Thursday, June 19, 2014


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…  Ephesians 1:3

Our Hero Journeys start with the blessing of God. The concept of blessing can be “to speak well of, praise, extol” or to “bestow a favor, provide with benefits.”  Both ideas appear in Paul’s opening to His letter to the Ephesians. We are to praise God for the favor he shows us.

All of our lives are to be lived in response to the initiative of God.  To the degree of our awareness of His favor, we will internalize grace and blessing which will be directly proportionate to the degree we respond vertically with praise and horizontally by serving others.  This, dear friends, is the essence of living an eternally significant life.

Sharon Brown exemplifies the hero journey so well.  One of the ways she is responding to the blessing of being “in Christ” is by investing an hour a week as a reading tutor through our Redwood City Reads program.  Here is what she posted this week on her blog:

I give each day to God in the morning before I do anything else. I thank Him ahead of time for what the day holds and ask Him to help me follow Him closely as I go through the good and the bad of each day. In doing this over the years, I have learned to recognize His voice over all the other voices that clammer for my attention through the day.
My latest adventure has been reading with a little girl at Fair Oaks School one day a week for an hour. My first day at Fair Oaks was a little confusing because I had never been there before.  I popped into a classroom and asked an aide who was working with children if she knew where I was supposed to go to help with the reading program. She didn’t, but said I could stay with her and help her.  She called over Brianna and told her I would be helping her. We sat at a small table and my heart was instantly involved with this little girl.  She was leery of me and very hesitant to read for me. I read with some other children that day but didn’t feel that heart tug that I had with Brianna.
The next week I went back to that classroom and as I walked in, Brianna jumped up and said, “That’s Sharon, my helper!”  Each week has been a gift as Brianna comes into the room and runs to me and gives me a hug. We work through her homework in math and then end our time reading together.
Every week she lets me into her life just a little bit. I’ve learned that she is the only girl in a family of ten. That they live in two trailer houses and she even mapped out where they all sleep.  She said that her mother was pregnant with another baby. One Tuesday she said, “Sharon, can I tell you something?” I focused my attention on her and she said her mom had another boy that weekend. 
I could see her disappointment but then she pulled out her new pink pencil bag and said her mom had given her this and told her she was still the princess of the family. I could see in her eyes that even though she was in such a different place than me, that she was loved and was not an uncared for little waif as I might have imagined. It put me in a different place with her as I could see God using me not to be her rescuer but only her helper. I am pleased to fill my place in her life and will let God do what He does best. Be God.

Great story, huh?  Want to learn more about involving yourself in Redwood City Reads?  Want to learn more about the Hero Journey?  Watch a 4 minute TED Talk here. Want to learn more about our summer Hero Series and all that is entailed in it? 

This weekend we look at Heroic Grace studying the lives of Hosea and Gomer.  It is chronicled in an Old Testament Book named Hosea. Why not read up beforehand and come ready to be in awe at the scandal of God’s grace?  Live heroically today!

I love being your pastor!