Friday, July 12, 2019

Climbing Without a Rope

This is my "abbreviated" sermon manuscript from my sermon on Sunday

Luke 22:14-23 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

14 When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. 15 He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I tell you, I will not eat it[a] until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.[b] 21 But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. 22 For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!” 23 Then they began to ask one another which one of them it could be who would do this.

There's a rock climber named Alex Honnold who decided he was going to climb El Capitan, a 3000 foot cliff, in Yosemite national park. Not only was he going to climb the cliff but he was going to "free solo" climb the cliff. If you don't know what free solo means it means to climb without a rope or any other safety equipment. He trained for this climb for almost ten years. When he was interviewed after completing the task he said things such as: everything needs to feel automatic, I couldn't allow doubt to creep in, and it's as much about the spiritual effort as the physical effort. While he was practicing (in his living room) he said this: "it may have felt silly but it still had to get done, everything had to be perfect if I was going to climb the route without a rope. When asked why he wanted to do this he simply said: "I didn't want to be a lucky climber, I wanted to be great. His story brings up a lot of questions for me but they really can be boiled down to one question: why on earth would someone do something like that? The rope is his lifeline and he chose not to use it for help.

Luckily we don't have to go through life without a lifeline. We have that lifeline in Jesus Christ who paid the price for our sins long ago by dying on the cross so that we are redeemed. When Christ calls out from the cross: "Father forgive them; for they know not what they do," I believe that statement is not just for the people present at the cross, or just meant for those who deserted him, or even just for the people alive in the first century. I believe it's for all people for all time. This is key to Christ's gospel and it is our lifeline.

It's important to note that even though we have that life line it doesn't give us permission to act stupidly. We are asked to do the same thing that Jesus' friends were asked to do so long ago. While reading the scripture for this week a couple things really stuck out to me that I would like to share.

When the hour came, he took his place at the table and that he eagerly desires to eat this Passover meal with them before he suffers. The last supper is a pivotal moment in the life and ministry of Jesus and as the moment of his resurrection is approaching Jesus chooses to have this simple meal with his disciples. He calls them his friends and eats with them and gives the meal new meaning by teaching them by example about was it means to show sacrificial love. He redefines the meal by having the bread and the wine represent His body and His blood that are given and poured out for you. He did this willingly and eagerly.

The one who betrays Jesus is with Jesus and his hand is on the table. Judas is there and has already made a deal to turn Jesus over for a payday. Jesus knows Judas will betray him and Jesus still breaks bread with him. Jesus welcomes the person who will turn him over to suffer and be crucified. It's significant to me because Jesus shows what it means to forgive and that EVERYONE is welcome at the table.

I was given this stole for my commissioning from a mentor and pastor friend of mine named Dixie Robertson. She served as an associate pastor and youth director at my home church in Lubbock while I was in junior high and high school. The stole is a communion stole and it's a reminder that we are all God's children and we are all welcome at God's table, no matter what. Even Judas was welcome at the Lord's table. Remember that just because we are forgiven and the price has been paid, that does not give us permission to act stupidly. In John's gospel Jesus says this:

13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.  ~ John 15:13-15 (NRSV)

So to be a friend of Jesus means that we are to be in relationship with Jesus. For us today that means that we are called to do as Jesus did and lay down our lives in service to others. It's about sacrificing our wants and sometimes our needs for the betterment of others. We are to be in relationship with Jesus and take on those characteristics for ourselves which means we are to love others as God loves us. Jesus gives us a pattern for showing Christian love to others. The example is given to us by God giving us Jesus and Jesus giving himself up for us.

So Alex Honnold decided to climb El Capitan without a rope. A rope similar to this one pictured that I was given at a sports conference in April. This rope sits in my office but this rope is no longer a climbing rope, it has new meaning for me. It's black, red, and white. The black represents our sin or the mistakes we make. The red represents Jesus blood which was spilled for us for the forgiveness of our sins. The white represents us having been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. The black always has the opportunity to be present but the red is always there. When we celebrate Holy Communion we remember the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us. Our sin is washed away by the sacrifice of Jesus so that we are redeemed.

I was listening to a podcast this week and the lead singer of the Christian rock band Skillet said this about his reasoning for writing the song Hero about his #1 hero, Jesus Christ: "I read about this guy who did have the power to lay his life down to save other people: the desperate, the downtrodden, the weak, the needy, the poor, the outcast came to Jesus because they needed help. And Jesus being the greatest hero of all time gave his life so that all of us could live."

Or to put it another way: there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.

Jesus took a simple meal with a simple gathering of friends and gave it new meaning when he broke bread with the disciples for the final time. He laid down his life for us and that is what we remember and celebrate communion. Communion is a reminder that we are called to lay down our life for others. Remember that today and "lay your life down" for others in simple ways today.

Grace & Peace

Monday, March 11, 2019

What's Your Way In?

A few weeks back as a church we were asked to pray for those who don't know Jesus. Whether that person is a family member, a neighbor, a co-worker, or even someone you don't know, we asked that you pray for those people leading up to Easter when we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The hope is that you would invite that person or persons to church. But inviting someone to church can be difficult. What if you're an introvert and talking to people, especially those you don't know well, can be difficult. What if talk to someone about your faith and they are not remotely interested in what you have to say? Nobody wants to deal with rejection. What if faith or church is simply not important to them?

Instead of focusing on how difficult it is to invite someone how about focusing on this question: Why do people need Jesus?

We live in a world that is increasingly telling us to focus on the wrong things. Amass more wealth. Ignore the stranger because that's not "your" problem. Don't help those in need because someone else will do it so we don't need to worry about it.

But what we need to know is this. We need Jesus, maybe now more than ever. Remember that Jesus came to show us a different way to live. Jesus showed us that we do need to care for others and we do need to look out for those who are less fortunate.

In his sermon on the mount, Jesus states :"For where your treasure is, your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21) 

Our heart can't be in what the world tells us is important. We need to be willing and able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. A gospel of hope for everyone. The question of why people need Jesus can be answered, sometimes you just have to find an avenue to share it. I'd like to share a short story with you that speaks to that idea. Three weeks ago we had a sports play-day at Trinity. There were forty kids here from various places such as the Arlington Life Shelter, the Salvation Army, domestic violence centers, and apartment complexes around Arlington. What you need to know is this might be one of only a handful of times these kids can simply be kids and run around and play. And I love to play sports so I was running around playing basketball, gaga ball, and nine square all day. In all that craziness one moment stuck out. I went to get my bible off the stage to mark my place for the lunch devotional and this little girl named Zoey ran up to me and asked what I was reading. I told her I was reading my bible and she asked if she could read to me. Of course I let her and she began to read about the Fruits of the Spirit. Once she was done reading she asked if she could read to me again after lunch.

The point here is that in all the craziness that was going on this little girl wanted to read the bible and learn more. Sports and the play-day was simply an avenue, or a way in, to talk about scripture. I truly believe that each of us can share the gospel in that way. Find a way in with anyone and everyone you meet so that you can share the good news. There is too much at stake for us to leave it to someone else. Find a way in with those that you meet so you can share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Grace & Peace

Monday, January 28, 2019

Kenya is the Key

Matthew 13:3-9

3 He said many things to them in parables: "A farmer went out to scatter seed. 4 As he was scattering seed, some fell on the path, and birds came and ate it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground where the soil was shallow. They sprouted immediately because the soil wasn't deep. 6 But when the sun came up, it scorched the plants, and they dried up because they had no roots. 7 Other seed fell among thorny plants. The thorny plants grew and choked them. 8 Other seed fell on good soil and bore fruit, in one case a yield of one hundred to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in a another case thirty to one. 9 Everyone who has ears should pay attention."

I got my daughter Courtney a keepsake from Kenya. It's a small jewelry box in the shape of Africa with the name of each African country on it. In order to open it up you must remove the key and this particular jewelry box has Kenya as the key. I couldn't help but think of the metaphor that Kenya is the key.

Growing up (and even into adulthood) I never really thought too much about going on an international mission trip. I even found legitimate reasons not to go which usually boiled down to expenses. Even though I was asked numerous times about going I said no (sorry Sheryl and Margret). Dr. Lisa Neslony finally convinced me to go but saying to me "ya know, there's still room for you on our West District trip to Kenya" and on my 40th birthday no less, I finally decided to go. And I'm so grateful that I went last year and again this year. Once I officially decided to go to Kenya in 2018 I was told by friends to go into the trip with no expectations and simply see and hear what God would say to me through the experience and the people in Kenya. It was and still is really good advice. I encouraged our team this year to do the same as I went back with a different team. But having already been I wondered to myself what new things I would gain and learn from the experience. I have to say that what I learned and what I took from the trip was not what I expected, and that's a good thing. Actually that's a great thing.

I was so ready to do the work of ministry by building and being the hands of Christ that I was struck by the amount of the "doing of ministry" from a relational perspective. It started early on in the trip when I simply began kicking around a soccer ball with two boys as we toured the Methodist biointensive farm. After playing for a few minutes we began to talk and I told them I was a pastor, at which point they pointed to their church that was "just across the street" and invited me to go with them. Of course I couldn't because we were continuing on to Maua that afternoon but it was a good reminder that the work of ministry begins by being in conversation and relationship with people.

How can you be in relationship with others and share the love of Christ?

On our first full day in Maua we were present for the dedication of a water well that will provide clean water for an entire community. It was an amazing sight to see when we drove up and saw the equipment there drilling for water. It reminded me of how lucky I am to have clean water each and every day.

What daily necessities do you take for granted? Maybe it's clean water, maybe it's knowing where your next meal is going to come from, maybe it's a roof over your head. 

On Tuesday we painted Chaplain Emily's office. It was her first time to paint in her life and she LOVED it. She continually said wow when she saw the new purple and peach paint that would make her office more welcoming. It reminded me how much of a difference doing something "small" for someone can make in their lives because it is not small to them.

What is something "small" you can do for someone today to make a big difference?

On Wednesday I was ready to work but instead went to a class one graduation. Part of our team processed in just behind the graduates and set on stage in front of everyone as honored guests. We were surprised how much attention was paid to us as guests by people we had never met. It reminded me of the importance of hospitality and honoring another culture even if it is different from yours.

What can you do today to learn something from someone that is different than you to make you a better person?

On Thursday we dedicated the House of Hope on behalf of the West District of the Central Texas Conference and Latvia. It was a moving experience to hear Stanley Gitari and Kristine Rozefelds speak about how this 10 X 20 house can be a place of hope not just for those who live in it but the community around it.

How can your home or church or place of work be a place of hope for others?

Throughout the week I had conversations with Ally, Kimi, Laurie, and Trish about their experiences as medical professionals working in the Maua Methodist Hospital. It reminded me of how much the Kenyan people were able to accomplish with their limited resources and how much more they could do with resources that we as Americans take for granted.

How much more can we all do with the resources and the gifts we have been given?

Most of all, looking back on our trip I appreciate how well our team was able to work together. Each person added to the team in their own way and each person stepped up in the ways that were needed to make the trip successful. It reminded me of the importance of community and the importance of relationships. I guess my friends Ben, Margret, and Sheryl were right when they said that if I went to Maua I would be changed and I would want to go back. It was a different experience this year. I think I was so busy with BOM paperwork, end of year reports, packing, and moving churches that I didn't have time to think about how this year's trip would be different that last year/s and for that I am grateful. I again went into the trip with no expectations and simply let the spirit work through me. I saw God move in the people that we helped and through our team.

Perhaps you have visited a place in the United States or abroad that is "key" to your faith. A place that was different, a place that was outside your comfort zone, a place where you saw and experienced things you never expected that changed you forever, a place where seeds were planted. Seeds are scattered but they have to take root somewhere. Where has that happened for you?

Ask yourself-why is that place key to your faith and your understanding of the gospel?

Grace & Peace

Friday, January 25, 2019

Nothing Else Matters

Luke 2:41-52 (CEB)
41 Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. 42 When he was 12 years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to their custom. 43 After the festival was over, they were returning home, but the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t know it. 44 Supposing that he was among their band of travelers, they journeyed on for a full day while looking for him among their family and friends. 45 When they didn’t find Jesus, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple. He was sitting among the teachers, listening to them and putting questions to them. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed by his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were shocked. His mother said, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Listen! Your father and I have been worried. We’ve been looking for you!” 49 Jesus replied, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they didn’t understand what he said to them. 51 Jesus went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. His mother cherished every word in her heart. 52 Jesus matured in wisdom and years, and in favor with God and with people.

Our mission is simple: We are to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. If we don't do that then nothing else matters.

Have you ever lost something? Your car keys? Your purse? Or, have you ever lost sight of your child? Some of us know what that feels like. I once lost Carson in HEB. I simply turned around and he was nowhere to be found. He got distracted by something on the toy isle like a ball or Legos and he didn't turn and follow me to the next isle. I got onto him a little bit, I was frustrated with him. I lost him for less than thirty seconds but that first moment of panic, that horrible feeling in my stomach, that "oh no, I've lost my son feeling was terrifying.

Well think about Mary and Joseph. THEY LOST JESUS. They didn't just lose some kid. They didn't just lose their own son, they lost God's son. They lost the Messiah. And they weren't absolutely sure where he was for three days. Now before you go all judgmental on the earthly parents of Jesus, consider the context of their day. They had traveled to Jerusalem for the passover festival and have left to return home as part of a community caravan. They were not traveling single file to hide their numbers (hope you caught the Star Wars reference there). They were traveling in a caravan for safety. The men and women would have been traveling in separate parts of the caravan during the day with the children somewhere in the middle. When they stopped at night I picture Mary and Joseph walking up to one another and both asking each other: "Don't you have Jesus?" and the other responding: "No, I thought you had him." Each of them probably thought Jesus was with the other person. They had a moment or moments of panic.

But they had both lost sight of Jesus and they had to go search for him. When they finally find him Jesus is at the temple and the temple is no longer crowded. Maybe Jesus loses track of time like any kid caught up in something they love (like Carson staring at the toy isle). Maybe Jesus had had enough of childish things. Or maybe Jesus does not think he is lost or is simply not lost. Whatever the reason, there he is when his parents come to get him. And Jesus responds by saying you should have known where I was, that I would be in the temple, that I would be in my father's house. But his parents did not understand what he was saying to them and Mary was visibly upset. Jesus finally backs down and scripture says Jesus was obedient to them and he goes with them back home. He pushes back against his parents a little bit by saying they should have known where he was. When I was a youth intern I made the comment to my mom that I was considering doing youth ministry as a career she commented that there probably wasn't much money in that. I responded by saying that if I could save just one kids life it would be worth it. My mom realized that it was a calling and not just a job for me. I hope I have lived up to that calling. You see, I pushed back. Pushing back helps us grow. Jesus pushes back against his parents.

But there's a bigger picture question here. A metaphor we should not miss. Did you ever think what it means in this scripture to say that they had lost Jesus? Have you ever lost Jesus? Has there ever been a time in your life where you are struggling or something has come up and you forget about your own faith? There have been times when that has happened to me, when I have become distracted by other things, become distracted by things that are not important and I lose sight of what I am supposed to be doing. I lose sight of Jesus. I've lost sight of helping others, of serving others, of sharing the gospel because, of making disciples because I forget to put Jesus at the center of my life. This happens because we become too distracted by things around us. My son became distracted by a toy, by something that didn't really matter. When we become distracted by things that don't matter we lose sight of Jesus.

But there's a hope in that because Jesus is never too far away. We simply must turn back to Jesus and He's there. We do that by loving our neighbors, by giving to others in need. No matter how far we may go Jesus is with us, waiting for us. Think of a time when you have lost sight of Jesus but also remember that Jesus is right there and has never left your side, He's simply waiting for you to walk with him and to share his gospel with everyone you meet.

So let's not lose sight of what's important. We must make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. I saw a statement on facebook that I really love (pictured above):

A disciple is someone who has moved from being the RECIPIENT of the church's mission to being RESPONSIBLE for the church's mission.

Notice the distinction. Instead of simply receiving the church's mission make sure that you are also responsible for the church's mission: to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The church's mission does not begin or end with one person or a few people. The church's mission is alive and well because we have not lost Jesus, we cannot lose Jesus. We don't lose Jesus when we stand for what Jesus stood for and teach what Jesus taught. Because we simply cannot become complacent. Because if we lose sight of Jesus then nothing else matters. If we aren't making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world then nothing else matters.

But know this, Jesus is right there alongside each and every one of us every step of the way because we matter to Him.

Grace & Peace

Thursday, January 24, 2019

House of Hope

"Nothing is impossible with God."
~Luke 1:37

It's a short bible verse but very important and cannot be overstated how meaningful it is. With God, nothing is impossible. I hear about it frequently and saw it last Thursday as we dedicated the House of Hope AIDS orphan home in Maua. This was my second house dedication and it was just as emotional as last year. The most moving part of the dedication was pastor Kristine Rozefeld's gift and presentation to the new home owners. The gift was a cross stitching of a ladybug that a friend of her's named Dagnija gave her. Dagnija lives in the Hope Center in Latvia. The Hope Center is an outreach program of the UMC of Latvia for underage and challenging girls who get pregnant and want to keep to baby. These girls don't have a support system so the Hope Center teaches them skills and how to care for their child. It says a lot about Dagnija that she took the time to make this item for someone she didn't know so they could have it in their new home.

Below is Kristine and her husband Oskars with Dagnija and her son Kristians.

Kristine (who is a pastor from Latvia) was part of our team this year. Here is what she said at the dedication in regards to the ladybug cross-stitching:

According to the laws of Physics a ladybug (or bumblebee) cannot fly because the body is too big and the wings are too small. The only reason they can fly is they don't know that. You're never too small, God is big. With God, anything is possible. Let us not be discouraged of how little we are. Because or God is big and takes care of us.

My prayer for the home owners is that their home would be a House of Hope for all who enter. Not just for them but for their extended family and their community. I hope that it provides a place for the family to stay out of the heat. I hope it provides a place for the kids of the community to gather and read books and play.

What I know is that it can and already has changed the lives of the family. So how can people from Texas and Latvia change the lives of people across the world in Kenya? It's simple, it's because of the connectionalism of the United Methodist Church. Kristine and her husband Oskars were part of our team because District Superintendent Lisa Neslony was on a mission trip in July in Latvia and recruited them to go to Kenya. Although I'm not sure how much recruiting was necessary. My understanding was that Kristine and Oskars had always wanted to go to Kenya. It's nice when things work out and so they joined our team and now that the trip is done I can't imagine our team without their presence and their spiritual gifts that were added (the Latvian chocolate they brought was just an added bonus and I'm still not sure how they got all the chocolate in their suitcases). They were there as part of our team due to the connectionalism of the global UMC.

The lives of those in Kenya were also changed because our God is so big. I have worn a "God is Big Enough" bracelet on my wrist off and on since Christmas Eve of 2012. There was a sermon series entitled God is Big Enough while I served as youth director in Granbury and bracelets were handed out as a reminder that our God is Big Enough and that with God we can accomplish anything.

How can it be explained that there is a House of Hope AIDS orphan home in Africa that was built by people from Kenya, Texas, and Latvia with a picture made specifically for that home from the Hope Center in Latvia? Simply put, God is big enought. And with God all things are possible.

Grace & Peace

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Sodzo Rescue Center

We took a "guys trip" on Thursday to visit the Sodzo boys home. Being that I was in "mission trip mode," I thought we should be working but Stanley really wanted us to go visit. It probably didn't help our working mission trip mindset when we stopped at a tea field and coffee field on the way. But after visiting the Sodzo Rescue Center I think I know why we did and what I was supposed to learn. 

We got to find out a little bit about what they do there at the Sodzo Rescue Center. They have a "motto" that they go by: Rescue, Rehabilitate, Reintegration. It is a two year program where they rescue boys between the ages of 7 and 14 off the streets. The Sodzo staff first go into Meru and Maua and look for boys that are living on the streets. They get information on the kids and they don't even ask them about joining Sodzo until after six months of finding out about the boys in the community. The boys have to agree to join and live at the rescue center. Once they are in the program they stay for two years and are rehabilitated by receiving an education and are given an area of the land which they farm and take care of. They have other things there such as a greenhouse and a soccer field. The boys are even divided into smaller groups so they can make connections and form relationships with the other boys. Groups go by the names of such concepts as Peace and Love. Once they are released they go back to their families and are reintegrated back into their community. From January 2016-January 2018 there were 37 boys at the center. Currently there are 44 boys living at the rescue center for the next two years. The program is now so well known that when the Sodzo staff go into Meru and Maua there are kids begging to go to the rescue center so they have a better chance at success and life. They have plans to expand and hope to be able to build larger buildings there so they can help more kids at one time.

Unfortunately they can't reach them all. But that reminds me of a story that Jay Fraze reminded me of that he probably heard from somebody else who heard it from somewhere else who heard it from somebody else...well you get the point, it's not my story. 

There's a man walking down the beach and he's picking starfish one by one and tossing them back into the ocean. There are hundreds of starfish on the beach and another man asks him: "Why are you doing that? There are so many of them that you can't possibly make a difference." The man picks one up and tosses it back into the water and says: "it made a difference to that one."

The point is that sometimes we see a need and are discouraged because the need is so great and needed by so many that we ask ourselves what's the point because we can't help everyone.

Well, do you think Sodzo made a difference to those 37 boys and is making a difference for those 44 boys off the street? Individually I can't help everyone but I can help everyone I can, or just one and so can you. Don't be so discouraged by the needs that you see that you don't help just one. Help in any way you can.

Grace & Peace


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Honored Guests

We visited the Clark ECD school today as guests of Stanley Gitari for their class one graduation ceremony. It was a very humbling experience for our team. We started off playing simple games with the children such as duck, duck, goose and giving high fives, and taking pictures. The children love to have their picture taken so they can see their faces. I was impressed by how many of them simply wanted to know our names.

We had tea time with Stanley and some of the staff there before the graduation. Once the graduation started our team walked in with the graduates as honored guests of the school and community. We set on the stage and watched as the graduates were honored by their older classmates who sang, read poems, and danced to honor them. Throughout the celebration each person who spoke thanked us for being there are supporting the school. I will be honest that it felt weird at first since I thought the focus should be on the children graduating and not on us as guests. When I began to think about it I realized that it is their way to honor guests. I have never been shown such hospitality anywhere. Yes it took more time and more effort but it made a difference. I believe that is what God was trying to say to me today.

I wonder what would happen if we in the western world honored guests and visitors in the same way? Asking their name, greeting them with a smile and handshake when they arrive, thanking them for being there, and making hospitality such a priority. I know we can and have to do better as a church in welcoming people. Part of the problem is that a majority of churches believe they are welcoming and hospitable churches, which is true in the fact they are church members and regular attendees are welcoming to people they know. More of the focus should be on welcoming guests before they even enter church. That means welcoming out in public and on websites. I think small towns can teach us something. Someone once told me that in a small town when you enter a restaurant everyone turns and looks up when someone enters. In a bigger town when someone enters a restaurant that no one looks up because no one cares. I hope that's not true. My hope is that people will begin to look up and welcome others no matter where they are.

Grace & Peace