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Someone once wrote, “We are not our thoughts. We have thoughts… but even if we are not our thoughts we must deal with them.” This thought gives me hope! But as I ponder this freedom I am also reminded of Jesus’ teaching of how thinking about doing something hurtful or inappropriate makes one as guilty as the person who follows through. In this tension I see two invitations. The first, to listen to what we tell ourselves about ourselves. Is the negativity exaggerated? Do we think of ourselves more highly than we ought? Are the thoughts extreme? Do they offer space for creativity and grace? How are we dealing with our thoughts — especially the negative ones that invite us to allow fear, anger, or hopelessness to fester? The second invitation I see is to listen to what we tell ourselves about others. Is the negativity exaggerated? Are the thoughts extreme? Do they offer space for creativity and grace? How are we dealing with our thoughts — especially the negative ones that invite us to allow our fear, anger, or hopelessness to fester? In both mindsets I see an invitation for pause and reflection — to refocus our thoughts.

St. Paul offers wonderful advice that we know so well. Dare we practice it? “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” --Philippians 4:8

Pastor Jo

June 14, 2022


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Updated: Jun 8, 2022

In Robert Gelinas’ book, Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith, he asked the question, “Do you have time or does time have you?” He goes on to suggest that we are consumed with time, measuring everything in minutes, instead of moments.

I’ve attended lots of concerts and no matter the genre, there always seems to be a moment where the band, the chorale ensemble, and even the symphony, will take a break so that one instrument or one voice is featured. Maybe you have noticed in the Book of Psalms that you will sometimes see the word, “Selah.” The word is found at least 71 times throughout the Psalms. We are taught that it means to pause, to ponder, to reflect.

Gelinas reminds us that, “Sabbath and Selah are preplanned moments where we have time to listen. They are breaks in the cacophony of our lives.”

This past Sunday we celebrated Pentecost — a time of miraculous speech, but also a time of intentional listening. 3,000 believed and were baptized that day because they stayed around to listen, not only to Peter, but to God.

Dare we be so bold as to set aside time to listen to God? Dare we be so bold as to stop and listen to one another? Who knows — in doing so, we just might find the miracle of community in our own lives.

Pastor Jo

June 7, 2022

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Yesterday in worship we received these questions to ponder. I admit, I was clicking right along until I got to #7… which calls me to slow down and truly enter into the life that is mine to live. If I truly want to grow in my relationships with Jesus, my church family, and my neighbors there must be intentionality on my part. As our church family moves forward in reconnecting to God, one another, and our neighbor, which questions stir a curiosity in you?

My Reconnect 2022 Eastertide Commitment

In John Wesley’s classes and bands, members met regularly for learning and personal accountability. The following questions were used daily for self-examination.

1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?

2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?

3. Do I confidentially pass on to another what was told to me in confidence?

4. Can I be trusted?

5. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?

6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?

7. Did the Bible live in me today?

8. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?

9. Am I enjoying prayer?

10. When did I last speak to someone else about my faith?

11. Do I pray about the money I spend?

12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?

13. Do I disobey God in anything?

14. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?

15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?

16. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?

17. How do I spend my spare time?

18. Am I proud?

19. Do I thank God that I am not as other people — that I am not like them?

20. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?

21. Do I grumble or complain constantly?

22. Is Christ real to me?

Pastor Jo

May 17, 2022

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