Preaching to the Choir

These are some sermons, but mostly lectionary discussions. It also has prayers for some Sundays.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Thought for Wednesday

The true test of happiness is gratitude.-Gilbert K. Chesterton [adapted]

Scripture for the day: Jeremiah 33:11 The sounds of joy and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will be heard again, along with the joyous songs of people bringing thanksgiving offerings to the LORD. They will sing, `Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good. His faithful love endures forever!' For I will restore the prosperity of this land to what it was in the past, says the LORD.

Prayer for the day: Generous God, God who is love whose love does endure forever, we give you thanks. We give you thanks for restoring us, for reconciling us to you, for renewing us, refreshing us, and form more. Lord develop in us an attitude of gratitude, it is a sign of health, and wholeness. It is a sign of our spiritual nature, and our being made more like you. May we have sounds of joy and laughter, voices of joy, and singing to you. May we bring you a thanksgiving offering. Lord sometimes it is hard to be grateful when we are going through hard times, when circumstances around us seem unpleasant, when there is illness or down times. God it is easier to let those things around us drag us down, and they often do. Help us int hose times to focus on you to find our joy in your enduring love. Help us to remember to be in our community of faith, and to rely on their support to be uplifted to once again sing songs of thanks and praise to you. Thanks God.

Give Thanks


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Thought for the Day

Thought for the day:
A humble talent that is used is worth more than one of genius that is idle.

Scripture for the day Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Prayer for the day Lord, would that we too would hear those words from you, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." Would that we would be using the talents you have given us, and not be idle. And would that you would develop in us the few that seem lesser than the others or weaker. Accept our humble gifts to you, Lord. Forgive us when we say "I am no good at that," or "I am not that good", or what ever excuse we have for hiding and burying the talents you have given us. Help us to be faithful in all that you have given us. And help us to remember it is from you that we are given these talents, and it is to your glory we use them. Help us to be encouraging of those who are just beginning to discover their talents. Help us as the church to equip your saints to be able to use their talents. Amen

Link for the day; This is your Lent link for today. It is from the United Methodist Church and actually has several links to more info on Lent.

Want to use one of your lesser talents, come hammer a nail for Habitat for Humanity!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Thought for Monday

Here is the thought for the day, Monday the 26th
It's better to know some of the questions, than all of the answers.
-James Thurber
Scripture: I Peter 3:15 "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,"
Prayer God here we stand with all our questions about you, life, situations. All our whys and why nots. We are not alone with our questions. There are so many who have questions and who are seeking the answers. Many are seeking for a purpose and reason in their life. Many are hungry for something more. Many are looking for a power or being greater than themself. We wrestle with the questions. And perhaps we learn to live with the questions. But many have no one to walk with them through their questioning, through their seeking. God help us to be there for them, listen to them, walk with them, and to share from the depths of our lives. I thank you for those who have been there with me through my periods of questioning. May I be there for someone who is going through that time in their life. God we pray for those who are questioning as well. Amen

MercyMe - I Can Only Imagine


My Sermon from Sunday

I started a new sermon series for Sunday called Christ on Trial. It goes along with the Wednesday night Bible Study we are doing. We had a drama of the Prosecution interrogating the witness, Matthew the former tax collector turned disciple. Bob, my husband played Matthew, and did a good job. Gary Webb played the prosecutor, and really got into the role. People asked if they were going to redo it. The are doing it again on Wednesday night. And every Sunday we will have a new witness.

Here is my sermon titled "The Case of Death by Taxes" (It almost turned into "The Case of the Missing Sermon". Someone took my sermon manuscript off the pulpit for some reason. We couldn't find it at the start of the service, so I started praying that I could remember most of it or say what God wanted me to say. Bob went looking for it, and found it right before the offertory. Some one had taken and put it on my desk with a stack of other papers. Whooh.)

The Case of Death by Taxes

Christ on Trial sermon series

Feb 25, 07

Matthew 9:9-13

Everyday of Jesus ministry it seemed like the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the teachers of the law put Jesus on trial. They questioned everything he did, why he did what he did, the way he did what he did, the things he taught, the people he dealt with. Our scripture today and the courtroom drama we just saw showed that. But eventually Jesus was brought to trial first to Caiaphas, the Chief Priest of the temple, then to Pontius Pilate the Roman Governor of Judea, and finally on up to Herod Antipas.

But Jesus is on trial today everyday, His saving act, his being in the world, his radical teachings all demand a reaction. All of us have or are now, or will wrestle with some question about Jesus. Who is He? Is he who he said he was? What does that really mean for me? The truth is Christ demands a verdict from you Who is Jesus for you?

Some people think it is wrong to question the bible, question God, question Jesus, but the truth is you and I will question God, it is part of the faith journey, part of the Christian walk, part of what it means to be human. In order to grow we ask the questions. We seek the answer. We are curious as humans, inquisitive, learners. When we decide to stop asking the questions, stop learning, we stop growing and die. Frankly I hope I never stop growing never stop asking the questions. Never stop learning.

I grew up in a denomination that you were taught to accept what was told you in church, by your parents, and what was in the bible for literal fact. No questions. No different thoughts. No inquisitiveness. I remember one time my Uncle Bill, my mom’s brother came to visit. Now my Uncle Bill was a College Philosophy Professor. He was also a Quaker. My dad and Uncle Bill were discussing religion, and my dad response to Uncle Bill was something to the affect, Well, its in the bible and that’s enough for me. And that’s what I was taught. And yet when I hit my teenage years, I started having lots of questions about God, about religion, Jesus, faith, the bible. Who was going to help me with my questions? Not my parents. Not my Pastor. Not my church. But there was one woman in the church who knew what to do. She knew to listen to me. And listen to me she did for hours on end. She didn’t come up with pat answers either. She would share from herself her own struggles and experiences, and she lived what she believed.

There are people, young people, middle age people, and yes old people who are questioning, seeking to understand who this Jesus is. There are people seeking something to help them live their lives, give them a purpose, a meaning. There are people in the middle of a crisis or have been through a crisis seeking answers to the why questions. Why me, why my spouse, why now, why us, why not them, why does anyone have to suffer, why God? They say we are living in a spiritual age, a time of seeking the something more than this life, a something greater than me. People are looking in all kinds of directions and religions for that something more something greater. And people are looking at Christianity and wondering is it the answer to my questions, my needs? Is Christ really who he says he is?

And you and I not only better have the answers, but know how to walk with them through the questions. We better know how to listen. We better know how to be with people who are seeking. We better know how to live our lives as believers.

Many have written books about their questions about Jesus. Josh McDowell’s book Evidence that demand a verdict which has been updated, Stroebel’s book, The Case for Christ as well. In the seventeenth century the French mathematician and theologian, Blaise Pascal (1623- 1663) put forward a wager in his Pensees (Thoughts):

If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having, neither parts nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is ... you must wager. It is not optional. You are embarked. Which will you choose then? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then without hesitation that he is.[1]

History Channel, PBS, The Learning Channel, Discovery Channel have done their versions about Jesus. Even Time and Newsweek occasionally have written articles about the questions. And if you go on the Internet there is all kind of information about Jesus, questions about Jesus, some of it true, some of it not true, some of it written from the person’s perspective, the atheist’s perspective, historical perspective.

If you have listened to our District Superintendent Hal Noble’s story, you know that as a young man he was an atheist himself, and even tried to convince people to become one. And yet became a Christian through the work of God through someone in his life. C. S. Lewis once an atheist himself said this about Jesus: Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

So the question comes back to you Who is Jesus to you?

Today we heard from Matthew who was once a tax collector and became a disciple of Jesus. He told us of Jesus scandalous association with the seedier side of society. It is the part of Jesus we often like to read about, and say, man isn’t Jesus cool, but if Jesus appeared today and had the same associations today, we might not want anything to do with Jesus. If the truth be known we might be like the prosecutors or the Pharisees or the priests. I don’t know how I would feel if I am honest with myself. I struggle with the part of me that thinks I am better than some people, especially those that Jesus was involved in like Matthew, and the sinners, and prostitutes. I am not sure I would want to be seen being associated with them. On the other hand I have a part of me that realizes that I am no better than them, I too am a sinner, I am human too, I have some part of me that can relate to some part of them too. I realize that just as Jesus came and died for my sins, he died for theirs, that I have no place to judge them. I have no place to turn them away. I have no place to put a roadblock for them to come into the Kingdom of God. If anything I better be taking down every roadblock there is and be about making room for them, inviting them into the Kingdom of God, spending time with them.

Look who invited to follow him, Matthew a tax collector, a cheater, a friend of the Romans, a sinner, a money grubbing thief. If Jesus can invite him to be one of his disciples, then we better be about doing the same thing. But the Religious leaders of that day didn’t want to have anything to have to do with a person like him, and they judge Jesus for that. And that Jesus would then go to a dinner party with Matthew and all those other sinners, unclean, outcasts was well you heard the prosecution, blasphemy, Heresy! Would we think and act the same way as the Religious leaders? It is a hard question to answer isn’t it. But answer it we must.

The religious leaders who came to the dinner party, turned and asked the disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” It wasn’t the disciples that answered him was it, it was Jesus. And his answer "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners." Ouch “-Go and learn what this means. I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” Double ouch.

- Hosea 6.6

This passage from Hosea was a favourite verse for Israel, particularly

during their time of exile; for it was a reminder of that steadfast love

and loyalty of God. Jesus was merely practicing what his own people

preached. He lets the fact that his critics did not embody the generous love of God to members of their own community become a form of self-indictment.

This was Jesus’ first run in with the Pharisees. And it was only the beginning. This was Jesus’ first battle with the Pharisees. His first confrontation with them. His first war of words with them. And it occurred at Matthew’s house in Capernaum. The story of the conflict with the Pharisees continues. The dye was set. The mold was cast. The plot was beginning and would end only when these same Pharisees plotted, planted and killed him on the cross on Good Friday three years later.

Throughout his whole life, Jesus was crystal clear about the Pharisees: The Pharisees were hypocrites, phonies, pretending to be religious but they were not. The Pharisees felt superior to others around them who did not attend synagogue, felt superior to those who did not tithe and felt superior to those who did not pray in public. The Pharisees wanted praise and attention more than any thing else. They would pray in the synagogues so people could see them praying. They would give money to the beggars so other people could see them giving. They covered their clothing with ashes so people could see them being pious. It was all for show. They wanted praise, respect, honor. They wanted to be treated as “top dog.”

According to a recent Harris poll, accountants were at the very bottom of the list with only 14% of Americans thinking that accountants had an honorable occupation. Others at the bottom of the list were bankers, business people, lawyers and journalists and union leaders. Maybe we should be inviting the bankers, business people, lawyers, journalists and union leaders to church. Jesus is sending us the same message today. Today, Jesus does not get hung up on religious niceties and call people who think they are religiously clean and more impeccable than other folks. Today Jesus still calls people who know they are sinners big time to be his disciples, to be part of the inner core, to be his loyal followers. (Edward Marquart)

The sign at St. James UMC sign board says "Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven." We can not forget this, that we are forgiven sinners. And that is what we have to offer others, his forgiveness, his healing, his love, his kingdom.

So the question comes to you Who is this Jesus for you?

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saturday Prayer during Lent

Father, look upon our weakness and reach out to help us with your loving power.

My dear father,
I am not asking to overcome my weakness,
but to use it in some way to glorify you.

Let me be aware of
the many ways you reach out to help me today
and let me stand in awe of the power
that you use in such loving ways.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.

taken from Praying Lent 2007 Creighton University Online Ministries
FYI: They remind us that Saturdays are lighter and more upbeat than the other days as we are preparing for Sunday. They are reading from Isaiah 58, this continues in particular in Isaiah 58: 9b-14. They are also doing a self-examination regarding what true fasting is for us this Lent.

Image from Prayer Windows


Thought for Saturday

Thought for the Day
2/25/2007 Knowing Scripture is one thing;
Knowing the Author is another.

Scripture for the day: Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.

Prayer Oh God whose words were given to human beings to be passed on to generations, we thank you that we now have the written word. Many of us do not even know our scripture. Forgive us we pray for neglecting the reading of your word on a daily basis. God inspire us through your word to know you more, to know who are in what the scriptures say and what you say to us through the scriptures. Lord may we truly wait for you like the Psalmist and to put our hope in your word and in you. Amen

Thy Word by Amy Grant

If you don't want to watch that video with scenes from the Passion of Christ you can watch Amy Grant singing Thy word with Michael W. Smith.


Friday, February 23, 2007

thought for the day for the friends and family of St. John UMC

I have been sending out a daily email to the St. John Church family as for about a month now, as a way of staying in touch, encouragement and inspiration. I decided to start posting them on this blog. It will include the thought for the day, a prayer, a scripture and sometimes some links. Hope it is helpful to you. On the blog post, It may add a picture, video or something that is appropriate. I get the thought for the day from Communication Resources, thought I better say that. I'll try to post the back ones too, but it will take awhile and some work. But for now here's Today's thought:

Here is the thought for the day for the friends and family of St. John UMC
2/23/2007 God sends no one away empty
Except those who are full of themselves.
-Dwight L. Moody
Scripture for the day Matthew 6: 25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Prayer for the day: Lord today, this thought makes me think of how full we can become of ourselves, and not realize it. Lord, fill us up with you, your Holy Spirit and your love. Lord it is hard to let ourselves to be reliant on you and yet that is what you call us as your disciples of. We can't make ourselves righteous on our own, and yet we try. And then we pat ourselves on the back like the pharisees. O God forgive us of our pharisee-ism, our self-ism, our independent-ism. Lord fill us up with you.
And Lord this thought reminds me that there are so many who have less than me, are hungry, in fact starving, fill them up too Lord. Fill them with the food they need, the housing they need, the clothing they need, the water they need, the health they need. Lord fill them up with you, your Holy Spirit and your love. Amen
Here is the link I recommending for today for Lent: Praying Lent It has an index site with a lot of ideas for Lent. It also has a reflection for the day. Offered by Creighton University.

The video from Beyond Borders, or can click on the link to see more

Just for Today

This helped me a lot in recovery. I don't know why I put it down or away. But I am pulling it back out for this process. I don't mean to take away from diet, weight loss or exercise, indeed I mean to enhance for me. And for me it is about the food and more, but I cannot ignore either side of the process. I am sharing it for anyone else who it can help (I already posted it on a private blog dealing with weight loss. If you want to join read this invite) . And I am posting it to remind me of I have today and just for today.....

1. Just for today I will be happy. This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true that, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Happiness is from within; it is not a matter of externals.

2. Just for today I will try to adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come and fit myself to them.

3. Just for today I will take care of my body. I will exercise it, care for it, nourish it, not abuse it nor neglect it, so that it will be a perfect machine for my bidding.

4. Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.

5. Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. I will do at least two things I don't want to do, as William James suggests, "just for exercise."

6. Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with praise, criticize not at all, nor find fault with anything, and not try to regulate nor improve anyone.

7. Just for today I will try to live through this day only, not to tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do things for twelve hours that would appall me if I have to keep them up for a lifetime.

8. Just for today I will have a program. I will write down what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. It will eliminate two pests - hurrying and indecision.

9. Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax. In this half hour, sometimes, I will think of God so as to get a little more perspective into my life.

10. Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially, I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love, and to believe that those I love, love me.

The Thief on the Cross

his is the message I delivered at the N.W. District's minister's prayer fellowship as part of our Lenton study. We are looking at the Seven Last Words of Jesus, using the book , Thank God its Friday, by Bishop Willimon. We were asked to take one of the words and write about it without referring to the book. And then after we spoke we invited others to express their thoughts and feelings. W. G Henry is our Spiritual Guide and he lead us in discussion, interspersing it with things the Bishop wrote. I was disappointed that I could not show my powerpoint or video for the presentation. I did lead them in singing the Taize song "Jesus, Remember Me". Wonder what your thoughts, your perspective is on the Thief on the cross, and Jesus second word?

Here is the video I was going to show:

Or here is the The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ from the Thief on the Cross Perspective.

A Message of Hope

Luke 23 : 42 and 43 –Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise

My son Zachary is into Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Power Rangers, all the Super heroes that save us from the bad guys, the robbers, those who would take over the world with their evil plans. People like the two criminals who hung on the cross with Jesus. I can remember playing cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, good guys and bad guys as a Kid too. Because I was a girl I either got to be the girl in distress or one of the bad guys. I usually was one of the bad guys because the girl in distress just stood around and did nothing, and I wanted at least to do something. We have divided our world up that way, good guys and bad guys, wrong versus right, or us versus them. We hope the bad guys get caught and get the justice they deserve. We want them to pay for what they did.

It was no different in Jesus’ day, there were the bad guys and good guys, depending on which side you were on. People wanted bad guys caught and made to pay for what they did too. And so on the day that Jesus was crucified there were two criminals, put to death as well for their crimes. Justice was served. They got their due. Who knows if their lives were lives of crimes or if they were part of one of the gangs, or zealots, or it was a one time act. Luke 23 does tell us this in 39-41: 39One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” So Jesus was hung there like a common criminal himself treated just like one himself, and as one of the criminals says but he had one nothing wrong.
Why didn’t Jesus save them when the one criminal demands it? What was the difference that when the other criminal asks in 42 “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Why did Jesus then answer and tell him in 43: Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise? We don’t know the answer, we can only conjecture, and perhaps we have already. But let us not judge too quickly the other thief, for we don’t know what all brought him to that point.

One time when my parents came to visit me in Birmingham, their house was robbed while they were gone. They came back to a broken into house, and much missing, and a mess. They felt violated, angry, scared, and wanted justice. The ones who committed the crimes never were caught and nor were their things recovered. The insurance company gave them a check to replace the items that were stolen. But dad then set about making sure it never happened again, locking things tighter, getting an alarm system. When they would come visit they would put stuff that might be stolen in storage. I am not sure they ever felt safe again though.

But I have stolen too, when I was a kid I stole things from my brother and parents. Usually I got caught and had to replace them. I even stole from a store twice. Of course I got caught by my parents was made to replace the items and go back to say I was sorry.
I have had my car broken into, my apartment, I have had items stolen by roommates. Both my class rings, and a ring that Bob had made for me were stolen. I was almost date raped. Yes I have a sense of justice, make em pay, hang em high, cut off their hands, I have that. But I also have the side of me that says Do those ways of justice really solve the problem, make it right, where is forgiveness, Jesus words in Matthew 25 haunt me. 31When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And because of those words and our heritage of John Wesley visiting the prisons; I have become in Kairos.

You see that thief on the cross could very well be me, and you. We hang there on the cross for our crimes, not just those like actually stealing, but we are like the criminals by how we have treated God, his kingdom, the church, our families, our parishioners, the lost, the least and the unloved. Have we not stolen from them? I have. And so there I hang on the cross asking Jesus, "Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus, remember me." And I hope to hear those words….. "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise. "

I don’t deserve to hear them anymore than the criminal on the cross. On my own I can’t make it happen. It is through the grace and mercy of Jesus that I am saved that I am in paradise with Jesus.

The old songwriter wrote these words,
'The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
and there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away!'
'There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel's veins,
and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains!'

These are words of hope to those who need the forgiveness, the grace, the mercy and that’s all of us. These are words of hope to the criminals. But we the church seem to forget that we hang on the cross too. We don’t want to be around those people or them in our church. But how we answer Jesus I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Well, Jesus, I just don’t do that sort of thing, and I didn’t. Or "Jesus, I met you the other day at Tutwiller or any of our other prisons, Limestone Correctional." Or I met you the other day in that young man or woman who was released from Juvenile looking for a place to feel accepted, start afresh, try to be different." How will our churches minister to our brothers and sisters, God’s children?

Here is the powerpoint if you want to see it, has no music.

Here is the link to the powerpoint also.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thought for Thursday

here is the thought for the day;

2/22/2007 Children and grandchildren are not only heirs to our possessions; They are also heirs to our values and character.

Scripture for the day: Romans 8:14 2 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, "Abba, 3 Father!" 16 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Prayer for the day: Dear God, since I have had children, I felt this more impressed on my heart to teach them their true adoption. I want them to know that what they will inherit from being the heir of God is so much more than what they would ever inherit from me. I am not even a good teacher. But God my parents did their best to teach me about you and your great love for me. I want to do as much for my children. Lord I can imagine that that is the prayer from most of us, and so I pray that you would honor our prayers. And Lord for those who are not parents, may they bear witness to their adoption in you to all the children of the world. And Lord bear witness to each of us that we are your children of God. Amen


I have been thinking about the links for Lent that I find helpful. I am not going to overwhelm with the links, but try to each day introduce a few.
I found these most recently


Sacred Space Retreat

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday Thought for the Day

Greetings on this Ash Wednesday to the St. John family and friends,
Here is your thought for the day,


I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, Then there is no hurt, But only more love.
-Mother Teresa

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. 1 Corinthians 13: 7

Prayer for the day, Lord, clearly I am not Mother Teresa, I am not even Mother Abi, by that I mean, I am not like her or any of the saints like her. I tend to get weary in giving, I have a tendancy to be judgemental toward those I am giving to, and I certainly hurt. I haven't gotten to the part where it doesn't hurt yet. I try Lord, I really try. Sometimes it doesn't hurt, but when it really hurts, I don't seem to break through to where it doesn't hurt and there is only love. I am human. But God you don't ask me or us to be Mother Teresa, you ask me to be me, and to be your servant by showing your love. May your love show through me even in my shortcomings. May I know your love even in the hurt so that others will know your love too.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. If you can go to an Ash Wednesday service. Begin your time of reflection through the spiritual disciplines, if you are not already following them to draw closer to Jesus.

Here are some suggested links:

Ash Wednesday Online booklet

A thought for Ash Wednesday by my friend reverend mommy


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tuesday's thought for the day

Here is the thought for the day;
2/20/2007 When you do what you please, does what you do please God?

Prayer for the day: Lord may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, oh Lord, my strength and my redeemer. My problem is Lord though that too many times I try to please others and then I don't please anyone, especially you or me. You know it has been my desire and prayer for a long time to please you instead. May it be so. Amen

Verse for the day Eph 5:8-10 ‘You are light in the Lord; walk as children of light…trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.’

Your Love Oh Lord Third Day


Monday, February 19, 2007

Thought for the day on President's day '07


The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
-Abraham Lincoln

Prayer for the day:
Hello God, as we start our week, there is probably not one of us who has not failed at something we have tried to do. And yet it is from the failures that we can mature, grow, learn and be molded by you. Some of us are in present failures or situations that feel like failures. Lord, in your eyes though we are not a failure, but a person learning and growing in you. Lord many of us as well have given up when it comes to just causes or let the struggle or the failure or what people say stop us for standing up for what is just. Lord help us seek our strength, our wisdom, our guidance from you and to stand firm in the Holy Spirit for that which is just.

Scripture of the day: Micah 6:8
"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?" (NKJV)

Today is President's day. You might take today and pray for our President. Here are some websites on President's day.

How Many Presidents in a Holiday?

President's day at Wikipedia

Everything you wanted to know about the U.S. presidents

Great Presidential Prayers

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sunday's Thought for the Day

2/18/2007 Invest in the church and you will not lose interest.

Scripture for the day Matthew 6:19-21 19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Prayer for the day God thank you for those who have invested so much in the church, in your church. Help us to remember that we get out of worship, bible study and the church what we put into it. Help us to remember what Jesus taught that where our treasure is, is where our heart will be also. I hope our treasure is with you and that our heart is too.

If We Are The Body


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday Thought for the Day

2/17/2007 A true friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.

Prayer for the day
Lord, how many of us have experienced this when we have gone through something major, a death of a loved one, a divorce, a job loss, or miscarriage. The people who leave after awhile, either not knowing what to say or afraid of the depth of the pain. God thank you for the friends you have given us who do stay through it all. But God, sometimes we are the friend who walks away, can't stand the pain, don't know what to say. Forgive us when we do. Help us to be the one who stays when all have left. Help us to know we can trust you for how to be present, for after all you are present with us during our difficult times. Jesus you know what it was like to be left, after all most of your disciples abandoned you at your deepest need. Lord we tend to do the same thing to you, leave you, forgive us as you forgave Peter and the others. Grant us staying power God.

Scripture for the day:
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times

You might enjoy this poem Faithful Friends by Helen Steiner Rice
Lyrics to Friends are Friends Forever by Amy Grant