October 18

“You must continue with the things you have learned and found convincing.  You know who taught you since childhood…” (II Timothy 3:14).  Recently my wife and I went to the movie “Abominable.”  It’s basically a kids movie; but it has fabulous art, my favorite song, and a story line that kept me thinking, “I can’t wait to watch this with my granddaughter.”  If the movie is out in time on DVD she’ll be getting it for Christmas–because it’s one of those movies with a  girl as the main hero.  The girl in the movie isn’t a princess hero.  She is a mix of compassion and strength, grieving a loss but persevering with hope.  She is the Jesus figure others don’t quite understand, but often turn to when they are down.  She is the one the others follow and discover gifts and strengths within themselves that they didn’t know they had.  Every chance I get I wish to present my granddaughter with images of girls and women who are strong and heroic.  It’s a grandparent goal.  For her birthday we’ll be giving her the “Moana” DVD–another story where the hero is a girl.  Both “Abominable” and “Moana” are stories where it will be easy for us as Grandparents to say to our grand daughter, “and that’s kind of how God watches over us through the good times and the bad–always with us in Spirit.”

When I read the line from Timothy, “you know you taught you since childhood…,” I am reminded of those who blessed my life with uplifting stories and faith-sharing when I was a child.  What we learn in our youngest years can be so powerful.  I want to pass on the most positive stuff in life to my grand kids–the stories that uplift, the words that encourage, Bible-stories that remind us of a loving God who is our strength, healing and courage.  As II Timothy says, “We must continue with these things” for the sake of others and for the sake of our own souls.  The world is not always uplifting.  The messages adults, little girls and little boys receive about who they are are not always helpful and often hurtful.  So, we of faith are called to continuing sharing the hope, beauty and whispers of God at work in life every day.

     What stories (from the Bible or from life) encourage you?  Have you shared that story with someone else in an effort to bless that person?  May God keep us all faithful in lifting up the best, pointing out the best, and encouraging one another on the journey called life.  Sunday’s message with me “Stay the Course” and reflect more on keeping the faith and passing on the faith especially amidst life’s challenges.
Pastor Roger