The Mission of St Patrick

sheep

My in-laws are of Irish decent. And March 17th is filled with all sorts of festivities. Many of the cultural celebrations of St Patrick’s Day are unappealing to me. These have more to do with getting drunk and seeing how many shades of green we can layer upon ourselves. It’s not that I am a prude or opposed to having fun. I just find fun in more “sobering” ways.

But St. Patrick’s Day is not about green beer and corned beef. And I’m not sure it is even about a man from Ireland. It is about a man taking the Good News about the Good Shepherd to the lost sheep in a foreign land. I am reminded that there are still lost sheep today. Some are living in foreign lands and some in our own neighborhoods. Men, women, and children who need to hear there is hope. They need to hear there is a Shepherd Who longs to heal their wounded soul.

As we celebrate today (and, for some, all week long), let us remember the lost sheep around us. Invite them in. Share a drink and a laugh. Tell them there is still hope in this crazy, crazy world. And love them like the Good Shepherd would.

Fight Fair

Boxing is a sport I can appreciate. Two men beating the snot out of each other, and the last one standing wins. I can follow that strategy. There are very few rules; no hitting below the belt, listen to the referee, and take breaks.

It would do us well to follow these same principles in our relationships. Saint James and Saint Paul give us similar rules to help us.

1) be quick to listen
2) be slow to speak
3) be slow to become angry
4) if you get angry, at least don’t sin
5) do your best to resolve the issue, preferably before bed

I don’t always remember these. And, my guess is, you don’t either. I suppose that’s why Jesus also commanded us to be quick to forgive. Forgive those who neglect these principles, and forgive yourself when you also fail.

Here’s to a year of learning to fight fair. But remember it may take a lifetime.

Creating a Church Nursery Space for Crawlers

bastienjc:

Here are some updates to our children’s department. We are overjoyed with God’s many blessings.

Originally posted on Jennifer Noricks:

I lead Children’s Ministry at my small church. Our youngest children are in a large classroom; they range in age from birth to Pre-Kindergarten. It was impossible for our workers to find a safe spot for newly mobile infants. Thanks to a donation, I was given a budget of $900 to create a Crawler Zone. When I started looking into the project, I was overwhelmed by the choices that are available.

First of all, I had a hard time finding the products I’ve seen in crawler zones at libraries and children’s museums. I didn’t know what they were called. My advice to you is, do a Web search for “soft play toddler.” You can go to the company websites and request catalogs if that’s your preferred method of browsing. Wesco brand products will come up quite frequently. I ended up selecting Wesco floor mats, wall mats, and “tiny tot module”…

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