Monday, February 28, 2005


God breaks the heart again and again and again until it stays open.
-- Hazrat Inayat Khan quoted in "The Exquisite Risk" by Mark Nepo

To Practice This Thought: Be thankful for those events that break your heart.

I'm thankful!

February 28th Reflection

Monday 2/28/2005

Matthew 8.1-13 - Jesus heals - it all kinds of ways - he heals disease - he heals lives - he heals me in so many ways all the time - he heals from the inside out - and with a little faith his healing is awesome!

Exodus 39-40 - More on the making of the vestments - the operations that were to take place -then the grand opening - it was an event - and God inhabited the tabernacle - with a cloud he was present - it had to be great- God was always with his people - and when and where God moved the people moved - so today -

God is with me - where he moves I must follow - lead me today!

Proverbs 18 - Don’t think only of myself - Desire to learn - being cheerful helps when we are sick - a true friend is closer than you own family

How will I respond to God’s awesome gift of salvation -- I will rejoice and join in the party!

Let me drink- let me bathe - let me feel that ever-flowing water from the Rock wash over me in Jesus love and forgiveness. Restore me and send me.

The kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever.

John 7.14-36 - Jesus taught - where did he get it? - Jesus education came from God - how nice that is - how God teaches me even today - just look-feel-listen-learn - God teaches every day - some lessons are tough ones - some are easy - but all turn out for good - even when at times it doesn’t seem very good - hang in there - the final answers are awesome and loving and forgiving and will free you to be happy and serve in his kingdom with joy - Jesus is from God - Jesus is God - real and here now - talk to him

Mark 10.42-45 - Serve others - just look at how Jesus served me - he gave his life a ransom for many and for me - how to serve!

Psalm 142 - With my voice I cry to God - Give heed to my cry for I am brought very low - Oh how he does give heed!

Prayer - Lord - you heal - you heal in so many ways - I turn to you and ask you to forgive me - for sins I know and confess to you and for sins I am unaware of and you forgive me - you refresh me with water from a Rock - you give me hope and joy and gifts which I don’t deserve then send me out to proclaim your glory - to let your light shine - to play in a wonderful world you set before me - I will be tempted - I will stumble and fall - I will sin - but when I return to you - you heal me all over again - you equip me and you send me - you fill the temple of my heart with your cloud - your fire - your presence - you fill my senses with your glory and build me back up - yea - you heal me from the inside out like only you can do - then you speak to me - you surprise my in prayer - in music and make yourself so real in life - you reveal yourself in nature - in friends - in life and in tears - you heal me -now I must go into the world you place me and serve in your kingdom - I must be with the people you place me with and witness your love to them - tell them of your glory and tell them of how you heal me and heal them -- it’s time to go now! -- Amen

Sunday, February 27, 2005

February 27th Reflection

Sunday 2/27/2005

Matthew 7 - I need to work on myself before I give others advice - especially if I have my own issues to deal with- maybe the better thing than all that advice is to just tell how it is for me then the other person can take it or leave it - talk to God - ask him for anything - search out the answer - listen carefully - God does respond - it’s easy to go down the wrong path - be diligent in prayer and devotion - praise and worship - fellowship with other Christians and stay on the correct path - listen for God’s lead - Watch out for those that try to mislead - they sound good but aren’t -listen to the words of Jesus - his advice is as sound as a rock- Jesus told his messages so honestly that people were confused

Exodus 37-38 - Bezalel - one talented tradesman- put together much of the sacred objects and the temple -- I think of George Lepisto --the thought of the mercy seat - above the ark - on the wings of two cherubim - God is present with his people -- in the midst of them - the sacred tent was set up in the middle of all the tribal tents - God is present in the center of his people -just like today --God is present in the center of my being - in my heart he rules

Proverbs 17 - our thoughts are tested by the LORD - a sensible person accepts correction - You will always have trouble if you are mean to those who are good to you - a friend is always a friend - If you are cheerful, you feel good; if you are sad, you hurt all over-seems like a real mixed bag of advice

God’s greatest plans are still to come. I may not see the plan but I must respond to the call - take the risk and use the gifts God gives with a promise in my call to serve.

How will I respond to God’s awesome gift of salvation -- I will rejoice and join in the party!

Jesus gave an example of how to pray - use it with deep meaning in your heart

John 4.5-42 - Jesus and a woman - water and a well - words and spirit - spirit and eternal life - Jesus love is so deep he crosses all the cultural barriers of the day - a woman - a Samaritan woman - and a conversation that moves from thirst to the waters of baptism that will come from that eternal spring of water gushing up to eternal life - give me this love - give me this water - give me this conversation - give me this teaching -- see the response of the woman to Jesus gift of salvation - she ran and told - others came to see - others receive the gift of salvation -- how shall I respond - it’s time to love others so deeply that show Jesus love for them and tell!

2 Corinthians 1.18-25 - Stand firm in the faith

Psalm 70 - Help me! - You are my help and my deliverer

Prayer - Lord today I can’t help but think of prayers by trees and rocks and around some wood - those rocks - those rocks you can sit on - I can pray to you with a foundation of your Word - your hope - your living water - your salvation - through you and that foundational rock - by that tree - sitting on that wood - I can pray to you with your foundation of the pain and suffering you endured on some wood years ago - just for me - just for this world I live in - just for my friends - just for each one of us you gave your life and gave all of us salvation - I think of your conversation with a woman by a well - by that gushing water- how you teach - how you comfort - how you reveal yourself in the day to day things - how you show the miracles all around that if we just open our eyes we see you everywhere - and we hear your word - we hear your music - we hear the sounds of your creation of life - all creation singing praises to you - then those smells - those temple smells come in church - come in walks through the woods -come from farms - all life - alive and active in you - that eternal life - those feelings and emotions that you plant so deeply in my heart that bring praise to you - that listen to you - that hear you - that cry out to you - that sing to you of your glory and that heart of thanks I have for you and the deep deep deep love you freely show to all the world -- send me out this week with your love - send me out with all my senses to run and tell those in my world of the wonderful things - of the wonderful life you have in store for those who repent - turn around and see your saving glory -- you are God! -- Thanks be to God! -- Amen

Saturday, February 26, 2005

February 26th Reflection

Saturday 2/26/2005
Matthew 6.19-34 - Keep my treasure in heaven - this world’s stuff doesn’t matter - let the light shine through my eyes - when the light is out - look out! -- don’t make earthly stuff my god- it can’t save me anyway- God will see after me - be like a child and depend completely on God
Exodus 35-36 - What strikes me here is the gifts God gave to many people -- how excited everyone was to use those gifts and build the temple -the curtain -and how God involved everyone -- how excited we can get to build and new addition for the assembly of God’s people - makes that all so special - in our own human ways we see concrete examples of gifts God has given come to life - same with music -- people work together in hiding (kind of) for some period of time then give the gift to God -- all nice ways to praise God and to love him
Proverbs 16 - We humans make plans, but the LORD has the final word- Share your plans with the LORD, and you will succeed - The LORD has a reason for everything he does - if we show God respect, we will keep away from sin - We make our won plans, but the LORD decides where we will go - gossip is not good!-it causes hard feelings between friends - We make our own decisions, but the LORD alone determines what happens
God’s greatest plans are still to come. I may not see the plan but I must respond to the call - take the risk and use the gifts God gives with a promise in my call to serve.
How will I respond to God’s awesome gift of salvation -- I will rejoice and join in the party!
I believe that I cannot by my own understanding or effort believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and kept me in true faith.- Day after day he fully forgives my sins and on the last day he will raise me and give me eternal life - this is really really true!
Romans 5.1-11 - Boast in suffering - suffering produces endurance - endurance produces character- character produces hope - and hope won’t disappoint - because God’s love is poured into my heart through the Holy Spirit which has been given to me -- when I was weak - Jesus died for me - he loves me more than I can begin to fathom - I am proud to have received forgiveness from Jesus - you talk about Wild at Heart!!-- so now it’s time to go play wildly in God’s kingdom and love God‘s children out there like he loved me!
John 3.11-13 - if you can’t figure out the stuff here on earth - how do you expect to figure out the stuff in heaven? - believe - look around here on earth - God is all over the place and in many things - just look - believe in God -- then feel his spirit wash over you.
Psalm 41 - Wow! -- Do you see Judas here - vs. 9 - “Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me.�
Prayer - Jesus - you bring it into focus - Vision-Plan-Action -- keep my vision - my sights set on you - help me keep you in the center of my being - keep you in my heart - you invaded my heat years ago- help me to center on you in all I do - in all I say and in all my conversations and actions this day - Plan - Yea- I’ll make some plans - center yourself in all those plans and let me be really really really flexible when you decide to change those plans - cause the plans aren’t mine anyway they are yours - then actions - help me to center my actions to your glory - to serve you in your kingdom - to sing praises to you - to glorify you and to live in you and you in me. For I love to respond to your love in action - I love to love those you have sent into my life -- I’m ready - it’s time to break this huddle and go to the line - go ahead call out the play with you sweet cadence of life! --- Amen

Friday, February 25, 2005

February 25th Reflection

Friday 2/25/2005
Matthew 6:1-18 - Don’t show off when you do good! -- Big deal! -- aren’t we supposed to do good anyway? - Don’t be a prayer show off either - make sure you take time for personal prayer time and devotion - every day -- me and God - in private - not for show - when you fast - don’t be a show-off - act like you always do - God knows what how you are and what you do in private. Some things are just between me and God don’t call attention to yourself- gain honor for God - not yourself- then the Lord’s Prayer- forgive each other - lead us not into temptation - God tempts no one to sin but God will guide us in such a way that we not experience the kinds of things that will test my our faith -- I like how the Lord’s Prayer is a community prayer-- talking about “us� all over and through it.
Exodus 33-34 - So God tells Moses that it’s time to move on -- Moses and God would meet in a tent -- called the “meeting tent� -- a thick cloud would come in front of the tent when they met-- Moses would receive messages from God - like a couple of friends - Moses and God were just getting over a tiff - about the people making the gold calf and Moses throwing a fit with the tablets -- now they have mended - they are friends still- God respected Moses so much that he decided to stay with Moses and move with him and the Israelite -- God told Moses that he was his friend and was pleased with Moses -- Moses wants to see God’s glory and God tells him that he can do that for anyone he chooses- So God lets Moses see him in his shining glory from the crack of a rock - God will cover Moses eyes until he passes by and then will let Moses see his back. -- so God made up with the people - gave Moses some new tablets with the commandments- agreed to stay with the people - when Moses came back down the mountain this second time his face was glowing with the love of God-- so much so the people didn’t understand it- so much so that Moses covered this love shining brightly with a veil - people just can’t understand or see the love of God - it’s that deep
Proverbs 15 - God is happy when I pray - God can see in my heart - Happiness makes you smile; sorrow can crush you - a simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred - good people think before they answer - a friendly smile makes you happy
God’s greatest plans are still to come. I may not see the plan but I must respond to the call - take the risk and use the gifts God gives with a promise in my call to serve.
How will I respond to God’s awesome gift of salvation -- I will rejoice and join in the party!
At great cost he has saved and redeemed me, a lost and condemned person. He has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil- not with silver or gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. All this he has done that I may be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as he is risen form the dead and live and rules eternally. This is most certainly true.
Exodus 17.107 - From the wilderness of Sin -I wander -- and God gives me water from a Rock- the Rock of my salvation
John 17.1-11 - Jesus did it all -- then he asks God to protect us - protect me and my friends and all people
Psalm 23 - Jesus leads - by water-on the right path - he protects me - loves me - feeds me and cares for me
Prayer - Jesus - sometimes I feel so alone - so separate from the world - so much on a different track from everyone else- but when I go it alone - when I go into prayer alone - when I go into my room - you are there- you are there to speak softly and gently into my ear - to lead me - to guide me- to love me- to teach me - to show me what to do each day - it’s a wild ride - but I can feel the cloud - I can feel the fire - I can feel your presence just like in the tent -- you are my friend - the one I can depend on - the one always there - In you is that life giving water- that light of love - that baptismal fire that burns in that candle - show me how to take your love to the world - heal my heart and send me out anyway - give me the words to say - put me on that horse to go into my world with your creed - with your Word - with your love and help me to slay those dragons in your name - and when I come home all wounded - heal me like only you know how. -- Amen

February 25th - Thoughts

Sometimes I understand some of those psalmist - some of those "mad" prayers to God -- I think about Jesus love for others- I think about how he worked in the world and healed people - taught people and how his conversation with others went straight to the point of our real being - then I think of how God wants us to love others - like "We love because he first loved us." -- 1 John 4.19 -- Aww it all sounds so good and nice and everything - but just try it - try to love others - this world is so screwed up that if you try to love other people like Jesus loves us -- it gets all turned around into something it's not -- It's a bunch of crap! - and it's not the people you are showing God's love to that is the problem - it's the culture we live in - it's the fallen world we live in - the love is turned into something that it's not by others - then I get angry at God - why send me out with a command like that? - it doesn't work! - it's a bunch of crap! -- you get hurt by it all - others talk about it and poke fun at it - what's that all about? - nothing makes sense - so why even bother with telling others about Jesus grace -- do I just want to set someone else up for the same kind of disappointment? - oh no-- this guy really needs forgiveness - some people would think that - he is angry at God - now I can understand some of those angry Psalmists - on this earth trying - but just getting kicked - or hunted down - or like David - Saul tries to kill him even when he is trying to honor Saul and his kingship - but then when you get angry - I don't want forgiveness - just leave me alone for a while - why torment me all night with thoughts? - what's the purpose of all this? - nothing makes sense -- those that want to live that dumb old life of earning more and more money - getting better and better jobs are just fine- you know the ones that just have a good time - don't worry about a thing - all is going well with them - no torment at night - but try to follow what God wants -- or what you think God wants - then you don't sleep at night - all you get is heartache and pain - it's a bunch of crap -- loving others doesn't work!

But it does work! -- It already has worked -- and it is working now. When I step out to do what Jesus commands - to love my neighbor with all my heart, soul and strength -- he didn't promise that it would be all nice -- of all people Jesus knew it wouldn't be all nice - His life reflects how awful the world can be for a person willing to show the love of God -- he was accused of hanging out and loving prostitutes -- of breaking Jewish law by healing others and loving them - of ruining livelyhoods of people by loving a man with demons so much he cast the demons into a herd of pigs -- Jesus was loving people - teaching people to return to God - to repent and see God's presence in the world- God's presence of love in Jesus feeding thousands with little food -- feeding thousands-millions with bread -- with the bread of life -- watering people like the woman at the well with this love of his - that gave this woman life giving - everlasting water -- Jesus showing love in this world -- and what did they do? -- The Jewish leaders accused him of teaching the wrong things - of doing the wrong things - of loving the wrong way -- and the people all got together and killed Jesus. they killed him and made him suffer while killing him - and Jesus let it all happen - Jesus knew that the world would not understand the love he came to give - he knew the world would hate him and kill him - Jesus knew that the world hated the kind of love he came to show - Jesus let it all happen so that he could show a love so deep - that this world cannot understand - not even begin - all the books written about love by men since Jesus was crucified- don't even come close -- there are no experts - there are no "high" thinkers on this love that Jesus shows - this love Jesus showed was so deep that the result of this love forgives the sin of this world - forgives the sin of the very ones denying the love of God - forgives the sin of the very ones killing Jesus because of the love he brought into the world - know one can understand that! -- anyone that pretends to is a fake! -- and that includes a whole bunch of Christians that try to come off all nicey nicey -- like you can just be a good loving Christian and be like Jesus - it's so easy to love -- that's a bunch of crap! -- it makes me want to puke! -- it's not easy! -- this love is not easy -- to make it easy cheapens what Jesus went through - to make it sound easy cheapens the pain-the suffering and the very love Jesus showed each one of us - the love Jesus showed each on of us straight in our hearts- Jesus love is close - Jesus love is personal - Jesus love is beyond imagination.

So -- I can't comprehend this love--I like how Luther tried to explain it -- "I believe that I cannot by my own understanding or effort believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and kept me in true faith." -- I can't figure it out -- It's true - but I can't figure it out - I depend completely on God's guidance and gifts through the Holy Spirit. I depend on God completely -- I am frustrated with a world where I try to reflect the love of Jesus and somehow it gets all misunderstood -- Jesus - in his command to love others - never said it would be easy - but the load would be light- doesn't mean there won't be pain in reflecting his love -- doesn't mean it won't hurt -- look how it must have hurt Jesus - the command is simple - it is light - sounds real easy - love others like I loved you - easy - light -- but pain- yes- misunderstood -yes- What little amount of the light of Jesus love I am able to let shine through me just deepens my understanding of how deep deep deep and awesome that love of Jesus was for me -- He really loves me a bunch- a whole bunch! -- bunches more than I can fathom -- so how can I respond -- ask for the forgiveness of my bitterness towards God - love Jesus with all my heart -- love others with all my heart -- be open to the arrows of pain that will piece my heart in this world as I love others with all my heart - feel the pain - that teeny tiny pain of love in my heart--teeny tiny compared to what pain Jesus felt for me- and worship and praise Jesus for that huge pain his heart suffered for this dying world I live in -- in that love of Jesus there is hope -- someday - I'm going to approach that cross with a whole bunch of others - we are going to look up -- we are going to experience that great Communion of Saints -- and this love that Jesus gave to us will be all so easy - all so understood - all so grand - a love that will wrap us all up in praise and honor and glory to the King! -- That's the day! -- Until then -- I gotta go - I gotta go keep on letting those little rays of Jesus light of love shine through me into the world God has placed me -- and thank God for those twinkles of love I feel everyday -- even when it hurts! -- Thanks be to God!

February 24th Thoughts

I was thinking about Jesus going to the mountain to prayall night - I like mountains allot - but I have also been on a mountain inthe dark - one time while hiking the Smokys with Steve Getter we misjudged the time and didn't make it back quite in time before dark -- we just barelymade it before it was pitch black -- you can't get around on a trail in thedark like that without some light-- it is real scary! -- so I'm thinkingabout Jesus going up that mountain to pray -- yea - I've prayed on themountain before too - it's a great experience and the closeness to God wasprofound for me -- but all night in the dark? -- then I think of how I thinkof Jesus as the light of the world - how he was present at the creation - nolight - big deal - nature and animals in the dark -- big deal -- I want togo to that mountain with Jesus and pray all night in the dark and then goout in the morning and do something big like start a ministry.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

February 24th Reflection

Thursday 2/24/2005
Matthew 5.21-48 - Good advice - don’t be angry with each other - confront it and make peace - Don’t look and lust after other women -I am unfaithful in my thoughts when I do this - Don’t get a divorce too easily- make sure you have tried everything to save the marriage - When you make a promise stand by your word -- make it a simple yes or no - people don’t need my big explanations -Don’t take revenge on people - go out of your way for someone that hurts you - Love the people around you like God loves them -- even harder - love those you can’t stand.
Exodus 30-32 - More in instructions on how to build the altar -- but what sticks out here for me is the whole thing of incense and perfume -- how God uses smell -- the whole sacrifice of animals - throwing blood around - burning fat parts - burning kidneys and stuff -- what a smell this must have made - sometimes I see it called a smell pleasing to God- but when I think about it - unless it was like a cook-out - I think maybe it wasn’t such a nice smell -- and then the smell was due to a sacrifice for sins -- to me I think more of a stench -- then the incense and perfume come in -- this seems closer to me to be that forgiveness God gives for that stench of sin - that sweet smell of perfume that was used on Jesus -- knowing that Jesus death was coming -- that sweet smell of forgiveness -- smell-- a nice sense that God uses to help us see him in everyday life- today - I’ll think of smell -- I almost forgot all about Joshua being with Moses on the mountain - at least part way down - Joshua must have been a faithful guard and waited for Moses return - as they were coming down the mountain they notice the people having a wild celebration around a god they had built -- they already forgot about God’s love-provision and power- Moses gets mad and throws the tablets down and breaks them -- how I break the commandments -- how many times has God been mad at me -- I need his forgiveness - I plead for forgiveness and God grants it to me - I’ll keep working on this all my life -- but I’m so thankful God forgives -- I will smell the stench of my sin and revel in the perfume of God’s forgiveness and continue to turn back - to serve - to love God - and to love my friends and neighbors in the way that I see God has loved me.- sin - it’s not all that easy - it’s not as easy as it sounds - forgiveness - it’s not my excuse - I strive to repair my sin - but know also the freedom that forgiveness gives -- Thanks be to God!
Proverbs 14 - It’s wrong to hate others - don’t use empty talk - respect God - don’t lose your temper - be kind to the poor
A Luther Prayer
O my dear Lord Jesus Christ, you have said: Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you (matt. 7:7). In keeping with this promise, give to me, Lord. I ask for neither gold nor silver, but for a strong and firm faith. While I search, let me find not lust and pleasure of the world, but comfort and refreshment through your blessed and healing Word. Open to me, while I knock. I desire nothing that the world cherishes, for by it I would not be uplifted even for so much as the breadth of a hair. Grant me your Holy Spirit, who enlightens my heart, and comforts and strengthens me in my cares and trials. He secures my right faith and trust in your grace to the very end. Amen.
God’s greatest plans are still to come. I may not see the plan but I must respond to the call - take the risk and use the gifts God gives with a promise in my call to serve.
How will I respond to God’s awesome gift of salvation -- I will rejoice and join in the party!
God takes care of me and gives me all I need -- more than I need!
Luke 6.12-16 - Jesus went to the mountain and prayed through the night -- then chose his disciples -- pray before a big decision
1 Peter 1.9-12 - Grace made mine- Thanks be to God!
Psalm 124 - if it had not been the LORD who was on our side-- I would perish forever without hope
Prayer - Lord it all seems to go up and down - to the mountain top - to the valley - back and forth - sometimes way up high - communion with you is so close- other times way down low - my sin seems to fill my world with a stench -- I hear your instruction - I work with those you give to mea each day - but all of us are going up and down - all at different times- it’s hard to understand - but that’s not my place - I’m not here to understand your ways - I’m hear to turn back to you - ask and be forgiven and serve you in your kingdom - I’m here to please you - not me - I’m here to worship you - not that gold calf I place in front of me from time to time - cover my sin today with your sweet perfume of grace - cover my sin today with the gift of your Spirit - enlighten my heart and send me out once again refreshed and renewed to love the world with the love you show - to all I see- all I meet - all that you would have me minister to today -- I’m yours- I’m ready to go at it again! -- Amen

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

February 23rd Reflection

Wednesday 2/23/2005
Matthew 5.1-20 - I like how Jesus starts the Blessing - God blesses those who depend only on him -- after all the blessings -- Be happy and excited! -- yea -- God blesses in many ways -- Be happy and excited--let your light shine so that others will see that good that you do and will praise God - search and study the Word and the law and see God’s presence all around
Exodus 28-29 - The priests had special clothing to wear so that they would look dignified before God -- even to the point of bells that would signify their presence before God - a breast piece of stone for all the tribes - everything piece of clothing had some meaning and use - the ordination and sacrifices are really some strange stuff- sounds more like a meat rendering facility -- but it was all commanded and symbolic of God’s presence in life - in blood - in sacrifice -- sets home pretty deep when you think later of Jesus offering of his life and blood.- the blood is used to draw of the impurities - of the sanctuary-the altar and finally the person being ordained-- the blood of Christ draws off my impurities in the forgiveness of my sins
Proverbs 13 - Keep what you know to yourself, and you will be safe; talk too much and you are done for. -- Be sensible and take advice - If you love your children you will correct them-- if this -then that -- the pattern is interesting
I wished him dead - but he gave me the money - is this my sunrise or sunset -- Forgive me Jesus for hanging you on that tree - I wished you dead - thank you Jesus for saving me not with silver or gold but with your precious blood and life- you gave me the money -- you have given me a sunrise and a new life to live this day in praise and service and trust in you -this is my sunrise not my sunset - I will turn to you - Thanks be to God!
God’s greatest plans are still to come. I may not see the plan but I must respond to the call - take the risk and use the gifts God gives with a promise in my call to serve.
We should not torture ourselves with imaginary sins.
Acts 1.15-26 - Someone had to take the place of Judas - another disciple is needed to witness with the other disciples to Jesus resurrection - I think throughout time - God has called those disciples to witness -- you and I
John 5.39-47 - Jesus comes to me -- will I accept him or turn-- God gives me that choice - I accept
Psalm 25 - In God I put my trust and lift up my soul
Prayer - Jesus - your blessing are all around me and come to me in many ways - through friends-family and other Christians and even through animals - creation and unexpected people - thanks for all that you have given me - but even with all theses blessings - I continue to sin and fall short - forgive me and lift me up and restore me in your service - let me be excited and happy once again - let me be that disciple chosen to go and witness your resurrection of life and love to the world that you send me into today. -- Amen

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

February 22nd Reflection

Tuesday 2/22/2005
Matthew 4 - Jesus is tempted -- Jesus is led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit- Sometimes I think we are led into temptation -- not to defeat - but to show that God will win over the temptations of the devil - Jesus answered the temptations of the devil with what the Scriptures have to say -- stresses the importance of study and listening to God’s voice in his Word -- as Jesus begins his ministry - John is put in prison - makes me think of leadership change -- God’s plan is moving into a different phase - leadership changes - different gifts are now needed - Jesus calls disciples and they follow without question- I find the actions of Jesus and the disciples interesting here - regarding commitment to Jesus -- Jesus first approaches the disciples -- God comes to the disciples through and in Jesus- there must have been something - there definitely is something here-- the disciples respond to Jesus call with full commitment - they leave everything - family, job and their old way of life - they give themselves over to following Jesus - what power they must have felt in Jesus -what sense of trust and faith in Jesus they must have felt -- but I think one point here is that it wasn’t the great faith of the disciples that made them respond - it was the awesome power of Jesus that made them commit- it’s all about God - it’s not about how great I am in my commitment to God -God calls me and I can’t help but to respond- Jesus heals and teaches and preaches - key actions of his ministry - it is building - large crowds are coming out to hear and see Jesus- God is active with his people - with all people-- oh - in the bread - Jesus does not produce the bread to satisfy his hunger - but think of the bread he does produce to satisfy the hunger of all the rest of the world -- Jesus does produce the bread of life to save all the rest of the world from sin - he produces the bread of life with his very own body and we take it in throughout our lives.
Exodus 25-27 - God the Great Engineer - an awesome Technical Writer- specific instructions on how to build the tabernacle - how to build all the furnishing and adornments -- God can and is so specific and clear in the actions we are to take- nothing cheap here - Go all out when working for God -- don’t spare any effort. Here again God comes to the people - the people can’t come to God on their own -- and the people respond to God by following detailed instructions -- I think again because they see the awesome power of God in all he has done for them- their commitment to God is because of God not because of their own will. It is a response.
Proverbs 12 - Accept correction-it is wise -- good people have kind thoughts - good people are kind to their animals - Listen to advice - Don’t loose your temper - Ignore insults - don’t lie - Be sensible and don’t tell everything you know - Work hard and you will be a leader
I wished him dead - but he gave me the money - is this my sunrise or sunset -- Forgive me Jesus for hanging you on that tree - I wished you dead - thank you Jesus for saving me not with silver or gold but with your precious blood and life- you gave me the money -- you have given me a sunrise and a new life to live this day in praise and service and trust in you -this is my sunrise not my sunset - I will turn to you - Thanks be to God!
God’s greatest plans are still to come. I may not see the plan but I must respond to the call - take the risk and use the gifts God gives with a promise in my call to serve.
I believe in God!
Isaiah 66.1-2 - God is awesome - be humble - he created all - and tremble at his Word.
Acts 1.6-8 - It’s not for me to know or understand God’s timing -- but it is more than enough for me to receive power from the Holy Spirit and to witness in my world
Psalm 104.1-9, 19-24 - God is awesome in his creation - his creation of life and this gift of life
Prayer - Lord - you are an awesome creator- just a look around the room - just a peek outside - just to stare up into the sky - just to look down on the earth - you have shown miracles of life everywhere - forgive me when I ignore your power and your majesty - forgive me when I become complacent with the life you have given me - forgive me when I don’t act or respond in love to you and others - forgive me when I neglect your call -- but I ask today the you would lead me - I see how you move into my being - I see how you give specific direction to follow - I see how you move to me - lead me as I respond to your grace - your power - your life - what else can I do - I love you - and thank you for the life you gave to me -- and especially the life you gave for me. -- Amen

Monday, February 21, 2005

February 21st Reflection

Monday 2/21/2005
Matthew 3 - John the Baptist was a peculiar person with a powerful ministry - turn back to God - repent - be baptized- let God enter your life - let God call you - see - the Messiah is coming - get ready -- be sorry for your sins - Don’t be phony or put all your trust in your heritage -- God can turn stones into children of Abraham -- Abraham and faith - have faith in God and be one of those stones that are children of God - chosen special and selected for God’s ministry - John baptized Jesus because that’s what God wanted - faith to do what doesn’t make sense
Exodus 24 - Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and seventy of Israel’s leaders ascend the mountain to worship God -- Moses sets up an altar and uses the blood of sacrificed animals to sprinkle the altar - Sacrificial blood - Jesus is here again in the OT - his blood was shed for me and spread - his blood is sprinkled on the people just like Moses sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice on the people then - The group of leaders see God - under his feet is a pavement made out of sapphire as bright as the sky -- I think of the Luther Rose and the sky the envelopes the rose, heart and cross -- that blue sky - that sky that as we look to it we have a hope of joy to come -- that pavement and plan God has in store for us to follow Jesus to the feet of God- those feet ever so close - those feet of service that Jesus demonstrated to us - those feet of the people in our midst that we are here to serve for God - to wash those feet and tell the story of God’s saving acts through his Son Jesus and the blood he offered as our sacrifice and salvation for our - for my - sins.
Proverbs 11- Be honest - Be humble- Obey God
I wished him dead - but he gave me the money - is this my sunrise or sunset -- Forgive me Jesus for hanging you on that tree - I wished you dead - thank you Jesus for saving me not with silver or gold but with your precious blood and life- you gave me the money -- you have given me a sunrise and a new life to live this day in praise and service and trust in you -this is my sunrise not my sunset - I will turn to you - Thanks be to God!
God’s greatest plans are still to come. I may not see the plan but I must respond to the call - take the risk and use the gifts God gives with a promise in my call to serve.
Love an trust God and gladly do what he commands.
Psalm 95.1-11 - let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
John 15.12-17 - This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.- I do not call you servants any longer - but friends - You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit that will last -- love one another
Psalm 67 - God- make your face shine on me- be gracious to me- that you way may be known on the earth- let the peoples praise you
Prayer - Lord- you were baptized by John - today let me relive my baptism - let me feel that washing of water - I turn to you - I face you and feel your warmth on my face - I follow that sapphire pavement and feel your glory - see your light - feel your presence - you mumble me - you keep me honest - send me this day to wash the feet of those you love - those in this world you would have me serve- let me show them the example you set years ago - that with great love and sacrifice your washed the feet - you gave your life and your saved all from sin and death -- that’s the story - out there for all us stones to take hold of - to cling to - to love and to give love to each other - today - send me to obey your command to love in my world --- Amen

Sunday, February 20, 2005

February 19th and 20th

Saturday 2/19/2005
Matthew 1 - Interesting part here is that Jesus family line passes back through Joseph - but Joseph was not Jesus real father - Mary conceived through the Holy Spirit - she was a virgin - so in a sense Jesus was adopted - very fitting I think because we are all actually adopted anyway -- then when you look back to Judah and see the family line and think of all the people in that line that led to Jesus - it wasn’t much different from all the others- just a bunch of people that God used in various ways and God loved them all - Joseph was told by an angel to take Mary as his wife so Mary became pregnant - Jesus once again come to the people - up close and personal - inside Mary - Mary is healed and saved through Jesus.
Exodus 20-21 - The ten commandments- oh how the people were afraid of God - how they feared his voice from that mountain - like all the thunder the lightening - they were not to approach God - only Moses - God comes to us - he gave them laws and came to the people through the law - how they are to live with each other and live with God - day to day - God comes again to the people in Jesus- close - but God always comes to the people - I can’t do anything to get to God -I must depend on him to come to me - then I will chase after him like a little kid - don’t really need to but I will anyway
Proverbs 9 - Respect and obey the LORD! - This is the beginning of wisdom.
Struggle with temptation is good. Rely on the Word and feel the temptation but turn from the sin and face God.
I wished him dead - but he gave me the money - is this my sunrise or sunset -- Forgive me Jesus for hanging you on that tree - I wished you dead - thank you Jesus for saving me not with silver or gold but with your precious blood and life- you gave me the money -- you have given me a sunrise and a new life to live this day in praise and service and trust in you -this is my sunrise not by sunset - I will turn to you - Thanks be to God!
Help your neighbor keep what is his.
Romans 4.1-5, 13-17 - It depends on faith - Believe and have faith in God’s blessing
Colossians 1.9-14 - Don’t cease praying for each other - that they may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding -- please God -be strong and prepared to endure
Psalm 49 - Don’t be afraid
Prayer - Lord- You come to us - you come to us personally - I give you thanks for all you do for me - all the blessing you grant - all the healing you give - make this day a day to rejoice in the love you have shown to me- It’s a day to go and play - to see your glory and to prepare in a great praise to you tomorrow -- but right now - I will praise you and play today -- Amen
Sunday 2/20/2005
Matthew 2 - King Herod began to worry about Jesus -- so Jesus , even though he was born very humble - in the barn - word must have spread - there must have been much talk amongst the people for Herod to even consider this - the miracles told in the stories must have been very impressive to the people - Herod sends the Wise men to locate Jesus - Herod finds out from the Jewish Leaders where the Messiah is to be born - Then God guided Joseph - with his adopted Son to go to Egypt - an adventure for sure - Joseph was fully depending on God - Joseph was on an adventure with a call from God - go! - and Joseph went - The Wise men didn’t go back to Herod - so Herod was pissed- he had his soldiers kill all the boys who lived near Bethlehem two years old and younger - God turns it around again here- babies who gave their life for the life of Jesus in a sense -- or at least they had their lives taken because of Jesus -still a wonderful honor - I think they have a special place in heaven today - But think too of the parents of those children - the pain - the mourning - another special room in heaven - after Herod died - an angel came to Joseph and told him to move back to Israel -- Joseph on an adventure for God -- What adventure is God leading me on this day?-- God turns it all around - thinking of the Israelites -- they escaped death and went from Egypt to Israel -- here Jesus escapes death and moves from Israel to Egypt.
Exodus 22-23 - God was and is very loving -even in all the laws and instructions he gives the Israelites - he cares for them and wants them to get along and gives them the rules to live good lives together- heed this love -- it’s interesting how in the laws you can see the culture and the personality of the people of that day - I think that the common laws were meant to change throughout time - but at that time - God needed to give laws that the people needed- today God gives gifts to men and women to be able to legislate- create - change and make laws that we need to live in harmony with each other- and judges to make those decisions - God has called many people through these vocations and they are ministers just as much as anyone else is a minister - the big difference between some is if the person is acting on a call from God or just satisfying some selfish desire.
Proverbs 10 - the words of good people are a source of life - love overlooks the wrongs that others do - accept correction, and you will find life - I like the literary pattern - if this then that -- positive -negative- or negative-positive-- this is like a buffet of wisdom and guidance
Struggle with temptation is good. Rely on the Word and feel the temptation but turn from the sin and face God.
I wished him dead - but he gave me the money - is this my sunrise or sunset -- Forgive me Jesus for hanging you on that tree - I wished you dead - thank you Jesus for saving me not with silver or gold but with your precious blood and life- you gave me the money -- you have given me a sunrise and a new life to live this day in praise and service and trust in you -this is my sunrise not my sunset - I will turn to you - Thanks be to God!
Encourage loyalty to your neighbor of all the people in his life.
John 3.1-17 - A man - in the night - a talk with Jesus - discuss the spiritual birth - how can I be born spiritually - an adventure - the wind blows wherever it chooses - God can spiritually blow me wherever he chooses and I don’t know where it comes from - and adventure into the unknown - will I trust God? - will I believe and have faith in God? - will I go to that unknown place in faith- trust and hope? - will I hear God’s call and obey? - will I go play? - will I even walk out the door? - God love me so much he did this very thing for me - he sent Jesus out to my world - to my heart - to show me that real deep deep deep love not a one of us can begin to understand - but I sure will try to - I sure will show what I can of it to others - I sure will go and play and run out that door to the world I live in and follow God’s lead when presented -- It’s time to go now - It’s time to go play-- there’s a huge reason for all this - look at verse 16 -- yes -- George’s verse -- I’ll pick up George on the way out -- See ya later!
2 Kings 19.14-19 - You are God - you alone - save me I pray!
Psalm 106.1-12 - Look at all God has done - past and present - trust in him - put all my faith right there where it belongs - not on some thing or effort of my own.
Prayer - Lord this new day - this day of your resurrection - I give you thanks for the journey - for your journey into Egypt - your journey back to Nazareth - your journey to the cross - your ministry - for the Israelites journey - out of Egypt - and most of all for your journey into my heart - I give you thanks and praise for that journey especially given to me - my journey of life - my journey of ministry - for baptism and that beginning of the journey long ago - feed me this day with your body and blood - the bread and the wine of life and sustain me in this journey you have me on - this play you have me do - thanks for choosing me to be on your team - now show me they way - tell me the rules of the game and I’ll go and compete for you with all I have - I’ll fall down a time or two - but you will be there - I’m ready to go whatever and wherever - you never know what’s next - that’s what makes it all so fun - I must trust and depend on you - cause I never know where your ministry will take me -- thanks for the adventure of the journey of ministry for you -- Let’s go now - let’s pick up a few friends on the way and form a team - we have a foe to compete against -but I know that you already have the plan figure out --- Amen

Friday, February 18, 2005

February 18th Reflection

Friday 2/18/2005
Hebrews 13 - Here we are told as Christians to take care of each other - don’t fall for the temptations of this world like money or new and strange teachings. Christ was sacrificed outside of the temple - so we too must go outside the temple and offer the gift of life to the world - show them Jesus saving grace - pray for ourselves and others and continually praise God for what he has done - God is a God that is alive and active - not just a religion to think about - Jesus took action - so too must we - we must because we can’t help ourselves - out of the great joy we have in what God has given us - life!
Exodus 18-19 - Hmm! -- Small groups - nothing new! -- Jethro came to visit Moses -- brought Moses two sons to him - so Jethro is watching Moses work - all these people are coming to Moses to have Moses judge all sorts of things -- Jethro being an outsider says hey Mosey baby -- that ain’t no way to do it! -- you are going to wear yourself out and all those people too - you just judge the biggies - set up leaders to do the others ordinary cases -- what you are doing now is too much for one person - you need to rely on the gifts God has given you - all these other capable people to judge in your midst - use them like God wants you to - teach the judges what God wants - show them how to do it and turn them loose - then put them over small groups -- sound familiar? --- vs. 23 - “This is the way God wants it done. You won’t be under nearly as much stress, and everyone else will return home feeling satisfied.� -- Jethro returned home - what a great gift God sent to Jethro - what a great gift God sends to us! -- Next God had Moses meet him on the mountain - God wanted to show the people his presence from the mountain - but the people - none of them except Moses were aloud to approach the mountain -- they weren’t allowed to go up the mountain to God -- no need - years later and even then the message was - God will come from the mountain to the people - travel with the people in cloud and fire - protect the people from harm - provide for all the needs of the people - save the people - God will and does come down the mountain to the people - to me - God came to me in Jesus - up close and personal - inside - God moves to me - I can’t move to God and I should fool myself - only God can save - no movement of my own will save me - only God’s movement of Jesus salvation can save me -- it’s oh so personal and close and wonderful -- Thanks be to God!
Proverbs 8 - “Wisdom� is portrayed as female -- making this very interesting for a male dominated culture - Every honest leader rules with help from “Wisdom� -- “Wisdom� loves everyone who loves her - she is more valuable than gold and silver - search for “Wisdom� -- “Wisdom� was from the beginning - with God - at creation - At the very first, the LORD gave life to “Wisdom“ - before the ocnears or springs of water - before the mountains were formed - before God made the earth “Wisdom“ was born - “Wisdom“ made God happy and was at his side - come to the home of “Wisdom“ each day and follow her advice - you will be happy - listen to her instructions - by finding her you will find life and God will be pleased with you
Struggle with temptation is good. Rely on the Word and feel the temptation but turn from the sin and face God.
I wished him dead - but he gave me the money - is this my sunrise or sunset -- Forgive me Jesus for hanging you on that tree - I wished you dead - thank you Jesus for saving me not with silver or gold but with your precious blood and life- you gave me the money -- you have given me a sunrise and a new life to live this day in praise and service and trust in you -this is my sunrise not by sunset - I will turn to you - Thanks be to God!
Defend your neighbor- speak well of them and explain their actions in the kindest way. -- That’s hard sometimes!
Genesis 12.1-4 - So God told Abram to go -- and Abram went!
John 3.14-17 - God loves all - he sent his Son to give us life and to save us -- nuff said!
Psalm 3 - God answers my cries to him - God takes care of me - God saves me
Prayer - Jesus you come to me - you come to me in all the power that the Israelites saw on that mountain - yet you bring it to me - I can’t come to you - but I depend on your mercy and how you come to me - forgive my sins and receive my praise and thanksgiving - may I serve you in your Kingdom - you save me - give me today your wisdom that I may go out now in your name to those you love and tell them all about you. --Amen

Thursday, February 17, 2005

February 17th Reflection

Thursday 2/17/2005
Hebrews 12 - Keep my eyes on Jesus - keep my mind on Jesus -- that is the vision - that is the direction for all my actions - Jesus leads the way - follow the leader - sometimes God will need to correct me and will -this is all for good - if he wasn’t correcting me- then I should worry - use this as an example of how to discipline my own children -- correct but accept them in love -- listen to God and follow his commands for through Jesus I have a new covenant - I am saved from sin and death and can now live in true life with God in service to him and one another all in love.
Exodus 16-17 - The Israelites complain of lack of food - God sends them manna - what is it? - bread from heaven - God still sends us manna -- that saving bread from heaven through his Son Jesus - but they had to eat this bread - day to day - you couldn’t store it up - I depend on the same bread of life - day to day - I must relive my baptism daily and repent and ask forgiveness -- then water - grumble about water--
God sent the water from a rock -- water of my baptism -- water combined with God’s Word - calls me from the Rock - that Cornerstone of your Faith - Jesus once again bathes me in the saving water of salvation - washes my sins away - pours that water all over me - head to toe- can’t you feel that water washing over during confession? - pay attention - after the manna-bread-body-Jesus -- and the waster from that Rock of Jesus and the washing and forgiveness of my sins - I am sent out to battle - a leader - raise my hands to God - keep them up their - even and always while under persecution - while under hurtful words - while under conflict - while emotionally wounded -- keep those arms up in praise to God - only God can rescue me -- and I must trust completely in God -- keep those arms up and if need be have a couple of friends come by and help you keep your arms up in praise when you get tired - what are friends for?
Proverbs 7.6-27 - Don’t give in to my sexual desires with a prostitute - sex is a gift from God and not to be a selfish act of pleasure and a gift of love between two people and God. - Don’t be the animal I want to be.
Struggle with temptation is good. Rely on the Word and feel the temptation but turn from the sin and face God.
I wished him dead - but he gave me the money - is this my sunrise or sunset -- Forgive me Jesus for hanging you on that tree - I wished you dead - thank you Jesus for saving me not with silver or gold but with your precious blood and live- you gave me the money -- you have given ma a sunrise and a new life to live this day in praise and service and trust in you -this is my sunrise not by sunset - I will turn to you - Thanks be to God!
Help others improve and protect their property and means of making a living
Psalm 121 - I lift my eyes to the hills -- I can see where my help comes from - God keeps me and protects and saves me.
Ephesians 4.25-32 - Let no evil talk come out of my mouth but only the good building up talk - may my words give grace to those who hear them - put away bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander - but turn it around and be kind to others, tenderhearted, forgiving as Jesus did for me.
Psalm 30 - Cry and pray to God - he hears - he won’t let that pain last forever - and when you have been acknowledged by God - listen - obey and sing praises and give thanks
Prayer - Jesus the focus is on you - the bread of life - the manna from heaven - for you came to us as your children - you feed us daily with your saving grace and your body and blood - I am eternally thankful -- then you continually heap upon me through the Rock of salvation that life giving water- that ever-flowing water form your Rock of Salvation - that day after day I may bathe in your water and feel it pour over my whole body from my head to my feet - this water that frees me to go out into the world in which you send me - to hold my hands high in praise to you - to meet the battles and persecutions and unkind words of this life with the trust and hope in your salvation - for only though you are my battles won - may I this day rush to the aid of a friend or friends who need the help - who are tired of this worldly persecution and hold their hand high for them in praise to you divine love and healing - and as we receive your grace may we slowly look around at the hills surrounding us and see your glory -- for on those mountains where you reside and in our hearts where you reside we find - that is where our help comes form - from you - the source of all life - you won’t let the pain last forever - for you are a kind and gentle parent -- teach me to hear, listen, obey, follow and respond to your love this day. Amen

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

February 16th Reflection

Wednesday 2/16/2005
Hebrews 11.22-40 - People of faith - all sorts of examples - our faith makes God happy - even though we don’t receive the promise right away I we must have faith - that’s what faith is all about - that trust and hope and belief that God has something very special in his plan and we can depend on God to care for us - even we times are rough- when it doesn’t look like things are working out - have faith - follow God and depend solely on him
Exodus 15 - God had saved his chosen people from death - they responded in song - in joy - in happiness - God saves his people and cares for them -- into the desert Moses led the Israelites - three days until they could find water and when they did the water tasted bitter - the people complained to Moses -God rescued the people again with a miracle - throw a piece of wood into the water - then the water became good -- God saves his people - he saves me in my baptism and he saves me with a piece of wood in that water - a piece of wood that his Son hung and died upon - God saves me in my sin and my grumbling and gives me hope- even though I make that perfect baptismal water bitter with my sin - God threw a piece of wood into that water and turned it all so sweet - I must trust in God and have faith - God saved me with water-wood-blood and through his Son.
Proverbs 6.1-7.5 - Don’t be lazy or careless about what needs to be don - work at it and keep your faith in God - remember my parents instruction and follow the wisdom
Return to God -- Yet even now - God is with me -- through it all- I will return to him with all my heart
Struggle with temptation is good. Rely on the Word and feel the temptation but turn from the sin and face God.
In matters of sex keep my words and conduct pure and honorable.
John 2.23-3.10 - I must be born of water a Spirit - fill me with your Spirit
Romans 5.6-11 - While I was still a sinner - Jesus died for me - Jesus saved me- why? - love -- I will believe-have faith and sing praises
Psalm 20 - My pride is in the name of the LORD God- he will protect and save me
Prayer -Jesus thank you for saving a sinner like me -- I will have faith - I will put all my trust and hope in you - I will sing your praises forever. -- Amen

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

February 15th Reflection

Tuesday 2/15/2005
Hebrews 11.1-21 - We must believe that God is real and that he rewards everyone who searches for him. -- funny kind of reward - he finds us and saves us in our search for him -- great kind of reward - priceless reward - and all because God gives us faith - the author takes us through history of all the people that had faith in God -how God blesses all of them and us - they all die - but they still had faith- they didn’t receive what they had been promised but they were glad to see things from far away and they had faith that the promise would be fulfilled- fill me with this faith - for I know that God’s promise will be fulfilled! God’s promise has already been fulfilled! -- I have faith!
Exodus 13-14 - The Passover celebration - giving the first born to God - giving the first to God - remember what God does for me - remember how God blesses me - remember how God saves me - remember how God suffered and died for me - remember - then God leads the Israelites into the desert - a cloud by day - a fire by night - God protects the people - gets between the Israelites and the Egyptians chasing them -- Moses uses his walking stick to part the waters - the cloud behind - walk across the sea on dry land- notice how that breath of life - that blowing Spirit of God parts the waters and saves the people - blow that breath - that Spirit of life into me today - then the waters come together and God defeats the Egyptians - saves his people -- even though the people have little faith and grumble along the way - God saves them - forgive me for my grumbling and save me!
Proverbs 5 - Be faithful to your wife - be happy with her and don’t have sex with other women- simple and straightforward advice
Return to God -- Yet even now - God is with me -- through it all- I will return to him with all my heart
Struggle with temptation is good. Temptation is based on good things. Rely on the Word and feel the temptation but turn from the sin and face God.
Don’t hurt others
John 2.13-22 - Clean out my temple - run out the sin in my heart and rebuild it in three days -- with the salvation and forgiveness of Jesus
Jeremiah 29.10-14 - For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with home. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you, When you search for me, you will find me; if your seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the LORD,…I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you… --- sound familiar?
Psalm 46 - The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge -- this is the Psalm that inspired Luther to write “A Mighty Fortress� -- sound familiar in other ways too?
Prayer - Lord - thanks for the gift of faith - you build that faith - you give wonderful stories of people of faith - you build that faith - it becomes so easy to have faith when I realize all the blessings you give - the friends you have set in my life - the people of faith you have surrounded me with - as I wander into the desert of my world give me the faith I need- forgive my grumbling and open my eyes to the miracles you set right in front of my face - up close - inside - open my heart to give the love of Christ to the world I venture into today and fill me with the fire of your Spirit of love -- In Jesus name --- Amen

Monday, February 14, 2005

February 14th Reflection

Monday 4/12/2005
Hebrews 10.19-39 - Through Jesus I can now enter the most holy place with confidence that comes from faith - Jesus is the curtain - by coming together often we can encourage each other to be thoughtful and helpful.-don’t fall out of the habit of worship together - we need this - we need to come together and build each other’s faith and love in Christ.
Exodus 11-12 - So now it comes to the death of the first born - the Israelite Passover meal - the smearing of blood on the door posts -- the anguish of the Egyptians- the begging of the people to leave - the mass of people leaving Egypt in a hurry - God’s plan unfolding - yet death - yet pain- yet chaos - yet plan - God’s plan can look so different from what we expect- go with it anyway
Proverbs 4 - I like how Wisdom is portrayed as a woman - it’s true - a woman will make you stop and think and in that reflection lies the wisdom
Return to God -- Yet even now - God is with me -- through it all- I will return to him with all my heart
Struggle with temptation is good. Temptation is based on good things. Rely on the Word and feel the temptation but turn from the sin and face God.
Respect, obey , love and serve your parents and others in authority
John 2.1-12 - Water into wine -- this is what Jesus did for me -- water-baptism - wine-blood -- Jesus calls me in the waters of my baptism and saves me in the wine of his blood -- thanks be to God for the water into wine!
1 Peter 1.18-21; 2.1-3 - I was ransomed with the precious blood of Christ - clean up my act and feed off Jesus
Psalm 119.97-104 - know the law and respond to it gladly because of what Jesus has already done
Prayer - Jesus you are my curtain - but you have come into my life and opened up the most holy place for me to enter in faith - only through you can I approach - you forgive my sin and set me free to love your world - to love your children and to see the beauty of YOU in all creation - there are miracles al around - and then simple but revealing messages of water into wine - thanks for my baptism and thanks for your blood and sacrifice for those sins that you did not deserve punishment for -- send me out this day into a world where your plan unfolds and honor me with being assigned a task in that plan - give me the courage and faith to follow and serve you this day and this week - In your name --- Amen

Sunday, February 13, 2005

February 13th Reflection

Sunday 2/13/2005
Hebrews 9.23-10.18 - When Jesus comes again - it will not be to take away sin - he has already don this - it will be to save everyone who is waiting for him - I’m waiting! - I don’t need to think I need to be good and sacrifice myself for God - Jesus already did this - now I am free to serve God - there is a difference - a slight twist here that is so important to understand - otherwise we may sacrifice our lives to God and think we are doing all these good things but really we are just trying to be good to become God’s ourselves - this we can’t do - Jesus is the sacrifice - not me -- but in his sacrifice - I am free to give my life to God cause there is no longer need for sacrifice - Jesus has already saved me -- so when was I saved? - way back when! -- the question more important is - when did I believe and act on this great gift of salvation - some can remember a time - others it is a slow growing realization and then an aha! Moment when they just know what the grace of God means in their lives - vs. 14 “By his one sacrifice he has forever set free from sin the people he brings to God.� -- he brings to God - God comes to me - draws me in - I can’t go to him - he comes to me - he comes inside this world -- heals this world inside out! -- then personally vs. 16-17 “When the time comes, I will make an agreement with them. I will write my laws on their minds and hearts. Then I will forget about their sins and no longer remember their evil deeds.�--personally God heals again from the inside out! -- vs. 18 “When sins are forgiven, there is no more need to offer sacrifices.� -- Thanks be to God for Jesus final sacrifice and my salvation - way back then - open the eyes of my heart Lord - I want to see you!
Exodus 9-10 - OK - we start ticking off the plagues - dead animals, sores, hailstones, locusts and darkness -- How many times am I stubborn with God -- God show these miracles and the King is stubborn -- well - look around - God’s miracles are all around - how does a blade of grass grow - why is there light - what’s up with electricity -- but sometimes I don’t recognize God -- how stubborn can I be -- I need to go worship now -- on the mountain of God - see ya!
Proverbs 3 - Let love and loyalty always show like a necklace; and write them in your mind - trust God with all my heart - let God lead me - respect God and stay away from evil - Give God my money - God corrects everyone he loves just like a parent - it’s ok and good to be corrected - it’s love - value wisdom - use common sense and sound judgment - help others - do all you can
See the glory of Jesus on the mountain. Listen to him. Change your ways and let Christ’s love ignite his light in you for all the world to see Jesus saving grace.
Return to God -- Yet even now - God is with me -- through it all- I will return to him with all my heart
Don’t neglect God’s Word and the preaching of it but regard it as holy and gladly hear and learn it.
Matthew 4.1-11 - Jesus fasted and the devil tempted him with food - but this fasting discipline caused Jesus to depend on God to resist temptation - again later he told the devil - don’t test God - serve and depend and trust in God -- even at your weakest moments!
Psalm 5 - In the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch
Prayer - Jesus- you did it - you saved me - you gave me life - I know you are close and within me - for you heal me inside out - you love me inside out- you are with me inside out - as the out of the devil begins to temp me at my weakest moments - let me feel the inside - your spirit of love and grance and resist that temptation and turn that temptation on it’s head- inside out -- Feed me on the inside with your bocy-blood-loyalty-wisdom-understanding and most of all love -- teach me how to take all these gifts out - to the world I live in to your glory and honor -- In Jesus name alone --- Amen

February 12th Reflection

Saturday 2/12/2005
Hebrews 9.1-22 - I like this connection with the OT -- how it relates past with present and future- The description of the most holy place - the ark - in it were the 10 Commandments- a gold jar filled with manna and Aarons walking stick -- the cherubim on top -wings spread creating the mercy seat of God where God sat on his earthly throne - only the high priest could enter this area of the tabernacle and then only one time a year to make a communal offering for everyone’s sins--here we are talking about an earthly tabernacle - an outward expression on an outward thing - the priest sprinkling the blood of the sacrifice on the outside of the people - on the outside of the altar - on the outside of the tabernacle -- but since Jesus there is a new tabernacle - that of my heart - Jesus sprinkles his blood on the inside of my heart - on the inside of my spirit - on the inside of me - Jesus heals and saves me from the inside out -- with his power and grace from the inside -- I cannot save myself by anything I do on the outside -- I can only be saved by what Jesus has already done for me on the inside- but then with this saving grace of Jesus on my inside - I am free to act in service and love for the living God on my outside and released into God’s kingdom - free-happy-passionate about God’s love for all-into the world to show and point all others to Jesus saving grace available to each person -- but then the power of verse 9b “It shows that we cannot make our consciences clear by offering gifts and sacrifices.� -- We can’t save ourselves -- we depend solely and completely on Jesus act of sacrifice and his saving grace -- Jesus went once and for all time into that most holy place - offered himself as the sacrifice for our sin forever. Jesus became the eternal sacrifice - his blood makes our consciences clear - not anything I can do - only what Jesus has already done for me- this releases me to “serve the living God and no longer do things that lead to death.�-- the new covenant is like a will - the person who made the will must die before the will comes into effect -Jesus death brought me the gifts of his will - life and God’s eternal blessings! -- How loving and powerful God is -- Thanks be to God! - this has to be one of the best and most concise passages of the good news written.
Exodus 6.28-8.32 - Here come the plagues - a few miracles before the beginning of the plagues which were matched by the Egyptian magicians -- but finally with the gnats - the magicians were beyond there powers - this is truly coming from God -- but the King of Egypt is stubborn - he won’t let the Israelites go to worship their God in the wilderness.
Proverbs 2 - think what it means to have common sense - search for wisdom - respect and know God - all wisdom comes from God - so does common sense and understanding - live an honest life
See the glory of Jesus on the mountain. Listen to him. Change your ways and let Christ’s love ignite his light in you for all the world to see Jesus saving grace.
Return to God -- Yet even now - God is with me -- through it all- I will return to him with all my heart
A Luther Prayer I need forgiveness on
O Lord, come to me and use my bread, silver, and gold. How very well they are spent if I spend thin in your service. Amen.
Don’t use God’s name to curse, swear, lie or deceive but call on him in prayer, praise, and thanksgiving -- I like you the negative is turned into a positive action
Romans 5.12-19 - Men! -- Good and Bad! -- Adam - sin - Jesus- grace/salvation - Thanks be to God! - it’s free!
Romans 1.16-17 - I am NOT ashamed of the Gospel - how could I be -- it is salvation! -- yell it out for others to hear - hurry up - time is running out!
Psalm 24 - Rather - open my heart oh God -- that the King of glory may come in - I lift up my heart to the Lord that Jesus may come in
Prayer - There it is again - inside out - yes my temple on the inside - fill it with the cloud of your spirit - fill it with your love - fill it with your wisdom - then move out - give my body strength in service to you - give my mind clarity in your Word - give my voice strength to proclaim your Word to the world - then send me out into the world - with your graceful healing and salvation working from the inside out - send me out to show your love to others - to live your love with others- to act in ways that help - to give - to earn money to help your children in this world and to proclaim the wonderful gift that you have given to all people in your son Jesus - all can be healed and saved - yes - from the inside out - Thanks be to God!--- Amen

Friday, February 11, 2005

February 11th Reflection

Friday 2/11/2005
Hebrews 8 - So Jesus couldn’t be our earthly high priest but the real tabernacle is in heaven - the one on earth is just a shadow of the real one -the heavenly tabernacle Jesus is High Priest and also the supreme sacrifice. So with this the Old Covenant is fulfilled and a New Covenant of forgiveness is set up in our hearts and minds - from within - not from without in a tabernacle -- So God’s saving acts works from our inside out.God now writes his lows on our minds and hearts and we will all know God from there.
Exodus 5.1-6.27 - So Moses and Aaron go to the King of Egypt -- let the people go worship their God - the King doesn’t get it - he tells Moses no and accuses the Israelites of being lazy and makes their work harder on them and really dumb by making them look for straw to use instead of giving it to them for the bricks -- well this ticks all the people off - they whine to Moses - Moses whines to God and God tells them to hang in there-- sometimes I gotta just believe what God is up to - trust him and know that it is all for good - even when at the moment all the people around me are making it all look so stupid and making my life difficult -- hang in there - trust in God - and wait for his plan to unfold - it will work for good.
Proverbs 1 - Respect and obey God -- that is the beginning of wisdom-�let’s kill somebody just for the fun of it� -- better get out of that crowd!
See the glory of Jesus on the mountain. Listen to him. Change your ways and let Christ’s love ignite his light in you for all the world to see Jesus saving grace.
Return to God -- Yet even now - God is with me -- through it all- I will return to him with all my heart
Fear, love, and trust God above anything else.
Genesis 2.15-17; 3.1-7 - God placed humans in the garden - but we wanted to be just like God and sinned and did what God did not want us to do -- I can’t be god -- God is God
2 Peter 3.10-13, 17-18 - God is coming again - grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus - give him the glory now and forever.
Psalm 104.24-35 - Look around - God is everywhere! -- May me deditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.
Prayer - Lord - you are my High Priest - my sacrifice - my salvation- I give you deep thanks for writing that new law and that new love on my heart - I give you deep thanks for your presence with me - deep within me - with me in everything - I look to you when it’s difficult - I pray to you when I’m under attack - you rescue me in your time with your plan - help me to be patient and to trust completely in your way - you are coming again - but I rest assured in your coming now to me here and in this place - I look around and you are everywhere - great and awesome and your creation is amazing -- be with me this day as I move out from here - lead and guide me and teach me your wisdom on the way. --- Amen

Thursday, February 10, 2005

February 10th Reflection

Thursday 2/10/2005
Hebrews 7 - this whole chapter is about the great high priest Melchizedek who blessed Abraham and how Jesus is our everlasting high priest. There was a problem with considering Jesus the high priest - He was from the tribe of Judah - not Levi -- so it was the same with Melchizedek -- he wasn’t from the tribe of Levi either - But Abraham validated Melchizedek’s priesthood by giving him a tenth of what he had -- so with this action Melchizedek was high priest - at least for Abraham and we know how important he is to the Jewish faith -- so Melchizedek was appointed - so to God appointed Jesus- giving us a better promise from God - and making Jesus our perfect high priest forever. -- whew!- a bunch of hairy logic I think!
Exodus 3-4 - So Moses stumbles on a burning bush which happens to have the word of God in it - a conversation with God takes place - the calling of Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt - Moses resists but finally goes with the call - It’s a decision to make - so Moses talks to Jethro and leaves the area going back to Egypt with God -- the strangest part of this passage to me is 4.24-26 -- while Moses is on his way back - the LORD was about to kill him - huh? - Commentators indicate the LORD or YHWH was put in instead of a demon spirit and adult circumcision was a means to appease this spirit - saving the bridegroom -- it is of value because it points out the jungle of primitive superstitions out of which the religion of YHWH developed --the best explanation I saw was that God was upset with Moses since his son wasn’t circumcised like he should have been and Moses should have known better so Zipporah rescues Moses by circumcising their son and laying the foreskin on Moses penis - like a ritual thing of some sort- all sounds pretty weird to me - but so does circumcision as a sign for God too - but then I have to wonder was Moses even circumcised - he grew up with the Egyptians - did they let him follow his religion? - come to think of it now - Moses sure was a strange selection by God - I’m still not sure I get it. -- Oh well- it’s God’s plan so I guess I don’t have to get it.
Psalm 41 - When sick and/or rejected - know that God is there to rescue and love you.
See the glory of Jesus on the mountain. Listen to him. Change your ways and let Christ’s love ignite his light in you for all the world to see Jesus saving grace.
Return to God -- Yet even now - God is with me -- through it all- I will return to him with all my heart
May I serve and please God with all my thoughts words and deeds.
Psalm 32 - I can be happy because God forgives me - acknowledge my sin to God - he forgives - pray to God - “You are a hiding place for me; you reserve me from trouble; your surround me with glad cries of deliverance.� -- I like that thought! - God will instruct and teach me- steadfast love surrounds those who trust in God - be glad in the LORD and rejoice - shout for joy -- I think this is becoming one of my favorite Psalms
2 Peter 3.3-9 - vs. 8 “But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand year, and a you sand years are like one day.� -- So God is not slow about his return -- just on his time not mine - I need to be patient.
Psalm 90 - you are God -- always - in all time and without time - vs. 4 “For a thousand year in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.� -- “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.� -- Well - OK - I like this one too!
Prayer - Lord- sometimes you speak to me in such weird ways! - I don’t understand many times - and then just don’t get it - but big deal - I know I can come to you with anything - look at how you spoke to Moses - in a burning bush -- I don’t know Lord - that’s pretty weird -- but then the whole thing is weird - why do you even bother with me -- your time is so awesome - I’m like a nothing - then I think of all you have done for me - how you have made me special through the grace of your Son - but it’s still all pretty weird - I think I’m beginning to love weird though - thanks for your weird forgiveness - thanks for your weird gift of life - thanks for your weird stories of faith and thanks for loving this weird creature of yours. You make me so happy! -- Amen

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

February 9th Reflection

Wednesday 2/9/2005
Hebrews 6.13-20 - Gods’ promise and blessing are sure and truthful - God doesn’t tell lies - so we can take hope and anchor ourselves in his promise of everlasting life through Jesus.
Exodus 1-2 - The Israelites became a powerful and numerous people in Egypt and the Egyptians started to worry about them - they are too many - if we battle they may join the enemy - so the Egyptians made the Israelites slaves - but the Israelites continued to prosper- so they decided to kill the baby boys -- one day a princess was taking a bath in the river and noticed a baby in a basket crying amongst the reeds -then pulled it out of the water - had an Israelite woman take care of the baby then came back and adopted the baby and named him Moses -- Moses grew up inside the palaces of Egypt - one day he swa a couple of Hebrews fighting and went to break up the fight - the Hebrews didn’t respect Moses because earlier Moses has seen an Egyptian beating a Hebrew and Moses killed the Egyptian -- so these two guy that were fighting thought Moses would now kill them -- but Moses didn’t think anyone knew that he killed that first Egyptian- Moses was scared and ran away - me met Jethro and strayed with him and eventually married his daughter Zopporah. -- So the basket and the ater makes me thing of tow things - Noah and the flood - basket and ark and also my baptism - god pulls me out of the water - I’m dunked into my sinful life and pulled into another life through God’s ever-flowing life giving water.-- So where is Jesus in this - I see a similarity in how the king was trying to eliminate the baby boys for fear of the Israelites becoming powerful just like Herod tried to eliminate the baby boys for fear of a new king in Jesus -- I see the Jesus baptism story - and Moses be called as a baby by God - selected to rescue his people - Jesus sent to rescue all people.
Psalm 40 - God will pull me out of the mud and let me stand- pray for help - He will give you a new song a new attitude and I will praise him - God wants me to please him - not offer sacrifices - please God -
See the glory of Jesus on the mountain. Listen to him. Change your ways and let Christ’s love ignite his light in you for all the world to see Jesus saving grace.
I commend my body, soul and all I have to God
Matthew 6.1-6, 16-21 - have a close personal relationship with God- one that doesn’t need to be paraded about in front of others - like look at me I’m a Christian - neyaa neyaa -- I think that makes other people want to puke and God want to puke too -- don’t be phony - just be personal with God and act humbly.
John 16.7-11 - Receive the Sprit - learn - recognize my sin- repent and act on that saving grace
Psalm 1 - Be happy and feed on that life-giving baptismal water.
Prayer- Lord it’s the bottom of the week - as I bow my head in prayer this morning - I can’t see any lower - In my pit this morning I’ve hit rock bottom - but as I hear your life giving word of forgiveness for my sins I raise my eyes and look up - look up and see how I am surrounded by the glory of mountains on all sides - with your cloud of saving grace at the peaks of each of those mountains- you fill me with hope - you fill me with awe - you display your beauty to me and energize me to begin that climb - at the bottom - on the climb and at the top - you are with me - Thanks be to God! -- Amen

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

February 8th Reflection

Tuesday 2/8/2005
Hebrews 4.14-6.12 - Jesus was truly human - he was tempted just like I am but he did not sin - so I can boldly go to the throne of God when I am in need and God will treat me with undeserved kindness and help me - oh the power of prayer - because Jesus was the sacrifice for my sins - he is my high priest and my sacrifice all in one - it was the suffering that made Jesus perfect - so suffering for me is easier in knowing that God still chooses me - become mature in faith - talk about why I need to turn from sin and change - face it - talk about faith and the meaning it has - don’t turn from God - it’s the same as nailing Jesus on the cross - if I have experienced the power of the Spirit and still turn away - I have purposely chosen to leave God and will be condemned to death- God is forgiving but also doesn‘t play around - the choice is mine- choose to repent, turn to God - don‘t walk away- help others - show others love- keep faith and hope and act on your faith.
Genesis 49-50 - Jacob blesses his sons -- kind of -- since Reuben slept with Jacob’s wife it wasn’t such a blessing - more of a curse - and Simeon and Levi who took revenge on the rape of Dinah were cursed with their people being scattered - Levi tribe became the priests which didn’t really have land but were dispersed among the tribes and Simeon was absorbed into Judah -- but Judah to me is the most interesting - this is the tribe that King David and Jesus came from - it’s interesting that Judah was the son of Jacob and Leah - not Jacob and Rachel - Rachel always seemed to be the favored one -- anyway in Jacob’s blessing I see Jesus - “you will be praised by your brothers� - “as you defeat your enemies�-death and sin -- “you are a lion� - reminds me of C.S. Lewis children’s books - “You will have power and rule� -- “you will wash your clothes in wine� -- blood of sacrifice - even a mention of tying the donkey up. -- Then Jacob dies and finally the death of Joseph.
Psalm 39 - I depend on you, Lord! Save me from my sins.
See the glory of Jesus on the mountain. Listen to him. Change your ways and let Christ’s love ignite his light in you for all the world to see Jesus saving grace.
Know your sins are forgiven
2 Corinthians 5.20b-6.10 - Jesus suffering-death and resurrection has freed me to live for him -- even in pain and suffering - I can and will rejoice
Revelation 1.1-8 - Jesus freed us with his blood - look!- he is coming - look!- he is with you now!
Psalm 91 - It’s a battle - those who love God - God will deliver - God will protect - God will be there in times of trouble- God will rescue
Prayer - Jesus - you are my human brother no doubt - you came and experienced my life - my temptations and died for all of my sin - I depend fully on you - I can’t save myself - but with your freedom I give you thanks - Lord - I come before you today a sinner - forgive my sin - be good to me and send me out into your world - I depend on you - for you will save me from my sins -- look! - I see you are here - yet in a little while I will say - look! - he is coming in the clouds -you will come to rescue in so many ways - I look forward to that final day of rescue - but in the meantime - I’m here to love your children like you have loved me - I depend on you -send me now today with your gracious blessing. -- Amen

Monday, February 07, 2005

February 7th Reflection

Monday 2/7/2005
Hebrews 3.1-4.13 - The writer talks about how Jesus is greater than Moses - like the builder of the house deserves more honor than the house - Moses was a faithful servant and did what he was told but Jesus is in charge - then on to how faith in God is the source of what we hold on to - how the Israelites wandering in the desert lost faith - how God wants us to have faith in him and if we don’t have faith we may not enter the place of rest.- this whole idea of rest is related to God’s rest after creation - the rest of the Israelites when they finally reached the Promised Land and Christian “rest� in heaven with God.- this conquest of rest is only made possible through Jesus saving acts - the Israelites found out that due to their lack of faith they really didn’t have that “rest� they were seeking -- the “rest� all depends on God in Jesus - not some act of our own.
Genesis 48 - Jacob is soon to die - Joseph brings his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh - Jacob blesses them - but in a peculiar but not so peculiar way - he blesses the younger over the older child -- this seems to be a theme over and over again in Genesis and the OT -- God always acts in unexpected ways.
Psalm 38 - god knows all my deepest desires and all my groans -This Psalmist is sick and needs God’s healing - God is the one who saves
See the glory of Jesus on the mountain. Listen to him. Change your ways and let Christ’s love ignite his light in you for all the world to see Jesus saving grace.
Don’t torture yourself with imaginary sins
Joel 2.1-2, 12-17 - Shout it out - make an announcement - the day of the LORD is coming - return to God - turn around - change - hurry up!!!- quit fooling around!
Romans 16.17-20 - Serve God - not myself
Psalm 73 - Go into the sanctuary of God and listen - perceive the solution to things from God
Prayer - Jesus - it’s time to change - it’s time to repent and change - to see your great light from the mountain - but it’s also time to move - it’s time to go - it’s time to act - it’s time to move into my world - it’s time to move into your world - lead me this week - forgive my sin and guide me this week - let me free to show the light of your salvation - to point to that mountain where your great light has shone - but to also point to the light you send into the darkness of the world - to follow your light throughout the week till once again I return to you -- through this week I will always feel your presence - I know you are here with me and will listen listen listen -- I gotta go now -- you lead - I’ll follow --- Amen

Sunday, February 06, 2005

February 6th Reflection

Sunday 2/6/2005
Hebrews 2 - Pay attention - don’t drift away - I like this - “Somewhere in the Scriptures someone says to God….� -- not all that haughty Bible stuff - he just know it well enough that he knows it is in there - Jesus died for everyone - everyone - everything belongs to God- I tend to forget this - Jesus led many of God’s children to be saved - they didn’t save themselves - Jesus led them - lead me also! - Jesus can help me when I’m tempted to sin
Genesis 46.28-47.31 - So Joseph takes his family to meet the King of Egypt - everyone is happy and they settle in the land of Goshen - a good land for shepherds - the famine continues and people use up all their money and have to sell their land for food - but the plan of God revealed to Joseph goes on - Jacob is now on his deathbed
Psalm 37 - Trust the LORD - the land will be yours - It is better to live right and to be poor than to be sinful and rich - The LORD will hold your hand and if you stumble, you still won’t fall
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
Examine yourself -smell the stench of your sin - repent and ask for forgiveness
Matthew 17.1-9 - Jesus was transfigured - his face shone like the sun - There was Moses and Elijah - a bright cloud covered them - This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him! -- Get up! - don’t be afraid- As they were coming down the mountain Jesus told them not to tell - let every one experience Jesus transfiguration themselves - deep inside of them - Jesus heals from the inside out- he will come to each of us with some of his friends and everything will change!-- listen to Him!
Numbers 21.4-9 - man can I complain about things too - God can make things allot worse if he wants - I need to learn to trust in God and focus on Jesus and the cross
Psalm 50 - Our God comes and does not keep silence - offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving- call on God when I’m in trouble
Prayer - Jesus - you come today to my door - with your friends and my friends too - you invite me out into that sunny day - that bright and powerful sunny day to experience the world you and I live in - to experience a world I live in with you and friends- let’s go out and play - when I fall and bruise or cut myself - pick me up - when my feelings get hurt have compassion on me - when my friends fall and get hurt show me how to have compassion on them - how to love them with your love - how to show them your light and your love and your heart - as we play in this world of light you bring me into - let’s draw a whole bunch of other friends along - let’s walk to that cross together- hand in hand - carry each other’s cross when needed - help each other in the pain the world dishes out - but knowing all along that this path- you have gone on before - you have conquered this path - you have defeated death - you have defeated sin and evil and the devil and we can now walk this same path you lead us on with life and hope and thanksgiving - the pain is nothing knowing all this - help me to lift my friends and to love them with you - let’s go out into that bright and sunny day together -Let’s go to the top of that mountain and praise God and focus on the love given and the salvation given on that cross with that huge heart on it- let’s go to the beach and feel your power in the waves of the ocean and praise God for all of creation and your saving grace in those endless washing of that life-giving water washing into my world - washing into my friends world and washing straight to the deep center of our being - for you are there - you wash me from the inside out - you heal me and forgive me from the inside out- It will be great to watch my friends feel your love coming from deep inside themselves - just like you want - that bright an sunny day- that warm comforting day on the beach - that fantastic mountain top view- just you and a few friends and the world to follow - that path to the cross - thanks! -- Amen

February 5th Reflection

Saturday 2/5/2005
Hebrews 1 - God created the universe by his son - everything will someday belong to the Son - Jesus washed away our sins - God chose his Son - Angels are merely spirits sent to serve people who are going to be saved
Genesis 45.1-46.27 - Now Joseph with his brothers finally got to him - he broke down - cried - and told his brothers who he was- there was a great reunion after the initial shock - the brothers were sent back home with many gifts to bring their father to Egypt to live- Jacob packed up and left - on the way God spoke to Jacob and assured him this was the way to go - how nice it must have been for Jacob - his son was alive - and he knew he was doing what God had planned for him -- In the same way God gave me his son Jesus -- he is alive and as I follow his call I can be sure that I’m doing what God has planned- when I think of God’s plan in the lives of people - it’s amazing to see how it works so differently - think of the differences in how God used Jacob-Joseph and me -- then think of the similarities- and you never really know what will be next!- but it will all turn for good if I only let God use me and not turn my back and walk away.
Psalm 36 - Hate sin - God’s love is faithful - I can depend on God - the life giving fountain belongs to God
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
Confess your sins before God and in private with others as needed.
2 Peter 2.16-21 - This is my Son with whom I am well pleased- be attentive to this as a lamp in the dark - focus on Jesus -- don’t blink - don’t flinch- no prophecy or scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. Look for God in the movement of the Spirit in others - God is there - God is in the scripture interpreted by the Spirit -- See God all over the place - listen -follow - act- test it all with the Spirit
Hebrews 1.1-3 - Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son -- I don’t know why - but I love those words - well maybe I do know why - Jesus is personal - he speaks deep within the heart - he forgives and saves - can’t do anything without him- can’t be the hero myself - but can be a hero with him
Psalm 119.41-48 - Trust in God’s Word - love God’s commandments - love God’s plan for me- love God and trust
Prayer - Jesus -how you forgive - how you are everywhere - how creation begins with you - how you love - how you save - how it is to see God’s plan unfold - how it is fun to go on the journey - be willing to go through the desert - be willing to go to Egypt - even knowing that this isn’t the final place you wish me to go - but go anyway - how to depend and trust in you - how to have you by me side - how to do the heroic things you ask - how I can only do those things with you - how to fail and turn back to you - how to accept your forgiveness and move on - how to feel your love deep inside - how to show your love to others in my life - how to live with you - how to be with you - how to know you - how to believe in you- how to see your light - how to feel your warmth - how to have you as my Savior -- how to - how to -- it’s all you -- thanks be to God! -- Amen