We are blessed in the Atlanta Emory District with so many gifted and talented clergy. I give thanks every day for being able to work with each of you. At the same time, you and I are blessed to work with tremendous laity who willingly share their faith with others so that the love of Christ may be known.
This past week in The Upper Room I was blessed to read the devotional thoughts of Zoe Hicks, a layperson out of the Oak Grove United Methodist Church. Please let me share with you her words.
The Everlasting Arms
The Eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms - Deut. 33:27 (NIV)
This summer I stepped out of my comfort zone and enrolled in an acting class. We began by reading our parts from scripts; the script gave me confidence, and I liked holding it in my hand as I acted my part. But as the class progressed, the professor asked us to memorize our parts. As I prepared for opening night I was terrified I would forget some of my lines.
The day of the performance arrived, and our professor introduced us by saying, "Tonight, our players are performing without a safety net, so send your positive thoughts out to them." My heart pounded as I walked onto the stage with no script - feeling exposed and vulnerable.
As I reflect later on our professor's introduction, I realized that in life we never have to perform without a safety net. When Moses led the children of Israel to the brink of the Promised Land, his final words to them reminded them that throughout the journey God had been their refuge and strength in unknown territory. No matter what part we are given to play in life and how unfamiliar the stage, God's arms are underneath to uphold, comfort, and catch us if we fall.
Dear God, with your everlasting arms underneath, give us courage to set out wherever you call. Amen.
Isn't God good? Aren't we blessed to have folks like Zoe in our congregations? We can learn a lot from them if we listen with open hearts and lives.
Thank you for walking in the arms of God each week onto the stage and sharing the Word and love of Christ Jesus!
(The Upper Room, September/October 2014 - October 17, 2014 - Ms. Zoe Hicks)
Congratulation to University Heights who burned their mortgage on Sunday. What a blessing it was to be a part of such a great moment! A double blessing as I participated in the UMW event at Harmony Grove and saw the power of our Women in Missions. Finally thanks to those in the Green Cell Group for a great Cell Charge Conference Celebration with the leadership of Luis Ortiz, Laurie Golding and Sue Owenby.
Happy belated Birthday to our Lay Leader, Dale Smith!