December 29, 2014

January 2015

Filed under: Faith Works — admin @ 8:27 am

50th Anniversary Sweatshirts

“Also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.’    ~Ecclesiastes 3:13

2014 is drawing to a close. We have much that needs to be done – the story of Baby Jesus needs to be told, New Year’s Resolutions need to be made, budgets need to be finalized, planning for Lent needs to begin, and as we all know, I could go on and on.

But among all of these “things” that “need” to get finished, I want to share something I have learned over the course of this year. It is the follow up to the “For everything there is a season” scripture we all know and love. It is the 13th verse, the one that reads:

“Also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil – this is God’s gift to man.”

What beautiful words! Words that are actually written in the Bible – words that give us permission to enjoy everything we have worked so hard to bring to fruition. And we all work hard: physically, mentally, and emotionally. We put much energy into what we do, so why shouldn’t we spend some energy celebrating it?

Toil means to work very hard for a long time. God did. God created – toiled – for 6 days, and then “God rested.” God worked hard creating something beautiful out of complete chaos. And then, for one day, God took the time to step back and take a good look at everything that God created, and called it “GOOD.”

There was a time in my life – not so long ago – where everything I did needed to be perfect. And in that perfection, I worked so hard, I forgot to celebrate. I moved from one project right into the next, and didn’t take time to stop and enjoy what I just accomplished. In my not-so-infinite wisdom, I thought that as long as the event, or present, or whatever, was perfect, then everyone would be pleased. In making sure it was “perfect”, I forgot to enjoy the fruit of my labor. I forgot to “eat and drink and take pleasure” in my toil. Today, I take the time to stop and step back, and enjoy what I have done. I am not the same person I used to be.

We all “toil”. We are human, and we work hard. We cultivate the soil, plant the seeds, tend the seeds, and then we harvest the seeds. We get frustrated when the weather doesn’t give us what we want, we grow impatient when we don’t see the first shoots poking out of the ground right away. Sometimes we toil day and night to be sure every single bit of work is finished.

It is good to work hard, to want to do well in whatever you are trying to accomplish. But at the same time, we were created to be people of joy. We were created to “eat and drink and take pleasure in (our) toil.”

As we prepare to say good-bye to 2014, and ring in 2015, I invite you to look back over this past year and remember what it was that you “toiled” over. Take a good look at it, and then take a moment to celebrate what you have done. Take pleasure in it! There is always tomorrow to finish what you need to finish. Remember, “this is God’s gift” to us.

Christmas Peace ~ Pastor Heidi

October 5, 2009

Quad-Cities CROP Walk, 2009

Filed under: Faith Works — Pastor Tim @ 9:37 am

With a couple of rainy, gloomy days before yesterday, I was worried what it could be like walking over the bridge at yesterday’s CROP Walk.  While the temperature was rather cool, and a chilly breeze blowing, the brightly-shining sun made a huge difference for those of us who walked over the bridge!

The walkers from Faith UCC included Sandra and Lyndy Holdt, Nicki, Lucas, and Jacob Smith, Harry and Maggie Stroupe, Janet and Tim Darmour-Paul, Helena Henry, and Darla DeToye.  Oh, and I took Metro along for the first couple of miles, but I wasn’t about to let him pull me over the bridge!  Darla, Helena, and I completed the entire six-mile route, and I suspect we all enjoyed getting our feet up and relaxing during the evening.

Thanks to all who walked and who contributed!