Poem based on 3rd Sunday in Lent John 2:13-22

So pure was the water
So clean and pure
As Jesus came out of the river Jordan
And the dove came
Landing there
So pure
So simple
Was the moment
And the words
----this is My Son

so pure was the mist
so clean and pure
as the Light enveloped Jesus on the mountain
and the voice came
and was heard there
so pure
so simple
was this moment
and the words
----this is My Son
--------Listen to Him

Listen to Him
Can you hear amid the drone
Of the voices calling
And selling
--the doves
----and oxen
------and sheep
on the steps of the temple
dedicated to the worship of God
turned now into
a respectable place
where budding capitalist can ply their trade
turning the burning desires of humanity
drawn to a closeness with God
into a reasonable profit
----in their definition
in the name of love

This Is My Father’s House
But you have made it into
A temple of human desire
And lust
For power
and it will fall
fall from the weight of those
--------on top
weighted down by the greed
of an honest living
amid the poor

so pure was the air
so clean and pure
as Jesus’ life slipped from him
and a world changed
as Christ arose in three days
the temple rebuilt
so pure
so simple
and the words
were remembered
This is My Son

Listen to Him

Opening Litany based on Psalm 19

Pastor: The heavens declare the glory of God and the skies proclaim the work of creation. Day after day the cosmos pours forth speech and night after night it reveals knowledge. 

Congregation: The heavens use no speech, no words, no sound is heard, yet the voice of God extends from the cosmos into all the earth.

Pastor: Each day the sun shines on creation, bringing joy to all God has made. 

Congregation: It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth and joy.

Pastor: So too the law of the LORD is perfect and refreshes the soul. The guidance of the Lord is trustworthy bringing simple truth to our world.

Congregation: The ways of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the hearts of the people. The ways of the Lord are radiant, giving light to our eyes. The wonders of the LORD are forever and the teaching of the LORD form the foundation of all we do. 

Pastor: The ways of the LORD are more precious than gold, they are sweeter than honey.  But the ways of the LORD also guide our ways both revealing and forgiving our hidden faults. Making us pure through the presence of the LORD in our lives.   

Congregation: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD my Rock and my Redeemer.

It's a promise

Sunday March 8th, Exodus 20: 2 I am GOD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of a life of slavery. 3 No other gods, only me. Here we take our stand, sort of. We like to let the words roll off our tongue, talk as if we believe them, confess it when asked, but then our lives often tell a different story. When it comes to the bottom line however, “GOD your God” ends up taking a back seat to our passion’s flavor of the day. This is what the temptation in the garden with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was all about. Which comes first, your desires and wants or God’s plan for you and for your life and for this world? You can get at the answer by answering some other questions. How many hours a day to you spend in study and prayer? Have you ever taken a Sunday off from worship? Do you invite many of the people you meet to join you in worship? Do you go out of your way to serve others, knowing that in doing so you serve God? The list goes on and on. The promise for GOD to be our God also goes on and on. We all fall short, but God comes through. I am GOD your God is the promise of grace in the midst of our humanness. God’s grace is what saves the day, as well as saving our bacon.  

Sabbath rest

Monday March 9th, Exodus 20: 8 Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Work six days and do everything you need to do. 10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath to GOD your God. Don't do any work--not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your town. 11 For in six days GOD made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the seventh day. Therefore GOD blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day. The Sabbath was made for humanity, not humanity for the Sabbath. When we don’t take time to rest and reflect on God’s love in our lives, life just seems to start losing meaning and beauty. It is not about embracing sloth one day a week, it is about dedicating your time to spiritual refreshment in life at least one day a week.  Spend it in the yard, spend it on your family, you can even spend it going fishing or snowmobiling, but never forget to spend it with God, with worship.  You won’t go to hell for ignoring Sabbath worship, but you will make your life, slowly, one week at a time, a living hell as all those relaxing activities simply become hollow and just more work. This is another one of those laws that is really grace in disguise. Too busy to attend worship this week?  Try going to www.10worship.blogspot.com and signing up to receive 10w worship emailed to you every week.  


Tuesday March 10th, Exodus 20: 16 No lies about your neighbor. 17 No lusting after your neighbor's house--or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don't set your heart on anything that is your neighbor's. This is “the covet”, or lusting thing that gets us all in trouble. One problem is that our economy is based on getting people to want something they do not have, or even need and then selling it to them. For all the talk about the virtues of capitalism during election years, getting people to buy something they don’t need, and don’t even particularly want is what keeps the economy going.  That is what advertising is all about and as we can see now, it is rather a house of cards. When this advertising works we find that if we don’t want (lust after) what or neighbor has, we want (lust after) something better. What God is trying to warn us about is how easy it is to move from lusting to action. It doesn’t matter if it is drug addict, David and Bathsheba, big banks or the couple that lives at the end of the street, in the movement from simple lust to lust in action we are all capable of mowing down anyone or anything in the way of something we lust after, especially if it or they are close. It is all too easy to justify our actions and not even see our ethics or the other guy lying in the dust when we are through. Lust is the desire for salt from someone who is dying of thrust. In the end we only make things worse for ourselves and others and leaves victims in its wake. 


Wednesday March 11th, John 2: 13 Not long before the Jewish festival of Passover, Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14 There he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves in the temple. He also saw moneychangers sitting at their tables. 15 So he took some rope and made a whip. Then he chased everyone out of the temple, together with their sheep and cattle. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and scattered their coins. To change the focus on temple worship, there needed to be a bit of housecleaning.  Change comes hard. Worship is more than going through the motions, more than bringing your offering, setting through a sermon, singing a few songs that you would never listen to if they were on the radio, and talking to a few people until you can get out the door and onto your own life. Worship is more than sacrifice.  Jesus replaced simply offering a sacrifice with his own body and blood.  Instead of buying off God with our sacrifice or good behavior, we are called into a relationship with God and with one another around the table.  What thought systems in your life need to be changed to return your church experience to a worship experience?  What in your worship needs to be changed in order to change church back into Worship?  The answer is never going back to what we used to do, that was for back then, what we are talking about is now.  What will be fresh about your worship this week?  


Thursday March 12th, John 2: 16 Jesus said to the people who had been selling doves, "Get those doves out of here! Don't make my Father's house a marketplace. The doves and all the other animals were used to sell to people who had traveled to Jerusalem to make a sacrifice at the temple. It was convenient. They did not have to travel a long way with the sacrificial animal. The money changers also helped because they could exchange the people’s money for coins that did not have the face of one of the various local rulers on it. To use such coins in the temple was forbidden and was considered a form of idolatry. All the systems in place were for very good and helpful reasons in the beginning.  But like most seemingly good ideas that make things easier, they had morphed in their focus from helping the other to helping the self.  These formerly helpful systems made a good profit off the poor who had traveled long distances. The system worked so well no one ever thought about how it worked against the down and out of God’s creation except those who were down and out. That is until Jesus came along. The system worked well, but what needed changing was the system.  How convenient is church for those who regularly attend, and how is that convenience keeping others out?  Do we perhaps need to make church a bit more inconvenient for the church goers in order to make it more welcoming for those who are not there?  Look at your worship planning and execution this week and look for the barriers we put in place for the other.  


Friday March 13th, John 2: 18 The Jewish leaders asked Jesus, "What miracle will you work to show us why you have done this?" 19 "Destroy this temple," Jesus answered, "and in three days I will build it again!" In trying to trivialize Jesus the temple rulers tried to set the rules of engagement. Jesus caught them off guard with the “destroy the temple” thing. They had replaced God as the focal point in their life with the temple. They couldn’t control God, but they could run the temple. Jesus was just trying to give them a hint about rebalancing things. At the time this was written, the temple was destroyed and the followers of YHWH were looking for some center in their lives. How has the church of today simply replaced the temple of old?  How has the liturgy (the way we worship) the dogma (the way we think) the hot button issues (the way we act) taken over for the love and grace of God?  After the resurrection some in the temple even got what Jesus was talking about?  Have we, after all these years simple replaced the central temple with all our little temples?  Have we in the process closed the doors to most of the children of God?  What are some of the things you see as untouchable in your church experience?  What do you see as the essence of worship?  How does your worship experience reflect the image of an insider experience to those left out?  

Ah Ha!

Saturday March 14th, John 2: 20 The leaders replied, "It took forty-six years to build this temple. What makes you think you can rebuild it in three days?" 21 But Jesus was talking about his body as a temple. 22 And when he was raised from death, his disciples remembered what he had told them. Then they believed the Scriptures and the words of Jesus. Actually, Jesus was talking about the whole structure of religious activity for all of humanity.  Things were and are changing, the temple was no longer the center, and the church is no longer the center, it is Christ.  Later when the talk of the resurrection was in the air, they remembered.  Have you ever had one of those Ah Ha! Moments?  The world was out of balance, things just don’t seem what they should be, and then Jesus sets things running smooth again. Not even the disciples saw it coming. How could your world improve by centering it on Jesus?  How would your church change by centering it on Jesus?  What if you just threw out the whole worship service this weekend and started the service with the question: what would make today’s worship experience meaningful for you to experience the love and forgiveness of Christ?


10w for March 1st, NL, God's Unfair Economy.

The following is a 10 minute worship for March 1st, NL, God's Unfair Economy.  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.

10w for March 1st, Surender to live, RCL

The following is a 10 minute worship for March 1st, Surender to live, RCL.   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.


Poem based on Mark 8:31-38 2nd Sunday in Lent

These words are so hard to hear
So hard
--why must our master walk in this direction
--when we have left our families and work
do we have to hear these words of doom and death

This talk makes no sense
We could have it all
We could live
We could live in a world so kind
With none of the pain
We left behind
A world far better than any have seen
A world that for many is just a dream
We could have it
We could have it all
The power that comes with the ones
Who lead
And show the way
That people want to follow
They really want to follow you
Away from Romans
--and poverty
----and hardship
we could be a great power
A Nation
--that is looked up to and feared
----by nations
-------listen to what you senses
-------and to what the people are saying

and Jesus turns
and faces all
--who have come this far
--and hung on every word
--and lived on every morsel of life
----dropped from his lips
--who have lived as they have never lived before
--with a hope they had never known
Listen, this is my Son
His eyes said
As he looked through the crowd
In a stare of ice
And the thoughts turned to those unexplained moments
That raised the questions
And the hearts raced with fear
--as they knew
----once more
they were in for something more
than they had ever known
--or dreamed
----or bargained for
in the collective memory of all creation

with you temptress minds of humanity
and live
--beyond the limits of your perceived reality
and a world that
--hatred for hatred for hatred
until all see only the gain in their world.
See and feel and hear that glimmer
That goes beyond the mere pretense of happiness
And see the children’s faces
--for what they could be

--(and follow me)

Opening Litany based on Psalm 22

Pastor: I will declare your name to my people O Lord and in the assembly I will praise you. 

Congregation: Let all who live in awe of the LORD, praise the holy name of God. All the descendants of Jacob and Israel, all the peoples of the world Praise the Holy name of God! 

Pastor:  For the Lord has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted ones but has listened to their cry for help.

Congregation: From you O Lord comes the very essence of my praise in the great assembly before all who live in your grace I will fulfill my vows. 

Pastor: The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the LORD will live forever in a life of praise. 

Congregation: All the ends of the earth will remember God’s loving grace and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before the Lord, who is ruler of all. 

Pastor: All the blessed of the earth will feast and worship, All mortals will bow before the Lord of all creation. 

Congregation: We will use the blessings of this world are to serve the Lord so that all future generations will know of the righteousness the Lord has done. 

What can God do

Sunday March 1st, Genesis 17: When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord came to him and said, "I am God All-powerful. Obey Me, and be without blame. 2 And I will keep My agreement between Me and you. I will give you many children." 3 Then Abram fell on his face. Did he fall on his face because of the joy that the promise would finally be true or did he fall on his face because of the fear that the promise would finally be true? I must say that I do hope and pray that the Lord does not visit me when I am 99 and tell me I will be a new father. At many years younger than that my wife and I may joke about it, but believe me, IT IS A JOKE, OK God!!!! But that is that old control thing going on within me again. God made the promise and was true to that promise. The wait for Abe and Sarah was to show that it was God who was doing this great thing. What we can take from this is to trust in God. Trust in Gods always, even when it seems impossible, or laughable, or frightenly laughable.  What can God do through you once you let go of the hands of control?  Trust! Pray! Laugh!

One step from a mis-step

Monday March 2nd,  Genesis 17: 7 I will make My agreement between Me and you and your children after you through their whole lives for all time. I will be God to you and to your children's children after you. Many see religion as a “God and I” thing. God however often sees it as a “God and all the people of creation” thing. The promise was less about the covenant with Abraham and more about God’s promise for all humanity for all time. That promise extends also to us, and to our children, and to our children’s children. Ever since that tree in the Garden thing, we tend to get hung up on the old “What’s in it for me” thing. The temptation after all was to be like God, knowing good and evil and therefore being in charge.  When we do the “what’s in it for me” thing, we are only one step from getting out of step. Life only makes sense when we get back in step and remember that it is a God and All People thing.  It is then we can look around and see in the faces of one another that spark of God, and begin to treat the other as we would treat God.  Then the world will be better for their children and for ours.  Remember God cares for all of God’s children. All of them!!! 

Sarai to Sarah is a life changing experience

Tuesday March 3rd,  Genesis 17: 15 Then God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, do not call her name Sarai. But Sarah will be her name. 16 And I will bring good to her. I will give you a son by her. I will bring good to her. And she will be the mother of nations. Kings of many people will come from her." Here is where the priestly writers during the Babylonian captivity moved from one set of stories about Abraham and Sarah from Israel to another set of stories from Judah. In the languages of the two kingdoms, they pronounced and wrote the names differently. The priests inserted these transitional phrases to move from one set of stories to another. They also explain how God can change our lives. When God enters, everything changes. You might not change your name when God enters, but God will change your heart. When your heart is changed there is no telling what can happen.  Good flows from God, but the good of God flows through the people of God.  So open the flood gates of your heart and let the God colors flow into the world.  While you watch things change in the world around you, notice the change that takes place in your heart also.  

Not a "Sunday only" thing

Wednesday March 4th, Mark 8: 31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. Peter was scared. What he had envisioned was a Messiah which would ride into town on a white horse to the praise of the crowd and the kingdom would be established on earth with great fanfare and little cost, and he and his buddies would ride into power as the new ruling party. Peter wanted regime change.  God wanted a heart change. What Peter was to find out was that the cost of discipleship was and always is, high. If we allow God to be ruler of our hearts, the cost will be high for us also. Following God is not a “Sunday Only” thing. It is a life changing, life altering thing that brings about change in your world, change in their world, and change in the world. And change is not always met with welcome arms.  

the tempter

Thursday March 5th, Mark 8: 33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Satan is not always seen as the harbinger of evil as we often see Satan today, but as the tester. After his baptism, Jesus was tested by Satan out in the desert after 40 days. Here Satan comes as a tester in the form of Peter’s desire for the easy way out. For Jesus however, the path ahead leads not to the easy, “what’s in it for me” way and to personal salvation, but rather leads to the salvation for, and of, the whole world. That kind of salvation and change comes at a cost.  When we seek only our own satisfaction, we tend to short circuit what God has in mind for our mission in the world. Don’t worry about God.  Gods plan will prevail, remember, God has time on his side.  Now what God needs is You on his side also.  

crosses of imperfection

Friday March 6th, Mark 8: 34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. We are called as the children of God to be aware of our cross that we are asked to carry, and to be aware of our brothers and sisters crosses as well. We are asked to carry these crosses not to feel somehow humble and therefore noble, but to carry them to help ourselves and others in this world.  We are asked to carry these crosses in the kingdom here and now. It is not shock to learn that this is not a perfect world. One of the greatest imperfections humans have is the pretense that we need to appear perfect to others. When we carry our imperfections, bathed in the insight we have from facing them and bathed in the forgiveness we receive through Christ for them, bathed in the light of Christ to guide our way, then these imperfections, these crosses can become the instruments through which others may receive blessings. Take up your cross today and follow Jesus. 

what happens when you assume

Saturday March 7th, Mark 8: 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? One of the paradoxes of this life is that the surest way to get to the end of the line is by trying to get to the front of the line. The tree in the garden thing is the first sin mentioned for good reason.  The very essence of sin is the desire to be like God and therefore take over for God. This is your choice daily; trust God, even if you have to wait until you are ninety-nine years old like Abraham.  When we do so, we also find new life born when we least expect it.  


10w for February 22nd, for the 1st Sunday in Lent, Baptismal Calling.

The following is a 10 minute worship for February 22nd, for the 1st Sunday in Lent, Baptismal Calling.  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, "Out in the Wilderness" by the Jay Beech Band from the CD "Everyone who is Thirsty, Come"  http://www.baytonemusic.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=BTM

10w for February 22nd, Don't do the math, NL.

The following is a 10 minute worship for February 22nd, Don't do the math, 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, "Forgiveness is a Lovely Hand to Hold" by Andra Moren from the CD "Harmony Groove"  http://www.andramoran.com/store


Opening Litany Psalm 25,

Psalm 25: 1-10 - This psalm is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet, therefore in using the first ten verses I attempted to follow that patterning in English.

Pastor: All gather before you O Lord as we lift our souls to you.
Congregation: Be merciful onto us O Lord and do not let us be put to shame for we put our trust in You O Lord our God.

Pastor: Can anyone whose hope is in the Lord be put to shame?

Congregation: Doomed however are those who are treacherous without excuse, for they will be put to shame.

Pastor: Evermore you will show me your ways, O LORD and teach me to walk in your paths; You O Lord guide me in your truth and teach me your ways,
Congregation: For you are my God and my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Pastor: Gracious Lord, Remember your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.

Congregation: Heed not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways;

Pastor: Instead, remember me according to your love, for you are merciful, O LORD.

Congregation: Just and upright is the LORD who instructs sinners in the ways of righteousness.

Pastor: Kindly the Lord guides the humble in what is right and teaches them the ways of grace and mercy.

Congregation: Lord our God, all your ways are loving and faithful for those who walk in your ways.

Poem based on 1st Sunday in Lent Mark 1:12-15

The old has passed
With a final test and purging
That has set the stage
--in this plane
for eternity to break in
to a world
--still the same
--and yet new
a world that has seen
--its future dashed
-----------and again
------by the mindless strivings
of humanity
--trying so very hard
(for the kingdom)
---------to make it alone
standing in its toddler steps
and facing
(of God)
in the hopes and dreams
---of making it
--------with an eye toward the God who was and is
on their own
but the air smells different now
(is at hand)
with a newness
--------and a freshness
that seems to come from beyond time
and there is an excitement
(has come to a fullness)
in the air
(that has not been known
on this earth
since God looked at what had been made
and said

It is good)

Creator, Creation and Creature

Sunday February 22nd, Genesis 9: 8 Again, God said to Noah and his sons: 9 I am going to make a solemn promise to you and to everyone who will live after you. 10 This includes the birds and the animals that came out of the boat. 11 I promise every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by a flood. Those who profess rapture theology tend to see this as one of God’s trick statements, sort of a “I won’t use water next time, I’ll watch you all burn with fire ha ha ha!!!” statement. They are wrong, and more than just a bit sadistic.  That view of God as a sadistic SOB is not one I can embrace or even tolerate.  God made a promise to all of life on the planet earth that God will love them and keep them in a loving relationship. The unspoken part of that is that God will keep on our case until we “get it” and start to respond to God, creation, and one another in a similar, loving, caring manner.  In other words, there will be love, there will be grace and there will be Jesus and we are all called to be a part of that; but make no bones about it, there will be love, grace and Jesus with or without our participation. What should we make of this? God is concerned about and loves all of creation. Climate Change is a concern, The Sudan is a concern, the Middle East is a concern, Syria is a concern, Warfare is a concern and you and I are concerns. Our job is to get our concern in line with God’s concerns and care for all creation, all creatures, all people, not just our own back yard.  If we think and pray globally and act locally, our backyard, as well as our neighbor’s backyard will both benefit.  God has called us into relationship with Creator, Creation and Creature because God is in relationship with us.  

time to act

Monday February 23rd, Genesis 9: 12-13 The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever. We can explain the science behind a rainbow but not the beauty or how it makes us feel when we see one. Some call it God’s signature, a sign to us, the earth, our fellow citizens and every living creature on this planet that God is in charge and love will rule the day. Just maybe there is an explicit warning there also. Should we choose to not connect with God’s vision for the world perhaps it will not bode well for us.  Our mistreatment of others and of creation in exchange for money and power is just an expanded version of pissing in the corners of our kitchen and living room and not taking out the garbage, it may mark our territory but in time our own lives begin to stink.  For the last 40 years we have lived by the motto that a rising tide lifts all boats, and then sold the illusion that the way to make the tide rise was to build bigger yachts for a few.   Now we find the water is down, the yachts are listing, the people are starving and there are some in power who are still telling us the problem is that the yachts are not big enough.  God calls us to make boats for everyone.   God also calls us to care and nurture and keep the water in which they float clean while we are at it.  That rainbow signifies a two way contract.  God is doing God’s part, now it is up to us to do our part.  This planet and the people in it are not here simply for our use and taking.  We are called as co-creators to nurture and care for one another and the creation from which we came.  That is the meaning of the rainbow.  Now it is time to act and hold up our end of the deal.  

many colors

Tuesday February 24th, Genesis 9: 16 When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature. 17 The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise. When we see a rainbow, it is not a solo experience.  We are not the only ones to see it.  It is caused by the rain and sunshine which falls on the good and the bad, friend and foe alike.  The curved encompassing shape is a reminder that we live in community on this planet and are called live like we understand that. The old ways of tribalism, racism, sexism and nationalism are not part of God’s intent. We are called instead as stewards of this world and brothers and sisters with one another. What does that mean in your life today? What are you doing to help save this planet given to us by God, to help save relationships given to us by God, to help save an economy that will lift all the boats not just the yachts, and to bring justice as God views justice to the world? When you work with God, you become part of the rainbow that comes in many colors and surrounds all creation with beauty and promise.  

It’s not magic

Wednesday February 25th, Mark 1: 9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Why did Jesus have to be baptized by John? The question stems in part from our view of baptism. If baptism is seen as fire insurance to take away sins, then the question indeed is valid. If however it is seen as an ushering into a relationship with God and with one another, then Jesus’ baptism becomes the symbol of his ministry and a symbol of our ministry. Through the love and teachings of Christ, we are all called to view ourselves and one another as brothers and sisters in this world. Christ came to bring salvation to all, being baptized by John ushers him into our world just as our baptism ushers us into Christ’s world.  It’s not magic, it’s not rules, it’s not ritual, what it is, is relationship. 

we will journey

Thursday February 26th, Mark 1: 10 As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." The voice of God is also heard on the mountain when Jesus is transfigured and in the heavens when Jesus is born. It marks the transitions in the life of Jesus from birth, to ministry to the movement down the mountain as Jesus moves toward Jerusalem and the cross. In Mark’s Gospel the heavens are ripped apart in the process, never to be put back together in the same way again.  God is loose in the world and will not be put back.  In our lives, we may not hear the voice of God speak “you are my child” but we hear the community of God say those words. In our congregation, when someone is baptized, they are brought into the midst of the congregation and with the laying on of hands, are blessed and welcomed by the congregation. It is the collective voice of God. You are our child, whom we love; with you we are well pleased, and with you we will journey through life together, brothers and sisters in Christ.  

Welcome to God’s world.

Friday February 27th, Mark 1: 12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13 and he was in the desert forty days being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. No time for rest. In Mark's gospel everything happens fast and with power. Being a child of God is no special protection for Jesus or for us. Being a child of God is to take on the awesome responsibility of being there for one another. As we enter the Lenten season, it is our calling also. These brothers and sisters of mine in the kingdom, God wasn't just kidding when God asked us to reach out and care for one another, and God wasn't kidding when the most care was given to those who hurt the most. Watch out for one another in this wilderness called life. In our baptismal blessing, it is what we have promised to do.  After his baptism, the spirit drop-kicked Jesus right out into the wilderness where the temptations began and where theology was honed.  In our baptism, the spirit drop-kicks us through the goal posts of life (thank you Bobby Bare) and onto the playing field called life where we are tested and tempted and our theology is honed by a combination of trouble and grace.  Welcome to God’s world.  

once in a while

Saturday February 28th, Mark 1: 14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news. And the good news is??? The good news is that the kingdom of God is near. To each and every one of us, the kingdom is near. Even when we face what John was facing in prison, yes even there, the Kingdom is near.  What we do in life, who we are in life, even our thoughts in life ripple through the kingdom. The good news is that Jesus is never far from you and that the kingdom of God (salvation) is a gift from God and it is near.  Our calling is to walk through this life, knowing, deep in our hearts, deep in our very being, that the kingdom is near, God is near.  God is with us and with those we meet, and if they don’t know it, it is or job to let them know in word it is true, but also, most importantly, in deed.  The time has come, the kingdom is near. Go and announce the good news and use your words once in a while.  


The following is a 10 minute worship for February 15th, Lose Yourself, 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, "Suddenly, Up on the Mountain" by the Jay Beech Band from the CD "Everyone Who is Thirsty, Come" which can be purchased HERE

10w for February 15th, Transfiguration, Light in Darkness.

The following is a 10 minute worship for February 15th, Transfiguration, Light in Darkness.   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 Shines in the Darkness" by Dakota Road from the CD "Break These Chains" which can be purchased HERE


Opening litany based on Psalm 41

Worship Leader: If you seek happiness, consider the poor.  It is the Lord you God who is with them.  It is the Lord who delivers them in the day of trouble and delivers them in their days of trouble.  If you seek happiness, consider giving yourself for others.

Congregation: We would do well not to support systems that trample on the poor and weak, for in doing so we oppose the Lord who holds them in their weakness and does not give them up to those who would use them for gain.

Worship Leader: As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.”  My enemies wonder in malice when I will die, and my name perish.  And when they come to see me, they utter empty words, while their hearts gather mischief; when they go out, they tell it abroad.  All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me.

Congregation: The World thinks that a deadly thing has fastened on me and that I will not rise again, even my trusted friends have lifted the heel against me. But you, O Lord, have been gracious to me and have raised me up.

Worship Leader: By this I know Oh Lord, that you are pleased with me; my enemy has not triumphed over me. You Oh Lord have upheld me and set me in your presence forever.

Congregation:  Blessed be the Lord, the God of all people, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.

Opening Litany based on Psalm 50

Pastor: The Mighty Lord God speaks and summons all of creation, from the rising of the sun to its setting. 

Congregation: From the Heavens above, from the holy places in our midst, the perfect beauty of our God shines forth.

Pastor: But our God does not come in silence.  A purifying fire rages before the Lord as the Lord God prepares to judge both the heavens above and the earth below with righteousness. 

Congregation: Gather onto the Lord all the people of God and let the heavens proclaim the righteousness and justice of our God. 

The Transfiguration of our Lord Mark 9:2-9

In the Joy filled intensity of our excitement
We look up
And catch a glimpse of
-----something unseen
beyond the realm of all we know
--and feel
----and hear
beyond the encounter of those special moments in life
when every part of our existence
------is focused
on the here and now
and for a brief moment
----all is just right
beyond even the pureness of joy
that comes in the perfection of religious expression
--amid the rising voices
----and the spine tingling timelessness
came this almost moment in time
rising from the mist
--of exhausted ecstasy
----on a high mountain top
--from the world
----seething in hunger and pain
--longing to see that to which they have turned
----a blind eye
--in this almost place and time
comes the light
that can burn through even the blindness
----of not looking
--or looking too hard
with our eyes focused on that unseen moment
that we almost notice
here at this time
the Son of God leads us down
-----------the world around us
to see the glory of God
in the poor and lost around us
to see the pureness of unbounded timelessness
in the moment of love expressed
to one who knows not love
to see
--by not trying to see that faint glimmer
--------------------------------------------off high
--------------------------------------in the distant mist
--(Listen to Him!)

--in those around us

Matthew 17:1-9 The Transfiguration

All that talk about crosses
It’s kinda creepy
It just feels good to get out
(led them up)
Go for a little hike
Where I don’t know
But good
And we all strive to stay on top
(three shelters)
Out of the way
Longing for the easy way
Out of the dust
(this is my son)
(whom I love)
(listen to him)
If only we could stay here
Have the people come to us
Visit the place it all came together
(he led them)
A holy place
(down the mountain)

A sign of the kingdom

life you have desired

Sunday February 15th, 2 Kings 2:  Elisha replied, "I swear by the living LORD and by your own life that I will stay with you no matter what!" And he went with Elijah to Bethel.   3 A group of prophets who lived there asked Elisha, "Do you know that today the LORD is going to take away your master?"  "Yes, I do," Elisha answered. "But don't remind me of it." Change comes hard.  Sometimes we just want to bury our head in the sand and pretend it isn’t going to happen, at least not to us.  Sometimes even when God wants to bring about change in our lives, we want to bury our head in the sand and pretend that it won’t happen, at least not now.  It just seems easier to go on as we have always done, in our minds.  We hear it in, but we never sing the old songs anymore, confirmation was not like that when I grew up, why do we now allow children to take communion?  These are all statements about keeping the church for me and not opening it up to them, even if they are my children and grandchildren. These statements are all about staying on the mountain top in the booths rather than coming down into the dusty streets or heading toward the crosses in Jerusalem.  What God wants to bring into our lives is what we were destined for from the time of our birth, a relationship with God the creator, a relationship with one another, and a relationship with the creation from which we were formed.  Change doesn’t come easy, but if God is leading, it will bring you down the mountain and back to the life you have desired all along.  

growing in the process.

Monday February 16th, 2 Kings 2:   11 Elijah and Elisha were walking along and talking, when suddenly there appeared between them a flaming chariot pulled by fiery horses. Right away, a strong wind took Elijah up into heaven. 12 Elisha saw this and shouted, "Israel's cavalry and chariots have taken my master away!"  After Elijah had gone, Elisha tore his clothes in sorrow. Change, especially when viewed with an element of loss, can, and often does bring about sorry as well as fear.  Elisha would miss his old friend and mentor Elijah.  Elisha would have been content to follow and never really become the Elisha God had in mind.  Elisha’s journey and calling would now begin and God would open before him vistas and ministries beyond his imagination.  Sometimes it is when we are cut loose, even from good things, that we begin to get our footing on what God has called us to do.  Sometimes loss can also be gain and a ministry ended is just the beginning of a new ministry begun.  I think that perhaps for the health of the church it would be best if we passed the torch rather than just having it pried from our cold dead hands.  The church would be blessed with a melding of the wisdom of the ages and the enthusiasm of youth, and perhaps even growing in the process.  

stay in style

Tuesday February 17 th, Corinthians 4: 3 If our Message is obscure to anyone, it's not because we're holding back in any way. No, it's because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention. 4 All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness.  O that old god of darkness, what a snappy dresser.  Sure wish I had clothes like that, car like that, moves like that, influence and power like that. Sure wish……………..Wait a minute, what am I saying?  It is so easy to get mesmerized by all that styling.  Billions are spent each year just to get us to pay attention to it and want it. Each year we hear that red, blue, green, grey, white etc. is the new black.  My thirty year old ties are right in style now.  Right now someone is working real hard to make something no one wants so they can make enough money to buy something no one needs because it is different from what they needed last year.   God offers something different.  Instead of just a change of clothes, God offers a change of heart that lasts forever.  Instead of a home makeover, God offers a heart makeover, calling each and every one of us to be the child of God we were created to be. It is a change that is guaranteed to stay in style for an eternity. 

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