Thank you OCCer’s
We are reading the Gospel of Luke this Lenten season.
Today, 6 March, we begin with Luke 1:1-45
Here is the reading schedule
Ray and Brenda are going to Guatemala on March Break to see Emily and Carlos. (Woohoo! I think they are excited!) They would like to take a suitcase of items to bless the kids they connect with in the rural villages around Antigua. The items needed are:
- school supplies,
- tooth brushes,
- tooth paste.
If you’d like to be involved in this project, feel free to drop off any of these items at
- Orillia Community Church or
- Paramount Auto by March 4.
Or, if you’d like to make a financial contribution they would be happy to buy some supplies on your behalf.
Connect with Brenda for more information.
Shrove Tuesday | 5 March
Ash Wednesday | 6 March
Palm Sunday | 14 April
Maundy Thursday | 18 April
Good Friday | 19 April
Easter Sunday | 21 April
As part of Lent this year we are encouraging you to read through the Gospel of Luke.
Here is the reading schedule
We talked about the discipline or practice or prayer of examen on Sunday. Here is the basic outline. Use it as a way of being present in God’s presence.
God I believe I am in your presence and that you love me
God as I look at the gifts of the day, I give you thanks, because you are the source and the giver of these gifts
Spirit of God, help me to understand the mystery of my heart. Help me to see my limits and to respond to your many gifts.
God help me to see the faces of the people I have met, the places I have been and the things I have thought, spoken and done.
God for where I have seen you present I give thanks. Where I have resisted seeing you, I ask for forgiveness. Enable me by your grace to seek you and see you at all times.
We get our life (our value, worth, significance, security) from Jesus. “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT)
Gratitude finds its root in the Latin word “gratis” which is where we get the word grace. It means finding the good in all things. Everything we have, we’ve been given. That begins with the very breath in our lungs.
In every situation, we have the choice to be grateful.
Contrary to popular belief, gratitude is not a feeling or an emotion, it is a choice.
As we begin to understand what we’ve been given, gratitude grows.
- As it expands, we learn to cultivate an abundance mindset.
- An abundance mindset sees endless possibilities and blessings.
- On the other hand, a scarcity mindset sees challenges and struggles.
- In short, gratitude chooses to see what we have while entitlement chooses to focus on what we don’t have.
Choose to live with gratitude.
Playing the comparison game is one of the things human beings do best. We spend a lot of our time comparing our capacities and careers and possessions to other people, wishing ours was different, or more.
But what we don’t realize is, we’re only envying people’s presumed happiness. We’re only comparing ourselves with people’s idealized versions of themselves. And we have no idea what’s going on inside of others.
And so, anything we say about ourselves in relation to them will be unfair, biased and only focused on a place outside of ourselves.
In the same way that our doctor tells us to drink plenty of fluids when we’re sick, we need to let gratitude flush out envy. Here are a few strategies.
- Instead of beating ourselves up about how much farther along the journey someone else is, take an inventory of how far we’ve come.
- Instead of resenting people for receiving more recognition than we have or feel their work deserves, send them a note with heartfelt congratulations.
- Instead of cursing the unfairness about whose dream gets more attention, show an appreciation for the fact that we even have room to dream in the first place.
Obviously, not all in the same day.
This practice of letting gratitude crowd out envy is not an easy one to practice.
It requires deep imagination, optimism and trust.
Basically, a total reframing of something that comes naturally to us.
And that’s what the gospel does in us.