Confirmation: choosing A Savior Who Already Chose Us

Greetings of peace and joy!

We are in the second week of Eastertide, and I haven’t blogged in weeks. Lent was so heavy this year. So much death, so much injustice, so much disillusionment and of course so much to do! I know my sufferings were nothing compared to that suffered by our Christ on the cross, but Lord!!! Jesus, it was tough. I hope you made it through intact, and that your struggles, Temptations and blessings remind you of the Jesus who chose us and loves us whoever and wherever we are. I’m praying for us all. It is a season of resurrection, new life and new Hope and I hope you are experiencing just that today.

So, What Do I Have To Say Tonight?

Confirmation Experience 2019 Flyer

Created by Ainise ‘Isama’u
Confirmation Experience 2019 is taking place as a partnership/collaboration between Saint Mark and Holman! These are both united Methodist churches in Los Angeles. Let’s pause for a brief exclamation for those who may not know what Christian Confirmation is. No, it isn’t only for Catholics. (A Question/sentiment I get a lot).
In the United Methodist Church, we believe in infant baptism, because we believe that baptism is a gift of grace from God. Just as God chose us even before we knew to choose God, the infant is baptized into the body of Christ without knowing to choose to do so. However, at some point, everyone must make a choice. So, at adolescence, we have a right of passage where youth choose to accept the grace freely given and accep membership in the church inherited. These beloved young people take a series of classes where they learn about God and the church, receive practical instruction on discipleship and ministry and experience life as members of a community and at the end we pray they choose to become full and active members of the church. The choice is theirs.

Session ONE Is Tomorrow

Session 1 is going to be fun, and if it goes well, it’ll definitely set the tone for the rest of the sessions. It will of course be the longest, because it includes our mission project. The youths and their teams, including a mentor and parent/guardian per youth, will work together to create Manna Bags. These bags Will comprise of non-perishable items the families can carry with them and pass out as needed when out and about in their cars. Following that, we will have pizza, and then, our first class, which is all about loving together, living together and traveling together will take place. Rather befitting! A huge part of this will be starting off by identifying ways we can pray for one another and our world, be present for each other and those hurting in our world, share our gifts with those who need them, serve each other and others, and bear witness to the grace and the love of God with all we come in contact with. This is all life together, and we hope to impart to our young people and those who surround them with the belief and knowledge that Christianity is an active faith calling for active discipleship and storytelling. We have to know who we are before we can tell others and invite others to travel together with us. So, keep us in your prayers!

1Timothy 4:12. Respect the wisdom of the young when the wisdom is God-given.Until I Write Again….

Be wise, gentle, courageous, bold, faithful and hopeful. When we seek God, God is found and when we don’t feel the presence of God, let us keep reaching and praying and asking that God reveal God’s self to us. Christ has risen and so too have we. Not fully, but within from the holder of the grave. God bless you.

Hold On Until Your Blessing Comes: God Is Coming

And The Journey Continues

Cover Photo of KTLA NEWS STORY ON THE MURDER OF WRAPPER, NIPSEY HUSSLE, MARCH 31, 2019

Blessings of peace and hope to you! Today is Motivation Monday, and we need it. Today has been a tough one. Yesterday, I went to church as I always do, led Sunday school, worship and hosted youth group, as I always do. We hosted a table after church desplaying all our activities from now through Summer. We hope this visibility and engagement with the with entire congregation will gain enthusiasm and involvement for our youth programs. We need the adults to donate/invest that God’s love and joy may spread. Pray for and with us. 

Today, I called one of my youth to check in with her, let her know about the college prep workshop Friday and make sure she will be at the Easter production rehearsal Sunday. I wasn’t thinking about Nipsey or the impact his murder would have on my students who would know more of him than I do. She is the age I was when Tupac was murdered, so once I thought about it, my heartHURT for her.. That was heart-breaking for me, and this is for her. I hope the support I intended came through. I hope I offered the peace and comfort of Christ to her. I hope she sensed my love. I pray the pessimism I sensed from her will pass. When our young men and women continue to kill each other, it is difficult to keep hoping for a brighter tomorrow, but as God never gives up on us, may we never give up either. 

When we arrived home–my husband, son and I–we learned about the murder of wrapper and local hero, Nipsey Hussle. We are in lament over the death of this 33 year-old Black entrepreneur who came up on the streets of LA and worked to bring money, opportunity and hope to our inner-city. We often ask why our young and brightest grow up and leave for greener pastures, so to speak, and then something like this happens, and we know. I do not know all the details of what happened and why, but I do know envy, back-stabbing and alienation is the reality of what many face when they choose to be successful and return to pull others up. Returning to South-Central LA from attending college in Monterey, grad school in Pasadena and my first ministry job in Redondo Beach has been challenging. It is not easy, but it is worth it. Jesus, I am sure, thought the same when he returned to Galalee and faced suspicion and rejection. 

Even the most faithful believers ask "How Long?" (Psa 13:1-2)
Psalm 13:1-2

How Long? 

At times such as these, Psalm 13:1-6 ceaselessly plays in my head. It is the cry of my heart and perhaps yours, too: How Long, LORD! How long will I be rejected, poor, depressed and anxcious? How long will I/we have to struggle through with little view of the sun to come? I would read this to this student to let her know these questions are timeless and they are okay. We have and serve a God strong enough to bear our sarrows. We need to sit in the grief of Good friday and Holy Saturday. We need to support those in the desert with us, because together, we shall overcome. 

Lord, I pray we have the patience, peace of mind, assurance and courage to sit in our pain, and then I pray we also have the wisdom to learn from those hard times to ask for what we really need. When we ask, may our hearts be strong and full of conviction so we recieve our blessing, and may we then remember to return to you with praise and thanksgiving. We love you, Almighty God. You will bring us through. You will heal our hearts. You will use us to bring peace and love to this broken world. Walk with us and sit with us. Never leave us. We pray for those who grieve and those who cause the grief. Heal us so that we do not lash out in rage, anger, greed and selfishness to harm others. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen! 

Praise God In The Storm

May we never forget that the Psalmist moved from How in the first 2 verses to the concrete request for deliverence of verses 3-4 and ultimately the praises of verses 5-6. Whenn 5-6 were prayed, deliverance had not come; the Psalmist BELIEVED/KNEW it would come. Sit first where you are so that when you pass through the waters, you are sure God has been with you and has delivered you mightily. 

God A Reason For Hope

Psalm 13:5-6: Praise God in the storms and praise the Lord when deliverance comes!
Don Peterson, Pastor, “A Reason for Hope”

Christy Clark | April 2, 2019 at 5:06 am | Categories: Ministry | URL: https://wp.me/paM4qz-3KComment

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When we arrived home–my husband, son and I–we learned about the murder of wrapper and local hero, Nipsey Hussle. We are in lament over the death of this 33 year-old Black entrepreneur

Fight With Prayer

Fight for it Friday! This one, I love, because it is important for me to keep up a fighting spirit. Sometimes, we all get tired of fighting! We get tired of having to point out which should be obvious: that everyone deserves to live without fear; to have access to food and water; be able to earn a living wage, especially if they’ve earned a Master’s Degree in their field; have access to education; to not fear being shot by the police as they’re walking down the street, because of the color of their skin and/or their gender…and the list goes on. Justice is something so many of us have to fight for: for ourselves and for others. So fight for it Friday always reminds me to keep going!

Acts Prayer
St. Vincent de Paul

But what can we do? One thing everyone can always do is pray. So many times those prayers open the door to action. Because I love acronyms and the use of this device is helpful for children as well, , I enjoy teaching my students the ACTS prayer.

Let us pray.

Adoration

Living God, Mighty Savior, Spirit who indwells, I love you!

Confession

You are my all and all, and yet, I have failed to live as I ought! I am weak. I gossip about people and used foul language. I lose my temper however I attempt to control my tongue. Fear gets in my way, which proves my faith is not as strong as I wish it were.I need your strength, wisdom and grace. I confess all this and more.

Thanksgiving

I thank you, Lord, that you know my prayers even before I do. I thank you that you are working on my heart and disposition. I thank you for my family and for my new candidacy Mentor. I thank you for the young people in ministry workshop that is going on tomorrow. Since I know what it is to be hungry, thirsty and without clothing or a home, I thank you that I have all of these (even as the lack of rent control and the reality of rent increase threatens ) and so many other blessings. Thank you! You have blessed me abundantly.

Supplication

Oh Lord, open our hearts to see the people around us as we journey with you to the cross. Help us persist and prevail. Help us see the value in the work we do for you and others every day. Please continue to provide the food and water, the shelter and spiritual care we need to survive. I pray tonight for those who live without rent control and in fear of losing their residences. I pray for those tonight fighting drug addiction and violence/impulse control and those who love them. Protect women, children and even men at the mercy of those without compassion. I ask that you give us the courage, knowledge, skills and heart to fight tonight to fight our demons and to stand along side of those who are fighting others. We need you and we need each other tonight tomorrow and forever. In Jesus precious name by the power of the Holy Spirit and giving all glory to God, I pray, AhMen.

Did Thought Management Yield the Desired Results?

Progress not perfection! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. It’s easy for me to point out why I was NOT successful in controlling myself today, but the point is I was not! I mean, I tried! I was more positive than I have been lately, and I still have a ways to go! As I say when giving the pastoral prayer on Sunday, Holy Spirit, breathe in and speak through me. May your thoughts be my thoughts!

Acts of the Apostles is so inspirational and formational, so of course I’m thinking of acts 1:8!

In Acts 1:8, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit upon his gather disciples so that they in return can speak far and wide of the grace of God and salvation.

Today, as I caved to anxieties over work evaluations, confirmation training coming up, planning for Lent and Easter, getting ready for summer reading program and VBS, I needed the peace of Christ, which surpasses all understanding more than ever, but it doesn’t feel particularly accessible to me at this moment. Good thing my faith in God is not reliant upon my feelings.

So, I will wait and pray and trust. I can’t allow doing the work of the church get in the way of doing the work/will of God and being a woman of God. Holy Spirit, fill what I do and am with you.

Right now I feel like crying out with Jacob, though:

Genesis 32:26 is powerful and it this place how strong we are to be when we approach God for blessings.

The peace, wisdom, assurance, ability and giftedness I need tonight can come by the power of the Holy Spirit. I have the training, the degrees, some of the experience and network, but I need a sign, and tonight, I am praying for and asking for and expecting one.

Obstacles to Thought Management

  • Headaches (orado in your ailment).
  • Stubborn negativity
  • Lack of discipline.

Practice Thought Management: Armor

  • Pray or thank God every time I th ink something like ouch! my head hurts! If nothing else, that will definitely saturate the pain-filled days with blessedness.
  • Catch the stubbornness and refused to allow it tonight. Thank a positive affirmation such ass “I am enough” and make a conscious effort not to the future and argue with those who affirm or complement me. That’s a struggle! Worth it when successful.
  • Believe that /we do, when we do it and why we do it matters. Sometimes, it’s easier or more comfortable, I guess, to convince ourselves that what we do doesn’t matter or can be done by others. It doesn’t matter though, if that is what we are supposed to do, we owe it to ourselves and others to always do our best. So, what are some ways you can pump yourself up when completely unmotivated and feeling completely undisciplined?
  • The road is not easy. How ever we strive, some days, emotionally and physically, life takes it’s toll on us. The key is to acknowledge, except, resolve that tomorrow will be different, and move on. The journey is too important to give up now! I am going on to perfection. Holy Spirit, in your mercy, hear my prayer!

Thank You, God

  • For an open and confessing spirit.
  • Water to drink, falling from the skies and all its life-giving powers.
  • Zoom and voiceover, which made using this phone more possible.
  • That I got my 10,000 steps in as well as my Spanish practice and completed my Bible Study for the day. Now, I can sleep and rest and be ready for a brilliant day tomorrow.

Numbers 6:23–24 is a favorite text are used in benediction/sending the people into the world after worship

Keep your head up, heart open and eyes on the call as we journey with Christ to the Cross and beyond to victory. God bless you.

Journeying With My Son

Thursday, March 7! Today was a productive and blessed day. I mostly worked on preparations for Sunday school. My students are mostly middle school! I created a bingo game for the students for the sermon. I hand these out to students of all ages and their generated bingo cards have words that I expect to be in the sermon so the students can listen out for those and try to get bingo! So, of course, we Collett Bible bingo! They seem to enjoy it so I hope they enjoy it this week. I also created a play based on the sermon text, which will be Numbers 10:29–36. My class will enact this play during the Sunday school hour. I think this is a fun way for them to engage the scripture and work off some of that energy that middle schoolers always have! Help us!

Scripted adaptation of numbers 10:29–36, when Musici is leading the Israelites down from the mountain and through the desert to the promised land.

When I get home, the last thing I wanted to do is deal with middle school or’s! Imagine, a gym full of middle school students and their parents and teachers. Well, today was my sons spring recital so of course I went, and of course I’m glad I went. As working mothers and fathers, ministers and teachers, lawyers and doctors, we often forget that we are called to parenthood. Adolescents are really good at communicating that they don’t need us, but nothing could be further from the truth. I know in my heart he will remember perhaps not the specific times I was there, but he will remember that I was there. More wrenchingly, he’d remember if I were not there. So, as we journey to the cross with our children and families, let us be present.

Shaun and Christy after the performance at the spring recital of “Be Our Guest’ and more!  This was his dance with the class. The boy has the moves!

LENTEN REPENTANCE

  1. Failure to be be present.
  2. Being impatient.
  3. Criticizing too much.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

Because Jesus bought our freedom on the cross, every day, by grace, I have a new opportunities to be a better mom, better wife, better sister and daughter, better minister and teacher. Today, repenting of the above listed shortcomings, I was able to do better. We’re now, that is good enough. I am enough. Good night and God bless!

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