…to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be
saints…1 Corinthians 1:2
I often ask my students what they want to be when they grow up. I get lots of great answers to that question, and every once in a while I get the million dollar answer, “Mrs. Wohlfert, I want to be a saint.” That child may or may not be the best reader or math student, but I know they are intelligent beyond measure if they can give me that answer! As this verse from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians reminds us, being a saint isn’t just a suggestion, it’s an expectation; it’s what we are CALLED to be. God created us in His image and likeness so we could what? So we could be like Him. That’s our job on earth…to follow His example and be His hands and feet, spreading His love and peace here on earth.
So what‘s in the“saint” job description? We should present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.” Whew… that’s all? While that may sound like one tall order, it really spells things out quite clearly. If we are going to rise to the expectation, we need to make sure our thoughts, words and actions are offered to, and acceptable to God. Our journey toward sainthood begins every morning before our feet even hit the floor. We should begin each day with the words; God, I offer this day to you…please help me serve and honor You in all that I do. Talk about a powerful thought to keep our words and actions on the right path. We also need to remember we are NOT in this alone. God didn’t say “I’m calling you to sainthood now go figure out how to do it on your own!” He slathers us with grace, mercy and the intercession of the entire Communion of Saints to help! The Communion of Saints is not only the saints we can name and find a picture of in a book, it’s the entire troop of all the faithful departed in Heaven and they have one job…to help you and help me join their ranks! Imagine entering a coliseum filled with more people than you have ever seen assembled in one place…multiply that crowd by 1000…that’s not even a fraction of those that form the Communion of Saints and they are all yelling and cheering for YOU as you set out on your daily journey toward sainthood.
As we celebrate our “Heroes of Faith”, let that celebration serve as a time to renew our commitment to sainthood…after all, it’s not a suggestion, it’s what we are called by God to
A seed to plant: Make a list of saints-like qualities you can strive for each day. Bravery, honesty and unquenchable thirst for the Lord are just a few to begin with.
Blessings on your day!
This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
The alarm went off at 4:50 just like every morning and I slapped it off the nightstand trying to turn it off. That meant I had to get out of bed immediately so it would stop its annoying beeping before it woke my husband up. I stumbled to the kitchen to make coffee and discovered I was out of filters…amazing what you can do with a paper towel! Then I went to the shower only to discover after becoming all wet and drippy that the shampoo bottle was empty. Luckily my prayer time was free of any disaster. After prayers, I went into the bathroom to finish getting ready for the day and proceeded to drop my toothbrush into the toilet, and my open lipstick onto the bathroom rug, leaving a spot of lovely “dusty wine” for all to
see. I moved onto lunch packing. (Yes, the Wohlferts are all big enough to pack their own, but I pray for each of them while I pack their lunch so it’s a good thing) Somehow I managed to put mustard on a peanut butter sandwich and grape jelly on ham. Thank goodness I caught that before the bags left the house! I wrapped up my morning in the house by dropping my peanut butter toast gooey side down on the kitchen floor. As I made my way to the garage, I realized someone had left the garage door open and the barn cats had made a visit to the house. They had feasted on the goodies found in the now shedded bag of garbage. As I flew to the end of the driveway, I nearly barreled into a milk truck. I slammed on the brakes in the nick of time spilling my coffee all over my jacket.
I drove down the road thinking…ok God…really...this is the day you made? You need a do-over on this one! The longer I drove; the more I thought about the past two hours and my response shifted from pout and pity to pure, belly deep, tearful laughter! I couldn’t believe one morning could have so many hiccups! My morning had been like a comic strip of disaster but the second half of this verse from Psalm 118 says rejoice and be glad in it! I decided when I got to school; I’d make a quick stop at the church to ask God if we couldn’t come to some kind of agreement about the rest of the day. While I sat there in the silence of our beautiful church, I realized it was probably me who needed the do-over. I had been distracted that morning and my prayers were more of a laundry list of favors and complaints than sincere conversation. I began to realize as I slowed down a minute, He had used the events of the morning to draw me closer. He was teaching…He just had to get creative to get me attention! I walked into my classroom with a broad smile ready to start over. When I said hello to the first little lovely who came through the door, she smiled and said, “I’m so glad when I woke up today it was a school day.” I smiled and said, "Me too!" Now that was something to be glad about! That was my sign that the Lord really had made that day and that in spite of lipstick stains on the rug, a toothbrush swirling in the toilet and the coffee stain on my jacket, I had WAY more to be glad and rejoice about than to be pouty and grumpy about. He had my full attention for the remainder of the day!
A seed to plant: Make this verse a part of your morning prayers. If you begin each day looking for the stuff to be glad and rejoice about, the rest of it will seem easier to swallow. If you have a morning mess story that turned into something glad...please share it with us!
Blessings on your day!
Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.
How often do you run across someone with a black eye? I don’t mean just a regular black eye; I’m talkin’ about a real doozy of a shiner? You might see lots of them if you work in a gym that trains boxers, but in my world, not so much. During the past week, I came across two of the biggest black eyes I’ve ever seen. To make the situation even more curious, one of the black eyes was sported on the sweet face of one of my students and the other on the lovely face of a Catholic Nun I met at a conference on Friday. Oddly
enough, both black eyes came from accidently bumping into a vehicle. When something that peculiar happens twice in the same week, it can mean only two things…God’s got a message and it’s gotta be a blog post!
If you’ve ever run into someone with a black eye, you just can’t seem to focus on anything but that. It just sort of consumes your vision, and the harder you try not to stare at it, the more captivating it becomes. You have a dozen questions running through your mind, most of which you don’t ask, but your mind just stays fixed on the subject. That black eye takes on a bit of power all its own. I got to wondering what the world would be like if our Christian behavior attracted the attention of others like a big black eye? What if our words and actions made others as curious as the circumstances that resulted in a doozy of a shiner? What if our Christian attitude was so contagious it was immediately noticed like a black eye? What if our faith was so real and present that it opened the flood gates to compassionate, gentle conversation and storytelling like a black eye on the face of someone we care about?
All too often, we see our faith as a very private matter and we miss opportunities to share the love of Christ because we don’t want to offend
or be in an uncomfortable situation. I’m not sure that’s why Jesus worked so hard during the three years of His public ministry. He lived and died so we could spread His Good News! For whatever reason, in regards to our faith, we sometimes smear on the cover makeup and try to hide our faith like we sometimes try to cover up a black eye. I’m going to suggest a different way to think of it…instead of keeping our faith quiet because we don’t want to put ourselves in an uncomfortable spot; letting a little of God’s love squeak out might save someone else from being in an uncomfortable spot. Maybe it’s not about you at all…maybe it’s about the impact your faith could have on a lost or hurting soul. Perhaps we need to try to wear our faith as visibly as a black eye.
A Seed to Plant: Think about one or two things you can do this week to make your faith stand out like a black eye! It can be as subtle as Christian jewelry or as outward as inviting someone to pray together or join you at church. Go ahead…let your faith be noticed!
Blessings on your day!
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