May 20, 2012

Roberta Buckley

 Kristina and I flew to California for a missions conference recently and spent a night with my mother. Roberta Buckley still lives in the suburban house on Holly Drive in Terra Linda we moved into in 1954. She had a big pot of minestrone soup and fresh French bread ready when we arrived. Mom was eager to hear how we were doing, how Living Streams was going, and to get an update on her granddaughters in Arizona.
My parents never had much money, but my dad had friends at a supermarket who gave him deals on meat and vegetables that were near their due dates, so we had lots of food. Mom fed her eight children three meals a day along with our friends, cousins, and various hitchhikers. She did the cleaning, washing, doctors appointments and attended our games. She has twenty-one grandchildren, and six great grandchildren who drop by hungry. She also hosts twenty to forty people at a time for family birthday parties, holidays, her bridge club, and community groups. I’m sure she has cooked more meals in the last fifty-eight years than anyone else in Marin County. I bet she is also Costco’s best eighty-seven year old regular customer.
Roberta Mathews graduated from UC Berkeley in February 1947 and married John Buckley that June. She moved from the Episcopal to the Catholic church when she saw how seriously my dad took his faith. She embraced Catholic teachings about everything including birth control. So one child led to another until our house was full.
One day I watched my mom’s face light up with joy as she talked with a friend of mine about his life. She made him feel special because she really cared about him. Mom shows her love for people not only by feeding them, but by asking them about their lives. She is interested in people because she loves people.
Mom has lived through divorce, cancer, surgeries, the deaths of her parents, sisters, two grandchildren, and many friends. She doesn’t move too fast anymore, yet she still loves life.
Life moves fast for all of us, yet some things remain the same. It is always a blessing to have someone care about you. Long before I understood that God chooses us to be in his family, I understood that I was special because my mother really cared about me.
You don’t have to preach to the multitudes or work miracles to have a powerful impact. All you have to do is commit yourself to loving the people around you. I have never met a perfect person, but my life has been shaped by a woman who started loving me at birth, forgave my many sins, and has never given up on me. I thank God for my Mom.

Sunday Preview

May 3, 2012

We are continuing our series from Revelation this Sunday with the message from the Lord to the church in Pergamum (Revelation 2.) Every time we see how Jesus relates to a different church, we see another facet of his nature. Revelation reveals the glory of Jesus Christ in the midst of the persecution coming against the churches in Asia.

The church in Pergamum was located in the city where Satan had his throne. Emperor worship was established there and it was sweeping across the world controlled by the Roman Empire. People were giving up their rights and yielding their wills in order to have the stability that the emperor promised. Unfortunately, the corruption of this absolute power led to greater turmoil in the long run.

The believers in Pergamum were faithful in the face of persecution, but they compromised when it came to confronting sexual immorality in the church. Jesus called them to repentance. Their compromise with immorality would lead to the eventual destruction of the churches, as surely as embracing emperor worship would lead to the destruction of the culture.

We are living in a culture where many believers compromise with immorality as well. Jesus reveals himself to the church in Pergamum as one with a sharp, two-edged sword. He speaks the truth even when it brings temporary pain, in order to bring them long-term blessings.
I hope we will always be people who love the Lord, embrace the truth, and shine as true lights for Christ in our city