Roberta Buckley ~ June

June 28, 2012

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

June 28, 2012

Today definitely feels like a Phoenix summer day. I’m reminded of the scene my friend described one hot summer day when a dog was chasing a cat and they were both walking!

My sermon this Sunday is designed to prepare you not only for a good vacation, but for a healthy pace for the rest of your life. It is called, “Even God Rested (and you’re not God!)” In this message we are going to take a look at Scriptures about rest from one end of the Bible to the other.

In Hebrews 3 & 4 we are exhorted to “strive to enter God’s rest.” To enter God’s rest means we live our lives without being tormented, or driven by fear, anxiety and uncertainty. It is not easy to get delivered from the fear and anxiety that plagues people in our culture. It takes maturity to understand what is legitimate for us to be concerned about and what things we can let go of. It is a spiritual discipline for responsible people to know when to take action and when to rest. We want to work hard at our jobs, but at the same time find a pace of life that allows us to be physically, mentally and spiritually healthy.

Ecclesiastes says that life is a vapor, meaning that it is fleeting. We want to enjoy every day as a gift from God and be as productive as possible. We don’t want our days tainted by unhealthy pressures. Jesus can teach us to find rest for our souls so that we can experience the fullness of life each and every day. Serving God, and helping others allows us to grow as we go in a fun and fruitful way.

I believe we are going to have some great services this weekend. Unless you are resting on vacation, I hope to see you there.

Sunday Preview

June 14, 2012

This Sunday is Father’s Day and my sermon is called, “Becoming a Spiritual Father.”

One of the greatest joys in most people’s lives is the birth of their first child. When I first saw my son appear on the day of his birth, I was filled with a great love and overwhelmed with thankfulness to God. Not every person gets the blessing of becoming a parent, but every believer can become a spiritual parent.

Spiritual fathers love and care for specific members of God’s family. We help our spiritual sons and daughters grow in the grace and knowledge of God. We walk with them through the trials and temptations which come to all of us while we are getting established in our faith. My dad brought both blessings and challenges to me while I was growing up. In some ways he was a great example of love and encouragement. In other ways he wrestled with confusion and depression which hindered his relationship with all of his children. The same can be said about my pastor, who was my first spiritual father. He brought both great blessings and great trials into my life.

Our desire at Living Steams is to be a healthy church which equips believers for ministry and missions. A healthy church needs good spiritual fathers. Both men and women, young and old, can fulfill this precious ministry to the people of God. I’m hoping this message on Sunday will give you vision and clarity on one of the most important roles you will fulfill in your life.