Wednesday, August 06, 2008

God works in mysterious ways!

Last week while in my "storing up for winter mode" I pondered the content of the Sunday School class I was to lead on Sunday. My thoughts centered on the Luke passage I wrote on in my last blog: Gabriel's visit conversation with Mary. The theme that emerged was that of "servanthood" and included another Mary washing the feet of Jesus in John and the Matthew passage that tells of God's Chosen Servant, quoting Isaiah 42. I started by asking the class to identify the place in Scripture where the three statements, "The Lord is with you; Nothing wll be impossible with God: and Let it be to me according to your word;" occurred. Next, we talked about each statement in its context and then how each had been important in our lives and ways in the future, each would impact us. (The rest of the class discussion directed attention to what it means for us to be servants of the Lord and the distinction between being a servant and serving.)

Yesterday when I learned that the CA125 had risen seven more points I knew God had directed me to prepare that lesson for me, not for the twenty or so people who came to class. A mystery to be sure!

Some have asked for a copy of the sermon I preached on Elisa's baptism day. It centered on God's promises to His children and I spoke of three that have been particularly meaningful in our family: "I will never leave you nor forsake you" from Joshua 1; "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed. They are new every morning. Great is God's faithfulness," Lamentations 3; and Jesus speaking to Paul in II Corinthians, "My grace is sufficient for you." God's promises are the very fabric of life!

Who knew that those same three promises would invade my consciousness as I was trying to go to sleep last night? Weeks ago when preparing that sermon I acknowledged what they have meant to us, not realizing I would need to cling to them again soon. They are words that never leave me, but this morning they are bold and in all caps! God knew what was needed.

On a recent "Good Morning America" there was a feature on a baby's smile and how it affects others. Babies make us smile when they smile, with their actions and sometimes when they do nothing at all. The fact the feature was highlighting is that our brains actually do react by affecting dopamine production and release which is necessary and beneficial. You may or may not know that Parkinson's is the result of decreased dopamine in the brain and the most effective treatment, thus far, is to replace that dopamine with medication.

Yesterday we kept Elisa for a couple of hours while the children's babysitter took the other four children swimming. Just being with Elisa produces smiles! She had not been here since she started scooting and crawling and was in rare form. I was telling her daddy what she did when I set her on the floor with her toys and he said, "I bet she already had mapped out where she wanted to go." How right he was! She sat, jumped up and down on her fanny, looked to see if we were watching and with a determined grin on her face began exploring. I've said before that she is good medicine for us both. Now we know one reason why--it helps with the dopamine Tom continues to lose.

God works in mysterious ways. We are humbled and grateful to be a part of His work.

Pastor Margaret

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