Dear Friends,

A week from Wednesday (April 22) we have a treat in store at Wednesday Night Live.  Mark Maddix, dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministries at Northwest Nazarene University will be our guest.  Mark is a nationally recognized authority in the field of spiritual formation.  His book (co-edited with Diane Leclerc), Spiritual Formation: A Wesleyan Paradigm is highly regarded.  I’ve asked Mark if he could come and offer an overview on this subject.  He will be talking about how we can grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ.  Come for dinner at 6 pm.   Mark’s presentation will be from 6:45 to 8 pm in the GPS building.

I have read Mark’s book.  Rather than a book review, I want to just share one story that has stayed with me.  A woman is riding on a train.  She’s tired.  She’s stressed. Her mind is filled with all her problems and worries.  She tries to read her book but finds it impossible to concentrate.  She looks up and sees everyone else “zoned out”, passing the time texting, listening to music, or staring vacantly out the window.  There is one exception.  There is a woman holding her infant child.  She’s just sitting there doing nothing other than beholding her sleeping baby.  The contrast between her and the other passengers is “like the difference between a roaring storm and a peaceful calm.”

Then it dawned on her.  “God is like that mother and he is beholding you with joy.  Be still.  Pay attention.  Behold God.”

A scripture comes to mind.

Thus says the LORD:  “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the offspring of her womb?  Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraven you on the palms of my hands.”   Isaiah 49:15-16

You are loved.  More than you know.

In Christ,