Poem composed by Rhonda Logan Bailey - Heartland Church - Fort Wayne, IN
Photo credit: Rhonda Logan Bailey
Momentary brilliance where majesty
breaks through the narrows
cryptic and veiled, dances with shadows,
sifting textures and shifting patterns
to a soundtrack of the
the artist presence of God
as He creates a watercolor sky,
ever changing shades of blue,
in vivid value
and my awe
as I marvel at creation
Blades of grass
amongst the stones,
trees poised to touch the sky,
deer trodding along the path
in slow rhythm, fly.
No longer able to sit in silence,
I join in with these words of praise,
for such treasures
to his loving call,
with a soaring spirit,
offering my all.
Believing and receiving,
embracing and engaging,
bridging the gap
Heaven and Earth.
A CALL TO PRAYER FROM ARCHBISHOP FOLEY BEACH REGARDING THE SITUATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN, HAITI, AND THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Like many of you, I have been soberly watching the situation unfolding in Afghanistan. I know it has surfaced many emotions for people across the world, especially those who have personal connections with Afghanistan and the Afghan people. Whether justified or unjustified, war is always a tragic consequence of the Fall. While in war we can witness the greatness of human courage and selflessness, we also realize the depths of human sinfulness, as poet Robert Burns wrote, “man’s inhumanity to man.”
Please join me in prayer for the people of Afghanistan, those Afgans and Americans seeking safe passage out of the country, and those on the ground continuing to help. Pray for wisdom for leaders at all levels who face very difficult decisions. Pray for the ever-growing underground Church in Afghanistan. Even more, pray that all Afghanis, especially those in power, are met by the Holy Spirit and come to personally know the risen Christ. Please join me in prayer and fasting with special prayers in our worship services this coming Sunday.
I want to send a personal message to all the military, foreign service, civil service, contractors, missionaries, and aid workers, and their families, who have given so much of their blood, sweat, and tears in service to their nations and for the welfare of the Afghan people. Know that your efforts are not in vain. You selflessly answered the call to service, sacrificing many things, and risking your own life for others. Many of you bear the scars, visible and invisible. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) These words may resonate so deeply in your souls in a way that many will never understand because they are words that you have lived by. However, our Lord knows. He also bears the scars. It is through His indescribable love for us that He gave His own life on the cross. The things of this fallen world will disappoint us, but our God never will. For those who are feeling burdened, please don’t go through this alone. Please contact your clergy or one of the many veterans’ groups. We love you and we thank you for all the things you have done.
Additionally, please offer up prayers for all those affected by the recent earthquake and tropical storms, especially those in Haiti, as well as the ongoing COVID pandemic. The depth of suffering, loss, and heartache so many are experiencing at this time can only be met by the supernatural Presence of the Lord.
As the world seemingly darkens, remember that the Church is to be a light to the world, pointing to the One who is the Light of life. Let us remain united together in Christ, as citizens of heaven, opposing the powers of darkness, and remembering what Saint Paul wrote: “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
(2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
The Anglican Relief and Development Fund has begun raising funds for support for Afghan refugees and the people of Haiti. Donations for Afghan refugees can be made via this link: https://ardf.org/joseph-fund. Those who want to give towards Haiti should give via this link: https://ardf.org/relief-haiti-2021.
Your brother in Jesus Christ,
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America
View this letter on the ACNA website here.
Written and photo provided by Janet Mueller - Heartland Church - Fort Wayne, IN
Click! Nothing. Click-click!! Still nothing. Click, click, click!!!…Sigh. “Phooey, the batteries must be dead,” I mutter.
I own a number of battery-operated candles and lanterns...so many that I often put some of them in storage and like the irresponsible battery-owner that I am, forget to take the batteries out first. When I retrieve the lanterns to use and they don’t work, I investigate the battery compartment and often find that gritty, whitish-bluish substance caused by leaking potassium hydroxide all around the forgotten batteries. Corrosion!
I am resurrecting a set of Japanese lanterns that hasn’t seen the light of day since our son’s wedding six years prior. Every one of them has a set of beautifully corroded batteries inside. Rather than bidding the lanterns a sad goodbye, I grab a screwdriver and begin to force the encrusted batteries out and clean the compartments in hopes I can still use the lanterns. Vinegar, a small paintbrush, sandpaper, a rag, and rubbing alcohol are put to use to clean the terminals. Similar to a teenager popping pimples, I experience a sense of satisfaction as I watch the vinegar bubble up and dissolve the corrosion. Then I clean the connections with rubbing alcohol until they shine.
Now, the moment of truth. Will the new batteries work? Why, yes, they do! All my Japanese lanterns are saved…at least for another year!
As I was praying over the theme of connections for a recent writing retreat, the image of the corroded batteries in my lanterns came to mind. “Ugh…corrosion of connections has taken place during COVID season,” I sigh. We have been “stored away” from others and “put on the shelf,” and now that we are brought out again from isolation, we find that some of our connectors just aren’t working. And what’s all that crud around them?
Connection to God has been corroded in some cases. Connections with others as well. Just as corrosion is the gradual destruction of materials by a chemical reaction with their environment, so spiritual corrosion occurs gradually because of living in the environment of a fallen world… with fallen people.
How can we heal this corrosive damage and have a bright, healthy connection with God and others again? Just like my lanterns, we don’t need to throw out our sources of light. They just need cleaning up and fresh “batteries” put in.
We were made for connection. That’s for sure. We were made to shine. We know that, too. As we open our heart compartments, we know our Father wants to clean us up and heal our connectors with Him and others. It’s His pleasure to do so.
“But if we keep living in the pure light that surrounds him, we share unbroken fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, continually cleanses us from all sin (I John 1:7 TPT).
Written by Rev. Dcn. Donna Purkis - Bob Rumball Home for the Deaf - Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Words are containers of power. Hindsight is a wonderful gift from God! Prayer is powerful. All three of these statements came to pass earlier this month, not in any particular order.
Each morning as I thank God for the opportunity to serve Him, I pray from Proverbs 3:5-6…"Trust the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding and in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." I follow it up with…Lord, I have an expectation that you will work in me and through me to the glory of Your name. May Your Holy Spirit show up and show out!
Two weeks ago today, about 3:35 p.m. our Emergency Alert was activated on all our cell phones. There was a tornado in the general area. Of course, emergency measures were put in place to protect the residents…away from all windows and placed in the hallways.
During the next 45 minutes, the priority of all front-line staff and administration were to keep the residents safe. The residents under my care just wanted prayer. I was working on the Deaf side and thankfully God paired me up with a strong signer!
After the fact, we saw the video of the tornado which had touched down at the edge of our property and the devastation one street over. Only by the grace of God was our Home spared (see photo above). Corporate prayers of thanksgiving followed. Eight people were sent to hospital and not one person was fatally injured. Praise the Lord!
These two verses from Psalm 27 have now taken on a whole new meaning for me.
Vs. 1 “The Lord is my Light and my Salvation – whom shall I fear or dread. The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life.”
Vs. 14 – “Wait and hope for and expect the Lord…be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.”