Thoughts From Toby

Just for Fun…

A cat dies and goes to Heaven. God meets him at the gate and says, “You have been a good cat all of these years. Anything you desire is yours, all you have to do is ask.” The cat says, “Well,I lived all my life with a poor family on a farm and had to sleep on hardwood floors.” God says, “Say no more.” And instantly, a fluffy pillow appears.

A few days later, 6 mice die in a tragic accident and they go to Heaven. God meets them at the gate with the same offer that He made the cat. The mice said, “All our lives we've had to run. Cats, dogs and even women with brooms have chased us. If we could only have a pair of roller skates, we wouldn't have to run anymore.” God says, “Say no more.” And instantly, each mouse is fitted with a beautiful pair of tiny roller skates.

About a week later, God decides to check and see how the cat is doing. The cat is sound asleep on his new pillow. God gently wakes him and asks, “How are you doing? Are you happy here?” The cat yawns and stretches and says, “Oh, I've never been happier in my life. And those Meals on Wheels you've been sending over are the best!”

Thoughts From Toby

In his thought-provoking masterpiece, Orthodoxy, GK Chesterton begins by telling a short
parable about a man who set out from England by boat to discover a new land, but - by a slight
miscalculation - winds up discovering England under the impression that it was a new island.
In his quest to discover “New South Wales,” he finds that he, in fact, only found “Old South
Wales.” Chesterton uses this parable to describe his own journey of setting out to discover a
new philosophy that would make sense of life, only to discover that what he found was
Christianity. In his own words, Chesterton quips, “I did try to found a heresy of my own; andwhen I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy.”

I find that Chesterton’s “discovery,” which was written in 1908, resonates with the experience
of many today. In our quest for truth, justice, beauty, mystery, reconciliation, and community,
what we are discovering is what God has called us to all along. May we never lose sight of
Jesus, the only one who makes sense of this life.

Thoughts From Toby

Happy Thanksgiving!

This past Wednesday, we gathered together as a church and spent some time sharing about the blessings that we have. It is so encouraging to hear many of the good things that God is doing in each of our lives. It is also a good habit to occasionally pause and think about all the things we have to be thankful for. God truly blesses us beyond what we deserve!

As our nation takes some time this week to celebrate the annual Thanksgiving holiday, may we, as Christians, be mindful of the fact that thankfulness is a discipline that we have the opportunity to practice every day of the year. God is so good, and we could never thank him enough!

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Thoughts From Toby

A Veterans Day Prayer:

God of all nations, our Strength and Shield: we give you thanks for the devotion and courage of all those who have offered military service for this country:

For those who have fought for freedom; for those who laid down their lives for others; for those who have borne suffering of mind or of body; for those who have brought their best gifts to times of need.

On our behalf they have entered into danger, endured separation from those they love, labored long hours, and borne hardship in war and in peacetime.

Give to us, your people, grateful hearts and a united will to honor these men and women and hold them always in our love and our prayers; until your world is perfected in peace through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

(adapted from a prayer by J. Phillips)


Thoughts from Toby

I love mosaics. I think they're one of the coolest works of art that there is. I love that hey bring together the "big picture" and the "individual parts." Mosaics succeed in their splendor because of both of these things. If it weren't for the big picture mosaics would just be a bunch of random pieces of glass. Yet, if it weren't for the individual pieces, the bigger picture couldn't come together the way that it does. This is similar to how the body of Christ works. There are many parts, much like a mosaic, but only one body. We come together individually, with all of our different quirks and opinions, yet we all make up one collective group. We may, as pieces of the mosaic, look different than one another, but we're all part of the same portrait. The mosaic of Christian belief is represented by numerous pieces of the puzzle. Yet we all serve the same God. We come together and form part of the same body; the Body of Christ. May we seek to be a shining example of what it means to be a part of this wonderful mosaic of faith.

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.”

1 Corinthians 12:12