Of Mice and Miracles

Well……it’s been an interesting week to say the least. I know I’ve promised you some stories gleaned after a week with hundreds of fellow retiring missionaries, but I guess you’ll have to wait till things stop happening around here.

We just got back from a great day with our Japanese friends in Brisbane.  The church there is always ‘interesting’, and today was no exception.  It just thrills us to see ‘seekers’ coming week after week wondering about this thing called “Christianity”.  It’s reassuring that there are still pockets around where we can help…

But let me tell you about our unusual week.

It started with the much anticipated visit to a ‘specialist’ doctor.  To you Americans who are afraid of socialized medicine; this is why you have need for fear.  I’ve had a succession of ‘specialist’ appointments built on information passed from one to the next and each has taken over 6-8 weeks to get an appointment. So in other words, this ‘drama’ has been going on for months.   They assure me that if I’m at deaths door, they’ll make a way, but still……

So I got back from 6 weeks in America and went to my next specialist this last Tuesday.  He looked over my scans, oohed and awed with wrinkled brow and ‘referred’ me to another specialist.

“Great” I thought,  “I’m looking at Christmas.”

But no, it was for the next day!  Now I was starting to get nervous! ha

The next day, October 20th, I arrived at the next specialist’s office and after a few more questions, he said, “Go home and get your jammies, we’re checking you in for a ’scope’ this afternoon!”

Now another drama was unfolding.  We have purchased what is known as “gap” insurance which covers “emergencies” (when it’s not expedient to wait in line for months for care). Most middle class Australians have this..  BUT there’s a one-year waiting period before it’s effective, and we arrived in Australia just about 11 months ago, last November.

So began a flurry of phone calls and rushing around, and later, as I had given up the chase and was being wheeled into surgery, wondering if my credit card would cover a hospital stay, the nurse ran up and said, “Just talked to your provider and it seems you signed up on October 20th of last year, so you’re covered!” Did you catch that? One year, To.The.Day and hour.

Thank you Lord for your impeccable timing!

The “problem” they were looking for, and had reasonable proof that I have, is called some big name and is not that uncommon, but is basically where the bowel and bladder have got together and made a new road into territories they don’t respectively belong in!  Too much information?  Sorry about that.   Basically this condition spells a rather major surgery in the future.

I was put to sleep with no dramas and woke up some time later to be greeted with pleasant smiles all around.  Apparently the doctor couldn’t find a thing to confirm his fears; quite the opposite in fact. What it looks like I have is a case of misplaced bacteria who have set up house. The doctor started me with SERIOUS high dose antibiotics and sent me home.  Looking back, the only really traumatic thing about the whole experience was the dry toast and vegemite breakfast with instant coffee I was given!

Isn’t God amazing?

The other “drama” if you can call it that, is a pesky little (and I mean Little) field mouse that seems to out smart us on all counts.  We’ve put out poison, and he won’t touch it.  We debated about a sticky mat but I’d hate to die that way, so after much deliberation we got a simple cartoon type ‘Acme” trap.  For three nights he’s literally licked the platter clean and walked away, fat and sassy, leaving a trap set to go off in a faint breeze. I’d just let him get away with it except for the fact that he always has to leave us a little trail of poop when he goes…….that and the fact that he dug out all the seeds that I had planted in an egg carton hoping to sprout!

So that’s it.  He’s outfoxed us and won us over, so we’ve signed a pact.  We’ll clean up all traces of food all the time, and he’ll stop leaving me little black pellets!!  We’ll see how it goes.

Again, I can’t reiterate how unfathomable God is.  We, his creatures, are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Me, who the doctor is calling his ‘mystery patient’ and the mouse who is (I imagine) just doing his job, eating and pooping, not really wanting to be a bother……..

I hope you can stop for a minute and feel the wonder of your life and others sometime this week……..as the stories continue.

Blessings, Marsha

Good to be Home

As I’m writing this blog, I’m reaching through my jet lagged fog and beginning to see some light not too far away.

We landed finally after a 16 ½ hour non-stop flight from Dallas to Sydney. I send my apologies to the many friends and family in Texas that got missed this trip.  As I suspected, it was a jog thru the terminal, having just landed from a 4 hour flight from Puerto Rico, and then on to the huge A380 Qantas plane, which is sort of a ‘double decker’ 747 and holds almost 500 souls.  I tried not to think too much about how HUGE it was as we bumped over the Pacific, with nothing between us and certain death except a whole lot of amazing engineering (and of course a whole bunch of guardian angels I’m looking forward to meeting in Heaven one of these days!).

Arrived in Sydney, then a short hop up to our home in the Gold Coast. We felt like zombies, but a shower and a nap worked wonders.

This morning Tony preached at our church in Reedy Creek, talking about our lives both individually and as a church.  He read from Philippians 3:10-11, pointing out that the 4 things Paul really wanted in life are the same we can all aspire to: to know Christ, to know the power of His resurrection, to share in His sufferings, and to become like Him in death.

He ended with a call for all of us to think about what we really want in life, and especially those of us facing whole new chapters (like retirement). Our church is undergoing some big changes now as well, so he urged everyone to get on board with a clear understanding of what we as a church want, and where we want to go from here.

Judging from the overwhelming response, I think he may have struck a chord.

And so as we face forward, not ignoring our past but putting it into a new perspective, Tony and I are optimistic this morning. The renovations on our house start tomorrow, Nicki’s enjoying her new job as a flight attendant for Qantas, flying regionally all over North Queensland.  I’m sure she’ll have some ‘interesting’ stories to tell.  Nathan and family are doing well and continue to grow and amaze us, celebrating their 10th anniversary this last week as well.

It’s good to be home……..I’ll write more next week!


Happy Trails

Good morning everyone!

Well, I’m writing this in an airport.  When you open it, hopefully we’ll have crossed the Caribbean and landed safely in Puerto Rico, and be safely tucked in a motel for a couple of days before officially starting back to Australia.

Watching the news, I realize that most of you are way too busy to read anything at this point, especially since I have very little to say today.   I figure you’re either in the middle of Hurricane Matthew or are rethinking who you’re going to vote for …..(or making plans to come live with us).

This last week, in Costa Rica, we experienced a looming hurricane (missed us) a volcano erupting (changed it’s mind and settled down), terrifying drives, usually lost on mountains trails with a psycho rental car GPS (we prevailed and Tony didn’t misjudge the road edges and send us hurtling down off the un guard railed narrow roads, never to be seen again). This last taxi ride to the airport with the driver speeding crazily while he sang and whistled along to the cucaracha beat almost did us in, but we arrived in half the time with a frozen smile and gnarled hands still clutching our seat belts.

But at the same time, all week I felt like what it must be to be slathered in warm butter.  My soul has been loved.  Yes, retiring was sad, seeing and then leaving friends was hard, but this last week, just seeing God’s amazing creation in the form of scenery, animals and wonderful people did wonders in terms of just making us realize how God has showed us some of His best work.  We found Christian ’Ticos’ (as Costa Ricans are called) at every turn and it was fun to realize our combined relationship. On top of that just hearing that my kids are happy and functioning, have maintained our responsibilities at home and (maybe) are looking for our return, continues to bless us.

And so, when I write next, we’ll have been home a few days, unpacked our carry on bags (which are about to explode with things we picked up along the way as well as very dirty clothes!.) Then on  Sunday we’ll be scrubbed up and be listening to Tony preaching at our favorite church!.

Thanks for traveling with us, it’s been great!


Not Home Yet

Good morning,

I’m guessing many of you know the feeling of crawling away from an “all you can eat” buffet.  I even noticed this trip that some American restaurants have wheels on the chairs; I’m guessing sometimes they are much needed.  But hey, the food has been wonderful, even if I’ve wanted to lay on the floor and groan for awhile!

But it’s been a real feast this week, and I’m not just talking about the food. Even Tony the classic introvert was lost to me, often disappearing into the crowd talking, laughing, and writing notes all day and into the night.  Then, even when it should have come to an end, we found ourselves crammed in a van for a 4:00am shuttle to the airport, telling even more stories in the dark, texting addresses back and forth, sorry to be so soon separated!

Now we’re back to the two of us in Costa Rica, one of the routes available to us with the frequent flyer points we used for our long trip home.  The motel here is crummy but seems to be safe and we’re just lying here staring at the ceiling, talking about it all and how great a time it was.

Some of the highlights:

1. Of course meeting old friends, some of whom we hadn’t thought about in years. One couple mentioned that they’d been to Australia years ago, and hoped to come visit us when and if they could ever come back. We continued talking, and then late that night I remembered that they HAD visited us back then, but that all of us had forgotten about it! They’re still our old if maybe slightly forgetful friends though.

2. What a bittersweet time, to stand again in awe in front of the “cloud of witnesses” wall, where hundreds of names are listed of those fellow missionaries who had been martyred, (died one way or another while employed) many of whom we had known and loved.

3. We slipped away from the “campus” one day and went into downtown Richmond to visit International Mission Board headquarters, otherwise known as “The Board”, and usually followed by “The Lord” in conversations involving any major life decisions. Tony thought he’d have some fun with the guard at the front desk by asking if Baker James Cauthen was in (the president of the mission who appointed us in 1973 and died sometime 20 or 30 years later). The guard consulted his list with real dedication and finally concluded that he must be out.…We did see a couple of folks who were still around and could remember us. It was nice that we could talk and reminisce with them as well as thank them for their faithfulness.

4. And there were SO many inspiring life stories of lives poured out that I’m sure I’ll be sharing with you while I continue to debrief.

5. We were told that our group of 100 retirees represented more than 2000 years of mission work on the field.

6. I constantly surprised myself by crying at completely unexpected moments and then poker facing thru other times when everyone else was cracked up

7. And then there was the surprise visit from the couple who experienced and then wrote the book that has now become the movie: “The Insanity of God”.  They told us that they had come just to see us, because we oriented them so many years ago (How could we have possibly prepared them for the horrors they would soon be facing?)  We were profoundly humbled, especially when they singled us out to pray for us at the final service.

And so ends our career as we know it. But rest assured we’re looking to the future with real joy.  Over and over we heard, both from you readers of this blog and from all the folks this week, of great things that weren’t even started until people retired, so we’re excited!

God willing and the creek don’t rise, we’ll write again next week! Until then, I’ll leave you with the assurance we heard over and over the last few days: You’re not home yet!


Who’s Coming to Dinner??

Good Morning All from Washington DC!

I know a few weeks ago I promised you I’d be writing about the ‘beautiful feet’ of some of the interesting Gospel messengers I’ve known, but I’ve got so many things to tell you from our recent experiences, I may have to postpone that tangent a bit.

This last week we’ve taken our “unbeautiful” feet and tried to visit about every inch of the Smithsonian Museum system here in DC. We’ve also added a lot of other sights and experiences as well (not forgetting the food, of course).

Yesterday, some of you may have noticed on the news that the 19th Smithsonian Museum was opened by President Obama, attended by several other former presidents and numerous members of state, etc.  There were countess bands and parades.    As we weren’t invited on so many levels, we steered the other direction and took in Old Alexandria and all it’s history from the colonial days.

I’ve had a lot of emotions this week regarding my heritage as an American, but something really struck us when we attended the play, “Come from Away” at the old Ford’s Theatre.  For those of you who didn’t study American History, that was where President Abraham Lincoln was shot in April, 1865; and while they’ve immortalized his box seat in the tiny theater, his story wasn’t part of the play last night.

The theme of the play was the true event of the morning of 9/11 when 38 passenger planes, including a few 747s, as well as 4 military planes were ordered to land immediately in the tiny town of Gander, Newfoundland in Canada, as all US airspace was suddenly closed.

I didn’t realize that this tiny isolated island is the furthermost northeastern point on the North American continent and from 1935 until the Jet age, served as the last ditch mandatory fueling station for the long haul flights to and fro across the Atlantic.

With the coming of larger airplanes and bigger fuel tanks, the town shrank to its present population of around 7000 consisting mainly of  fishermen and various infrastructure support like teachers, police, etc.

However on that day, with only a couple of hours’ notice, they went from normal morning to the job of hosting over 6600 visitors who would remain with no departure date until the planes were finally released to fly 6 days later.

With a lot of humor, some great music, and extraordinary reverence, the play showed how everyone learned to share what they had, putting aside egos and issues in the face of a near-impossible situation.  It really was a heart warming story, bringing a tear to my eye as I remember how intrepid and courageous people can be when they do the right thing.

Hebrews 13:2 reminds us that hospitality isn’t just a gift employed by some …… it’s a command, often connected with supernatural dimensions.

This week has been great.  We do so love our first nation, and our heritage has been brought home so often this week in the nation’s capitol.  We of course can’t help but be concerned about the upcoming election in November, but make no mistake, we’re going to vote because we care  (Unlike Australia, voting is not mandatory in the USA, even though lives have been lost over the years in keeping the right for us to do so).  I can’t say I’m unhappy to be heading back Down Under soon, to the second land I love……..which is a little less nuts right now.

Today we plan to meet up with some great friends and fellow missionaries who, while we’ve been playing in Washington, have been visiting refugees they worked with and who have emigrated here from Thailand.  We are all excited for our week-long ‘retirement event’ in Richmond starting tomorrow.  We feel like we’ve waited for this week for a long time………not the whole 39 years and 11 months that we served, but something like that!  As we all pile into the car for the two hour drive to Richmond, Virginia, I’m sure Tony and I will be whispering those words from our favorite children’s author, Maurice Sendak, in his book, “Where the Wild Things Are”……… “Let the Wild Rumpus begin!”

If I’m not too overwhelmed or catatonic with everything when this week’s over, I’ll be sure to write again……..

Remember to maintain a Christ-like life every day, never knowing when a bunch of refugees is going to land suddenly at your doorstep…….or if that’s too hard to even imagine (as it was for the Ganderites), just take a moment to remember what a wonderful heritage we have in Christ, and in the countries which have provided so much for so many.

Bon Voyage!


Together We Stand

Good Morning All,

I’m writing this from the floor of a hotel room at 2:30AM because I’m holding forth that somebody still reads this blog. Last night when I fell into bed beside my sleeping husband, I remembered you! ha.

We’ve been enjoying so many memories as we travel around to places of our youth, and the other day I also remembered something from about 48 years ago.

At that time we went swimming as a family with my baby niece. She was tiny so we gave her a blow up swim ring.

She was enthralled as we paddled/pulled her out into the deep end.

Suddenly, with a look of awe, she exclaimed, “Look! I’m up to my duck!”

That forevermore has been our family mantra for when we’re “happily overwhelmed”.

Like this last week.  We’ve seen more friends and family than we thought we had, and every visit has been like we just left them yesterday.  I guess that’s why they call them ‘reunions’.

And yet, while we’re very happy to see them, some of them have overwhelmed us as well.  We’ve laughed, cried and like now, laid awake at night…. just filing and processing information.

And one thing I’ve come up with that might get me in trouble again, (reference several weeks ago) is the recurring theme of how we need the gathering together of followers of Christ.

Now before you read any further and think, “She’s talking about me again,” believe me when I say I’m not.  I’m talking about Paul and Silas……..gotcha!

My son asked me the other day, “Who was to blame in the Paul and Silas Story?”

He paused while I tried to search my brain, and then, grinning, announced, “The Jailer, because he put the two of them in jail TOGETHER!”

And what I’ve been remembering this week, hearing everyone’s stories, is that we NEED each other.  If Paul and Silas had been separated, they might not have been singing the house down. Together we stand …… let’s see, what was that verse? Hebrews 10:25, “Forsake not the gathering together of believers…..”

The things I’ve heard during our visits, both encourage me and discourage me as I hear how my friends have been traveling these last 8 or 9 years and it reminds me………in the words of that old 70’s song, “People need the Lord”.

As most of you head out to church this morning, give each other a hug and many a ‘godly kiss’ and thank your brothers and sisters for holding you up!

Have a great day, I know we will.


Beautiful Feet

Good morning all, I hope you’re getting this in a reasonable time frame.  We’re in Hawaii and while we’ve slept off the jet lag, I’m still a little unclear as to when “Sunday morning” is for most of you.

Anyway, we’re having a nice time with life long friends Bob and Gail Gierhart, with whom we served almost 40 years in Japan and Australia.  They’re recently retired from the board as well, so we have plenty to talk about.

As you know, we’re wending our way to the East Coast where we’ll be wined (not) and dined for a week and then given our ‘retirement service’, which I believe will be September 26th to the 30th at our Orientation Center in Richmond. It’ll be a great time of catching up with OLD friends and putting a cap on the career that’s defined us for a lifetime.

For those of you who are not seeing us this time through, I offer you both apologies and relief, as you won’t have to interrupt your busy lives to accommodate our schedules.  As I used to tell our children when leaving them home to their own devices, “We’ll be back when you least expect,” so don’t give up on seeing us someday. We do anticipate another trip next year, if Tony manages to finish his doctorate degree. It’s been a lot of hard work, so THAT’S a stage he definitely wants to walk across!

For the next couple of weeks, in the spirit of ‘retirement’ I’d like to reminisce with you about some of the people we’ve met along the way who will forever be in my mind as having ‘beautiful feet’.

You know the verse, right? Isaiah 52:7, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,

who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

It’s always had a special place in my heart, and it’s written on a lovely little plaque at home given me from some Japanese co-workers. But it’s so true especially of some beautiful people we’ve been privileged to know.

A couple of weeks ago we were blessed to have a lovely co-worker couple visit us in Australia, coming down from Tokyo during the annual holidays of “O-Bon”. They’re Japanese, and he runs a printing company while she’s an office manager and they work constantly, as many Japanese do.  For three days in August and then again about three days in January (New Years), they enjoy vacation, so they and most of the country hit it hard.

We had a lot of fun, albeit it exhausting, showing them everything that moves and crawls and crashes up on the sand or blew up thousands of years ago.  That’s what you do when you sightsee in the Gold Coast.  Add a lot of good food and you have a great visit.

But what rang thru every conversation was their love for the Lord and their concern for the lost.  It was such a JOY to share our love for the Japanese and our zeal to see Christ known in Japan.

I thought to myself.  “These folks don’t do what they HAVE to do because of a job………they do what they do for the love of Christ.” Every Thursday after a 12-hour day, he opens his tiny office to host a “seekers” class about Christianity.  Depending on the day or the season 8-20 people crowd in to learn about Christian life, both from Tony’s “Anagion” Bible study and from this guy’s life as a Christian businessman.  He regaled us with stories of the bar maid next door who has him praying for her sick son, or the office worker who would never enter in to the discussions at work, but let our friend pray the sinner’s prayer with him as he lay dying.

Beautiful feet. Good News.

How are your feet today?  Need some liniment?

Catch you from Colorado next week!


Purple Fingers

This week I was delighted to discover that one of the trees here at the place we bought was outside producing a bounty crop of mulberries, while we were inside painting and cursing our aged bodies,.

Even better, the jai-normous (read: really big) fruit bats (wingspan more than 3 feet) haven’t discovered them yet!  Have a look at them if you want nightmares! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey-headed_flying_fox

So this morning we took a wander out to see about harvesting a few before we leave for 6 weeks (more about that later).

As I was picking, I had a flashback to a time about 40 years ago when we were living in Africa.  We had a mulberry tree then as well.  As a child growing up in cold Colorado, I had no idea about them and wasn’t too keen to eat them after I mistakingly popped a mulberry looking worm in my mouth!  eeuwwww

Anyway, who DID love my mulberry tree back then were the neighborhood kids.  They were always in our yard since we operated a makeshift “Student Center” on our front porch, and it was a matter of time before they noticed it. They also ‘noticed’ our 7 gravid Avocado trees as well as our strawberry patch, but that’s another story.

One day there was a huge commotion outside and we raced out to find little Noddie laying on the ground holding his arm.  It had to have happened eventually, he broke his arm in a fall.

So sad, so painful……I remember him turning his head to the wall when we visited him in the local hospital.

But then years and years later I got a letter from him, mailed to us thru the mission board.  It began,

“Dear Mr and Mrs Tony,

I wanted you to know that when I was in my early 20’s, I was laying drunk in a ditch one Sunday morning when someone walked by whistling ‘Jesus Loves Me’ … and I remembered you”.

The letter went on to describe how, even though he had grown up “rough”, there was always in the back of his mind those short days when we opened our home to him.  Apparently when he heard the whistling, he ‘came to himself’, got up, went to church and became (with a few struggles in-between) an Assemblies of God Pastor.

We communicated for a few years and then he dropped away.  I often wondered if he’d died since AIDS is very real over there.  As we were writing, he always held up his best childhood friend and partner in crime, Claridge, for prayer, as he continued to be far off the rails.

Then about a year ago, I heard from Claridge thru that happy monster Facebook.  Apparently now he too had ‘come around’ and is a successful businessman, father and COMMITTED Church elder.  Noddie is fine and living in a neighboring country, and we’ve talked with him a few times lately.  He continues to rise in the AOG church as a leader.

Isn’t God wonderful? He forgets neither His people nor the small acts of kindness, using them all for His glory.

So back to our need to clean off the Mulberry tree…….this Tuesday we’re leaving fair Australia for a 6 week trek.  The IMB (International Mission Board) is bringing us to Richmond to ‘properly retire us’ although we’ve been retired for over 10 months now.  We’re thankful to them for providing our travel expenses from “the fartherest western spot in the USA”, which of course is Hawaii.  We may or may not see you; our schedule seems to be locked in pretty tight.  If we miss you, know we love you and we’ll catch you next time.

We’re excited!!!

Now, don’t forget this week that letting little orneries play on your porch may have lasting effects! ha

God is Good,


PS  Today it’s Father’s Day in Australia.  I think that it’s on the calendar for September here because it’s beginning to be spring and power/garden tools sell better at that time. (who knows).  Mother’s Day is the same time in May…….go figure.  If you‘re not down here with us, give your father a hug if you can anyway!!  Both of our kids have lavished us with love over the last two days, to the point I get the feeling they think we’re two ancients about to set sail on the Titanic!

Rotten Eggs

I’ve got another joke for you.

There was a preacher’s wife…….and a preacher.  One day the preacher was getting something on his wife’s side of the bed and noticed a shoebox sticking out from under the dust ruffle.  Curious, since she kept her shoes in the closet, he pulled it out and peeked inside.  There, nestled in a pile of cash, were three eggs.  He carefully replaced it and thought about it for several days.

Finally he was able to bring it up casually in conversation.

“Well”, she blushed and began.  “It’s a little thing I do.  When you preach a particularly bad sermon, I put an egg in the box”

Immediately he thought of the three little eggs sitting there and breathed a sigh of relief.  ”Only 3 bad ones”, he thought.

“Oh, so what about all the money?” he ventured.

“Well……..” twisting her hands and grimacing,  seemingly  pondering  what her next move should be, she shrugged her shoulders and declared.

“Well……..When I get a dozen eggs, I sell em!”

I think last week’s blog may have been one of those “eggs”.  Even as I was typing my venting, that little voice was saying, “Mind what you say, girl; you’re not any better than those you’re complaining about!”

So please let me say that IF, as some were, you’re one of the many that were offended, please understand I wasn’t talking about YOU! These real or possibly imagined ‘excusers’ are far from the realm of my blog, and even if they were near, they wouldn’t be reading it!

So rest assured, I’ll keep my head down from now on and keep out of other’s business…….and their motives. Maybe I’ll cross-stitch Proverbs 26:17 to put on my wall as a reminder: “Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.”

In the words of Tiny Tim, “God bless us all!”

Love ya,


Pass the Dashi

Good morning all,

Excuse me while I drag out my soapbox…….

I heard a ‘story’ once about 4 PHD candidates who were out partying late one weekend and found that, because of the distance they’d wandered and the inability to wake up early, they’d be missing a crucial exam on Monday morning.  When they finally slid into class, they had their story prepared.  They all said in unison, “So sorry! Please forgive us but we had a flat tire on the way to class.”

The professor nodded and asked one of them into his inner sanctuary.  He explained that it was totally acceptable missing an exam because of a flat tire.  Then he continued, “I just need to know…..which tire?”

Oh the webs we weave.

If you’ve been watching the Olympic news you’ll know about the three American swimmers who had a late night out, and decided to fabricate a story about being robbed.  Now this morning at church I heard that some Australian athletes pulled a similar prank as well, claiming the all-too believable story of being robbed.  Unfortunately for them, we live in an age of CCT cameras and date and time stamps that quickly revealed they’d all lied.

When we lived in Japan we were all too familiar with a ‘custom’ that the Japanese called, “Use a noun and couple it with the word dashi”  For example, “Child Dashi” or “Business dashi,” etc. The word ‘Dashi” means simply  “to put forward”, and so we have, “Kodomo-dashi” which means “Child put forward” or……….. well, you get my drift.

I think in English we say, “Excuses”.

Lately I’ve observed a lot of ‘dashis’ in our church fellowship. Someone is moving, so they’re ‘taking a few weeks off church’. Another couple is going thru a particularly rough patch, so they’re saying that because of that, they won’t be coming to church.

It’s almost as if, at one of the most vulnerable times of their lives, they’re abandoning the one thing (group) they need the most.

My children have occasionally said, “Oh, Mom, your rule is that you have to go to church unless you’re on fire”……….which I guess I may have communicated a little too harshly, but still………the Church is there for us, in the good times and in the bad, so what’s with all the excuses for not going?

I can’t help but think of that verse in Hebrews 10 about “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (verse 25). It doesn’t get much plainer than that, right? When things get busy, or tough, THEN of all times is not the time to step away from those who stand ready and willing to reach out with a word of encouragement or perhaps even a helping hand.

Now, if it’s a case of there not being that kind of support at church, then hold on a minute while I drag my other soap box out. But maybe I should hear from you first. Am I way out of line here? Is the Church still relevant to society, and if it is, then why do people avoid it at their times of greatest need?

Have a great week, and have a think about all those “dashis” we use or hear all around us.

Love ya, no excuses,