Monthly Archives: July 2013

7.31.13 Insight from Rev. Steven Blair

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

Using What the Good Lord Has Given You                                               

WEDNESDAY 7.31.13   Genesis 40:1-23
Tom Rath has written a New York Times Bestseller called Strength Finder.  It is based on the notion: ‘Find your strengths and then develop your strengths.”  Rath notes that when we are growing up we are actually told to focus on our weaknesses.  When we received our report cards, our attention was drawn to our worse grade.  We are encouraged, sometimes demanded, to bring that grade up.  The result is spending numerous additional hours spent on the subject which we are not naturally gifted instead of developing our greatest strength into something much stronger.   Rath comments that spending time trying to reduce our weaknesses instead of growing our strengths thwarts our ability to become extraordinary at any one thing.

We all have at least one thing we do well, but just like that report card from long ago we spend most of our attention on what we do not do well.    What if we spent more time focusing on our God-Given strengths?

In our Scripture from Genesis, Joseph (of Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat fame) finds himself in prison.   Two other Egyptian officials find themselves incarcerated with him.   When the two had a dream that needed interpretation, Joseph sprung to action.  Interpreting dreams is something that Joseph did VERY well.   Joseph used the skills that God gave him, interpreted the dreams, and in return Joseph received nothing.  Nada. Zip.  There is no record of even a thank you.   Joseph remained in prison until Chapter 41.  Once again a dream required an interpretation.  Joseph stepped in again, this time to interpret for the Pharaoh.  The result this time was Joseph’s release from prison and his rise to a prominent place in the Egyptian Government.

The story of Joseph can be seen as a message of one man’s faithfulness to God even in tough times.  It could also be seen as a story of God making lemons out of lemonade, twisting the many evil deeds done to Joseph into something good.    What stood out to me in this reading of Genesis 40:1-23 is Joseph’s reliance upon God’s gift of dream interpretation.  He knew it was a gift and looked for opportunities to use it.  Ultimately, it was Joseph’s ability to use his God-Given strength that led to him experiencing a different future.

What about you?  Can you list 3 of your strengths right here and now. Go ahead and write them down, I will wait …….

What if using the strengths that God has given you is God’s way of providing you a path out of your prison?  What if the key to our brighter future is something we have been born with rather than something we have not yet received? Yes, like the story of Joseph, our bright future may require some waiting, but in the meantime we can develop our God–given skills.

How can you be like Joseph and build on your strengths so you are  ready for when the unexpected happens?

Blessings,
Steven (no longer working on my singing skills) Blair

 

 

 

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

7.30.13 Insight from Valerie Naas

Valerie Naas is a Print Communications Coordinator at The Church of the Resurrection in the Communications Ministry where she has served since September 2009. Valerie worships at Resurrection Downtown.

“Life isn’t fair.”

“Bad things happen to good people.”

“Sometimes we have to do things that we don’t want to do.”

“Don’t worry; it’ll all turn out alright in the end.”

More than likely, we’ve all heard one, if not all, of these life lesson statements. We’ve heard them, we even repeat them, but do we believe them? What’s the reward for doing the right thing? By staying connected to God and drawing upon his value system, Joseph was able to fight temptation and say no to Potiphar’s wife. However, in the end, he was still punished.

 I consider myself to be proactive. A planner. With the many mistakes (small and great) that I’ve made in my short life, I always try my best to learn from each one. I hold an automatic internal review session with myself following nearly every action/behavior that I execute: What went well? What didn’t work? What can I do differently next time? What variables will stay the same? What might change? Thanks to having spent a great deal of time picking up the broken pieces of my mistakes, I now try to prepare myself for what’s ahead.

Sometimes, this approach works out perfectly. No bumps, and everything turns out as it should be. More often than not though, kinks develop in the perfect system that I have designed. These kinks are often contributed by others–contributions that are out of my control. And yet, in the end, I’m the one who has to collect it all and make it work together.

When I’m in the planning stages of any project/decision/etc, I’m often excited, calm, and have an open mind for what’s ahead. But when the planning is done, and I’m ready to put the plan into action, I do not respond well to surprises or changes brought on by outside parties. So often I feel like throwing a fit, responding with “this is your problem, not mine,” or simply failing to follow through with the task at hand. After all, what’s the reward for doing the right thing?

However, I typically do not respond in this negative manner. Instead, I host an internal battle, and eventually, the angel on my shoulder that’s been talking in my ear finally gets through to my conscience.   My parents raised me with an extremely strong work ethic, and to fall short of that would be disappointing, even if myself and God are the only ones to know I did not give the task 110% of my efforts. I’m moved to make honorable choices because “it’s the right thing to do.” Even when I know that I will be disappointed by others, even left to clean up their messes, or accept blame that isn’t mine to carry, I strive to be a strong woman of God. Even if no one else is watching besides God, shouldn’t He be enough?

For Joseph, all did turn out well in the end. Even though he was put in prison, the Lord did not leave his side. Even today, in 2013, God will not leave our side regardless of how we arrive at our various “prisons.”

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

7.29.13 Insight from Jeanna Repass

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

 I was twenty-two when I found myself sitting in the window sill seat with a yellow legal pad with a title at the top and the numbers one through ten written down the left hand side. Although my task has been to fill in all ten lines, only one number – the number 1 – had anything written next to it. As I stared at what I had written I began to cry. When it was time to share with my counselor what ten things I had written I reluctantly handed over the legal pad. She handed it back to me and told me to read it out loud.

Across the top of the page were the words: “Ten positive affirmations about me”. As I stared at that legal pad and tried to read what I had written – my tears became sobs. Line one had the only positive thing that I could honestly say about myself – after hours of staring and thinking and trying – the only thing I could honestly write about me, were four words.

Thankfully, God works miracles through people. I was in a place where people who are gifted in therapy and the arts of healing the mind along with the body were working with me and for me. They were fellow Christians and talented doctors and therapists. When I left I was able to fill up all ten lines. When I left I was able to recognize all the gifts and positives about myself. I left with a realization that I am perfectly made in God’s image although perfectly flawed in my humanity. I realized that it is good and right to be able to affirm myself. I knew that acknowledging what is good about me doesn’t diminish others – it actually honors God.

One of the reasons that I love the story of Joseph is that he learned the same lesson that I did – only in the reverse. Instead of believing less about himself and leading with absolute humility, Joseph took all the gifts that God had given him and boasted about them and lorded them over everyone including his family. When his brothers reacted in their humanity with jealousy and anger, Joseph was sold into slavery. Like me – in a space all alone with him and God, God reached Joseph and realigned his thinking about his gifts and talents. Joseph was able to say with confidence and humility that he had a gift that could be used by the Pharaoh. His gift ultimately saved all of Joseph’s family and community through a time of great famine. *There is as great animated movie titled “Joseph King of Dreams” that I highly recommend. It includes the song “You Know Better Than I”- much worth the listen!*

I’m not sure that God is going to use the gifts that He gave me in order to stave off starvation of an entire community as He did with Joseph. But I do know that God wants me to see myself through His eyes and to be able to share God’s awesome giving of talents and gifts by acknowledging that they exist – even in me! It’s a good and righteous thing to be able to articulate the positive affirmations about ourselves. Today in addition to those original four words that I wrote on that notepad, I can write at least 10 positives about Jeanna. Thank you Father! Amen. (*If you are interested in those four words that I originally wrote – just ask – I’m happy to share them today!*)

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

7.27.13 Insight from Yvonne Gentile

Yvonne Gentile serves on The Church of the Resurrection staff as the Director of Connections. Yvonne directs the team that helps people get connected into the life of the church through service, studies, group life, and other ways of involvement.

When I read the names listed in Hebrews 11 as great examples of faith, I’m awed by the depth of their faith in God despite their often difficult circumstances.  They didn’t get that deep and abiding trust in God without effort on their part. They didn’t just know about God – they knew God.  They spent time in God’s presence, worshiping, talking, and sometimes even arguing with God. Their faithful trust in God grew as a result of the relationship they developed.

I want – I long for – that kind of deep and abiding faith for myself.  Saint Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless, Lord, until they rest in you.”  I think that’s true; there is an internal yearning of our souls to know and trust in God.  I believe God yearns for that kind of relationship with us, too – that God wants to be known and takes action to reveal his character and nature to us.  For me, God is revealed most vividly through nature and through Scripture.  This past Thursday morning, I stumbled out of bed, came downstairs groggily to get coffee, and was immediately irritated to find a mess created by my aging dog.  As I opened the back door to let the dog out, grumbling the whole time, I was greeted by a sunrise so glorious – awash with pinks and violets and gold – that it took my breath away. I felt it was God’s way of saying to me, “Despite your present irritation, there is beauty and love waiting for you today.”

I’m building some habits and practices to help me know God better: going to church, reading my Bible, praying, and lately I’ve been trying to journal.  I’ll admit I’ve struggled with journaling in the past.  I must have a dozen or more journals that I’ve written 2-3 entries into and then set aside.  This time it seems to be sticking.  I’m just writing my prayers out, a few paragraphs each morning after I read my Bible.  I write my questions about faith, admit my personal struggles and fears, and include my joys and concerns.  Thursday’s entry started with gratitude for the sunrise which reminded me that despite the petty annoyances I face daily (and even in the midst of serious life problems), beauty and love are waiting for me in the presence of God.

My faith practices sometimes come in fits and starts, but they’re growing more consistent over time.  I feel I’m getting to know God better each day and laying a foundation of trust that will sustain me when I do face significant hardship.  My relationship with God is a work in progress, so I am encouraged by the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian who died in a Nazi concentration camp, who said: “While it is good that we seek to know the Holy One, it is probably not so good to presume that we ever complete the task.”   Knowing God is a lifelong journey.

My prayer for you is that you also grow towards knowing God, and developing a faith that sustains you in all circumstances.

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

7.26.13 Insight from Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe helps facilitate Journey 101 “Loving God” classes, guides a 6th-grade Sunday school class, is a member of a small group & a men’s group, and serves on the Curriculum team.

Today’s scene needs a little context to be fully appreciated.  Back in Genesis 18:1-15, we read of 3 messengers from God who boldly predicted to the elderly Abraham & Sarah that they would have a son within the year.  Sarah’s response to this seemingly ridiculous prophecy was to laugh.  When later pressed by God as to why she laughed, Sarah asks innocently, “Who me?”

This is probably the first example of inappropriate laughter in recorded history.  The most famous instance of unsuitable mirth is from the Mary Tyler Moore Show’s classic episode entitled, “Chuckles Bites the Dust.”   Chuckles the Clown is a local TV personality who while dressed as a peanut is killed by a rogue elephant during a parade in Minneapolis.  To Mary’s horror, everyone in the newsroom cracks jokes about the bizarre circumstances surrounding Chuckles’ demise.  Mary thoroughly admonishes her colleagues for their boorish behavior.  Flash forward to the funeral as the minister eulogizes Chuckles:

Chuckles the Clown brought pleasure to millions.  The characters he created will be remembered by children & adults alike:  Peter Peanut, Mr. Fee-Fi-Fo, Billy Banana, and Aunt Yoo Hoo…..And what did Chuckles ask in return?  Not much.  In his own words, ‘A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.”

At this point, while everyone else is somber & respectful, Mary can’t control her laughter.  The minister consoles the mortified Mary saying, “Laugh!  Laugh for Chuckles!” at which point Mary starts sobbing.

Like Sarah & Mary, we can all think of instances when we laughed at woefully inappropriate times.  And of course with 11 & 13 year-old-boys, dealing with inappropriate humor is a matter of daily routine in our household.

But today’s passage takes us beyond Sarah’s embarrassment at smirking at God’s promises.  Now, she joyfully offers testimony to His awesomeness by naming her son Isaac, meaning “He who laughs.”  It seems like she wanted a reminder of God’s continual role in her life.

Before we leave today’s Scripture, one more point should be acknowledged: Sarah demonstrates the importance of laughter in coping with every day life.

Laughter provides multiple health benefits like lowering blood pressure, increasing blood flow, working out various muscles, reducing stress hormones, defending against respiratory infections, increasing memory & learning power, & improving alertness & creativity.  Laughter is even an official field of academic study, Gelotology.  (Seriously?  – Editor.  No joke. – DL)

But as my Grandfather lamented years ago, people don’t laugh much anymore: sit-coms are inundated with clichéd innuendos & most stand-up comedy is just sarcastic zingers.  While babies laugh 300 times per day, we adults only laugh at most 20 times a day.  Our culture has become quite grim & somber.  As Dave Barry wrote, “No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it way too seriously.”

So in closing, we provide a smattering of some classic humor selected by a panel of experts to encourage a little laughter in your day today. (Due to contractual limitations, this section was reduced from the original 19 pages to 1 page – Editor.)

The Classic Knock-Knock Joke:

Knock Knock

Who’s there?

Control Freak.  Now you say, “Control Freak Who?”

The Clever Puns:

I had to return my smart car after the accident.  Why?  Too dense.

Why did the French train derail?  Toulouse-Lautrec

The Silly Humor:

Went hunting bear the other day.  Saw a road sign that read, “Bear Left.”  So I went home.

Did you hear that NASA is planning to send a group of Holsteins into orbit?  Apparently they are calling it the herd shot round the world.

And finally, since this is the GPS, some Religious Themed Humor:

A Grandmother gave her Granddaughter a new stuffed panda for her birthday.  When the girl opened the present, the Grandmother noticed the bear’s eyes were crossed.  But since the girl so loved the toy, the Grandmother didn’t say anything.  Later, the Grandmother asked the girl what she would name her new stuffed friend.  The little girl replied, “Gladly.”  “Why Gladly?” the Grandmother asked.  “Because when I went to church with you they sang about “Gladly the Cross I’d Bear.”

(Groan.  Rest assured, a comprehensive investigation is underway to determine just how a passage regarding humor was assigned to Friday’s GPS.  We appreciate your grace & patience in this matter. – Editor.)

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

7.25.13 Insight from Celicia Hiatt

Celicia Hiatt is a Coordinating Assistant in the Guest Services Ministry at The Church of the Resurrection, serving as a crucial member of the team that helps visitors and members of the church get plugged into the life of the church.

 I have experienced many times in my life where I have found myself laughing at God because he has made sure his plans have trumped mine. I’ll be honest – this is a lesson that God has to teach and re-teach me on a daily basis, and I am thankful that God is so patient and understands that there is a learning curve, because I often let the misguided notion that I’m the one at the helm get the best of me. I have to tell myself again and again, that, yeah, my plan might work, but God’s plan will work better.

I am reminded of an incident a few years ago that paints the picture of God “reminding” me of who really drives the ship. While I was interviewing for my job here at Resurrection I found out that I was expecting my son, Elijah (which was an answered prayer…just not the timing I expected). As soon as I found out about our unexpected blessing I told my husband that if offered the job that I would turn it down. I did not want to make such a big change with a baby on the way (and lose my benefits). I felt like Resurrection was where I was supposed to be and was heartbroken that I was going to have to turn down the position and stay at a job where I was miserable.

The day before my third and final interview at Resurrection (the day after I made the decision to turn down the job) I was called into my boss’s office and told that I was being let go because of budget cuts. I was shocked and devastated (talk about a blow to your ego), but I also felt God taking control. In that moment I laughed and thought to myself, “OK we’ll go with your plan God.” I won’t say that I wasn’t scared or unsure, but I trusted that God had a better plan than I did, and I later found out that he did.

I imagine that Abraham felt the same way I did when he laughed at God and said “yeah, right you’re going to give me a child at the age of 99…that’s likely.” We have to remember though that God has an eagle eye view of our lives and has a much better perspective. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I have questioned things that are happening in the moment and later looking back see how God has handled every intricate detail and maneuvered things in my life to work out better than I could have planned them myself. I have come to learn (and re-learn) that often times the unexpected is far more beautiful and fulfilling than the expected, and what I might think is God throwing a curveball is not a curveball at all, but a life line.

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

7.24.13 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 Discovery classes and Placement.

Patience is a virtue. Patience is one of those things that we as Christians should be striving for. I have jokingly heard others say they don’t want to pray for patience because they are afraid God will give them situations where they would need to exercise patience in order to develop it. I think a further complication of developing patience is that it is difficult to have patience when we don’t know what we’re waiting for.

I was recently waiting on a decision to be made, and the waiting was (metaphorically, of course!) killing me. I wasn’t sure which outcome I wanted, and sometimes thinking and worrying about it sent me into what was probably borderline panic attacks. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and I wanted to cry. I knew God was in control and that I would be fine whatever the outcome, but I was lacking in patience as I awaited the result. It was the not knowing what I was waiting for that bothered me the most.

Likewise, my brother and sister-in-law have been married for eight years and have been trying for several years to have a child. Unfortunately, they have so far been unable to have a baby. Two years ago, they began fostering a fourteen-year-old, and we officially welcomed my (now sixteen-year-old) nephew to the family when his adoption was finalized in January of this year. They are still trying to have a baby but know that might not be in the cards for them. I think one of the most frustrating things for them is not knowing if a baby is in the cards. If God has promised them more children, will those children be biological children of theirs, or will they adopt more? It would be far easier to wait for those children, if they knew if and how they would be coming to them.

I can understand Sarai’s (and Abram’s) frustration. Sarai knew God had promised Abram children, and she had already been waiting for many years. Obtaining a child through her slave Hagar seemed like a possible solution to God’s promise. Did God mean Abram’s heir would come through her? Rather than continuing to wait for God’s promise, she took matters into her own hands. And this is where it can get confusing. We are to wait on God’s perfect timing, but sometimes, we are called to act. How are we to discern when to wait and when to act?

I am by no means an expert in this, but I think we have to start with prayer – for patience and discernment. We can ask God for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and while we’re waiting, we can practice the spiritual disciplines that help us to tune in to God’s voice. Developing patience and discernment will probably not be easy, but as we do so, we will learn to listen to God’s voice and to trust God more.

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

7.23.13 Insight from Lucas McConnell

Lucas McConnell is a summer intern serving in the Congregational Care department at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.

What was Abram thinking? This is the question that goes through my mind, and I’m sure went through Pharaoh’s as well, when I read about Abram and Sarai’s exploits in Egypt in Genesis 12:10-20. Why did Abram lie about Sarai being his wife and sacrifice her to the Egyptians so that his own life could be spared? While justification for Abram’s actions cannot be established in today’s passage alone, further information can be gleaned from before and after this story. In Genesis 12:1-3 we read about God blessing Abram and promising to create a nation through him. In the patriarchal culture of Abram’s time, it would be natural that Abram would see himself as a VIP in this nation building promise and would thus want to preserve his life, even at the expense of Sarai’s.

Okay, so Abram’s desire to not be killed by Egyptians makes sense, but why does Abram divorce himself of Sarai’s potentially fatal beauty by lying about their relationship? The short answer is he’s not lying because Sarai, in a way, actually is his sister. Abraham explains his relationship with Sarah to king Abimelech after a similar stunt in Genesis 20:12. Essentially, Sarai is Abram’s stepsister. So Abram did not lie to the Pharaoh in Genesis 12, but rather created a plan founded on this half-truth in order to preserve his life, thus taking God’s promise into his own hands.

It is because of this half-truth of Abram, however, that a deeper theme can be drawn out of today’s text. Despite Abram’s knowledge of God’s calling upon his life, Abram perceives the immediate threat of the Egyptians as an obstacle in God’s plan that must be overcome by his own planning, wit, and self -reliance. Abram had not forgotten the promise God had given him, but rather when life happened in the form of a drought and a perceived Egyptian threat, Abram seems to forget that God not only gives the promise of land and nation but also enables the promise to come to fruition.

            Personally, I love planning things. I love planning everything from my daily schedule to my career. Planning, for me, offers a sense of direction in what can seem a limitless ocean of possibilities and decisions. However, I also believe that planning provides security. Security in the secular realm may take the form of a pension plan or the myriad of insurance policies that are available for those times when something unexpected might occur. As Christians, I believe what we can learn from Abram is that living into God’s will does not always translate into a safe and agreeable plan by our human standards. Our life plans as followers of Christ are still vulnerable to change in subtle ways, in pleasing ways, or in violent and destructive ways when, as Pastor Anne explained, “life happens.”

 What we must remember, and what we can learn from our faithful ancestor Abram, is that living into God’s will as followers of Christ does not require nor permit us to lean on our own strength, desires, understanding, or wit. Just like Abram, we are fallible and often fraught with a very reasonable yet very human fear of the unknown. The good news, however, is that we have a God who is with us when the unknown becomes an unexpected challenge and when our self-reliant decisions, often motivated by fear, are in need of redemption by a loving God.
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

7.22.13 Insight from Melanie Hill

Melanie Hill is the Visitor Connections Program Director in Resurrection’s Guest Services Ministry.

So often when I read through the story of Abram I tend to focus on the amazing amount of faith it must have required to trust God completely at his word.  And that faith still stops me in my tracks. What a precarious and exciting place Abram and Sarai found themselves in.  Today though, as I read through this passage again I keep getting caught up in the promise that God makes not only the Abram, or to Christ followers, but to “all the families of the earth”.  God promises to bless us all through Abram.  Once again God is at work creating a means for restoration in relationship with him.  This time he has chosen a man named Abram and his wife.  Again and again in scripture we see God at work moving to restore our relationship with him.  As I think through Abrams role in God’s restoration I can’t help but wonder how I am being used to fulfill God’s promise to bless “all the families of the earth” as well.  God may not be calling me to pick up and move out of the country (at least I don’t think so!) but he is definitely calling me to step outside my comfort zone to be a blessing to others.  He is calling me to have that conversation about faith with the other mom at the little league game even though others might overhear our conversation in the stands. He is calling me to not just notice my neighbor who seems to be struggling but to take action to help her out during her illness. He is calling me to not just think about sending someone one an encouraging note, but to actually do it. Today I am convicted that while I may not hear a great calling to act out in faith in a momentous way I am hearing the small whispers and nudges of the Spirit to do something small that may make a big difference in someone else’s life. How is the Spirit nudging you to be a blessing “to all the families of the earth”?

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

7.20.13 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.

Four words have been rattling around in my head and poking at my heart since Bishop Willimon’s sermon last weekend. Those four words are “Go and do likewise.” Clearly they are Jesus’ words as found in Luke 10, the parable of the Good Samaritan, and not Bishop Willimon’s own words. However the way the Bishop’s sermon drew me in and made me think and reflect helped me revisit this parable with new eyes and a fresh heart.

At various points in my life I have lived out the role of each of the story’s characters. I’ve been in the ditch, I’ve been the passerby, I’ve even been the Good Samaritan. The question for me is, who in the story am I becoming most like? In other words, what is the depth of my love and compassion? Am I like the Priest and Levite, so that my spirituality and the practices of my life don’t align? Am I the person in the ditch, knowing I am in need but unwilling to put aside my pride to get help? Or am I becoming more like the Good Samaritan, so that a robust definition of “neighbor” and “compassion” compels me to act extravagantly for the sake of another?

“Go and do likewise,” Jesus said. Below are a few questions that help guide me in my pursuit of deeper levels of commitment in order to take action on Jesus’ command to “go and do” like the Samaritan did.  Perhaps one or two of these questions will help guide you too:

  1. Am I willing to cross racial, economic, social, etc. barriers to develop a more inclusive practice of hospitality to stranger and friend?
  2. Am I willing to live into the compassion God has bestowed upon me to the extent that it compels me to take risks for the sake of another?
  3. Is my primary agenda in this world my own, or is God’s enduring mission to restore the world to its intended wholeness my primary agenda, too?
  4. When I do take action like the Good Samaritan, how extravagant is my sacrifice?

Four mind-rattling, heart-poking words plus four ongoing reflection questions equals an increasing life of love for neighbor and an overall love for God.  May God expand both our understanding of neighbor, and our commitment to compassion for stranger and friend.

 

 

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