Sunday, December 14, 2014

He Loves Me!

Being Caretaker of a small village church in Ghana means that I don't often attend a worship service "just being part of the congregation." I am always busy...making sure things get done (which, they usually have been done.) I preach. Sometimes, on a Sunday morning, I will also teach Sunday School. Then, there are all of those books in which we keep church records...attendance by age and sex, collection, special collection...are people interested in a Baptism class? A visitor two might happen before I ride my motorcycle home. Even when the pastor comes to preach and to give communion, it is a busy day for me. So, even though I am able to see God work in many ways before, during, and after the service, I don't often personally feel the renewal of my spirit after a time of morning worship in Kalsagri. It is hard work! I guess that is where personal devotion time steps in to meet that need.
Anyway, while in the States this fall, I have been attending worship at a variety of Methodist churches. And, what I discovered is something I already knew. HE LOVES ME. I could put the "He" in a bold font, because the Lord God almighty, maker of the universe loves me. Or, I could put the "loves" in a bold font because that one supreme God, sent His Son to earth to live as a human being and teach me the Father's love...and to die an ugly death on the cross so that I could be in Heaven with Him, face to face one day. Or I could put "me" in a bold print because, even if I were the only person on earth, He would still do everything possible, everything needed so that one day I could be rejoicing in His kingdom.
The first four Sundays I was in Pennsylvania, I went to four different United Methodist churches. Each one of them celebrated the Lord's Supper on the Sunday I was there. It was almost too good to be "just be part of the congregation," to worship, pray, listen to the message, and then to receive communion and meditate on the love of God. Ahhh! Balm for the soul.
Last Sunday, I attended Glenwood UMC. It was a communion Sunday. I went up front with everyone else to receive the elements...and as I ate the bread and drank the fruit of the vine, tears formed in my eyes. HE LOVES ME!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Celebrating the Little Things

Ever since my knee replacement surgery, I have been in a kind of a “funk.” Everyone says I am doing FINE. Things are going great. Healing is happening. But, I don’t see it that way. My knee is still tight because of the swelling. There are places on my knee that I have no feeling. It is hard to get comfortable at night, so I am not sleeping well. Sometimes, I have to think about how I am walking. I definitely have to remind myself how to go up and down steps. Getting in and out of cars can be a challenge, especially if the car is a small one. And I wonder…will this ever end? You see, I tend to look at what I can't do instead of what I can do.
So, this week, I FINALLY decided to celebrate the little things. What kind of things? Well, I can drive now. I was able to drive to do my errands. (Something to celebrate!) Two weeks ago, at church, I was able to go down the steps, the proper way, holding onto one handrail! A first! (Something to celebrate!)  I haven’t been able to wear jeans because my knee was too swollen.  They were too tight at the knee. A week ago, I could wear a pair of jeans for a whole day! (Something to celebrate!) Sunday, I wore “normal” shoes to church, not the sneakers that I have been wearing because I could make them loose to accommodate a swollen foot. (Something to celebrate!) The degree of bend of the knee is very important. The goal is to bend the knee at 110 degrees or more. It is a painful part of recovery! Well, this week, I was sitting in a recliner, and I was able to pull BOTH knees up and bend then like a capital “A.” I don’t know the degree of the bend, but, that was the first time I was able do that. (Something to celebrate.) Today, I went down the cellar stairs using only one handrail. Another first. (Something to celebrate!)
So, even though I seem to look at the negative side of things connected with my knee replacement, I am learning to appreciate and be grateful for the small victories. It will be several months before all is healed properly. So, I need to remind myself that God is faithful. He brought me this far and will continue to work in my life, teaching me to trust Him.