Friday, December 31, 2004

December 31st Reflection

Friday 12/31/2004
Luke 5.1-26 - So Jesus takes Peter’s boat -- has him row it out - teaches the crowd from the boat - then has Peter row out into the deep water and let his nets down to catch some fish - Peter wasn’t catching fish up to that point -- but this time he did - like a bunch of fish -- sink the boat bunch of fish! - then Jesus told them that from now on they will bring in people instead of fish -- it’s interesting that only when Peter completely trusted Jesus - was willing to go deep with him - only then will we be able to bring in people -- only with Jesus -- and going deep with him -- hmmm! -- we need to go deep with each other - go deep with the love of Christ and cast out our nets to the world -- out in the deep water -- not in the shallow water-- Jesus healed a man with leprosy -- the man knew that Jesus could heal him - I know Jesus can heal me too -- Jesus would often go to some place where he could be alone and pray -- we all need to do that - every day! - Jesus forgave a man’s sins -- the Pharisees got all excited about that -- Jesus must think he is God -- only God can forgive sins -- what a bunch of pompous crap - those Pharisees think way too much of themselves! -- So Jesus told the crippled man that his sins were forgiven - get up and walk on home - an the guy did -- so there Pharisees!
Ezekiel 48 - what an exciting ending! -- yea right! -- a bunch of measurements on the land - who gets what and where -- but the new name of the city is “The-LORD-Is-Here!� -- Yahweh-Shammah-- I like that -- he is here too!
Isaiah 66 - The people God treasures most are the humble -- man is he making me humble!! - they depend only on me and tremble when I speak - but in the end - God rescues his people and gives them hope and salvation
Through the “in’s and out’s� of gift shopping this season- awaken me to the gift of God to me in Jesus- in me- that I may run out and share the joy of this gift which is for all people
Contrast the peaceful things and that of reality and it’s harshness. Christ is present in both and is bold enough to be with you peacefully in the reality of your life. Take comfort. Jesus saves you.
Fear-Love and Trust God above everything!
Ecclesiastes 3.1-13 - Makes me want to sing the song! - it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil- I don’t think this means we’re all supposed to go out and get crazy -- but that everything is a gift from God.
Philippians 2.1-11 - regard others as better than yourself - look to their interests - empty yourself for them - be their slave - God will exalt you -- follow the example Jesus set and you will be awe struck by what Jesus has done for you- you will confess that Jesus is Lord cause you just can’t help yourself
Psalm 112 - Happy are those who fear the LORD
Prayer - Lord -- Happy New Year -- of course - I guess that doesn’t mean much to you - but lately I’ve heard your message of Happy-Happy-Happy come through several times - all I have is a gift from you - and how else can I react but to be happy-happy-happy - this year - take me deep - take me deep into you - let me go deep with you where you would have me go - take me deep in your love and let it overflow into the world you send me - I want to be your disciple -- I want to fish - I want to tell others how you save-love-heal-forgive and change -- you are God - and this is your world and place to be - here and now and all next year and after- Happy New year! -- Happy! - Happy! - Happy! --- Amen

Thursday, December 30, 2004

December 30th Reflections

Thursday 12/30/2004
Luke 4.31-44 - Jesus casts out a demon - news of Jesus is spreading more and more - Then he began healing crowds of people - He couldn’t even be alone for the crowds would hunt him down - so Jesus just kept on preaching
Ezekiel 46-47 - Sacrifices and offerings on the Sabbath were special - the east gate of the inner courtyard would be closed for six days each week and only opened on the Sabbath -- when people come in they come in one gate and exit the opposite- detailed rules - morning sacrifices -- but there is always some connection to God -- I think that’s what all the rules are about -- God wants us to be in contact with him all the time and know that it is special and that God is God -- The man took Ezekiel back to the temple and showed him a stream flowing from under the entrance- it ran past the altar and through the courtyard - Ezekiel was told to wade through the stream - it got deeper and deeper until he would need to swim to cross the stream - then they went on the bank and looked at a dozen trees- this water will bring life and fresh water to the Dead Sea - the leaves will never dry out because they will have water that flows from the temple and they will be used for healing people-Hey! -- the Tree Song! -- I love this image of ever-flowing life giving water from the center of God’s temple -- may my heart overflow with this loving water to those who I meet in my world
Isaiah 65 - God is here - ready to be found by those not searching - he says “Here I am!� - God reaches out to the stubborn and sinful people- -- then those who think there something and say “Don’t come near us!! We’re dedicated to God.� -- they are like an irritating smoke all day in the nose of God- God alone is the one to be trusted - God is creating new heavens and a new earth - Celebrate and be glad - “I am creating a Jerusalem, full of happy people.� - no more crying or sorrow
Through the “in’s and out’s� of gift shopping this season- awaken me to the gift of God to me in Jesus- in me- that I may run out and share the joy of this gift which is for all people
Contrast the peaceful things and that of reality and it’s harshness. Christ is present in both and is bold enough to be with you peacefully in the reality of your life. Take comfort. Jesus saves you.
Thank God for protection through the night form all danger and harm
Isaiah 25.1-9 - be glad and rejoice in God’s salvation - it’s just what you have been waiting for
Revelation 22.1-5 - Then the angel showed John the river of life- flowing from the throne of God - on the side of the river is the tree of life -- the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations -- The Tree Song again! -- that’s my favorite! - we will see his face- God will be our light
Psalm 46 - God is our strength - don’t fear - there is a river whose streams make glad the city of God - god is in the midst of the city - God is God -- this is the Psalm that inspired “A Mighty Fortress�
Prayer- Lord I want to go to that stream - I want to wade in it - I want to play in it - I want to swim in it - I want to throw rocks in it - I want to catch crawdads in it - I want to build little dams in it - I want to play with you and friends in that stream - I want to feel how refreshing it is when it’s hot outside - I want to feel how cold it can be at times- I want to see it overflow it’s banks and make a mess all around - I want to play in that stream -- then I want to walk along the banks and look at that tree - I want to climb that tree with you - I want to go out on the limb of that tree with you and some friends - I want to cling to that tree- I want to lie under that tree and talk to a friend - I want to sit back against the base of that tree and dream- I want to live in this place where there is no sorrow or grief and we just play all day -- but for now - send me out today to proclaim the hope and love you have prepared for us in this place through the saving grace of your Son -- thanks for playing today! --- Amen

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

December 29th Reflections

Wednesday 12/29/2004
Luke 4.1-30 - The Spirit led Jesus into the desert and for 40 days Jesus was tested by the devil - I guess the testing is supposed to be - Jesus fasted during this time - You can’t live only on food - Having power doesn’t do it - Worship only God - Don’t test God - finally the devil gave up for then- notice how Jesus responds with scripture - how important this leads the Word to be - then Jesus returned to Galilee with the power of the Spirit - He has followed the Spirit both times - Then Jesus taught and everyone praised him - Jesus went back to Nazareth - Jesus read that the Spirit had come on him and chosen him to tell the good news and announce freedom to prisoners and heals and that this was the time - a reading from Isaiah-it was traditional to stand to read and sit to comment - I wonder if the sermon should be given sitting down?- well these were hometown people - they knew Jesus and became angry with him and tried to kill him-they became angry because the scripture Jesus commented on were where Elijah and Elisha gook God’s favor to non-Jews and they didn’t like this idea at all- but Jesus slipped away and went to Capernaum and taught - then Jesus met a man with an evil spirit and cast it out of him - these people were amazed and the news spread
Ezekiel 44-45 - The east gate of the temple are closed- God came through this gat eand they are to remain closed- God is here to stay this time- he won’t ever leave us- just like the tree in the garden - there are some things we aren’t to do -- God is God and has privileges - the brightness of God fills the temple - stop your evils ways - then rules for priests serving in the temple are given - then there is a whole bunch of instructions on how to take care of the temple and how to worship - It seems that God loves to be organized- to give instructions in detail on how to do things- it seems he loves this stuff- It makes me wonder about a God so loving that he is willing to spell it all out for us- to make it all so obvious - to show us in every detail how to please him - I want to please and follow God’s instructions-but then God sees how we goof it up- and then God is so loving he sent his Son to set us straight again and take care of our “goofs� -- how loving a God we have!
Isaiah 64 - Come down LORD - Be a spark that starts a fire - you are nearby - only by your help can we be saved
Through the “in’s and out’s� of gift shopping this season- awaken me to the gift of God to me in Jesus- in me- that I may run out and share the joy of this gift which is for all people
Contrast the peaceful things and that of reality and it’s harshness. Christ is present in both and is bold enough to be with you peacefully in the reality of your life. Take comfort. Jesus saves you.
Commend your body and soul to God and let his holy angels have charge of you.
Psalm 147.12-20 - Praise God - he takes care of all your needs
1 Chronicles 29.10-28 - God is the source of all good things- praise him and give thanks - we give back to God what was already and still is his - direct your heart towards God - I was created to please God - do things to please God because he is God and I am so grateful to be his
Psalm 110 - Sit a while with God - he is with me- even in the battle
Prayer - Lord - let your Spirit lead and guide me this day - help me to remember your Word throughout the day - the stories the good news you give so that I may not fall down but respond and think about what you tell me - lead me in your spirit and by your spirit on the path this day - for you are with me - let me hear your angel voices and let your angels protect me - for as I sit a while with you this day - I feel and know you are present - as I sit with you and you give me your message may I remember how your message was given at a sitting with Jesus long ago -- but it is also given here and now -- let me hear this message and not grow angry - but see the healing and love you give. --- Amen

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

December 28th Reflections

Tuesday 12/28/2004
Luke 3.21-38 - Jesus is baptized and the Holy Spirit descends on him as a dove -- I think Jesus was baptized for our benefit 0 he is always a good example and shows us what to do-- but did John baptize him? - other Gospels say he did - but here John was just thrown in prison - Here Luke joins baptism and prayer - a nice thought and another good example of what to do -- and the Holy Spirit takes on an earthly form in a dove just as God took on an earthly form in Jesus - it‘s not just thought and feeling - it is real to us - -- then there is his line of relatives back to Adam and God -- can you imagine being able to go back that far today??-- the genealogy is that of Joseph -- I wonder what Mary’s was
Ezekiel 42-43 - The priests had rooms that they were to eat in and to leave their sacred clothes behind and put on regular clothes when they went back into the world - I wonder if we are to wear our regular clothes when we go back to the world - to be in the world - yet our minds and hearts have been changed by the Word of God - in the temple God was as loud as ocean waves and light with the dazzling brightness of his glory - when Ezekiel bowed the light came through the gate and into the temple - and the Spirit lifted Ezekiel - we should bow to God and receive His light - keep the temple of your heart sacred - the altar must be dedicated by offering a sacrifice and scattering blood - reminds me of Jesus as our sacrifice and the meaning Jesus gave to his blood - then the scape goat - offered as a sacrifice for sin for all the people
Isaiah 63 - God is our hero - he can save us - this time God saved the people from other nations without the Israelites going to battle like they did when they went into the Promised Land -- God rescued them and led them back without the Jews having to battle - so this time the Jews wouldn’t feel like they did it - only God saves - we can’t save ourselves - someone is coming stained in blood - is it Jesus in the OT again?- coming to save the Jews from exile?
Through the “in’s and out’s� of gift shopping this season- awaken me to the gift of God to me in Jesus- in me- that I may run out and share the joy of this gift which is for all people
Contrast the peaceful things and that of reality and it’s harshness. Christ is present in both and is bold enough to be with you peacefully in the reality of your life. Take comfort. Jesus saves you.
Your sins are forgiven
Matthew 2.13-23 - An angel told them to feel - Herod had all the children tow years old or under killed in an attempt to kill Jesus -- but Joseph and Mary had listened to the angel -- how great are angels sent by God!- when it was safe to return the angel told Joseph
Psalm 10 - God does see trouble and grief - and he will give strength
Prayer - Jesus - your baptism - how nice - how you must have been with many others as they were baptized - how you were with me at my baptism - how the Spirit descended as a dove on you - a bird in flight - then the voice of god rings out telling all who you are and what you will do - all so real - not just feeling and emotion alone - now I know how you are with me - how the Spirit is with me giving me flight - and then that voice - proclaiming your saving grace - use me this day as your voice to proclaim your saving grace to the world - put my ordinary clothes on and go out - but I know that deep within the temple of my heart you are always there with me - even in a world that kills babies - I must be bold enough to go out - send your angels to me to speak wisdom and give me protection - may I listen to their sweet voices and act on what they say- for it is your Word they speak - Jesus - your baptism - how nice. --- Amen

Monday, December 27, 2004

December 27th Reflections

Monday 12/27/2004
Luke 3.1-20 - Get the road ready for the Lord! - Make a straight path for him- Smooth out the rough roads - Then everyone will see the saving power of God - Do something to show that you really have given up your sins - God can turn stones into children for Abraham - Any tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into a fire - Share your clothes and food with those who need it - Don’t make people pay more than they owe you - Be satisfied with your pay - Jesus gives the Holy Spirit - John was in Herod’s face and told him what he had done wrong - Herod threw John in jail -- Here John is clear - He was living in the desert - God’s chosen people the Israelites were formed in the desert - I think maybe we all are really formed in the desert - in the wilderness- it is here that we see God - that we are humbled and see our need for God’s salvation - it is here that we see we cannot save ourselves - it is here that we find we need the help and salvation of a loving God - it is here that we are baptized - it is here that God meets us and saves us from ourselves -- but our response to this is of great importance - we are to get ready for God in that wilderness - we are to go to work - we are to straighten ourselves out and give God a straight path to us - smooth ourselves out - so that we can see the saving power of God - then we will respond more in our treatment of each other - we will care for each other - love each other and be fair and honest with each other - we will become children of God - God will make us rocks into something and call us and make us his children - but we do have to produce fruit - faith without works is dead - so in response to what we have seen God do for us - in response to his salvation of our lives in the desert or wilderness we will love each other - we must act - we must show God’s love to the world - if we truly believe - what other reaction could we have?- God has saved us from ourselves - so show yur gratefulness and act in love to each other -- but be ready -- when you proclaim the hard message - then “in your face� message of God -- others just might throw you in jail - are you willing to take the chance? - I am!

Ezekiel 40-41 - Ezekiel in a vision sees a man sparkling like polished bronze in Jerusalem with a tape measure and a measuring stick - pay close attention - first the outer wall was measured - then the east gate leading to a long passageway - three guardrooms - and entrance room to the courtyard of the temple- another passageway- two doors of the gate- railing - this sparkling man show Ezekiel the temple in great detail - windows in some rooms - carvings of palm trees - rooms all around the place - the inner courtyard - gates - passageway’s - more rooms - more palm trees - steps that lead up to a gate - eight steps - eight steps here and there leading up - four tables for animals to be sacrificed were killed - a small room outside this inner building to wash the animals to make them right for sacrifice - a total of eight tables - four inside and four outside all for the killing of animals for sacrifice - four stone tables for the killing of the animals - all around this room was a three inch shelf - in the inner courtyard there were two buildings - they wer for the priests - then an altar in from of the temple - steps to the doorway of the temple - the main room of the temple - the far door - which was the main entry to the holy place - then he measure the most holy place - it had thick walls - storage rooms - three levels - steps from the bottom level- to the middle level - to the top level - then another building - it faced the west end of the temple- the inside walls of the temple were paneled with wood - the walls were decorated with carvings of winged creatures and palm trees - in front of the door to the most holy place was a wooden altar - this is a reminder that God is constantly watching over his temple--so here we have a building plan -- needed so that God could return to the city and sacrifices could again resume in Jerusalem after the exile - but it also can be interpreted to be a temple that God will build at the end of time - but then I think of John the Baptist -- his words of preparation - while he was in the desert - in exile of sorts -- prepare a path -- god saves us in our deserts - in our wilderness - we prepare a path -- a temple - just like the temple -- outside to inside -- we get closer and closer to God -- prepare your heart as the temple - believe in Jesus - have faith - he will dwell within you - prepare your heart- the temple- the path to God all your life -- approach the inner most holy place of your heart where Jesus dwells - but wait - the inner curtain has been torn open- God is bursting out from our hearts through the death of Jesus -- so approach that inner temple -- but from Jesus in the center of your heart - your most holy place - leave it all open for others to see Jesus saving grace in you - act - act now! -- the time is now -- but keep on preparing your heart for all the changes and work God has in store for you -- yes - go into that most holy place - prepare the path to that most holy place - deep inside your heart -- but be ready to take what you find back out to the world - hurry up!

Isaiah 62 - You will please God - God will guard you - God will make you strong and famous - Open your gates! - Repair the road to the city - show others the path - God will save you - and you will be called God’s own people - the one he rescued - open your heart - work on your path - repair it and you will be a Child of God

Through the “in’s and out’s� of gift shopping this season- awaken me to the gift of God to me in Jesus- in me- that I may run out and share the joy of this gift which is for all people

Contrast the peaceful things and that of reality and it’s harshness. Christ is present in both and is bold enough to be with you peacefully in the reality of your life. Take comfort. Jesus saves you.

Don’t torture yourself with imaginary sins

John 21.20-25 - Testify to Jesus -- remain close to him - you will not die- follow Jesus!

1 John 2.1-6 - Yea I sin - but Jesus forgives my sin - so when I believe - I will strive to give up that sin and walk in the way of Jesus - the battle goes on but the hope and victory has already been won by Jesus

Psalm 89.19-37- God gave me Jesus - way before I even knew about it

Prayer- Lord- I get it - you are with me all the time - especially when it’s rough - you are there and choose me and turn me around - you show me my sin - you then forgive my sin - I believe - as I make that path straight - as I prepare that temple for you to dwell in - allow me to see you - to feel your presence - deep within me - let me look through that torn curtain and see Jesus - let me feel your presence always - let me run out and tell others what you have done for me - let me tell my own unique story of your saving grace for me -- it’s there for all of us - help me build - show me the measurements - show me the rooms I need to make - the woodwork I need and the work I need to do - in my face - make it plain and obvious what you would have me do - may I serve you in this temple you have given to me - as I use the saw - the hammer and all the tools you give me help me to fight my sin and help me when I cut myself- hit my finger with the hammer and fall down - pull me back up to continue the work you have set before me - let me open my temple in the love you have given me to show the world my love and your love and that great place you have prepared for all of us -- as I look deep into this temple - may I stand in awe with friends you have given me to see your glory and praise your name and sing of your love forever. --- Amen

Sunday, December 26, 2004

December 26th Reflections

Sunday 12/26/2004
Luke 2.21-52 - I want to be a dove or a pigeon - sacrifice my life to God for Jesus - I feel like I can sing with Simeon - “lord, I an your servant, and now I can die in peace, with my own eyes I have seen what you have done to save your people� - Jesus will be a sign- then Anna - another servant - night and day she served God and prayed - as a child Jesus was so innocent -- he went to the temple just like nothing else was going on-- today we would be afraid our child was lost - but Jesus wasn’t lost - he was right where he felt comfortable - he knew God would take care of him
Ezekiel 38-39 - It seems to me that God’s rescue of Israel is so much like how He treats me and how I treat him -- I sin - I turn from God -- this causes me to walk in darkness and in exile -- but God brings me back to safety -- he has saved me from my sin and defeated my enemy of sin for me through the sacrifice of his Son in that battle of sin -- just like the enemy nations of Israel - God saved them - showed the world how great God is -- God showed the world how great and powerful he is through his son Jesus-- I must turn from my sin and be led out of my own darkness and exile and follow Jesus back to God -- where he will show the world what a great act he has done.
Isaiah 61 - The Spirit of the LORD God has taken control of me! -- The LORD has chosen and sent me to tell the oppressed the good news- comfort those who mourn - heal the brokenhearted- rebuild - for I am blessed by God - celebrate and shout because of God’s salvation - he has made you beautiful
Do not be afraid - Beware but be comforted - God is about to turn everything upside down - But- Do not be afraid
Through the “in’s and out’s� of gift shopping this season- awaken me to the gift of God to me in Jesus- in me- that I may run out and share the joy of this gift which is for all people
I a poor sinner, confess before God that I am guilty of many sins. I repent of all these sins and pray for mercy. I promise to do better with God’s help.
Acts 6.8-7.2a, 51-60 - Stephan had the Spirit with him and in him - even in persecution - then he was that vision - but it is real - Jesus standing at the throne of God - oh how that cross of death has been turned into a throne of glory - God sure does turn it all upside down and inside out
Psalm 65.1-8 - Praise God - “o you who answer prayer!� - I shall come to God - “Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts.� - I am satisfied - God is hope- I am awed by your signs - you make the gateways of the morning and evening shout for joy
Prayer - Lord - I am your servant- you have shown me your presence and salvation - in my life - day after day I am reminded that you are God and only you can save me from the darkness of sin and death - you save me and lead me back to that great Light through your saving grace in Jesus - take control of me - choose me - pick me and show me all to tell of your great and mighty grace - let me tell others of how Jesus has saved me and saves them - let me be a martyr for you let me be that dove or pigeon for the sacrifice given to Jesus - I give my life to you in service, praise and thanksgiving -- it’s so easy - yet it may not be pleasant - but look at what you have done! - It’s upside down and inside out - but it all makes me happy. Thanks be to God! -- Amen

Saturday, December 25, 2004

December 25th Reflection

Saturday 12/25/2004
Luke 2.1-20 - Oh yea - they were all still in the world - all of them - going to do something demanded by the government - working in fields at night -- just plain people - doing what they had to do - living their lives - but this was different - way different - God was there - right amongst them - some had a clue - others didn’t- but this was a different night - a way different night- then God sent angels to the shepherds- angels - the messengers and servants of God - made it obvious - sent Light into their dull worlds - sent Light into their dull lives - and that Light changed everything- this was a different night - a way different night - God has come to us - God is with us - through our own dull dark world - God bursts into it with a great Light and angels- wake up - rise from the dead - Jesus that great Light is here now -- here to save-this was a different night - a way different night - go tell - realize the Light’s presence and live!- this was a different night - a way different night- They wrapped Jesus in strips of cloth -- used in that day to keep the baby straight and promote growth -- and what growth God has intended for this child -- for those who place their faith in this child - for the world - growth beyond measure - growth in faith - growth in love- growth in compassion - growth for the lowly of this earth - growth to be a King - growth for those who place their faith from death to life-- this was a different night - a way different night- and the glory of God flooded the place -- the opposite of a destructive flood centuries before that was sent due to our sin -- now a flood of Glory sent because of our sin and to save us from our sin - a flood of Glory sent in my baptism with life giving Water now - a flood of Glory to save me - to turn me around and to send me out as a messenger -- as a servant -- as a reflection of that Light that is now within me - with me - to light up the world- this was a different night - a way different night
Ezekiel 37 - Some time later, I felt the LORD’s power take control of me - the Spirit carry me -- to death - to a valley full of bones - God shows me that death can turn into life - God has this power - God can put his breath - his Spirit into even dry bones - he can wrap them with a body and bring them to life - so when I feel dried up - dead -- no life- I now know that God will change me - change me from death to life- his Spirit will give me breath and life again and God will bring me home - God can do anything - like the two sticks that represent Israel and Judah - God can join those sticks together and make them as one - I need to let God join me together - to make me whole- he gives all the hope I need- God will restore
Isaiah 60 - Stand up! - Shine! - Your new day is dawning - The glory of the LORD shines brightly in you- the glory of the LORD is shining upon you - Open your eyes! - Look around! - Crowds are coming -- sounds like that approach to the cross to me - when you see this, your faces will glow- your hearts will pound and swell - like when the candles all lit the faces of the people in the congregation of Christmas Eve -- did they feel it? - did they see it in others?- did they see God’s presence in each other? - or was it just a nice little song and a pretty sight?- did a few just shut up and look around? --did other feel the power of the Light and sing loud and proud?-- did those few act like the shepherds - dumbfounded by the awesome power of God spread out in those lit faces as far as could be seen?- God - through this Light - this Jesus - will rebuild all those lit faces - rebuild their lives - he will make them beautiful and rest his feet in his new temples -- those feet that will take action - those feet that will run to tell the world about this Light - We were once hated and deserted and rejected -- but now God will make us beautiful - he will be proud of us for all time - and not because of what we did -- but because of what God has done for us -- God gives Light and Life through Jesus - and puts Jesus right within us -- the gift beyond imagination - we will know that it was God who saved us - God made us very important - God made us his children - God gave us life and love and joy and peace - God will be our eternal light - won’t need the sun and the moon - only the Son -- the Son catcher - we all will be -- to spread the Light of that Son into the dark lives of others - so that Light can be present with them also - and God’s going to do this -- just let it happen -- be the resting place of the feet of God let that flood of God’s glory - that flood of good news cause my heart to thrill and rejoice
Do not be afraid - Beware but be comforted - God is about to turn everything upside down - But- Do not be afraid
I ask myself - have I hurt anyone by word or deed? -- Forgive me!
Through the “in’s and out’s� of gift shopping this season- awaken me to the gift of God to me in Jesus- in me- that I may run out and share the joy of this gift which is for all people
John 1.1-14 - In the beginning was the Word - Jesus- without Jesus nothing comes into being- Nothing comes to life- the life that brings light -- the light that shines in the darkness- there was a witness -- it says John- but maybe it should say Billy - he came to testify to the Light- so that others could believe- he wasn’t the Light - just one testifying to the Light - to those who accept Jesus -this Light -and believe in him- Jesus will make children of God-- and the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen this glory - full of grace and truth
Matthew 1.18-23 - an angel appeared to Joseph and told a secret - Mary will have a child and that baby will save people from their sins - by the way -- name the baby Emmanuel-Jesus -- God is with us- hey the secrets out - but the secret is in me - tell the secret to all
Psalm 2 - Happy are all who take refuge in God
Prayer - Lord - I hear you -I’m your child now - wrap me in those strips of cloth that you have laying in your dresser drawer - let them straighten me up - let them cause me to grow - let me smell your scent on those strips of cloth - let me feel your warmth from those strips of cloth - let those strips of cloth give me life in you - let me feel the great protection you give in those strips of cloth - and hope in you- for you have been sent into this world and into my life and into me with a great Light - with life - with a flood of glory that overcomes all my sin - that brings me from the death of my sin to life in you- you did it - you became flesh - you are the Word - you are the Light -- and then you were pleased enough to place your feet in the temple of my heart - may I be the action and the movement of your feet in my life today and tomorrow and forever- may I see the beauty of your feet in my temple - and send me out as that messenger - that angel - that reflective light to shine it all over everyone this day. Let your light glow in my face and may you hear the praise and honor and glory that is yours and yours alone -- You are God! -- and your love is great! --- Amen

Friday, December 24, 2004

December 23-24 Reflections

Thursday 12/23/2004
Luke 1.26-56 - The angel Gabriel came to Mary - told her she was blessed- don’t be afraid - God is with you - you will have a son - his name will be Jesus- he will be the Son of God-he will rule Israel forever and his kingdom will have no end-Mary couldn’t figure out how it would happen since she wasn’t married-- the angel told her the Holy Spirit would come over her and Elizabeth will have a child also- nothing is impossible for God - So Mary runs off to Elizabeth- Elisabeth in a loud voice- she must have been excited-tells Mary that God has blessed her more than any woman and she was happy that the mother of her Lord had come to her- Elizabeth’s baby became happy and moved - shouldn’t I be happy happy happy too and move! - then Mary praises God because he cares for her- has blessed her- shows mercy-feeds the hungry and keeps his promises-so for me Jesus has come also - he is with me I should be happy happy happy and move!- cause Jesus means - the Lord saves

Ezekiel 34 - God likens the leaders of Israel to shepherds that took advantage of their flock and didn’t take care of them- God will punish them- God is the good shepherd - he takes care of the flock - he will let them live- then God addresses the sheep - the strong ones that took advantage of the good food and water and ruined the food and water for the weak one will be separated out - the weak sheep will be rescued- don’t take advantage of the weak! - God will take care of his sheep

Isaiah 58 - Shout the message! - Don’t hold back - don’t think only of yourself- God won’t listen to your prayers when you do this - to really worship God remove the chains of prisoners who are chained unjustly- free the abused- share your food with the hungry- share your home with the homeless- give clothes to those in need- don’t turn away your relatives- then your light will shine- you will be healed- When you bed God for help he will answer - Here I am! - don’t mistreat others or say cruel things- then your light will shine- God will guide you and care for you

Do not be afraid - Beware but be comforted - God is about to turn everything upside down - But- Do not be afraid

Firmly believe that my sin is forgiven before God in heaven

Isaiah 9.2-7 - I walked in darkness- I see a great light! - I will rejoice before God - God takes my troubles away- Jesus has been born in me - Jesus is great and saves me!

Isaiah 11 - Jesus has come- with wisdom-understanding-counsel-might-knowledge-he is delighted in God- Jesus is righteous- Jesus will bring peace - complete peace - I will inquire of Jesus- Jesus will reach out to me-Jesus will make a highway for me to travel back to God and will lead me on that path

Psalm 110.65-72 - Teach me good judgment and knowledge- I will keep your word - It’s is good for me to be humbled

Prayer- Lord - you come to me too - you come to me in so many ways - I can see you - I can feel you - I can feel your presence with all my senses- How happy this makes me - How it makes me want to sing -- now move me this day - move me to be comfort for those in need of comfort - to feed those who are hungry - to clothe those who need clothes- to be merciful on others- to say kind words to others - to love others with that deep deep deep happy happy happy love you have shown to the whole world -- lead me I pray on that path that leads to you -- Thanks be to God! -- Amen

Friday 12/24/2004
Luke 1.57-80 - Elizabeth said, “No!, His name is John.�- Don’t you just love a strong woman! - Well then they make it sound like Zechariah was all spiritual and stuff cause he said his name was John too -- but don’t you really think he thought - man! -- I better not write any other name - cause she’ll kill me!!! -- he couldn’t speak -- but he could still hear after all! -- so I don’t think Zechariah was so “dumb� after all! -- and look at the results - suddenly - just cause he went along with his wife -- God let him speak again -- so I guess the moral of the story is -- listen to your wife and just go along with it --- Yea - I know -- that logic probably isn’t theological to the Bible passage and most husbands wouldn’t agree -- but it’s true to life! -- then Zechariah sings praise to God -- for a savoir and for his son who will be a prophet and go ahead of Jesus - prepare the way - tell people to repent and get ready - and get ready for the light to shine through death and give life.

Ezekiel 35-36 - We have to understand - as nations- that we can’t overtake another nation for our own good -- they all belong to God- nations don’t belong to us - I think of Hitler and others who let their power go to their heads-- God is really the one with the power -- Ahhh! Why do they have to keep bringing up a woman’s period all the time! -- God will save us - rescue us and sprinkle us with clean water - and we will be clean and acceptable to God - he will take away my stubborn heart and give me a new one that desires to be faithful - he will put his Spirit in me - and make me eager to obey him - he will be my God - he will take care of me - I’ll smell my stench and hate it - then he’ll let me act and rebuild - they will say it looks beautiful- and people will know that it is God that rebuilt me - God will answer my prayers and I will know he is God

Isaiah 59 - God can still hear and answer prayers- My sins are the roadblock between me and God - I feel my way along and stumble in the light like it is night- my sin condemns me - but God will rescue me from my sin- God promises to give my his Spirit- I will turn around - cause I see God’s awesome love

Do not be afraid - Beware but be comforted - God is about to turn everything upside down - But- Do not be afraid

I am guilty of sin - Lord forgive me!

Luke 2.1-20 - There wasn’t room so they went to a barn - Jesus was born - laid in a wooden feed box -- oh how that wood will later save us -that wood will become our sign - that wood and those nails and that love of a baby to give us life and love and happiness - that same wood that Jesus will one day as a young man growing up work with in his father’s woodshop -- that wood - those nails -- that wood will be brought to life to give life-- can’t you smell the wood? - can’t you feel the love? -- then God announces the birth to some ol stinky shepherds -- surrounds them with life -- scares the crap out of them - and shows them true praise of God from heaven -- praise God for that wood - praise God for that Baby and the true source of light and life-- then the ol stinky shepherds saw Jesus and were filled with his grace - and couldn’t help but to tell others and praise God for the whole experience -- for all that love they had seen -- I’ll do the same thing!

Psalm 96 - Sing to God a new song! - tell of his salvation from day to day - tremble before God and worshi him with all you got! - God is coming! - God is here!

Prayer - Jesus- you’re here! -- You came with a grand introduction - but you came to me - my sinful self - you forgave me -you saved me -- you came as a child -- just like I’m now your child - you came to me while I was drowsy about to fall asleep - just like you did to those shepherds long ago - you came to me - you are my God - you rebuild me - you take out that rotten heart of mine and give me a new one - a better one - one that reaches out in love to you and all your creation - to all the people you have set in my life - to all the people you have put in my face - you let me love them and care for them and show them your light while it shines through me - you surround me with your light -- just like you did those shepherds way back when -- then you show me how to follow the path that leads to God - you direct my ways and show me yourself and let me run away praising you and telling others all about how you come to me -- you come to me - it’s scary but it’s really nice! -- you come to me and you stay with me -- deep deep deep inside of me -- you are there! -- you are here! -- Thanks be to God! --- Amen

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

December 22 Reflection

Wednesday 12/22/2004
Luke 1.1-25 - Make a careful study -- then tell the story of how God is in your life - A couple old people about to have kids again - What’s up with that?- Again?- The angel appeared to Zechariah at the right side of the altar -- detail? -right side? - God heard Zechariah’s prayer -- he is giving him a son - I wonder if Zechariah prayed for this when he was younger -- and this is just God’s time - I wonder if Zechariah wondered - why now?-not now! - I’m old? - Well I guess he didn’t believe it- so God shut Zechariah up - but Elisabeth did get pregnant - Zechariah new what a powerful baby he was going to have and couldn’t tell people - must have been frustrating
Ezekiel 33 - If God shows you sin -take the warning and turn around - God likes to see people turn from sin - he doesn’t want to see them die for their sins- stop sinning and turn back to God- God will forgive sin -- so don’t start sinning - but always turn from sin- you can see how the Land was so important to the promise- the people in exile are separated from the land God promised years ago - they are separated because of their sin from the earthly element - the land -- just as we are separated from God when we sin -- but the earthly element-�water� is combined with a promise in our baptism and we are given life -- so if the Jews turn from their sin -- the earthly element - the “land� will be combined with the promise of God and they also will be saved from sin and exile - interesting
Isaiah 57 - As faithful - I may be dragged off and killed - but in death I will find peace for obeying God - sin will make a fool of me - don’t reject God - worship only God - God can be a smart ass too! -- “Ask your idols to save you when you are in trouble. Be careful though- it takes only a faint breath to blow them over.� - I like that! - God knows how I am -- but he will hear, lead, and comfort me until I start singing His praises
Do not be afraid - Beware but be comforted - God is about to turn everything upside down - But- Do not be afraid
If you forgive sins - they are forgiven
Psalm 96 - Sing a new song to God - tell of his salvation from day to day -- everyday!
Hebrews 4.9-16 - the word of God is living and active - let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace in the time of need.
Psalm 45 - My heart overflows with a goodly theme
Prayer- Lord, sometimes I’m speechless-- when I see what you have done - I can’t understand the why of it all - why bother with my sinful self -- why not wad me up and throw it away -- then I see what you have done through Jesus -- a love beyond my understanding -- but there it is -- in my face - up close- I can’t avoid it -- I can’t understand it -- but I can accept it - I can believe in it - I can repent - You choose to forgive me - You choose to save me - You choose to love me -- You choose to care -- So all I can say is gee thanks! -- Thanks a whole bunch -- no words are good enough - but thanks anyway -- how can I help? -lead me to serve you to day - let me work in your kingdom today -- show me how to love and comfort others - let me tell the story of you in my life -- hear my songs of praise and thanks to you. ---Amen

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

December 21st Reflections

Tuesday 12/21/2004
Colossians 3.18-4.18 - Wives put husbands first - husbands love wives and don’t abuse her - children obey parents - Parents don’t be too hard on the kids - Do your work willingly as if your are serving God not man - Never give up praying - when you pray keep alert and thankful - look for the answers - God will make a way for us to spread his message and explain the mystery of Christ - comfort each other - greet each other - pray that God will be kind to us
Ezekiel 31-32 - Learn from the story of the tree representing Egypt - The tree grew strong and was protections for other nations - it was a magnificent tree - but once the tree took credit for it’s own strength - and didn’t realize that it’s strength came from God- once the tree began to be proud and think that it made itself this way - it died just like every other tree- We can’t make ourselves God - God is God - God gives us everything -- remember the tree -- don’t be proud - honor God when it’s all good - God is God! - God makes the tree beautiful and strong -- the tree doesn’t do this to itself
Isaiah 56 - Be honest and fair - God will save me - Foreigners will follow God and love and worship him - God will bring them to the holy mountain - God will let the Chosen join with others - Ahhhh- the commentary talks about eunuchs whose private parts had been crushed- Ouch!!! -- but God will not exclude them
Do not be afraid - Beware but be comforted - God is about to turn everything upside down - But- Do not be afraid
God forgives the sins of those who repent
John 14.1-7 - Don’t let your heart be troubled - Believe in God - Believe in Jesus - Jesus will take care of us and has a great room prepared for us - Where he is I will be - where I am - Jesus will be - Jesus is the way and the truth and the life
John 20.24-29 - Jesus is alive and real and here and now- open the eyes of your heart -- see him- touch him- feel him- smell him- taste him -- drink it all in
Psalm 66 - Say to God - How awesome are your deeds - Sing praises to God - God will hear my prayer- his love is steadfast
Prayer - Lord forgive me when I’m proud - forgive me when I think I’m so great -forgive me when I think that I can take care of myself and my world - cause I can’t - I am yours - this is your world - but I know you forgive and pardon - use me this day as your servant - I work for you - lead me to share the mystery of your love in Jesus - lead me to comfort others- lead me greet others and be kind to all of us - lead me to spread your message - lead me in your will this day- I hear you - don’t be troubled - believe- believe - you will take care of us - you prepare a great place for us -- you are with us -- we are with you -- and in Jesus is the way and the truth and the life -- show me your way -- show me your truth -- give me life -- only in you may I have life - for only in your salvation am I safe -- how awesome can that be! -- I will sing praises -- hear my prayer this day -- for I find comfort in your everlasting steadfast love. --- Amen

Monday, December 20, 2004

December 20th Reflections

Monday 12/20/2004
Colossians 2.20-3.17 - Allot more don’t do this or that- advice on what not to do - quit being angry, hateful, and evil - stop saying insulting or cruel things to others- stop lying to each other - give up you old way of life - you are a new person- Christ is all that matters and he lives in all of us - God loves you and has chosen you - be gentle, kind, humble, meek and patient - put up with each other - forgive each other-live together in peace- be grateful- let the message about Christ completely fill your life- with thankful hearts sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God- do everything in the name of Jesus and give thanks to God because of Jesus
Ezekiel 29-30 - Oracles against Egypt -- Egypt was an ally and also and enemy of Israel -- it seems like a strange relationship between a couple of nations -- But God was telling Egypt that if God wants the Babylonians to defect Egypt - then they will - God can control anything he chooses- or he can release control of anything he chooses
Isaiah 55 - Come to God and live - turn to God - He can still be found - call to God - hi is near - give up your crooked ways and evil thoughts - God forgives - God’s Words don’t return to him without doing everything he sent them to do -- just like rain - it doesn’t return to the sky until it has nourished the earth-brought life to plant and animal
Do not be afraid - Beware but be comforted - God is about to turn everything upside down - But- Do not be afraid
Fasting and other outward preparations serve a good purpose -- but believing really prepares you
Titus 2.11-14 - Jesus save you -- respond and be zealous for good deeds
Galatians 3.1-14 - I receive the Spirit of God through belief - I become a child of god by faith - Jesus was cursed for me - he hung on a tree for me - so that I could be his - not through the law - but through faith in him- I can have faith - but I can never fulfill the law - Jesus forgives my sin and releases me from the curse of the law
Psalm 34.15-22 - God listens to us
Prayer- Lord - lead me in the Do’s this day - help me to be gentle, kind, humble, meek and patient -- help me to forgive - love- be thankful and sing your praises- May I come to you and live - may you find me where I am and give me life- may I comfort others - and most of all may if believe. In you I place all hope and trust -- Amen

Sunday, December 19, 2004

December 19th Reflections

Sunday 12/19/2004
Colossians 1.24-2.19 - I’m glad to suffer for someone else - that in my own body I can continue the suffering of Christ for his body, the church - it’s nice to begin to understand - even a little the mystery of Christ - he live in people - and Jesus is our hope for sharing in God’s glory - yea - it will still be a struggle - let’s join our hearts together in love - we will be blessed and know Jesus that way - all wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Jesus - Don’t be fooled by fancy talk - accept Jesus as Lord and follow him - let Jesus be the foundation for your life - be strong in faith and grateful - when I was baptized it was the same as being buried with Jesus - then I was raised to life because of faith in Jesus- Jesus makes me alive because he forgives my sin - he nailed my sin to the cross - Jesus is real! - don’t brag about seeing visions - don’t fill my mind with selfish desires - don’t don’t don’t -- but still if your reverse it there is allot of good advice.-it’s not like the Law don’ts but more like because Jesus has freed us -- these are things we won’t want to do because they would lead us back to the confinements of the Law -- we are free to love now and to serve!

Ezekiel 27-28 - I like how God sends messages - here he warns Tyre of their defeat - with a story about a ship that represents Tyre - it’s kinda like a parable or something with a message - even if we have it made - have everything we need - we need to make sure we don’t become so slef confident that we think we don’t need God -we need God - don’t make yourself a god - God is God! - learn a lesson from Tyre - God takes care of us and gives us hope - it is only through God that we can be saved from ourselves

Isaiah 54 - Sing and shout! - Don’t be afraid, ashamed or discouraged - you won’t be disappointed - forget how sinful you have been - God is God - he will rescue you - God will take you back - He will embrace you again- He will have mercy and love your forever! - he will protect you - god will never again get angry and punish you - he will always be kind and merciful- He will rebuild you - He will make you beautiful - he will take away all worries - God will bless you with victory

Jesus is important - through Jesus love and grace I have something important to do - show the world Jesus acts of love, grace, healing, compassion and salvation.

It’s not eating and drinking the body and blood of Christ that gives me forgiveness of sins -- it’s not what I do -- but it is Jesus Words -- along with the eating and drinking - I must believe the Word -- then I have exactly what they say - forgiveness of sins - not what I do but what Christ has done for me

Matthew 1.18-25 - an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream- hmmm - don’t be afraid- Jesus will save his people from their sins- there is a message from the Holy Spirit- name him Emmanuel- “God is with us� - when Joseph woke up - he did as the angel told him-hmmm again-go-act-do

Romans 5.12-21 - Adam-sin-death-law-free gift-free gift-free gift- eternal life through Jesus - Thanks be to God!

Psalm 33.12-22 - Happy again!!! -- “Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.�-- Our heart is glad in the LORD! - Let God’s love be on us

Prayer - Lord, this Advent season - Light - Angels - Warmth- In my face- Healing - Love - Wood - Baby - Signs - Prayer - Free Gift - Salvation - God with us - Go - Act - Do - Proclaim- you send so many messages - how clear can you make it? - How loud I must yell the story of you in my life - How loud I must shout and sing praises to you - How gracious can you be? - It’s all way beyond what I can understand or feel - thank you - thank you - thank you - my face feels Son burnt! --- Amen

Saturday, December 18, 2004

December 18th reflections

Saturday 12/18/2004
Colossians 1.1-23 - Thank God for Jesus each time you pray for someone- Think of the person’s faith in Jesus and their love of God’s people - Spread the good news - God’s Spirit give me love - Don’t stop praying for others - Pray that God will show the other person everything he wants them to dao and that they have wisdom and understanding from the Spirit - Do good deeds - This will help me to know God even better - God’s power will make me patient and strong enough to endure anything and to be happy happy happy - Be grateful to God for letting me have a part in his kingdom of light - God rescues me from sin and darkness and forgives me and sets me free - Everything was created by Jesus- God’s first born Son- Everything was made for Jesus - Jesus existed before all else - Jesus is the head of the church - Jesus is above all others - God lives in Jesus - God is pleased in Jesus by sacrificing his blood on the cross so that all would be brought back to God - Jesus became a human and died- god made peace with me and now let’s me stand in His presence- I must stay deeply rooted in my faith - never give up hope and become a servant of God-the Greek word for servant is diakonos-deacon--hmm in the commentary I am reading - they compare the wisdom of God to the rock in the wilderness that brought water for the Chosen People and that Jesus is that rock -- he brings the life giving water to the world and through Jesus God’s wisdom is made human-this is referring to the hymn which uses wisdom language to describe Christ as the image of God
Ezekiel 25-26 - Oh-make sure we clap for the right thing! -- Ammon hated Israel so much that they clapped and shouted and celebrated when Israel was defeated - therefore God will hand that nation over to defeat - clap because your happy for God’s love and show it and be happy happy happy - don’t take revenge on others - chapter 25 is God’s prophecy through Ezekiel about the ruin and punishment of nations around Judah - Don’t celebrate someone else’s pain
Isaiah 53 - Oh how it sounds like Jesus again -- A servant grew up obeying God - He wasn’t some handsome king - nothing made him attractive to us - he was hated and rejected - his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering - he was despised and people said he is a nobody - he suffered and endured great pain for us - we thought his suffering and punishment was from God - he was wounded and crushed because of our sins - by doing this he made us completely well - God gave him the punishment we deserved - he was painfully abused but did not complain- he was silent like a lamb led to the butcher - he was condemned to death without a fair trial- his life was taken because of my sinfulness - he wasn’t dishonest or violent- he was buried in a tomb of cruel and rich people- God decided he would be a sacrifice to take away the sin and guilt of others- He did everything as God had planned- although he was innocent he took on the punishment for the sins of others so they will no longer be guilty - God will honor him with power for sacrificing his life- others thought he was a sinner but he suffered for our sins and asked God to forgive us- the context indicates it is a servant other than Jesus -and even the commentaries indicate that - maybe at the time it was written this was true - but now that Jesus came into the world - how can I help but see Jesus all over this one -- in my eyes it’s beauty at it’s best - it’s life, hope and salvation from God- it’s that timeless character of Words written way before their time - it’s a true message from God -- Wow!
Jesus is important - through Jesus love and grace I have something important to do - show the world Jesus acts of love, grace, healing, compassion and salvation.
Where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation
Romans 1.1-7 - I am called to belong to Jesus- None of this is about me - it’s all about Jesus - I am called to belong to Jesus - God is God
Colossians 2.6-22 - I have received Jesus - continue to live my life in him- rooted and built up in him and established in faith- I was buried with Jesus in my baptism and raised with him through faith in Jesus raised from death - God made me alive and forgave my sin - my sin was nailed to that cross - be alive in Christ - not in the Law - his hope and salvation makes me happy happy happy
Psalm 119.129-136 - The unfolding of your words gives light, it imparts understanding to the simple--hey! That’s me! - With open mouth I pant, because I long for your commandments- I love God’s name - Keep my steps steady to your promise- Make your face shine upon your servant
Prayer - God - there it is again - your salvation makes me happy happy happy - how can I help but to run out - play and spread the joy of your action - how can I help but to feel that bright light you shine on me - that warmth you give me through your Son - how can I help but to praise you - to love you- to see you in this world of mine - all over it -in it and through it- how can I help but not to understand something- even in my own simple mind you make it all so obvious - your timeless words about the salvation of your Son - you give words of hope and comfort of love and joy and happiness throughout time - even to those in exile - even to me when I am in exile to myself - I will turn to you - run to you - run with you and play like a little kid all my life - for you make all the play so fun and happy happy happy - you call me to belong to you - you call me to be on your side - like that little kid I am - you picked me and let me play on your team - how happy happy happy- even when the other team beats up on us - throws a forearm into my chin- knocks me down - teases me and hurts me- spits on the ball- taunts me -- big deal! -- I know you will come over to that pile of people where I lay and grab my hand and take me back to the huddle - you will let me regroup in your words and tell me another secret play - then I will break from that huddle and run to the line all happy happy happy - for you have given me a secret play and a job with the team to do - you may ask me to pull out to the left and run through the three hole and block that linebacker so that you can run through and behind me and around me and show the world how great you are - how you have come to save us - how you have already won the game through your pain and death and resurrection and salvation - eventually I’ll run my big ass up to the goal line behind you and we will dance in the end zone and be happy happy happy - I’m ready -- let’s play -- Thanks be to God through Jesus my quarter back! --- Amen

Friday, December 17, 2004

December 17th reflections

Friday 12/17/2004
Philippians 4 - Dear friends, I love you and long to see you - stop arguing - always be glad because of God - be gentle to each other - don’t worry - pray about everything - have thankful hearts - keep your minds on what is true, pure, right, holy, friendly and proper
Ezekiel 24 - God likens Jerusalem to a pot boiling with water and lamb parts -- boiling dry - heating and burning the pot until even the rust is burnt away - Jerusalem is being punished for their separation from God and their intentional sin - the next part seems cruel -- God takes Ezekiel’s wife and tells Ezekiel he is not to morn - it is a lesson to the Jews that their temple will be taken from them and they won’t even mourn -- seems like an awful way to make a point - but I guess if your really-really trust God - you know your wife is taken care of - hmmm-- that one is a little hard to take
Isaiah 52 - Good news! You’re saved - sing and celebrate! - God comes to rescue you - everyone will see the saving power of God - my servant suffered until he no longer looked human-my servant will make nations worthy to worship God- yes Jesus is displayed in the OT! Over and over
Jesus is important - through Jesus love and grace I have something important to do - show the world Jesus acts of love, grace, healing, compassion and salvation.
The body- the blood - a new covenant - for the forgiveness of sin -- I will always remember!
Isaiah 7.10-16 - a sign! -- the young woman will have a child - thanks for the Sign!
Daniel 3.8-28 - So Shardrach, Meshach and Abednego were faithful to God - they would worship only God - for this they were thrown into a furnace really heated up --and a fourth person was with them in the fire -- God is with me even in the midst of the fire -- real real real close!-- in my face close! -- Thanks be to God!
Psalm 84 - Happy to live - Happy in God’s strength - Happy even when going through the valley- Happy in God my shield - Happy in God’s comfy warmth of Son- Happy is everyone who trust in God
Prayer - Lord - bless me and keep me - let your face shine upon me -- for you make me happy happy happy -- you give me friends to love like you did for Paul - you give me reasons to be glad - help me to be gentle - to pray about everything - to keep my mind on what is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper -- forgive my sine and burn that rust off this pot of mine - for in you is all the good news I need - I will praise you and sing this day - for you are God- you stay with me even in the fire - you stay close - and up close - right in my face - and you make me happy-happy-happy -- Thanks be to God! --- Amen

Thursday, December 16, 2004

December 16th reflections

Thursday 12/16/2004
Philippians 3 - Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. - All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him - I want to suffer and die as he did, so that somehow I also may be raised to life
Ezekiel 23 - Ooo -sex- A story about a couple of prostitutes - they represent Samaria and Jerusalem - they had sex with everybody else - no shame and out if front of all - - especially with the Assyrian lovers and the Babylonians -- they took up the gods of the men they had sex with - the older sister Oholibah had sex so many times with the Babylonians that she got disgusted with them - God punishes her for leaving him by leaving her with the Babylonians - Ezekiel is to tell the women of their evil ways - worshiping idols - God will get rid of Oholah and Oholibah for worshiping idols and turning away from God.
Isaiah 51 - Abraham was the rock from which I was chipped -- faith - God will come to save and to rule all nations - everyone will die - but God’s victory will last - his saving power never ends - his saving power will never end - Wake up! - Do something - be strong and ready
Jesus is important - through Jesus love and grace I have something important to do - show the world Jesus acts of love, grace, healing, compassion and salvation.
Drown my sinful self - I repent - daily - let a new person arise so that I may live with you forever
Psalm 80.1-7, 17-19 - Listen to my cry - save me God! - let your face shine, what I may be saved - give me life and restore me
Haggai 2.1-9 - My spirit abides among you - do not fear- God will shake this place up - he will fill me with splendor
Psalm 28 - I call to you God - please listen to me - I need your help - God is my strength and shield
Prayer - It’s wonderful knowing you Lord- it’s wonderful seeing you in my world - seeing you in friends and family - seeing you in creation - seeing you at work - seeing you in the actions of others - see you in all sorts of ways - in the unexpected - seeing-hearing-smelling-touching and feeling your presence. As I cry out to you today - save me - save me from myself - save me from my sin - save me and rescue me and lead me and guide me - give me the “kind� words to say - guide me away from those words that hurt - point it out to me - for I come today to you repenting and asking that my sinful self be drowned away and that you would let a new person go out today that I may live with you forever -- shake me up - shake me up through the words of friends - shake me up and point out the stench of my sin - shake me up and show me a changed way to follow - I need your help and trust in your guidance. --- Amen

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

December 15th reflection

Wednesday 12/15/2004
Philippians 2.12-30 - work with fear and trembling to discover what it really means to be saved - that thought - discovering what it means to be saved - for me is a journey - that continue to be more and more amazing the older I get -- what it means to be saved - seems to grow with age and faith -- it means more and more and more all the time -- so I guess in God’s eyes - we’re always babies in that respect - which is good - cause as faith grows - you always have that new discovery feeling going on and it’s always play time - even when you’re old and rusty -- try to shine as lights among the people of this world -- let Jesus shine through - and tell the world -- don’t be all backwards about it -- let people think what they want and don’t worry about that crap
Ezekiel 21-22 - this whole reading makes me think about how many times I’ve heard people talk about how nice God is how he would never hurt anybody and all this goody goody stuff that makes me want to puke! -- then when I read this -- I think -- hmm-- yea I would like to think God is all that way -- but really - if you get him mad -- look out -- it’s not like he doesn’t give you enough chances -- but if I deliberately choose to separate myself from God -- I don’t think he’s going to be so nice about it -- he will punish me - but I think even that punishment is more of a discipline at first - God wants me to change - to turn back to him - and sometimes I need it to be made obvious to me -- then if that works - great - thanks be to God for being the loving Father - willing to do the hard thing for his children -- but if I continue in my rebellion -- well then look out! -- I’m going to get it - because then I have become evil itself -- So - I guess my thoughts are that God is loving -- very loving - so loving he will do the hard stuff -- but not all that goody goody stuff we tend to paint God as -- lends more meaning to the phrase -- “fear and love God�
Isaiah 50 - Each morning God awakens me eager to learn his teaching - he made me willing to listen - so I refuse to give up, because I know God will never let me down
Jesus is important - through Jesus love and grace I have something important to do - show the world Jesus acts of love, grace, healing, compassion and salvation.
Trust in the Word- water by itself is only water - but with the Word - it is life-giving water
Isaiah 9.8-17 - God gets angry because God loves humans so much - God stretches his hand out -- take it!!!
Luke 12.8-12 - acknowledge Jesus - let the Spirit give you the words to say and just act and do it - quit fiddling around -- go tell others -- what’s the hold up -- hurry up!!
Psalm 32 - Be happy - God forgives you - what more do you want - Be happy! - Give up your pride - confess - repent -- you’ll end up happy - don’t be like a horse or mule -- heehaw!! -- all stubborn and stuff - turn back to God and trust in him
Prayer - Wow - your salvation is so amazing -- it becomes more meaningful by the minute - thanks for your Son -- I truly fear and love you Lord -- lead and guide me this day - give me your teaching - I’m listening - I’m trusting - I’m waiting for your Words to flow through me - you make me so happy that I don’t have to act like some ol mule - but just let you lead. I’m looking forward to what you have in store today -- Let’s play! --- Amen

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

December 14th reflections

Tuesday 12/14/2004
Philippians 2.1-11 - Jesus encourages and loves me - The Spirit unites me with others - Live in harmony with each other - show love for each other - be united in what we think as if we were one person - give up everything and become a slave - be humble - obey God - Jesus is Lord
Ezekiel 20 - The Jews in Babylon wanted a message from God through Ezekiel - God told about the history of Israel and their rebellious nature with God -about how even now they worship other gods at shrines and continue to sacrifice their children to these gods -- They must turn around to God - God will bring them back - they will realize their sins and hate them - they will worship God as they should once again - there is hope
Isaiah 49 - God chose me and gave me a name before I was born - God makes me important - only God - I will honor God - God will honor me and make me strong - I am here as a light to people - to take Jesus saving power to the world - Trust God - God is God - God will answer my prayers - on his time he will help and save - I am chosen to make God’s promise of salvation to the people - God will take care of his people - celebrate and sing- command every mountain to join in the song - I am always in God’s thoughts -The thought that I go into exile - I separate myself from God -- but God will bring me back through the darkness to him - he places his commands within my heart just as he gives me Jesus in my heart - may I turn -look and see today!
Jesus is important - through Jesus love and grace I have something important to do - show the world Jesus acts of love, grace, healing, compassion and salvation.
Believe and be baptized - be saved - thanks be to God!
2 Peter 1.12-21 - I am eyewitness of Jesus majesty - may Jesus the morning start rise in my heart - may the day dawn on me about the love of Jesus - right there in my heart - may the Spirit of God move me to shout loudly the majesty of Jesus to me - may I shout loudly to the world what Jesus has done for me
Matthew 25.31-46 - Look for God in the needy, sick, hungry and poor of the world - He is there- serve that person - for then I will be serving God
Psalm 89.5-18 - Who can be compared to God? - God is mighty - God is powerful - God is glorious - Praise God
Prayer- Jesus you are here - yet I still wait and anticipate your re-birth - your renewal in my heart - I love this time - I love the wait - I love to feel your presence - I love you - as I wait at this time of year - may the anticipation of the celebration of your birth - be a renewal of birth in the lives of friends and family and myself - may you be born in us again - may we remember that feeling - that love - that joy and never forget it - may we come out of that dark exiled journey to a great light of salvation that only you can give to us - may we receive your gift of love and life and run out into the world like little kids on Christmas day to show each other what you have given us -- we wait - we look at the small tiny lights on the tree that shine into the darkness- we stumble along in this tiny light - knowing - just knowing - that soon there will be a great light - with so much warmth and love we won’t even need the son -- cause we will take that slow walk towards the cross together in love and slowly look up and see your glory - feel the warmth of your love and praise you forever. Thanks be to God! ---- Amen

Sunday, December 12, 2004

December 12th reflections

Sunday 12/12/2004
Philippians 1.1-11 - Every time I think of you, I thank God - whenever I mention you in my prayers it makes me happy - this is because you have taken part with me in spreading good news - God began this good work in you and won’t stop until it’s complete on the day Jesus returns - you have a special place in my heart - I care for you in the same way Jesus does - I pray that your love will keep on growing and that you will fully know and understand how to make the right choices - Jesus will keep you busy doing good deed that bring glory and praise to God -- I really like Paul’s attitude towards these people - it seems to be a great example of how as Christians we should feel towards one another - loving-caring-sincere - not phony.
Ezekiel 18 - The lives of all people belong to God - you are responsible for yourself and your own actions - God doesn’t like to see wicked people die - He enjoys seeing them turn from their sins and live - But in the same way - God doesn’t like to see good people turn to sin either - give up your evil ways and start thinking pure thoughts - and be faithful to God! - God doesn’t want to see anyone put to death for their sins - turn to God!!-- Uh-oh - there it is - the good guy doesn’t have sex with a woman having her monthly period -- why would he? - man! - how horny can you get! - What you read in the Bible!
Isaiah 47 - God was the power behind the Babylonians -- they began to think they were the power themselves and turned to all sorts of ways for direction - like the stars and stuff - you can’t do that - God is God - once you think you are as smart as God - your done -- God is God -- keep it that way - you don’t have any choice really - you may think you do - but do your really - like in the end? -- God is God!
Decorate your life and heart with the love of Christ - cry out to the world from this decorated heart for peace and comfort to those in need - prepare your heart now and turn around to the love of God- hurry!
Amen! Yes it shall be so! -- Maybe the Baptists have it right - we should be yelling out Amen in church!
Matthew 11.2-11 - It is Jesus! He is here now! -- When you go out to see John - what did you expect to see? - Someone getting ready - Jesus is here now! -- Spend your life with him - get ready - He is coming again!- and yet he has already come to the door now wanting you to come out and play - get ready - go play!- jesus is going to show you that it is really Him you are playing with
John 16.16-24 - You will have pain - but in a little while it will be turned to joy - because Jesus told us so - pray to God and ask for what you need - it will make your joy complete
Psalm 118. 1-2, 15-24 - God’s steadfast love endures forever - Sing - shout for joy - you won’t die - you will live because of what God has done for you - thank God - he is your salvation - This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Prayer - How happy you make me Lord - how happy other Christian friends make me - how happy it is to serve you with others - to spread the joyous news of your grace and salvation - how happy can I be? - You come to save me - you are with me through the pain of this life - you send people into my life to share the pain - to give me hope and love and to stop in awe and look at the grace you have given to us - you send people to open my eyes to you - to see you in all the everyday things of this life - to see you in each other- to see you deep in each others hearts - we worship-praise and sing to you - let us make you happy - cause you make us happy for that wondrous gift you give to us in a simple way - in a baby - in the poor - in the dark of the night - in the workers and shepherds of our day - and in our own lives - thanks for sending your son to us- how happy - how happy - thanks be to God! -- Amen

Saturday, December 11, 2004

December 11th reflections

Saturday 12/11/2004
Ephesians 6 - Children obey your parents - parents teach your children and instruct them about God - work as though you are working for God not man - use everything God has given you to defend yourself against the devil’s tricks - never stop praying - keep praying for God’s people
Ezekiel 17 - God has Ezekiel tell a story about an eagle a cedar tree and a grapevine to tell how Jerusalem will be captured and the people will be in exile -- but there is hope in the end of survival - only with God’s help though
Isaiah 46 - God created me - he carries me and will keep me safe - God is God
Decorate your life and heart with the love of Christ - cry out to the world from this decorated heart for peace and comfort to those in need - prepare your heart now and turn around to the love of God- hurry!
At the last take me from this world to yourself in heaven -- a quote from Luther when he thought he was about to die -- “I am like ripe stool, and the world is like a gigantic anus, and so we’re about to let go of each other.� -- he tells it like it is - I wanna go to heaven! God saves me!
James 5.7-10 - Be patient until the coming of the Lord - don’t grumble against each other
Genesis 3.1-7 - Adam and Eve - were selfish - they wanted to be like God - they sinned - I do the same - but I have to remember - who created me - God is God - only God can save me
Psalm 25.1-10 - Trust in God - teach me your paths - teach me - for you are the God of my salvation - for you I wait - forgive my sin - all God’s paths are steadfast love and faithfulness
Prayer - Yea - I know it - I sin - please forgive my sin - give me the patience I need to wait on you - I’m here for something - so use me to serve in your kingdom - someday - someday - I know you have saved me and will take me to heaven - but not right now - for now you have a path you want me to follow - you are teaching me a path of love and faithfulness- so instead I wanna walk-run-skip-dance and sing my way along your path. This path has many blessings - blessings of friends-service-praise and joy in love to you forever. Sometimes the path seems rough -- but the rough parts make the smooth downhill parts seem so nice and easy -- you take care of me and lead me up and down your path and give me tons of blessings along the way - so when I feel like the turd and it feels like the world is one big butt hole - let me see the glory of your salvation and love along the way- Thanks be to God! --- Amen

Friday, December 10, 2004

December 10th reflections

Friday 12/10/2004
Ephesians 5.21-33 - Honor Christ and put others first - Husbands be willing to give your life for your wife just as Jesus did for you - Wives be willing to put your husband first just as Jesus did for you
Ezekiel 16 - God compares Jerusalem to a baby born that was not taken care of - God took care of the baby - washed it - cared for it - raised the baby and gave it everything it needed -- then when the baby girl turned into a woman - she abandoned God and gave sex to all kinds of men - left God behind and did shameful acts -- but God will restore this relationship and let the woman realize her sin -- and care for her once again -- that’s like I am and how the Israelites were with God - God gives everything needed in life - but sometimes I turn from God and do the wrong things - I need to be forgiven and turn around - Give God the thanks and glory for everything and live a life of gratitude to God for all the blessings and needs that he provides for me.
Isaiah 45 - God called Cyrus - God will have Cyrus save and release the Jews from the Babylonians and allow the exiles to return and rebuild - God alone can save - God alone is God!
Decorate your life and heart with the love of Christ - cry out to the world from this decorated heart for peace and comfort to those in need - prepare your heart now and turn around to the love of God- hurry!
I pray that the devil, the world, and my sinful self will not draw me into sin.
Isaiah 35.1-10 - God will come and save you - then there will be great joy! - and I will walk that peaceful glorious path with close friends and a multitude of saints singing and living with God forever
John 19.31-37 - When Jesus was crucified none of his bones were broken - but they pieced his side to make sure he was already dead - blood and water came out - wash me with that life saving blood and water!- for that blood and water came at great cost - Thanks be to God!
Psalm 18.106, 16-24 - I love you God - You are worthy to be praised - God saves me
Prayer - Today - help me to place others first - to love them like you love me - to turn around from my own selfishness - from my own idols and gods and make you my god - you are the creator - you made me - you are to be honored and praised above all thing - thank you for blessing me with all I need - friends, family, food, work, health and most of all the opportunity to serve you in your kingdom. Thanks for your life saving blood and water - wash me clean this day and send me out to do your will in your world. I love you. --- Amen

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

December 8th Reflection

Wednesday 12/8/2004
Ephesians 4.17-32 - Let the Spirit change your way of thinking and make you into a new person - I was created to be like God - so I must please him and be holy - stop lying and start telling each other the truth - don’t get angry cause it will make you sin - stop the dirty talk - say the right thing at the right time to help others - stop being bitter, angry and mad at others - don’t be rude -- but be kind and merciful and forgive others just as God forgave me.
Ezekiel 12-13 - God told Ezekiel to pack a few things -go outside before dark and walk around so all can see him - go back in the house - leave later in the evening- dig a hole in the wall of his house and crawl through it - take the bag and cover his face so he can’t see the land he is leaving- do this while everyone is watching -- the people didn’t get it - so God sent Ezekiel back to explain that their ruler will leave Jerusalem just like this - carrying his own bag and not looking back at the land he is leaving - he will be led away to Babylon - the rest of the people will starve and die of disease --then God told Ezekiel to shake with fear when he eats -- tell everyone in Jerusalem that they will shake when they eat and their country will be destroyed -- then God comes down hard with judgment on false prophets
Isaiah 43 - God calls me by name and is with me -- when I cross deep rivers he is with me and won’t let me drown - when I walk through fire I won’t be burned - God saves me - God loves me - I don’t need to be afraid cause God is with me - he created me to bring honor to him - God wants me to know him, trust him and know that he alone is God
Decorate your life and heart with the love of Christ - cry out to the world from this decorated heart for peace and comfort to those in need - prepare your heart now and turn around to the love of God- hurry!
God provides for everyone even if they are not deserving -- I thank God for all he has given me.
Isaiah 7.1-9 - I must stand firm in faith or I won’t stand at all
Revelation 19.11-21 - Jesus will come again in glory -- come to me today!
Psalm 35.1-10 - Defend me God!
Prayer - Lord - you give sound advice - I need to change my way of thinking - be kind -merciful- forgive others - be truthful- forgive my sin and turn me around. Lead me out of my darkness into your light. Give the your knowledge and understanding -- guide my steps this day - help me with all the decisions I need to make - take all fear from my heart and let me be bold in your name - for I trust in you - You are all I need - you provide all my daily bread and I give you thanks -- help me to stand firm in my faith and see the hope of your glorious return -- but for today - be with me and stand by me I pray. --- Amen

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

December 5th-7th reflections

Sunday 12/5/2004
Ephesians 2 - In the past I was dead - I have turned from God - Gentiles were not included under traditional understanding back then - even if you were a Jew and considered part of the Chosen Race - everyone has sinned and turned from God - but God was merciful to all of us - He sent Jesus to save us - I love verses 4-10 - God was merciful - he loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ - he raised us from death to life with Jesus - “You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God’s gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own. It isn’t something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about.. God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. That’s why he sent Christ to make us what we are.� - Jesus offered his life blood as a sacrifice and brought me near to God - Jesus gave his own body to destroy the Law of Moses with all its rules and commands
Ezekiel 6-7 - God will destroy all the shrines, the false gods, the temples and altars to the false gods and scatter the people who worship them -- kinda like throwing that hair in the wind from the mini model of Jerusalem yesterday - God will punish evil - yea he is a loving God - but I don’t think he loves evil or sin whatsoever - and through discipline there is hope - hope that I will turn from my sin - realize and smell the stench and turn back to God - I will know that God is God!
Isaiah 40 - God will end his punishment for my sins - yea - I deserve it - I need his discipline and need to take it - but he is kind and merciful and will bring it to an end - He will show me a clear straight path in my desert of sin - He will give me an “out� - “Fill in the valleys; flatten every hill and mountain. Level the rough and rugged ground.� -- I always remember this verse and tell it to Sarah when we are coming back from time in North Carolina - after a while - driving in the mountains -- the mountains feel like they are cluttering my mind - then when we get to Ohio - I will tell her -- see -- the Promised Land! -- where the valleys are filled in and the mountains are laid low -- feel how your mind is uncluttered now -- But the reverse of it is that when in North Carolina - when I go to the tops of the mountains or in the valleys - I feel the presence of God very powerfully as well -- so both places are the Promised Land -- for the Promised Land is that place that contains God -- and God is always where He promises to be -- in your heart -- no matter where you are --- verse 9 …Shout it as loud as you can from the highest mountain. Don’t be afraid to shout to the towns of Judah, “Your God is here!� -- trust God - you will find new strength - “They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired.� -- Reminds me of something a friend once told me.-- this part of Isaiah is especially meaningful to me -- all at the same time I hear God speaking through Isaiah to people of all time - and even to this time in my life - remember Isaiah was sent as prophet to speak to Judah when the Assyrians were sending the northern kingdom into exile - Isaiah was dead a few hundred years before the return of the exiles from Babylon - but you read this and you think of Judah in exile in Babylon - you can think of Jesus - you can think of your own story -- I’m always amazed at how God takes scripture - especially the prophets and makes it applicable across and through time -- brings much fuller meaning to the Word of God -- to Jesus presence in creation -- to the Spirits presence always and to how amazing God is.
I want to go up to the mountain of God - learn - see - believe
May I teach others of your Name in truth and purity
Matthew 3.1-12 - Prepare for Jesus to be in my life - let him make a beeline into my heart - through my baptism - God took a direct path into my heart - to be with me always - to lead and guide me - to save me - may I always know this presence and not turn him away- I must repent and turn around - God is God and God is present!
Luke 3.1-6 - There is that Isaiah speaking the Word of God again - way beyond his time - about John the Baptist-- valley filling and mountains made low -- that straight path-- “and all flesh shall see the salvation of God� -- I see-I see - I believe!!!
Psalm 126 - God will restore me - God has saved me -- Laugh-Shout-be Happy and Praise God!!
Prayer - Jesus make that bee line into my heart - for you are near - you are here - I believe! - It’s not about me - It’s not about what I do - It’s about what you have already done - Forgive my selfishness - my sin of self and lead me on that straight path - guide me on that path you want me to take - open me up wide and take the direct flight into my heart - may I never fail to see your presence in my life - to feel your healing - to see your creation and all the creative works you are doing now - have done in ages past and will do in ages to come - for you are God and I will praise you. Shine your light brightly into this world this day and hear the praises of the multitudes in worship to you - we love you! --- Amen
Monday 12/6/2004
Ephesians 3 - A mystery - Because of Jesus the good news has given me a share in the promises that God gave to the Jews - I am now a part of the same body as the Jews - chosen by God - this is a blessing that cannot be measured - God has many different kinds of wisdom - Through Jesus I now have courage and confidence to come to God by faith - kneel in prayer to God - everything in heaven and earth receive life from God - Jesus will live in my heart because of faith - be deeply rooted in love - Jesus love is too wonderful to be measured - the Church must bring praise to God - Jesus power in the Church can do far more than we can imagine
Ezekiel 8-9 - The Spirit takes control of Ezekiel - he sees something in the form of a human - fire from the waist down - polished metal from the waist up - it grabbed his hair and carried Ezekiel away - Ezekiel was shown idols being worshiped - then a hole in the wall - Ezekiel was told to make the hole bigger - it was a doorway - when Ezekiel went in he saw more idol worship- then Ezekiel was shown women weeping for an idol - then men bowing down to a sun god - God has decided to punish his kids for turning away from him --- then Ezekiel saw six men - they were sent by God to destroy the temple - the brightness of God’s glory then left its place above the winged creatures inside the temple and moved to the entrance -- this is the first time I have seen something that refers to the Ark of the Covenant -- over the Ark on the mercy seat were two angels with wings outstretched to touch each other - this is the seat of God - the Mercy Seat - where God was to exist above the Ark in the Holy of Holies - Back to Ezekiel - the six men were to go through Jerusalem and mark anyone who was disgusted with all that was going on - mark them on the forehead - they were to put to death those who didn’t have a mark on their forehead - two things come to mind here for me - the Passover - a mark on the doorposts - and also the 144,000 mention in Revelation who had God’s mark on their foreheads- 12 times 12 times 1000 - signifies a very complete number - all put their faith and trust in God - I have been marked and sealed with the cross of Christ forever at baptism -- now I must put all my faith and trust in God - So these were the only people spared - God will judge - no doubt - be among the faithful - then on the Ark - it makes me wonder if it was at this time that the Ark and presence of God left that temple -- and through that torn curtain at Jesus crucifixion - the Holy of Holies opened up and the brightness of God’s glory left that physical place to dwell in the hearts openly in all of the faithful people. -- hmmmm
Isaiah 41 - Who controls human events? - God does- makes me think about pre-destination - but I guess God does give us individual minds to make decisions - but then I do see God taking control of historical events at times like with the Egyptians during the plagues and the Babylonians mentioned here - they were lead by God to do something for him -- but then aren’t we all lead by God to do something -- makes you think and hurts my brain!- but then again I ain’t God! - He was there at the beginning and will be there at the end - God chose Abraham - He is the God of the faithful - God will protect us and care for us - He is holding my hand so I don’t have to be afraid- God will help us - idols are nothing but man created junk - stick with God - God is God
Decorate your life and heart with the love of Christ - cry out to the world from this decorated heart for peace and comfort to those in need - prepare your heart now and turn around to the love of God- hurry!
May your kingdom come to me today through your Holy Spirit so that by your grace I may believe and live in your kingdom this day
Isaiah 5.8-17 - Going after stuff is senseless - you keep doing it until there is no room left for anyone but you - selfish desires -- God is God - don’t be selfish - turn to God - stuff doesn’t matter
1 John 2.28-3.3 - God gave us love and made us his children
Psalm 145.8-13 - Give thanks to God - I am one of his works and am sent to make known to all people the deeds of God - God saves
Prayer - Lord- you are so mysterious - you chose me for some reason - you marked me with your cross and send me for some reason - how wonderful you are - for I am a sinner - I need your forgiveness and you forgive - center yourself in my heart - help me decorate this day with your love and compassion - send me out this day to show the world what you have done - how kind you are - how to care for the poor and needy - the sick and blind - those in spiritual need- use me as your manger - let me feed the world just as you have fed me - for you reveal yourself all around me - hear my song of praise this day for your glory and let my life be all about you. You are God! I love you --- Amen
Tuesday 12/7/2004
Ephesians 4.1-16 - Live in a manner worthy of one of God’s chosen - be humble and gentle - put up with each other - love each other - let the Spirit keep our hearts united - live at peace - we have one Lord, faith and baptism - God works by using all of us - here is another back up scripture ot “descended into hell� - “Christ has generously divided out his gifts to us. As the scriptures say, “When he went up to the highest place, he led away many prisoners and gave gifts to people.� When it says “he went up,� it means that Christ had been deep in the earth. This also means that the one who went deep into the earth is the same one who went into the highest heaven, so that he would fill the whole universe.� -- Think about that one! - that’s deep - Christ fills the whole universe - next time you look up at the stars of the night sky - think about Jesus filling the whole universe! - We were chosen to be all sorts of things so that we would learn to serve and will grow strong- this will continue until we are united by our faith and understanding with Jesus - there is that image again - approaching that cross, with those special to us and all the saints - looking up that cross and being united with Jesus- how awesome will that be!!! - we will be mature and be just like Jesus then - stop acting like kids - don’t let false teachings trick us - let love always tell the truth- then we will grow and be more like Jesus - Jesus makes all the parts of the body work together perfectly and the body - the church - will become strong because of love.
Ezekiel 10-11 - It seems we move back to an earlier image of Ezekiel - he sees the dome above the four winged creatures and a man there - maybe Jesus?-don’t know - this man is going to scatter hot coals over the city of Jerusalem - the man walked among the four creatures and when he did the temple and courtyard were filled with brightness and his glory- the sound of the creatures wings were so loud that it could even be heard in the outer courtyard -- when Jesus was on trial - before the crucifixion - I wonder - it must be that the temple was filled with his glory - even when we were persecuting him - and this act of love by Jesus made a sound so great that now all people have access to his saving grace - even those outside the courtyard - Thanks be to God! - One of the four creatures took a hot coal and left - it’s time for the wheels with the four creatures to spin - it’s time for Christians to act! - the four creatures with faces - bull, lion, eagle, human - represented today as the Gospels - the Lord’s glory was above these wheels and four creatures - not much different than Christ as the head of the Church - wherever it goes - Christ is there leading and guiding - Ezekiel was shown leaders misguiding the people - they will be forced to leave Jerusalem - they will be captured and punished - they are disobeying God - God is God! - God forced the Jews out of their own country - but God will be with them wherever they are - God is in my heart - wherever I am - I can worship him always - he will gather all of us up some day and bring us together - there’s that cross image again - slowly approaching that cross with those special and all the saints in glory! - We will be completely faithful to him then - God will be our God and our one an only God - God is God!
Isaiah 42 - This first part reminds me of Jesus - the one who will save me - but I still turn away and deserve to be punished - just like the Israelites -- help me to not turn away - I see your glory and salvation - I will keep you as my one and only God!
Decorate your life and heart with the love of Christ - cry out to the world from this decorated heart for peace and comfort to those in need - prepare your heart now and turn around to the love of God- hurry!
Strengthen my faith - keep me firm in your Word - let me serve and do your will - today
Isaiah 5.18-25 - Forgive me when is drag sin around with me - for when I call evil good and good evil - for when I put darkness for light and light for darkness- for when I’m wise in my own eyes - for when I’m shrewd in my own sight - for when I’m valiant at drinking and mixing drink - for when I free the guilty for a bribe and deprive the innocent their rights- for when I’m selfish and forget that --- God is God!
Ephesians 4.25-32 - build others up - let my words give grace to those who hear - don’t be bitter, angry, or slanderous -- be kind to others and tenderhearted - forgiving - after all Jesus forgave me!
Psalm 4 - Trust in God - pray to God - God will let you rest in safety and peace
Prayer - Lord, your are faithful, true, loving, and my Savior. You are my one and only God - you rescue me from darkness, you show me the way when I’m lost, you seek me out and return me to your fold when I’m in exile and lost. I give you thanks for your power - for your love and for filling the universe -- fill my heart with you love - fill me with passion to love those children in your world this day with the love you give - forgive my sins and send me forth to forgive those who sin against me - to love them to death - to show them a love that you give that brings life - for you are the gift of life - you are that brightness above the dome - within the dome - and all around the dome - you are life! ---- Thanks be to God! -- Amen