Telling our Faith Story;

*Dr. Elizabeth L. Windsor writes; “As we move into the… holiday seasons of Advent, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, many of us will be attending gatherings of friends and family. This season of being together offers many opportunities for us to share our spiritual stories and to hear (and help) others tell theirs.”

She goes on to say; “Ours is a storytelling God. In God’s Story we find our own and in our own stories, we find God at work in our lives and the lives of those whose lives touch ours. The Acts of the Apostles continue to be written by each person of faith. Your spiritual autobiography is your chapter in the book of The Acts of the Apostles.”

Many of us here on this spiritual daily blog have been practicing within our community and fellowship of believers for the last year or years. Now is the time to express the deeper experiences of the meaning of our faith to others and they to us. Our spiritual journeys are so exciting. I have come to see that as we share our journeys we find new journeys. It keeps the oil in our lamps and our lamps aglow.

My hope is to see and hear many faith stories here as we share Our Holidays’ stories together and hope to help many others tell their stories!

*Dr. Elizabeth L. Windsor is the Director of Christian Education at Sudbury United Methodist Church in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Christian formation throughout the life cycle is both her profession and her passion. She writes about telling our Faith Story;

17 thoughts on “Telling our Faith Story;

  1. Perhaps some of us do not realize the incredible stories stashed away in the core of our beings, tucked way down deep in our hearts or the integral part our lives as Christians have played in the touching of hearts and the conversion of others. We might not recognize the touch of the Master’s Hand in all our circumstances that have led to our finding Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
    I have written this before but I think is is appropriate to share again. Maybe someone who hasn’t seen my story before will read this and be strengthened by it.
    Before I knew Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I went through a heart-breaking divorce. The rejection and cold-hearted-ness was devastating. That ol’ REJECTION, my old nemesis, was reinforced big time. It took a few years to overcome the initial devastation of that breakup. It affected both our families, terribly.
    As I endeavored to “find myself” again…(BIG MISTAKE WHEN WE TRY TO FIND OURSELVES INSTEAD OF ALLOWING GOD TO “FIND” US …BUT WATCH HOW GOD HANDLES IT) I got into the bar scene by playing the piano in a hotel lounge in the evening after school. Believe me it was anything but ‘HAPPY HOUR’. However, I thought I was something, at last a kind of low paid celebrity….(I would show him) and I liked the attention given me from some of these poor, lost souls of humanity sitting in that darkened lounge, lost, lonely souls….govt. workers, salesmen, airline pilots, ball players, men and some women who should have been home with their families or something. Some with nowhere else to go after work….except MAYBE, on the way to hell like me, then.
    After a few years of that, I remember standing in the shower, totally fed up with the party scene and the bar scene and the dating scene and I cried out the best I knew how….”I know that I have Got to get back to church”. The cry of a pagan (tho I had been raised in the Catholic church by God fearing parents)… that was all I knew to do. To stand in that blue tiled shower and cry out of desperation to a God I had only heard about
    but did not know.
    There was no clap of thunder or blinding flash of light from above like Paul on his way to Damascus. Life continued sort of in the same way. HOWEVER, mother started calling me from Florida and talking about Jesus and how the devil tricks people, etc. and I would have none of it. I mean I was so spiritually ignorant that I did not recognize that that desperate cry that night was heard by a magnificent God Who immediately went to work in my life to answer that cry for help. I threatened my mother, Sister Grandma…who had received Jesus Christ as her Savior after 78 years. ” I am not coming down there to visit again if you don’t stop talking about Jesus and the devil and all that stuff” I barked in my inimitable, gracious fashion. She acquiesced for the moment and decided to let God do it. I was a bit much for her as she was a new though grateful Christian.____to be contd.

  2. “All the darkness in the world can’t extinguish the light from a single candle.” St. Francis of Assisi

    Could it be that our faith story is a light for another to find their way? The only way to know, I would think, is to give faith stories each day along our path. Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” God’s Word in action seems to be the light.

    “Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:15, 16

    We can ask effective questions, one might be; Does your family have a special table grace handed down from generation to generation? Coming from a large family of 10 and always a younger one to learn and say the grace I would hear; “God is great, God is good let us thank him for our food. By his hand we all are fed give us Lord our daily bread.”

    Yes, I taught this to my children as well. Although over time we have learned other table prayers and made our own but I still cherish our family grace while learning new ones.

    I see Advent, Christmas, and New Years with newness and intended Joy springing forth from my dining table and coffee rounds. I pray that each one will so intently enjoy their family and friends as they share their faith stories.

  3. Another exciting thought that springs into my mind in the early morning hours is to Skype or call an older family member or friend that may be unable to be at the dining table because of distance or other and let them share their *faith story while we have coffee and enjoy a few stories that only the older generation could tell. Hum, or maybe we are the older generation with our Faith story; let’s have one ready!

    *or a table grace or blessing over our family…Holy God is on the heart of my lips.

  4. You’ re so right, Sara. There is no excuse to publicly rehearse the tawdry details of a soul’s derelict life other than to give glory to Jesus Christ the Deliverer of fettered souls in bondage and to give hope and great expectations to other who are laboring under chains of darkness, deceiving themselves into thinking they are having a great time and enjoying life.

  5. As a child I loved to hear my grandmother tell me about the highlight of her large family’s Christmas. It was not the presents they got or the food they ate. It was a tradition that her entire small town participated in. That was the excitement and joy of going from neighbor’s house to house, and being invited in to view the ‘nativity scene’ under the Christmas tree. Apparently each family created a special ‘scene’ and how the children loved to go on this visit.
    That memory story always stuck in my mind and I often remember it as the nativity’s are put up in and outside of our house each year.

  6. That reminds me of how as early as Dec. 1st up in cold country where I was born, Daddy would have us all hop in the car (with snow suits and snow boots and chains in the tires, and travel up and down our little city streets looking at the marvelous eye candy….lights, lights lights. Nativities, and Santa Clause and angels all lit up our town’s neighborhoods. Then we would pass the word on to our relatives that they ought to visit such and such street to see the way some had decorated their yards and windows. That was such fun. Three kids in the back seat and daddy and Sister Grandma in the front. “Precious Mem’ries how they linger….”

  7. MG, as you told your story above it shows you have a story to tell to your family at Christmas when you visit in NJ. What an opportunity!

  8. “God is great, God is good let us thank him for our food. By his hand we all are fed give us Lord our daily bread.”

    I want to repeat my family’s table grace. I think it such a beautiful prayer to pray with so many without jobs or sufficient food for their tables. For the children around the world. The news stories each day brings this alive to my mind and voice. May I voice it in pray with and over many tables.

    John 3:16 is my theme!

  9. Yes that was our table grace as well. “By his hand we all are feed, give us Lord our daily bread.” Most of our food had been preserved by canning the harvest in the Fall. My Mom would make homemade bread and put it on wooden stove side burner to rise in the warmth of the stove. If we wanted toast we would stick a fork through the bread and toast it over the coals of the wooden stove.

    My Mother left the Christmas tree to my Dad to put up. He’d take us through the woods and he would chop the tree down. We all lent a hand to drag the tree home and place it in the living room. We would put on the homemade ornaments and the glass ornaments with angel hair in them. We would pop popcorn and string it around the tree. Dad would place the angel on the top and then we would have hot chocolate and play Christmas Music (records then).

  10. I want to share our table grace. We said one before and one after via the Roman Catholic tradition. “Bless us oh Lord and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive through Christ our Lord, Amen.”
    And the thanksgiving one went something like this “We give Thee thanks, Oh Lord for these and all Thy benefits through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.” (Or something very similar to that)

  11. We also were very active Sunday School activities. There was always a Christmas pageant and plays throughout the year. At Christmas we would sing a number of old favorites like Silent Night, What Child is This?, We Three Kings, Angels We Have Heard on High. I loved the singing part and music is still something I really cherish in good times, difficult times, and anytime. When I got in high school we would go to the Nursing Homes and sing and I Also sang with the French Club. The people always enjoyed are coming. I loved singing in the choir as well.

    My mother was a crafter. Her gifts were a real labor of love. She had arthritis in her hands but kept the needles going anyway. Everyone got a homemade table scarf and we kids got a quilt. I remember embroidering at six. She taught us to make gifts for others – she did this at Christmas and throughout the year. She would hover over us as we sewed on the electric sewing machine to make sure we were doing the job correctly. If the stitch wasn’t done correctly it must be ripped out and done over again. She started us sewing on an old treddle machine. The neighbors complained we were too young. She said we would learn to not put our hand under the needle. She hated any type of waste and retrieved fabric and thread from being burnt when she worked at a sewing machine factory.

    She would rise early to be with God which set her day for all she had to do.
    She taught us well.

  12. Yes my tree is adorned with all my mother’s handiwork. Every year I put up the tree I put each ornament on the tree and remember her and always cry with the sweet memories. She crocheted white bells and she told me. See this old dirty bell, she said. Please don’t ever throw it away for you will need it when you wash these bells and place each one in sugar starch to reform them. (By the way sugar starch is like what you would make sugar icing without whipping in the beaten egg whites.) I must say I have never washed them, nor have I thrown out the bell. She crafted bells, angels, stars, balls of all sorts.

    She also hand crocheted a complete nativity set. The figures are placed over dishwashing plastic containers. She felt that little ones should be able to tell the story of Jesus using the figures and not have to worry about breaking them.
    She was a Sunday School teacher who always kept the children in mind.

  13. What wonderful, warm memories of your mom, Rena. I love their stories and that our parents, did the very best they could….the best they knew how. Sister Grandma queried occasionally, that she was concerned that she had done the right thing in how she/they raised their children…or lamented that she did not think she had done enough for the Lord after the awe of meeting Him as her Lord and Savior.
    Our parents did the best they could with the resources that were available. Like Rena’s mom, my mother did not want us to waste one thing, paper, pencils, aluminum (tin) foil, soap, water…paper bags, newspapers, food. Every resource was gift from God to us and could be used in another capacity.
    So glad you inherited your mother’s proclivity for crafts, Rena.

  14. Hope my family and I are as resourseful with the resources placed in our care as the Mothers’ stories as shared here. I have been careless at times with clothes and other items placed in my care and for that I am sorry.

    I want my children to say of me and me of them, we live and lived in the green.

  15. Yes, Sara. I an learning, as I grow in the Lord , that the “childish”, immature attitude about the indispensability of resources is not pleasing to the Lord. You have spoken about that, before. I see our little students…the little ones, who do not yet understand or take responsibility for their back packs, sweaters, lunches. papers, etc. It is a trait of immaturity that we teachers and parents, too, I am sure….are endeavoring to instill into their little lives. It takes repetition and patience to go over the rules and regs of becoming responsible human beings for our belongings and others’ too. And it is not only the little ones. Every PTO meeting the office staff lays out on the tables outside the office scores of sweaters, jackets, mittens, caps, boots, books, lunch boxes, etc. And many of it remains at school even after parents have claimed their offspring’s belongings. Sometimes the parents do not even recognize the articles of clothing that belong to their children.
    We are so blessed in this wonderful land of ours and we must be good models for our students.

  16. Yes, and good stewards of The Kingdom of God…thou Kingdom come here as it is in heaven. It’s eye popping to imagine what this might mean.

    “… Give us this day our daily bread, …” just don’t think He wants us to have throw always.

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