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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

"Detours" - Rachel Olson - January 17, 2018

Good afternoon friends-

How do you handle detours, big or small?

This past Monday, as the temperatures were below freezing again, I look outside and see a beautiful sundog. The sun that brings us warmth is giving me a glimpse of a rainbow. That rainbow gives me hope during a time I am experiencing detours. Where am I? I am sitting at a body shop getting a battery for my van, detour. My daughter fractured her pinky finger and hasn’t been able to compete at her first 2 meets this season, detour. Last Thursday, the ice storm put limitations on how I was able to work and could have put me a day behind, detour. This past Sunday morning as I was getting ready to visit my grandfather who was in the hospital, I received a call that he had passed. That was a major detour! How do I continue my discipleship path when hit with these detours? Romans 8:28 came to mind. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Detours come in all shapes and sizes, but all of them share one thing in common...we didn’t see them coming. They catch us off guard, leaving us feeling frustrated, confused, curious and even heart-broken. We question God; why did this happen, at this time. The temptation is to become discouraged, even angry at God, as we experience our faith being rocked. Do we fight it? Do we take a deep breath and submit?

As we experience life, God changes our plans. We choose how we respond. 

Perhaps the lesson we can learn from these experiences is that when we take such detours we might try taking the time to enjoy the detour. What do we see along the detour that we would have missed going our own way? What is it God is trying to focus our attention on? As I reflect on my detours and ponder why God used these at this time, I truly can’t see the big picture, God’s picture. Sometimes it is hard to imagine that things are being worked out for our good. The only thing I can do is...TRUST. To put my faith in God’s plan and continue to worship, serve and be a witness. I have to trust that all things work for good as in Romans 8:28. My grandfather was 95 years old. He lived a long, good life and was at peace. Now I will continue on my disciple journey holding on to his memories

Join us this Sunday for Max Wellman and Friends concert at 4 pm.  A part of the Music & More on Grand series.

Annual Celebration January 27th at 5 pm!  Everyone is invited for an evening of fun thanking our retiring leaders, installing new leaders and looking at our plans for 2018.  RSVP to Sandy Law at 223-1189 or slaw.2@hotmail.com.


Rachel Olson

West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines Iowa 50265

Friday, January 12, 2018

"How Does One Become a Disciple?" - Rachel Olson - January 10, 2018

SHHHHHH!! Pastor Cindy’s out and I am taking over the midweek devotion. I want to begin by saying “Thank You” for welcoming me into your church! With the people I have met so far, I can feel that God has big plans for WDMUMC. This got me thinking, what makes this such a great church? Is it the building? The weekly activities held here? The staff? Or people of the church being disciples? This led me to wonder how does one become a disciple.

A disciple of Jesus can be defined as being a worshiper, a servant, and a witness. It might seem overwhelming to be a disciple, but having faith in Christ and only worshiping Him is a great start. Are we going to mess up? Of course, we are only human. We then need to be able to see that something such as money, career or family is our priority and as GPS says “recalculating,” and turn back to Him. This will take practice, but the relationships you will make and the peace you will feel is so worth the journey.

Creating relationships is wrapped around being a servant. Serving those next door, down the street or even beyond. Even Jesus had served the disciples by washing their feet and giving the commandment to love one another. “…As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34 During my one year break from working full time, it was all about me…I was on empty and I needed a lot of “me” time to get filled up again and gain a positive outlook on life. I was anxious beginning a new job, wondering will my serving attitude come back or would I have a constant struggle between serving others and serving myself. The transformation was amazing and I’m able to be a witness again.

“…As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” John 20:21. We are all on a mission to be His witness to the great love and grace He gives us every day. Just as Jesus was sent for a purpose, so are we, to reveal God and tell of His good news. To do this there is no need to stand in the middle of a busy intersection shouting how you are saved, but reflect on those times that God has shown up in your life and SHARE.

With our world full of busyness and anxiety, people are searching for hope and peace. As we understand more about becoming a worshiper, servant and a witness we can start to change the world. As we begin or continue our disciple walk, we will bring hope to others and sometimes not even realize the lives we have changed. God knows where you are today, and He knows how to get you where you need to be. Trust Him and follow His lead.