Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:1-9

Persistence, when we don’t give up, we are being transformed in the struggle that can lead to heavenly heights.

One day I decided to quit…. I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality…
I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God. 
“God”, I said. “Can you give me one good reason not to quit?” 
His answer surprised me… “Look around”, He said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo?” “Yes”, I replied. “When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. 
The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. 
Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. 
In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. 
And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.” 
He said. “In the third year, there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. 
But I would not quit. In the fourth year, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would not quit.” He said. “Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant. 
But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 Feet tall. 
It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive (From: Joke Buddha).

Never give up and be transformed in the process!

Blessings, Pastor Michael


The Joy of Jesus

The joy that Jesus offers his disciples is his own joy, which flows from his intimate communion with the One who sent him. It is a joy that does not separate happy days from sad days, successful moments from moments of failure, experiences of honor from experiences of dishonor, passion from resurrection.

This joy is a divine gift that does not leave us during times of illness, poverty, oppression or persecution. It is present even when the world laughs or tortures, robs or maims, fights or kills. It is truly ecstatic, always moving us away from the house of fear into the house of love, and always proclaiming that death no longer has the final say, though its noise remains loud and its devastation visible. The joy of Jesus lifts up life to be celebrated. —Henri J.M. Nouwen, Lifesigns

Superimposed Love

Maybe you’ve heard how salvation is like a total solar eclipse: God doesn’t see our sins because Jesus’ holiness covers them completely. Or maybe you’ve heard how trials can cause an “eclipse of faith.”

At, Pastor Gary Wilkerson explains that in Greek, eclipse means “I am absent” or “I cease to exist,” because people once thought the gods temporarily extinguished the sun. “For Christians, a ‘spiritual eclipse’ is a dark hour when God seems to be absent from our lives,” Wilkerson writes.

Wilkerson points to Peter being sifted like wheat, Elijah and Jeremiah facing extreme discouragement, and David collapsing morally. Amid Satan’s attacks, “God seems completely absent,” writes the pastor. “In that dark moment of eclipse, the devil has created such chaos we can’t possibly see a way out.” During times of testing, Christians must cry out to God and trust his faithfulness.

Completing the eclipse analogy, Wilkerson shares Titus 3:4, the “love of God our Savior appeared” (NIV). The Greek meaning of appeared here is superimposed, he writes. God looks on our fraught-filled times of eclipse and “superimposes his divine love over us.”

Following the ‘Perfect Fool’

Theologian Frederick Buechner, who died at age 96 in 2022, explored how the “foolishness of God” (see 1 Corinthians 1:25) compares to human wisdom. He pondered the safety stickers that warn, “The life you save may be your own.”

“That is the wisdom of [humans] in a nutshell,” wrote Buechner. “What God says, on the other hand, is ‘The life you save is the life you lose.’ In other words, the life you clutch, hoard, guard and play safe with is in the end a life worth little to anybody, including yourself, and only a life given away for love’s sake is a life worth living.”

Buechner continued, “To bring his point home, God shows us a man who gave his life away to the extent of dying a national disgrace without a penny in the bank or a friend to his name. In terms of [human] wisdom, he was a Perfect Fool, and anybody who thinks [they] can follow him without [being] something like the same kind of a fool … is laboring under not a cross but a delusion.”

A Wakeup Call

God — let me be aware.
Let me not stumble blindly down the ways,
Just getting somehow safely through the days,
Not even groping for another hand,
Not even wondering why it all was planned,
Eyes to the ground unseeking for the light,
Soul never aching for a wild-winged flight,
Please, keep me eager just to do my share.
God — let me be aware.

God — let me be aware.
Stab my soul fiercely with others’ pain,
Let me walk seeing horror and stain.
Let my hands, groping, find other hands.
Give me the heart that divines, understands.
Give me the courage, wounded, to fight.
Flood me with knowledge, drench me in light.
Please — keep me eager just to do my share.
God — let me be aware.  Miriam Teichner

Springtime, new life, resurrection, hope. God, help me hold onto an Easter focus all season long.

April Mission of the Month:  Grafton Township Food Pantry