Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Wednesday, August 19

Today’s Readings: Psalm 18:1-24; 2 Samuel 22:1-20; Mark 11:20-26; Acts 27:33-38; Psalm 18:25-50

I consider myself an amazing judge of character. I’ve had this gift for many years. It served me particularly well in the days when I worked in the juvenile corrections system since I often had to make decisions in working with offenders that could have put my life at risk. As good as my instincts were, I’ll never forget the time I work for several months with a guy named Steve. Steve was a hardened individual who had come from a critical and demanding family. He was one of the most negative people I had ever met. He never had a good word for anyone. Most days when I knew I had to work with Steve I would get a sickening knot in my stomach. As much as I am an optimist by nature, I went into every encounter with Steve expecting the worst. I was convinced there was no possibility of Steve ever changing. Then a funny thing happened. Over the course of the several months I worked with Steve, I detected a shift in his attitude. Slowly his criticisms began to drop away until suddenly one day I realized he actually said something positive. I was shocked. A transformation had taken place in the one place I thought it would NEVER occur. I was reminded of that incident when I read today’s Gospel reading from Mark – where Jesus was quoted as saying, “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you” (Mark 11:22 from The Message). I read that passage for years and thought the most unimaginable thing God could do would be to move mountains. Then I got older and realized that I thought it was even more impossible for God to move some hearts and change some lives – until I began to have experience after experience where that actually happened. Today – as you sit with the spirit of today’s Gospel reading – I would invite you to consider if there is someone in your life you have written off: someone’s whose transformation would seem as unlikely as moving a mountain. If so, invite God’s loving and transformative presence into the relationship and then take a step back and see what happens. The change may not happen overnight. Just don’t be too surprised when that change begins to take place. Til next time…

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