Thrusday, 8 Jan 15

8 Jan

Father God, thank you for today.  Thank you for being with us on our trip and for the beautiful day to drive in.  Thank you for your Spirit, for your love and grace.  Thank you for the opportunities I had throughout this day to include the opportunity to pray and to share this prayer with others.  Thank you, just thank you.

I ask O God that you please continue to be with me as I study.  Open your Scriptures up to me and help me to understand them and to be able to apply them to my life.  I also ask that you help me to understand well enough to help other people to understand your Word.  Guide and direct us all in studying the Scriptures so that we can use them to help us to know you better and to help us in building our relationship with you.

I lift up to you O God my congregation.  They are a small flock, but they do love you and want to serve you.  Help me Father God to lead them.  Help me to be a good pastor and servant.  I pray Father that you will help me to know your vision for my congregation.  Help me to see it, to know it, and to share it with the flock.  Help me O God to be there for them and help meet their needs.  Help me Father to be there and to help them in continuing to build their relationship with you, with each other and to serve the communities in which we live, work and worship.

Creator God, there are so many people on my mind and heart that need your divine touch of healing of body, mind and spirit.  Jerry, Mary, Dave, Paul, Gregor, Carolyn, Andrew, Norm, Bob, and many others with their health issues.  Nancy, Joe, Danielle, Marcus, Raymond, Jessie, with their hard decisions they have to make and with their relationships.  There are so many others Lord that I cannot name them all.  I lift them up to you and ask for your to pour your Spirit upon them and fill them with your love, grace, forgiveness, strength, comfort and healing.

I also ask for your help in planning our upcoming dedication service, retreat, and work day.  Please guide and direct me in planning these events so that they will be helpful to all those that attend.  I pray that these events will be uplifting, encouraging, thought provoking and most importantly centered on you that we might come to know you better.

Thank you again for all things and I ask all things in your Son’s most holy name, Jesus.  Amen.

Monday 5 Jan 15

5 Jan

Creator God, thank you for being with us yesterday and all of our yesterdays and for continuing to be with us today and all of our tomorrows.  Thank you for life.  Thank you for your grace, love and forgiveness.  Thank you for the opportunities that will come to us today.  Help us to recognize these opportunities and to stand up and serve you and your creation.  Help us O Lord to learn more about you today and to open ourselves up more to your Holy Spirit.  Help us to be your hands and feet and to serve the people we come into contact with in our daily walk.

O God, I want to lift up to you the people I have on my heart this morning that need your touch and presence.  Jerry with his upcoming doctor appointments; Mary, Dave, Andrew with the flu; Pete and Bonnie with the loss of their son; Susan, Sonny, Tiffany with their medical issues; Sandra, Joy, Paul and Gregor with their medical issues and those of their spouses.  Please be with the congregational members who have not been coming lately and help us to know what their needs are without being too pushy about it.  Help us as a congregation to become better disciples and servants.  Help us to see what you would have us do this year.

Thank you again O Lord for all things and I ask that you will be with us this day as we go forth to work, school, life so that we may become closer to you and to serve your creation today.  Amen

Epiphany

5 Jan

Epiphany in the western Christian tradition, using the Gregorian calendar, is on 6 January. It is the climax of the Advent and Christmas season if you will. Advent starts four Sundays before Christmas and is a time for expectation and anticipation to prepare to celebrate the coming of Jesus the Christ. Christmas day begins the 12 days of Christmas, which ends on Epiphany and looks at the birth of Christ and the nativity. Epiphany is the celebration of the manifestation of Jesus the Christ that includes his birth, the visit of the magi or three wise men, his childhood up to Jesus’ baptism.

Epiphany comes from Greek and means to appear, manifestation, to show, to make known, to reveal, to see things as they are. Western Christians traditionally look at Epiphany as the revelation of Christ to the gentiles or all non-Jewish people. The magi or three wise men represent the gentiles who paid homage to Christ whereas King Herod the Great who represents the Jewish people sought to kill the Christ as found in Matthew 2: 1-12.

This morning in the spirit of Epiphany I want us to re-look at the need for studying the Bible as a means to show way, to make known the ways of God, and for us to truly see things as they are. “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4 NRSV

In the 1930s as Nazism descended on Germany a handful of Christians, who called themselves the “Confessing Church,” went out to bear witness to people in an environment where many churchgoers had been deceived by the Nazi propaganda. Through their reading/listening/studying the Biblical message, they were able to see Nazism for what it really was. So when people, even back 85 years ago, were saying that the Bible was an ancient book and played no relevance to current society and was no longer needed, these Christians were able to use the Scriptures to truly see how evil Nazism truly was.

Why should we today, in the beginning of January of 2015, want/need to study the Scriptures. I do not know about you, but I have many questions and there are loads of times that I do not truly see things as they really are. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him,” James 1: 5 NIV.

The Scriptures is a witness of God’s interaction with his creation as relayed to us through people who have witnessed it and wrote it down for our benefit and use. Unlike reading a novel or a history book, the Scriptures were written by man from their witness of the events and/or through the inspiration of God through the Holy Spirit. We do not make up our Christian faith as go through life. But it is rather tied to the Scriptures which speaks directly to us of real events, especially to the life and teachings of Jesus the Christ who taught us how to live, who was killed for us and more importantly rose from the dead so that we might have eternal life and be reconciled to God.

When we examine the lives of the Christians, especially those that have a close relationship to God, we find people that seriously spend time in the Scriptures through study and prayer. One Christian theologian describes the Scriptures as a pair of spectacles as they help us to see and understand what we otherwise could not see or understand. Through studying the Scriptures and engaging in daily prayer in a disciplined way, we experience God’s grace and wisdom in the midst of our daily life and personal struggles.

As Obi-Wan Kenobi told Luke Skywalker in Star Wars IV, A New Hope, “Your eyes can deceive you, don’t trust them.” We can be easily deceived if we try to rely on our own senses, our own knowledge. We can trust in the Scriptures and as we prayerfully study them God will open our eyes and our understanding so that we might truly see. And once we truly see we then can be as Phillip in Acts 8: 26 – 39 and help others to understand the Scriptures as well.

Friday Thoughts

2 Jan

Almighty God, thank for today for being with us.  Father God, thank you for your forgiveness and grace when we don’t deserve it and we can never earn it, even before we come to you asking for your forgiveness and love.  O God, I do come to you asking for forgiveness and the strength focus on you and to resist the temptations in front of me.  Thank you for your Spirit, your love and for your Son, Jesus the Christ.  Thank you for your presence.

Father God, please continue to help me to listen to you and to focus on your Spirit.  Help me O God to hear your voice and to see what you want me to bring to your congregation this coming Sunday.  Help me to O Lord to be your servant.  Please impress upon me the words that you have me speak…to speak love and hope to your people.

Creator God, please be with your church as we try to reach out to serve your creation.  Help us to love the people around us and to help meet their needs and to show them you.  Help us to be good servants and to come to know you better.  There are so many people that need your healing touch for physical issues, mental issues and spiritual issues.  Please bless them and their families.  Fill them with your love, grace, strength and comfort.

Help me to study your word and to focus on the spiritual disciplines to seek you and to empty myself so that you may fill me with your Spirit.  Help me to be a good servant and a good pastor.  Please guide and direct me.  Help me to see people as you do and to love them as you do.

I ask all things in your Son’s most holy name, Jesus the Christ.  Amen.

A new year, a new day, a new opportunity to serve

1 Jan

Creator God.  Thank you for this new year, this new day, for the opportunities that I will have to serve you, to learn more about you, and to hopefully share you with the rest of creation.  Thank you for making us and putting us here today in this time and place.  Thank you for all things and for the people you have put in my life, no matter if they are a huge part of my life or just a glancing part that I barely recognize if at all.  Thank you.

I come before you this morning to help us to seek you.  Help us to see and to truly know that on our own and through our own efforts we can accomplish nothing.  That no matter what we do, it will not be good enough to allow us to be with you.  But only through your love and grace can we be reconciled to you through your son Jesus the Christ.  I come before you again as I am preparing to speak your word to the congregation on Sunday to ask for your guidance on what you want me to bring to them.  Help me to focus on your message you want them to hear.  Help me to set aside the sinful things of my life and to focus on you and to open myself up more to your Spirit.  Guide me, use me, help me to bring your good news to your people.  Help me to show them you and to help them to come closer to you.

Father God, I lift up to you my congregation…you know each one of them and what their needs are far better then I do and better then they even know.  Help me to minister to them and to help them in the midst of their needs.  Help me to be involved more with them.  Help me to see them and to love them as you do.  Father God, I ask that you will continue to help me to be a good pastor, a good servant, and to reach out to everyone around me and to serve them.  Please help me to see your vision for this congregation for this year…to see what it is you would have us to be involved in and help us to reach out to our community where we worship and to our individual communities where we live.  Help us to be your disciples and servants.

Creator God, I have so many people on my mind and heart that need your healing touch.  Some of them have severe health issues such as cancer, joint issues to where they are losing the use of their hands and the ability to move, diabetes, neurological issues, Alzheimer and dementia, depression, and the list of issues and names/faces continue to go through me.  You know O God each of these people that I am thinking about.  You know them and their families and what is best for each of them.  I lift them up to you and ask that you will fill them with your love, strength, comfort, forgiveness, grace, hope and healing of body, mind and soul according to your will and what is best for them.  Be with them and bless them and their families.

As we look around our communities, nations, and world, we see the mess we as humans have made.  I lift up to you this morning all of creation and I ask that you will bless us.  Please be with not only the national leaders throughout the world, but with each of us as individuals.  Help us to see what our limited sight, knowledge and world view is doing to the world.  Help us to love instead of hate, to accept tolerance instead of intolerance, to lift each other up instead of killing each other because people don’t look, act, think or believe that way we do.  Help us to see each other as brothers and sisters, and to realize that we all are intertwined and that what hurts anyone else hurts us.  Help us to love, heal, and be the people you created us to be.

Thank you again O God for all things and for the opportunities we will have to serve and to love today and throughout this year.  I ask all things in your son’s name, Jesus the Christ, my Lord and Savior.   Amen.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.