For the promise is unto you, and to your children,
and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.  Acts 2:39

There has been a struggle within me to understand and beyond that, know in my heart, the truths others proclaim in church.  Still in this struggle I am surprised at the diminishment of hope I have experienced.  I would not have noticed it so clearly without the help of a little brother.
Since starting to write for the EncouraGem I have been able (mostly) to maintain an encouraging outlook and relate the bumps and bruises I experience along the spiritual path I have chosen.  Going to church, maintaining a path can become a grind and a routine where spiritual messages are lost in human behavior.  My own shortcomings can stand out and Sundays can become greyer and the church feel very far away indeed.
No matter what happens in the church it always seems to be made better in relationship with individuals in the congregation.  I have seen behavior which I would very much like to emulate and other times perhaps not so much.  There are people who have shown me the positive effects their relationship with God has brought them by offering concrete proof in the form of generosities, which I will never forget.  To outline these generosities would, I believe, only embarrass individuals.  Safe to say they might be seen in the light of modern day life as a true extension of their ministry and their relationship with God.
All this being said, I can find myself lost in the grey land between science and religion, belief and faith, ego and service, scrambling to hold on, or letting go and trusting in God.
What has been around me all this time is the younger people who seem to be living their hope each day by trusting in God and putting one foot in front of the other.  Marriages and births show me the real hope and trust these people have in God.  Trust that there will be a planet for their children and a future where hope and faith in God will allow a brighter daily outlook.
I was blessed recently when Kristine allowed me to hold her newborn Levi.  What a privilege, what a joyful few minutes holding this wonderful new life in my arms.
Teasing Mom, I asked when his first piano lesson would be when she unfolded his hand to reveal to me his long fingers.  Perhaps the first lesson is not that far away.
It was so very encouraging and enlightening to be trusted even for a few minutes, to hold him and to share for a little while this blessing from God, who apparently has the same taste in shirts as myself.
And then I held Levi.  A little bundle who helped me to know a little better the possibilities and hope in God’s world.
Thank you Kristine and thank you Levi.  God bless you.

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