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Wintry nights of deepest waiting ~ ~
We rest now
until the breath of Spring

~ Anna Lin

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Who am I? Who are YOU?

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One of my greatest struggles while living with chronic illness and disability has been the loss of my identity as a pastor . . . as a productive person in the world. I grew up with a belief system that said my value was determined by what I could DO. People are constantly implying that I need to get healed so that I can really do ministry once again. What they seem to imply is that the ministry of prayer and spiritual support I offer is not a worthwhile ministry.

I have come to know that my true identity is as a child of God . . . as
the Beloved. There is nothing I can DO to earn this position . . . it comes as God’s grace. I am “good enough” just being who I was created to be.

Naturally, just as a little child wants to please their parent because they love them, me desire is to give back to God in whatever way I am able.
In the eyes of the world, my prayers may seem like a pittance. But I know that God honors whatever we offer . . . even as Jesus honored the widow’s mite.

Whoever you are . . .whatever your circumstances . . .
YOU are the Beloved child of a loving God.

May you know this blessing deep within your heart today.

~ Anna Lin

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Who Is God?

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In spite of the dazzle and tinsel of Christmas there is a deeper meaning that we can know if we shall rest a moment to ponder and see . . . .
~ that Christ came to reveal the true nature of God as LOVE

At Christmas we experience the unique wonder of our faith . . .
~ that God chose to come to earth in search of us . . . humans
. . . and dwelt among us . . . as love and grace.

In spite of all of the distractions and busyness and stress,
Christmas is a time to contemplate this mystery and to celebrate
the powerful message of God’s love, joy, peace and hope that is
given to us through Jesus, the Christ.

May we find room in our hearts to receive this gift of LOVE today.

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel!    ~ Phillip Brooks

~ Anna Lin

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Christmas Is A Time Of New Beginnings

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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation:
everything old has passed away; behold, the new has come!”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Christmas is a time of new beginnings.
At some moment in this holy season you will feel
a sense of wonder and your heart will fill with tenderness and love.
Be aware that in that instant Christ is born within you once again.
It is a fragile love that needs to be nurtured every day to grow into
all the magnificence God intends for you to be.
It is time to rebuild our spiritual communities – – time to set our priorities in order so that the world may heal from its mistaken pathways.
Seek first the realm of God’s grace and God’s truth and together
we shall stand amazed at the miraculous changes that will occur.
Invite your friends and neighbors to come to church.
Ask them again – and still once more.
Through you God will work to set them free from all the troubles they bear. One by one our communities and our world will be reborn into places of peace and joy and love. The moment is coming for you to begin – –
watch for it, and everything new will come to be.

~ Whispers in the Wind by Anna Lin

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Rejoice With All Your Heart

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Rejoice and exult with all your heart.
(Zephaniah 3:14)

Dear God,

Sometimes we scurry so hard after joy that we forget what it feels like.
Sometimes we work so hard for peace that we neglect the peace that
is sitting with us in our chair.
Sometimes we hope so much for hope that we miss the hopeful signs
that are right underfoot.
Give us this day a song. . .
one we sing in harmony with heaven and nature.
Let the song recollect joy. . . be peace itself.
Let the song express a little more hope than we feel.
You grant us joy and peace and hope;
these are not our own accomplishments.
Let this day find us rejoicing about You.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

~ Donna Schaper, in Stir Up Your Power

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