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Practice Makes Perfect

This motto applies to many areas of life, if you want to do anything well and grow in such endeavors, you have to practice! You learn scales, form, facts. You try new ways to labor over the tried and the true. You sweat and test, take a step forward and two steps back. You keep doing the same ol’ same ol’ and capture insights unaware that the One who is perfecting faith and love is practicing with you in the midst of change.

When it comes to faith, involvement in worship, prayer, Bible study, serving and relating our key marks of discipleship. Currently, 8th grade Confirmation youth are looking at ways to practice faith and continue growing as followers of Jesus Christ. Recently students led Sunday worship. In class they considered other worship sites and experienced various forms of prayer. In a Bible and devotions session, they shared ideas for this week's blog. Based on Matthew 5: 13 - 20 and familiar themes of Salt and Light, here's what they wrote.

NaCl (Salt): “Notice All Christ's Love” v.13a “You are the salt of the earth...”

As kids we experimented with salt. Like, at age 4, eating a whole spoonful! At age 8, gobbling up all the salt that fell off the pretzels. At age 10, mis-reading labels for salt instead of sugar. And then... licking a salt block trying different kinds of salt and trying to watch sodium intake as we got older.

Salt may be a common thing, but it is pretty complex when you think about it. Like God's love it keeps things fresh, flavors, cleans and is long lasting. Salt permeates and is often unseen. If you cook salt in something it's hard to neutralize the saltiness. Elements of salt water eventually separate and show their true form.

So it is with God's love. It may not be seen easily. It is always working, though, to counteract the power of sin. Called to be ‘Salt’, w Coursee want to add flavor to the world in which we live. As Christ's disciples, we notice God's love is basic in restoring what God intends. We kind of got ‘salt-watered’ in baptism. Now we are part of seasoning the world for Jesus' sake!

Prayer for chemists and bakers: Help us, Lord, to take your symbols of grace and give the world a taste of your goodness Amen.

Winning pitch v.14a “You are the light of the world...”

It's a rainy, gloomy day at the softball field. The pitcher is standing on the mound while the batter steps 2 boxinto the box. As she dries the ball off, she thinks to herself, there are two outs, bases loaded, full count, and her team is up by one run. She winds up to throw a nasty changeup on the outside corner. As her arm comes around and she releases a ball from her hand, the batter is standing straight ahead, ready to make contact.

All of a sudden the clouds part, the rain stops the sun shines bright. There's a swing... and a miss! She won the game! The pitcher is the “light of the game and the shining city on the mound” the rain cannot hide her light, nor that of the team with whom she shares her talent, her skill and victory.

In the game of life, sometimes we get to pitch and other times we are out in the field or at home plate, making up a team of disciples. When our spirits are drowned and the scoreboard looks grim, we remember Jesus is on our team, lighting the way to be faithful and loving. May we shine at whatever Christ calls us to be and do!

Prayer for athletes: Jesus, Light of the world, shine on our good works and give God glory and praise! Amen

8th Grade Confirmation Students and Pastor Judy

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