The Daily: Sunday August 30, 2015

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Today’s Lectionary Readings: Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9 (NRSV, The Message); Song of Solomon 2:8-13 (NRSV, The Message); Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23  (NRSV, The Message); James 1:17-27 (NRSV, The Message)

You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger…     James 1:19

 

In our prayers: Mark Stanford, Faustina, Doug MacWilliams

 

How can your church family be praying for you today? Leave your requests in the comments below.

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The Daily: Friday August 28, 2015

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Today’s Lectionary Readings: Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9 (NRSVThe Message); Song of Solomon 2:1-7 (NRSVThe Message); James 1:9-16 (NRSV, The Message)

Oh! Give me something refreshing to eat—and quickly!
Apricots, raisins—anything. I’m about to faint with love!
His left hand cradles my head,
and his right arm encircles my waist!

Oh, let me warn you, sisters in Jerusalem,
by the gazelles, yes, by all the wild deer:
Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up,
until the time is ripe—and you’re ready.
Amen!       Song of Solomon 2:5-7 (The Message)

So with the events of the past week, and I’m speaking of the Ashley Madison user leak, specifically the revelation that Josh Duggar, the former Director of the Family Research Council Action whose job was to speak for “traditional family values” was a card carrying member, maybe we can create a little bit of space regarding our sexuality and our faith. I don’t want to beat the “Josh Duggar is a hypocrite” drum, because I haven’t met too many of us (and yes I include myself) that talk about morality who have not been tragically, comically hypocritical at some point or another.

But, I’m going to go out on a limb here and make the claim that hyper-morality, especially as it involves our sexuality, is almost always fake. We are sexual beings with all kinds of desires and orientations and curiosities. And listen here, children of God, that’s not a bad thing! That isn’t sin. That is who we are. And there are times that it is awesome.

The Song of Solomon is an ode to romantic love and yes, even lust. Right smack dab in the middle of holy scriptures. They were verbally getting it on! Their feelings were celebrated and enjoyed. However, those feelings were also respected: “Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up, until the time is ripe – and you’re ready. Amen!”

I can’t help but wonder, if we could talk a bit about sexuality in the context of our faith (I know, I know I’m not chomping at the bit to do it either – I haven’t fully thought this through) I wonder if we could more fully spiritually form our sons and daughters, keep them from hurting themselves and abusing others, free ourselves from some of our deeply held shame we hold about our own past actions and current desires, and celebrate who God has created us to be in all of our infinite variety.

I would love to hear what you think! You can comment below.

In our prayers: Mark Stanford, Faustina, Louise Wilson

 

How can your church family be praying for you today? Leave your requests in the comments below.

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Envy and Kindness

The Daily: Thursday August 27, 2015

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Today’s Lectionary Readings: Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9 (NRSVThe Message); Song of Solomon 1:1-17 (NRSVThe Message); James 1:1-8 (NRSV, The Message)

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open. James 1:2-8 (The Message)

Amen!

 

In our prayers: Mark Stanford, Faustina, Louise Wilson

 

How can your church family be praying for you today? Leave your requests in the comments below.

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The Daily: Wednesday August 26, 2015

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Today’s Lectionary Readings: Psalm 11 (NRSVThe Message); 1 Kings 6:15-38 (NRSVThe Message); John 15:16-25 (NRSV, The Message)

“You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.

“But remember the root command: Love one another.  John 15:16-17 (The Message)

Here is Jesus, summoning it up. We are chosen by him, we bear fruit, we get everything we need. And at the root: love one another. Very simple. So simple that we often look for something else to add to it. What if we were to experiment with abiding in Christ, bearing fruit, and loving one another?

 

In our prayers: Mark Stanford, Faustina, Louise Wilson

 

How can your church family be praying for you today? Leave your requests in the comments below.

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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