Showing posts from February, 2020

Return to me

By Deacon Connie Stover, Director of Seeking the Spirit Within The words “spiritual director” could be interpreted or understood to mean that a spiritual director issues directives or commands.  This description of spiritual direction is far from the reality of the intentions of this ministry.  Spiritual directors listen far more than they speak; and when words are spoken, they are often in the form of questions. Spiritual direction is more like making use of a compass that is always pointing in the direction towards God.  Each of us can easily get distracted and lose sight of God in this life of never-ending activity, heavy responsibilities, and high expectations.  We can forget the truth and beauty of who we are and whose we are. We are children of God!  We belong to the One who says, “Return to me with all your heart.”  When I hear God say “return to me,” I feel God’s loving desire for each one of us.  And it is my sense that this desire is not just for what we

Return to me with all your heart

By Rev. Otto Schultz, Faith Partners Nebraska, Project Developer What picture comes to mind when you think of the word “addict”?   Though I know better, the image in my head is a young, tough guy on the streets of a bombed-out neighborhood in a large city.   He uses needles and is always restlessly seeking his next fix.   I know better since I worked for many years in a hospital-based Rehab where many of our addicts were middle-class, middle-aged or older women.   What image do you see in your mind even though you too, may know better?   Consider it for a few moments.   By now, most of us know that drug and alcohol addiction are equal opportunity destroyers.   They don’t care about age, gender, class, race, nationality, or religious belief.   They hurt many Christian families deeply.   In surveys of worshippers in 10 Nebraska congregations, (N=900) 42% of respondents endorsed the statement that they are currently concerned about or affected by the alcohol or d

May God Grant You Holy Discontent

By Rev. Dave deFreese, Vice President of Church Relations and International Programming at Mosaic “Even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart , with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning."  --Joel 2:12 Never grow comfortable with cruelty. Our personal sin is not God’s sole (soul) concern.   Often the prophets called God’s people to repentance for the systematic sins of their community living; inequality, injustice, and the lack of hospitality.   With dire warning, the prophet Joel calls the people to a fervent discontent with the way they were treating each other and the stranger. Passionately oppose every bit of inhumanity you recognize. Joel implores us, “Blow the trumpet…sound the alarm.”   God cares how we attend the needs of one another. Work for justice and be outraged when it is denied . To have holy discontent is to see harm and to respond with hope.   Holy discontent awakens us to be fully alert to the struggles around