Tuesday, May 31, 2005

May 28th to 30th Reflection

Saturday 5/28/2005

Romans 3.9-31 - No one is acceptable to God! - They have all turned away and are worthless - All the Law does is point out our sin! -- Can you smell the stench?- that’s what the law does- allow us to smell the stench of our sin - God accepts people only because they have faith in Jesus - because of Jesus - God accepts us and frees us from our sins - God sent Jesus to be our sacrifice - So- it’s not because we obey the law that we are saved- it is only because God loves us so much he sent his son to die for our sins- we must believe this and accept it - God now accepts all people -- so now the law - that ability to smell the stench of sin is even more powerful - for Jesus saves us from our sins - that stench we still smell

1 Samuel 12 - Samuel gives a farewell speech - he is old- he reminds the Israelites of how many times they have turned their backs on God concerning leadership - and God has always provided for them - with Moses- Joshua and all the judges- and now they ask for a king - God has given them a king- but the real issue is that they keep turning from God- worshipping other gods - they have to stop this! - they must know that God is God and he is the only one- God will protect and preserve them and take care of all their needs- they don’t need to even try to make themselves into gods

Psalm 57 - God will protect me - I honor God above everything- I praise God for everyone to hear

God’s love reaches higher that the heavens and his loyalty extends beyond the clouds

Focus on my relationship with God-He is with me in love always

On the last day he will raise me and all the dead and give me and all believers in Christ eternal life. This is most certainly true.

Romans 1.16-17; 3.22b-28 - Don’t be ashamed of the gospel - the one who is righteous will live by faith - all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are new justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith - a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.

2 Timothy 3.10-17 - All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for, teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so the everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work

Psalm 78.1-8 - Listen to God! - Listen to his words- look for him in all places and learn and understand God

Prayer- Lord- forgive me- I know I sin - I know I fall short - I can smell the stench and need your forgiveness- direct my life this day - lead me - keep me from my dependence on myself or even the “kings” I have set up in my life - for I can only depend on you - you give me all I need- you equip me with all I need - you send me into your kingdom- you give me your inspired Word- for this I am so thankful- you speak to me and whisper your messages into me ear- for you are God -the creator of all- the creator of life- how much I praise and adore you - just one simple glance around and I’m amazed at your power- just one simple glance around - one partially open ear and I can hear you speaking through your creation- through your people- through all that exists- you are a powerful and almighty God - and I am way way way more than honored that you would even think of using me today -- I’m willing - I listening - I will obey -- send me today! -- Amen

Sunday 5/29/2005

Romans 4 - God accepted Abraham because Abraham had faith in him. -- But you cannot make God accept you because of something you do. God accepts sinners only because they have faith in him. --this describes Abraham with faith- God gave Abraham this faith - even if I have a little faith or much faith - God has given this to me and I must use this gift of faith to follow God- to stay in his path - take his direction and trust him with all I have- just the teeny-tiny gift of a mustard seed of faith can move mountains- so God gives faith - but I need to use it and trust, hope, serve and obey God with my faith-- God is the creator of life at the world’s beginning, the one who restores order and integrity in the world’s crises, the one who bestows eternal life at the world’s end.-- Faith is not anything Abraham or I can do - it is a trust in God - the unwavering reliance brought to life by God’s promise of life - Faith is to live by what God does- not by what I do

1 Samuel 13 - So Saul is King of Israel - he gathers soldiers to go and fight the Philistines- Two thousand were with Saul and another thousand were with Saul’s son Jonathan- Jonathan attacks the Philistines at Geba- The other Philistines heard what had happened - Saul got the word out for all the Israelite soldiers to get together - the Philistines were really mad and they really hate Israel-- so a battle is brewing - the Philistines gathered their soldiers and the had a bunch of em -- the Israelites were afraid- they hid in caves, bushes and rocks -- they were shaking with fear- so Saul decides he needs to offer a sacrifice - he had been waiting for seven days for Samuel to come - but Samuel didn’t come- so Saul offered the sacrifice anyway -- well then Samuel decides to show up- Samuel told Saul that what he did was stupid - that Saul didn’t obey God and wait for him and that now because of this - no one in Saul’s family would continue on the kingship - God had chosen someone else-- I think there were some big ego problems between Samuel and Saul-- I think Samuel was jealous that God let and chose Saul to be king- I think Samuel always felt slighted by God - but that’s just what I think- who knows-- so the Philistines had control of Israel- they had another advantage- they had technology - they were able to work with iron and make points- spears- swords and tools for farming out of metal- the Israelites depended on the Philistines to help with these tools- so the Philistines knew that only a few people would have weapons of iron to defeat them -- so the Philistines had technology -- but if the Israelites were to worship God and only God- put all their trust and faith in him- the Israelites had the most powerful of all advantages-- God!

Psalm 58 - God rules the earth with justice

Focus on my relationship with God-He is with me in love always

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Matthew 7.21-29 - Just because I talk about God doesn’t mean that I’m so important- it could all be a big show- I must not only talk about God- but praise God- talk about what God does and boast of God not myself- then on top of that I must prove it’s all about God and not about me at all - I must act on what God commands me to do - to follow in his ways- to be an obedient servant of God and to serve and love others just as God has commanded- I have heard God’s Word- I must not be foolish - I must act on what I have heard - Jesus is my rock solid foundation - I must build my actions on this rock

1 Peter 3.8-18 - Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind.-- repay with a blessing

Psalm 39 - Be careful not to sin with words - shut up when I need to shut up

Prayer- Lord Jesus- today is your day - today is the day to praise and honor you - to give you all glory - I come to you a sinful man- forgive me and restore me to your favor- lead me this day - lead me to use the faith you have given me- to use the faith given in ways you wish for me to use it - lead me to go where you would have me go - use me to do what you would have me do - for you are God- I put all my trust, hope and faith in you- you rescue me from all dangers- you heal me - most of all you give me life- an eternal life that I am now living- and it all coame ata great cost - thank you - I love you - I am yours. --- Amen


Monday 5/30/2005

Romans 5 - By faith we are made acceptable to God- Jesus has given me undeserved kindness- I will joyfully do the same to others- I will joyfully endure suffering for Christ also- it will make me a better Christian and a better child of God in the end- God, through the Holy Spirit has filled my heart with his love - to overflowing - I will let that run over to the world I live in - But wait! There’s more! - Suffering helps us endure-endurance builds character-which gives hope and that will never disappoint -- But wait! There’s more! - God has now accepted me because Jesus sacrificed his blood and life for my sins- Jesus made peace with God for me and now - even though I sin- and I am descended from sinful Adam - I also am descended from Jesus in a way and am a child of God- redeemed by a God so loving that he would give his life for me so that I may have eternal life -- Thanks be to God! -

1 Samuel 14 - Jonathan splits off from the rest of the Israelites with another soldier- he wanted to fight the Philistines- so he snuck up on them - but let the Philistines see him- Jonathan had told the soldier with him that God was so powerful that even a couple people could win the battle if God was on their side- so he agreed if the Philistines asked the two to come up the hill and battle them - that it must be God was on their side-- that’s what happened- so Jonathan and the soldier went to fight the Philistines with God helping them- they killed many - the other Philistines saw this and began to panic- then God sent an earthquake --about this time Saul’s lookouts finally figured out that someone had left camp - Saul had them find out who it was-- here it was Jonathan - Saul’s own son- Saul saw that the Philistine army was getting confused - they were so confused that they were killing each other- so now even the Israelites that were hiding began to come out- they say that the Philistines were confused- God had helped Israel win the battle that day - Saul really wants revenge on the Philistines now- so he makes his army agree not to eat before sunset- it they do they will be cursed - but this made the army weak - Jonathan was unaware of Saul’s warning and he took some honey and felt so much better- then a soldier told him about the curse Saul had made- after the others saw how much better Jonathan felt they took and ate some of the food the Philistines had -they ate meat without draining the blood- this is a sin against God- Saul wanted to attach the Philistines again - but he asked the priest to check with God first- well the priest said that someone had sinned- Saul wanted to know if it was himself or Jonathan or the Israelites- it came down to Jonathan- he had ate the honey- Saul wanted Jonathan killed but the soldiers defended Jonathan and wouldn’t let this happen- so Saul was at war with the Philistines as long as he lived

Psalm 59 - You are my mighty fortress, and you love me.

Jesus shows the way to live faith - live faith and respond to Jesus act of saving grace

It’s all about you first - then I ask you take care of “us” second-- but it is your name, your kingdom, your will that all come first.

1 Samuel 2.1-10 - Others in the past have sung praises to God- I need to tell my story - of how God is active in my life - how God gives me life- sing his praises to others- God is active in their lives too and is just waiting for all of us to turn back to him

1 John 3.11-24 - We should love one another- we have passed from death to life because we love one another- we know love through Jesus - he loves us so much he died for us to take on the punishment we deserved - love in action- if we love from our hearts in action we will not be condemned- remember that God is greater than our hearts and knows everything - God is love and in his love we can be bold and obey him in all we do - especially in love

Psalm 136 - God’s steadfast love endures forever and ever and ever

Prayer - Holy Spirit - today I give you thanks and praise for all the gifts you have given - for your gracious outpouring of love into my heart - an act of God- you give me love beyond any that I can begin to understand and expect me to act out that love- send me this day to act our love for others- to show them that deep love you have given to all people- to be willing to give it all in love- I give you thanks for Jesus who gave all in love for me and all people- a love so deep - forgive my sins - lead me - teach me - protect me in the battle of sin and death and evil of my world- I put on my trust- hope and faith in you - you are God - the creator of the universe- the creator of life - you are awesome in all you say and do and I will always follow you- I’m ready to follow Lord! -- Amen

Friday, May 27, 2005

May 27th Reflection

Friday 5/27/2005

Romans 2.1-3.8 - Don’t you know that the reason God is good to you is because he wants you to turn to him?- But I’m stubborn and don’t turn - that’s what get me in all sorts of trouble- when I know God and don’t turn to him- I am refusing the gift - I am refusing his salvation and making myself into god- I need to turn to God- trust, love, serve and obey him - otherwise my turn will be my death - that final death - turn to God and receive life

1 Samuel 10.17-11.15 - So Samuel chooses Saul publicly- bringing tribes and families forward until he got to Saul - but big ol Saul didn’t show up- he was hiding behind some baggage -- what kind of King is this? - some wimp afraid of everyone? - we’ll see- So the Ammonites were threatening - Saul was out plowing and the Israelites came to him wanting to know what he would do - I think the were sure Saul was a wimp - but Saul grew a pair - right there! - actually the Spirit took control of him and he gathered an army and the defeated the Ammonites -- so now the people of Israel had respect for Saul-- but Saul did right - he gave the credit to God-- I think deep down Saul knew it really wasn’t himself that won that battle-- God just used him and Saul let God use him

Psalm 56 - I know for certain you are with me when I pray - I trust you- you are the light that leads my life

Focus on my relationship with God-He is with me in love always

I am saved by Jesus blood- his innocent suffering and death -- what love!

Deuteronomy 11.18-21, 26-28 - Take God’s Word and put it in my heart-write it all over the place and live it all the time - turn to God and obey

Philippians 3.12-18 - press on to make the goal mine- focus on Jesus

Psalm 121 - Lift my eyes to the hills and realize that God is where my help comes from

Prayer- Lord you have created another wonderful day- you give all I need to live- you give me all the faith I need for this day - you give me hope - you forgive my confessed sin and you forgive my sin which I am even unaware of- I am yours this day - send me into your world - send me towards the light of your face - towards you so I can focus my life on you- you are at the end of this race I’m in and I will always trust and obey you - send me now I pray --- Amen

Thursday, May 26, 2005

May 26th Reflection

Thursday 5/26/2005

Romans 1.16-32 - I am proud of the good news! It is God’s powerful way of saving all people who have faith… - Everyone has sinned - we can’t save ourselves through obedience to the law or in any other way - the only way is through faith in God- Jesus died on a cross and rose again for my sins so that I can live- not because he had to - but because out of love he wanted to

1 Samuel 9.1-10.16 - Kish- Saul’s father had Saul go look for some donkeys that had run off- as Saul and a servant were looking for the donkeys- they became frustrated- Saul finally suggested they go to a prophet- well this turned out to be Samuel- when they came to town - Samuel was on his way out of town to sacrifice to God- God told Samuel that he would show him the King of Israel - and God showed Samuel that this was Saul - Saul worshipped and spent the night with Samuel- the donkeys had been found by someone else- as Saul was leaving - Samuel had the servant go ahead - Samuel anointed Saul King of Israel privately - when Saul got back home he still didn’t reveal that he was King of Israel yet - but I like this part -- “The Spirit of the LORD will suddenly take control of you. You’ll become a different person and start prophesying right along with them.” -- This is said about Saul - people did notice the change but didn’t understand it yet -- We all change with the Sprit of God

Psalm 55 - Please listen and help me- I am trembling with fear - my closest friend makes fun of me - my friend turned against me and broke a promise- I tell you what worries me- don’t let me down - I trust you God - I think God got this person and their friend together again- pray for good friendship

Focus on my relationship with God-He is with me in love always

God created me and preserves me and gives me everything I need to exist- he did all this out of love- not because I deserved it - I will surely thank and praise, serve and obey him. --This is most certainly true!

Psalm 31.1-5, 19-24 - Into you hand I commit my spirit- I give you all of me- I trust completely in you - your goodness is abundant - I take shelter in your presence and you save me - you show your steadfast love to me- Love God - everyone love God! -wait for him and be strong

2 Peter 3.13-18 - Wait for God- be patient - salvation is here- strive for peace

Psalm 43 - Don’t get down on myself or others- wait on God- put my hope in God

Prayer- Lord Jesus - I come to you this morning in praise of you - in honor of you - I place all my trust-hope and faith in you - you are God- you came to me and saved me - you rescued me and showed me that even though as lost as I can get you still love me enough - love me so much you would die for me - I’m here now - looking for some lost donkeys - out on some boondoggle and you come to me in my own foolishness- gift me with Baptism - gift me with the Spirit - give me today what I need- forgive my sin and give me the gifts you think I need to serve and obey you in your kingdom - then send me this morning - send me out with your word of salvation-I am proud of the good news- and love to tell it - change me - send your Spirit and change me- and as I wait - give me patience and hope- I’m ready now --- Amen

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

May 25th Reflection

Wednesday 5/25/2005

Romans 1.1-15 - Paul greets the Romans - I like the end of this passage- “I must tell the good news to everyone. That’s why I am eager to visit all of you in Rome.”-- It’s the realization of the gift of grace given that makes Paul eager and happy and excited to share something really neat!

1 Samuel 8 - Samuel had two sons and let them be leaders- but they were dishonest- the people of Israel came to Samuel wanting a king- God told Samuel to give them a king- that the Israelites had actually rejected God and worshiped other gods and idols- Samuel tried to warn the people -a king would not be what they thought - they would have to serve a king- but they still wanted a king- God told Samuel to do what they want -- they will get a king

Psalm 54 - Be my faithful friend- you have rescued me from all of my troubles

Focus on my relationship with God-He is with me in love always

I believe-I believe- I believe

1 Timothy 3.1- 4.5 - Lead a good and respectable life- everything created by God is good and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving

Prayer- Jesus- you tell me to go and tell the good news - it’s a joy - it’s something to get excited about - it’s something for my eyes to open wide and joy to leap out of me and tell of all the wonderful things you have done- but first - I must realize that I am a sinner- I am unworthy - I ask you to forgive my sin - send me into your world- for you alone are the only King I need- I need no other- I need no idols - and keep them far from me- help me this day lead the life you choose for me to lead and bless me along the way. -- Amen

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

May 24th Reflection

Tuesday 5/24/2005

Acts 28.16-31 - So Paul is now in Rome but no one came to bring charges against him- he was heard anyway- some agreed and some didn’t- but Paul testified to his faith all the more.

1 Samuel 6-7 - So the Philistines know they need to get rid of the ark- send it back to Israel- they learned a lesson from Egypt-- so they send five gold models of the sores and five gold models of the rats that destroyed the crops- I’m not sure about their choice of gifts- odd-they put the ark on a cart with some cows and turn it loose- hoping it goes back to Israel-- this was odd too- so here comes this cart with the ark into a field- there were some Levites there- they took the ark and set it on a rock and burned the cart - then some guys looked inside the ark and God killed seventy of them - so now they want to send the ark away - it stayed in Abinadab’s house for twenty years while Eleazar took care of it - here comes Samuel again- he tells the Israelites- to turn from their idols and worship God- Samuel will pray to God for them- they fasted and confessed to God their sin- the Philistines found out they were praying and decided to attack the Israelites- Samuel prayed for protection and God struck the Philistines down with thunder - the Philistines were beaten and didn’t bother the Israelites for a while- Samuel was leader for Israel now-- and there is Ebenezer-- like “raise my Ebenezer“-- that’s the monument Samuel set up on the cliffs after the battle-- Help Monument-- to remind Israel of how God helped them- God saves!

Psalm 53 - Only a fool will say, “There is no God!”

Focus on my relationship with God-He is with me in love always

I believe in the Triune God

1 Timothy 1.18-2.8 - Fight the good fight with faith and good conscience - God desires everyone to be saved- to come to the knowledge of truth- there is one God- pray everywhere

2 Thessalonians 3.6-18 - stay busy in ministry- it’s good work to do

Psalm 37.1-9 - Commit your way to the LORD

Prayer- Jesus- you give me so many chances to testify the story of your love for me- let me not forget and miss the opportunity- you come to me - your chest travels to me- I will trust-respect and obey only you - you are God- lead me in the fight this day- as I commit my way to you --- Amen

Monday, May 23, 2005

May 23rd Reflection

Monday 5/23/2005

Acts 28.1-15 - So they were on an island now- the people there started a fire for the people ship wrecked to warm by - a snake crawled out and bit Paul- well the people of the island figured Paul must be a murderer - he survived the ship wreck but a snake is going to kill him- but Paul didn’t die- in fact Paul went to the house of the governor of the island and healed his father-- a few months later they left the island and sailed on in another boat they found on the island-- finally after a couple more stops they made it to Rome.

1 Samuel 4-5 - A funny couple of chapters- the Philistines were defeating Israel- well Israel tried a counter attack that didn’t work- anyway the Philistines eventually killed Eli’s sons and captured the sacred chest and took it with them-- in the meantime Eli heard the news- fell over backwards in his chair- since he was a heavy man he broke his neck and died- his daughter-in-law heard the news - she was pregnant and she went into labor over all this stuff and had a son - named him Ichabod (where is the glory?)-but she died giving birth - well the Philistines now place the ark -next to their god Dagon- every morning the stature of Dagon is found face down -like bowing to the ark- the second morning the head and both hands are broken off- this god Dagon is nothing but a statue -- God is God after all - so wherever the ark goes the people get sick-the funny part is the Masoretic reading describes the swellings as hemorrhoids-others say bubonic plague- I think God has a sense of humor sometimes- so they start sending it from town to town trying to get rid of it- finally the Philistines decide the only thing they can do is send the ark back to Israel.

Psalm 52 - Don’t trust in wealth or slick words- trust only in God- you can count of his love forever and ever - praise God

Focus on my relationship with God-He is with me in love always

God shows steadfast love to those who love him and keep his commandments- Love and trust God

1 Timothy 1.1-17 - Instruct others in love - a pure heart- a good conscience and sincere faith- Jesus appoints us to his service- Jesus came into this world to save sinners- I’m the foremost of them- making me an example of his grace

Colossians 3.12-17 - Clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience- put up with each other and forgive each other- above all clothe yourselves with love- let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts- let his Word dwell in us- teach each other and with gratitude sing!

Psalm 100 - Make a joyful noise to God! -- everything! - God id God- his love lasts forever

Prayer- Save me from those snake bites- and send me with your Word- to speak your Word and let you heal those in need of healing- for you are God- you are God that is over all - even over that stupid statue Dagon- how funny you can be - giving them rhoids? - I believe in you - I trust in you - I sing all my praises to you- send me out into your kingdom and clothe me with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience and most of all bind it all together with your love- I’m ready now- gotta go - you have something for me to do today----Amen

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Re: May 20th Reflection

I recently heard a radio preacher talk about Hannah and her faith. The Bible says Hannah regularly came with her husband to the temple. So she had to know the evil doings of Eli's sons. This shows a great deal of faith in God. She promised her only son to God - knowing her son would be raised by the priests of the temple - which included Eli's sons. I know how particular I am in who takes care of my kids. Hannah had to really trust God on this one!
----- Original Message -----
From: Bill Lynch
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2005 5:20 AM
Subject: May 20th Reflection

Friday 5/20/2005

Acts 26.19-32 - So Paul finishes his testimony by giving a testimony to Jesus as Messiah and Savoir and tries to convert the people there to Christianity - King Agrippa can’t see anything Paul has done wrong to be on trial and says if Paul hadn’t appealed to Rome they would have let him go -- I guess sometimes when you get in a mess like that- God is just going to use you to testify to others even more- so off to Rome I go with Paul- all in a mell of a hess. We’ll make the best of it!

1 Samuel 1.1-2.11 - The wives Peninnah and Hannah- Peninnah was rotten to Hannah --she like to make Hannah feel miserable about not having any children-especially when the family was together- rotten! - Hannah knew how to handle it though-- she prayed- the priest Eli saw Hannah praying and thought she was drunk-- everyone treated her badly-- but Eli after hearing what she was doing told that God would take care of her- So Hannah’s husband Elkanah took her home with Peninnah and the family- Hannah finally has a son- Samuel- then when it was the right time - Hannah and Elkanah took Samuel to the priest- Hannah had promised in prayer that if she had a baby - she would give him to God- and she did- so Samuel stayed with Eli -- I notice all the time - how God works through hardship- when we think it is bad- God just may be using us for something really really good! -- we just don’t know it- so “hang on” - God may be about to use me or you

Psalm 49 - You cannot buy back your life of pay off God!

The Holy Spirit brings speech to ordinary people. Go! Tell about Jesus saving grace.

Defend your neighbor, speak well of him, and explain his actions in the kindest way.

Genesis 1.1-2.4a - God created- God created life- God saw that it was good- and there was evening and there was morning

Galatians 3.15-20 - God gives you a promise - God keeps his promise - Believe in Jesus

Psalm 89.1-8 - with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations

Prayer- Lord- you go with me even while I struggle- even when dreams are dashed- you go with me- you take me through my struggles- you take me through my dreams - you lead me and guide me and in the end you always have blessed me- lead me this day - make your dreams and visions my dreams and visions- lead me in your way not my way - show me how to love and serve in your kingdom and guide me right through it all- yea- I’ll “hang on”-- I’ll “hang on” to you -- Amen

May 22nd Reflection

Sunday 5/22/2005

Acts 27.13-44 - I can’t help but think of Gilligan’s Island on this one- anyway as they were sailing a storm and winds caused all kinds of problems- but God came to Paul in a dream and told him that he would stand trial and the people on the ship would be safe-so the ship wrecked and everyone got to the Island in the Mediterranean Sea- really an exciting story to this point!

1 Samuel 3 - Now Samuel served by helping Eli- Eli is almost blind at his age- God calls Samuel’s name- three times- but Samuel thinks it must be Eli- but it’s not Eli- finally Eli realized that it must be God and tells Samuel- next time answer (I love this part!) - “I’m listening, LORD. What do you want me to do?” -And God called again-Well God told Samuel that he would punish Eli and his family for all the disgusting things they had done -and Eli didn’t stop it-- so the next morning Eli wants to know - what God told Samuel- I’m sure Samuel didn’t want to tell Eli- but Eli told him to -so Samuel told him the bad news- but Eli sort of expected it anyway it seems to me- God would appear to Samuel through his life and tell him what to say- sounds pretty neat to me!

Psalm 51 - I have sinned and done wrong since the day I was born-teach me true wisdom- Let me be happy and joyful! - Create pure thoughts in me and make me faithful again. - Only you can save me!- The way to please you is to feel sorrow deep in our hearts.

The Holy Spirit brings speech to ordinary people. Go! Tell about Jesus saving grace.

Encourage loyal friendship

Matthew 28.16-20 - The disciples worshipped Jesus -but some doubted- all authority is given to Jesus- Go- make disciple- baptize in the name of the Father-Son-Holy Spirit- I am with you always- to the end of the age-- some doubted- I doubt many times - but Jesus is still there- then I worship - Jesus sends even doubters to do the work- Thanks be to God!

John 3.1-15 - Jesus in the flesh- telling of being born again in the Sprit- God create- Jesus redeems- the Spirit guides- all are God!

Psalm 81 - God is God- Open my mouth wide and he will fill it- makes me think of those baby birds- listen to God

Prayer- Lord - you take me through some storms- you help me when my ship is about to break - you give me yourself to cling to and save me each and every day - forgive me - and allow me to cling to you so tightly - for you are God- you are a God that calls me by name - over an over - I need and will listen- I’ll listen carefully and obey your command- lead me this day - feel and be aware of my worship this day - For you are God and greatly to be praised- feel the praise of the congregation this day -feel my voice with the many blended together in praise to you- then speak - I will listen- send me - I will go -- Thanks be to God! -- Amen

Saturday, May 21, 2005

May 21st Reflection

Saturday 5/21/2005

Acts 27.1-12 - So now Paul is off to Rome on a ship - like an adventure-and this voyage is starting to get dangerous- but he is going to trial- he will also get the opportunity to testify to Jesus saving grace.

1 Samuel 2.12-36 - Eli’s sons didn’t show any respect for sacrifices people would bring before God- they would take the meat for themselves- this made God angry- Samuel was becoming the favorite with Eli- Eli’s sons would not take Eli’s advice to stop their sinful ways- God had already decided to take care of this issue of Eli’s sons- the people and Eli began to like Samuel more and more- God has chosen someone else to be his priest- Eli’s sons will die on the same day as proof

Psalm 50 - The only sacrifice I want is for you to be thankful and to keep your word. Pray to min in time of trouble. I will rescue you, and you will honor me.-- The sacrifice that honors me is a thankful heart.

The Holy Spirit brings speech to ordinary people. Go! Tell about Jesus saving grace.

Help people keep and maintain what they already have. Don’t scheme to take it away from them

2 Corinthians 13.11-13 - The grace of Jesus- the love of God- the communion of the Spirit

Ephesians 3.14-21 - I want to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge- and filled with the fullness of God

Psalm 96 - Sing to the LORD a new song- tell of his salvation from day to day-

Prayer- Lord- you set me out on many journeys- you lead me when I sail and travel- you are the guide- you are the star- you are the captain of the ship- lead me this day- lead my thoughts- lead my actions- lead my words - use me this day - I want to serve and obey you- I want to proclaim your Word- I want to be with you in all I do this day- It’s a day to work for you - it’s a day to play in your kingdom- it’s time I sacrifice my time to you- the talents you have given me to use- give me knowledge- your knowledge- and fill me with your Spirit this day-- I see the beauty of your creation - I see the gifts you have blessed me with and realize how unworthy I am- but you give anyway- thank you- I praise you for your glory and sing to you all day long- for you are God- send me today to tell of the salvation you bring-- Thanks be to God! -- Amen

Friday, May 20, 2005

May 20th Reflection

Friday 5/20/2005

Acts 26.19-32 - So Paul finishes his testimony by giving a testimony to Jesus as Messiah and Savoir and tries to convert the people there to Christianity - King Agrippa can’t see anything Paul has done wrong to be on trial and says if Paul hadn’t appealed to Rome they would have let him go -- I guess sometimes when you get in a mess like that- God is just going to use you to testify to others even more- so off to Rome I go with Paul- all in a mell of a hess. We’ll make the best of it!

1 Samuel 1.1-2.11 - The wives Peninnah and Hannah- Peninnah was rotten to Hannah --she like to make Hannah feel miserable about not having any children-especially when the family was together- rotten! - Hannah knew how to handle it though-- she prayed- the priest Eli saw Hannah praying and thought she was drunk-- everyone treated her badly-- but Eli after hearing what she was doing told that God would take care of her- So Hannah’s husband Elkanah took her home with Peninnah and the family- Hannah finally has a son- Samuel- then when it was the right time - Hannah and Elkanah took Samuel to the priest- Hannah had promised in prayer that if she had a baby - she would give him to God- and she did- so Samuel stayed with Eli -- I notice all the time - how God works through hardship- when we think it is bad- God just may be using us for something really really good! -- we just don’t know it- so “hang on” - God may be about to use me or you

Psalm 49 - You cannot buy back your life of pay off God!

The Holy Spirit brings speech to ordinary people. Go! Tell about Jesus saving grace.

Defend your neighbor, speak well of him, and explain his actions in the kindest way.

Genesis 1.1-2.4a - God created- God created life- God saw that it was good- and there was evening and there was morning

Galatians 3.15-20 - God gives you a promise - God keeps his promise - Believe in Jesus

Psalm 89.1-8 - with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations

Prayer- Lord- you go with me even while I struggle- even when dreams are dashed- you go with me- you take me through my struggles- you take me through my dreams - you lead me and guide me and in the end you always have blessed me- lead me this day - make your dreams and visions my dreams and visions- lead me in your way not my way - show me how to love and serve in your kingdom and guide me right through it all- yea- I’ll “hang on”-- I’ll “hang on” to you -- Amen

Thursday, May 19, 2005

May 19th Reflection

Thursday 5/19/2005

Acts 26.1-18 - Paul finally gets to speak before King Agrippa- he tells the story of his life- how he was a Pharisee- how he was against the Christians and persecuted them - and then how Jesus called him with a flash of light and his voice and vision - that he was to open the eyes of the Jews and Gentiles so they would turn from darkness to light - their sins would be forgiven and they would have faith in Jesus

Ruth 3-4 - Now Naomi tells Ruth to go to Boaz in the fields at night and sleep there at his feet-- they would sleep in the fields at the harvest and protect the grain - there are implications that this was a sexual situation but Boaz didn’t recognize that Ruth was with him until he woke later- then he explained to Ruth that he couldn’t be the goel until he went first to the closest next of kin-- so Boaz sent Ruth home with food for Naomi until he settled the matter- a marriage is in the brewing here- Boaz meets the next of kin-unnamed- in the market place- he had to buy the land that Naomi had rights to - he agreed to do this- but he was told that he also had to take Ruth as his wife- he didn’t want this- so Boaz bought the land and took Ruth as his wife- just like Boaz really wanted-so Naomi was taken care of and Ruth also -- and from Boaz and Ruth they had a child and named him Obed who was the grandfather of David -- Just as Boaz saves ruth and Naomi - Jesus purchased me - or my field- he paid the price for my salvation - and then there is that relationship - that marriage - that life long relationship I have with Jesus-- Jesus is all over this story and this book.

Psalm 48 - Our God, here in your temple we think abour your love- you are famous and praised everywhere

The Holy Spirit brings speech to ordinary people. Go! Tell about Jesus saving grace.

Help your neighbor and don’t steal

Psalm 8 - How majestic is your name God!

2 Corinthian 3.7-18 - When Moses came back with the commandments he put a veil over his face to lessen the light of God shining- now we can remove that veil because of Jesus- see God’s glory in Jesus and be transformed into his likeness

Psalm 53 - Seek understanding of God

Prayer- Jesus you call me every day - you lead me with your light- keep me in your light- let your light shine through me into your Kingdom - thank you for redeeming me- thank you for the field you have bought for me to live - to work - to play in - thank you for letting me work in your field - in your kingdom - thank you for the joy of salvation- as I can now see you face to face - I give you thanks for coming to me in the ways that you choose to come to me. --- Amen

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

May 18th Reflection

Wednesday 5/18/2005

Acts 25 - Paul is brought up again for trial but no one can bring any charges against him - the Jewish leaders just want to get rid of him - so Paul appeals to go to Rome to be tried- well they have a situation where the officials don’t really want to send Paul to Rome without any charges against him- so they seek to clarify what the charges really are-- the argument is a religious one- about laws and some dead man named Jesus- according to the government- it all sounds silly--and it is silly- Paul claims the Jesus who died now lives and fulfills the Jewish law- silly to those who don’t believe- but salvation to those who do!--how do you have a trial over that?!

Ruth 1-2 - Whoa- I see Jesus all over this one this time for some reason- Naomi and Ruth- lose their husbands- all the men die- Ruth is a Moabite-not an Israelite- after a famine - Naomi decides it’s time to go back to Israel- Ruth is loyal to her Mother-in-law and goes with her-- they go to Bethlehem -- which means “house of bread”-- Communion- Jesus - bread of life born here- “house of bread”- they are at the bottom of their lives- basically dead in a sense-- remember Ruth is a Moabite- an outsider to the Chosen People- just like I’m an outside- a Gentile- but she is allowed to glean the fields of Boaz -his name means “strength”-- Boaz lets Ruth gather grain easily- grain for life giving bread- gather it just like a gift- she really didn’t have to work for it- just pick it up - Jesus is my gift- just pick it up- take and eat--so and outsider- Ruth is given life through the “bread” -- in a city where Jesus will be born and give us the bread of life and salvation is born in the flesh -- take and eat- hmmmmmmm

Psalm 47 - Clap your hands and shout joyful praises to God- God is ruler of all the earth!

The Holy Spirit brings speech to ordinary people. Go! Tell about Jesus saving grace.

Keep my words and conduct pure and honorable.

2 Timothy 2.14-16 - Don’t wrangle over words

1 Corinthians 3.10-17 - May I build my temple on the foundation of Jesus- all life long- and I pray the Spirit inhabits that temple

Psalm 84 - How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!- My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the LORD-for a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere-upper room

Prayer- Lord- I’m willing to tell the world of a happy silly thing you have done- you have given us all life- you are the bread of life- available for anyone to glean- don’t have to be an Israelite either- just pick it up - there it is - take and eat- pick up that gift of salvation you lay before me- every day - there it is- just like the manna in the desert - pick it up - take and eat- Thanks be to God! -- Amen

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

May 17th Reflection

Tuesday 5/17/2005

Acts 24.10-27 - Paul is in jail - he gives his side of the story but they leave him in jail anyway-a couple of years anyway - Paul is in jail- but he just preaches from the jail- takes what life gave him and deals with it

Judges 21 - Now the tribe of Benjamin was just about wiped out- they had a problem - all the women were gone- the Israelites didn’t want the tribe to die- so they had to gather women for the men in the Benjamin tribe-- and it sounds like they found enough-- makes you wonder- the whole civil war started with the mistreatment of a woman in Benjamin-- they gave the wicked men a woman to have their way with - now they are hunting more women to give the men of Benjamin to so that the tribe can continue- its this good or bad??-- why treat the women like this?--sounds like their trust still isn’t with God- if the tribe of Benjamin is to continue - God can make that happen - without this artificial and what seems to me a wrong disrespect for women.-- Just an opinion

Psalm 46 - God is our mighty fortress- The LORD All-Powerful is with us. The God of Jacob is our fortress-Calm down and learn that I am God!

The Holy Spirit brings speech to ordinary people. Go! Tell about Jesus saving grace.

Don’t hurt my neighbor- help him in all his physical needs.

2 Timothy 1.15-2.13 - Paul is preaching as a prisoner again- God works and talks through some real strange people and in some real strange situations- Imagine- the preacher in prison telling you how you should have faith in a guy the was condemned and hung on a cross as a criminal- that’s what and who we believe in- how odd- but God is powerful and comes to those who least expect or deserve his arrival- like me

Romans 3.19-28 - All sinned and fall short of the glory of God-- but they are now justified by the grace of God as a gift- that grace through Jesus sacrifice and atonement - by his blood - effective through faith-- so go and tell about it already!

Psalm 119.33-40 - In your righteousness give me life- you are God

Prayer- Lord - Even if I’m in prison to some self imposed agony - you are with me- you give me the ability to preach from every situation you place me in - do that today - as situations arise - let your Word arise within in me and may I proclaim the gift of salvation that you so freely give- Open my eyes to the injustice of this world - how we treat each other- open my mouth to speak out against what is wrong and lead that action to the grace of life you freely give- I realize my sin and ask you to forgive me- to send me to forgive those who have sinned against me and renew relationships through you power- for you are God - the God of life and salvation -- send me safely that I may return for another day of service -- In Jesus name --- Amen

Monday, May 16, 2005

May 16th Reflection

<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2><B><U><FONT size=2> <P>Monday 5/16/2005</P></B></U> <P>Acts 23.23-24.9 - Basically Paul gets shuffled around here and finally goes to trial - The High Priest-some Jewish leaders and their lawyer come to bring charges against Paul that he is a troublemaker-- It’s good to be a troublemaker for the Gospel- shake a few people up now and then</P> <P>Judges 20 - The disgusting act of raping this woman to death and the subsequent sending of her body parts to the tribes set off a civil war in Israel--the people of Gibeah must be punished- the tribe of Benjamin were going to defend it’s city of Gibeah against Israel - God told Judah to attack first - two attacks were made - Israel lost twenty-two thousand in the first attack and eighteen thousand in the second attack- finally the third attack worked- but many died - and the tribe of Benjamin was all but eliminated</P> <P>Psalm 45 - The King is beautiful- I will go to battle for him - he brings justice in all ways</P> <P>The Holy Spirit brings speech to ordinary people. Go! Tell about Jesus saving grace.</P> <P>Respect, obey, love and serve those in authority.</P> <P>2 Timothy 1.1-14 - God gave us a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline- don’t be ashamed of the testimony - God has called us- not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace</P> <P>Acts 3.1-16 - Peter and John take a lame man and he is able to walk into the temple with them- they tell the people that the one they crucified gave this man the ability to walk- it is faith that God gave this man and Jesus that God gave to us that makes this man able to walk</P> <P>Psalm 8 - How majestic is your name in all the earth! - what are humans that you are mindful of them-yet you have made them a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor</P> <P>Prayer- Jesus- I will go to trial for you - I will suffer for you - I will go to battle for your causes- I trust and hope and place my love in you - for you are God- you forgive my sin and turn me loose- God you send your Spirit to me and to your church to empower all of us to go and tell your story - to tell the story of how you are active in each life- how you picked me up and let me walk and all through Jesus- I’m ready for your kingdom this week- send me- protect me-lead me and guide me --- Amen</P></FONT></FONT></DIV>

Sunday, May 15, 2005

May 15th Reflection

Sunday 5/15/2005

Acts 22.30-23.22 - So Paul is in prison- The commander brings him before the Jewish leaders- the High Priest - the Pharisees and the Sadducees - Paul tells them he has a clear conscience about what he as done- but the High Priest orders the men standing beside Paul to hit him-- Paul gets mad about that and insults the High Priest -- then he asks if he is on trial because he believes that the dead will be raised to life-- this is an on-going argument between the Sadducees and the Pharisees- so they start to argue with one another and can’t settle it- so the commander has Paul taken back to prison-- Then forty Jewish men vow to kill Paul and create a separate plot to get him- at the same time Paul’s nephew got wind of the whole thing and clues in the commander as to the plot of the Jewish men.-- But God wants Paul to preach in Rome yet - so we’ll see what happens-- the plot thickens!

Judges 19 - This is a horrible story of how evil men can get -- A man marries a woman - but she becomes unfaithful and goes back to live with her family- later the man decides he wants to try and talk his wife into coming back to him- so the man travels to where his wife and father-in-law live- after staying a long time he finally leaves- they travel to a city but can’t find a place to stay- finally the get a place to stay- they are in a house - when the men of the city come to the door- knowing there is a visiting man in the house- they want to have sex with the stranger-- but the owner of the house offers his daughter and the man’s wife if need be- the Levite shoves his wife out and the men of the town rape her all night long until in the morning she is dead--here’s the odd part- it’s not clear that this woman is dead- so the Levite throws his wife on the donkey and takes her home- the Levite has his wife cut into twelve pieces and has each piece delivered to each tribe of Israel with the message to think about how evil everyone has gotten since they left Egypt -- talk about a totally selfish act of sexual satisfaction on worse than an animal level-- God’s love is completely missing- this is sickening on so many levels- why would anyone treat a woman this way- in the offering and in the act?- it’s not only evil- it’s one screwed up culture

Psalm 44 - I need God to rescue me many many times when I’m in trouble

And perfect love and friendship reign throughout eternity - What is God like? - Love beyond understanding!

Don’t neglect God’s Word and the preaching of it- gladly hear and learn it.

John 20.19-31 - He breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit”-- I know the Holy Spirit is with me- but I want to feel Jesus breath - I want to touch him - I want his return

Luke 3.15-20 - One is coming who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire- Come Lord Jesus!

Psalm 113 - from the rising of the sun to the setting -Praise God- Praise the LORD!

Prayer- Jesus- I need you - I need you to walk with me in this evil world- I need you to forgive the evil that is in my heart - but I need you to lead and guide me through this evil world- people fight - people are cruel - people rape - we are a disgusting bunch - rise up from within us through the fire of your Spirit- cause your Church to take a stand to crush this evil - and this hate that we show one another- lead us with the love you have shown - lead us with the life you have shown - lead us with the fire of the Spirit in our hearts that we may be passionate in your grace - be passionate in active love towards one another and show the world your way - let your love speak loudly and boldly to all in my world - let your Spirit carry all Christians everywhere to call out - to step out- to act out the love you so freely gave all people. You are King - you are God- yes -- Come Lord Jesus! -- Come quickly - we love you - we need you -- and if you don’t come now- work your Spirit - your love and your will through your Church and through me this day. In Jesus name I pray --- Amen

Saturday, May 14, 2005

May 14th Reflection

<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2><B><U><FONT size=2> <P>Saturday 5/14/2005</P></B></U> <P>Acts 21.37-22.29 - So Paul asks to speak- Paul tells the commander that he is a Jew- so the commander let Paul speak- he spoke to the people from some step- he explained that he was born a Jew- how he grew up - how he persecuted Christians - how he was converted on the road to Damascus- he saw Jesus- and his life has changed- and how God told him to preach to the Gentiles- well the crowd got excited again and wanted Paul killed- to the commander ordered Paul to be beaten- then Paul told them he was a Roman citizen- born a Roman citizen- so they didn’t beat Paul</P> <P>Judges 17-18 - Micah makes some idols from some silver that he had stolen from his mother- he made them into an idol and hired a wandering Levite priest to help worship the idol - Micah thinks this will give him God’s honor- The Danites consult Micah’s priest- and the Danite’s steal the silver god and the priest from Micah- the Danites capture Laish and setup the silver god and priest -- the priest turns out to be Moses grandson Jonathan.</P> <P>Psalm 43- run to God for protection </P> <P>And perfect love and friendship reign throughout eternity - What is God like? - Love beyond understanding!</P> <P>Call on God in prayer, praise, and thanksgiving</P> <P>1 Corinthians 12.3b-13 - We are all given gifts- but it’s the same Spirit active in and through all</P> <P>Mark 3.13-19 - Jesus went up on a mountain and appointed his apostles - twelve of them- and he sent them out to proclaim the message- and gave them authority ot cast out demons</P> <P>Psalm 32 - I’m happy to be forgiven</P> <P>Prayer- Dear Lord Jesus- You came to Paul on a dirty road with a flash of light and changed his life- come to me on the dirty road of my life - flash your light all around me and change me- clear up my thinking- let me turn to you and forgive me of my sin - take away all those idols in my life- that stolen silver- for it all belongs to you - let me use it to you glory but always realize that you are God - the God of all people- the god of protection- the God of love and the God of life- I’m so happy to be forgiven - take my to your mountain today - choose me and send me with your message - I’m ready to go play in your kingdom today - even maybe - just maybe you could teach me a dance or two - a song to sing - and the beat to make to bring all your people closer to you -- Amen</P></FONT></FONT></DIV>

Friday, May 13, 2005

May 13th Reflection

Friday 5/13/2005

Acts 21.1-36 - Paul continues to travel - to Cos-Rhodes-Patara-Phoenicia-Cyprus-Tyre -they stayed with Jesus followers - The Holy Spirit told the people to warn Paul not to go on to Jerusalem-- but Paul was determined to go- they knelt on the beach and prayed -- then on to Ptolemais- for a short visit- to Caesarea where they stayed with Philip- Philip had four unmarried daughters who prophesied- here Agabus took Paul’s belt and tied up how own hands and feet- The Holy Spirit says some Jewish leaders will tie up the man that owns this belt and hand him over to the Gentiles- they begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem- but Paul told them he was willing to be put in jail for Jesus- even willing to die for him in Jerusalem- so Paul arrives in Jerusalem- Paul visits james and tells about how God is active with the Gentiles-but the Jewish Christians still take opposition to the treatment of Gentiles in regard to Jewish laws and circumcision- this whole controversy is brewing underneath it all- then the Jewish people got so mad with Paul - thinking that he brought a Gentile into the temple- that they ganged up and started beating him- finally a Roman army commander broke it up and arrested Paul-- so much of this reminds me of Jesus journey into Jerusalem - I’m not sure why Paul went if the Holy Sprit was against it- unless all that meant was that the Holy Spirit wanted to warn Paul of what was going to happen- if that is the case - Paul has great faith

Judges 16 - So Samson is in Gaza - spends the night with a prostitute- the people who lived in Gaza decided to kill Samson at sunrise- they went to the city gait to wait- Samson got up in the middle of the night and went to the gate and pulled the gate doors and doorposts out of the wall and carried them off--I still don’t know about this guy- prostitute and all- I guess God uses all sorts- so Samson meets Delilah- she decides she will take a bribe from the Philistines and tries to trick Samson into telling the secret of his strength - after several failed attempts - Delilah started nagging and pestering him day after day, until he couldn’t stand it any longer- Samson tells Delilah the truth- Samson’s eyes were poked out and he was made to turn a millstone- then his hair began to grow again- Samson was taken to the temple of Dagon- where the Philistines made fun of him- Samson felt a couple of columns- his strength had returned and he pushed the columns causing the temple to collapse killing all-- Samson was buried with his people-- I don’t know- Samson was certainly a different kind of leader--but Samson did hold true- his power comes from God- just as he claimed

Psalm 42 - As a deer gets thirsty for streams of water- I am thirsty for God- In my heart I am thirsty- When will I see your face?- I trust you! - you are my God!

And perfect love and friendship reign throughout eternity - What is God like? - Love beyond understanding!

Fear, love and trust God above everything

Acts 2.1-21 - They were all together in one place-- they and one- seems symbolic- one body of people in God- a rush of wind- they were filled with the Holy Spirit- reminds me of them bones coming to life in the OT- they could all understand each other- the message was clear- some thought they were drunk- but it was only nine in the morning - prophecy-visions-dreams- everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved-- God gave it all to us- in the Spirit- in the flesh of Jesus- a gift of life

Jeremiah 3.11-25 - Repent and return to God- God will take care of me

Psalm 25.1-15 - Trust in God- Teach me Lord- Forgive me- Lead me- Teach me

Prayer- Lord you lead and guide - you warn me of danger- you show me the path I am to take- be with me when I am in danger- be with me in joy- in sadness- in pain and sorrow- you are always present- but how I long to see your face - how I long to touch you - it will happen- you have promised to return and I will wait in joyful anticipation for that day- but for now fill me with your Spirit- put your fire of passion within me and send me into your Kingdom- that Kingdom here and now- for you have already given eternal life and I am living it- thanks for the joyful opportunity to work in your Kingdom. -- Amen

Thursday, May 12, 2005

May 12th Reflection

Thursday 5/12/2005

Acts 20.17-38 - Paul tells the Ephesians good bye- he probably won’t see them again - he has told them what God wanted him to tell them - now it is time they look after themselves. The Holy Spirit is with them

Judges 14-15 - Samson- an odd character- he decides he wants a Philistine for his wife- she looks good to him-- that’s it- that’s his only reason- God had his touch in that whole thing- so on the way- Samson finds a lion and kills it- before the bachelors party - Samson finds the carcass of the dead lion- there is some honey in it- he makes up this really goofy riddle for the guys to guess at- if they figure it out they get a shirt and some clothes- if not they give Samson clothes- all sounds pretty stupid to me- Samson’s bride tricks him into telling her the answer to the riddle and she tells the other guys- Samson figures his bride gave up the answer- so he goes off and kills thirty Philistines for their clothes and gives them to the guys-- then the brides father gives his daughter to one of the bachelors at the party- Samson goes away and comes back on a visit- he wants to have sex with his wife- I guess Samson thinks his bride is just waiting around for him to have sex- this is kinda weird if you ask me- anyway- Samson finds out she got married to someone else- so Samson gets mad and ties the tails of foxes together and lets them loose in wheat fields and burns up the crops of the Philistines- this all still sounds kinda stupid to me- like a little kid- you would think if he was married he would care a little more for his wife in the first place- but who am I to judge - the Philistines are mad at Samson so Samson goes to a cave- well the Israelites decide that they have to take Samson to the Philistines to keep a little peace and they do- they tie Samson up and haul him in- when he gets there he breaks free from the ropes and kills a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey- Samson all tired now prays to God for some water and God gives him water--So Samson the strong man is thirsty and depends on God to save him- even a strong man cannot save himself- all must depend on God to save -I don’t know- Samson sounds like a big baby to me- but God is using him anyway

Job 42 - Job knows his place- repents to God and waits- God tells Job’s friends to basically ask forgiveness from Job for being such assholes- they do and Job forgives his friends and prays for them- then God blesses Job with a new life and they all throw a big party - Job lived for another one hundred forty years!- and what about Job’s wife! -- she must have been one sex baby producing machine!- kinda just leave her out of this whole thing - I mean to begin with she had seven sons and three daughters- then later on Job says if he desires some other woman let strangers steal his wife- back in Chapter 31 -- well - God must have been taking care of her too though- cause no body else could do all that!

And perfect love and friendship reign throughout eternity - What is God like? - Love beyond understanding!

In all my thoughts, words, and deeds - I serve and please you- this is what I pray for this day.

Psalm 104.24-34, 35b - I wonder- is that it? - God sends forth his spirit- is it pneuma?- breath?- hmm- probably so since pneuma is Greek and ruah is Hebrew

Matthew 3 - One who is coming will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire- then Jesus came to be baptized by John- suddenly the heavens opened and the Spirit of God descended

Psalm 119.9-16 - Seek God with my whole heart - treasure God’s Word in my heart- fix my eyes on God’s way and don’t forget his Word

Prayer- Lord send your Holy Spirit- give me your breath of life- fill me and let that breath reach out into the world you send me to this day- I will treasure you and your saving grace in my heart always- Amen

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

May 11th Reflection

<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2><B><U><FONT size=2> <P>Wednesday 5/11/2005</P></B></U> <P>Acts 20.1-16 - So Paul is traveling all over the place - spreading the Word- one time Paul was speaking and this guy was sitting in the window - three stories up- he fell asleep while Paul was talking and fell out the window- they rushed to see how he was- Paul said he was still alive- later they took him home- so - don’t listen to a sermon while sitting in a window</P> <P>Judges 13 - An angel visited Manoah’s wife and tells her she will have a son that is special - a Nazirite- dedicated to God- Manoah wants to talk to this angel and the angel comes again- they talk and offer a sacrifice to God- while the sacrifice is burning the angel ascends in a burst of fire to heaven- Jesus came - talked to us and ascended into heaven- thank God for his messengers- thank God for sending a savior in Jesus- Samson would soon be a person to save the Israelites from the Philistines- God was showing his saving power way back then- he shows it today - and God has shown the ultimate saving power in Jesus- Thanks be to God!</P> <P>Job 41 - God tells a monster story - describes a monster- can Job defeat it? - God is greater than any monster and knows all about it and can defeat it- God is greater than any monster- don’t worry about monsters- place my trust and hope in God- Jesus defeated the monster of sin and death for me- trust in God for salvation - not in myself- not in others - only in God</P> <P>And perfect love and friendship reign throughout eternity - What is God like? - Love beyond understanding!</P> <P>God defends me from evil</P> <P>Psalm 33.12-22 - God sees all of us- the God who fashions the hearts of each one of us- fear, love, hope and trust God- he is my/our salvation</P> <P>Malachi 3.6-18 - God doesn’t change- return to God and he will return to me- return and serve God</P> <P>Psalm 94 - God-my stronghold- my rock- may salvation</P> <P>Prayer- Jesus in all my travels you are with me- as I travel through this day lead, guide and protect me - send the Spirit to give me direction - I thank you for your life- your ministry- your suffering, death and resurrection - especially today I remember you ascension - you ascended to heaven and lead the way for me- you show me life from death and give salvation - look into my heart this day - combine it with the hearts of all your people so that we may shout praises to you - our stronghold- our rock- our salvation --- Amen</P></FONT></FONT></DIV>

Monday, May 09, 2005

May 9th Reflection

Monday 5/9/2005

Acts 19.1-20 - Paul meets some people in Ephesus who were followers but had only heard of John the Baptist- they had been baptized - Paul tells these people about Jesus and places his hands on them and they receive the Holy Spirit - speak in tongues and prophesy -- So Paul hangs out here at makes sure everyone hears the message of Jesus grace - Paul let God work through him so powerfully- the people would pick up things of Paul’s and use them to heal or cast out evil spirits- there were a group of guys that went around casting out demons in the name of Jesus and Paul- they were really a couple of hacks it sounds like to me - so one time the spirit says I know Paul and I know Jesus - but who are you? - the spirit beats them up- I guess the point is to make sure I believe before I go around trying to do all these fantastic things - believe and trust in God - not myself.

Judges 10.1-11.33 - Tola was the next judge- His father was Puah and his grandfather was Dodo - this family must have had a hard time naming their children! - Then Jair was judge - hey!- great news about this one- each son had his own mule!- he had thirty sons- so I guess thirty mules too!- whoopee!--it really shows that they were wealthy-finally to Jephthah- he was from Gilead -but his mom was a prostitute so they kinda kicked him out- the relatives thought they were better- but Jephthah must have been a leader - cause they were having trouble with the Ammonites- one time with Moses there was a battle over some land the Israelites were attacked over as they moved through the desert - well - the Ammonites wanted to reclaim it- but the leaders of Gilead finally convinced Jephthah to come back and command their army - even though his relatives kicked him out- and Jephthah let the Spirit take control of him and defeated the enemy. --

Job 39 -God talks about his mighty creative power in animals-I like this part too- they are living breathing beings- God created and must have had a blast with their creation.

And perfect love and friendship reign throughout eternity - What is God like? - Love beyond understanding!

Receive forgiveness- God gives it to me.

Numbers 11.24-30 - Moses took seventy leaders and placed them all around the tent- God put his spirit in them and they prophesied- hmmm- Moses really would have been happy for all God’s people to prophesy

Daniel 3.1-3, 8-28 - Don’t serve any other gods- none! - and be ready for death- God will save you no matter what

Psalm 3 - Salvation belongs to God- don’t forget - it is his- not a right of mine- only God saves- accept the gift- he didn’t have to give it!

Prayer- Lord Jesus - lead me to know you - to hear you - to receive the Holy Spirit - to proclaim you - to worship only the one true God- to accept your grace - to live in joy - to proclaim your Word to all the world- to go to battle when needed- to feel the Spirit work through me- to receive forgiveness- to love others beyond understanding - for you are God- you are mighty - you are all powerful and all is yours. Send me this week into your kingdom to do your work- it’s a blast! - it’s fun! - it’s play! - and you make it all so easy - Thanks be to God!! --- Amen

Sunday, May 08, 2005

May 8th Reflection

Sunday 5/8/2005

Acts 18 - Paul in Corinth- I find it interesting that through the week he works his trade of tent making- then preaches when he can and on the weekends. Some to the friends here are dispersed Jews - run out by Romans or Jews -- so here they take it up again -and this time succeed in a Roman city. Yea- the Jews have problems with this Christian thinking- and the Romans step away - this is a religious problem not a governmental problem- So Christianity spreads here - but mostly with the Gentiles- I like how these people work in moving groups amongst themselves-it’s not always the same people in the group- the members of group in ministry change often and easily-- is it because there vision and mission is so clear- so much here and now- so much a part of their lives- the number one priority - they know they are to spread the Gospel- baptize- tell Jesus story - that’s the whole thing in life- the number one thing-- do we do that today? - do I have that sense of urgency? - why not? - Jesus could return in five minutes- what would I be doing? - what would anyone at Zion be doing? - would we be traveling to different towns trying to tell the story and baptizing people? - or would I be waiting for someone to find which door to walk into Zion so I can greet them and ask them to come again? - huh?-when I read how the early church acted and then think about how the church is today- it’s like we’re a McDonalds and wait for customers-- I don’t think Paul was waiting for McDonalds- we was offering Big Macs to the world for free with free delivery!- yea - I can rationalize it all- I can say - well we have missionaries - we have in the ELCA people who do this across the world-- ok -- but every week do we in our own little world even bring it up to people we meet?-- I don’t nearly as much as I could-so it all just makes me think- it humbles me- it irritates me- but it also causes me to ask forgiveness- I need to open up -tell that story and let people decide for themselves-- I could give a hoot if they come to Zion -- do they believe?- do they trust God? - will they join in a journey of faith with God? -- wherever they go-- maybe they should go to Burger King!

Judges 9 - Gideon didn’t want to be king - but his son Abimelech did- so Abimelech weasles his way in as king of some of the Israelites- God isn’t behind all this either- Jotham yells some poem about trees and kings- basic message- God ain’t behind this king-- then he runs off to Beer-- Beer means “well” -- hmm! -- I guess he ran off and got drunk! - at Beer he could be safe from his brother the self proclaimed King Abimelech - Well Abimelech goes off the battle- and a woman throws a stone on his head and kills him- Abimelech is such an ass - he gets one of his soldiers to run their sword through him so that it can’t be said that he was killed by a woman-- kinda funny- when I die - I’m not sure I’m gonna give a damn how I died- but I figure it will be the result of a woman somehow or another anyway.-Abimelech isn’t punished for being king- but for killing his brothers-- God is in control - God is King!- I need to be humble and not assume leadership - not assume kingship - but serve how God wants me to serve- serve where God wants me to serve-God is God!

Job 38 - God talks to Job out of a storm- I like to think of all the ways God talks to us-- a storm- cool!- all these creation questions - I love to think about that stuff! - Where is the home of light? - Where does darkness live? - I can see God all over the place! - Miracles everywhere- just look around - God is all over- everywhere - this is so cool! - makes me want to take a walk- right now! -- see God and praise him!

I must be willing to stand in places I normally wouldn’t and proclaim Jesus death and resurrection. Jesus has fixed a day when he will return. Is that today? Is it now? Let Jesus return to my heart and soul forever-now-today-forever.

I a poor sinner confess before God that I am guilty of many sins. I repent of all these sins and pray for mercy. I promise to do better with God’s help.

John 17.1-11- Eternal life- that THEY may know you- Jesus in timeless- he existed before the world existed- God saved me before I even knew it- do I believe? - You betch ya!- All I have is from God- Jesus is praying for his church -- all of us- his children- all people- not just me- not just you- all of us- We have a big job to do in response to Jesus great love- I’m pumped up about it!

John 3.14-21 - Whoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life

Psalm 57 - take refuge in God - he will protect you

Prayer- Jesus- you are so near- yet you are gone too - some day you will return - I want to be doing your work when you return - lead and guide me this day to serve in your kingdom - to love the people you give to me- to pray for theme- to offer healing touches and healing words that come from you- you walked this earth -and you will come again- what a great time that will be- what a party that will be- the one and only King will come and you will rule a world I can’t even begin to understand- as I walk and look around I see God present everywhere- in all of creation- a constant supply of miracles- in worship today - speak to me - speak through me and help me to recognize your word in the words of others- in the faces of others- and in all the praise and worship we offer- for it’s all about you - you are God and greatly to be praised. -- Amen

Saturday, May 07, 2005

May 7th Reflection

<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2><B><U><FONT size=2> <P>Saturday 5/7/2005</P></B></U> <P>Acts 17.16-34 - So Paul is poking around Athens and notices all the gods- the idols- how religious all the people are to so many different things- and he gets the chance to speak- Paul is clever- he had noticed a bunch of people arguing - philosophical stuff- so when his chance to speak comes he jumps in- he noticed an altar with an inscription -- “To and Unknown God”-- he takes this opportunity to describe God the creator- leaves out all the Jewish history stuff- reminds me kind of like the Apostles Creed- talks about how God is provider- not something we make but a real God- how God forgives- how God saves- how God will come to judge - how God came in Jesus and raised him from the dead-- only a few came to believe- most ran Paul off after the resurrection statement- most laughed at him -- but the seed was planted -- even those who are wise will hear the Word through a child-- I hear the Word through a child- a child born in Bethlehem who saved the world and sent the Spirit to encourage me- to make me bold- and to lead and guide me.</P> <P>Judges 7-8 - This is a neat story - I always liked it because Dad explained the lapping water part to me one time years ago- I was young -that’s all I remember-- anyway - Gideon is to take the Israelites into battle with the Midianites- but God thinks they have way too many - so he tells Gideon to cut his troops down- with too many troops the Israelites may think that they won the battle and not God- So Gideon let anyone who was afraid go home-- then that still wasn’t enough - so he took the troops to a stream and watched how the drank water- some like dogs - others scooped and drank from their hands- he took the ones that drank from their hands- down to three hundred now- that night God told Gideon to get up and attack- but if Gideon was still afraid he and Puah could sneak into the Midianite camp and listen and then they won’t be afraid-- you ever notice how Gideon is always double checking God? -- like the dew and the wool thing- Gideon and Puah listen in and hear how a Midianite had a dream that they would be defeated - so now Gideon isn’t afraid-- I’m like Gideon sometimes- maybe most of the time- not real sure- want to test God- then I’m ok after a while- hopefully my faith grows just like Gideons- so the three hundred circle the Midianite camp - with torches - clay jars and trumpets- the soldiers blew their trumpets-smashed the clay jars that were hiding their torches-- then the rest of them soldiers blew their trumpets -smashed their jars and held the torches- the army was divided into three groups- then they all shouted- Fight with your swords for the LORD and for Gideon! -- the Midianites started yelling and tried to run away but they were trapped- so they started fighting each other in a panic- they tried to escape to a couple of towns- Gideon sent word for more soldiers to come and help finish the Midianites off and they got the help they needed- some men from Ephraim brought a couple Midianite leaders to Gideon- they were upset the Gideon didn’t ask them to help with the battle- but Gideion explained that it’s ok- even though their help came later that was God’s intention-- everyone has a place in God’s plan- maybe not the place I think I should have- but a place- let God use me as he plans- not as I plan-- So Gideon keeps the chase on- they army stops at a town and asks for food- but the people there doubt that Gideon will capture the enemy leaders and doesn’t feed them- Gideon promises to come back to that town after the battle and get even- Gideon did get even- Gideon commanded his oldest son Jether to kill the enemy leaders Zebah and Zalmunna -- they were captured now- but the son was afraid--Zebah and Zalmunna challenged Gideon and called him a coward for not doing it himself- so Gideon killed them -- all this is a little ironic- Gideon has been the one afraid all along to do what God tells him to do- Gideon commands his son to do something and Jether is afraid- just like his dad- then Gideon has to do it himself- it seems Gideon finally has overcome fear-- kinda like God had to do it himself- what if Gideon had not been afraid in the first place? - the Israelites wanted to make Gideon king - but he refused- instead he collected all the gold they had recovered in battle- melted it down into a statue and the Israelites started to worship it- here we go again- back and forth- no wonder God gets so mad!</P> <P>Job 37 - Elihu talks about the power of God- yea he is powerful! - I agree- but then Elihu seems to be a smart ass with Job- asks Job if he can explain it-well- I don’t remember Job ever claiming that God wasn’t powerful - I think Job needs to pick some better friends- these guys are jerks!</P> <P>I must be willing to stand in places I normally wouldn’t and proclaim Jesus death and resurrection. Jesus has fixed a day when he will return. Is that today? Is it now? Let Jesus return to my heart and soul forever-now-today-forever.</P> <P>I need to examine myself - every day- have I hurt anyone by word or deed- how about the Ten Commandments-- then confess - and ask for forgiveness</P> <P>1 Peter 4.12-14, 5.6-11 - Suffer for Christ- be humble- don’t be anxious- give that to God- God cares for me - resist the devil- God will protect me and give me life</P> <P>Joshua 3.1-17 - Follow God’s lead through the waters- see how magnificent God is!</P> <P>Psalm 114 - God is powerful, mighty and awesome</P> <P>Prayer- Lord- you come to me each day - placing me where you want me- if I need words - you give them to me- I will go wherever you place me today - make your words sure in me- forgive me for those I have hurt - when I let my words and not your words- as the battle rages- help me to resist the devil and all the tricks he places before me- keep me from falling into the traps set of hate and false judgment- lead and guide me in your holiness and faithfulness today -- it’s Saturday - time to play - send me into your playground with friends to joyfully proclaim you saving grace to all people we meet this day. --- amen</P></FONT></FONT></DIV>

Friday, May 06, 2005

May 6th Reflection

Friday 5/6/2005

Acts 17.1-15 - there is always a trip to the temple in the area- and the people let Paul and Silas speak- sometimes for weeks-- it must have been loose - I think of someone just showing up at church - would we just let them speak of their ideas for weeks? - it also tells me how the Spirit is active in the whole thing- so the spreading of the gospel depends on the Spirit- I must be willing to say the words God chooses for me.

Judges 6 - So there is peace for a little while- then the Israelites turn away again - back and forth- things go bad and they once again beg God to help defeat the Midianites-- God chooses Gideon- Gideon doesn’t understand why him-- He tests the angel with some meat and bread on a rock- the angel touches it and it burns up- so just like that God gave Gideon the gifts he needed to lead the Israelites - and they are about to battle- but Gideon tears down Baal’s altar and the sacred pole at night and built an altar to God next to it. The next morning the people discovered what had happened - the people wanted to kill Gideon - then the Lord’s Spirit took control of Gideon- he was going to lead Israel into battle-but a test again to make sure- some wool on a stone floor- first night dew on top of wool - second night dew on the floor- that’s how it was- Gideon is convinced this is God and is ready for battle. -- How often I test God - don’t I trust him? -- I think it’s more- I don’t trust myself when I do this- I want to make sure that the message isn’t something I made up and is really God’s -- other times- especially messages from Scripture- I know - it is from God with that humbling and washed over feeling- I guess it’s different for everyone.

Job 36 - Elihu speaks on - but sometimes as I’m reading all this - I think - who are these guys to be telling me how God will act in this or that situation- how will God act when I’m good or how will God act when I’m bad- who are these guys to know- God is God- he will act however he chooses to act- I don’t think he follows some rules we put out- or some expectations we have that he must act and respond in such and such a way -- I just must trust and love God even if he gets mad at me - or is happy with me- I have to love God just the same - God is God -- who does these guys think they are telling Job how God will act or even think about some situation?

I must be willing to stand in places I normally wouldn’t and proclaim Jesus death and resurrection. Jesus has fixed a day when he will return. Is that today? Is it now? Let Jesus return to my heart and soul forever-now-today-forever.

Confess my sins that I even don’t know of - but especially confess those I know of.

Acts 1.6-14 - Don’t worry about when God will do what- receive the power of the Spirit and witness - witness until Jesus comes again in glory!

Job 3.1-17 - Job is down on himself- why does he exist? - but he cries out to God!

Psalm 30 - God will save and heal- when we cry for help - give thanks to god forever

Prayer- Jesus - you send me from place to place but you are always with me- you give me the words I need to say - the way I need to act- you prove your presence to me in so many ways- in nature you display your miracle of life and creation - I just look a little and there it is- right in front of my eyes- you are right there to -be with me today - in your kingdom with me as I proclaim the proof of you in my life- not just some story but my story of your activity in my life- not just some thought up thing of how I think you should act - but how you have actually acted in my life- thanks for your presence. --- amen

Thursday, May 05, 2005

May 5th Reflection

Thursday 5/5/2005

Acts 16.16-40 - So Paul and Silas are ministering and this girl keeps following them around telling people that they are servants of God and will tell you how to be saved- finally Paul got upset with all this and commanded the spirit to come out of the girl- and the evil spirit came out- well this upset the parents- cause they were making money off their daughter and this spirit- so Paul and Silas were thrown in jail- Paul and Silas in jail were praying and singing on night while other prisoners listened and an earthquake shook all the doors open and the chains fell from the prisoners - the jailer woke up and saw what had happened and figured he was in big trouble so was about to kill himself when Paul stopped him- no one had escaped- the jailer let Paul and Silas go and wanted to know how to be saved- have faith- Paul and Silas went to the man’s house and talked to all of them too and baptized all of them-so the next day the officials ordered the jailer to let Paul and Silas go - Paul told them they were Roman citizens and that they had been beaten in public without a trial- the officials apologized and let them go --- so even in all those twists and turns- the pestering girl-prison-earthquake- God spoke his message and people were baptized. -- God’s plan for my life may not be anything I would ever recognize.

Judges 4-5 - Back and forth again- God had just rescued Israel but they turned again- God let the Canaanites win battles until Israel turned back to God again - they wanted help again- God gave them Deborah (fiery woman-I like that meaning) - she led Barak and the Israelite troops in battle against Sisera and his army - defeated them - but Sisera escaped - he thought he was safe at Jael’s place- but she gave him milk- Sisera was exhausted and fell asleep- then Jael drove a tent peg through his head-- then the Israelites defeated the Canaanite King Jabin-- a couple of women- God gave victory to a woman - but not really Deborah like I first thought it would be but Jael - God active in saving his people- God will save me in ways that are unexpected but fascinating.

Job 35 - Do your sins hurt God?

I must be willing to stand in places I normally wouldn’t and proclaim Jesus death and resurrection. Jesus has fixed a day when he will return. Is that today? Is it now? Let Jesus return to my heart and soul forever-now-today-forever.

Receive forgiveness from God- do not doubt!

Acts 1.1-11 - Jesus ascension- Jesus was with the people- proved that he was truly risen- now he rises to heaven in the clouds- he will come again in the same way- I will be his witness!

Ephesians 1.3-8, 15-23 - Christ chose me before the foundation of the world- now think about that a while

Psalm 47 - God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. -- God is God! - Sing praises

Prayer- Jesus you have saved me and others in ways we could never understand- God you are mighty - you constantly rescue me from my sin- form evil and from myself- you save and protect me in so many ways I can never understand- how can I help but sing praises- for your Son who I remember ascended this day- is standing - standing in heaven - and standing here on earth - right next to me- talking to me- encouraging me- helping me in ministry- a joyful easy ministry- cause you did all the work- a ministry of play-- yea- in play you get hurt - but you are always standing there to heal- to comfort- to pick me up and send me on in your Kingdom- so today - yea you ascended- but you also remained for me-- thank you --- Amen

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

May 4th Reflection

Wednesday 5/4/2005

Acts 16.1-15 - It’s now like going on a road trip with Paul- Paul hooks up with Timothy- I think it’s strange that Paul has Timothy circumcised because of the Jewish people- it’s like he is backing down from one of the main principles that the Spirit gave him to preach- Then another odd part of this passage - but yet comforting is how the Spirit wouldn’t let the group go through certain areas- like God is protecting them or preserving them from persecution - odd yet comforting and makes me think of how I need to trust and be led.

Judges 2-3 - So the Israelites are a stubborn bunch - they won’t destroy the altars to false gods and even worship along with others these false gods instead of God- So God is upset with them- God doesn’t rescue them from outsiders when they attack -- then the Israelites realize their sin and turn to God and God would help them by giving them a Judge to lead them- then the Israelites would turn away from God again after a while- back and forth -- one Judge was Othniel-the son of Caleb’s younger brother- Othniel led Israel to victory in way and there was a time of peace-- then Ehud-(he was a good left handed guy!)- who went to take taxes to a fat king name Eglon-Eglon’s name suggests a pun for the word calf-which is funny- went to his private room - plunged a knife into him- the kings fat even covered the knife when Ehud plunged the knife into his big fat gut--so Ehud in effect sacrificed the fatted calf-that’s the funny/strange part of Eglon’s name- then Ehud snuck out a window or something- the kings servants waited and waited- figuring the king was taking a dump or something- the must have thought he fell in or something - they finally went into his private room and found king Eglon dead- all this time Ehud led the Israelites to victory over the Moabite warriors -- then there was Shamgar who rescued Israel in battle with a sharp wooden pole or maybe it was a cattle prod- killing six hundred Philistines.-- I like reading about the judges- interesting and weird all at once.

Job 34 - Elihu pretty much tells Job he is full of crap for thinking he is innocent- that Job rebelled against God and insulted his friends- talk about judging someone- who does Elihu think he is!?

I must be willing to stand in places I normally wouldn’t and proclaim Jesus death and resurrection. Jesus has fixed a day when he will return. Is that today? Is it now? Let Jesus return to my heart and soul forever-now-today-forever.

Receive the Holy Spirit and forgive others

Psalm 47 - All the world is to praise God!

1 Kings 3.4-15 - Ask for gifts from God that move outside - from within myself- to the good of God or others- don’t ask for gifts than only help myself - hmmm!

Psalm 72 - God focuses his love outward towards me and others- gives outward- from his inside out he gives his love.

Prayer- Jesus- you have a journey for me to take- you have sent me into your kingdom with a purpose- help me this day to fulfill your purpose - to go where you want me to go- to give myself to your world from my inside out- even if you want me to use my left hand to plunge that dagger into sin and do the bold things you call me to do - help me to see the sin I need to see and forgive my failings - bring me back to you that I may see your face and hear your voice and go where you would have me go- for you gave your life to me- from your heart you showed me your love- help me to do the same for my friends and others you give to me today. --- Amen

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

May 3rd Reflection

Tuesday 5/3/2005

Acts 15.22-41 - A letter was sent from Jerusalem to Antioch giving favor to the people- the source is about Gentiles and circumcision- but that isn’t necessary - just obey laws that make sense in effect - the Holy Spirit is working - Paul and Barnabas have a disagreement over some issue - not clearly defined but choose to part ways in ministry - Paul teams up with Silas and Barnabas teams up with John/Mark. The Word continues to spread

Judges 1 - Joshua didn’t name a replacement for himself before he died- so the tribes still had Canaanites living in the land- they were to drive them out- they would get together loosely to fight the battles but most didn’t even bother- they let the Canaanites live with them-- the problem was that the Israelites would fail to worship God and take on the false gods of the area--God is priority and wants all the attention and trust and faith.

Job 33 - Elihu implies here that if you are bad God will punish -when you turn from your sin God will reward- he is setting up Job to say Job has sinned and needs to turn to God.

I must be willing to stand in places I normally wouldn’t and proclaim Jesus death and resurrection. Jesus has fixed a day when he will return. Is that today? Is it now? Let Jesus return to my heart and soul forever-now-today-forever.

Christ gave the authority to forgive the sins of those who repent.

Psalm 68.1-10, 32-35 - God gives us a choice- follow his lead or turn the other way - I will follow and rejoice and sing his praises -- God is God!

Leviticus 3.12-17 - Bring my offering to God

Psalm 51.10-15 - Put a pure heart in me and open my lips to declare you God- it’s all about you

Prayer- Dear Lord Jesus- protect me this day - send me on the path you want me to take- give me the proper words to say - the proper actions to take- lead me into and through the desert to your Promised Land. I bring my offering this day and give all to you. Keep a pure heart within me and send me. -- Amen

Monday, May 02, 2005

May 2nd Reflection

Monday 5/2/2005

Acts 15.1-21 - This is the most compelling scripture brought out in support of the gay and lesbian issue in the ELCA-- if the people have the Spirit then forget the laws and rituals - accept them into our community and don’t restrict them just as Paul did here with Gentiles who weren’t circumcised. Makes you think where does God stand-- but you have to consider more passages in the Bible that just this and pray for God to lead and guide you in decision making-- not as easy as it sounds.

Joshua 23-24 - Joshua is saying goodbye here-- but he is also telling a story of the Israelites- they need to hold God and their relationship with God number one in the lives and hearts- no other gods at all- but this wasn’t happening - some still drug along gods of the past- they married women in the land and took on their gods- God has provided all their needs yet they still drag along these other false gods-- Stop it!- There is only one God- and look at all the evidence he gives to us each day- wake up and see it- and open your relationship with the one and only God!

Job 32 - So now Elihu speaks- he is young and has shown respect for the others- only wisdom comes from God- but Elihu hasn’t heard wisdom this time from the elderly - so he is going to give his opinion.

I must be willing to stand in places I normally wouldn’t and proclaim Jesus death and resurrection. Jesus has fixed ad day when he will return. Is that today? Is it now? Let Jesus return to my heart and soul forever-now-today-forever.

Believe the words given and shed for you for the remission of sins-- just believe -that’s it

Psalm 44.1-3, 20-26 - Why do I separate myself from God then expect him to come and find me?- help me to keep my direction and my priority on God

Exodus 3.7-17 - I wonder -- who am I that God would choose me to do anything??-- but God tells me over and over-- it’s not about me -- it’s about God -- I AM WHO I AM-- who am I???--one chosen by the great I AM WHO I AM-- that’s who I am-- keep it straight and love it with all your heart- Chosen!

Psalm 47 - Sing praises to God cause he is King - he provides for all and is almighty- he is highly exalted.

Prayer- Lord you come to all people- who are we to doubt your saving grace - to doubt the range of power you have- send me out this day to love all people- even the ones I would rather hate- forgive me when I have hurt others- forgive me when I have said things that make pain rise up in friends- forgive me- but help me keep it straight - who am I - I am chosen by you the great one the great I AM- teach me to be humble yet bold and proud of you and your grace- teach me to set my sights and all my priorities in life on you and you alone- no other idols or gods shall I pack and carry with me this day -- send me- send me-- Amen