Granbury First UMC Blog Posts

Lent Devotionals: Wednesday, March 8

Defining Moments

Defining moments can be found in…a country’s politics, in wars, in acts of aggression and terror, in natural calamities such as earthquakes and tsunami’s, floods, avalanches, hurricanes and tornadoes, in the calamities of death, divorce…you can go on and on. Lives are disrupted, impacted and forever changed…not by the moment itself, but by our actions following. We could choose to wallow in self pity and blame those whom we see at fault, or we can rise up, push through, and get passed it.
When I was younger my parents got a divorce. My dad left my family for a new life, and as a young child I couldn’t comprehend what all was going on. In that time I blamed my brother, an infant, I would sometimes do things that were downright cruel to him, and he did nothing to deserve it. Being a parent is hard and mistakes are made along the way. I harbored ill feelings towards my father through most of high school, but something happened when I got near the age he was when he left. I was able to empathize and somewhat understand his motivations. He wasn’t leaving us as much as running out of fear and the issues of failure that he struggled with. I now know that I was projecting the pain I felt and the thoughts that it was my fault onto my brother. I also know that my father leaving was out of his own perceptions of himself, not the failures of a four year old.  
When Jesus was forced into the desert for forty days he could have done just that. He could have blamed others and focused on the bad, but instead he used it as a time of preparation and reflection. He comes out proclaiming the good news.
So I ask you:
How are you responding to your defining moments?
What are your actions defining about you?
Where are you harboring ill feelings that can be let go?

Josh Leblo
Youth Ministry Director



Lent Devotionals: Tuesday, March 7

Uncertainty/Fear—No Way

As I look at the scripture from Mark, it is amazing to imagine heaven splitting open and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove. Even more compelling are the words that come from heaven, “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.” Anyone that has a child can understand the depths of those words that God spoke.

Then just as quickly as those words came, so came the immediate departure into the wilderness.  Jesus didn’t begin his ministry with great fanfare.  There wasn’t a big parade.   He began it in the wilderness.  The wilderness involved temptation and living among the wild animals.
If we look at our lives and the world we live in, it appears that we live in the wilderness.  In the wilderness we become our true selves.  Our vulnerabilities show and we acknowledge that our lives are messy.  We, just like Jesus, are tempted to forget the promises made by God.  We are fearful of the unknowns in the world.  We may even feel as if wild animals are about to overtake us.  Uncertainty and fear can dominate our time in the wilderness. 
We only need to read to the end of the passage to be reminded of a promise.  “And the angels took care of him.”  God stands ready and waiting for us to ask him for help during our wilderness experiences.  He waits patiently for us to discard our uncertainties and fears.  He is there with his hand outstretched asking us to humbly and simply trust him.  Jesus trusted him during his wilderness experience.  That trust helped him survive that experience.  Then, Jesus’ ministry emerged. 
How might God be using our wilderness experience to impact our world?  Let’s humbly and simply trust him.  No more uncertainties and fears. 
 
Karen Cooper
Children’s Ministry Director