Posted by: Nancy Day-Achauer | April 15, 2012

Friday Night Live! Children’s Program

Child praying in the prayer closet made at Friday Night Live! Too bad you can't see all the art work inside and out.

Advertisements
Posted by: Nancy Day-Achauer | July 4, 2010

Independence Day Prayer

Loving and gracious God who knows us and calls to us, seeking us in the midst of our daily lives, we lift up to you our thanks and praises. We are grateful to live in a country where we can celebrate independence, where we are free to voice our opinions, associate with whom we choose, and worship wherever we desire. We thank you for having blessed our country and are grateful that we are not the only country to receive your blessings for we know that your children live in all the countries on the earth. We pray that all your children in all the faith traditions choose to live a life of love, justice, mercy, and forgiveness for that is how we reflect your image. As we celebrate our liberties this day, may we remember to put you first in our lives – GOD and country rather than COUNTRY and God – for it is in you that we will find true happiness. Amen.

Posted by: Nancy Day-Achauer | June 18, 2010

Thoughts on Fathers’ Day

     I’ve been preparing the Sunday service for Fathers’ Day and while doing so I was reminded of how lucky I am. I am lucky because my father is still alive and relatively healthy. I am lucky because my father was always around. I am lucky because my father did his job – meaning he took care of his family rather than neglect or abuse us. I am lucky because my father taught us things, all sorts of things (including things I didn’t appreciate at the time). I’m lucky because my siblings and I could count on our dad to be a dad even when it was inconvenient, boring, expensive, and a pain in the neck. Yep, I’m lucky.

     Unfortunately, there are many people who have not been as lucky so Fathers’ Day is a difficult day for them. Some fathers have died or gone off to war and their children miss them. Tragically, some fathers neglect and/or abuse their children. Some fathers choose to be absent either physically or emotionally. Some fathers do unspeakable things to their children. Some fathers are selfish and immature and fail to take care of their children. Some fathers just aren’t good at the job and don’t bother to try. I won’t pretend to understand how the children of these men feel but I’m thinking Fathers’ Day really sucks for them because it’s a public reminder that their fathers failed them.

     I bet there are also some fathers out there who are regretting that they weren’t as good of a father as they should have been and this holiday is stirring up feelings of shame and remorse. It must be a tough day for fathers who have regrets. But Fathers’ Day must also be difficult for some good dads out there – fathers whose children have died, fathers whose children live far away, and fathers who are estranged from their children through no fault of their own. This holiday is difficult for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons and it’s easy for the rest of us to forget that.

     This Fathers’ Day, in addition to celebrating, lets remember to be sensitive to those people struggling with this holiday and hold them in prayer. Let’s also pray for those men out there who need to learn how to be a good dad, may they be open to God’s help. And don’t forget that all those good dads out there need prayers too, it’s a tough job and they’re doing it. And whatever kind of father you are – God loves you and God’s grace is available to you. I pray that everyone is open to experiencing God’s grace this Fathers’ Day.

Shalom.

Posted by: Nancy Day-Achauer | May 27, 2010

Christianity and Tea Party Libertarianism

I could not have said it better so I won’t. Check out Jim Wallis’ blog post “How Christian is Tea Party Libertarianism”: http://blog.sojo.net/2010/05/27/how-christian-is-tea-party-libertarianism/

Posted by: Nancy Day-Achauer | January 28, 2010

Knowing People’s Stories

     At a recent gathering with friends one person in the group reflected on how people’s lives are an ongoing story that is constantly being written and that none of us truly knows another person’s story. My friend’s insights inspired me to reflect both on my story and also on my presumptions of other people’s stories. I have encountered people who had totally inaccurate perceptions of my story. They believed that they knew who I was, what I thought, what my motivations were, what my intentions were, etc. and yet they were way off base. Their misperceptions (good or bad) add a layer to my story – there’s the Nancy that I am and the various “other Nancys” that people think I am and even though the “other Nancys” are not the real me they affect my life because they affect how others relate to me.

     I am certain that my experience is not unique; undoubtedly, other people have similar experiences. While it irks me that people think they know my story (and therefore “me”), I must confess that I am guilty of making the same mistake with others. On more than one occasion, I have presumed to know someone else’s story and I suspect that everyone else has made the same mistake at some point. We take a snapshot of what we know of someone and create a whole story around that image. If people are a jerk at work we assume they are a jerk in all other aspects of their lives. If a classmate is quiet in school we assume that the person is quiet all the time. We create entire identities for people based on limited knowledge (or worse yet, rumors) and too often it doesn’t occur to us that we could be wrong. I once worked with a guy who was a total nightmare at the office and later discovered that outside of work he was a kind and loving husband and father with many friends. I never would have guessed that his story included such polar opposites.

     I have come to learn that even if you know a lot about a person and/or know a person well you still don’t know the person’s whole story. My parents were married for close to 25 years before my mother learned that my father hated mac ‘n’ cheese. My husband continues to be amazed that I love to watch war movies. Families often presume to know each other’s stories and yet they can be totally wrong. Well, maybe that’s just my family but I suspect that we’re not alone.

     It might sound a little sad or lonely knowing that no one person truly knows your whole story but there actually is someone that knows the real you and that’s God. All those thoughts and feelings you have, including those you haven’t shared with anyone, are known to God. God searches you and delves deep into your soul, unearthing all that you are and all you are capable of. God is at work knowing you even if you have been ignoring or denying God. When other people totally misunderstand you, God understands. When other people make inaccurate assumptions about you, God knows the real deal. Whenever you’re confused about yourself, talk to God because God understands you better than you do. And even though God knows your story, go ahead and tell God about it; God enjoys a heartfelt conversation with you about you.

Grace and peace.

Posted by: Nancy Day-Achauer | January 14, 2010

Haiti

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers.

Please pray for the people of Haiti and the relief workers. Funds are desperately needed for recovery work and will be needed for rebuilding also. During times like this, many disreputable people and organizations will try to take your money under the guise of providing help for recovery efforts. Some people are running blatant scams and there are also familiar organizations that collect money but spend a large percentage of it on themselves and very little on the actual cause. These people will prey on your compassion so you must be cautious when making donations.

One organization I can vouch for is The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). 100% of your donation will go directly to recovery efforts in Haiti. You can also help by making health kits which provide basic necessities to disaster victims. If you are able to make a donation to help with the recovery efforts, please consider giving to UMCOR. Go to http://www.umcor.org for information and to make donations.

Grace and peace be with you.

Posted by: Nancy Day-Achauer | December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Wishing you all a happy and blessed New Year!

May each day be filled with the peace of Jesus Christ in your heart and the joy of knowing that you are loved by God. I pray that throughout the year you hear the call of the Holy Spirit and respond with a resounding YES so that all God’s children can experience the Kingdom of God.

Shalom.

Posted by: Nancy Day-Achauer | December 20, 2009

Mary was a Risk Taker

     Today I preached on Mary, both the annunciation and her song of praise. Mary’s story is so familiar we tend to gloss over it. When we think of Mary at this stage of the game we tend to think warm fuzzy thoughts about how special she was and we marvel at her eloquent response to the whole virgin birth of God’s son endeavor. Yeah, it’s a great story of obedience and trust but I propose that we focus on the “other side” of Mary – that girl was a risk taker.

     Mary risked a lot to be obedient. She risked death (women frequently died in childbirth back then). She risked being shunned by her family and community. She risked her entire future when she chose to be obedient. Mary was a risk taker for God. She had to be tough too. She had to give her family and Joseph the unbelievable news about her pregnancy – that had to be a difficult conversation. And it doesn’t stop there, you can be certain people were gossiping about Mary the whole time she was pregnant and it’s a safe bet that people speculated about Jesus’ parentage for years. A young girl had to be tough to withstand such talk.

     Whenever I think of Mary, I don’t think about her eloquent words in the first chapter of Luke and I don’t imagine her as being passively obedient either. I think about how tough and courageous she was. Yes, Mary was obedient and trusted God but doing that takes guts. I wish I had the guts of the Virgin Mary.

     Mary had the guts to take a big risk, a risk most of us wouldn’t take. Most of us will never encounter that level of risk but we do encounter little risks all the time. Right now each of us has a risk before us – we can share Jesus Christ with someone. It’s risky because it might be awkward for us and the person might rebuff us but heck, it’s a lot easier than virgin birth! This week, take a little risk for Christ and invite someone to attend Christmas Eve worship with you. It’s a little risk with the potential of a great reward – the person you invite may find Christ that day and that’s a gift that keeps on giving!

Peace be with you as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Now go out there and take a risk for Christ!

Posted by: Nancy Day-Achauer | December 15, 2009

News Flash, Christmas is a Christian Holiday

     Ah, Christmas. I love Christmas. I love the music, the decorating, and the festivities. I even enjoy many of the secular aspects of the season. BUT (and this is a big BUT) I get really annoyed when Christ gets pushed into the background. I get testy when people try to downplay the incarnation so as not to “offend” anyone. (Uh, excuse me folks, HE is the reason for the season.) I get really testy when churches give secular Christmas priority over sacred Christmas.

     I’m going to be totally politically incorrect (which doesn’t come naturally to someone from the San Francisco Bay Area) and come right out and say it: Christmas is a Christian holiday, if you’re not into Christ then start your own holiday instead of trying to remove Christ from this one.

Yep, I said it. It’s not very charitable of me; you could say I sound cranky and selfish. So be it.

     That said, I hope that all the Christmas hype causes someone to ponder why there is a holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. I hope that someone decides to look into this whole Jesus thing to see what the fuss is all about. Jesus will change your life; I hope you will let him be your reason for the season.

May grace and peace be with you as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Nancy Day-Achauer | November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Thank you God for sending us Jesus Christ to transform the world and us.

Blessings to all on this day of thanks.

Shalom

Older Posts »

Categories