Sue’s Blog!

A Quiet Week


This should be a quiet week, to reflect?  to rest? to start the next project?  How about reflecting?  Sunday I had the honor to lead worship as Hampton United Methodist Church celebrated with their graduates.  Now, as I recall or rather cannot recall anything about my own graduation, I felt there was nothing life changing or profound that I was going to be able to share with the graduates and as I contemplated the direction to go in my message that morning, Jesus directed me.

We give the graduates a Parallel Bible with the New International Version (NIV) and The Message for study and comparison.  It was interesting to share with these former students and the congregation the differences in the two Bible versions.  The scripture for the day was Proverbs 22:1-12,  Verse 6 is one of my favorites as a youth, I know my parents were in constant need to keep me pointed in the right direction–and many times as an adult I have prayed I had kept my kids pointed in the right direction.  Read the difference between the NIV.  “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”  Now from The Message.  “Point your kids in the right direction–when they’re old they won’t be lost.”  I don’t know about you, but I get the same message from these two verses, yet would understand our young people if they have a preference for The Message over the NIV.  It was fun and interesting to compare a chapter in Psalms and to point out a couple of chapters in Proverbs the I had highlighted for them.  The reason for highlighting is to suggest when they turn to the Bible they can be reassured this is a starting place if they are unsure where to begin.

Yes, I write and color in my Bibles, as well as store little momentos.  I have part of a chapter in Isaiah highlighted with the 20th verse underlined.  In the margin I have written “INP – Bishop Trimble – 2008”.  This helps me remember, it was a time between my first and second trip to Nigeria.  I was at a meeting at the UM Conference Center in Des Moines for a meeing with the Bishops of both Iowa and Nigeria, and others.  As Bishop Trimble read the words of the 20th verse I was moved.  I highlight, underline and write in the margin to make it easier to find, but also that I don’t forget.  I also have my favorite verse underlined in 2nd Timothy:

For the Spirit God ave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.  NIV

God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.  The Message

For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.  New English Translation (NET)

I asked the graduates to keep their Bibles close, on a shelf in their bedroom/dorm room, in a drawer, wherever, and when that need to read comes, whether it be tomorrow, a week, a month, or 5 years from now, they can go to it, the Bible, and read God’s word and know God is with them always and forever.  Just as he is for you and for me.


Spring Has Sprung…

It has been a couple busy weeks here at Hampton United Methodist Church and will continue to be.  It feels like spring in the church as we see ministries growing and blossoming.  We had our confirmands joining the church and becoming active members of the Family of Christ.  Next week those graduating from high school will be honored with a breakfast and special recognition during worship.  The children of God, brothers and sisters of Christ, moving into new ‘positions’ in the church and community.  Oh, and looking forward to summer…

As the hands and feet of Jesus, who will we reach out and touch with the love of Jesus in the up coming months?  In June we will be preparing, preparing for the county fair, the community parade, Vacation Bible School, a mission trip to the Heifer International Farm in Perryville, AR in addition to the routine of adult Sunday School classes, Saturday and Sunday worship, committee meetings and the ministries that go on year round in the church.

The word routine is underlined.  Please, make this this summer anything but routine.  Have you ever thought about the word intentional?  We often have good intentions.  Yet, at the end of the day, somethings have been left undone, unaccomplished, ‘whatever’.  This summer tell yourself, it is not enough to have good intentions, rather be intentional as you consider where and how you will use your hands and feet for Jesus.  So please, do not make this summer routine, but be intentional about coming to the church, attending worship, assisting with VBS, serving on committees, reaching out to others, those inside and outside the church.

Do you ever do a happy dance in your head?

This was written over a week ago, sorry I didn’t get it published before now.  Enjoy the read:

If I had to pick a song to do my happy dance to, I would pick the first four lines of ‘I’m so Excited’ and let them loop around in my head.  To be honest, I have already done this.  I know how wonderful our Lord and Savior is and I want you to know it too.

I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it
I’m about to lose control and I think I like it
I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it
And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know… (Pointer Sisters)

Again, it has been another wonderful week here at HUMC.  Last Sunday I attended the baptism of Samuel Alexander Stewart Chambers at Beeds Lake.  Yes, it was a bit cold, but Samuel was determined to go through with the baptism.  His grandfather had been baptized by immersion at Beeds Lake and it meant a lot to Samuel to honor his grandfather in this way.  In God’s world nothing happens by coincidence, Samuel planned this with thoughts of tradition and history regarding his own family.

The confirmands were here on Wednesday to run through their parts for Sunday morning and have an understanding of the events of the service.  That is exciting.  It will be our responsibility to continue to engage these young people, making them feel at home as family of HUMC.

I also got a call this week from one of our members asking for an appointment.  (Wow, people actually do that?  Call for appointments?  Most treat my office like a drop in center.  Not complaining, either way works for me.)  Well, I met with young man Thursday afternoon.  He explained he had been very active in the church over the years, some more than others.  He had distanced himself for the last few years and was feeling the need to get involved again.  We talked about where he felt he was being called to serve and we came up with a plan.  I appreciate it when people are actively involved in the decision of how and where to serve.  So often folks sit around and wait to be asked, and often miss some wonderful opportunities if only they would step up and volunteer instead of waiting for the ‘invitation.’  Excuse me, I digress.

I do a happy dance in my head when I see God working through the folks here at HUMC.  I will end with the words of the second song I do a happy dance in my head to, because it describes who we are here at HUMC.  Here are the first four lines of ‘We are Family’ that I also happy dance to.

We are family
I got all my (brothers) sisters with me
We are family
Get up ev’rybody and sing
We are family
I got all my (brothers) sisters with me
We are family
Get up ev’rybody and sing  (Sledge Sisters)