Friday, April 29, 2011

Matthew 6:25-34
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin,29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.34“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

What's next?

That was the next question after the talking heads quit talking about the royal kiss this morning!  I'm thrilled they're married!  Yes, she's beautiful!  Yes, I watched many years ago when William's parents were married!  But, seriously?  What's next?

We get so caught up in the "next" we don't give ourselves time to enjoy the now.  Yes, there are wonderful things coming and there are great tragedies ahead as well.  It's called life!  But to miss the now is a sad thing.  To be so caught up in what's coming rather than enjoy the moment of now is to steal something precious from ourselves.

Today is the day the Lord has made!  Today we look for the God who is present now!  Tomorrow brings enough life for tomorrow.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I'm tired of rain and wind!  When we rolled over this morning it seemed a little odd to see sunshine and blue sky!  In the midst of all of the rainy days recently was Holy Week and Easter, the death of a young man my daughter went to camp with, friends with problems, musical rehearsals for the girls and a Free Community dinner.  I'm not complaining!  Really.  I'm just noticing that in the midst of the rain and winds outside life got complicated and difficult. 

The challenge today is to find the blessings, smiles and joys.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It seems like everywhere I turn there is rain, hurting lives, broken hearts, sadness.  It's important to being the celebration into life!

Psalm 150

1Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament!
2Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing greatness!
3Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!
4Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
5Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

The world may not perfect, but there are many things to celebrate with joy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The tomb was empty...again!  Easter has been celebrated with fanfare, prayers, rejoicing and Alleluias!  (I missed this Alleluias during Lent!)  But Matthew doesn't end there!  The only message left is, "Go, tell the story!"  It sounds simple, takes courage to wear our faith on our sleeve without apology or defense.  I love St Francis....Preach always...use words when needed.  (Yep, paraphrase, but you get the idea.)  It takes courage to live a life that is representative of our faith...afterall being Christian is counter cultural in many ways.

Join me as we continue to journey into what it means to live out our faith in the days ahead.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Today is a day to spend some time listening to God's voice with 20-30 minutes of silence.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I have sung this song for years, but didn't realize there were other verses.  Then I realized that there are numerous verses if you look for them on the internet.  Unfortunately, I don't recall where I found these words, but I like them.  There's something interesting in them for today...Good Friday!

This is the Day

This is the day, this is the day
that the Lord has made,
that the Lord has made.
We will rejoice, we will rejoice
and be glad in it, and be glad in it.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it.
This is the day, this is the day
that the Lord has made.

Open to us, Open to us
the gates of God,
the gates of God;
we will go in, we will go in
and praise the Lord, and praise the Lord.
Open to us the gates of God;
we will go in and praise the Lord.
Open to us, open to us the gates of God.

You are our God, you are our God;
we will praise your name,
we will praise your name;
we withh give thanks, we will give thank
for your faithfulness, for your faithfulness.
You are our God; we will praise your name;
we will give thanks for your faithfulness.
You are our God, you are our God;
we will praise your name.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maundy Thursday
Matthew 26:14-56

14Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests15and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver.16And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
17On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?”18He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’”19So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.20When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve;21and while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”22And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?”23He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.24The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.”25Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” He replied, “You have said so.”
26While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”27Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you;28for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.29I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”30When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
31Then Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’32But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”33Peter said to him, “Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you.”34Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.”35Peter said to him, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples.
36Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”37He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated.38Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.”39And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.”40Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?41Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”42Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”43Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.44So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words.45Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.46Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
47While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people.48Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.”49At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.50Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.51Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear.52Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.53Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?54But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?”55At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me.56But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We were awoken at 1:45am this morning to the sirens and the neighbor knocking on the door asking where to go in his townhouse.  I listened to the rain and eventually drifted back to sleep.  But when working at church this morning getting things ready for tomorrow's service the another neighbor came by, "You have a problem."  So I climbed on his deck to see 4 inches of standing water on the flat roof of the church.  Blessedly, my husband climbed the ladder and cleared the drains.  Weather seems to be making an impression this week!

The challenge for today is hear God's voice in nature.  God created this amazing place we live in.  Take time today to encounter the world God has created and is "happening" all around us.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Praying for the church


Ephesians 3:14-21(adapted)

14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,15from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.16I pray that, according to the riches of you glory, you may grant that we may be strengthened in our inner being with power through yourSpirit,17and that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith, as we are being rooted and grounded in love.18I pray that we may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth,19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.20Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine,21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Please pray for the children we encounter today that they will know God in their lives and make God their center.  Pray God uses us as examples.

Also, A Holy week scripture!

Matthew 21.12-46

12Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.13He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a den of robbers.”14The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he cured them.15But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the amazing things that he did, and heard the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became angry16and said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise for yourself’?”17He left them, went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.
18In the morning, when he returned to the city, he was hungry.19And seeing a fig tree by the side of the road, he went to it and found nothing at all on it but leaves. Then he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.20When the disciples saw it, they were amazed, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?”21Jesus answered them, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done.22Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.”
23When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?”24Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things.25Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’26But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.”27So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
28“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’29He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went.30The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go.31Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you.32For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Today is a day of worship!  Celebrate God's movements!

Matthew 21

21When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,2saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me.3If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.”4This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,5“Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”6The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them;7they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them.8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.9The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”10When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?”11The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Friday, April 15, 2011

Romans 12:2 (Phillips Translation)         M. Doerr
"Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves toward the goal of true maturity."

There are pressures to conform all over the place.  It would be easy to just go with the flow, to not make waves, and to follow the thinking of our world about things.  Are you frustrated and angry?  The world says to vent your frustration and punish those who oppose you.  But what is the result?  The rest of the world becomes more miserable, and you don't feel any better.  God has a better idea.  Take God's approach to life, which is to love more and share more and to want good things for those who treat you badly.  Why is this a better way?  Well, it prevents bitterness in us and is more likely to change the other person than revenge and punishment would.  Being remolded by God makes us more aware of the blessings of life, and changes us from the inside out into the person God intends for us to be.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Practice hearing God's voice in the silence.  20-30 minutes.  Try not to fill the space with your own voice, but try to be completely present to God's voice.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Psalm 98

1O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things. His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory.
2The Lord has made known his victory; he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
3He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
4Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
5Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody.
6With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.
7Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it.
8Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy
9at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Praying for others is an act of faith.  We don't need to know the details of their lives, for we know God already knows.  Just lift them into God's hands.

Today we pray for the children in school, those in marriage trouble, those waiting to give birth

Monday, April 11, 2011

Matthew 18:21-35  The Message
At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, "Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me?  Seven?"  Jesus replied, "Seven!  Hardly. try seventy times seven."

To forgive!  Someone did something to me that made me mad!  Someone hurt my feelings and wronged me!  How many times do I have to forgive them before I can just let them have a good piece of my mind?  It depends...Are you Christian?  Then Jesus told Peter to forgive 7 times 70 times.  Now does that mean we're supposed to keep a tally board for how many times we forgive someone?  No, it just means you need to let it go and not let the anger win.  Yes, we get hurt by carelessnessm but we are jsut as guilty as the next person of being careless.  Isn't there also a text about that long in your eye?

Who do you need to forgive?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Today is a day of worship!

Psalm 150

1Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament!
2Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing greatness!
3Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!
4Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
5Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

This was yesterday's passage, but I wasn't on the computer long enough when I remembered to post it.  And it works so well for a Sunday!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Philippians 4:8  NIV                                                                               Rev. M Doerr
 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Jesus says in Luke 6 that "the mouth speaks what the heart is full of".  So, consider what has come out your mouth over the last day or so.  Is your heart full of truth, nobility, righteouness, purity, and lovelieness?  Or does your mouth declare something else about the condition of your heart?  No matter what the circumstances, we can choose to focus on receiving and becoming God's blessing, or we can choose to be bitter and meanspirited.  It seems really obvious which kind of life, which kind of thinking, which way of being is better for our souls.  There is a promise in the very next verse Paul writes---"Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice.  And the God of peace with be with you."  I know I am motivated to focus my mind on good things after reading that.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Psalm 100

1Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
2Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.
3Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.
5For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

                                                                                                                   written by Carolee Finkle
This is one of the most beautiful Psalms of all.  I learned it when I was just a little girl and have remembered it all these years.  I think as you read it---it will remind you of when you were little and going to Sunday School.  Some of you might just remember some of your teachers with fond memories and hopefully repeated some of the things you learned so long ago to your children and many of us---grandchildren and great grandchildren.  I's a scripture that has remained in my mind and heart and hopefully will remain there until the end of my life.  Memories are what keep us going and memories of Bible stories and verses are the best that we can have.

Our Father, We thank you for the memories that we have of when we were growing up and coming to Sunday School.  We learned so much and if we could just keep it in our hearts and minds always, how wonderful it would be.  We give you thanks for our memories or scriptures that are so very special to us and we hope that we remember each of them and pass them on to the younger generation.  Help us remember that going into the house of the Lord means we will feel you with us in sprit whenever we talke to you and listen for your voice.  We know that you are always there when we need to talk to you.  Thank you, God, for always being only a prayer away. Amen.

Editor's note:  My apologies for missing April 6th, but was without computer most of the day.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Psalm 149

1 Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
   his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
2 Let Israel be glad in its Maker;
   let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
3 Let them praise his name with dancing,
   making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.
4 For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
   he adorns the humble with victory.
5 Let the faithful exult in glory;
   let them sing for joy on their couches.
6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats
   and two-edged swords in their hands,
7 to execute vengeance on the nations
   and punishment on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with fetters
   and their nobles with chains of iron,
9 to execute on them the judgement decreed.
   This is glory for all his faithful ones.
Praise the Lord!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Several people have commented on the difficultness of this form of prayer...they have also commented on the power of it.  Yes, it's a challenge, but it so worth it to know God in the silence.

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Take 20-30 minutes and sit in the silence.  Clear your mind and relax.  Be fully in the moment.  "Be still, and know that I am God!"

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sorry to post late today, but we're experiencing technical difficulties.

We worship God of creation.  Stop and look/listen/smell/enjoy the creation God has included us in.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Romans 12:9-10          

 9-10Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

To love deeply and sincerely is such a gift!  To have someone who plays second fiddle to us.  Now this is beyond parenthood and marriage.  This is what we are called to do for our brothers and sisters in faith.  Yes, there are times when we stumble and hurt each other, but that is when we are called to forgive and live the grace God offers us every day.  That is loving deeply!