Monday, January 31, 2005

January 31st Reflection

Monday 1/31/2005
Luke 22.29-71 - The plan continues - but this time Jesus goes to pray- do I have to carry this plan out? - take it away - it’s reassuring to see the human side of Jesus too -- but he does carry the plan out - thankfully for me and the rest of the people - Judas greets Jesus in the garden and betrays him with a kiss -- and then there is that sword again - one of the disciple’s cuts the ear off of a servant -- Jesus heals again - even here Jesus is healing - healing in so many ways at so many levels - Peter denies that he knows Jesus and realizes it after the fact - how many times have I done this -- then realize in prayer or confession that yea - I have been denying Jesus -- thanks for the act of forgiveness where daily my sin can be drowned - Jesus is questioned - just looking for some way to get rid of Jesus - anyway they can- Lord forgive me and us humans for our actions-- in the garden - I just realized -there is those two crowds again - one crowd of life and one crowd of death -
Genesis 40 - So Joseph has a couple of buddies in prison who have dreams - one a cook the other personal servant -- he interpreted the dreams but the outcomes were opposites -- the servant would be restored and the cook would be killed - and that’s what happened to them - Joseph asked the servant to remember him in prison when he was free again.- I see Jesus in this passage - the servant or cupbearer lifting up the blood of Christ to the King - life giving blood of Christ and salvation - the cook bringing the bread and body of Christ which humans will kill and sacrifice on a cross - my act of killing Christ -- or even Jesus act of giving his body in death for my sin - I like that better -- death and life - that constant battle -- good and evil - that constant battle - sin and forgiveness - that constant battle -- be with me in the battle - for only you can win the battle and I need Jesus help
Psalm 31 - I come to you- protect me and don’t let me be ashamed - it’s ok to know I can’t do it on my own - Lead me- guide me - keep me safe - I trust you - Into your hand I commit my spirit - there is the hand theme again - Your are faithful, and I trust you because you rescued me.
God has simply told us how to respond to his saving grace - do justice- love kindness- walk humbly with God
Walk in the crowds of death and life and see the gift of life in those who follow Jesus
See and feel the pain of that broken bread and body of Christ - taste and be filled with that wine and blood shed for me for the forgiveness of sin - don’t ever forget it!
Psalm 84 - How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! - my heart and my flesh sing for joy to God - my soul longs and faints to be in that room - you make me happy- you hear my prayer- look at my face- happy is everyone who trusts in God
Ephesians 6.10-18 - Be strong in the Lord - put on the armor of God and resist sin - be truthful - be righteous - proclaim the gospel of peace- be faithful - know you are saved by Jesus - pray- keep alert- persevere - God is with me
Psalm 150 - Praise God in everything- Let everything that breathes and even that doesn’t praise God
Prayer- Jesus - you gave yourself up to that plan for me - you gave yourself up in that prayer for me - you let the world persecuted you and punish you for me - you feel the pain I inflict on you yet you still love me and forgive me - forgive me I pray for the sins I commit - turn me around and show me the path I should travel - guide me and teach me and speak your word of truth in my ear - I see and feel the emotion of your body and blood - the wine and bread - even in stories I have never noticed your presence before - there you are - like a surprise you appear again and again - appear in me today - work through me today - do your will through me today- and when I’m weak, clothe me with the protection I need of truthfulness, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faithfulness and the knowledge and power of your salvation. Send me out this week and hear my praise all day long for you and your glory -- You are God! -- Amen

Sunday, January 30, 2005

January 30th Reflection

Sunday 1/30/2005
Luke 22.1-38 - It’s amazing how well planned out God is -- even to the point of Judas betrayal and how this plays the devil with Jesus act of salvation - how the room was available and all -- Jesus stresses to the disciples the point of being a servant - loving others in service - being there for them and giving your life for others - I like how Jesus prays for Peter to have a strong faith -- I think God prays for all of us to have a strong faith and to really know God and to feel God’s love so much we offer it all up to each other. But towards the end - all the planning - Jesus tells them now to be ready to take the moneybag when they go out this time- to go buy a sword - they will need it this time - so the disciples find a couple of swords -- but I don’t think Jesus meant swords for killing - but swords of the Spirit -Jesus is King over a far greater kingdom than an earthly king would have- cause he rebukes the disciples with “Enough of that!�
Genesis 39 - Back to Joseph - well he became a servant in Potiphar’s house -- all went great - Joseph was a really good servant - he was a hunk too - so Potiphar’s wife got the hots for Joseph and wanted him - like in the “to know� way -- so she makes her move and Joseph runs off -- in my mind it seems like a funny scene but this all ticks Potiphar’s wife off (you know ol what’s her name-- what is her name??) -- so she sets it up to look like Joseph tried to rape her and gets Joseph thrown in jail -- what luck -- Joseph could have gotten some - but now he is in jail! -- what dedication to God!-it’s hard to imagine that Judah and Joseph are brothers - they act the opposite! - there seems to be a whole theme going on here with “hand� - “garment� and such -- I’m sure there are many others too
Psalm 30 - You save me from the grave - you healed me - I will praise you with dongs and honor you - your kindness lasts a lifetime - you are my friend - Forgive me I pray - turn my sorrow into danding - I give you thanks and praise
Jesus-Thank you for your saving acts of forgiveness, healing and salvation. Thanks for showing your love.
In baptism I daily drown my sinful self in repentance and day after day a new self arises to live with God in righteousness and purity forever. Some day - I’m gonna get it right!- NOT!- But wait! - Jesus already made it right - so why worry - just go and serve and love and don’t do that other stuff again.
Matthew 5.1-12 - I want to hear Jesus from the mountain - I have before! - Jesus blesses - all this good stuff - rejoice and be glad!!!
Ephesians 5.19-27 - As I sing - I need to be subject to others- especially those closest to me
Psalm 130 - Thank God you forgive!!! - All my hope is in you
Prayer - Jesus - you have it all planned out - let me serve you this day in the plan you have made -let me marvel in how great that plan is - let me place all my hope in your plan of salvation - I give you thanks for your plan - I give you thanks for leading me and guiding me and saving me from my sinfulness- as sin presents itself to me this day - help me to pull away - help me to do the hard thing - but when I fail - I beg that you would pick me up - show me my sin and let me turn back around and face you and follow once again - forgive me that I may find joy in you and hear your voice and blessings from that mountain - send me today to sing and love others in your graceful salvation. --- Amen

January 29th Reflection

Saturday 1/29/2005
Luke 21 - I like this chapter- first there is the story of the poor old lady putting in all she had for the offering - I think God wants that from me - all I got -- I don’t do it but want to anyway -- Give all I have -- then Jesus goes on to tell about when he will return -- It’s nice to think about all the excitement this will cause -- and how nice it will be -- yea -- the way he describes it sounds all awful and stuff -- but that’s more to those who don’t have any hope - who know that their time is up - they need to decide who they choose to follow and pay the price -- but even for me - if I’m here - it won’t be easy because of all that - Jesus won’t take that pain away - people will try to hurt me -- but because I know that Jesus has saved me -- it’s just an endurance - I know the Spirit will give me the words to say and even if I’m killed -- it’s only the body - I will still live on -- nice thoughts -- fun times after all - strange
Genesis 38 - Well -- they kinda go off to the side with this story -- Judah leaves and marries a Canaanite woman -- has three sons -- the oldest son Judah gives a wife named Tamar to -- but this oldest son named Er was evil and God took his life- so Judah tells the next son Onan that he needs to sleep with Tamar so she can have children for his brother - so Onan knew the child wouldn’t be his and when he has sex he makes sure he doesn’t get Tamar pregnant -- so God is upset with Onan and takes his life too -- so Judah tells Tamar to go home and live with her father cause he doesn’t want the same thing to happen to his last son - So Judah’s wife dies and he mourns - he then went to meet a friend in the area his wife came from - Tamar hears that her father in law is coming that way - dresses up as a prostitute and waits on Judah - she has a veil over her face - Judah checks her out and goes for it -- I guess he was really horny or something - it’s like this is an everyday thing the way it’s presented - so Judah sleeps with Tamar thinking she is a prostitute - Tamar gets pregnant -- well I guess Judah put it on his credit card - cause he left a ring on a cord around his neck as pay until he could send a goat for payment - so Judah goes to send the goat for payment and the prostitute doesn’t exist according to the local people - so Judah just blows the whole thing off - then about three months later Judah finds out Tamar is pregnant because she acted like a whore - so Judah tells the people to drag her out and kill her-- well Tamar says- the owner of this cord and ring and walking stick is the one who got me pregnant -- that was Judah -- ooops! - Judah admitted it was him - Tamar had twins -- one started to come out - stuck his hand out and they tied a string around the baby’s hand but he pulled it back in and the other one came out first -- they named the babies Perez and Zerah -- ok - so what do I make of all this -- it’s funny that when I look for Jesus in this story - I see that Tamar is one of his descendants -- Jesus came from this string of people - Judah and Tamar -- down through King David and on -- so here again sinful and unexpected people are used by God in the salvation of the world -- also Perez -- they thought Zerah was going to be the first born - tied the red string around his hand - but Perez came out first -- made his own opening --- opening is the meaning of his name Perez - God opens up to us salvation through this line of people in Jesus- this whole switch-a-roo thing keeps coming up over and over in the Bible - God turns things around - just like I must turn around from my sin -- I guess you could go on and on with this whole excursion from the Joseph story -- kinda neat!
Psalm 29 - Angels in heaven honor God! - The voice of God - thunders over the ocean- through the forest - makes lightening flash - shakes the desert -makes deer give birth? (where did that come from?) - God rules on his throne - king of the flood forever -- flood of baptismal - life giving water- hear the voice of God - sometimes it’s really really loud!
Jesus-Thank you for your saving acts of forgiveness, healing and salvation. Thanks for showing your love.
Baptism - water with the Word of God make it life giving water- we must trust in this Word and receive new birth
1 Corinthians 1.18-31 - the message of the cross is the power of God- God decided to save those who believe - consider your call - God didn’t call you because you were wise or great or anything like that - he called you so that you couldn’t boast about yourself -but only boast in the Lord - pretty neat!
Ephesians 4.22-5.2 - Put away that old life and be renewed in the spirit of my mind - clothed with a new self- speak truth to my neighbor- be angry but do not sin - don’t let the sun go down on my anger- don’t talk evil but only build up - let my words give grace to those who hear them - don’t be bitter but be kind to others- God forgives me - act like it! - live in love as Jesus loved me - he gave himself up as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God
Psalm 123 - Lift up my eyes to God - God - have mercy on me- I need your forgiveness
Prayer - Lord - I see it - I see you Jesus - from way back - how you use people - those people that would be the least expected -those prostitutes- those men that slept with their daughter-in-laws -- all plain old people that lead up to the saving acts of your Son Jesus - all these people you came to save - not the wise - not the big shots - not the rich and famous - like the world would expect - you would suck right up to those - but you are God -- we are not God -- big difference - so even to those who really think they are something here in this world - look out - God is God - humble yourself - turn around and be saved - cause when I realize it Jesus came to save all people - even the ones that think they don’t need it - turn around - see the need for salvation - then listen and hear the voices of God - it will thunder and flash and lead the rest of my life - forgive me this day - as I turn around - hit me over the head with your voice and let me hear the thunder and go your way - follow you - put away that old life and smell that sweet fragrance of Jesus saving grace in my life and love those in the world which you have blessed me with. Thanks be to God! -- Amen

Thursday, January 27, 2005

January 27th Reflections

Thursday 1/27/2005
Luke 20.1-26 - A question came up about how Jesus had authority to do what he was doing - Jesus turned it around and asked the Jewish leaders -- who gave John the authority to baptize? - well 0- they knew if they said it was God then Jesus would as why they didn’t believe and if they said it was from man the people would be upset because they think John is a prophet -- so they said they didn’t know - Jesus told them that since they won’t say then he wont toll them who gave him the right to do what he is doing -- then Jesus told a parable about a vineyard and the servants there - the owner of the vineyard sent several people to collect his share of the harvest but the servants kept throwing these people out - finally the owner sent his own son and the people threw even him out figuring that if they did eventually they would inherit the vineyard - but they didn’t realize that someday the owner of the vineyard would come and get rid of those servants- sometimes I sin and become selfish with the gifts God has given me and instead of giving to God I keep them for myself and throw out Jesus -- forgive me -- let me give all back to you - then there was a question about paying taxes-- Jesus looked at a coin and told the people to give to the government what belonged to the government and to God what belongs to God -- give back to God and don’t be selfish
Genesis 35-36 - Jacob was told by God to go to Bethel - so he did - Rebekah’s personal servant Deborah died so they buried her under an oak tree and called it Weeping Oak - God again tells Jacob that he has given him a new name - Israel - and blesses Israel - Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin - she died in Ephrath or Bethlehem and was buried there- about this time Jacobs oldest son Reuben slept with Bilhah - one of the servant wives of Jacob - uh-oh! - Then Isaac dies and is buried -- then we go into Esau’s family - he married three Canaanite women - had five sons - Esau made home in Seir - while in Seir Esau had three wives-- so it came down to Esau’s descendants became known as Edom
Psalm 27 - God is the Light that will keep you safe - let me live in your house all my life and let me pray in your temple-in times of trouble you will hide me in your tent (ur?) - listen to my prayers and answer them - my heart tells me to pray and I am eager to see your face - I am your servant and you have helped me - teach me to follow you - lead me on your path - trust in God!
Jesus-Thank you for your saving acts of forgiveness, healing and salvation. Thanks for showing your love.
Baptism is God’s word - water and God’s command to Go!
Psalm 15 - Walk blamelessly and do right - speak truth from the heart- don’t slander - don’t do evil to friends - stand by your oath even to hurt - be steady and trust in God
Ephesians 3.10-21 - Grow - learn and be rooted and grounded in love - try to learn the breadth and length and height and depth , and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. - Give Jesus all the glory
Psalm 33.12-22 - I’m happy because of God - fear God - put my trust and hope in God - wait for God and love God
Prayer- Jesus - you warn me - you talk to me - yet I must repent and turn back to you - forgive me - forgive my selfish desires and ways -- for you are God and do God’s will - teach me today - lead me today - guide me today - send me today - show me where you want me to go - send me where you want me to go - tell me what to say - teach me what to think - I put all my trust in you - for you are the Son - you are the gift - all is yours - use me as you wish - for you are that owners son that I may never reject you - it’s not about me having the vineyard - it’s about honor and praise and glory to you - I’m here to please you - I’m here to be your servant and I pray that you would allow me to serve in your kingdom - teach me your love - the height-width-depth and multi dimension of your love - dimensions beyond my understanding - show me that love and teach me how to express it - to give it and to return it to you and to your children here in my world --all happiness resides in and is because of you. -- Amen

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

January 26th Reflections

Wednesday 1/26/2005
Luke 19.28-48 - Jesus told his disciples to take a donkey -- and when asked by the owner what they were doing just tell the owner that the Lord needs it -- and that’s what happened - seems pretty strange to me that the owner wouldn’t object - especially if he didn’t know who they meant by Lord -- anyway - Jesus rides the donkey into Jerusalem and all his disciples praise him because of all the healing Jesus had done and the miracles they had heard of - the Pharisees didn’t think all this was right - but - Jesus told them that if these people didn’t shout that the stones would start shouting -- I want to be one of those stones- I can be - cause I wasn’t present then - Jesus tells the people that Jerusalem will be attacked and destroyed because they didn’t see that God had come to save them - then he goes into the temple and upsets everyone because they were buying and selling and it should be a place of worship - each day Jesus taught in the temple- the Jewish leaders are not liking all this and begin to plot against Jesus
Genesis 34 - So Jacob and Leah’s daughter Dinah wondered off to be with some of the foreign men in the land they were staying - met a guy named Shechem - Shechem really like Dinah - he grabbed her and had sex with her -- the Bible calls it rape - but it kind of sounds like Dinah consented to me - anyway - Shechem asks his dad Haman if he will go to Jacob and get Dinah for his wife- they all talk and agree if all the men in the town get circumcised then it will be ok - so Shechem and Haman go back to town and everyone agrees and gets circumcised. While the men were weak from the circumcisions - Jacobs sons come into town and kill all the men - take all the women and everything for themselves in revenge of the rape of their sister Dinah -- now Jacob is mad and afraid that the people in the land where he is staying will unite and kill his family. Sounds like they all were pretty rotten to me.
Psalm 26 - Trust God without doubting
Jesus-Thank you for your saving acts of forgiveness, healing and salvation. Thanks for showing your love.
I am certain God will hear my prayers and they will please him.
Psalm 67 - make your face shine upon me - that you way may be known in my world - I praise you and sing for joy -guide me today
Ephesians 2.13-22 - God came to me - one far off - one different from the rest and saved me just as he saved his chosen - through Jesus blood and makes all of us one in his blood
Psalm 112 -Fear God and be happy
Prayer - Jesus you come to me sometimes in mysterious ways - but I must be your disciple - I must give you what I have and follow the path of that donkey into service and love in your kingdom - even if I need to face death - I must follow you - I must not be selfish in any way but give my life to you - lead me and guide me - lead me in relationship to those who are different - who are not Christian - help me to reach out to them in a way that I don’t take revenge but respond in forgiving love and understanding and correction - lead me and use my voice to give your voice of grace and love in our fallen world - let your face shine through me and beyond my sin that others may see you in me and see you clearly and see how it is all about you not me- forgive my sin and let me be happy - for you have saved me and given me life. Amen

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

January 25th Reflection

Tuesday 1/25/2005
Luke 19.1-27- Zacchaeus-a short guy - climbed up a tree so he could see Jesus - Jesus called him down and ate at his house- well Zack was a tax collector and took too much money from people- he was a sinner- the people couldn’t understand why Jesus was fooling with this type of people - but Zachhaeus repented and turned to Jesus - Jesus forgave him and told everyone that the lost are the ones he as come to save and look for -- So Jesus tells a story about a prince in a foreign country to be crowned and then to return - but before he left he called ten servants together and gave them some money - he told them to take the money and use it to earn more until he returns - when the prince got back - two of them did just that - the prince gave them cities to rule - one just kept the money safe- this made the prince mad and he gave this money to one of the others that made something -- God gives gifts - I need to risk investing my gifts in this world for a return for God -- the gift isn’t mine - it is God’s - I need to use what God gives me for God - not keep it safe - but use it for God and for his kingdom -- the return will be great.
Genesis 32-22 - God’s angels meet Jacob- it’s nice to hear about angels- I think we tend to forget about them and not think they are real - Jacob was about to meet Esau - he was afraid of Esau - Jacob sent messengers ahead to talk to Esau - Esau sent four hundred men back in reply - Jacob was afraid these men were sent to attack him - so Jacob sends waves of gifts to greet Esau ahead of his arrival - so that night Jacob wrestles with God -- God wounds Jacobs hip and renames Jacob to Israel -- I wonder if this was Jesus - Jacob came face to face with his fears- Jacob was forced to turn his fear over to God because now Jacob knew that he depended completely on God for safety - and God blessed him - later that day Jacob met Esau- it was a loving reunion - hugging and kissing and crying - Jacob related seeing the face of Esau to seeing the face of God -- I think that’s how forgiveness is - the true happiness is - even with each other - in forgiveness we can see the face of God in each other - forgive each other
Psalm 25 - I offer my heart to God - I trust God - show me your paths and teach me to follow - forgive my sins- I know you will save me
Jesus-Thank you for your saving acts of forgiveness, healing and salvation. Thanks for showing your love.
Deliver me from evil to body and soul
Luke 21.10-19 - You will be persecuted for Christ -- am I still willing to proclaim Jesus as my savior? -- Yes!
Ephesians 2.8-10 - “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God-not the result of works, so that no one my boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.�-- no interpretation needed!
Psalm 111 - Praise God and give him thanks with my whole heart - the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom
Prayer- Jesus - you call me out - you call me down and then you come to me - you join me in the depths of my soul for dinner - you feed me your bread and wine- your body and blood and then send me out - I confess my sin to you and look to you for forgiveness- I wrestle with sin every day - but you graciously forgive me and send me out to meet the fears I have and save me from those fears - in my sin you created a grand reunion with you - I see your face in the love of forgiven friends and neighbors -I see your face in the love of the gifts you shower upon me and you freely deliver me from evil - you freely give me your grace- not in my works but only in your works am I saved - you save me - you come to me -- not by my works - so I can’t boast - it’s all about you - it’s not about me- now send me to do those works that you prepared for me to do so long ago - I’m ready -- thanks for this new life of grace and love. Amen.

Monday, January 24, 2005

January 24th Reflection

Monday 1/24/2005
Luke 18.18-43 - A rich man came to Jesus and wanted to know how he could be into heaven - this man had been obeying the law - was there something else? - Jesus told him to sell everything he had and give it to the poor then come and follow Jesus-- I got to give all to Jesus -- that’s hard -- but in the end - there is no other choice - Jesus then tells the apostles as they are approaching Jerusalem how he will die- Jesus knows what his mission is on earth - but the apostles can’t see this mission or understand it -- but Jesus heals a blind man on the way - this man wanted to see and had faith the Jesus could help him- Jesus healed the man because of his faith -- may I see too?
Genesis 31 - God finally told Jacob it was time to leave Laban - so Jacob gets everything and sneaks off without telling Laban he was leaving -- well - before they left - Rachel took all of Laban’s household idols -- Laban finally catches on the Jacob had left and chases him down - scolds him and searches for his idols -- but Rachel is sitting on them and doesn’t get up because she is on her period- Laban buys the whole story and they set up some rocks and agree to depart from each other and not attack one another in the future - that Laban would really be under my skin by this time!
Psalm 24 - Everything belongs to God- Open the gates of my heart so God can come in
Jesus-Thank you for your saving acts of forgiveness, healing and salvation. Thanks for showing your love.
Don’t let me be drawn into temptation.
Galatians 1.11-24 - “But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him…� -- it was time to go!! -- God came to me before I was born - God saved me- I didn’t save myself by even realizing it -- I just respond to that salvation and go!
Ephesians 1.15-23 - I see faith in others- may the eyes of theirs hearts be enlightened to see hope- to see God’s glorious power - to see this power put to work through themselves and all Christians - and to raise the name of Jesus above all else
Psalm 110 - God-I offer myself willingly to you
Prayer- Lord-It all belongs to you - may I give it all back to you - may I respond and give myself willingly to you - let it happen - cause it’s time to go - you tell the time - you show the way and then I go - all I need to do is respond to your salvation and go -- you did all the saving - use me this week as your servant - show me where, when and how to go - I’m ready. -- Amen

Sunday, January 23, 2005

January 23rd Reflection

Sunday 1/23/2005
Luke 18.1-17 - Keep on praying and never give up - pray to God day and night- just like the widow who was persistent with her requests to the judge in Jesus story- keep on praying - confess your sin in prayer - don’t pray and think you’re all great and stuff - confess your sin in prayer - God will forgive you - be humble - especially before God! - be like a little child - you won’t get into God’s kingdom unless you enter it like a child!
Genesis 29.31-30.43 - God knew Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah - so he gave children to Leah, but not to Rachel-- what’s that about? - cause now Leah is thinking Jacob will love her more than Rachel -- is this a competition or something? - this whole cultural thing does get in the way though -- cause Jacob didn’t want Leah in the first place - so now poor Leah is trying to gain Jacob’s favor- makes you feel sorry for her- so now Rachel is jealous of Leah -- I’m not sure if Jacob cares about Leah anyway yet - boy what a Soap Opera! -- Jacob is mad a Rachel now cause they can’t have children and thinks that Rachel is blaming him- So Rachel gives Jacob her servant to have children with- Jacob has a couple of kids - then Leah wants Jacob to sleep with her servant -- Jacob is just some stud! - then Leah sleeps with Jacob after dealing off some mandrakes that were supposed to give sexual powers to Rachel -- I’ve heard other interpretations of the whole mandrake thing too -- different - but I’m not going there - Finally God let Rachel have a child-- Joseph - Now Jacob decides he is ready to leave Laban and go to his own country - Laban wants Jacob to stay - but Jacob wants to look out for his own family now- so he makes a deal with Laban - Jacob will continue to work for Laban with the spotted or speckled goats and the black lambs--well Laban is rotten- he separates out all the spotted or speckled goats and the black lambs and puts his sons over them and give the rest to Jacob-- well if there are any that aren’t spotted or speckled now they will belong to Laban -- since Jacob doesn’t have any spotted or speckled or black sheep to work with -- Jacob doesn’t stand a chance of building up a flock and what he does build up will belong to Laban -- what a jerk Laban is! -- Jacob figures out that if he peels of the bark from branches and makes the branches look speckled and spotted -- when the sheep and goats drink and mate and see the spotted and speckled branches that they will produce spotted and speckled offspring -- and they do! -- then once he had a few he made the others face in the direction of the spotted or speckled or black sheep and they kept reproducing that way -- now - I don’t have a clue as to how Jacob figured that crap out! - but he sure is getting a studly reputation -- with the women and now with how to get animals to reproduce!
Psalm 23 - God is my shepherd- I don’t need a thing - I need to follow God - he will give me rest - he will protect me when I’m in danger- I don’t need to be afraid of anything - God will fill my cup to overflowing - nothing else can fill my cup but his love
OK-for a Sunday this is a good “Luther� prayer
I do not worship my pastor, but he tells me of a Lord whose name is Christ, and makes him known to me. I will be attentive to listen to his words as long as he leads me to this Master and Teacher who is the Son of God. Amen
God’s always present with his people. Nothing can separate us from Christ.
Forgive my sins Lord as I will on my part heartily forgive and gladly to good to those who sin against me.
Matthew 4.12-23 - When Jesus heard of John the Baptist’s arrest he went from Nazareth to Galilee - Jesus was a great light to the people- and he proclaimed to the people to repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near- Jesus had come down to the people - and as he came to the people he asked some to follow him - and they got up and followed - immediately! -- Jesus comes to me-- I must immediately follow -- he comes inside and takes me out - inside out -- go!-- then Jesus went throughout Galilee proclaiming the good news - healing diseases and teaching -- go out! -- inside out!
Ephesians 1.2-10 - I was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. I was adopted to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely gave me in Jesus. I Jesus I am saved - I am to live for the praise of his glory - It’s not about me - it’s all about God
Psalm 103.8-18 - God is abounding in steadfast love- he does not deal with me according to my sins - nor repay me according to my iniquities - his love is steadfast and he removes my sin - forgives me and has compassion on me- he gets over it real nice- the steadfast love of God is from everlasting to everlasting
Prayer - Jesus - you teach how to pray - you make prayer an all day event - you keep me humble in prayer - even when I get all stubborn and am in need of your forgiveness - you teach me to turn to you in prayer - to repent - to turn around and you forgive me - with you I’m like a child - a little kid - I like this -- then I think of Jacob - all the perseverance he showed with Laban - how you made his life so exciting and interesting - but you were always with him - even in his soap opera of a life- well - I know you will be with me also - you will come to me just like you come to those disciples- you come my way - I’m ready to go -it’s time we go out - to proclaim your gospel message - it’s all about you - I’m ready to serve so it’s time I get over my sin - confess it and accept your forgiveness and go -- cause you chose me to go before I even knew about it -- lead me - guide me- show me the path - protect me and shepherd me your speckled goat! -- Amen

Saturday, January 22, 2005

January 22nd Reflections

Saturday 1/22/2005
Luke 17 - I need to be careful what I do and not cause someone else to sin - forgive those who say they are sorry for their sin - I don’t deserve special thanks for what I do in God’s kingdom - I am merely a servant and doing my duty - thank Jesus for healing - have faith - even if only a little- faith is powerful - God’s kingdom isn’t something you can see -- God’s kingdom is here with you - when God calls-Go!-don’t look back-just go!- you can’t save yourself-only God can-so go!- I’m only going to know the “where� and the “when� of the second coming , after it has occurred -- so just be ready now and don’t worry about the “where� or the “when� -- the kingdom will come- yea-- but it has already come in Jesus and is here now with me-- so -- go already!- get over it! - quit goofing off!
Genesis 29.1-30 - Jacob meets his cousin Rachel at a well for watering sheep - Jacob kisses Rachel and gets excited- I don’t think in that way - but maybe -- anyway Jacob goes to live with Uncle Laban - all goes well and Laban wants to pay Jacob for his work-- so I guess you have to get into the culture of the day thing now- Jacob wants to be paid with Rachel as his wife - so Laban makes Jacob work seven years for her - that time flew by for Jacob- so Laban had a big feast - so Laban sends Leah into the tent at night with Jacob - I guess it must have been dark!- cause Jacob apparently does the “wild� thing with Leah and finds out in the morning that it was Leah and not Rachel!-- makes you wonder how much Jacob had to drink at the feast of a party-the Hebrew word for feast is mishteh - which means drinking party- so there you go!-also it‘s ironic that Leah‘s the older sister is helped by her father-just like Jacob the younger brother was helped by his mother- so Jacob wants to know why Laban tricked him- so Laban tells Jacob some crap about how in his country the older girl gets married first -hmm! --sounds like some other tradition that I’m sure Jacob was familiar with on father’s blessings- seems like that would be something Laban would have clued Jacob in on seven years ago -- but now he can have Rachel for another seven years of work-- what a swindler!- but at least he got Rachel up front and then worked the seven years- then they all started reproducing like a bunch of rabbits- that is Jacob- Leah-and the servant girls -- man- what more could a guy ask for!- a whole bunch of women wanting to have his kids-ayyy- I jumped ahead there
Psalm 22 - Oh - this one is the Maundy Thursday one- Jesus passion is all over this one - how mean can I be to my Savior? - “The Lord has saved us!� -- notice Lord is not LORD - it’s now Jesus! -- one in and of the same as LORD- yea Jesus is all over this Psalm- am I willing to be too?- Yes! - Thanks be to God!
I like this Luther prayer:
Dear heavenly Father, say something. I will gladly remain silent and be a child and a learner. If I should rule the church with my own knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, I would have been sunk long ago. Therefore, dear God, you guide and direct it. I will gladly forsake my point of view and understanding and let you rule alone through your Word. Amen.
God’s always present with his people. Nothing can separate us from Christ.
Give me today the daily bread of your Word that I may feast on it!
1 Corinthians 1.10-18 - be united in the same mind and same purpose-belong to Jesus and no one else- the message of the cross is the power of God for those being saved
Colossians 4.2-6 - Devote yourself to prayer -keep alert in it with thanksgiving- make the most of time- it’s a gift from God that can’t be returned
Psalm 107.1-16 - Thank God for his everlasting steadfast love
Prayer - Lord- It’s time - I can hear you call - as I listen to your Word - I can hear your call - your kingdom is here and now - yea - you’re going to return but that’s your time - now - your kingdom is here and now - it’s time to move - it’s time to go - give me the faith I need- give me that mustard seed - let me play with just that mustard seed and go! -- cause it’s time - it’s time to go from the inside out - it’s time - it’s time to work another seven years - it’s time to receive your blessing and work another seven years in your kingdom - then watch what you have in store -- the kingdom will multiply like crazy -- it’s time to go - I’m ready to suffer the pain if need be - look how you took it all on for me in your passion - your suffering - your death - all for me -- so yea- it’s time to go now- it’s time to be united with you in one purpose and in one mind and to take the daily bread of life you freely offer and feed on it and go! -- it’s time to go! - as I go - hear my prayer- feel my thanksgiving and love and praise - but for now -- it’s time to go! -- Amen

Friday, January 21, 2005

January 21st Reflection

Friday 1/21/2005
Luke 16 - So Jesus tells a story about this manager that finds out he is about to be fired- this guy gets with all his customers and tells them to mark down their bills - this way the manager would be accepted in the homes of his customers after he is fired - he was looking out for his own skin- his boss actually praised him for being so clever -- but the point was that Jesus wants us to serve God and only God -- if we are so busy looking after ourselves we are actually serving ourselves and not God -- Same thing with money - we can get wrapped up with making ourselves look good with money that we loose track of what is important -- Serving God is important -- not watching out for ourselves above serving God - So another story about a guy that had it made here on earth and a poor guy named Lazarus -- after they died the rich guy went to hell and Lazarus was in heaven - the rich guy wanted the poor guy to dip his finger into some water and touch his tongue with it since he was in such pain- Lazarus couldn’t do this cause there was a deep chasm between them - so the rich guy wanted someone to warn his brothers so that they wouldn’t end up in hell -- well no - that couldn’t be done either-- they have to listen to the prophets and believe themselves -- listen - read the Word - believe!
Genesis 27.46-28-22 - So Isaac calls Jacob in - he doesn’t want Jacob marrying women outside like Esau did -- So Isaac tells Jacob to take one of his cousins as his wife - Esau got word of how Isaac didn’t like how he had married the Canaanite women - so he married Ishamel’s daughter Mahalath. - So now Jacob is on his way - he goes to sleep with a rock as his pillow and has a dream - there is a ladder to heaven and angels are going up and down this ladder - God tells Jacob about giving him the land and having descendants - just like he did Isaac and Abraham -- Jacob know this place- this rock and the dream were special and worships God -- God gives wisdom to Jacob - even through rocks- God gives wisdom through Jesus the rock.
Psalm 21 - Be glad - God is near - trust in God - God rescued me - sing and praise God’s power
God’s always present with his people. Nothing can separate us from Christ.
Strengthen my faith and keep me firm in your Word as long as I live
Isaiah 9.1-4 - Come out of the dark and walk in the light of Jesus love and salvation - it’s time to be happy!
Colossians 3.12-17 - Clothe me with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience - Abolve all, clothe me with love - let Jesus peace and Word live in me - may I prasie and sing to God and be happy for all he does
Psalm 75.1-9 - Thank you God!
Prayer- jesus- you have kept it straight for me - it’s not about money - it’s not about wealth - it’s about my relationship with you - it’s about your healing from the inside out - it’s about your salvation from the inside out - it’s about you being so close - so near - right next to me and with me in and through it all - it’s about you coming down that ladder - in a dream - but even more than a dream - for in reality you are here - it’s about you who come across that great chasm and show me your salvation - show me the pain you suffered for me to heal me and save me from sin and death - it’s about you- nothing can separate us - it’s about the compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience you show me - up close - in my face - send me out with your great example of love - it’s about that love - send me out with your love to the world you place me in to show that love to all -- it’s all about healing inside out - it’s time now to send me out --- Amen

Thursday, January 20, 2005

January 20th Reflection

Thursday 1/20/2005
Luke 15 - Being lost then found -- God comes to me - in Jesus -- at the very point I am lost - at the very point my sins cause me to run from God - Jesus comes to me - rescues me - finds me - invites me to return - to change - to accept forgiveness of my sins -- then celebrates my return - how much love can one show?- how great is the love of Christ!
Genesis 27.1-45 - So - Rebekah and Jacob deceive Isaac -- Jacob pretends to be his brother Esau and receives Esau’s blessing -- he puts on Esau’s clothes - so that when Isaac smells Jacob he thinks he is smelling Esau - Jacob uses fur to make his hands and arms hairy -- but for some reason - this is as God intended things to be
Psalm 20 - I am certain that God will answer my prayers and will save me- I trust in God
God’s always present with his people. Nothing can separate us from Christ.
Send your Holy Spirit that by your grace I may believe your holy Word.
Psalm 27.1, 4-9 - God is my light - I will seek his protection and comfort and put all my trust in him - I stare at the beauty of God in awe
Colossians 3.1-11 - Set my mind on things that are above not on things that are on earth
Psalm 43 - Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God
Prayer - Lord - sometimes I get lost - sometimes I get separated from you - find me - forgive me and allow me to return to your favor - show me the right path to take - show me the right thing to do - give me your blessing as I put all my trust and hope in you. For only in you can I find protection and comfort and salvation. I can’t wander off and save myself - it just doesn’t work -- I thank you for coming to me - for finding me and for changing me - for sending me out to work in your kingdom- set me mind on you and on your will. It’s such a joy to be found and loved. -- Amen

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

January 19th Reflection

Wednesday 1/19/2005
Luke 14.25-35 -- Make Jesus my first priority- I must be willing to give everything to Jesus - even my life to follow him and be willing to suffer with him - prepare myself - plan to follow and be of value in God’s kingdom - it’s the most important thing
Genesis 26 - Seems like we go back a little here - but Isaac is wandering around and meets up with Abimelech -- I’ll bet Abimelech thought this family had some sister fettish or something -- this is just too weird -- father now son -- anyway Isaac is worried about Rebekah- he was afraid someone might kill him to get to her - so he tells everyone that Rebekah is his sister --Well King Abimelech happens to see Isaac kissing on Rebekah -- So Abimelech scolds Isaac for lying about his wife and tells everyone - This whole part makes you wonder about some of the stories in the Bible - If the people passing them along didn’t get them screwed up as to who did what -- it’s the same story as Abraham and Sarah earlier -- So Isaac did well for himself- Abimelech sent Isaac away but later made peace with him since Isaac became so rich and powerful - then a little blurb about Esau getting married to women outside his race.
Psalm 19 - God’s teachings last forever and are perfect - they give wisdom - it makes the heart glad and give me light - forgive me when I sin -forgive my faults - don’t let sin control my life - Let my words and my thoughts be pleasing to you- my rock and protector
God’s always present with his people. Nothing can separate us from Christ.
May I keep God’s name holy by teaching his Word in truth and purity and living in harmony with the Word
Psalm 18.1-6, 16-19 - I love you LORD - Pray to God for salvation - God will reach down to you and pull you up from the drowning waters of your sin and save you
Colossians 2.18-23 - Look to God’s values -- hold them high above any human values that exist
Psalm 40.1-8 - Wait patiently for God - he will save you - trust in God - praise God - God will make you happy - listen to God and do his will
Prayer - Jesus- you give me a cross to carry - you give me priorities in life- help me keep it all straight - help me to put the emphasis in my life on you - where it belongs - take my life and use it this day for your will - for your way - forgive me when I sin - forgive me when I try to cover for myself - for I must trust only in you - and look to your values and wait for your instruction on what to do this day in your kingdom. Lead me I pray - protect me and let me be a part of your kingdom. Amen

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

January 18th Reflection

Tuesday 1/18/2005
Luke 14.1-24 - Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath -- Jesus questioned the Pharisees and teachers if what he did was right or not - but they didn’t respond this time - Jesus healing is always good - through and in the healing he saves us don’t put yourself above others in places of honor - be humble and you will be honored -- be kind to the poor, crippled, lame and blind and don’t expect payment for helping - but bring them honor - for they are Christ - those that have all they need now won’t be thankful for the feast God has prepared for us in Jesus -- invite the poor, crippled, lame and blind -- they will be happy and glad to come to the feast - don’t put myself above others - for these people are right - they have the heart of God in them - God is God and his feast is the feast to go to - that feast in Jesus
Genesis 25 - Abraham got remarried and had more kids -- it’s funny -- he didn’t make a big deal about having more kids with a different wife- and he must have been much older now than when God was telling Abraham and Sarah they were going to have children --Abraham is buried next to Sarah - they tell of the twelve sons of Ishmael - then Ishmael died - Isaac wanted children with Rebekah - Rebekah had twins - the twins were fighting each other - even in Rebekah’s womb - the first baby was covered with red hair - Esau - the second baby grabbed the heal of the first - Jacob - Esau was a Daddy’s boy and Jacob was a Mommy’s boy - Esau was out hunting and came in hungry - Jacob had fixed some stew -- Jacob bargained off some stew for the birthrights of Esau -- Esau took the bait cause he was hungry -- God chose me - I can’t give that up for any human satisfaction - I must believe in my baptism - rejoice in it and serve God in his kingdom - not out of some command or because I think I can repay - but because I’m happy for what God has done fore me - there’s a big difference there
Psalm 18 - Love God - he makes me strong - he is my protector and my rock and my shield - Praise God - He answers prayers - God comes down in power and might to save me - he lifts me up from deep within my ocean - he saves me because he loves me - God keeps the lamp burning in me - his lamp - not mine - his way is perfect - his Word is correct - he will build me up - make me stand - let me run like a deer - he will show me the path to run - God is the living God - praise him - honor God - I will love God forever
God’s always present with his people. Nothing can separate us from Christ.
Pray to God in complete confidence -- he is your Daddy
Matthew 16.13-19 - Jesus is the Messiah!!
Colossians 2.12-17 - I am alive because of Jesus!
Psalm 95.1-7 - make a joyful nose to God -the rock of salvation - God is my God and I am his
Prayer - Today Lord I think about the Church - how you started it - how you gave the gifts to all your chosen to go out and spread the news of what you have done for us through Jesus - how Peter stood up and proclaimed that you are the Messiah - you save - I can’t save myself or anyone else - only you save - you heal - I can’t heal myself or anyone else - only you heal - you are god - I must go out and tell the world of what you have done for me - of how you come down to me - of how you come to me and save me - of how personal you are to me - of how you love me - I must must go out and tell - I must must go out and love the world and look at how you did things and go out to those same people you loved and love them with your love and show them your love and live it and give it all to you - I must must - not because by my musts I will earn your favor -- buy because of what you have done for me and all of us -- because it makes me happy happy happy -- I gotta go now! --- Amen

Monday, January 17, 2005

January 17th Reflections

Monday 1/17/2005
Luke 13.18-35 - God’s kingdom - seeds and small things that grow exponentially -- makes me like infant baptism even more- may all of us grow infants and adults both in God’s kingdom - work in God’s kingdom - respond to his love - so that you know God and God knows you - get close - don’t be afraid - Jesus wasn’t afraid - don’t be afraid to get close to God - actually God is close to you -- feel that closeness and rejoice
Genesis 24 - Abraham is old - he needs to find a wife for his son Isaac -- he doesn’t want Isaac to have a wife from the people that he is staying with - so he sends one of his servants back to his family to find a wife for Isaac -- the servant prays to God for a sign as to which woman should be Isaac’s wife while he is at a well -- Rebekah is the one chosen-- she agrees to return to the land that Isaac is living in to be his wife-- all of this takes faith - on everyone’s part -- but God works it out for good- and God does all the choosing - hmmm!
Psalm 17 - God knows my heart
God’s always present with his people. Nothing can separate us from Christ.
Our Father - Give-Forgive-Save-the Glory is Yours
1 Corinthians 10.1-5 - We all drink from that same spiritual rock - Jesus - I’m thirsty!!
Colossians 2.1-10 - Stay focused on Jesus - don’t let some other philosophy or idea take over
Psalm 8 - God is majestic - what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.
Prayer - Lord, today I think of your kingdom - how you enlarge yourself in me - how you come to me and feed me that wonderful daily bread - that wine of salvation and teach me -- you show me my sins and forgive my sins - I bring today before you my sins and ask you to forgive me - to turn me around - to change me and to take my life and use it in your kingdom - for you know my heart - you know what is good for me - you choose me just like you chose Abraham, Rebekah and all your children - reveal to me today what you want me to do - what purpose you have in mind for me - this day - here and now and I will follow - may I keep my focus on Jesus - for it’s all about you -- I love you. ---- Amen

Sunday, January 16, 2005

January 16th Reflection

Sunday 1/16/2005
Luke 13.1-17 - If I don’t turn back to God - I will die- God doesn’t kill people with disasters- that’s just stuff that happens- but I must turn back to God or I will die - I must produce fruit from the faith I have in Jesus - otherwise my faith is dead - heal on the Sabbath - it’s ok -- look at the great healing Jesus did on the Sabbath - what an example!! -- Jesus healed the world and all of us from sin
Genesis 23 - Sarah died and Abraham bought some land and a cave to bury her in - they wanted to give Abraham the land but Abraham wouldn’t have that and bought the land fair and square
Psalm 16 - Every good think I have is a gift from you - your people make me happy - You, LORD, are all I want! - you make my life pleasant, and my future bright - you guide me - you teach me - I will always look to you- your protect me- I can safely rest - with all my heart I will celebrate and praise you - yo chose me - you have shown me the path to life - I will always be joyful
O Father of all mercy and God of all comfort, strengthen and uphold me by your Spirit. You command that we should wait on him until the reason for our trials shall appear. For you do not for your own pleasure permit us to be tortured and grieved. In fact, you do not permit any evil to be done unless you can make it serve a good purpose. You see my distress and weakness. Therefore you will help and deliver me. Amen.
God makes me special. Through my baptism I am called to ministry in his kingdom. God is proud of me and sends me out with his message of love and salvation.
Teach me to pray
John 1.29-42 - Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! -- I myself don’t know him - but he is the one! - I will testify that Jesus is the One!! -- “Look, here is the Lamb of God!� - follow him-- Yell it out - use the exclamation point !!!!! -- Jesus is God - Jesus is life-- Believe and trust in his grace and forgiveness-- Here is the Lamb of God!!!!!
Colossians 1.21-28 - become a servant of the church - make the Word of God fully known - reveal the mystery of Jesus saving grace - proclaim Christ - loud and clear!
Psalm 105.1-4 -Give thanks to God -call on his name - make know his deeds among the people -sing to God - Praise God - tell of all his wonderful works - let your heart rejoice - seek God and his strength continually -- remember his wonderful works- his miracles
Prayer- Jesus - you heal - even on the Sabbath you heal - your love is so great that you straighten us out on the petty rules we make and lead us in your purpose - you heal and give strength - you keep it all honest and up front - I think of the times that Abraham lied about Sarah - but you healed - his last transaction for Sarah’s burial was an honest one - yea - I see how you heal - your healing makes me thankful - your healing makes me happy - your healing is forever - you have healed all of us in your life, death and resurrection - may I proudly and loudly proclaim your healing to the world - use the exclamation point all over the place - for you heal and the world needs to know it - the world needs to accept it - the world needs to believe it -- I will always sing and praise you and tell the world how you heal -- you heal! You heal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -- thanks be to God! -- Amen

Friday, January 14, 2005

January 15th Reflection

Saturday 1/15/2005
Luke 12.32-59 - Keep your lamps burning - as soon as he comes to the door and knocks - open it for him - he wants to play - you don’t know when Jesus will get the notion to want to come over and play - I am like a servant to God - I must be willing and ready at all times to serve - and if God comes I want to be found serving others at that time
Genesis 22 - Ever notice how much is in common with Jesus crucifixion and this passage - Isaac arrived at the site on a donkey - Abraham had Isaac carry the wood on Isaac’s shoulder- they walked to the site- where is the lamb for sacrifice? - God will provide the lamb - ultimately God does in his son Jesus - Abraham tied up his son Isaac and put him on the wood - sounds just like the cross - then when it came time to sacrifice Isaac - God stopped the whole thing - God knew that Abraham had trust and faith in him and only him -- what a demonstration of faith - I think Abraham’s faith is an example for me to truly trust in God and have faith - even to giving my life up for God -- then God did exactly that for me in giving Jesus to me -- thanks be to God!
Psalm 15 - Treat others fairly and don’t say cruel things - keep your promises
Dear God, you have overwhelmed us with many setbacks and have enables us clearly to see your wrath, Stop afflicting us now, dear God, for you have mortified us long enough and sufficiently weighed and burdened and humiliated us. Graciously face us again and assure us how gentle and merciful you are, that we may comfort and quiet our troubled hearts. Amen
God makes me special. Through my baptism I am called to ministry in his kingdom. God is proud of me and sends me out with his message of love and salvation.
I believe that I cannot by my own understanding or effort believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him -- but He comes to me -- Thanks be to God!
Luke 6.20-36 - God will take care of me - no matter what the circumstance -- and all the blessings he gives is way beyond what I need or deserve - I shall respond likewise to others
Colossians 1.13-20 - Jesus created the visible and invisible - all things are reconciled through Jesus and his blood of his cross
Psalm 2 - God sits in heaven and laughs - Take refuge in God and be happy
Prayer - Lord - today you come to me - you tell me to keep my lamp burning cause you are coming to visit - I’m waiting and ready - give me all the faith I need - let me look to Abraham and see the deep faith he has for you - give me this faith - for I’m so thankful for the sacrifice you put in my place of Jesus - I know that you take care of me -- just look at what you already did on that altar and wood years ago - you took care of my ultimate need and forgave me -- forgive me today - renew me - restore me and send me out - for you are the creator of all things and give life to all things - put your life in me and let me laugh and be happy this day as we go out together. --- Amen

January 14th Reflection

Friday 1/14/2005
Luke 12.1-31 - The crowd around Jesus was so big that they were stepping on each other - reminds me of the confusion and mass of people at the “Who� concert -- then in this crowd Jesus warns the people of dishonest teachers and how God knows everything and sees everything. -- don’t be afraid of people - people can kill you but that is nothing - God is the one I must fear - he can not only kill me but he can throw me into hell --and this is good to think about - even though it seems harsh - sometimes because of fear we are more paralyzed by people and fail to act especially in the way God would want us to act -- so act out for God -- when in a situation that you have to decide between the safety of doing something for “people� that is opposed to what God wants you to do -- be more afraid of God than the people -- and act in accordance to God’s will -- don’t be afraid - God will take care of you - it’s good to tell others that I belong to God - don’t be afraid to say this - be proud of it - don’t deny God just to be popular with “people� -- never speak against the Holy Spirit- you cannot be forgiven - this one was always a little strange to me -- because right before this Jesus said that if you speak against him you could be forgiven -- don’t be greedy - owning a bunch of stuff - won’t make your life safe - don’t store up everything for yourself and be poor in the sight of God -- it’s God’s stuff to begin with - don’t worry about your life - about having something to eat or wear - life is more than that - the whole idea here is to learn to trust in God - God will take care of all my needs - but I must learn to lay all my trust in God - it’s not as easy as it sounds -- but if I don’t lay all my trust in God -then I sin - cause by not trusting God - I must think I can trust in myself- becoming more like God -- and God is God - I can’t make myself God- so I must trust in God.
Genesis 21 - So Sarah finally has a son - when Abraham was 100 years old -- whew! -- they named him Isaac and he was circumcised -- when he was old enough to quit nursing - Abraham threw a party - so Sarah sees Hagar and Ishmael and gets to thinking that if they are around they may inherit some of Abraham’s stuff- so Sarah tells Abraham to run them off -- Abraham didn’t want to do this - he loved his wife and child too -- but God told Abraham it was ok -- that God would take care of them - go ahead and listen to Sarah and do as she asked -- so Abraham does- Hagar and Ishmael are in the desert and run out of water - Hagar begins to cry - God hears Ishmael cry and rescues them - shows Hagar a well - and Ishmael grows up strong and marries an Egyptian woman - it all works out for them because they trusted in God - remember Abimelech? -- he is the king that Abraham told Sarah was his sister and Abimelech almost slept with Sarah -- well Abimelech noticed how God blessed everything that Abraham did -- so Abimelech made a promise with Abraham that all his descendants would be loyal to him and they would live in peace together -- they now were allies and friends even though Abraham had lied to Abimelech earlier.
Psalm 14 - Only a fool would say, “There is no God!� - I only have to think of all the blessing God has given and shown to me to be convinced that there - without a doubt - it a God.
God makes me special. Through baptism I am called to ministry in his kingdom. God is proud of me and sends me out with his message of love and salvation.
I believe in Jesus - at great cost he saved me - a lost and condemned person - not with silver and gold but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death.
1 Corinthians 1.1-9 - I give thanks to God for you- for you are a saint
Colossians 1.3-8 - I thank God for you in my prayers
Psalm 33.1-11 - Praise God with music - music of all kinds - for the Word of the LORD is upright
Prayer- Lord - today I come to you in that crowd - seeking healing and comfort and your salvation - we stumble over each other tying to get to you - but there is no need for this - for you have come to me - you have come to me to give me so much more than healing - you have come to me with your salvation - you have shown me the way to the well of water that saves me -that life-giving water of baptism - may I relive my baptism each day - and go out from myself this day to minister to all those I come in contact with - for I must trust in you - you will take care of all my needs and care for me beyond my wants and desires -- I give you thanks and praise with all I have- thanks for all my friends and those you have given to me and thanks most of all for that special friend in Jesus you sent to me -- Thanks be to God! -- Amen

Thursday, January 13, 2005

January 13th Reflection

Thursday 1/13/2005
Luke 11.29-54 - So the people of Jesus day had Jesus to listen to and still didn’t turn from their sins - Jesus said this was worse - much worse that when the people of Ninevah listened to Jonah and repented -- yet these people have Jesus the Savior talking to them -- and I today have this Word here in front of me -- I must listen - repent - and turn to God for salvation - listen - listen - read - read - understand! -- “Be sure your light isn’t darkness.� -- reminds me of the baptismal candle -- make sure you take that candle - the light of Jesus love out into the world and display it boldly and proudly so others can see Jesus light through me and know that the light of Jesus is there - available and given to all who will receive it! -- Jesus lets the Pharisees and Teachers have it-- they were acting all high and mighty but not living it - not cleaning up on the inside- being phony about it all -- I need to really think about my sin - see it - smell it- repent and ask forgiveness- and be eternally thankful for the gift of grace God has given me through Jesus life, death and resurrection. -- It’s a huge-huge thing - and I gotta make sure I‘m clean throughout-way deep inside where the love of Jesus resides-- and not something to take and just be nicey nicey good little Christian boy about!- cause then I’m not different than the Pharisees Jesus was talking to.
Genesis 20 - Abraham has a real hang-up with fearing rulers -- here he tells everyone in Gerar that Sarah is his sister again - so King Abimelech has Sarah and God spoke to the king in a dream and kept him from sleeping with Sarah -- well this kinda ticked the king off -- he sent Sarah back -- Abraham was stretching the truth on the whole deal cause Sarah was his half-sister -- same father-different mothers-- I’m still not sure how a feel about all that -- but maybe the choices were pretty limited since they were a wandering people as a family -- so I guess -- what are you going to do?? -- half-sister it is!! -- So Abimelech gave Abraham a bunch of stuff and sent him off- promising to Abraham some land he could use. --You know Abraham almost really fouled things up here - if Abimelech would have slept with Sarah and she had his child -- then what of Abraham’s promised child -- it would put a wrinkle in the whole thing -- but God pulls it our for Abraham - pulls Abraham out of the soup -- and reveals in a dream to the king who Sarah really is -- God saves me from my crappy messes all the time!
Psalm 13 - God-- make my eyes sparkle again! -- I trust your love and feel like celebrating because of you. You are good to me and I will sing about you!
Dear God, I am your creature. You have sent me a cross and suffering, saying to me: Suffer a little for my sake and I will reward you well. Dear God, because it is your will I will gladly suffer. Amen
God makes me special. Through my baptism I am called to ministry in his kingdom. God is proud of me and sends me out with his message of love and salvation.
God created me and takes care of me - though I do not deserve it - God does it anyway and I thank him!
Isaiah 49.1-7 - God called me before I was born - I am his servant - I am to let Jesus light shine to all the nations -- God chose me -- now do it!
Philippians 4.14-23 - You have sent me a fragrant offering - of love - and it’s pleasing to God
Psalm 27 - Jesus is my light and salvation - I need not fear - “One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.� - Wait for God and be strong
Prayer- Jesus - you come to me today - you come to my door and tell me - hey - listen to me - I’m the real deal - I’m the one you are looking for - but guess what - I have come to you - and I want you to come with me - come outside your house there and play - let’s go out to those high and mighty and talk some plain language to them - let’s go out and show the world that turning from sin isn’t all that hard - cause Jesus comes to the world - Jesus did all the hard stuff- Jesus died on the cross for me and the world and rescued us from the punishment that we all deserved -- now I must run out and play - I must tell all that I see how Jesus love and saving grace is available to all - for nothing but a believing heart - I want to give myself to Jesus - to serve in his kingdom - cause he did all the hard stuff - he did the hard stuff so now I can play with him and friends - run and laugh and return thanks and serve in joy and happiness- hmmm-- Jesus took my crappiness and has turned it into happiness - He took my lies and my sin and straightened the whole thing out for me -- he became that wonderful fragrance of everlasting life for me - he let me smell his wonderful fragrance of love so that I could spread it throughout my world - to those I reach today - now - hey Jesus and you other guys -- let’s go play then we’ll go over to Jesus house for a while and stay and pray and sing and have a blast! -- How about it? --- Amen

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

January 12th Reflection

Wednesday 1/12/2005
Luke 11.1-28 - It looks like to me that the disciples were watching Jesus do all this praying stuff- like he would stay up all night - and they were probably wondering - well -what’s all that about? -- I can sorta see why -- it doesn’t seem like you hear that much about people praying in the Old Testament - so that makes you wonder - was this praying thing a Jesus thing? - if people weren’t used to it -- then it’s no wonder that the disciples would be curious - the more I think about it now - the more curious it is making me - even now -- so the disciples ask Jesus -- hey! -- how do you do that prayer thing -- then Jesus gives them the Lord’s Prayer -- well for today that’s all fine and dandy -- but I think many many people miss the point today -- they took the Lord’s Prayer and prettified it and everyone memorized it and now every Sunday there are all these people that stand in church and recite the Lord’s Prayer without even a thought about what they are even saying -- even people who don’t go to church know the Lord’s Prayer and mumble out the words but don’t have a clue as to what they are saying or why they are even saying it -- I don’t think that’s what Jesus intended when he gave those disciples the Lord’s Prayer -- I think Jesus wants us to learn to pray more than to just teach us a prayer -- and that’s what people are missing today - many take the easy way out -- they just learn a prayer -- and maybe that’s a good way to start - but you can’t get stuck there the rest of your life -- like at “Now I lay me down to sleep� -- or “Come Lord Jesus be our guest� -- you have to move on and learn how to pray -- so take the Lord’s Prayer and look at what is said and how to do it rather than memorizing words -- then go from there - prayer is so much more than what we tend to do today --then Jesus tells a story of a guy that visit’s a friend and needs some food to entertain a guest -- guests back then were a big deal and it was expected that you show your guest honor and treat them well -- well maybe your friend says no at first - the point is to be persistent - keep on asking - reminds me of a Gary Smalley tape - ask-search-knock -- you are really blessed if you hear and obey God’s message

Genesis 19 - This chapter disgusts me on many levels -- So a couple of angels come to Sodom -- visit with Lot - the angels wanted to stay in the city square- but Lot talked them into staying with him- Lot fed them and then every man in Sodom came and stood outside Lot’s house -- every man? -- they all wanted to have sex with two angels? - so Lot offers up his daughters -- and like it’s some bonus -- tells them they are virgins! - that these men can do what they want with them -- but don’t harm his guests! -- this whole thing is crazy!!! -- all these people including Lot really irritate me! -- the only ones who don’t are the daughters - even the angels -- why aren’t they saying something now? - aren’t they God’s messengers? -- well it was not time for the angels to talk - it was time for them to act -- so they struck all those men blind so none of them could even find the door - then told Lot to gather up his family and stuff and “get the hell out of Dodge� -- or Sodom really - seems like that is a common message in the Bible -- well not exactly in those words- Well some of Lot’s family thought he was joking about getting out and laughed at him - so the next morning comes and Lot is still goofing off - the angels tell him again to get out -- Lot stands there like some idiot - the angels finally take him by the hand and drag him outside the city and tell Lot, his wife and two daughters to run!- Lot’s pissing me off again here -- I can hear this whining -- can’t we just run to this nearby town? -- so the angels tell him- ok - get going - that’s ok -- at least the angels probably thought - well we got Lot to do a little something for himself -- I’m not so sure Lot deserved to be saved! - so Lot’s wife looks back - that’s enough of that -- they were told over and over just to get out and she still had to look back at Sodom being destroyed- so Lot’s wife turns into a block of salt -- like the blockhead she is - ok - so I was hard on Lot - but sometimes I’m like Lot - God gives a message - I don’t want to hear it - I don’t want to do it - so I put it off - I fool around with the message - I don’t act on it - I goof around with it -- but in many cases - God loves me enough to send angels to get me up off my butt and move -- I need forgiveness for times I get like that - but at some point enough is enough -- why do I keep looking back at Sodom - at how it used to be -- longing for some direction other that the direction God wants me to run -- I need to recognize when it’s time to listen to God and when it’s time to run like hell and do his work in his kingdom -- that’s about what Lot was doing -- running like hell - away from hell - away from his old life of sin - to a new life with God -- it’s time to run like hell! -- So now Lot was afraid to stay in Zoar - so he goes to live in a cave -- what a provider Lot is! - so more disgusting stuff-- so Lot’s daughters are living in a cave -- well where are the men? -- it’s not right to leave these young women so separated with the world that their lust build up -- so they get their dad drunk and have sex with him! -and through Lot and his daughter’s children come the Moabites and the Ammonites. -- What a disgusting chapter in the Bible!

Psalm 12 - God will protect me from people who strut around thinking they are something and mistreat others.

God makes me special. Through my baptism I am called to ministry in his kingdom. God is proud of me and sends me out with his message of love and salvation.

I believe in Father-Creator-Son-Creator-Spirit-Creator-Life

Psalm 40.1-12 - Wait on God - he will pull you out of the pit and put your feet on Rock - the Rock will make you secure- then you will praise God and sing - people will see all this - they will see what God has done for you and they will believe in God and trust God - and we all will be happy - we will multiply - and tell more and more people of God’s wondrous deed of love through Jesus graceful-giving act of salvation- and we won’t sacrifice stuff and animals to God but will gladly give ourselves and our lives in service and love to Him for all God has done for us - and Jesus will dwell within my heart- but his saving grace will not hide in our heart but will burst forth in joy to the world proudly proclaimed through me and no evil will overtake God

Philippians 4.10-13 - Learn the secret of being hungry, being well fed, feeling pain, feeling joy -- in all these things rejoice in God -- he will strengthen and take care of me

Ecclesiastes 3.1-8 - there is a time for everything -- I feel like singing!

Prayer- Jesus - my friend - you teach me how to pray - you set an example before me- you show me how deep prayer can be - how to talk to God - how to feel the closeness of God - how to listen - but also I need to pray to know when it is time to answer the door - to go out and run - to act on the things you have given me to do - to know what time it is - to know that there is a time for everything under the Son - and to trust in you - to not look back - but to look forward to they way you point me - to not look back at the evil I desire but to look in your direction and focus on you and take your hand as you sometimes drag me out of that sinful city I live in - but then I gotta run on my own - and I gotta let you live in me - I gotta give my life to you - give my mouth to you - give myself to others so that they can see all that you have done for me - so I can run out and tell all about your saving grace - show me today the times for me to do this - show me today the times I need to listen - show me the times I need to keep my big mouth shut - show me the time I need to open my big mouth and let your Word burst forth - I hear your knock at the door - It’s time to go out and play -- hey! - let’s run!! -- Amen

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

January 11th Reflection

Tuesday 1/11/2005
Luke 10.21-42 -- Jesus was thankful that God decided to reveal his secret to the humble people of the day - the plain ol people -- I’m happy about that too! - So an expert in the Law of Moses stands up and asks Jesus what he must do to have eternal life - Jesus turns it back on him - what do the scriptures say -- well it’s all about loving God and each other - so who are the each others - or neighbors? - then Jesus tells a story about a man robbed and beaten that needed help- half dead on the side of the road- all these people passed by that should have known better and helped the guy -- but a Samaritan stopped and helped the guy -- well Samaritan’s weren’t thought highly of from the Jews - even though they really are Jews -- they are the northern tribes of Israel -- they broke away from David and Jerusalem and set up their own temple in their own city - well to the Jews in Judah - this was a big thing - so these Jews didn’t get along with each other and grew to hate each other- so this Samaritan was the real neighbor - and so was the guy on the road - they both needed to show love to each other- the love of God in action! - Then the Martha - Mary story -- Martha is running around doing stuff but Mary is spending time with Jesus-- I like both of them - I think the point is not that one way is a better way to act than another- but that there are times when we run around with Jesus and there are times when we sit and listen - I need to figure out which time to do which - and not run around worrying about stuff when I need to listen - figure out which time to do which
Genesis 18 - So Abraham is visited by three people - one of them is God - Abraham prepares a meal for them - Sarah makes it all and it is served - Abraham is told that by this time next year he will have a son through Sarah - Sarah overheard and laughed - God asked Abraham why Sarah laughed - this scared Sarah and she lied and told God that she didn’t laugh - but God knows better and said “Yes, you did!� -- God was heading towards Sodom to see if it was as evil as he thought - God was going to destroy the city if it was- but Abraham knew Lot and his family were there - so Abraham goes through this whole bargaining thing with God to save the good people among the wicked and convinces God not to destroy the city or at least the good people in the city but spare them.-this whole passage and the one in the new testament on the transfiguration - strangely seem familiar to another story I’m aware of where Jesus and a couple of other people come to the front door to visit.
Psalm 11- What can an honest person do when everything crumbles? -- trust in God! - God tests honest people
God makes me special. Through my baptism I am called to ministry in his kingdom. God is proud of me and sends me out with his message of love and salvation.
I believe-I believe- I believe
Mark 1.14-28 - Repent and believe in the good news - Leave it all and follow Jesus - Listen to Jesus teachings - Jesus will take the unclean spirit from you
Philippians 4.8-9 - Do those things seen in Jesus
Psalm 45.1-7 - Ride on in majesty!
Prayer- Oh Jesus- I give you thanks for coming to me - I’m not wise or educated but just a plain ol guy - thanks for revealing yourself to me - thanks for telling me the story of caring and loving for others - show me when to scurry around today in your service and when to stop and listen to your teaching - come to me at that door - invite me out to play and let’s talk a while as we walk around town today- today I repent of my sins and ask your forgiveness that I may leave it all and follow you - take my unclean spirit from me and release me in your Spirit to serve you and proclaim your message in your kingdom. --- Amen

Monday, January 10, 2005

January 10th Reflections

Monday 1/10/2005
Luke 10.1-20 - So Jesus sends out a bunch of disciples this time - to go into the towns - not waste any time - to bless the homes with peace - but they spoke in Jesus name and even demons fell -the odd part about this passage - is that the message they were giving didn’t seem very clear at all to me -- it was almost like a bunch of moochers going into towns and taking advantage of people who would have them- but I guess they were sent out ahead of Jesus - where he was about to go - so - in a sense their message would be similar to John the Baptist - prepare yourself.
Genesis 17 - Well - God comes to Abram again - now Abram and Sarai are really really old- and God changes their names to Abraham and Sarah -- they will have a child - why so late in life? - well - that’s just how it is - believe - there will be a nation - Ishmael will be blessed at the father of twelve princes and his family will make a great nation -- but Abraham will have a son with Sarah and will name him Isaac -- So Abraham and all the guys got circumcised as a sign of God’s Chosen People
Psalm 10 - Lord - don’t be far away - I need your help - I need you to rescue me
God makes me special. Through my baptism I am called to ministry in his kingdom. God is proud of me and sends me out with his message of love and salvation.
God shows steadfast love to the thousands that love him and keep his commandments.
Psalm 72.1-7, 10-14 - May God bless our leaders with a sense of justice-love and care for the poor and oppressed.
Philippians 4.1-7 - Pray- ask God for help and thank him for all the blessings I have been given - make my requests known to God
Psalm 119.161-168 - Rejoice at God’s Word -- all my ways are before him
Prayer- Jesus- sometimes your message isn’t so clear- what you would have me do - but I must trust in you - I must go if you tell me to go - I must go out like a sheep among wolves if that is what you wish - my trust must be deep that once I’m there - you will give me the words - you will protect me from those wolves - you will save me -- oh - how you teach me to trust in you - to trust in you by actions of faith - oh - how you build my faith - through life demonstrations of how you have always blessed me and saved me in all kinds of situations. I depend on you - you feed me in all ways and I love you -- Amen

Sunday, January 09, 2005

January 9th Reflections

Sunday 1/9/2005
Luke 9.28-62 - Jesus, Peter, John and James go up a mountain with Jesus to pray -- I like the idea of praying on the mountain -- anyway all the sudden Jesus begins to glow and Moses and Elijah show up and are speaking with Jesus -- They talked about what Jesus death in Jerusalem would mean. Well the disciples were asleep but woke up and they saw all this - when Moses and Elijah were getting ready to go- Peter mentioned building some shelter for them -- now what’s that about? -- a couple of dead guys come back and you want to build them a shack or something? -- I imagine if they were able to appear from the dead - they didn’t much need a shack! - Peter must have been in one of those confused goofy moods! - well at that time a shadow from a cloud passes over and a voice comes out - “This is my chosen Son. Listen to what he says!� -- I wonder if Peter wanted find a balloon to put the cloud in? - hey! - only trying to help out here! -- but it does seem that we see something very spiritual happen or maybe even a miracle - at least I do this -- then want to be able to capture how that happened - put it in a shelter or a balloon so I can pull it out whenever I need it again - and make that miracle happen all over again -- but guess what -- I’m not in control of that stuff- God is in control - God is God - I’m not God - it’s not like I can control God’s Spirit or anything - it’s up to me to listen to what Jesus has to say and do it - not run around trying to be jesus or be God - God is God -- just listen and follow His lead. -- Then Jesus comes upon a boy possessed by a demon - the disciples couldn’t cast out the demon - they need faith -- Jesus does it not problem -- build my faith up Lord - Then Jesus drops another hint/seed- I’m gonna be put to death - well the disciples didn’t know what he was talking about yet- So here again the disciples are fussing over which one of them is the greatest -- that make yourself great like God thing -- Jesus hears them fussing and brings a child over - when you welcome a child because of me- you welcome me -- you must be humble to be great -- whoa -- so we can’t make ourselves great - a child depends on the adults and parents for everything - I must depend on God for everything and be humble in his presence and obey God -- So Jesus sets to go to Jerusalem - he knew what all this meant - some of the people on the way didn’t want to welcome Jesus -- well- that’s there choice and Jesus doesn’t punish them - he just goes on -- then there are those who say -- oh yea - I’ll follow you Jesus but wait - I gotta do this or that first - well forget all that crap -- just follow -- all that crap will take care of itself if you just follow Jesus -- oh - how easy that sounds! -- but there is a big commitment there to make - that commitment is one of the big things I need to do better with - that leap and trust and faith.
Genesis 16 - So Sarai wasn’t having any children like they all expected -- but she did have an Egyptian slave named Hagar -- so Sarai tells Abram - hey go have sex with Hagar and she can have a child for us -- well - I guess things were different then -- or maybe not for some people -- so Abram probably goes whoohoo! Ok -- or maybe not - I don’t know what Hagar looked like - so Hagar gets pregnant and gets all proud cause she can have a baby and begins to get hateful with Sarai - So Abram gets the blame from Sarai -- just like a woman - poor ol Abram - he does what he’s told then there he is - in trouble again! - so Sarai starts treating Hagar badly until Hagar runs away - on the road while running away - an angel meets with Hagar and tells her to go back - she’s gonna have a son and she will name him Ishmael because God has heard her cry - but her son will be like a wild donkey fighting everyone and everyone fighting him - hmmm- think about that a little in light of today
Psalm 9 - Praise God with all your heart - and tell about his wonders - rejoice - celebrate and sing - God will defend you- hey - there is something else in the commentary I am using about - higgayon selah - “The first (higgayon) implies meditation (like Psalm 1.2) - the accompanying sound of the harp (like Psalm 92.3), and the movement of the heart (like Psalm 19.14 -- The second (selah) - probably indicates a pause. The liturgy calls for silent reflection, to be terminated abruptly: “Rise, Lord!� (like Psalm 9.19)
Focus on the Light that comes down to me; that one and only light of Christ - then turn the lights on through me in this dark world in which I live. Let the Light that comes down light up in me and my world. Here and now.
Encourage your neighbors wife and his workers and his cattle to remain loyal -- seems to me there used to be something about his ass too in some older version -- so encourage his ass to remain loyal too! - of all things! - I guess to the farmers - it was important
Matthew 3.13-17 - Jesus is baptized by John and the Sprit descends on him -- I love an adult baptism! - Let me relive my baptism daily in your Spirit!
Philippians 3.1-12 - I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of this sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection form the dead.
Psalm 134 - Bless God!
Prayer - Jesus - you shine out in this place - shine out in our services today as we praise and worship you - fill us with your Spirit - fill us with your light - fill us with that cloud - come into the shelter of all churches this day and fill all of them with your presence - then invade the hearts of all with your life with your light - renew the baptisms of all your people this day - refresh your people - fill your people to overflowing with your love - let your people show your love so powerfully to each other this day - let them go wild in your love - let them be passionate and compassionate in your love this day with each other - fill us up - fill us way up - then send all your people out - like little kids running out of school to take that overflowing measure of love and grace and hope to their worlds - to tell all the people in their worlds what you have done and how it is all available to anyone - send us out today! -- Amen

Saturday, January 08, 2005

January 8th Reflections

Saturday 1/8/2005
Luke 9.1-27 - Jesus gave his disciples power then sent them to tell about God’s kingdom and heal the sick - Well - things were beginning to build - it was to the point now that not only a couple of people like John the Baptist and Jesus were telling about God’s kingdom -- but all the disciples too - things were taking off - more and more people were hearing the message -- so Herod begins to get worried- maybe he will lose control or power - But Herod had John’s head cut off and things were still progressing with this “God� thing going on - so Herod was now eager to meet Jesus - The apostles came back and reported to Jesus all they had done- so Jesus took them out for a walk - but everyone found out where they were going and followed - so now we have this big crowd and it’s the end of the day and they all need fed - Jesus tell the apostles to feed them - well we don’t have enough to eat! - Jesus blessed what food they had and they fed it to the people and had some left over- God will take care of your needs in sometimes miraculous ways - So Jesus is next alone with his disciples and Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah - but Jesus doesn’t want them telling anyone about this yet - I think sometimes it would have been too much information too soon for Jesus to fulfill his ministry - then Jesus tells how he must die- but will rise again - I’m sure that was way too much information too soon for the disciples -- but the seed was planted- they will remember that conversation later and figure it out.
Genesis 15 - God spoke to Abram in a vision - Abram figured the children thing was out by now and lost faith - but God reassured him that Abram would have children - I like this part - God told Abram to look at the stars -- that’s how many descendants you will have-- as impossible as it seemed to Abram - Abram believed God - Then to seal the promise - God and Abram do this weird ceremony thing - Abram cuts in two a goat, a ram but doesn’t cut in two the dove and the pigeon -- placed the pieces on the ground - chased the birds away that were trying to eat the dead flesh - then Abram fell asleep - then Abram had a dream of the promise of the land that God would give his family - then this flaming fire passed between the halves of the animals and sealed the deal on the land between God and Abram
Psalm 8 - God give me power to rule over creation - may I be respectful of this and praise God for the gifts he gives me
Focus on the Light that comes down to me; that one and only light of Christ - then turn the lights on through me in this dark world in which I live. Let the Light that comes down light up in me and my world. Here and now.
Help your neighbor keep what is his or hers
Acts 10.34-43 - Peter began to speak - he told the gospel story -- we all better begin to speak -- it’s not about who or how many people come to church - or what kind of church they go to or how the church is run or all that other crap - vs. 42 - “He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify…� -- “everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.� -- and if you look at Jesus life -- he did this in church but more often outside of church - we gotta tell the story to those outside of church! - In our daily lives -- when we leave church -- that’s where the ministry is- It’s all about Jesus and his saving grace -- it’s not about church- church is how we respond to the love of God and the salvation we have been given- OK - so I got a little preachy there - so what!- oh by the way - in this passage Peter is in a Gentile home- Peter hadn’t been in a Gentile home in his whole life up to this point
Philippians 2.17-30 - As friends we need to take care of each other - send each other out to help each other - love your friends -- the awful part of all that above is that it reminds me of Jerry Springer!-somehow that ain’t right!
Psalm 57 -God’s steadfast love is as high as the heavens -- and his faithfulness extends to the clouds
Prayer - Jesus - you give me gifts - you send me out just like your apostles - send me out to tell the world your story - your love- your saving grace - to tell them about your kingdom - not this kingdom we think we have control over- but your kingdom - let me be a part of your kingdom - let me do some work in your kingdom - teach me to love all people in your kingdom - show me all those stars in the sky and drive home the point that all these people are people you want me to love in your kingdom - not just the few but all of them - then let me work together with friends and go out together into your kingdom and tell the story - let us get together and praise you for your glory and power and greatness- praise you in song - praise you and thank you in sacrament - but once we’re done - let us all run out the doors of that church into your kingdom to work and play for you. --- Amen

Friday, January 07, 2005

January 7th Reflections

Friday 1/7/2005
Luke 8.26-56 - So Jesus gave the demon possessed man a clear calling - “go back home and tell everone how much God has done for you.� -- I think this is one thing we are all called to do - Jesus had crossed the lake -- and met this man possessed with many demons -- the demons knew Jesus was going to cast them out and asked Jesus if they could go into a herd of pigs -- Jesus did this and the herd of pigs rushed off a cliff and into the lake and drowned. It seems that Jesus here even has compassion on the demons and grants their request - I wonder if there is something to that? - But this probably made the people I that Gentile area mad - because the herd of pigs was someones livelyhood that Jesus in a sense just destroyed for some guy they could care less about - I think that’s why the people begged Jesus to leave - enough of that stuff - get out of here - too bad they felt that way - but the demon possessed man was thankful and received a calling and mission from Jesus to tell his story - So Jesus is traveling and a man wants Jesus to see his daughter that is ill -- but there is a great crowd - someone touches Jesus in this crowd and Jesus wants to know who touched him - well the disciples wonder - hey! - you’re in a crowd - you big goof! -- all sorts of people have touched you- but Jesus felt power go out of him - well this woman who had been suffering form bleeding touched Jesus cloak and was healed - the woman told Jesus it was her - Jesus told the woman that her faith had healed her -- so a report comes to Jesus that the little girl had died - don’t bother - but Jesus told them - naw-- she is just sleeping - the people laughed at Jesus cause they knew different - so Jesus walks in and tells the girl to get up and she does -- I think its time I get up from the dead -- touch Jesus cloak -- let him cast out my demons -- and go tell the story of how Jesus saves -- all people can have this healing -- just have faith and believe and thank God for his grace in Jesus. In summary - Jesus saves and gives life to the dead -- that includes me.
Genesis 13-14 - So Abram and Sarai go to the Southern Desert with Lot - but they had many sheep - so Abram and Lot decide to divide up and they do - So all these kings decide to have war with each other -- Lot gets caught up in the whole mess and is captured and all his possessions taken - Abram found out about this and set up a fight against these kings- attacked and took Lot and all his stuff back -- Well after Abram got back all the other kings met him and told Abram how great he was- one of them was a priest of God and blessed Abram- Abram gave this king a tenth of everything and they praised God and lived in peace together.- hmm - there’s an interesting note - a tenth is considered a kings share - kinda like tithing-- then the separation thing again - God separate Lot and Abram - Lot goes his own selfish way - towards people and the city of Sodom -- Abram sets up and altar to God and worships God -- Lot goes off to his selfish ways- Abram continues on with God in faith -- but Lot is saved - God comes to Lot through Abram and saves him from captivity -- I’m captive to sin also - God comes to me in Jesus and saves me -- the gap and separation of sin is closed by God coming to me -- not me going to God - or me going to something I think will save me like cities and Sodom - and people -- I am only saved through God’s movement towards me in Jesus.
Psalm 7 - God is my protector - God is my shield - interesting -- verse 9b reads literally, “Searcher of heart and kidneys,� a reference to the seat of reason and emotions -- it reminds me of how they used to look at internal organs to decide what God was telling them to do -- I guess it means that God knows everything there is to know about each of us- hey! -- maybe next week when they suck out my gall bladder - God will tell the doctors a message!
For Love Towards Others- (one of Luther’s prayers)
Dear Father in heaven, for the sake of your dear Son Jesus Christ grant us your Holy Spirit, that we may be true learners of Christ, and therefore acquire a heart with a never-ceasing fountain of love. Amen
Focus on the Light that comes down to me; that one and only light of Christ - then turn the lights on through me in this dark world in which I live. Let the Light that comes down light up in me and my world. Here and now.
Speak well of your neighbor and explain his actions in the kindest way.
Isaiah 42.1-9 - God gave Jesus and me as his servant - God created all - he gave breath to me and his Spirit in baptism - he called me- to takes my hand and leads me - he gives me a promise and a blessing - and sends me to open the eyes of the blind that God is God and saves everyone through the grace of Jesus - we can now sing to God and praise him with all creation!
Philippians 2.1-11 - Don’t be selfish - love others just as Christ has shown us - be humble and love others
Psalm 4 - hear my prayer - trust in God
Prayer- Jesus forgive me - cast out my demons - unite me in your call to spread the story of how you have saved me - let me tell others of your great love - and the love you have for all people - how you have saved people throughout all time - when captured in battles - when separated and when we wander off in our own selfish desires and feelings of becoming our own gods - you brings us back - you come to us and save us - send me out this day as your servant - to show your light to the world and to praise you along with all creation for what you have done -- all glory is yours -- send me out to love others just as you have loved me. I put all my trust and hope in you. Take my hand this day and lead and guide me. --- Amen