I found God this week in the voice of a friend. A dear old friend and I chatted briefly about our mothers. The encounter was purely accidental. Our lives are busy and rarely connect for more than a hello. Both of us have mothers in their 90's who are strong and at one time were extremely independent women. As they have aged their capacity to be independent has diminished. These challenges affect them, their families, and all those who care for them. My friend's kind words, her capacity to listen, her capacity to encourage and to share her story and experiences with me boosted my energy and restored my soul. God speaks through our friends. He gives us opportunity to encounter one another. He gives us the words to speak and the ears to hear His words. We are not alone. We are loved. Truly, I heard God's gentle, encouraging words of love and comfort through the voice of a friend.
When I took my great grandson to daycare one day this week it was SO noisy and I noticed whenever another little child arrived the noise increased to welcome the new arriving child, and everyone was so happy to be there. And then I thought, this is my weekly uplifting to God where he is blessing us with all of these wonderful happy youngsters. Thank you for listening to me. Love always - Ruby Sweet
I see God all around me ~~ I experience God in the morning light, in the dancing branches of tree outside my window and in the light of the sun and the warmth of God on my face as the sun shines through that window. I see God in the clouds, the blue sky and rugged mountains on the drive to work. Throughout my day I see him in the faces of the children and of others around me, both the beloved and the unfamiliar. And on the drive home I see God again in the glorious colors of red, gold, and orange in the setting sun. I've experienced the awesome power of God in the crashing waves on the beach and in the tender embraces of my grand children. Today I even experienced God in the giant brushes, the foam on my windshield, the rinsing waters and roaring blowers of the drive-through car wash and I recognized God's generosity in sharing his creativity and his gifts of intelligence, ingenuity and inventiveness with those who have made life easier for all of us. And as I realized, once again, that if we open our hearts and minds to him, God is all around us and ever-present to us, in the ordinary and extraordinary ~ and I smiled! - Ronnie Sunderman
Last year Mickey Walter's wonderful horse, Skip, died and she's been looking for replacement ever since. Meet Juno,a horse she found at a rescue center in Modesto California. Last weekend she rode him for the first time at a camp in the Sierra Mountains. A match made in Heaven!
Dear people of St. Stephen's,
Last weekend the scriptures reminded us of the importance of discipleship; of recognizing the presence of God, letting that recognition draw us to praise and thanksgiving - glorifying God and letting that praise motivate us to share the reality of God's presence with others. Well my friends, I just wanted to share with you how overwhelmed I was by God's presence buzzing around during coffee hour after our worship. My heart was filled with joy as I approached the Dining Hall and could hear the whir of lively conversation and people laughing, and as I came through the door I was struck by the pure beauty of my brothers and sisters, the people of God, simply taking the time to enjoy each others company!
I have carried this joyful image of you all with me throughout the week as I thank God for each of you and pray for our community of faith. May our Lord continue to draw us together in holy love, may the Spirit open us to God's presence all about us and may we continue to treasure one another here at St. Stephen's.
Blessings one and all,
Collection of stories by the people of St. Stephen's
The church survey indicated many of you all would like to have more spiritual inspiration and parishioner stories in the weekly highlights. The stories published in our weekly highlights are compiled here. Send us your story of where you found God and we'll send it out to the community to give everyone a chance to hear how God is working amongst us here at St. Stephen's.