Saturday, June 23, 2012

Reset the ripples

*Take a deep breath. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a quiet pond, complete with singing frogs, tall reeds and plenty stones for skipping. 

Pick up two stones. Think about two things you would pray for: One for the world and you personally. 

Toss your stones to skip across the water and watch the ripples as a result of their impact. As the ripples grow, pray for God to work in the world and your life - and help you to act on making ripples for good.*


All week I've been thinking about this scripture text in order to prepare for a children's message this Sunday. I've considered talking things that "swamp" our lives with unnecessary fear, but I keep coming back to ripples. In this text, the disciples are afraid (when aren't they), Jesus is tired from teaching and healing people and is out cold sleeping when a storm kicks up. In their panic, the disciples wake Jesus up, he gets up and tells the storm to stop and the water is calm. In some translations, the water is said to be "in a dead calm". This is where I was reminded of the glass like surface of a quiet pond. Can you hear the frogs singing too?

When I reread this lesson, and took note of Jesus actions, I began to see his efforts like pushing a reset button. Without Jesus entering into the storms of life, resetting our fearful state and showing us the calm - how else would we attempt to make some good ripples out of our lives. Jesus has done the big work - but now it's our turn (once the reset button has been pushed) to made some ripples. What kind of ripples will you make?

Painting by T.L. Eastman "Ripples" - 
go to: to visit online gallery.

Ideas to ponder -
What are some big storms in your life?
How is/has Jesus worked to calm them?
Now that the water is calm, what fears are you free of?
What are the two prayers you would pray?
One for the world...
One for your own life...

What kind of ripples do you think your prayers will make?

Jesus Calms the Storm

Mark 4:35-41
 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wear today well

You take your time like choosing a fine wine.
What color?
What flavor?
What year?

You draw near even in the face of fear.
What courage.
What gusto.
What gear.

You give more than I can ignore.
What grace.
What wisdom.
What light.

Harvest has come and I'm left undone in fields weary from worry and strife.
The storehouse is closed, bails loaded - brows bowed.
The work of the day is worn like old clothes.

Bring rest in the day and refreshment along the way.
Dig a soul well deep in ebb or flow.

Create something sweet from each challenge we meet.
Store it in the heart cellar for a cold rainy day -
like today.

Copyright T.L. Eastman June 2012

Image by donnobru on deviant art - visit donnobru's site by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Reflections on Luke 5

Fish in the light of day,
fish with your whole heart.
Fish for people today -
cast off, make a start.

Be bold, stand strong
through the night till morning's dawn.

Be brave, stand true
till beautiful feet touch morning's dew.

Just when you think it's over,
just when you think it's done
the journeys' just beginning -
the struggle Jesus has won.

Live love out in the light of day.
Life love even in the dark.
Give love to the full - never sparing a part.

Be willing, be open to the road ahead.
Be real, be broken - lean on me each step.

Just when your dream has ended.
Just when it fades away.
The sun had just risen -
it's the beginning of a new day.

Copyright T.L. Eastman June 2012

Luke 5: 5-11
Simon answered, “Master,(E) we’ve worked hard all night
and haven’t caught anything.(F)But because you say so,
I will let down the nets.”
When they had done so, they caught such a large
number of fish that their nets began to break.(G)

So they signaled their partners in the other boat
to come and help them, and they came and filled
both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees
and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
 For he and all his companions were astonished
at the catch of fish they had taken,
 10 and so were
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid;(I) from
now on you will fish for people.”
 11 So they pulled
their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.(J)