Daily Meditations
Reflections on God's Love in the World.

June 20 Meditation

There underneath the ferns are my lily of the valley hidden away. The perfectly shaped little bell flowers are so tiny and delicate. Beautiful to look at but seeing them is difficult as they are hidden under their leaves making you look for them.
Jesus told His disciples, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” (Luk 8:17)
But like the tiny lily of the valley, at times you have to take the time to look for what God is doing. For those who do look for the hidden things of God, He says, “Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the LORD's anger.” (Zep 2:3)
When Abraham was called to leave his family and journey to a land that God would show him, he had to have faith. He was not told where he would be going or what would be the purpose of his calling when he started out. But he had faith and trust in God to reveal all things to him.
In his journey, he took time to seek the Lord for guidance and listening, he obeyed. Proverbs tells us, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” (8:17)
Like Abraham, we must have faith and trust God to reveal all things according to His will. Even when things were hidden and Abraham did not understand fully, he knew God was watching over him and sought the Lord to lead him until he would receive understanding.
“29But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him. 31For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.”  (Deu 4)
Today, seek the Lord, for when you do, “9it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luk 11)
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 19 Meditation

“7Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.” (Psa 51:7-8)
Many birds come around in the summer to enjoy my waterfalls, cooling off and spending time washing. I caught this blue jay splashing and preening himself in the water. Afterward they sit in a nearby tree to fluff themselves and sing. I’m sure I could hear joy and gladness coming from him afterwards, refreshed from the midafternoon bath.
There were many washing rituals for the Israeli people to observe. The people remember what God has done and meditate on their response to Him. Isaiah tells the people, “16Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. 17Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” (1)
Water is an important element used to illustrate how we are refreshed and renewed in Christ. Washing disciples’ feet to show servanthood. Use in the flood to remove evil of the world.
We are cleansed of our sins through the waters of baptism. Peter explained “20to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” (3)
In baptismal waters along with God’s Words we receive forgiveness of sins and given everlasting life to all who believe. In it we make promised to God to live among God’s faithful people; hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper, proclaim the good news of Christ, serve others and work form justice and peace in the world. (elca.org)
Paul tells us, “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (2Co 7:1)
Then sing with joy and gladness.
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 18 Meditation

These are the morning greeters at my house. The front step is filled on both sides and the front door to welcome people to the house. We don’t often think of the significance of welcoming people, but it is important work. Scripture has many stories and Luke writes, “5Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house!' 6And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you.” (10)
Welcoming creates a positive atmosphere to enter your house and denotes peace and friendship. It gives the person a feeling of caring and makes them feel comfortable.
At church we often use the term hospitality, and our greeters are to create this atmosphere of welcoming as we read in Titus: “7Since an overseer manages God's household, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.” (1)
This work in the church is as important as any other part of the service. All are important. Without a welcoming atmosphere, people do not feel comfortable enough to return or are distracted from hearing the word. Peter writes, “8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.” (4)
Even if you are not the person greeting others who come into the house of the Lord, take time to be friendly with a smile or a greeting. It may be the encouragement needed to feel someone cares for them as “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Rom 13:10)
It’s a small act, just as pots of geraniums are an insignificant thing, but creates a cheery entry. For the one who enters, it is a blessing, especially for those who come to worship with us. “3O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” (Psa 34)
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 17 Meditation

There is something in the bright sunlight of a new day that creates a sense of awe. To look out and see that ball of light shimmering on the clouds and know there is something bigger and more powerful who created it… and us… watches over us is an amazing feeling.
As Job speaks with his friends, Elihu points to nature to see the majesty of God all around.
“14"Hear this, O Job; stop and consider the wondrous works of God. 15Do you know how God lays his command upon them, and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine? 16Do you know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of the one whose knowledge is perfect, 17you whose garments are hot when the earth is still because of the south wind? 18Can you, like him, spread out the skies, hard as a molten mirror?” (Job 37)
I look at the glisten edges of those clouds and think of passages like this. I feel so blessed to have scriptures to reflect on the grandeur of God, to know God, and to know I am a child of God and received faith through His Spirit.
Faith makes this picture mean more than just another new day with a pretty sunrise but gives me hope in the power of God who controls all things, and loves us.
“5Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. 6Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O LORD. 7How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” (Psa 36)
Looking at this vast morning sky with its shimmering clouds makes me feel humble knowing I am such a small piece in this overwhelming existence. “Yet he commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven;” (Psa 78:23) It also gives me great joy and confidence knowing the God of the universe chose me to be a child of God.
A gift I am most thankful for.
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 16 Meditation

I was reminded of one of my favorite verses yesterday while weeding the rose beds: “The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isa 40:8)
This rose bush has the whole gamut from bud to full blossom. Roses are also my favorite among my flowers. According to Learn Religions, roses have several symbolic meanings relating to religion.
““Angels use rose scents as physical signs of their spiritual presence,” while praying. For Muslims, it is the “sacredness of people’s souls.” Buddhists see it as an expression of spiritual joy. It is a reminder for Christians of paradise. It is a symbol of the Virgin Mary, and it is a symbol of God’s miraculous love at work in the world.” [Hopler, Whitney. "Sacred Roses: The Spiritual Symbolism of Roses." Learn Religions, Aug. 26, 2020, learnreligions.com/sacred-roses-spiritual-symbolism-rose-123989.]
I look at a rose and see delicate layers of a beautiful flower wraps tightly around itself and then gently and miraculously unfolds to show complete loveliness, much like our knowledge of God’s love for us.
“Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Heb 4:12)
Our knowledge of God takes time first learning the stories of the Bible as a child, then learning how the stories connect in confirmation. As adults, we begin to see those stories as stories about life to learn from for our own lives.
Because it’s a living word, each time I read scripture, I see something new I had not seen before, and I have a new understanding. Just like the rose, knowledge of His love unfolds little by little and we begin to see the awesome beauty of God’s love for us.
Paul says it well in Ephesians 3: “18I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
May the rose, His love, open for you today, to see how beautiful it is.
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 15 Meditation

The weatherman says our heat may subside this weekend. So, the thought that crossed my mind this morning was “the cool of the day.”
“8They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” (Gen 3:8 NRS)
When the day is as hot as it’s been, most get out early or late in the day to walk, or work, or just relax in the cool of the day.
I read an interesting post on www.BibleConcepts.com explaining the Hebrew word for cool means “wind” or “spirit.” In the “spirit” they say, is the best way to communicate with God. Sunrise and sunset are also the time of daily worship and goes on to say, “God seeks to cover us at the beginning of our days, and at the end of our days. He seeks to bless us in our going out, and in our coming in. He seeks to bless us in our lying down and in our getting up.”
To know that God’s spirit is with us in the beginning and the end of our days when we are the most vulnerable, is a comforting thought. The Psalmist tells us, “By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.” (42:8) and in 118, “6The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me.”
We forget how God is with us in Spirit all of the time. Paul reminds us saying, “But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” (1Co 6:17) That’s not just at the beginning and ending of our life, but all of the time.
Jesus expressed this praying for His disciples, praying for you and me saying, “20"I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (Joh 17)
It is to be united with God much like you are united with family whom you love and trust. Just as Jesus loved and trusted God to be obedient all the way to the cross, Jesus loves us and wants us to love each other. When we do, then we are united in Christ with one spirit.
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 14 Meditation

Fellowship is so important for Christian people as Hebrews tells us, “13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called "Today," so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.” (3)
Psychology tells us that having friends is important for all people at all ages and stages of life. Being in fellowship with Christian friends encourages a bond between people who have the same focus on doing Gods will.
Whether you are working on a sewing quilts goal, fund raising, or increasing your Biblical knowledge, doing so in fellowship with other believers provides a positive and fun atmosphere in the work of God for yourself and those you are working with. No one wants to let the other person down.
Without Christian friends, you can be influenced to do and think contrary to Christian teaching as Paul writes to the Thessalonians, “14Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer. (2Th 3:14-15)
When we pray and commune together, it builds a sense of trust and compassion for those we sit with during worship. We find hope in knowing how God has worked in their lives. It gives us strength to turn from evil and continue in the light of the world, as we read in Galatians, “1Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.” (6)
When in fellowship with other believers, you feel the love of Christ through them. “16Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” (Col 3)
Today, enjoy a cup of coffee and encourage one another in Christian fellowship.
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 13 Meditation

While driving yesterday I spotted these wild roses along the road and remembered the number of times I’d go out and pick wildflowers out of the ditch and from the tree line.
Isaiah 45 says, “3I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
Hidden among the grasses and the weeds along the ditches where we drive past without seeing them are these little treasures. And even in the midst of a drought when the ground is cracked and dry, they spring open to show they lovely little faces.
Martin Luther wrote, “God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds an stars.”
I certainly agree with Luther as many times just getting outside among my flowers reminds me how powerful God is in creating something so delicate as a flower with it’s many petals formed perfectly to unfold at just the right time to create this awesome beauty.
There is so much we don’t know or understand but we can look to God’s marvelous creation and see how awesome He is. We can enjoy each new bud of a rose bush and wonder how all of this can work and remember that it is a mystery, “the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations,” (Col 1:26)
Nature shows us this mystery, but we are unable to understand it in our humanness. Paul continues saying, “27To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.” (1)
Just as the grasses along the ditch hold hidden treasures to find when we take the time to look, God holds hidden treasures for us with the gift of faith. James writes, “5Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” (2)
So let us take the time to find it, to have the ability to see and a desire for it. “For we live by faith, not by sight.” (2Co 5:7)
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 12 Meditations

Ah! the coolness of the air this morning is like silk across my skin, and a reprieve after these long hot days. “This is my comfort in my distress, that your promise gives me life” (Psa 119:50)
What a wonderful feeling to have after the intense heat which bears down on a person and wears a you out. It gives a renewed sense of energy and strength which reminds me of Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones when God ask him to prophesy to them and make them come alive again.
“I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act, says the LORD." (Eze 37:14)
That wonderful story tells us how God will breathe new life into our dry bones after our death, giving us a glorified body tissue by tissue, bone by bone to rebuild our bodies as a new creation and then, breathe the breath of life back into us as we receive our heavenly home.
We may feel defeated at times. In illness or the struggles we have in this would, this story gives us hope for what is to come and we can be confident that God has the power to revive our dead bodies and give us life once more.
“7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me. 8The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” (Psa 138)
After his conversion, knowing these words and the story of dry bones, perhaps Paul was influenced by these writings when he said, “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.” (1Co 15:49) and telling us not to lose heart as our outer self is wasting away in 2nd Corinthians.
That gives me comfort and hope knowing my dry bones will one day be revived with renewed energy and vitality, refreshed like the clean cool air of a new day after a welcome rain.
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 11 Meditation

This morning there is a strange color to the morning sky with those bubbly churning clouds overhead. A storm is about to hit. As the sky turns dark, I wonder how serve it will be, praying for rain without damage, as I know God is in control.
“12But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. 13When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.” (Jer 10:12-13)
Storms are powerful. We live in awe as they pass over. When strong winds blow trees down, we once again see the results of the mighty power of God even though we can not see the wind, only feel it. When we do, we are humbled and feel small knowing we have no control.
That feeling is similar to the realization of our mortality. We can go from day to day and even hour to hour thinking of what we will do tomorrow, how we will build this up or how we will travel here or there. But the fact is we have no control of tomorrow, today, and even this hour could be our last.
Just as a storm comes up around us and we can do nothing to send it in another direction or stop it, we can not send our demise to another day or stop it from coming.
There is only one certainty in life, as Paul write of in Philippians 3, “13But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
We must press on doing God’s will knowing the all-powerful God can make the wind cease or blow, and be confident He can give us new life, when our last breath is from us.
For everything, there is a season. When the storm will come. When the damaging wind will blow. When the breath of life is removed.
“11He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Ecc 3)
We only have control over who our God is and where we put our heart.
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 10 Meditations

I was reading a story this morning about a man who could not sleep during the pandemic because he was so anxious about what was going to happen to him and his daughter.
How sad to be so afraid of what lies ahead you cannot sleep or enjoy God’s beautiful world around you. As a Christian, we do not have to live like that as Psalm 4 says, “8In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.”
Of course, we all have fears and anxiety at times but with faith in God, we know we do not have to live in unmanageable fear. All things can be turned over to God and His will for our lives when we trust in God as Paul write in Romans, “28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” (8)
Still, it’s not easy when in our eyesight there is hurt, pain, or suffering or we experience it. And there will be since sin came into the world and Satan wants to destroy our faith.
Our focus must be on what lies ahead, the knowledge we are already saved and have a glorious home in our future. When we do, we can live each day in the here and now as if we already live with the Lord in paradise, because we know we already do.
Paul gives us an example of this in his many writings as in Philippians 4: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
When we are weak, when we are tired and need rest from the evils of this world, let God be your strength for, “1Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.” (Psa 62)
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 9 Meditation

There has been a great deal of building going on in my neighborhood and I hear it is the same everywhere. A house is barely complete when the people move in. For-sale signs are not even up and the house is sold.
“Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” (Psa 127:1)
God wants us to build a house but the house He speaks of is not a house built with wood and 2 x 4’s. We are to build up the church. We are to build up each other. Paul writes to the Corinthians about this using the various members of the body that are all different but need each other to be a body as an example to show how we, the members of the church are all different but need each other to be the body of Christ.
Not one person or small group can do all the work of the church for the Word of God to be spread and those who already know the Word to be encouraged when they are struggling with Satan’s temptations.
To the Ephesians, Paul explains, “11So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (4)
This tells us how we all must share in the responsibilities and work of the church. It does not say there will be a time we retire from helping. It is not the responsibility of someone else. Pastors and teacher are to equip the people, all of them, but not do all the work.
Meditate today on how you can join in the work of the church as God designed.
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 8 Meditation

Compassion, according to bing.com it is “feeling or showing sympathy and concern for other. Pitying, sympathetic, empathetic.”
Paul describes it in Colossians 3 as “12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
What makes us feel compassion towards some people and not others? Why do we automatically sympathize with one and others we just listen and wonder why they don’t pick themselves up and get on with it?
Often it comes from our personal bias that developed when we were young, handed down to us, or even experienced dealings with one person. We assume a person is a certain way because of those bias thoughts.
When we treat others or react to someone because of those inner bias’s, we are judging. Each person is an individual and just because you had a negative experienced with one, does not mean another will be the same.
Jesus speaks very clearly about such things in Matthew 7: 1-5, “1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.”
Take time to know a person’s story, where their life has taken them and why they feel as they do. It will be totally different than the experience you had that caused your bias. Forgive the person that caused you those negative bias in the first place, and then take the plank out of your eye.
You’ll find it is so much easier to see the bright and beautiful world God has given us when you do.
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 7 Meditations

During Jesus short ministry on earth, He changed many things from the old Mosaic laws that kept people safe and living in good order such as food restrictions, strict cleansing rituals, sacrifices and worship requirements.
The law was given specifically to the people of Israel but good for all people. Jesus fulfilled the law when He died on the cross for our sins. Through His teachings, we learn to live no longer under the law, but through faith.
One teaching is the inclusion of all people into the promise of salvation.
Paul speaks of this in Galatians “Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." (3:8)
Paul continues to write to the people of Galicia saying “26So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (3)
We struggle with being inclusive. Our personal biases get in our way and holds us back. One thing we can learn to do is to listen to others about their lives, their story. We do this to understand how they see things in life and why they believe as they do. 
Some who have suffered discrimination hold back/stand back from others because they do not want to experience the pain of intolerance again. You may see it as dislike or disapproval. Without hearing their story, you don’t know the reasons and assume wrong motives.
Jesus tells us to love our neighbor… and we read in Revelations, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb." (7:9)
From every nation, tribe, people and language. God is inclusive.
Jesus’ life on earth was an example of inclusion: the weak, oppressed, hated, sinner, vulnerable, and all people.
Today, take time to think how we can learn to do likewise.
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 6 Meditations

One week ago we were dealing with frost and freezing and this week it is intense heat. What is God trying to tell us I wonder. Have you even thought that?
It could be that we should take better care of the earth. It could be we are to fear the Lord our God. Or is it a warning, reminding us our all-powerful God, is a jealous God.
In James 1:11 we read such a warning, “For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.”
Each time we pick up our scriptures, there are warmings through out the Bible and as we come together each week in worship, we are reminded of how we are to put our trust and hope in God, above all things… For when other “things” get in the way, they can become our idols, and we sin against the first commandment.
Job questions things difficult to understand as he complains about the violence of the people on the earth, saying, “As heat and drought snatch away the melted snow, so the grave snatches away those who have sinned.” (24:19)
We are not to live in fear when the uncontrollable threatens us or works against us in our daily lives. We learn from scriptures and are given confidence hearing His words such as Hosea telling you, “I cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of burning heat.” (13:5) God cares for you and over and over as He waits for you and has mercy on you giving you salvation through the actions of His Son Jesus.
So when things heat, whether it is the weather or life in general, trust in God and wait for His timing, His will, and His purpose as James goes on to say, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (12)
In due season, the rains will come, the earth will cool, and we will rejoice once more.
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 5 Meditation

I enjoy growing a vegetable garden each year even though I have enough canned and frozen to last a few years. The garden has gotten smaller from the time when six kids were growing up AND I’ve gotten a tiller to help with weeding.
With the tiller, I plant the rows far enough apart to get it through a couple times after the plants get started so just the rows need weeding. I also plant two things per row.
So, in my peas I plant carrots. The peas help the carrots break through the ground to start. The peas are done early so I pull them out and the carrots can finish the season. I put beets in the beans rows and double the onions offsetting them. I get a lot out of my garden.
Still there are weeds that need to be pulled.
Jesus told a story about weeds growing with a crop in Matthew 13: 24-30. Only the wheat was sown but in the night an enemy came and planted weeds there. When all the seeds grew and the workers found both, the owners said to leave the weeds until the harvest because pulling the weeds might uproot the good plants. Then at the harvest, the weeds would be collected and burned, while the wheat saved.
Jesus explains, “43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
We are not able to tell the weeds around us as easily as looking at a row in the garden to know which are weeds and we are not to judge. Only God can see into the heart. We are to let them grow together and let God do the weeding.
He says instead, “44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Mat 5)
Matthew 20:1-16 explains allowing the weeds to remain gives opportunity to be saved even to the last minute. And Ezekiel 18 says, “27But if a wicked person turns away from the wickedness they have committed and does what is just and right, they will save their life.”
Pray for the wicked and love your enemies as your actions may be the influence that turns them to God.
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 4 Meditation

There are so many stories on the news each day, how do you know what to believe or who to listen to. Even in our own communities there are conversations about others without facts. It’s gossip and a dangerous thing.
Many don’t understand that talking about another person is a sin. But Proverbs tells us, “12Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue. 13A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.” (11)
If you have ever experienced a close friend telling others about a conversation you had you understand the pain that such an action causes. The mistrust seldom can be restored.
But a wagging tongue is serious as Paul speaks of in Romans saying “29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.” (1)
In What’s Wrong With Gossip? on www.victorious.org, Dale A. Robbins notes “gossip is a close cousin to slander which origin comes from the word Devil and the person who does this is being used as his agent.” comparing this to other dangerous crimes as in 1 Peter, “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.” (4:15)
When we are in a group freely talking, the conversation can easily turn from care and concern into a critical judgement and crosses the line. When that happens Proverbs tells us, “32"If you play the fool and exalt yourself, or if you plan evil, clap your hand over your mouth! 33For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife." (30)
Before you speak of another, Paul says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Eph 4:29)
Don’t be a churning cream.
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau

June 3 Meditation

I remember young Dorothy saying over and over, “there’s no place like home” in the movie the Wizard of Oz and most of us feel that way. Even though it’s nice to have a vacation and get away, it’s good to be home again.
Isaiah writes “My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” (32:18)
For most, that the feeling we have about home. It is a peaceful dwelling place where you feel secure and confidence. A place of rest from our work and our worries. That is what God wants for us, His children. Proverbs 24 tells us, “3By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; 4through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”
Jesus wants for you these pleasant feeling when you consider your heavenly home as He says in John 14, “ 2My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
The homeless do not have that rare and beautiful treasure. In fact they live with a feeling of insecurity and fear not knowing where to find a safe place to rest or be at peace. Much like a place of Hades where eternal life is isolation from everyone and every good thing. In Luke 9, after Jesus had begun his ministry and sent the twelve out to do so as well, He said, “”58Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." as Herod the tetrarch began to be concerned about His activities. Jesus knew homelessness and being without a safe place to rest.
Our home is a blessing from God. The security and peace we find there is a very small example of the magnificent home we will have in in heaven. It will be a peaceful dwelling place of undisturbed rest, secure in the arms of Christ Jesus. It will be filled with rare and beautiful treasures. And best of all, it is a place already prepared that Jesus Himself will come and take us to.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 2  Meditation

 “13From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; 14from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth-- 15he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.” (Psa 33)
From heaven the Lord looks down is so much more real when I’m flying above all the clouds and see the ground below. The roads look like spiderwebs. The snow makes the trees looks like ants on a white rock. Everything is so small from above.
What kind of a view does God have of us? We must look smaller than an ant to Him and yet, He sees us.
“Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?" declares the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the LORD.” (Jer 23:24)
Our Lord does fill the heaven and the earth and sees every speck of dirt and yet, we do not understand how or in what way. It is beyond our imagination that He can hear the prayers and the cries and the praise of everyone all at one time. But He can.
In fact, Jesus tells us He see the hairs on your head saying, “29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Mat 10:29-31 NIV)
God sees and hears in a different way that humans do. We hear the voices around us but not all the voices of a crowded arena. We see the crowd but not the hearts.
We think in human terms as He says in Hebrews 4,“12For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
For some, that may cause concern to know God sees us from this lofty place and the inward most places of our heart. But not for those who have faith, it is nothing to fear. “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2Ch 16:9)
So let us be seen so we can be strengthened.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

June 1 Meditation

“More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters, more majestic than the waves of the sea, majestic on high is the LORD!” (Psa 93:4)
Mountains and oceans are reminders of how powerful our creator God is. But waterfalls and mountain streams give us pause to reflect on how God’s love is ever flowing, intertwining in every speck of our lives.
In the pool below the waterfalls, God’s love goes to the depths of our inner being. In the streams of water flowing over the rocks, we see how God’s strength flows through and around all barriers that get in the way of a relationship with us.
Jesus said in John 7 “"37Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38and let the one who believes in me drink… 'Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water.'"
With living water flowing through us, our hearts want to share with others like the flow of water rushing down a mountain side, our desire is to give water to others as quickly as we can.
When we are filled with living water, we know when we take our troubles to God, He will carry them for us like a leaf floating downstream, calmly, and peacefully.
Our trouble comes when we forget God and look to ourselves as Jeremiah 2 says, “13for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.” 
When we allow cracks in our faith, it runs out when we need it most and we find only dry barren walls around us.
But for those who turn to the Lord and trust His promises, the flowing water is our lifeline. It is our strength. It is our promise as Revelations 21 says, “6He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 
That water comes from Jesus as He told the woman at the well in John 4, "13Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
Come to the water, all who are thirsty. (Isaiah 55:1)
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 30 Mediation

“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (Psa 90:2)
It’s hard to imagine the world as void and formless as Genesis 1 describes it. When you are out of your normal routine and in the world whether by the mountains or next to the ocean, or even out in the prairie away from homes and cities… you notice something special. The overwhelming awesomeness of this world we live in.
When you do take time for such things, hopefully it will help you understand “…the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.” (Deu 10:17)
With that understanding, add in the knowledge that He created the plants and animals, the bird and sea life, all insects and creepy crawly things… and He create you from the dust of the ground. That’s when I feel the awesomeness of the Lord and am humbled.
“5Then I said: "LORD, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father's family, have committed against you. (Neh 1)
In humbleness, we pray for our lives to be obedient to God and faithful to our Savior Jesus and His teachings. In humble meditation, let us remember that, “5 I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, 6so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other. 7I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things. (Isa 45:5-7)
Today, we worship the almighty Lord.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 29 Meditations

“He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."” (Mat 17:20)
Can you imagine that?
It is also written in Mark, “"Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” (11:23)
Why is it we do not have strong faith like that? What gives some the trust needed to believe that strongly and others not?
Hebrews tells us, “1Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2This is what the ancients were commended for. 3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (11) It goes on to speak of the faith of Abraham, Noah, Moses, Joseph and many others. They were all sinful humans and yet they had faith to go where God asked and do what God required of them.
Knowing these stories helps strengthen our faith as we learn about our powerful God. Being in prayer through Jesus builds a relationship with God to learn to trust, opening our hearts to the Holy Spirit, who gives us faith.
“1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Heb 12)
Hebrews goes on to say, “the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son. "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” (12)
We don’t want to hear that as no one likes discipline. But “God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.” (12:10) so “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.” (12:12) for it produces a benefit for our well-being.
The benefit of strong faith to endure suffering and live in trust.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 28 Meditations

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” (Isa 54:10)
Flying over clouds gives you a different perspective on the world but there is nothing like the sunrise or sunset over the mountains from an airplane. The brilliance is spectacular as the glow covers the earth. I wasn’t able to get a picture of the beautiful pink clouds colored from the reflection of this view.
The majesty of such a view reminds me of the unfailing, unconditional, overwhelming love of the Lord and how awesome He is. It goes on and on past the horizon and being in the glow of His love is a spectacular feeling.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.” (Psa 19:1-2)
We are often told to stop and smell the roses, but I think a spectacular sunset is even more overwhelming and inspiring because it shows the height and depth and breadth of God’s creative authority. It reminds me once again, there is no God like our God. 
“He who made the Pleiades and Orion, (groupings of stars) who turns midnight into dawn and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land-- the LORD is his name.” (Amo 5:8)
Knowing this of our God, we are told to take everything to Him in prayer, trusting He will hear it and like a good Father, give us every good gift.
Today, what is on your heart? Lift it up to the omniscient all-powerful God who create the world and everything in it, who loves you more that you can even imagine.
Copyright Rev Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 27 Meditations

Where do we go from here?
Imagine if you had been training for an important assignment and when it was done, given a ticket to an unknown destination. Then when you got there, there were no directions on what you were to do next or where you were to go. You get off the plane and go into the terminal and again, nothing. It seems to be the end of the trip.
What do you do next if there was no way to call back to the one who sent you? You would certainly question what was next based on what you had studied and training for.
The disciples must have asked that question after Jesus had ascended to heaven. The Spirit had not yet been poured into them. They were meeting and praying every day. Jesus had told them, “"Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.” (Act 1:4)
Someone had to lead. Somehow they must move forward. So they had to review what had happened, what they had been told, and what they knew as their commissioning.
“15In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said, 16"Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold” (Act 1)
Sometimes God’s answers are like that, not easy to understand. The directions seem vague. As if everything God commands seemed to be silenced, questioning what it is you are to do in the place you have found yourself.
That’s when you pray and study and wait…
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 2 “4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power.”
When they waited, remembering all Jesus had told them, the Spirit did come to them on the first Pentecost day, and with it they carried the powerful Word of God to the nations.
So don’t be afraid when it seems you’ve reached the end of the trip. Wait there a while. Renew the Spirit within you with study and prayer until the right time comes upon you and God sends you out to do miraculous things.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 26 Meditation

I’ll be flying to Utah to visit family later today. The song, ‘Leaving On a Jet Plane’ always comes to mind. I remember my first time flying going to N. Ireland to see my Granny. It was the first tower strikes and we flew above New York waiting to land. I was worried thinking I’d miss my flight. The two gentlemen next to me were talking about a moon landing. They worked for NASA and everything was ‘roger’ this and ‘roger’ that.
They realized how anxious I was (I kept asking the time). The one said he had a daughter my age and we talked. When we landed, I looked pretty scared. They came over and asked if they could help me get to my next flight. After a short hesitation I got in their limo. drove to another terminal of the airport and one went in, grabbed a porter (gave him money) to get me to the plane just before the door closed.
I tried to send a thankyou note afterwards as they gave me a business card, but it came back. I think of their kindness every time I fly.
God has particular interest in dealing with strangers as He said to Moses, “9You shall not oppress a resident alien; you well know how it feels to be an alien, since you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.” (Exo 23:9)
God was with me opening their hearts to care for a young, scared girl from South Dakota on her first trip overseas. I would never have made my next flight if they had not helped me.
Jeremiah tells us, “3Thus says the LORD: Do what is right and just. Rescue the victims from the hand of their oppressors. Do not wrong or oppress the resident alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. (22:3)
Do no harm. It was a different time and today we look at my story with fear because we know there is so much harm waiting out there. Perhaps it is just that we hear of it more. I want to believe there are still good people who hear God’s words and do what is right and just.
Hebrews reminds us, “1Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.” (13:2)
God sent angels to sit next to and protect me that day. “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.” (Psa 34:7)
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 25 Meditation

The news is certainly discouraging today. A road rage shooting of a six-year-old, a state allowing untrained and unlicensed carry of handguns, coronavirus raging in other countries, and a rapper named A.C. Carson writes a letter to his Mother in case he becomes one of the many shooting statistics just because he’s black. People feel dishearten and without hope.
Micah writes, “1Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning's light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it. 2They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud people of their homes, they rob them of their inheritance.” (2)
Violence is increasing in astronomical numbers at the same time church attendance is drastically decreasing.
Could there be a correlation?
Job writes, 18"But as a mountain erodes and crumbles and as a rock is moved from its place, 19as water wears away stones and torrents wash away the soil, so you destroy a person's hope. (14)
Evil does destroy hope, for when life is good and we are surrounded with pleasantries, it’s easy to look to an enjoyable future.
But when evil hits us, when death suddenly takes a loved one, when violence and hatred surround us, it eats away at our hope for tomorrow.
Without faith, there is no hope. But for those who hear the Word of God and have faith, Paul writes, “13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, (Eph 1)
Through the Word, we are guided by the hope of God, (Psa 25:5) even through dark valleys and shadows of death (23).
We do not know the plans or will of God, so our humanness needs to be reminded, our ways are not His ways. (Isa 55:8)
The Word of God does that as Paul writes to the Romans, 4For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (Rom 15:4)
What a difference it could make if more people had the encouragement provided by scripture.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 24 Meditation

This morning a few small puddles proved we received a shower in the night. It’s difficult waiting for rain when it is powder dry and the ground cracks.
Gardens and flowerpots can be watered but the ground needs rain for trees and grass, meadows and fields.
Our thirsty souls are like that, we can get by with a little tidbit of the Word now and then, but we need more, a complete indwelling of the Spirit to grow and produce fruit as we read, “1Listen, you heavens, and I will speak; hear, you earth, the words of my mouth. 2Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.” (Deu 32)
The stories heard as children give us a taste of God’s almighty power and mercy. But without the Spirit, when struggles come, when rain dries up, and we question why, we need faith to see us through.
Job tells us, “7I thought, 'Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.' 8But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding. (32)
Just as frustrating as it is to wait for the rain as thunderclouds build around and pass by, it is frustrating to see others fall away from the Word of God.
So we wait and continue to pray, seeking the Spirit to fill their hearts, to come across something to cause them to actually hear the Word and believe.
Paul tells us, “17faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Rom 10)
In good times, we do not hear because we do not listen. But in our struggles and unanswered questions, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." (Isa 30:21)
So as hard as it is, when we see others going through trials and struggle in life, it may be God’s exact timing they turn “'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'” (Jer 33:3)
Just as a little shower does not provide all we need in drought; we wait for God’s good timing knowing, “I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.” (Lev 26:4)
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 23 Meditation

The lilacs are just in bloom and the smell is always lovely. Lilacs have a long history back to Greek Myths. According to an FTD website By Design the Celtics regarded lilac as “magical” because of the intoxicating smell and during the Victorian Age, lilac was a reminder of an old love, so widows often worn lilac.
For many it represents spring and has been used in many paintings and poems. It’s also one of the shortest flowering shrubs only in bloom for three weeks. They have a romantic perfume about them as in the Song of Solomon… “13His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh.” (5)
Oh the smell… so lovely…perhaps that was what God smelled after the flood to change His mind in Genesis 8:21 “The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.”
Or Paul speaks on in Philippians 4: 18 “I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.”
In the spring lilac are everywhere it seems. They are one of the hardiest and when I was little, every yard and tree strip has lilacs growing in them and you can see them still growing in old homestead even when the buildings have long been gone.
They remind us of the sweetness of Jesus a Ephesians 5 says, “1Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
And we are blessed to be Children of God “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” (2Corinthians 2:15)
Today… take time to smell the lilacs while they last and meditate of the sweetness of Jesus.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 22 Meditation

I built one of those raised planter boxes yesterday. It’s a DIY project that you just put together. I enjoy building things, even if all the hard work is already done. It’s like a puzzle, taking the pieces and putting it together piece by piece until the final picture is complete. It’s just satisfying.
Paul writes about how we are builders with Christ saying, “9For we are co-workers in God's service; you are God's field, God's building. 10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person's work. 14If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved--even though only as one escaping through the flames.” (1Co 3)
We build on what God has given us, our gifts, our talents, our skills. We use what we have to building on God’s greatest gifts, Jesus Christ using the many and varied gifts we all have been given. Not everyone will preach or teach, but all have their gifts to share whether it is putting together a planter box to plant in or growing vegetables to share for those who can’t. We are all builders.
”6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord.” (2Tim 1)
Today, think about your gifts and talents. Don’t be timid. Use them to build what will bring glory to God.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 21 Meditation

There is an old saying, ‘The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.’
Ecclesiastes 6-8 begins with, “1I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on mankind: 2God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.” 
The descriptions continue of evil and righteous living to end saying “12Although a wicked person who commits a hundred crimes may live a long time, I know that it will go better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him.” ending with, “17No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.”
In our daily lives, we get caught up in wanting what others has. We think we’ll be happier when we achieve a position, buy a bigger house, have fun toys others have and when we get them, we are not happier or more satisfied. Sometimes even more depressed.
Our society is based on that concept to show how much better your life will be when they have their products, travel to this exotic place, or wear their brand. It’s taught in marketing and advertising.
Paul could see this evil saying, “11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Phil 4)
We must recognize all things are a gift from God and are blessing. It’s hard though to see some are overly blessed while other live-in poverty. We must accept there are things we will never understand knowing “24For, "All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever." (1Pe 1)
Because this world is not our home, when we fear the Lord and cling to the Word, we are filled with the Spirit who helps us to live in the peace of God’s love for us knowing our reward is in heaven. Then we can be content.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 20 Meditation

Yesterday pastors met on ZOOM to discuss digital worship and the future of the church. It was a short 1-hour meeting with Ryan Panzer, pastor and author of Grace & Gigabytes.
It was truly an interesting topic for those of us who are wondering how we are to be church in the future. Will technology continue to be the focus? Will people come back to church or drift away? What and how do we change?
I know for some that word is terrifying – change. But it shouldn’t be. Scripture is all about change since God called Abraham to leave his home, his family, and his life behind and go where God directed him. (Genesis 12: 1)
Hebrews speaks of this, “8By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (11)
He looked forward is a key point.
I sometimes think we look backward too much. I know it’s easier. I do it myself when I’m out of steam. But there are times when we must look forward and make changes.
Paul writes, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Rom 12:2)
For the church, it is time for the renewal of your mind.
I don’t believe the church of the future will be by ZOOM, as people are relationship creatures. But change is coming, and our call is to look forward rather than back. To hear God’s call for the future with trust, allowing Him to guide us as He guided Abraham.
As we begin to find the vision of Grace Lutheran, look forward with hope and “5Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3)
For He is our rock. He will go before us. He does not change. And His promises are always true.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 19 Meditation

In the morning news I saw people running into the old city of Jerusalem and held my breath. Just two years ago I was there walking down those steps. Oh how I wish the fighting and bombing would stop. No more innocent people killed. No sacred places destroyed.
Jesus responds to the disciples on wars and rumors of wars saying, “6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” (Mat 24)
As a young girl, I heard people discuss this verse during Vietnam and the end times. I remember mom saying they discussed it during air strikes in WWII when taking shelter as sirens sounded.
Oh how we never learn.
Not only about war but about our fear of the end times.
I sometimes have a different perspective on the eschaton. No one wants their life to end and the end of time will be a horrific time of war and violence. But wouldn’t it be nice to live in paradise where there is no war, no violence, no hate, no sickness, only love and happiness, peace, and care?
Scripture tells us: There will be good things to eat (calorie free I’m sure) “… On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.” (Rev 22:2) “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.” (Rev 22:5)
Things to do: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (1Ti 4:8)
And God will be there: “And I heard a loud voice saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, 'He will wipe every tear from. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Rev 21:3-4)
I look around at this beautiful creation God has already given us and realize how much more it will be there, and I am thankful I am a Child of God and will someday have the blessing of eternal salvation in paradise.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 18 Meditations

We have had some beautiful evenings. People out walking, no bugs to bug you. No cold to discourage you. No wind to distract you.
One of the instructions of Deuteronomy 6 says, “6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” 
An evening walk is an excellent way to use scripture as your talking point, especially with a child or a neighbor who has little knowledge of the Bible. For the scriptures are words to live by and we should find ways to approach the subject as often as we can.
Paul says in Colossians 2: 6, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,” A literal walk can be a fruitful way to walk in His ways sharing God’s message of love and faithfulness.
The stories of scripture are often about nature. The agricultural descriptions were made for the people of Jesus day to easily understand but are transferrable to our day. The activity could become a great blessing to you not only in exercise but to your fellow walker for, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,” (Psalm 1:1)
Walking with Jesus, as the two on the road to Emmaus found themselves, opened their eyes to scriptures (Luke 24: 13-35) and that is something you may do for another.
First John also tells us “But whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” (2: 5-6) To walk in the same way, is to share the good news of Christ and scriptures with others.
It is not too much to ask of us to teach the scriptures to others when possible, knowing all that Jesus has done for our sake. “8He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
To walk humbly with God… can be just as simply as taking a walk.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 17 Meditation

In Hebrews 9 we read a correlation of a priest taking the sacrifices of the people into the temple year after year to the sacrifice of Jesus for our sin saying,
“24For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 
25Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; 
26for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. 
27And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment,
 28so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”
The image of a cross reminds us of the sacrifice of Christ for us. If He had not we would still be taking our lambs and turtle doves to the temple for sacrifice. Or maybe it would be a semi of grain or small herd of cattle as a cost of living adjustment.
But Jesus made it so easy that “9If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9)
Paul writes in Galatians “13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us-- for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"-- (3)
I think how easy it is for us and how horrific it was for Jesus. I wonder if we really had to sacrifice, would we respond differently knowing “23the wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23) 
Oh wait… we already teach that.
Has Satan twisted God’s Word again to make it seem we can ignore it with no recourse?
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
23Then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.' (Matthew 7)
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 16 Meditation

Before Jesus death, He prayed for His disciples and for the followers to come saying, “9I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours.” (John 17)
It was such a beautiful prayer, compassionate and loving, filled with concern for the people He loved.
Paul tells us in Romans Jesus prays for us right now, “34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (8:34 NIV)
Hebrews says, “25Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (7)
Prayer for another is a powerful thing. We see prayers answered every day, in many ways where we have no control over the situation. The health of a newborn; an unexplained healing; the unscathed survivor of a totaled car accident; the right person at the right moment to save another.
Paul tells us, “16 Rejoice always, 17pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1Thessalonians 5)
Prayer is so important, even as Jesus hung on the cross, He prayed for those who put him there saying, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
Such incredible amazing love, full of compassion and concern even for those who did not love Him.
That is the love He has for you, as He prayed, “20 "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17)
Know today, Jesus is praying for you.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 15 Meditation

Thunderheads rolled past yesterday. The sound of thunder could be heard but only a few sprinkles came. Up north received 2” of rain. Some think it a sign of favor. Those who received inches of hail, not so much.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches “44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Mat 5)
Sunshine and rain were signs of great blessings sent by God as are His mercies. It is not for us to know who is good or evil, or what is just or unjust, because we cannot know the heart.
Many experience drought as in Jeremiah, “3The nobles send their servants for water; they go to the cisterns but find no water. They return with their jars unfilled; dismayed and despairing, they cover their heads. 4The ground is cracked because there is no rain in the land; the farmers are dismayed and cover their heads.” (14)
Matthew Henry Commentary says, “The gifts of God's bounty to wicked men that are in rebellion against him, teach us to do good to those that hate us; especially considering, that though there is in us a carnal mind which is enmity to God, yet we share in his bounty.” (BibleWorks)
In a drought, we must continue to trust God will provide and pray without understanding.
Our prayer may be more than for water as King David prayed, “1You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” (Psa63)
There are times we thirst for the Lord. Our souls feel empty, and the challenges of life cause us to question, why Lord? What have I done to deserve this? Why can’t you forgive me? The rains go around us, our lives seem dried up and without life.
We must have faith and wait for the Lord who comes as He promises, “3I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.” (Isaiah 44)
Trust in the Lord, for He has chosen you, loves you and wants no harm to come to you.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 14 Meditation

The fruit trees are blossoming, a sure sign spring has come, and summer will soon be here. God gives us signs of things to comes so often, we forget to notice it seems.
In Numbers, a controversary had arisen over who would be the head of the tribes. God directed Moses to take a rod (a dry wooden staff or walking stick) from each of the twelve tribes and put them in the tabernacle saying, “5The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, (shall blossom) and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites." (17)
God would search the hearts of the twelve and give them a sign as to who was true to the Lord, preventing bloodshed.
“8The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron's staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds.”
The other dry wooden staff remained as dry wooden staff, but the rod of Aaron miraculously continued to have a bud, blossom, and fruit all at once. To have all three at one time is miraculous.
This was a sign for those who remain faithful would flourish, as we read in Psalm 92, “12The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 13planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. 14They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,”
Jesus himself told us in John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit--fruit that will last.”
This is a sign for us that even though we die, for those who live in Christ, life remains within us and we miraculously will live again.
The fruit trees are blossoming, the hills are turning green with new grass, the geese nesting, and the days are getting longer. All around us are signs given to us by God of what is to come. We just need to see them, for those who “delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.” (Psalm 1:2-3)
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 13 Meditation

Hearing John prophesy, Luke speaks of the awakening of those who come to know Jesus as the truth of the gospel saying, “77to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace." (1)
The brilliant light of the rising sun is like new life found in coming to faith. When the word is truly heard within your heart, it’s like a new day, brighter than any day has ever been because now you live in the hope of life eternal. The understanding clears away clouds of fear through faith that shines through the darkness.
As Paul writes, “17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5)
Living in the light means we clearly see the outrageous love of Jesus to voluntarily give up His life for us and we want to put aside our sinful self. But when we do, we are often attacked by Satan who wants desperately to wear us down and pull us back into the ways of the world.
After the brilliance of coming to faith, when you are feeling the most hopeful, is often a time when Satan attacks. In the struggle, Paul reminds us, “12The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” (Rom 13)
Putting on the armor of light is to be strengthened by Jesus abundant love and teachings. God’s Word were the source of Jesus strength in the wilderness when tempted. Through prayer and knowing Jesus, we also have the armor needed to resist temptation.
“For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (2Corinthians 4:6)
That is the tender mercy of a loving God who awakens us and gives us a peace beyond our understanding, Today, let us give thanks to God for chosen to shine on us, His tender mercy.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 12 Meditation

Driving through the Coteau Des Prairie you can’t help but see the many windmills. From a distance they don’t look that large, but close up they are huge. It takes a powerful wind to turn them.
The wind can be a powerful force. In the flood, as the rains stopped, “God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.” (Gen 8:1)
In the crossing of the Red Sea, Moses stretched out his hand, “and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land.” (Exo 14:21)
We know the power seeing effects of trees and buildings pushed down from it.
The wind is also an invisible force, as is God the Holy Spirit causing faith in those who hear the Word of God.
Jesus sends the Spirit through this invisible force to “12equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up… 14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” (Ephesians 4)
In these days, we worry about our church. We pray for a revival. We are promised, the church will remain. So we must continue to pray for the church and those who have not yet come to true faith. “6But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1)
This powerful force, like the wind sent out from God, can change the church and those you pray for as Ezekiel prophesy over the dry bones and brought them back to life, “Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'" (37:9)
It will take a powerful force, but pray for the church, for a revival to come and breath life back into it. For this powerful force, the Spirit of God, to cause the people to return to Him, hear His Word, and believe.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 11 Meditation

I had a visitor enjoying the sunshine. There are several neighborhood cats that visit and always welcome, to just visit. I’m against cats, we have plenty at the farm. I’m just gone too much.
These unexpected visitors are fun to watch chasing birds, sleeping in my swing, and even climbing a ladder on cold winter days to lay in sunshine on the roof. They need little attention or hospitality.
Jesus told about a neighbor who comes in the middle of the night in need of food for a guest who came unexpectedly in Luke 11: 5-10. Our lives are full of unexpected guest and unexpected needs. Jesus told the disciples to help them understand a good neighbor will open his door and help a friend in need. The parable also shows God wants us to come to Him with our needs no matter what time or situation.
We of course should be prepared but unexpected things happen. We should not be ashamed that we find ourselves in need.
Isaiah also talks about the unexpected visitor saying, “7Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” (58)
When the tables are turned, and we are the one who can provide hospitality, we should do so without fear. Paul writes in Romans 12:13 “Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
I remember a time I was traveling with some youth. I wanted to be sure they were safe. In a fast-food place, a man came up to them asking for money. I jumped into action sending him away. I have regretted that ever since because in that moment another adult jumped up and bought the man a meal then sending him away.
“Why didn’t I do that,” I have always wondered, but I was afraid. Afraid to trust in God. Afraid to respond in grace and mercy. I could have taken advantage of a wonderful teaching moment for these young people. Instead, the teaching moment was on me and how I was not prepared for the unexpected visitor.
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2)
I failed but I learned a lesson.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 10 Meditation

I’ve always liked waterfalls. I love watching the water flow over the rocks, the sound, and making them. It’s been a long time since I built this one. One of my most enjoyable and relaxing places to be is sitting outside by the fireplace listening to my waterfall.
Jesus desires for us to have a place of quiet and rest speaking to His disciples in Mark 6:31 “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."”
Rest is important to revive our body, but we also need a place of quiet to renew the soul spending time in the hope and peace of Christ promises. For, “1Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. 2Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62)
Taking time on the Sabbath to attend worship and hear the Word is important but a little time each day for quiet meditation in a peaceful place to reflect on its joys and blessings provides a hopefulness to live in a troubled world.
The world is so full of distractions that take us away from that quiet time with God, much to Satan’s pleasure. But even in ancient times Isaiah spoke of it saying, “17The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. 18My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” (32)
Our world is not so peaceful with shootings, riots, violent crimes, intense opposition with no compromise and hatred. Some feel we are previewing Hades as Revelations describes, “11And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name." (14)
But Jesus wants life to be different for those who follow Him saying, “27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14)
Today, find that waterfall to sit next to and enjoy a quiet time resting in God.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 9 Meditation

This is my grandma’s rocking chair. If I remember right, her mother gave it to her making it well over 100 as she would have had it when my dad was a baby, and he was born in 1916. I have a few other things I cherish from my grandmother. A little plant stand she said she bought from the gypsy’s when they came through. It’s made of painted twigs and is very wobbly. It might have cost a quarter or even less, but grandma and grandpa bought it because they figured the people were in need.
Today is Mother’s Day and a day set aside to think about your mothers. Mine, at 94, lives next door to me and recently learned to drive a golf cart. It took her a little bit to get used to, but safer than driving the car, I think.
The Bible talks about Mother’s in Proverbs 31. It’s a wonderful text about what a Godly woman should be about. I’m not sure I know anyone who is up to that standard, but it is an example to strive for. Solomon says in Proverbs 1, “8My son, give ear to the training of your father, and do not give up the teaching of your mother: 9For they will be a crown of grace for your head, and chain-ornaments about your neck.”
Moms and grand moms are so important in the life of a child. They create memories, teach us, and pray over children constantly. They also give us an example of the love of God as Isaiah 66 speaks of, “13As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you;"
I remember my grandmother teaching me to pray at nap time as a little girl. That memory has stayed with me throughout my live and the peaceful feeling I get when I think of it. There is something powerful and lasting in faith shared by a grandmother and mother. “5I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” (2Tim 1:5)
It’s a faith that comes to you in unconditional love.
Share your faith today with a child or grandchild… and if you don’t have one… just reach out and borrow one. There are so many children who live far from their grandparents and even parents… Step in for them, where you are at. They will thank you for it.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 8 Meditation

Even though we are having abnormally cold spring days, the buds of the trees are pushing out. It doesn’t happen often, but there have been times a late frost has set back leaves to full fruition.
There is something special about a bud with references in scripture of its use to decorate ‘holy’ things as in 1 Kings when Solomon built the temple, he included carving of ornate buds in the ‘holy place’ “(All the inside of the house was cedar-wood, ornamented with designs of buds and flowers; no stonework was to be seen inside.)” (6:18)
In Exodus 37, Bezalel made the ark of hard wood, “Every branch having three cups made like almond flowers, every cup with a bud and a flower on all the branches;” (19) and “Then he made the support for the lights, all of the best gold; its base and its pillar were of hammered gold; its cups and buds and flowers were all made out of the same metal:” (17)
As God spoke to Moses, He foretold of a special bud, “And the rod of that man who is marked out by me for myself will have buds on it; so I will put a stop to the outcries which the children of Israel make to me against you.” (Num 17:5) We hear this in our Christmas song, ‘Behold a branch is growing… It springs from Jesse's race’ based on Isaiah 11, “1A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—"
A bud is like a hope of something to come, it predicts newness, like prophecy of the coming of Christ.
Isaiah tells us, “11For as the earth puts out buds, and as the garden gives growth to the seeds which are planted in it, so the Lord will make righteousness and praise to be flowering before all the nations.” (61)
As we see the buds come out, we see hope for the coming leaves and the warmth of summer. Perhaps that is why God chose to design a bud as part of so many special ‘holy’ places, as a sign of hope of what is to come and the newness of life He offers.
As you see the buds come out, let it remind you once more of the hope you have in the coming of Christ.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 7 Meditation

This is National Nurses Week between May 6th and 12th. This past year has shown us how important nurses are and given us a deep appreciation for all who take up the profession.
For those who know me, know I am not a nurse type and never a nurse. Looking at wounds on someone else makes my insides hurt and when my kids would come in cut and bleeding, I’d hold their wound under the faucet with a cloth over it. Once I almost passed out when they were taking the stitches “out” of one of their little fingers. I am just not a nurse type person.
The Psalmist had the same appreciation for nurses that I have saying, “1Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the LORD delivers them in times of trouble. 2The LORD protects and preserves them-- they are counted among the blessed in the land-- he does not give them over to the desire of their foes. 3The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.” (41)
Jesus taught us to care for those who are the most vulnerable commissioning “7As you go, proclaim the good news, 'The kingdom of heaven has come near.' 8Cure the sick,” (Mat 10) and “36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.' (Mat 25)
One of the most well-known stories is Luke 10: 25-37 of the ‘Good Samaritan’ which speaks about compassion and is an example of love for the other, no matter who they are. Nurses are filled with those two characteristics, helping others in their most dire time of need.
This past year has been a trying one for nurses everywhere. They have been a true picture of what it is to have compassion and love over and above their own self-interest, even leaving family behind to care for others.
“7Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1John 4:7) It’s really no wonder they are called angels of mercy.
Today, say a prayer for our nurses and when you see one, thank them for all they do.
And don’t look to me for nursing… unless you want to be dunked under the faucet.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 6 Meditation

The tulips are blooming, different colors, different sizes, different varieties. Just like these, we are all different.
 “38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39Not all flesh is alike, but there is one flesh for human beings, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one thing, and that of the earthly is another. 41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; indeed, star differs from star in glory. 42So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.” (1Corinthians 15)
What our heavenly body will be like, we do not know. I’m hoping for one that is skinny and maybe a little taller, although I’ve learned to be short, so I’d go for just the skinny.
Paul goes on to say “43It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.”
We are different, but God will change us all to something new and that will be glorious. There will no longer be a color of skin, a style of clothing to tell a cultural difference, a way of dressing to show wealth, or even an image of age. We will no longer be able to find a reason to discriminate.
That’s something we are to learn in this world first, to enjoy all the tulips for their beauty and character, and not just specific ones.
For in God’s eyes, when you are in Christ Jesus, “26you are all children of God through faith. 27As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3)
And you are loved… just as you are, tall or not.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 5 Meditation

“Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” (Psalm 36:5)
This little tulip growing straight up and opened to the heavens is as if it were opening arms to give thanks to God for this beautiful day, as we should. Spring is a busy time of year. We’ve waited for warm weather The Psalmist also writes, “9I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 10For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness extends to the clouds. 11Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth.” (57:9-11)
There are many ways to give thanks. In our offerings, we give back to God what He has blessed us with. We may that we have worked hard for it on our own, but it is through God’s good gifts of talents, skills, knowledge, timing, and grace we are blessed.
We give thanks coming together as the people of God to worship each week. It demonstrated putting God first before all other things. It says I am not ashamed to be a Christian. It makes known we honor God by caring for the “Other” when we join in fellowship. We give thanks in prayer time with words of thankfulness from our hearts as we lift them up to God.
When we take time to look to the heavens, reaching our arms out to God giving Him thanks and praise, we humble ourselves and praise God for what He has done in giving up His son to die for us.
All that is around us is an invisible reminder of how almighty our God is and His abundant love for us, from the little tulip that reaches up to God to the massive awesome galaxy above us.
Paul writes to the Romans saying, “19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse;” (1)
Today, see what marvelous things God has made known to you of His steadfast love, open your arms and give thanks.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 4 Meditation

May the 4th be with you.
Of course, the word is Force and I have to admit, I’ve never watch Star Wars, but I had a son that did and read the books. As far as I know the story line is about the forces of good versus evil battling it out.
Good versus evil forces. How many stories, comic books, movies, tv series have that storyline? Yes, many. They come from the forces of daily life and the life of humankind since Adam and Eve as the serpent twisted God’s words around in Genesis 3, “2The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.'" 4But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die; 5for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
The eyes of humankind have truly been opened to see that now we do have to die because of our sin, but we still do not seem to know good from evil as the prophet Isaiah speaks of this, “20Ah, you who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21Ah, you who are wise in your own eyes, and shrewd in your own sight!” (5)
Humankind has this ongoing battle and will until the second coming of Jesus (John 8:44) when He puts an end to Satan and his evil forces. Throughout time, we have stories to teach us to follow the forces of good but as Proverbs tells us, “2All deeds are right in the sight of the doer, but the LORD weighs the heart.” (21)
Because of our human nature, we must turn to scripture and trust in our Savior to guild us. Through His word and teaching, God promises to direct your paths, Psalm 32: 8. It takes effort, but we must learn to “5Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. 6In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Even though we die, for those who put their trust in the resurrected Christ, we will live.
Today, May the 4th be with you, Jesus Force that is, who wins in the end.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 3 Meditation

The Psalmist writes “5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help.” Some days can just be discouraging, when you put so much work into a project or an event and it doesn’t work out.
When your planting seeds, sharing the good news of the gospel message, you don’t always see the results right away. In fact, you may never see the results of being a Sunday/Wednesday schoolteacher or a VBS planner.
Sharing the message with a friend or co-worker may not result in someone attending church or even becoming a believer. It takes a long time. I read a few years ago on the average you need to invite someone to church eight times before they actually do. Many of us will get discouraged after asking three or four times.
With church attendance down and children not attending, it can be discouraging for teachers and pastors alike. Small churches are struggling with the choice of staying open, sharing a pastor to make ends meet and even if they can find one to lead them.
At times like this, we get discouraged, wondering if the church will last and even if religion will become a thing of the past. Jesus tells us in Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you… I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.”
Be encouraged, the Word of the Lord will stand forever as 1 Peter 1:25 promises, “but the word of the Lord endures forever." That word is the good news that was announced to you.”
So, during these times of discouragement, questioning if it’s worthwhile to teach or preach, invite or speak to those who have no church family or faith, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15: 58 “Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
Even if you don’t see the results, be encourage that you are doing the Lord’s work and that is all that matter. And “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15: 13.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 2 Meditation

The gospel today is I am the vine from John 15. There is a verse that says “2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.” (Joh 15:2)
Visiting my 94-year-old mother the other day, she started talking about the neighbor’s apple tree and how it needed to be pruned. I laughed and said that’s not up to us. Reading this reminds me of that. The neighbor may not know how to prune the tree or even if it needs it. The dilemma then is, should I go say something to him? Or do I just let it go thinking maybe one day he’ll ask. Or maybe he doesn’t really care, and the tree will not bear anything and he’ll end up cutting it down.
It is the same when we meet someone who does not know Jesus or may not know much about His love. We too often stand back and wonder, should I go and tell him? No he might get offended. Or we think he will ask us when he feels ready. Or maybe he just doesn’t care and would walk away.
Jesus commands us to go and tell others of the good news of Christ crucified and risen in the great commission, Matthew 28: 19-20 and Mark 16:15 says to go into all the world with the gospel message. But too often we are afraid.
In Romans 10: 14 Paul ask, “But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?”
Yet we are afraid. It feels uncomfortable. We worry how the other person will react. Jesus promised in Acts 1: 8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses… to the ends of the earth."
We have nothing to fear but only obey. “15but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” (1Peter 3)
So do not be anxious and question if you should or not as Paul tells us, “6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Phi 4)
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

May 1 Meditation

The first day of May is a day many countries celebrate with a springtime festival. It also reminds me of the distress call ‘mayday’ for ships and airplane in movies of old. I wondered why they would use May Day as a distress call but in looking it up, I read it sounds like a French word that means “help me” and does not mean a day in May at all.
When we are in distress, we have someone we can cry out to, our God. “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me." (Psalm 50:15)
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33)
“When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.” (Psa 34:17)
An example of how God rescues His people is the story the story of Moses taking the people of Israel from slavery out of Egypt and as they wandered in the wilderness, crying out for food and water.
Jesus also rescues those who cry out as in Matthew 14 when Peter walked out on the water, became afraid and then sunk.
For me, crying out to God at times has come as an overwhelming reaction to complete surrender or helplessness. When there is nothing you can do and nothing will change the situation, like in the loss of a loved one as John 15: 5 tells us, “…because apart from me you can do nothing.” It’s when you realize you have no control in this world at all and are complete at the mercy of our Lord and seek Him to get you through it.
That genuine humility is not bad, it brings us closer to God realizing “O LORD, you will hear the desire of the meek; you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear.” (Psa 10:17)
In humbleness we can look to God and simply put our faith in Him who rescues us, knowing there is nothing we can do on our own to save ourselves in our mayday as we cry out, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!" (Mat 8:25)
Then with faith, we can have complete confidence He hears our cry, “2O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. 3O LORD, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.” (Psa 30) and we can praise God for His goodness.
Copyright Rev. Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett