8/27/2015

10w for August 30th, Purified, NL.

The following is a 10-minute worship for August 30th, Purified, NL.  You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up. The song for the day is I Rejoiced when I heard them say by John Michael Talbot from the CD, Blessing Club. Used with permission, you can find this and other gifts for ministry at www.johnmichaeltalbot.com

10w for August 30th, Purified! NL.

The following is a 10-minute worship for August 30th, Purified! NL.  You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up.  The song for the day is I Rejoiced when I heard them say by John Michael Talbot from the CD, Blessing Club.  Used with permission, you can find this and other gifts for ministry at www.johnmichaeltalbot.com
 

8/20/2015

Poem for 14th Sunday after Pentecost Mark 7:1-23

The young child grew and blossomed
Full of love and joy
Each morning was greeted with a song
And laughter
And a glass of spilled milk
Graciously lapped up
By her best furry friend
Under her chair
And her days were filled with new adventures
Exploding her horizons
With each new discovery
And a fair sampling of dirt
Smeared from soiled hands
To now soiled clothes
Until one day
The clouds seemed to cover the sun
Differently
Than they did before
And she learned not to spill her milk
Though she never did figure out
How
To feed her furry friend
And one day
She learned something new about dirt
And where she could not play
And where she could not wipe her hands
She also learned other things
She could not do
Until one day
While sitting there sad
And very still
She learned

She was a good girl

Opening litany based on Psalm 15

Psalm 15


Worship Leader: LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?

Congregation: The One whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous; The one who speaks the truth from his heart and utters no slander. It is the one who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on others. 
 
Worship Leader: LORD, Who may live on your holy hill?

Congregation: It is the one who despises what is vile in humanity and honors those who fear the LORD; it is the one who keeps an oath even when it hurts. It is the one who lends his money without interest and the one who does not accept a donation to vote against the needs of the innocent. 

Worship Leader: Such a person will never be shaken.

Congregation: Help us to walk in your ways O Lord.

grace

Sunday August 30th, Psalm 15: LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart who has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong. The list of what is good and what is evil from God’s view has often been manipulated by those who wish it were something different. Perhaps they wanted it to be their point of view, perhaps more profitable or supportive of their power structure. Who is blameless? The one who speaks truth from the heart. As we remember the world events of the last several years, I am struck by the fact that in real buying power, those at the middle and bottom of the wage scale are worse off than at any time since 1947. Fewer and fewer people, working and unemployed, can afford decent health care or housing or education. I am struck by the continued growth of wealth among the wealthiest among us while at the same time the continued growth in the shire numbers of those who have to do with less and less each day. I am saddened by the number of casualties brought about by the quest for power and money in this world. Who may dwell in your sanctuary? Each of us, but only through your grace. Help us to speak the truth from our hearts dear Lord, even if it hurts.

hope

Monday August 31st, James 1: 17 Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven's lights. Unlike them, he never changes or casts shifting shadows. 18 In his goodness he chose to make us his own children by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his choice possession.    Even in the midst of economic collapse and continued wars, people find hope.  It comes not from the things you can buy but rather the things you cannot buy.  At this time, as he is gracefully facing the end of his days, former President Jimmy Carter reminds us that Hope is a gift of God.  Hope rebuilds houses, lives and dreams.  Hope brings people back together and rebuilds relationships.  Hope surrounds each one of us with loving arms and then sends us out with our arms, as arms of God, to bring hope to others.  It is that hope, the hope that comes from God, which is good and perfect.  As God’s children, created in God’s image, our highest calling is to bring the hope of Christ with us as we reach out, serve, and incite miracles in this world.   

anger

Tuesday September 1st, James 1: 19 My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Your anger can never make things right in God's sight. I get angry, sometimes very angry.  Jesus got angry, sometimes very angry.  Anger is not always a bad thing and sometimes anger, holy anger, is what motivates us finally to work for justice and bring about change in this world.  Anger is sometimes closer to the will of God than that perpetually fake smile often seen on religious TV.  But there is a reason the word anger is part of the word danger.  Anger can easily slip over edge.  Righteous anger is only one small step from self-righteous anger.  The danger comes when it starts to feel good and a little smug about that anger instead of being bothered by it.  “Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possible the most fun.  To like your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain your are given and the pain you are giving back – in many ways it is a feast fit for a king.  The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself.  The skeleton at the feast is you.”  Wishful Thinking by Frederick Buechner

how it treats

Wednesday September 2nd, James 1: 26 If you claim to be religious but don't control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.  When you hear the phrase “orphans and widows” keep in mind that in Jesus day, they were the marginalized.  Today the marginalized go by different names.  The battle seems to be on across this nation to declare in rhetoric or outright statements that everyone except the power elite are marginalized in one way or another. You often hear the phrase that God helps those who help themselves.  It sounds good, pithy, and biblical.  The only trouble is that it is not in the Bible as a phrase or as an idea.  It is the antithesis of Jesus’ teaching to care for the least, lost and lonely, and to welcome the sojourner among us.  The call of the Bible is to help those who cannot help themselves.  A living wage, public option in a health care bill, child care, and legalized same sex marriage are things that come to mind.  In the end, a nation will be judged not by how many millionaires and billionaires it has, but how it treats the least, lost and lonely in its midst.  

face-lift

Thursday September 3rd, Mark 7:  1 The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and 2 saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were "unclean," that is, unwashed.  5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with 'unclean' hands?" 6 He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:  " 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  It’s called lip service.  Putting on a good show, but lacking anything of real substance.  Sometimes, it is the epitome of evil, and the real reason for the show is just to hide downright deceit.  I love a church where people don’t dress up, it seems more real to me, a bit dirty on the outside and a bit dirty on the inside, like life.  Some of our traditions have outlived their usefulness and though they may have sprung from honest roots they have outlived their meaningful life and are now mostly for show and they need to be jettisoned.  Some of our traditions need a new face-lift, and some need to be resurrected from the file cabinet and given new life.  One thing to remember about churches, a healthy one is always willing to jettison a tradition and take on a new one for the sake of reaching those who are not yet a part of that church.  An unhealthy church is always willing to jettison those who are not in the pews for the sake of keeping their traditions.  Most of our churches are a combination.  

adiaphora

Friday September 4th, Mark 7:  7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."  Back to basics.  When Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment he stated that we are to love the Lord with all our heart soul and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves.  All of the gospel flows from this.  All of the big hot button issues in religion and society have more to do with what some people would like to see as rules in their quest for power, than with the commands of God.  The equal rights struggle in the U.S. and the attempts to marginalize women and minorities has more to do with power and preaching to the political base than it does anything found in scripture. If it does not fit under loving God and loving others, it is less than just adiaphora, it is sin

22

Saturday September 5th, Mark 7:  20 He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' 21 For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.' "  In the original writing of scripture there is no numbering.  Verse 21 and verse 22 are just one long list.  We tend to get caught up on verse 21 and forget all about 22.  Perhaps we would be better off putting our focus on verse 22.  Wow, how politics as usual would change.  Verse 21 tends to give us things in which we can get away with by pointing our fingers at someone else.  Verse 22 looks and the fingers on our own hand pointing back at us.  If I was going to preach on this text, I would take verse 21 out and place it on the end as an addendum.  The text was meant to clean up our hearts, not someone else’s heart.  

8/19/2015

10w for August 23rd, Tough to swallow, P13.

The following is a 10-minute worship for August 23rd, Tough to swallow, P13. You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up. The song for the day is: Light of Heaven by Andra Moran from the CD Harmony Groove. 
Used with permission, you can find this and other gifts for ministry at www.andramoran.com

10w for August 23rd, Priesthood, NL.

The following is a 10-minute worship for August 23rd, Priesthood, NL. You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up. The song for the day is: For You are my Lord by John Michael Talbot from the CD City of God.  Used with permission, you can find this and other gifts for ministry at johnmichaeltalbot.com

8/17/2015

Opening Litany based on Psalm 34


Worship Leader: I will exult the Lord at all times in my life.  The Praise of the Lord will be forever on my lips. 

Congregation: We too will glory in the Lord.  Let all who are afflicted hear the good news of the Lord and rejoice with us as we exult the name of the Lord together. 

Worship Leader: In my time of need, when I sought after the Lord, the Lord answered me and delivered me from all my fears.  The Lord will do the same for you!

Congregation: Those who dwell in the presence of the Lord… their faces are radiant and never covered with shame.

Worship Leader: The ones that the world rejects who call upon the name of the Lord.. the Lord will be with them and help them in the midst of their troubles.

Congregation: The angel of the Lord encamps around those who live in awe of the Lord and the Lord delivers them from all the woes and cares of this world. 

Worship Leader: As we gather around the table of the Lord this day, taste and see that the LORD is good and blessed is the one who takes refuge in the Lord. 

Congregation: As the Holy people of God, we will live in awe of the wonders of the Lord, for those who live this way lack nothing of importance in this life. 

Worship Leader: the strong and mighty may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.  So come my children, listen, and learn to live in awe of the wonders of the Lord.  Whoever loves the Lord, and desires to live in the blessings of the Lord, keep your tongue from evil, your lips from telling lies, turn from evil and seek peace in this world. 

Congregation: For the Lord looks upon the righteous and hears the cries of their hearts, but the God of Grace turns a deaf ear to those who seek evil. 

Worship Leader: The righteous cry and the Lord hears them, the brokenhearted and those for whom the world has crushed their spirit wail and the Lord delivers them from their troubles. 

Congregation:   The righteous may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers them and protects them from being broken.  

Worship Leader: Evil will slay the wicked and the foes of the righteous will be condemned but the Lord will rescue those who love the Lord.


Congregation: All who take refuge in the Lord will live surrounded by the greatness of God’s grace.  

Poem based on 13th Sunday after Pentecost John 6:56-69

We study the words and signs
--(trapped)
and try to understand
--(trapped)
the Greatness
--that is God
the words come to us
limited
--to a fraction
of the message of Love
by our words
--(trapped)
How can we understand
How can we really know
The expanse
--the expanse of God’s word
when we are trapped by words
and what they mean
only in relation
to what we know
--in this life
trying to understand
--the workings of the spirit
locked in our own intellect
and limited by it
Christ said we are free
Free to see
--to know God
through Christ
through eating Christ’ body
--and drinking Christ’ blood
through knowing Christ
--not from a distance
but right here
now
by what Christ does
to me
--(faith)

from deep within

Armor is for Amour

Sunday August 26th, Ephesians 6:  Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  It is way too easy for us to fall into the trap of assuming that our struggle is with others.  We make our list of enemies, we draw lines, we decide who is in and who is out, and then we sit back and feel good about our idea that we are right and that other group is wrong.  What we find when that happens is that we have just fallen into the trap we were supposed to remain strong against.  Once we start drawing lines, we find ourselves on one side with “the powers of this dark world” and Jesus on the other side with those we have excluded.  That doesn’t mean we can’t argue ideas, policies and procedures, but the people are still made in the image of God. Time to suit up, be strong, and love one another.  The Armor is for Amour. 

create enemies

Monday August 27th, Ephesians 6: Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  First thing of note is that in the midst of all the military talk, the armor is all defensive, not offensive.  No first strike here, only the power to withstand the onslaught the powers of darkness throw at you.  The second thing of note is that we get ready to withstand this onslaught because we hold onto the gospel of peace.  Peace is no fun for the powers of darkness, they would much rather we have some enemies to attack, that way everyone loses.  When we create enemies to attack, we too lose.  

vote

Tuesday August 28th, Ephesians 6: Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And we will pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  There is no lack of people trying to tell you what the Bible says on this subject or that.  “Never do people do evil so cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. The true miracle is that there is not more downright wickedness in all the religious institutions of the world.” (William Sloane Coffin)  The best way to find out what the scripture says is to read it yourself.  Next year, before the election, sit down and read one of the Gospels from start to finish in one setting.  Then pray, and then vote.  It is a good way to make decisions in all of life.  

closet

Wednesday August 29th, Joshua 24:  14 "Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."  We all have a whole closet full of gods we serve.  Take stock some time on where you spend your money and where you spend your time, and most importantly, where you spend your mental time. That is where you will find your gods and get an idea of how much time you spend serving them.  Serving the Lord God, is a conscious effort.  It is not something you do when you are not doing anything else, is it what makes doing those other things have meaning.  Who will you serve this day, the gods in your closets or the Lord?  To not choose is to choose the closet.  

threefold creation relationship

Thursday August 30th, John 6: 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." We were created in and for relationship.  We are related to the God who created us and loves us and it is in God we find our life and ability to live and love in this world.  Jesus, as the son of God continues this relationship and calls us into an intimate relationship with himself and this creator God.  We are also created in relationship with one another.  The creation of the human family is told in the creation of Eve from a part of Adam.  We are part one of another, and just as we were created in the image of, and in relation to God, we were created from and in relation to, one another.  We are created from the dust of the ground and are created in relationship with this earth from which we were formed, and we are called to care for and love this creation.  This is the threefold creation relationship; Created by God, from the earth, for one another in a loving relationship with all.  

dualistic

Friday August 31st, John 6: 61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you? 62 What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. John’s Gospel was written to a group that largely consisted of Gnostics who believed in the dualistic nature of humanity, with the pre-existent spirit living within the earthly body.  You could call them first century Mormons.  For them, the Spirit was good, and the body, or sarks, was evil.  Jesus’ talk of eating his flesh and drinking his blood would have been a major offense to them.  It most likely turned their stomach.  Here John is bringing the dualistic aspect of Spirit and Body together.  It is not a matter of escaping the evil of this world in some spiritual journey, but rather, living in and loving this world and those who live in it as brothers and sisters in Christ.  

work

Saturday September 1st, John 6: 66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."  Jesus’ sayings were hard for his followers back then to take, just as it is hard for his followers today to take.  There are people out there who are hard to love.  It would be much easier to only love the loveable and those like us.  It is easier to create in and out groups and “axis’ of evil” than it is to love one another.  That is, until we realize that Jesus has the words of eternal life.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself.  It’s not easy, it is work.  It is also, life.  

8/12/2015

10w for August 16th, Follow the Leader, NL.

The following is a 10-minute worship for August 16th, Follow the Leader, NL. You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up. The song for the day is: Be Not Afraid by John Michael Talbot from the CD Table of Plenty.  Used with permission you can find this and other gifts for ministry at johnmichaeltalbot.com

10w for August 16th Gnaw on This! P12.

The following is a 10-minute worship for August 16th Gnaw on This! P12. You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up. The song for the day is: All Are Welcome by Dakota Road from the CD All Are Welcome.  Used with permission, you can find this and other gifts for ministry at dakotaroadmusic.com


8/07/2015

Poem based on 12th Sunday after Pentecost John 6:51-58

Your presence we feel
As we gather
At the table you have set
With your life
Where partaking
Is more than just
--the Bread
----and the wine
it is of You
you life
the word of God
that  pushes us beyond
our understanding
beyond our comfort
to who You are beyond our life
to what we are
beyond an understanding
that anything could ever be
the same
for to partake of you
brings

--us life

Opening Litany based on Psalm 34


Worship Leader: I will exult the Lord at all times in my life.  The Praise of the Lord will be forever on my lips. 

Congregation: We too will glory in the Lord.  Let all who are afflicted hear the good news of the Lord and rejoice with us as we exult the name of the Lord together. 

Worship Leader: In my time of need, when I sought after the Lord, the Lord answered me and delivered me from all my fears.  The Lord will do the same for you!

Congregation: Those who dwell in the presence of the Lord… their faces are radiant and never covered with shame.

Worship Leader: The ones that the world rejects who call upon the name of the Lord.. the Lord will be with them and help them in the midst of their troubles.

Congregation: The angel of the Lord encamps around those who live in awe of the Lord and the Lord delivers them from all the woes and cares of this world. 

Worship Leader: As we gather around the table of the Lord this day, taste and see that the LORD is good and blessed is the one who takes refuge in the Lord. 

Congregation: As the Holy people of God, we will live in awe of the wonders of the Lord, for those who live this way lack nothing of importance in this life. 

Worship Leader: the strong and mighty may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.  So come my children, listen, and learn to live in awe of the wonders of the Lord.  Whoever loves the Lord, and desires to live in the blessings of the Lord, keep your tongue from evil, your lips from telling lies, turn from evil and seek peace in this world. 

Congregation: For the Lord looks upon the righteous and hears the cries of their hearts, but the God of Grace turns a deaf ear to those who seek evil. 

Worship Leader: The righteous cry and the Lord hears them, the brokenhearted and those for whom the world has crushed their spirit wail and the Lord delivers them from their troubles. 

Congregation:   The righteous may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers them and protects them from being broken.  

Worship Leader: Evil will slay the wicked and the foes of the righteous will be condemned but the Lord will rescue those who love the Lord.


Congregation: All who take refuge in the Lord will live surrounded by the greatness of God’s grace.  

simple

Sunday August 16th, Proverbs 9: Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars.  She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table.  She has sent out her maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city.  "Let all who are simple come in here!"  Wisdom was highly regarded at the time of Solomon and in some cases was considered the calling of what would now be known as the Holy Spirit.  Here the calling is for all who are simple to come into the place prepared.  All who are simple seems like an odd definition.  But think of those who are not regarded as simple, those who weave complex plots to get ahead, to out due the other person, to take advantage, in other words, the movers and the shakers in society, in this context, are the excluded ones.  The proof of success in capitalism is getting ahead of, and beating out the other guy, the proof of success in Christianity comes to us in the words of Jesus.  In Matthew 5 and Luke 6, Jesus tells us; blessed are the meek, blessed are the poor, blessed are the persecuted, blessed are those who hunger and thrust.  Perhaps we should have these words above church doors, as well as congressional doors, “let all who are simple come in here”, let you and I come in here, let the ordinary and not so ordinary people come in here.  

stripped

Monday August 17th, Proverbs 9: Wisdom says to those who lack judgment. "Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding. There is an old saying from the world war days, “there are no atheists in fox holes.”   It is simply the realization that when you have nothing left to hold onto, there is God.  The person in a fox hole, with bullets flying overhead, finds themselves stripped of all pretense of being in control and can finally hear the grace of God.   That is why the born again experience, while in practice in the 21st century west, is a bit theologically suspect, it is also a powerful experience.  It is often the moment we hit bottom, when we find ourselves stripped of all pretenses, that we can finally see God who was there with open arms all along.  What we are open to learn at these times is the way of God.  It is very hard to teach someone who knows it all. The first step to hearing the word of God is to drop what you think it says.  Today we have a religious atmosphere in which the fundamentalists of all the major religions are busy fighting other fundamentalists, and sometimes calling them names like terrorists.  Fundamentalists see black and white, for us or against us.  It is the simple who see a sea of gray and are willing to ask God to help them navigate the ups and downs of life and know that God is with them through it all, who can see the face of God.  

find the path

Tuesday August 18th, Ephesians 5: 15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully, worthily, and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise, sensible, intelligent people, 16 Making the very most of the time, because the days are evil.  And we could add to that, as have people since the begging of time, that these days are evil also.  The advice stands, live purposefully, worthily and accurately.  Laura Beth Jones in her book “The Path,” points out that in life we all live a mission statement.  The question to pursue is what is Your mission.  We either live our mission in life, or we live someone else’s mission in life.  The call of a Christian is to find the path that God has for you in your life.  What are you called to do in life?  How are you called to serve in this life?  Where is that intersection between your passions and the teachings of Christ that will bring to life all the gifts God has given you for service?  These gifted people are not the few, they are potentially all people. The real gift is when you discover what your gifts and your callings are, and then to use them in the Kingdom. Instead of following along dumbly, open your Bible, think, read, and pray, and then do it again, and again and again.  There are many churches that distribute voting guides near election time to tell Christians who to vote for, I refuse to let them in the church.  What I ask everyone to do instead is to take a block of time and sit down the week before any election and pick one of the Gospels.  Then read that Gospel all the way through, pray and then go vote.  Make the most of your time in this world by making it your time and your agenda and your calling in conjunction with God’s calling for you.  When you are on the path you will know it, it comes with a feeling of peace.  

finely aged Pinot

Wednesday August 19th,  Ephesians 5:  18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the Holy Spirit.  Ever since the garden experience we have been trying to fill that emptiness inside with something we ingest. Whether that be the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, rotgut whiskey, super-sized fast food or a finely aged Pinot, we try to get back to that connected garden feeling.  The only ingesting that works is ingesting the word of God.  Remember the food pyramid, starting with sweets and fats with one serving and working its way down to 6 or more servings of grains?  The bottom or base of the pyramid is often missing.  The one that says that a healthy diet, one that will fill you up and take away those hunger pains, is to add 8 or more helpings of prayer and scripture reading every day.  If you want to supersize anything, you can super-size that without any negative consequences or a hangover of either the head or the gut kind.  Frequently however we find ourselves raiding the fridge for a case spiritual malnutrition.  

woe is me

Thursday August 20th, Ephesians 5: 20 At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. One of the true joys in life is to live in a state of blessedness.  To be able to look around and truly see that all that you have and all that surrounds you is a gift from God and is a blessing in your life.  In that state you can even see a blessing in some of the things that do not seem so good, the hard times, the struggles and yes even the pain.  Not that everything is a blessing from God, but sometimes, just the ability to make it through today in spite of all the rough terrain is the blessing.  Call upon the Lord in everything in your life, and even if your life does not change around you, your perception of it will.  After a while the “woe is me” gets really tiring.  So instead of living a “woe is me life”, try living a “blessed is me” life. In many cases it is simply the flip side of what we have been focused on all along, the side with beauty in it.    

Christ within

Friday August 21st,  John 6: 53 But Jesus didn't give an inch. "Only insofar as you eat and drink flesh and blood, the flesh and blood of the Son of Man, do you have life within you.  These words would have been very offensive to his hearers.  The idea of eating flesh and being in contact with blood was an abomination and against all the holiness and cleanliness laws of the Hebrew people.  All the safety nets we surround our life with, our rules, our customs, even many of our belief systems, can become roadblocks that keep us from Christ.  Making Christ the very essence of our being however, that is where life comes from.  Being a Christian is less about doing than it is about a way of being.  It is about Christ being the very center of our life, our all in all.  What rituals, beliefs, rules, customs get in the way of having Christ the center of life?  If it does not fit into loving God and loving others, it is just a distraction.  It is in the eating and the drinking of Christ’s body and blood that we intimately live out the presence of Christ within us, within ever cell, thought, idea, action and breath.  It is in being conscious of this intimate presence that we find the life around us changed closer and closer to God’s will each and every day.  

a moral life

Saturday August 22nd, John 6: 54 The one who brings a hearty appetite to this eating and drinking has eternal life and will be fit and ready for the Final Day.  The disciples were sent out to announce the Kingdom is near.  Knowing that deep down in every aspect of your life is the realization of that reality.  It is not about getting ready for Christ, it is about living, being ready for and living in the Kingdom always.  Rather than making sure everyone else is doing things right according to our standards, we need to focus on whether we are living as a child of God and treating others as the children of God.  Rather than making sure everyone else is living a moral life by our standards, we need to focus on whether we are living a moral life by God’s standards.   God’s standards are simple, love God with all your being, and love others as brothers and sisters in Christ, whether you like them or not.  That rather excludes war doesn’t it? 

8/06/2015

10w for August 9th, Bread at the Table. P11.

The following is a 10-minute worship for August 9th, Bread at the Table.  P11. You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up. The song for the day is: Table of Love by Andra Moran from the CD Little Miracles.  Used with permission, you can find this and other gifts for ministry at www.andramoran.com

10w for August 9th, Reflections, NL

The following is a 10-minute worship for August 9th, Reflections, NL.  You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List or you may text 10w to 2828 to sign up. The song for the day is: Your Touch Is On Us by Dakota Road from the CD Break These Chains.  Used with permission, you can find this and other gifts for ministry at www.dakotaroadmusic.com

8/03/2015

Poem based on 11th Sunday After Pentecost John 6:41-51

We ate from the manna
Provided
For all to eat
When the people were in need
And were filled.
We were given the land
And the knowledge
To make our people Great
And were filled.
We were given the word
Sustaining us
Through time of hardship
Forgotten too often
Through times of prosperity
It added a richness
--to our lives
a wholeness
without which
--we would not exist
and we were filled.
We hunger Lord
For the living Bread
That will sustain us
Through hardship and prosperity,
We long to come to You
Drawn by
The love that has been
And the love that lives now
Eternal

And to be full.

Opening Litany based on Psalm 34


Worship Leader: I will exult the Lord at all times in my life.  The Praise of the Lord will be forever on my lips. 

Congregation: We too will glory in the Lord.  Let all who are afflicted hear the good news of the Lord and rejoice with us as we exult the name of the Lord together. 

Worship Leader: In my time of need, when I sought after the Lord, the Lord answered me and delivered me from all my fears.  The Lord will do the same for you!

Congregation: Those who dwell in the presence of the Lord… their faces are radiant and never covered with shame.

Worship Leader: The ones that the world rejects who call upon the name of the Lord.. the Lord will be with them and help them in the midst of their troubles.

Congregation: The angel of the Lord encamps around those who live in awe of the Lord and the Lord delivers them from all the woes and cares of this world. 

Worship Leader: As we gather around the table of the Lord this day, taste and see that the LORD is good and blessed is the one who takes refuge in the Lord. 

Congregation: As the Holy people of God, we will live in awe of the wonders of the Lord, for those who live this way lack nothing of importance in this life. 

Worship Leader: the strong and mighty may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.  So come my children, listen, and learn to live in awe of the wonders of the Lord.  Whoever loves the Lord, and desires to live in the blessings of the Lord, keep your tongue from evil, your lips from telling lies, turn from evil and seek peace in this world. 

Congregation: For the Lord looks upon the righteous and hears the cries of their hearts, but the God of Grace turns a deaf ear to those who seek evil. 

Worship Leader: The righteous cry and the Lord hears them, the brokenhearted and those for whom the world has crushed their spirit wail and the Lord delivers them from their troubles. 

Congregation:   The righteous may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers them and protects them from being broken.  

Worship Leader: Evil will slay the wicked and the foes of the righteous will be condemned but the Lord will rescue those who love the Lord.


Congregation: All who take refuge in the Lord will live surrounded by the greatness of God’s grace.  

same old

Sunday August 9th, 1 Kings 19: 3-5 When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba, far in the south of Judah. He left his young servant there and then went on into the desert another day's journey. He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade, wanting in the worst way to be done with it all—to just die: "Enough of this, God! Take my life—I'm ready to join my ancestors in the grave!" Exhausted, he fell asleep under the lone broom bush.  There are times when I am just worn out.  I remember being hassled by a Canadian border guard late one evening as I was leaving Alaska to drive to start Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa.  After about a half hour of inane questions he asked what work I had done in Alaska.  I told him I primarily worked in Juvenile corrections.  He then asked why I was going to Dubuque, I told him I was going to Wartburg Seminary.  He asked what a seminary was, I told him it was an educational and training center to become a Lutheran Pastor.  He smirked that going from Juvenile corrections to being a pastor was quite a switch.  I couldn’t help myself, I just blurted out laughing that he hadn’t been in many Lutheran congregations or he would know it was not much of a switch at all.  Little did I know how fortuities that smart-aleck comment would become.  Following the will of God is not all smiles and happiness, and sometimes even the best and strongest just get worn out, or more probably, worn down.  It is worth noting however, that like Elijah, even when we think we have hit our limit and run, God does not leave us alone in our pity.  God seeks us out, renews our strength and sends us on our way, whether we like it or not.  

40

Monday August 10th, 1 Kings 19:  7 The angel of God came back, shook him awake again, and said, "Get up and eat some more—you've got a long journey ahead of you." 8-9 He got up, ate and drank his fill, and set out. Nourished by that meal, he walked forty days and nights, all the way to the mountain of God, to Horeb. When he got there, he crawled into a cave and went to sleep.  Then the word of God came to him: "So Elijah, what are you doing here?" First thought is that must have been some meal.  After being exhausted, God feeds him and he is good for a 40 day walk.  Reminds me of Jesus’ baptismal blessing being preparation for his 40 days in the desert, or Israel’s 40 years of wandering.  A time of preparing, of getting ready for what lies ahead.  So, what are you doing here?  God has fed you, nourished you, and blessed you beyond belief, now, what are you doing here?  You have been prepared, but for what?  What was, or is, the outcome of your time of testing?  Or did you just take a side road into personal prosperity? You have been blessed, so now in the kingdom of God here on earth how are you to be a blessing?  What a Joy it must be for God when we sometimes get it and respond in love to the world God has created.  Why not try it today?

brothers and sisters

Tuesday August 11th, Ephesians 4:  25 We are part of the same body. Stop lying and start telling each other the truth. I remember a sermon by a local TV preacher.  He expounded on the story of the rich man and Lazarus.  His concern was that preachers do not tell the truth and preach about hell.  He then portrayed the horrors of hell and expounded on how all must be saved in a Bible Believing church, such as his, that teaches and warns about hell or else they will go to hell themselves.  He lamented that this was the case with his father, who although he claimed to be a Christian, was not a born again Christian and had never said the “believers prayer” and was therefore burning in hell.  I feel sorry for Pastor Prevo, and I feel sorry for his dearly departed father.  We are called to tell the truth about scripture.  For me the story of the rich man and Lazarus is about the breakdown of the family of God, our failure to see each other as brothers and sisters in Christ and to seek the justice and the system changes that relationship fosters.  The rich man’s sin was that even in hell, he still saw Lazarus only as someone to be used and do his bidding.  Isn’t that one of the great human sins that we are always putting asunder that which God has joined together? I agree with Pastor Prevo that we do need to start telling each other the truth, but the truth is that there is more said in the scriptures about the evils of social and economic separation than almost any other subject except the need for faith.  Believe and care, or as Christ put it, love God and love others.  We are all part of the same body, the Body of Christ.  We are all part of the creation God created and called good.  We are not called to be our brother’s keeper, with one on top and one on the bottom of a dysfunctional system, we are called to be our brother’s brother, our sister’s sister, in relationship with one another.  It is the very argument that is at the basis of most of our political arguments today.  Are we going to recognize one another as brothers and sisters and share with one another not only assets, but more importantly, opportunities?  When will we all, from top to bottom, and from bottom to top, act in accordance with what is best for all, rather than what is best for me?  There are no golden parachutes in the kingdom of God, nor are there deadbeats gaming the system.  Live your life as if you love God and love others this day, all the rest is window dressing.   

give

Wednesday August 12th, Ephesians 4: 26 Don't get so angry that you sin. Don't go to bed angry 27 and don't give the devil a chance. 28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Be honest and work hard, so you will have something to give to people in need. 29 Stop all your dirty talk. Say the right thing at the right time and help others by what you say. 30 Don't make God's Spirit sad. The Spirit makes you sure that someday you will be free from your sins. 31 Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don't yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. 32 Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ. Christians all too often succumb to the temptation to worry about what others are doing wrong rather than what we could do better.  Ephesians 5 used to be one of the main texts used in weddings, and it was often used as a “power over” text, pulling out the “woman be subservient to your husband” part and putting the emphasis there.  In reality, Ephesians is about what each of us should be doing, not about how we think others should act.  It is a text about the oneness of God’s creation and the unity we share with one another.  It is a text about following the law, but doing so in such a way that we see in one another as a child of God to be loved, to be cared for, to give of yourself for.  The list given above is simply how we go about treating one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.  The power expressed is the power to give of one’s self.  

therefore I am

Thursday August 13th, Ephesians 5:  1 Do as God does. After all, you are his dear children. 2 Let love be your guide. Christ loved us and offered his life for us as a sacrifice that pleases God. Descartes has had his mark on society.  In a rational, post-enlightenment world “I think therefore I am” rules the day.  It is after all, all about the “I.”  God calls us instead to live by the phrase, Amo, ergo sum, I love, therefore I am.  In a post-enlightenment world it is about as counter-cultural as you can get.  But it is in loving that we are connected to the love of God.  It is in loving that we live out the fullness of the connectedness of all of creation.  It is in loving that we experience the fullness of God’s grace as we show that grace to others.  Our calling is a calling into relationships, with God, with one another and with the creation from which we were formed. Let love be your aim in life, and live by the motto: Amo, Ergo Sum.  

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