President … Fall 2017

I’ve been exploring our new theme “Feel”.

I’ll probably have a good grasp of it by the end of the two-year cycle. It takes me awhile.

Acts 17:27-28 (NIV)

27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’  As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

As I look at the theme scripture in Acts 17: 28-29 the word “reach” jumps out at me.

I instantly think of the telephone company commercial from days gone by and am reminded of the line, “reach out and touch someone”.

Now as I contemplate that phrase I’m struck with the message. Isn’t that what Jesus wants us to do? Aren’t we supposed to reach out and touch someone’s heart with His love? Aren’t we supposed to reach outside of our comfort zone and help those in need?

Hmmm, maybe it won’t take me two years to understand the theme after all.

Jesus is always by my side teaching me what He wants me to know and understand.

Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t it amazing how He can be at my side in Cato New York and be at your side where you live – Albany, New York City/Long Island, Rochester, Syracuse, Potsdam, Cuba and everywhere in between.

I’m especially conscious of His presence in my heart and the closeness I feel when He’s answering prayer.

But yet sometimes I don’t feel His presence at all. And that, my sisters, is a scary, lonely, dark place, isn’t it? I know you know what I’m talking about.

I recently had an experience that amazed me.

I had been asked if I wanted to take a certain employment position. I said yes, even when I knew I didn’t want to do it. I asked some friends to pray for me. They did and so did I. It happened that every time I brought the subject up to Jesus, I got this definite feeling of dread in my stomach. Now who would guess that would be the answer to my questioning prayer?

Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for Him to give me words of wisdom in some other way? Shouldn’t I have heard His quiet voice saying, “Don’t do it, Lillian.” Those words might have been more palatable but maybe I needed the proverbial hit upside the head with a 2×4 to get the message; or the big knot in my abdomen as it turned out.

People haven’t changed much since Old Testament days. We are still a stiff-necked bunch. I wonder sometimes why our Heavenly Father can have the patience to put up with us.

There are numerous times in the Bible where the Lord gets frustrated and angry with the Israelites. No, we haven’t changed much.

Yet because of His grace and mercy we can walk in His love and light.

In spite of the darkness all around us in our day, His light shines. It’s up to us to reach out and show His light to all those people around us; the poor, the hungry, the naked and the imprisoned.

Our beloved community.

It’s our job as American Baptist Women’s Ministries and followers of Jesus Christ to “Reach out and touch someone.”

To God be the glory, great things He hath done.

Amen.

Blessings to each of you, Lillian

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