrection. Sarah joined the church staff in March of 2012, and was a volunteer with the Vibe service before that.

Many times when we walk into worship on a Sunday morning, we’re focused on singing our praises to God. Psalm 149 says that God delights in His people, so praising Him is a wonderful thing to do.

But we do not only praise God because of His unfathomable, holy characteristics. That would be a tough thing to do every week; sing praises to a God we have no connection with.  There is another part here. We worship because He saved us, through His son. He saved us because we needed and need to be saved. He’s connected to us. He loves us.

At our RezLife West Youth group this week, Tyler Jenkins talked about Truth and Grace in John chapter 1 and 4. Jesus encompassed Grace and Truth… the truth that we ALL struggle every day and night with this disgusting thing called sin, and when we choose it, we are rejecting the love of God. But He also brings the truth that through the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross, and through His resurrection 3 days later, He has taken the weight of our sin upon himself and saved us. We no longer have to be slaves to sin, making sacrifices as they did in Moses’ day. But in order to live in the freedom and grace that He gives us, we need to accept this loving gift and choose to live in a new way.

John 15:13 says there is no greater love than what Jesus did for us. Our call on Sunday mornings during the music time isn’t just to make a nice sound… We respond to the word given to us that we are saved, and need saving. Don’t worry; you’re not the only person walking in on Sunday morning that did something stupid this week. You’re in a room FULL of people who have screwed up! But isn’t it a beautiful sound when we make a joyful noise together and thank God for saving us, when we honor Him and tell Him how great He is, and ask for His help in our lives.

I urge you right now to pray as soon as you’re done reading this. Talk to God about what all of this means; ask the Holy Spirit to guide you… and if you have any questions, get a hold of your congregational care pastor today.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Thursday 2.21.13 Insight from Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory serves on the Resurrection staff as a Human Resources Specialist.

Predestination vs. free will. Transubstantiation and consubstantiation. There are a number of complicated concepts to understand about the Christian faith, but when it comes down to it, I find that the most challenging fundamental for many of us to grasp is found in the lyrics of a song that many of us learned in preschool  – “Jesus loves me. This I know.”

This very truth of God’s love for us is at the center of who we are as followers of Christ. We tend to focus on how we are to love others or how we should sacrifice or even worship. Yet we forget that all of these actions spring from the fact that we are loved by God – the very God that holds the universe in His hands.

But as simple as the concept of “God loves me” sounds, so many of us get it wrong. I think we generally fall into one of two categories of misunderstanding this principle, and sometimes we (including myself) even dip our hands into both.

First, there are those of us that deny God’s love. Some in this category have a martyr syndrome, believing that to accept God’s love would be selfish. “I’m generally fine on my own, and there are others in more need of His love. Let them have it.” While this may feel as though it’s a noble gesture, I would argue that it is incredibly selfish to think one is so special as to be beyond God’s love. This just simply isn’t the case. Sorry, you’re not so unique. You are loved.

There are others that deny God’s love out of a sense of unworthiness. “How could God love me? I don’t deserve it, and so there is no way that I can’t accept that He would.” It’s true. You don’t deserve it. None of us do. But our self-perceptions don’t control the heart of an all-powerful God.

The next, and perhaps even more dangerous, misunderstanding of God’s love falls into the category of our familiarity of the belief. God’s love lost all meaning on us long ago. We hear the verses, sing the songs, yet nothing in our hearts is stirred. These words are rote. We quote them like multiplication tables and accept them as a “nice idea.” This is a common tragedy among many Christians.

So let’s get this right – our “nice idea” notion is an insult to God. Don’t you know? God loves you! I mean, He really loves you. He takes notice of you and simply delights in you. He cares for you, and He wants to be around you. God loves your personality, and He cheers for you. He even takes pride in you.

Before you were born, God was designing plans on how He might call you to His heart. He’s been wooing you and constantly contemplating ways to show you His affection. Do you see? Do you notice? God loves you!

Yes, He loves the pretty and put-together parts, but beyond that, in the shadows of your soul where the fear, the ugly, and the insecurities fester, you’ll find the tender heart of God there too. Even in the very pit, the darkest place where you keep the deepest scars and most secret sins, God loves you there too!

I’m telling you – He really loves you. He even likes you! He savors your words and yearns for you. His love is not dull, nor is it polite. It will not be shackled by human standards. It is wild. It is audacious. And it is unafraid. I truly believe that if you knew how much God really loved you, at times it would make you blush.

You can’t run from it, and you can’t control it. You are loved by God. Brennan Manning tells you to “Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is an illusion.”

So live into this reality. Take notice and believe. You matter to God. He loves you, and He will do anything it takes to burn that into your heart. Say this truth with conviction, “Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves ME!” He wants to tell you so.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Wednesday 2.20.13 Insight from Angela LaVallie

Angela LaVallie is the Member Connection Program Director at The Church of the Resurrection. She provides oversight to our member connection efforts through the New Member Welcome Team,  the Reconnection Team, and our Spiritual Gifts Placement Team.

Several times throughout the Bible, we read about spiritual gifts and how everyone is given gifts, but not the same gifts are given to all people. 1 Corinthians 12:28 lists out some of these gifts. Spiritual gifts are not meant to be kept to ourselves but to be used together with others and their gifts to build up the church and the church’s work in and for the world. As Paul writes in today’s passage of scripture, all gifts are of value and none are to be considered better or more important than the others.

It’s so easy to have “gift envy” when we see others being praised for the good things that are being done or produced through the use of their gifts. When we have episodes of gift envy, it is so important to remember whose work we’re doing and why. Teaching or leadership might seem like glamorous gifts because those with such gifts often get the “glory” and attention, but it is important that we remember it is not for our glory anyway. Those with the gifts of hospitality and helping and compassion are just as important and often take on a more personal nature; people remember when they were touched by these gifts. When we are serving in ways that we were made to serve, we will find that we are more fulfilled and much more effective in our service.

I often serve with the Alpha course here at Resurrection. Our classes depend on several people with many gifts to make each class session work.  Those with the gifts of hospitality and helps make guests feel welcome as they enter and make sure the meal is put together and ready to go so that participants don’t have to take time during their busy schedules to try to squeeze dinner in. Those with the gifts of administration keep all of the registration details together. Those with the gift of teaching and leadership share a message and direct small group discussions. Some lead worship, and others run the lights and sound. Without any one of these elements, Alpha would still go on, but it wouldn’t be as good as it is with all of them.

Love is not written as a gift in the same sense as these others because it is more than a gift. God is love, God loves us, and we are made in the image of God. We were created to love God and love others. Our use of spiritual gifts should be motivated by love.  Paul tells us in this passage that love is, metaphorically, the cornerstone upon which all spiritual gifts are built. If love is absent, the gifts are unable to stand alone.

If you are interested in learning more about discovering your spiritual gifts and how they can be used to build up the kingdom of God, both in the walls of Resurrection and out in the world, Spiritual Gifts Discovery classes begin tomorrow, February 21. The class is offered Thursdays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm and runs through March 14. Visit for more information or to register for one of our classes.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Tuesday 2.19.13 Insight from Rev. Anne Williams

Rev. Anne Williams is the Congregational Care pastor for members of the Resurrection family who have last names beginning with S-Z.

To me the first step in loving others is learning to really listen. If we believe Plato’s proverb, “Be kind, because everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle”, then it seems like taking the time to hear about that “harder battle” is key in learning to love.

In his article, Learning to Listen, Michael Taft describes something we’ve all experienced – when you really need to speak with someone about something that’s on your heart and the listener is fiddling with their phone and interjecting “stock” one-line responses from time to time. He writes, “‘Conversation’ becomes a war of clever soundbites, delivered with little interest in what others are saying. Most people in conversation will have some remark locked and loaded, ready to fire, just waiting for a pause in the other person’s remarks. Then they switch roles, each jumping instantly into the silence, and filling it with speech.” I wonder what we’re missing out on when we engage in conversation this way.

Julia Nurse wrote an article called To Listen is to Learn to Love about the same issue from a different point of view. She writes of a time she was traveling with someone she found needy and annoying. That is, until she had the opportunity to hear the woman’s story. She writes, “The things I learned! [Her] father had fallen ill three months ago and has been bedridden ever since. Her oldest sister was institutionalized for manic depression … [She] contracted a virus from an insect bite that left her with rheumatoid arthritis. Specialist still haven’t been able to offer a cure.” And all of Julia’s annoyance turned into compassion in a matter of moments.

Some of the most profound moments of my ministry have come in a class I lead called Listen to My Life, where women are invited to tell the stories of their lives. We are invited to listen without offering advice, without judging, without feeling the need to fix things or make suggestions. There is such beauty in simply honoring another human being by truly listening. I suspect if we look back on our own experiences, we will find the times we felt most loved was when someone took the time to listen. I invite you to listen carefully as an intentional way of showing love today.

*If you want to know more about the class Listen to My Life, offered here at Resurrection feel free to email me anytime!

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Monday 2.18.13 Insight from Rev. Chris Holliday

Rev. Chris Holliday serves as the associate minister at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection West.

It was a beautiful spring Sunday morning. I really wanted to be outside playing football or riding bikes with my buddies, but there I sat in the eighth pew on the left side waiting for church to start. As I chatted with my friends, the organ began to play, and the choir filled the chancel. My mom was the choir director and my dad sang baritone. They smiled at me and I smiled back. It was almost time for the service to start.

I looked around and saw my beloved church family: Miss Myrtle, who made the best cheese straws in Martin County; Mr. Bill, my retired friend who always had a stick of gum and a joke for me; the Harrison family, nine strong with a grandbaby on the way; and Mrs. Phelps, a true saint of the church whose wisdom could give King Solomon a run for his money. As I searched the crowd that day, though, there was a different face – one I didn’t recognize. The man’s skin was tan, his hair was jet black, and he looked relatively young. His clothes were tattered and torn, and he sat in the back pew alone.

After the service, I bolted as quickly as possible. I only lived about two blocks away; so by 12:10 pm, I was in my play clothes and having a pre-lunch snack of coke and peanuts on the back porch. When mom got home, she said dad had something to take care of at the church and we’d eat a little later. I grabbed another pack of peanuts and headed down to my best friend’s house with my Nerf football.

I later found out that dad and a few of the deacons had been meeting with Poncho, the man I’d seen in church that day. He was new to town – an immigrant from Mexico looking for work and a better life. Dad and the men got him some food and within a week found him a place to stay. Poncho was a really nice guy and a super hard worker. People started hiring him to mow their lawns, paint their houses, and all sorts of other handyman projects.

One day, my dad came to me and said that he wanted to loan Poncho one of our bicycles. We had two 10 speeds, and a couple of smaller bikes. My brother was in college and his 10 speed had recently been stolen; so one 10 speed was definitely going to him. The other (which I considered mine) was going to Poncho for a while. Dad said Poncho needed some transportation to get to his jobs and to get around our small town. He said he knew I would be disappointed about not having a 10 speed for a while, but it was just the right and Christian thing to do.

About four months later, Poncho just vanished and so did my bike. I liked Poncho, but I wasn’t too happy about losing the 10 speed. My dad, however, never said a harsh word about Poncho, and he didn’t judge his actions. He just said, “Well, he sure needs the bike more than we do.” I reluctantly agreed.

A few months later, Poncho returned to town and found my dad. He apologized for leaving so abruptly, but said he had found good, steady work in another town. He said he was there to return the bike, but would like to buy it if possible. My Dad gave him the bike and wished him well. That night at dinner, we thanked God for Poncho and prayed that God would continue to protect and bless him throughout his life.

“When immigrants live if your land with you . . . you must love them as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:33a,34b)

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.