The Daily: Thursday April 24, 2014

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

Today’s Lectionary Readings: Psalm 16 (NRSV, The Message); Song of Solomon 2:8-15 (NRSV, The Message); Colossians 4:2-5 (NRSV, The Message)

 

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”  Psalm 16:1-2 (NRSV)

You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 (NRSV)

I’m happy from the inside out,
and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed.
You canceled my ticket to hell—
that’s not my destination!
Now you’ve got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I’m on the right way.    Psalm 16:9-11 (The Message)

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.    Colossians 4:2-5 (NRSV)

In our prayers: Mark Stanford, Paul Bennett, Ed Yokie, Jim Davis

 

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The Daily: Wednesday April 23, 2014

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

Today’s Lectionary Readings: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 (NRSV, The Message); Joshua 3:1-17 (NRSV, The Message); Matthew 28:1-10 (NRSV, The Message)

 

In our prayers: Mark Stanford, Paul Bennett, Ed Yokie, Jim Davis

 

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The Daily: Tuesday April 22, 2014

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

Today’s Lectionary Readings: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 (NRSV, The Message); Exodus 15:1-18 (NRSV, The Message); Colossians 3:12-17 (NRSV, The Message)

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.       Colossians 3:12-17 (The Message)

Colossians 3 continues along the theme with which it started: “Since you have been raised with Christ…” Here it comes down to the nitty-gritty, how we are to treat others. The “wardrobe” in which we are to dress all describes ways we interact with others: compassion, kindness, humility…well, not all maybe: discipline, quiet strength.

And we let the word of Christ, the Message “have the run of the house, giving it plenty of room in our lives.” And like the Israelites recounting their salvation in the desert in Exodus 15, we sing, sing our hearts out about what God has done for us.

 

The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained.      Exodus 14:28 (NRSV)

All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.      Colossians 3:11 (The Message)

Happy Easter Monday!

I remember an experience I had sharing a sermon in my preaching class in seminary. The scripture text was thi passage from Exodus. Of course the heroes of the story, the drivers of the action, were the people of Israel. I had mentioned the Egyptians in passing. After I had wrapped up the sermon I received feedback from the professor and the rest of the class.

“What about the Egyptian soldiers?” the professor asked. I paused a moment. Well what about them? They were secondary to the action of the story. But they drowned. However many there were, not one of them remained. They had been destroyed. Wow. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on the other. The people I consider not pertinent to the story, the ones I consider expendable. Is anyone ever really expendable?

We go back to the daily lectionary beginning this week. The readings from Monday through Wednesday reflect back on Sunday’s readings. Thursday – Saturday anticipate the following Sunday’s texts.

The daily lectionary continues to take us through Colossians 3, begun on Sunday. Eugene Peterson’s translation here reminds us that it is all about Jesus – we are all defined by Christ, all included in Christ. As such, it defines our relationships, how we respond to one another.

In our prayers: Mark Stanford, Paul Bennett, Ed Yokie, Jim Davis

 

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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Easter Service 2014

The Daily: Monday April 21, 2014

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

Today’s Lectionary Readings: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 (NRSV, The Message); Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21 (NRSV, The Message); Colossians 3:5-11 (NRSV, The Message)

 

The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained.      Exodus 14:28 (NRSV)

All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.      Colossians 3:11 (The Message)

Happy Easter Monday!

I remember an experience I had sharing a sermon in my preaching class in seminary. The scripture text was thi passage from Exodus. Of course the heroes of the story, the drivers of the action, were the people of Israel. I had mentioned the Egyptians in passing. After I had wrapped up the sermon I received feedback from the professor and the rest of the class.

“What about the Egyptian soldiers?” the professor asked. I paused a moment. Well what about them? They were secondary to the action of the story. But they drowned. However many there were, not one of them remained. They had been destroyed. Wow. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on the other. The people I consider not pertinent to the story, the ones I consider expendable. Is anyone ever really expendable?

We go back to the daily lectionary beginning this week. The readings from Monday through Wednesday reflect back on Sunday’s readings. Thursday – Saturday anticipate the following Sunday’s texts.

The daily lectionary continues to take us through Colossians 3, begun on Sunday. Eugene Peterson’s translation here reminds us that it is all about Jesus – we are all defined by Christ, all included in Christ. As such, it defines our relationships, how we respond to one another.

In our prayers: Mark Stanford, Paul Bennett, Ed Yokie, Jim Davis

 

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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The Daily: Sunday April 20, 2014

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

Today’s Lectionary Readings: Acts 10:34-43  (NRSV, The Message); Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 (NRSV, The Message); Colossians 3:1-4 (NRSV, The Message); John 20:1-18 (NRSV, The Message)

Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him…They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”         Acts 10:34, 39-43 (NRSV)

And it is the message we are still proclaiming 2,000 years later. Happy Easter!

 

In our prayers: Mark Stanford, Paul Bennett, Ed Yokie, Jim Davis

 

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The Daily: Wednesday April 16, 2014

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

Today’s Gospel Challenge Reading: John 15-16  (NRSV, The Message)

When he comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control…  John 16:8-10 (The Message)

Jesus answered them, “Do you finally believe? In fact, you’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with me. I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”      John 16:31-33 (The Message)

I could camp out forever in these chapters – the last discourse attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John, the last encouragement and instructions from Jesus to his disciples. Of course, these words weren’t transcribed for the benefit of the original 12 disciples. They were long-gone by the time they were written down. They were written for later followers – including you and me.

In John 16, Jesus is promising the “Friend,” the advocate, the Holy Spirit. The promise that we are never alone. The promise, if we choose to receive it, that truth will be revealed to us – truth from above, truth beyond the control of those that believe they know everything about right and wrong, good and evil.

Like Jesus, we are never abandoned!

Prayer Requests: Mark Stanford – healing; Doris Platt – in assisted living facility; Angie Came – recovering, Scott Button – recovering from surgery, diverticulitis; Ed Yokie – Medicana, recuperating from pneumonia, Christopher Lepard – physical and spiritual healing, Linda Dion – God’s will for her life, Paul Bennett – surgery

 

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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The Daily: Tuesday April 15, 2014

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

Today’s Gospel Challenge Reading: John 14-15  (NRSV, The Message)

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.           John 14:1 (NRSV)

Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!”   John 14:6-7 (The Message)

The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.        John 14:12-14 (The Message)

Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.  John 15-4-6 (The Message)

Jesus is beginning his final discourse to the disciples. Wow, it is dense with spiritual teaching. It is hard to not just post the whole section here – but I will let you dig into it yourself. The essence is our relationship with Jesus which, as Jesus reveals here, is a relationship with God. The result? Our ability to carry out the same work as Jesus. Pretty powerful stuff!

Prayer Requests: Mark Stanford – healing; Doris Platt – in assisted living facility; Angie Came – recovering, Scott Button – recovering from surgery, diverticulitis; Ed Yokie – Medicana, recuperating from pneumonia, Christopher Lepard – physical and spiritual healing, Linda Dion – God’s will for her life, Paul Bennett – surgery

 

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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The Daily: Wednesday April 9, 2014

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

Today’s Gospel Challenge Reading: John 1-2  (NRSV, The Message)

Jesus said, “You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.

“So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”         John 3:5-8  (The Message)

it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.               John 3:15 (The Message)

But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.

“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”  John 4:23-24 (The Message)

John 3 and 4 contain two of the most profound encounters in scripture: Jesus’ interactions with Nicodemus and the woman at the well. One is a religious insider, the other a religious outsider. Jesus’ message to both is similar: this is all about something we can’t see, this is spirit. Jesus’ message is the same today: it’s not about who you are, where you worship, the rules you follow. Jesus invites us into relationship with God, “sheer being itself–Spirit.” And our path is simple – looking upon Jesus, the Son of Man.

Prayer Requests: Mark Stanford – healing; Doris Platt – in assisted living facility; Angie Came – recovering, Scott Button – recovering from surgery, diverticulitis; Ed Yokie – Medicana, recuperating from pneumonia, Christopher Lepard – physical and spiritual healing, Linda Dion – God’s will for her life, Paul Bennett – surgery

 

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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The Daily: Tuesday April 8, 2014

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

Today’s Gospel Challenge Reading: John 1-2  (NRSV, The Message)

But whoever did want him,
who believed he was who he claimed
and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
their child-of-God selves.       John 1:12 (The Message)

The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.     John 1:14 (The Message)

 

Prayer Requests: Mark Stanford – healing; Doris Platt – in assisted living facility; Angie Came – recovering, Scott Button – recovering from surgery, diverticulitis; Ed Yokie – Medicana, recuperating from pneumonia, Christopher Lepard – physical and spiritual healing, Linda Dion – God’s will for her life

 

Click links below to read these daily devotionals:

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