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Choices

Each day we all have choices.

Some of us have more choice than others because of the randomness of birth and the systems that govern our society. What will we do with our choices?  Are your emotions driving or informing your choices?  Do you need more of Mr. Spock’s logic to help you balance your choices?

Yoda tells the wisdom of the cosmos: “Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering.”

We’ve seen this happen.

We are seeing this happen.

It may have happened to you.

Which emotion is ordering your life right now and how does that effect how you interact with your neighbors?

Which emotion is ordering your life right now and how does that effect how you interact with the systems that govern our society?

Which emotion is ordering your life right now and how does that effect your discipleship following Jesus?  That pesky peasant teacher from Galilee reminds us to love God and our neighbor as ourselves.

That’s always prophetic.

—-
Note
1) If you have not seen the movie, Inside Out (2015), I recommend it.  It is family friendly for grades 6 and older which would provide for some discussion about feelings and memory.
2) I suggest Seth Godin’s blog on “Choices” for another perspective.

2020-07-01T16:08:57-05:00Jul 1, 2020|Michael Davison Blog|Comments Off on Choices

Clean Up to Do

“ashes and diamonds
foe and friend
we were all equal in the end.”
(Pink Floyd, The Final Cut, “Two Suns in the Sunset.” 1983.)

While it is true that we all pass from this life into the next equally silent and we come into this life equally crying, that is where the idealized equality of persons created in God’s image begins and ends.  Try as we do to distract ourselves from this truth, we are reminded of it in plain sight, again, and again.  No matter how much TV we binge, Youtube you surf, video games played, or prayers you offer in confession or intercession, this will not just go away nor be solved with ease.  People of goodwill of all races and economic backgrounds will have to decide to change the systems that enable racism and other “isms” that create injustice.  And even then, better as it will become there will still be work to do.  Like the Dragon capsule docking with the International Space Station on Saturday, our personal lives and communal lives are a constant work of repositioning, sometimes in large bursts of energy and sometimes small bursts, to align the trajectory of your life with the source of your being. Tethered to that source, even when you don’t know you are being carried, can help when you are adrift in life.  At some point, we all become adrift during the journey of life and journey in faith.  What’s your source?

The ideals, core values, and principles of our faith statements and our Nation are just that: ideals, values, and principles.  The systems built from those, like some infrastructure around the Nation and the globe, are failing the rainbow of humanity who are all precious in God’s sight. It is not a new problem.  It is exasperated by the speed of information and images.  The open firehose of images and information oxidizes our ability to filter information from entertainment or protest from people who just like to cause problems and watch the world burn.

A couple of years ago we began, ever so gently, intentionally thinking about and talking about reconciliation between human beings at summer camp.  Junior High and High School youth alongside adult volunteers struggled and I know some did not return to camp because it was perceived as becoming political.  I understand.  My toes and my feelings were hurt a bit too, but that is where Jesus meets us.  The First Testament prophets told hard truths about their context.  The parables that Jesus told are not warm fuzzies though we’ve worked to make them more appetizing.  Mirrors show us who we are at any given moment.  They reflect you to you, and the US to us, more clearly than a stylized Instagram or Snapchat selfie.  “It is unimaginably hard to do this–to live consciously, adultly, day in and day out.”(1)

Near the end of the film, “Bruce Almighty,” the city of Buffalo is rioting as Bruce has filled in for God.  Bruce and God are mopping a floor.  As they finish, God remarks, “It’s a wonderful thing.  No matter how filthy something gets you can always clean it right up.”  We’ve got some clean up to do and two lyrics point a direction. “Let it begin with me.”(2)  In our private and public work, “we shall overcome someday.”(3)

Stay centered.

——-

Notes

1) David Foster Wallace, This is Water: Some Thoughts Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life. Little, Brown and Company (New York) 2009.
2) Jill Jackson and Sy Miller, “Let There Be Peace On Earth.” 1955.
3) Based on a song structure of “I Will Overcome” by Charles Albert Tindley and first published in 1900. “We Shall Overcome” published in an edition of the People’s Songs Bulletin 1947, and said to have been sung by tobacco workers led by Lucille Simmons during a 1945 cigar workers strike in Charleston, South Carolina. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Shall_Overcome).

2020-06-01T14:33:43-05:00Jun 1, 2020|Michael Davison Blog|Comments Off on Clean Up to Do

A Letter to Graduates

“It is unimaginably hard to do this—to live consciously, adultly, day in and day out.”(1)

This is the time of: end of semester tests, parties, invitations, measurements, proms, formals, special recognitions, special meals, gifts, cards, crowded schedules, and advice.  Little feels “normal.” The meaning of the rituals that mark the passage from one phase of life to another remains important.  Drilling down on that core meaning is not as easy as we think, but we don’t have to make it harder than it already is for you.  Graduates, yours is an experience no one wants for you; and we don’t want for us.  Forgive me if I minimize your reality trying to protect you from the pain or make myself feel better because you are missing the rituals around graduation.

Many people relive their memories, embellished as happens through years of living, as we celebrate your achievement. Forgive me when my nostalgia overshadows your reality.

Some people you know, maybe one particular person, has invested in you and repaid a debt from long ago.  Others are following an example set by someone who invested in us at your age.  I’m trusting you to give me, and the rest of us, a cue about the best way to honor your experience and achievement without the usual trappings of the graduation ritual.  What would be meaningful to you?  I’ve noticed you helping adults deal with our grief about your situation through your occasional Facebook post and Instagram smile.  “Ah, it’s ok.  I understand why it has to be this way.  Sure, it’s disappointing, but I’m ok with it.”  Graduates, you are setting an example for those older than you and younger than you.

Thank you for helping the world adjust to technology that connects.  It has been part of your entire life.  Your ability to form relationships, meaningful connections to others, using texting, snapping, and other portals is making this time more accessible for you.  And, it is helping older adults discover a whole new world.  Given all the required screen time that you have now, I don’t know if those apps are still an experience of subversive independence, but like generations before, you found a way to have your own space.

As you move through adult life, there will be many things you want to believe, or need to believe, to navigate this territory without a GPS enhanced map.  The people that stood alongside you to this point are invested in the adult you will become, but the hard work is yours to do.  To borrow from Yoda, “Remember what you have learned. Save you it can.”  What has always been true, but feels more so now, is that you need a good, working moral compass for life.  Missteps, mishaps, and mistakes will be made. Failure is one of the best teachers.  During the journey through life you will need to recalibrate your moral compass. Sometimes more often than you think.  Be sure the tools you use are made for your moral compass and not something else.  Stay in touch with your experience of faith and religious beliefs.  Proclaiming faith in Jesus is easy.  Practicing Jesus’ way can lead to Truth about living, and give meaning to your life.  But, Jesus’ way will set you against or apart from culture, friends, and family during life.  So, what would Jesus do?

Finally, a pithy quote from a one of my favorite movies.  If nothing else, remember these words, edited for inclusivity, from Hub McCann.

“Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things that a person needs to believe in the most: that people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; that love, true love, never dies… No matter if they’re true or not, a person should believe in those things because those are the things worth believing in.”(2)

The world is waiting to see what you do.  Make us proud (no pressure).

Stay centered.

—–
Notes
1. David Foster Wallace, This is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life. Little, Brown and Company (New York) 2009.

2. Tim McCanlies, “Secondhand Lions.” New Line Cinema 2003.

2020-05-03T22:21:11-05:00May 3, 2020|Michael Davison Blog|Comments Off on A Letter to Graduates

On the Road with Jesus: Holy Week

Is everything going to be ok?

That depends.

If we mean, “Is everything going to be the way it was and the way I expected it to be?” then the answer is no. The answer to that question is always no, it always has been.

If we mean, “Is everything going to be the way it is going to be?” then the answer is yes. Of course. If we define whatever happens as okay, then everything will be.

Given that everything is going to be the way it’s going to be, we’re left with an actually useful and productive question instead: “What are you going to do about it?”
(Seth Godin, March 26, 2020)


“This is not how we thought it would be.”  Sometimes I wonder if this is what the disciples thought when Jesus told them it was time to go to Jerusalem, and that it could be his last trip.  I wonder if one or more of them thought, “this is not the way I thought it would be” when they shared a meal in what tradition calls an upper room and the Last Supper.

We find ourselves in a similar place this year.  This is not how we thought spring break, Holy week, Easter, or senior year would be.  And yet, here we are, sheltered-in-place.  What are you noticing?  As I listen I’ve heard: lament, complaint, it’s unfair, gratitude, fear, more fear, anxiety, connection, community, and courage.  What have you heard?

The news notes the work of nurses, doctors, and first responders.  I hear youth ministers talk of Zoom youth group, Instagram youth group, and ministers learning skills and being creative.  I hear the importance of intentional Christian community, but it is not going to be like it was before.  What to do?

During this time of shelter-in-place, I finally saw “Frozen II”.  It’s a coming of age film as we learn the backstory of Anna, Elsa, and the kingdom of Arendelle.  A bit of the dialogue and one of the songs fits our time.  “The Next Right Thing.” Actually, it fits every day, and is a good foundation for all the days ahead.  But, knowing the next right thing to do can be difficult.  There is a lot of noise and information fighting for your attention.  What will you give your attention or grant access to your thinking, feeling, self?  I think that is what Lent is supposed to be about.  Self reflection and evaluation of what you’ve granted your attention, or given over your attention to each day. Your attention is valuable.  Just look at all the ads: Facebook, TV, Youtube, Instagram, Radio, Print, or New coverage that you wade through each day.

Maybe that is the what the parables of Jesus are doing. Altering your attention.  Good stories, art, and music can do that.  Christian tradition has focused a salvation story on Easter, and backed into Good Friday, Maundy Thursday, Holy week, and Christmas. There is something about Jesus of Nazareth and the good news of God that Jesus proclaimed that always draws attention.  Is it other before self, community, the character of God, or something else?

Jesus’ story is about to come to an end, but the way he lived and the good news of God that Jesus proclaimed is as relevant today as it was in his time.  If you are willing to give it your attention, Jesus’ way and that good news begins anew in you each day.

Do the right thing.  If that’s too big, just do the next right thing.

Rev Michael Davison, Associate Regional Minister

2020-04-06T14:28:29-05:00Apr 6, 2020|Michael Davison Blog|Comments Off on On the Road with Jesus: Holy Week

On the Road with Jesus: Week 5

The Budding Fig Tree

Where is this parable? Matthew 24:32-35

Like a lot of people, I am now working from home. After 7 hours sitting in front of my computer working on spreadsheets, emails, documents, etc., I decided to take a break. I headed outside to my backyard and take a seat upon a rock ledge that overlooks a pond that sits behind our house. Looking at the reflection on the pond I can see blue skies spotted with white and gray clouds,  I can see trees opening their purple and white blossoms and trees with green leaves as they come out of their winter sleep and bring us into Spring. I see the ripples in the water as a frog jumps in or where fish and turtles come back up to find a snack or get fresh air.

Closing my eyes and breathing in fresh air, I focus on sounds. I hear all sorts of birds singing, a dog in the distance barking, kids playing somewhere close by and the sound of cars traveling a nearby road. As I sit here, I am in awe of what all God has created. The seasons, the animals, the water, earth and sky.  I am also in awe of how we are created.  Our ability to see, to hear, to smell, to touch, and to love.  Each day is a new day to stop and just see what God has created and to take it in.

As I sit here at my computer, I know that many are tired of cooking, entertaining small kids, and trying to figure out this new virtual way of life. But stop and think for minute, has it made you slow down, made you take a walk around the block to get fresh air, has it made you play games and share laughter with your family, has it instilled a new meaning of Family Dinner at the Table? This virus will eventually let up and things will go back to normal, but will it be a new normal? What lessons will we learn from this?

Matthew 24:32-35 tells us to learn a lesson from the fig tree, when it leaves come out, summer is near. As we approach Holy Week, we know what is near!  But do we focus on the journey to the cross and stop there, do we focus on the crucifixion and stop there, or do we keep journeying with our eyes on the prize – the Risen King.

Take a moment this week and just sit, be still, close your eyes and listen for God in the sounds around you.  Make an extra effort to find the good in the small things and learn more about your hearts yearnings.

Prayers of health and peace.

Toni Palmer, Youth Leader
Forest Park Christian Church, Tulsa

2020-04-01T15:50:50-05:00Apr 1, 2020|Michael Davison Blog|Comments Off on On the Road with Jesus: Week 5

On the Road with Jesus: Week 4

BE A GOOD SAMARITAN

Where is this parable? Luke 10:25-37

Today while thinking about what Parable I wanted to write about, my thoughts turn to the Parable of the Good Samaritan.  At this very moment, the world is struggling to get a handle on the COVID-19 virus. Store shelves are empty of the daily essentials that we are accustomed too being able to pick up at our leisure, I’ve heard stories of people walking by others carts and stealing products as you turn away to look for something on the shelves. The ability to go to church on Sundays to see our extended families, have communion, or hold our normal youth meetings is even on hold.  We’ve been asked to practice social distancing, work from home, or to shelter in place to stop the spread of this virus.  School age kids are being affected with the cancellation of school, sporting events, proms, and possibly graduations.  It is a stressful time for all of us.

So, how, at this moment, can we practice being Good Samaritans? It may be challenging, but it’s still doable, it just may look a little different right now.

The first place to start is with prayer.  We can practice being good Samaritans by praying for everyone, giving thanks for first responders, doctors, nurses, and those that have no option but to continue to go to work because the public depends on them.  By praying for the grocery workers that hear the stress from customers as food shelves empty faster than they can stock them.  By praying for the delivery workers that are transporting various goods to stores or for those that are new delivery drivers just trying to make a living delivering meals while our restaurants are all closed.  Pray for their strength and health and mental well-being.  Pray for the healing of this great planet and everyone in it. Pray for calm in this chaos.

Then once you have finished praying, challenge yourself to reach out to others.  Get your phone out and send a text or call a few of your friends and simply ask them how they are doing and then listening to their response.  Check on the elderly and the youth that you know.  Find creative ways to connect with groups you normally see weekly through group chats, video conferencing, or a conference call.

Be the Good Samaritan in the scripture, stop and take a moment to take care of each other, to just check in, be a listener, offer encouragement and mostly a smile.  Together, we can get through this and look forward to meeting at the Cross come Easter Morning, even if we must do it virtually!

Toni Palmer, Youth Leader
Forest Park Christian Church, Tulsa

2020-03-24T07:15:16-05:00Mar 24, 2020|Michael Davison Blog|Comments Off on On the Road with Jesus: Week 4

On the Road with Jesus: Week 3

Persistence Pays?

Where is the parable? Luke 11.5-8

My husband and I don’t have children, but we do have cats.  Over our 15 years of marriage we have had seven cats total.  Although each of them had their own distinct personality, they all had one thing in common:  they knew how to wake us up in the morning.  No matter what their past life was like, they all knew that purring very loudly and/or licking our faces would get us out of bed.  And they were persistent…and I can’t confirm it, but I would swear that sometimes they would organize a cat tag-team so that they could rest up between rounds of “wake the human.”  And we love these creatures.  We really do.  They bring us joy and comfort.  They entertain us. They help us practice patience.  They keep us warm in the winter.  They are sweet when they want to be!  We don’t get up because we love them—this all usually happens at 4 a.m., just a few hours before our alarm was set to go off.  We get up because they are persistent and we JUST WANT THEM TO STOP!  We are human and they are animals.  We love one another, but none of us are God.  God loves us in ways that we can’t imagine.  Take the way you love your children, your pets, your family, and multiply that by infinity +1.  That is the measure of God’s love for us.  And though the friend in this parable gives just so the person will go away, Jesus wants us to know that God will go even further—attending to humanity and providing out of love.  If flawed and imperfect humans will give to one another, what more will God provide?  How can we show others this generous God this Lent?

Rev. Shannon Cook
First Christian Church Norman


Covid-19: School’s Out

As families and congregations consider how they will interact with people in the coming weeks, click here for a good resource from our denomination’s Ministries Across Generations which is based out of Disciples Home Mission in Indianapolis.  These are wonderful opportunities to connect with Disciples across the country dealing with the same issues that we are dealing with in Oklahoma.  How will we be church during this time and how will help our neighbors through this uncertain time?

Rev. Michael Davison
Christian Church in Oklahoma


Well, isn’t that special!?!

“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
(Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011)

I am a child of the eighties.  I grew up in an era of rampant capitalism. Ronald Reagan and George H W Bush were the presidents.  It seemed that the world was after one thing, money. Everytime you turned on the news, tv shows, or movies it was about doing what was the best for you.  The term Yuppie was coined for young urban professionals. Business jobs were the best jobs to have, according to the world. The Wall Street Journal reported the recession ended in 1982 and everything was going to be great.  One of the most popular sitcoms was “Family Ties” which starred Michael J. Fox as Alex P. Keaton. He played a high school student that was going to be a businessman, and everything he did was to reach that goal. Then there was “Saturday Night Live” and Dana Carvey’s character “The Church Lady”.

Once a week she came into our homes, with her smugness, high pitched voice, and her catch phrase “Well, isn’t that special”, not to mention her dancing, but that is a devotion for another time.  At the time I just took it as a funny bit. Sometime in the last few months when I couldn’t sleep I went back and watched those skits over again on YouTube. Being older, I was able to realize the actual satire that was underneath the surface.  When I read this parable I hear the Church Lady (in the form of the landowner) when the first workers complain about receiving the same pay as the last workers. The workers may not have thought it was fair, but the landowner had every right to be equitable to his workers, and thank the Most High he did.  Don’t get me wrong, we need to work, if we can, to live, but this is not what this story is about. It is about generosity and grace.

The generous gift of grace that was given to us upon the cross, is the same generosity that happened in this story.  The same grace is afforded to us, as was that person on the cross next to Jesus. That grace that is given is a wonderful form of unconditional love that the Holy One has for us and everything in creation.  On our walk to Golgotha with our Christ let us remember that catch phrase and turn it from satire to a beautiful new meaning. “Well, isn’t that special. Yes, Yes! It is!”

Travis Carlson
First Christian Church Chickasha

2020-03-16T10:34:39-05:00Mar 16, 2020|Michael Davison Blog|Comments Off on On the Road with Jesus: Week 3

On the Road with Jesus: Week 2

We Are Family

Where is this parable? Luke 15.11-32

The parable of the prodigal son is a familiar one to most of us.  A father has two sons.  One requests his inheritance early, squanders it, and returns home begging to be welcomed back.  He is welcomed back, and he is received with a party!  The other son, who stayed home, worked tirelessly for his father, takes issue with the way his brother was celebrated upon his return—after living wildly and dangerously, using up all of his inheritance.  The father responds by saying that they had to rejoice upon the brother’s return, for he was lost and has been found.  How many of us have compared ourselves to the two brothers in this story?  It seems easy to try to fit ourselves into the category of “good child” or “wild child.” But what about the father?  How many times have we seen ourselves in the role of the father, receiving a lost one with open arms?  For me, forgiveness is difficult.  For me, being merciful to those who have treated me with disrespect or outright cruelty is difficult.  The father, though, paints a different picture of how things might be in these situations.  The father shows us how God sees humanity.  God sees claims us as beloved even when we have gone astray.  God celebrates when we return to the holy and sacred, never holding our transgressions against us.  How might we reflect this grace and mercy in our own lives?  How might we grow to understand the difficult routes some lives have taken and be gracious when the “lost” return home, asking for forgiveness?  We are not God, that’s for sure.  But we do have opportunity after opportunity to, with our words and actions, point toward a loving and compassionate God that sees humanity, God’s children, all people, as worthy, valuable, and beloved.

Rev. Shannon Cook, Minister of Faith Development
First Christian Church Norman


Found

Where is this parable? Luke 15:8-10

The Parable of the Lost Coin is a story about a woman who has lost one of her ten coins. Rather than sulk about it or just be content with the fact that she has lost it, she realizes that she must do something in order to locate it. She began to clean her home, looking for the coin as she went as the cleansing made it easier for her to access certain places. When she finally found it she rejoiced, celebrating by letting each of her friends and family know of her achievement. This can be compared to the attitude God shows towards sinners. When any of His children repents to Him and asks forgiveness for their sins, he rejoices. He is delighted at our initiative to restore our own faith through Him, and grows a love for us bigger than He had before.

This story teaches followers of Christ as well as non-believers that no matter what you have done or how long ago, it is better to take the time to admit the wrongs that have been committed than ignore them and hope for the best. The hardest part of this for me personally, is admitting that I am wrong in the first place. I always hold myself to such a high standard and sometimes even have a mindset that I haven’t done anything wrong at all, which makes it hard for me to accept that I do indeed need to take a step back sometimes and think about the affects my actions caused. I am in no way perfect and God knows that, but I also know that I am still just as loved as before I made my mistake. Knowing His unconditional love exists and that He rejoices at the fact that I do ask forgiveness makes it so much easier to repent, and it truly makes it so much easier to follow Jesus knowing I will not be cast down.

Trinity Towel, Central Christian Church Fairview


Yeast or TikTok

Where is this parable? Matthew 13:33

So, this is the shortest parable that is contributed to Jesus. Why is it so short?  What does it mean?  These are the questions that come to my mind.  So let us take them one by one.  Let us look deeper into this short story. 

Why is it so short?  We live in a time of convenience and immediateness.  When driving directions appear on our phones in a matter of seconds.  Whole meals can be prepared in under five minutes.  We can see the news happening around the world as it takes place.  We can travel from Dallas to Washington DC in the time it takes to bake a loaf of bread.  We live in an age of wonder.

So, a parable this short should be perfect for us.  I believe that he was trying to get a point across in a short amount of time, so he chose something that everybody knew and understood.  Simple really: flour, yeast, water and you get bread.  So easy fifth graders could understand, right?  Nope, I asked one of my fifth grade classes what yeast and leavening was and only one person was able to tell me, but I asked them how to post on TikTok and everybody was able to answer in under thirty seconds.

Jesus chose, like every good teacher, to meet the people where they were with the knowledge they had.  When we explain this story to the people of today, we need to do the same.  How we do that is mixed up in the situation that we find those people.  In other words we are the yeast, the knowledge that has been passed on to us.  We must be that leavening that is mixed into that three-fourths of flour and do our part of spreading these teachings to the rest of God’s children.

On your journey to the cross in this time of Lent, please take the time and meet people where and when they are.  Tell your story and when we (collectively) take the time and build that relationship that is the meaning of this parable.

Travis Carlson, First Christian Church Chickasha

2020-03-09T12:50:30-05:00Mar 9, 2020|Michael Davison Blog, Youth|Comments Off on On the Road with Jesus: Week 2

One the Road with Jesus: Week 1

The Lamp Under a Bushel: Intentional Shining

Where is this parable? Matthew 5:14-15, Mark 4: 21-25, Luke 8:16-18

What does being “the light of the world” mean to you?

It’s pretty clear that everyone on this earth is unique. There are no two people who are exactly alike and that is exactly what God intended. God has given all of us a specific talent, a light. It could be a variety of different things. From being the best pianist in your town to just being able to talk to and relate to others. Whatever your light may be, it was given to all of us for the same reason. To be a beacon for God’s good word and compassion.

How can we be beacons for God’s love and teachings?

“Intentional shining” is a term I really like to use for these instances. To me, it means to use your God-given gift in a positive and purposeful way. We should all be using our own unique light to shine with the purpose of intentionally bringing light to God and His love. We are all lamps that have been lit by God himself for a purpose and none of us were lit for the intention of being hidden away. God knows His plan for us and it is good. Just as no one would light a lamp and then hide the lamp away, God doesn’t strike a fire of passion in our souls and then wish for us to conceal ourselves from the world.

I encourage everyone to think about their God-given “light” this Lent season and ponder in what ways you could use this gift for the betterment of your own life and the lives of others. For no one lights a lamp and then hides it under a bushel. They place it on a stand so that the whole house can bask in its glory and take advantage of its gifts.

Lillie Oberlender, First Christian Church Chickasha


Pearls of Glory

Where is this parable? Matthew 13:45-46

The Parable of the Pearl is by far one of the most widely known parables with an amazing message, but yet also one of the least followed in this day and age due to its difficulty. It teaches about the importance of giving up the materialistic items of our world with everlasting glory as a promise of return. In our modern-day society, this parable can be one of the most challenging aspects of the gospel. As a teenager living in the twenty-first century, I can say from my own experience that status, wealth, and brand can be one of the main contributing factors to acceptance. I would say that is the most challenging part for not only me, but as well as my close peers and acquaintances. It can be very hard growing up in a society that values what you own over what you have to say, especially when everything around us is spread so easily through social media. Everyone is so quick to judge which phone you have, the car you drive, and the clothes you wear. This parable, however, reminds us to remain humble and value our time with God over everything else. It reminds us to trust in God’s word and remember that it is he who is giving us eternal life, not our earthly objects. Despite the challenges of something that can sometimes seem so foreign and unknown, the Lord constantly reminds us of how much he loves us. He is willing to give us the greatest gift of all, even if we do sometimes find it hard to comply with his wishes.

Trinity Towel, Central Christian Church Fairview


Lent . . .

is one of my favorite seasons in the church year.  I know that sounds a little weird but I like the time it allows to refocus our thoughts and desires away from ourselves and back on our Creator.  Often people do that by giving up something.  Through this sacrifice, we come to understand a little better the sacrifice that Jesus gave up for us.  However, even though giving up chocolate or cokes can be difficult, I don’t think is even compares to giving up one’s life for someone else.  In recent years I have tried adding something to my life to be more like Jesus.  Maybe by walking a mile a day or writing a card of encouragement I can be more like God would like me.  This year however will be different.  I am going to spend time in quiet, in my prayer chair (which was my Grandma Atkinson’s) and spend time reconnect to God.  Hopefully I can quiet my soul and my heart can be more inline with God.

Take delight in the Lord,
and the Lord will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

This doesn’t mean that we will get everything we want, but as we spend time with God our desires will become more like His!  That is my prayer this Lent:  Lord, make my desires your desires! Amen

Pastor Tara Dew, Associate Minister First Christian Church El Reno
Mother of two amazing boys, wife of Curtis, friend to many, and follower of Jesus Christ.

2020-03-02T10:29:46-06:00Mar 2, 2020|Michael Davison Blog, Youth|1 Comment

2020-03-02T08:55:46-06:00Mar 2, 2020|Michael Davison Blog|Comments Off on