7/27/2015

Opening Litany based on Psalm 78:23-29



Worship Leader: As the wandering children of Abraham complained of no food, God commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven and it rained down on them manna, the bread of heaven to eat,
   
Congregation: Because of the grace of God, mortals ate of the bread of angels in abundance.

Worship Leader: God caused the east wind to blow in the heavens and through the power of the Almighty, there rained down flesh upon the people of God like dust, winged birds like the sand of the seas fell within their camp.
   
Congregation: All the people ate and were well filled, for the Lord gave them what they craved.


Poem10th Sunday after Pentecost John 6:24-35 based on

Our bellies are full
We are refreshed
Our minds are no longer dulled
By that gnawing ache of hunger
And yet
We long
There was more that took place on that day
Than just the loaves
------------and fishes
what happened was good
--in the way creation was pronounced good
and yet
--we hunger for more
not just the food
that eased our hunger
but there was power in the words that were spoken
power that opened our minds
power that challenged us
and made us see
--a hunger
 we had not known
--(Jesus Said)
a hunger from deep within
which now that it has become loosed
will not be bound again
until it is feed
--(I am)
and nourished
as only God
--(the Bread)
as the Creator of all
--(of life)

can do

a bit empty inside

Sunday August 2nd, Psalm 78: He split the Sea and they walked right through it; he piled the waters to the right and the left. He led them by day with a cloud, led them all the night long with a fiery torch. He split rocks in the wilderness, gave them all they could drink from underground springs; He made creeks flow out from sheer rock, and water pour out like a river. All they did was sin even more, rebel in the desert against the High God.  Children will be children and the children of God are no exception.  As an empty nester I find that it’s nice when the children get older and they begin to take care of themselves.  Mark Twain marveled, tongue in cheek, at how smart his father had become as he got older.  I’m still waiting on my children to reach that maturity, but someday maybe.  God had that same trouble with the children of God during the Exodus, when are we going to get there, I’m hungry, Johnny looked at me, can I smite him?  God still has that same trouble with us, them gays love different than us, we can’t provide healthcare for my brother, he is lazy and hasn’t made as much money in the market as I have, when can I start a war and smite someone?  We all want a bit more because we feel a bit empty inside.  God has not only given us more than we can imagine, but also through Christ, something to fill that emptiness in our soul.  If we stopped playing around with the war machine we might notice that.  

half-baked idea

Monday August 3rd, Psalm 78: It was clear they didn't believe God, had no intention of trusting in his help.  But God helped them anyway, commanded the clouds and gave orders that opened the gates of heaven. He rained down showers of manna to eat, he gave them the Bread of Heaven.  It is the same today, in spite of the fact that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, Jesus came into the world to save the world and bring salvation to all.  Now it is our turn to share the gracious gifts we have been given and in the process, participate in the graciousness of God.  It is in giving that we receive.  In hording we find a smell in the depth of our souls; it is all that manna, down there hidden in the cracks, rotting.  God rains down blessings on us all and a Christian is no better than anyone else, no more or less loved than anyone else, a Christian is simply someone who once in a while has some half-baked idea who to thank.  

journey together

Tuesday August 4th, Exodus 16: 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the LORD's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death."  Have you ever take a trip with young children?  Remember the continued questions and complaints, “When will we be there?”  “How much longer?” “I have to go to the bathroom?” “S/He touched/looked at me” and on and on and on?  Things haven’t changed much have they?  We are all quite capable of being bought off by the comforts of life to the point where we resist and resent a spiritual journey.  When was the last time you went to a Bible Study or Worship, even if you didn’t feel like it that day?  In spite of it all, God loved them.  In spite of it all, God loves you. We are all in this life together, the butcher the baker and from half way around the world, the candlestick maker.  Forget the bottom line and all your justified ways of using your brother to make a profit and enjoy the journey together.  

thanks

Wednesday August 5th, Exodus 16:  4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days."  God provides for everyone’s need, not everyone’s greed.  What the people found out was that if they gathered more than a day’s worth, it rotted, it stank.  On the sixth day they could get enough for two days so they could rest on the Sabbath.  When we horde, it also rots, and rotting still stinks.  It rots away in our garages and houses, true, but mostly it rots away in our hearts and souls, and that is where the stink comes from.  Can’t come to church, I have a boat; I have to go fishing again.  And just who do you think gave you the ability to get the boat in the first place?  A little thank you would be nice.  Do we live in a world of “Mine” or a world of “thanks?”  Mine leaves an empty feeling in your gut, thanks leaves singing in your soul. 

justice thing

Thursday August 6th, John 6: 24 Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.  25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"  26 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.  If you give someone who is starving a lecture on how Jesus loves them and how salvation is theirs, complete with the gift of eternal life, they will not hear a word, they are hungry and first they need food.  Here is a lesson for all world leaders, food draws people in, bombs, guns and prison drive them away.  Once they are in, you can work on the Jesus and justice thing.  All too often we work on the fear and Jesus thing, which is only Jesus in name, not in essence.  Jesus worked on the food and justice thing, and that is where they, and you and I, find Jesus.  

on my terms

Friday August 7th, John 6:  28 Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"  29 Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." People are funny, even in the midst of their searching; they want to be in charge.  It’s the old Garden of Eden thing all over again.  When I get something for doing something, then ultimately I, not the giver, am the one in charge.  Jesus has done it, your job is to say “Wow, thanks!!!” and then live like you mean it.  Born again, Personal lord and savior, holy prayer warrior, are all ways of telling Christ to buzz off, I will take the prize….. on my terms.  Living a life of wow, thanks, is a way of saying God is in charge, and Christ has shown you that way. 

gluttony

Saturday August 8th, John 6: 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." 34 "Sir," they said, "from now on give us this bread." 35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.  Gluttony is raiding the refrigerator because of a case of spiritual hunger.  That which makes life comes from God, and no blue plate special can ever truly fill that hunger.  Until you fill that hunger, all the hording, holding and hounding only brings more hunger.  God has given you more than enough good things, what they learned on that mountain, and what we still have trouble hearing today, is that in sharing there is life.  Life that comes from God, life that flows through us, life given to others, and once we tap into that life, the hunger goes away, and so does the gluttony.  

7/21/2015

10w for July 26th, Oh, Teacher, NL.

The following is a 10-minute worship for July 26th, Oh, Teacher, 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.

10w for July 26th, Doing Your Part, P9.for July 26th, Doing Your Part, P9.

The following is a 10-minute worship for July 26th, Doing Your Part, P9.  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.

Opening Litany based on Psalm 145:8-21


Worship Leader: The LORD is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love.

Congregation: The LORD is good to all and has compassion on all creation and creatures.

Worship Leader: All of creation Praises You O Lord and the people of faith extol you and tell of your glory day in and day out in what they say and in what they do so that all will know the wonders of the Lord.  

Congregation: Your love and your kingdom is forever and ever, your loving rule for all generations.

Worship Leader: Who can you trust but the Lord who upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down?

Congregation: The eyes of all look to the Lord and the Lord supplies enough and desires for all to have enough food at the proper time, for the Lord’s open hand desires that every living thing have enough to live and flourish. 

Worship Leader: The Lord is righteous and faithful, near to all who truthfully call upon the name of the Lord

Congregation: The Lord works to fulfill the desires of all the children of God.  The Lord hears the cries of the despised and saves them from all who would destroy them.

Worship Leader: My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.


Congregation: Let every creature praise the holy name of the Lord forever and ever. Amen!

Poem based on 9th Sunday after Pentecost John 6:1-21

It seems like so little to go around
With the people of this world
Starving
Mothers holding children in their arms
Gifts of life from God
Only to be taken from them
By priorities
Not their own
Priorities
That must be set by someone
I scream
As I watch the swollen bellies of starvation
Eat away at yet another
Someone else’s child
There must be someone
Who is doing this to these children of God
These sisters and brothers of mine
in the family of God
these to whom I claim my oneness
through Christ
as I take the bread and wine
but “who” is the cry that keeps the bowls empty
and the water filled
with yet another messenger of death
(so they gathered up)
“Who” is a finger pointed out there
aimed at some
unnamed
and unchangeable
villain
out there
as the children continue to die
(twelve baskets)
I turn off the TV
Turn down the thermostat
And turned off the lights
To get a good nights sleep in the comfort
And security
Of this home I have made for myself
And hope I do not have to hear
The pleas
For the children
On the car radio as I drive
To work
Tomorrow
(with fragments)
I can’t stand to hear
Of the pain
Until
That one is found
(from the five loaves)
who is responsible
and that one
out there
is made to correct this injustice
(left by those)
that is bringing starvation
to those
(who had eaten)
sisters and brothers of mine


ever flowing stream

Sunday July 26th, Psalm 145: The LORD helps the fallen and lifts up those bent beneath their loads.  All eyes look to you for help; you give them their food as they need it. The Lord does indeed give food as it is needed, the trouble is that we humans have managed to disrupt the distribution system.  I love Coffin’s saying, It is one thing to call with the prophets of old to let Justice roll down like an ever flowing stream, it is quite another to design the irrigation system.  Often in the design of the irrigation system, there are those who wish to siphon off more than they need without regard for those downstream.  We now have a multi-billion dollar industry in producing diet foods and diet plans in some parts of the world and children starving to death in other parts of the world.  Perhaps if we were to love justice and show mercy (Micah 6:7-8) we could see to it to spend one tenth of our military budget on mercy and justice.  That would be enough to provide adequate food, housing, clothing, and medical care for everyone in the world that does not currently have such.  At the same time, it would reduce the need for such an obscene military budget and save money in the long run. We can cry to let justice roll down like an ever flowing stream, what we need to work on is the irrigation system that distributes to all the children of God.  When Paul talked about not discerning the Body as eating and drinking damnation onto ourselves, he was saying more or less the same thing.  

struggling to survive

Monday July 27th, Psalm 145: All eyes look to you for help; you give them their food as they need it.  When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.  God created the world and looked upon it and called it good.  In God’s eyes there is no us and them, for all are the children of God created in the image of God and called good.  That which you do, or fail to do, onto the least of these, you do or fail to do onto God.  Society is judged not on how it creates wealth for the few, but on how it cares for the least, lost and lonely.  God has given the gift, we are only asked to share.  Health care for all or high profits for a few, the fight continues, and in the midst of it God calls us to adhere to Kindergarten rules, clean up after yourself, share, be kind and remember there is enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.  God had provided for all, the fact that some are walking with Golden parachutes while others are going bare foot in tattered clothes is a sin.  For far too many, life is simply struggling to survive and is an example of what happens when we don’t discern the body and eat and drink damnation to ourselves.  The hoarding tends to bring rot not only to our piles of stuff, but also to our lives, the smell of rot comes from within.  

man on the moon

Tuesday July 28th, 2 Kings 4:  42 A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. "Give it to the people to eat," Elisha said.  43 "How can I set this before a hundred men?" his servant asked.  But Elisha answered, "Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the LORD says: 'They will eat and have some left over.' " 44 Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the LORD.  Forty six years ago we put a man on the moon.  When the idea was proposed by President Kennedy, the response from the scientific community was disbelief, and cries that it couldn’t be done.  Once the idea was accepted that it could be done and the focus was put on how it could be done, things began to happen.  What if we applied the same drive to eliminate hunger in the world?  We are still focused on whether it can be done, not on how it can be done.  We have however found lots of money to build an impressive military machine, which many feel we need given our wars of choice. When all people eat and have some left over, terrorism can gain no foothold.  It is far less expensive to feed, clothe, educate and provide healthcare than it is to protect, kill and defend our status quo. We should be throwing our nation’s wealth behind fighting terrorism in a way that works rather than just testing weapons systems that don’t.

mold

Wednesday July 29th, Ephesians 3:  14-19 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in.  Jesus summed up all the law and prophets as follows; love God, love others.  In loving God, we are strengthened from within by the Holy Spirit, in loving others that strength is nurtured and encouraged to grow.  To love God only as our personal Lord and Savior is to choose to be an empty vessel, the kind Jesus pointed to and noted the shiny outside and the mold on the inside.  To work for the betterment of others in the world, though noble, leads more often to agendas and egos and blind activism which without the God connection can easily be seduced into pressure tactics and manipulation. Of this the world already has too much.   When we follow Jesus’ command to love God and love others, in word and deed, we find that the doing informs the reflection which informs the doing, round and round, ever closer to God’s calling.  To do one without the other often results in the death of both.  

make room

Thursday July 30th, Ephesians 3: 19 And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.  Learning to share with others from the abundance of our blessing does not lessen our blessing, it increases and enhances our blessings.  One trouble humanity seems to have is that we often see our blessings in material terms only, and yes, materially speaking, more for others who do not have enough, may, at times, mean less for us. In the long run however, more for others will mean more for everyone.  We live in a world that does not trust God and God’s plan.  In not trusting God’s plan and the abundance of God’s blessings, we hoard.    We have trouble trusting the fact that the more we give, the more we receive.  We keep thinking in terms of a glass of water, pour some off for others and there is less in the glass.  In God’s world, it is only when we pour off for others that the glass begins to fill with God’s blessings.  Sometimes we have to make room in our lives to receive.   When we are full of ourselves there is less room for God. 

satiated

Friday July 31st, John 6:  10 Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. Part of the miracle that day was Christ blessing the provisions that were provided, the thankful blessing for what has been given.  All we have, everything, is a gift from God for which we should forever be thankful.   Additionally, part of the blessing we receive is the ability to share with one another, for what we are about to receive and the ability to share from this bounty, we thank you O Lord.  If we focus only on the receiving, we still remain famished; our bellies full maybe, but famished none the less.  When we look at everything we have as a blessing from God and receive it in true thankfulness for the gift, for that is what it is, and in that thankfulness, share, we find that we are not only full, but satiated.  A generous heart is the gift of putting your faith in God. 

help one another

Saturday August 1st, John 6: 12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.  The second part of the miracle is the blessing of the hearts that takes place as those sitting on the ground reach into their own private hidden stash, and share.  It is then that the abundance of the blessing is manifest in the physical world as well as in the spiritual world.  When we reach into our own private, hoarded, protected stash that in reality is a gift from God all along, we too begin to see the true blessings in our lives.  Our calling is not a “God and me” thing, where I am blessed because I have decided to follow Jesus in the right way and in the right church.  It is a “God and us” thing, where we are blessed as we gather together, brothers and sisters in Christ, around the body broken, and in the process, heal some of the broken pieces of our lives as we help one another.  

7/14/2015

10w for July 19th Wisdom, NL.

The following is a 10-minute worship for July 19th Wisdom, 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.

10w for July 19th, Holy Rest, RCL.

The following is a 10-minute worship for July19th, Holy Rest, 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.

6/29/2015

Note

I will be on vacation for the next three weeks.  I have posted the daily meditations, poems and opening litanies for the last three weeks.  I have also posted the 10w audio worship.  You may have to dig a bit to find what you are looking for.  Just keep scrolling down and it will be there.

Pastor Dan

Poem based on 8th Sunday after Pentecost Mark 6:30-34


I hunger Lord
For the words that come from you
Words
That bring life
In the hearts of all
Words
That bring change
In a world so often
Caught
In a track that serves only a few
I hunger Lord
(words)
and cannot rest in the things I have made
I cannot rest knowing you are there
And not seeking you out
(words)
knowing that without you
I am lost
Caught
In a track that serves only a few
Perhaps I am one
Perhaps not
But it matters little
Without
Your word

(love)

Opening Litany based on Psalm 23


 Worship Leader: There are times when we need some guidance in our lives.  Without the voice of God, we can easily become lost. 

Congregation: The LORD is our shepherd, we shall not be in want for the Lord makes us lie down in green pastures, and leads me beside quiet waters. The Lord restores my soul and guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 

Worship Leader: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for the Lord is with me; The Lord’s guidance comforts me.

Congregation: For the Lord prepares a table before us in the presence of those who would harm us. The Lord provides us with all we need and our cup of blessing overflows. 

Worship Leader: Surely goodness and love will follow us all the days of my lives,

Congregation: And we will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.



over there

Sunday July 19th, Psalm 23: He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod; your staff, they comfort me.  There are many divisions in our hearts and in the world.  If we look deep enough there is some person or some group that falls into our spectrum of somewhere between dislike to greatly fear.  Dislike we can usually deal with most of the time.  But it is fear that can and often does turn into hostility.  We are in the beginning throws of an upcoming political race in which the rhetoric will most likely be driven by fear, because fear is a great motivator as well as a great cover-up.  Look over there at the voter fraud as we make it harder to vote knocking hundreds of thousands off the voter rolls.  “They” will take away our flags and force our children into gay relationships as “They” try to destroy marriage.  Look at the poor people living off the state as we change the tax code so the wealthiest and largest corporations can pay the lowest taxes in history and benefit the most from government programs.  When someone says, look over there, it is usually a call to look at what they are doing.   Before any war, there is a heightened sense of fear, it is what allows basically good people to justify killing of others.  Before any election there is often a heightened sense of fear that compels basically good people to justify voting for really bad ideas.  Into this mess we have created we hear the words that even though I go through the darkest deepest places in life, I will fear no evil for God is with me.  God did not come to bring fear, but peace.  Don’t give into the fear mongers who are only out for control and remember that as God’s presence came into the world, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the world, heard the words, fear not, for behold I bring you Good New of Great Joy.  Fear Not. 

land of hatred

Monday July 20th, Psalm 23: You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.  The best way to avoid conflict is fervent prayer for your enemies.  I don’t mean praying that they will fall and break their neck, but truly praying that the fear that is driving them and the fear that is driving you will cease.  It is truly praying for their well-being and happiness as well as your own.  When you begin to pray for them, you find that you also begin to get into their world; you begin to see things from their perspective.  In this way, two miracles can happen, not only can their heart begin to soften, but your heart can begin to understand and also soften.  Praying for your enemy does not mean that you will become best of friends; it does mean that you can once again start to see one another as brothers or sisters in Christ even if they don’t.  The peace that comes is a gift to both parties.  What if through prayer, your heart softens and they are still in the land of hatred and fear?  It means that God has moved the bar a little bit and needs more prayer on your part, perhaps a lifetimes worth.

We still see the walls

Tuesday July 21st, Ephesians 2: 14-15 The Messiah has made things up between us so that we're now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance.  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and said it was good.  After creating men and women in God’s image, we humans from the humus, or earthlings from the earth set about wanting to build things.  Once we found ourselves out of the garden we found that what we wanted mostly to build were walls.  Cain and Able were the first ones and we have been at it ever sense.  My wall is bigger than your wall, my tower is bigger than your tower, my weapon is bigger than your weapon.  What Christ came to do is tear down the walls we have created.  We still see the walls, we still believe they are there, but they are just in our imagination.  God called creation good; Christ brought forgiveness, all the distrust is simply humanities fantasy trip.  We are all one in Christ Jesus….. deal with it!!

no sides

Wednesday July 22nd, Ephesians 2: 15 Then he started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody.  What takes effort is living in that fresh start community.  Christ came to bring peace to our souls and to our communities through forgiveness.  Forgiveness gives us all a fresh start each day and allows us the opportunity to live as a child of God among others who have also received a fresh start and are called to live among us as the children of God. It is not a matter of starting conflicts and claiming that God is on your side, it is a matter of recognizing that Christ brought peace and forgiveness and that there are no sides.  

façade.

 Thursday July 23rd, Ephesians 2:  16-18 Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father. Christ brought the end of hostility and brought peace to the insiders and the outsiders by letting them know there was no such thing as insiders and outsiders.  Your fear is a façade put there as a crutch because you do not trust Christ, or put there by others because they want the power to control you, which is a manifestation of their façade.  Christ brought peace not facades.  You are called to live in that peace and make new friends along the way.  In that way, this new creation, like the original one, can be looked upon by God and called good.  

Kindergarten stuff

Friday July 24th, Mark 6: 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.  What did he teach them?  Simple things mainly, Kindergarten stuff.  Be nice to one another. Everyone help one another. The ones at the bottom need a little extra help. There is more than enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed so you need to share. You are loved and so is the other person and the one over there also. Clean up your mess when you are done. God created you in love and still loves you. When this life is over you get to spend timelessness with God so live like you were with God now. Stuff like that.  

walls we build

Saturday July 25th, Mark 6: 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed. What were they healed from?  Deep things mainly, meaningful stuff; hatred, self-obsession, greed, selfishness, separation, all those things that help us build walls.  The real power of God is tearing down the walls we build with our hearts, not our hands.  

Opening Litany based on Psalm 85

 Worship Leader: You O LORD have shown favor to the land and restored the children of God.

Congregation: You have forgiven our greed and all our sins and set aside your wrath and anger.  Restore us again O God our Savior. 

Worship Leader: Will you hang onto your anger O Lord from generation to generation?  Will you not revive us again so that we may rejoice in you?

Congregation: Show us your unfailing love O Lord and grant us your salvation.  Call us again into your fold and open our hearts to your word in the coming year.  

Worship Leader: The Lord promises peace to all people, so do not turn to folly.

Congregation: Surely the salvation of the Lord is near to all who walk in the ways of the Lord so that the glory of the Lord may dwell in the land. 

Worship Leader: Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. 

Congregation: The LORD will indeed give what is good and the land will yield its harvest. The Lord’s righteousness sweeps into the land and prepares the way for the coming of the Lord. 



wrap themselves in the flag

 Sunday July 12th, Psalm 85: I will listen to what God the Lord will say. For He will speak peace to His people, to those who are right with Him. But do not let them turn again to foolish things. The word of the Lord is a word of peace not only in our hearts but also in our world.  True peace can only come about through justice, never at the edge of a sword.  This is the God preferred vision for this world and this is what will be in the end.  Our choice in life is whether we are going to be on the side of God, working for peace and justice or whether we are going to shrink into the pygmy world of private piety.  And the pygmy world of private piety seems to be where we are heading, gutting social programs and supporting ever increasing military budgets in the name of God.  There are many voices out there claiming to be the word of God, many voices that claim their own self-righteousness as the righteousness of God.  Most often these claims wrap themselves in the flag of their country of origin and instead of seeking justice, use it as a justification of war.  War is big business if you are properly connected and death business if you are not.  God’s voice on the other hand does not tear down or destroy or call for war; it builds up and brings peace.  Listen to the voice of God, it is right there in the book, it is the voice of peace, then decide today, and tomorrow, if you will live your life heading toward God’s Grand future, or your futile fortress. 

plumb line and levels

Monday July 13th, Amos 7: "Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass by them; 9 the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword."  The plumb line was used in building to make sure things were on the level and even and true.  The word of Amos is that God is holding a plumb line to the world God created and we were tasked with caring for to see how far out of line we are.  The verdict?  The high places need to be brought down and the low places need to be brought up and things evened out a bit.  In our world with bailed out golden parachutes at the cost of lost jobs, dreams and hopes on the bottom, we too could use a little plumb line action.  God’s plan for the world will be, it will happen, of that there is no doubt.  The question is whether you and your life as well as the collective lives we build as communities, will be part of the problem that needs to be leveled, or part of Gods plan that holds the plumb line and levels the field.  Salvation is easy; it is a gift from God, being a Christian, living it not only on Sunday singing the psalms, but on Wednesday digging the ditches is work.  It is also the best job you will ever have.  

a voice of justice

Tuesday July 14th, Amos 7: 14 Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, "I was no prophet, nor a prophet's son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. 15 But the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell when something stinks, but if we squint our eyes just right and scrunch our nose and try real hard, we can pretend all is ok in this world we have built.  It is easy for each of us to get caught up in our own dance with the devil and forget who is playing our song, but in the end, the next morning in the light of day, it is not always a pretty sight.  We have all been given not only the task of bringing forth God’s vision for a peaceful world filled with mercy and justice, but the ability to do it.  And not just do it, but do it in such a way that makes this world, which still belongs to God, just a little bit better, a little bit closer to God’s plan of manna and mercy for all.  Amos was a lowly hired farm hand.  Through the voice of God he was also a voice of justice for his nation and all the nations of the world, then and now and into the future.  Just imagine what God can do through you if you let him?  It’s kind of scary isn’t it? It is also what brings life.

more on the profit than on the prophet

Wednesday July 15th, Amos 7:  4 Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land, 5 saying, "When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?"— skimping the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales, 6 buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat.  7 The LORD has sworn by the Pride of Jacob: "I will never forget anything they have done. Hear this you who trade jobs overseas and start wars for oil profits, hear this you who take your golden parachutes while driving the company into the ground and in the process destroy the livelihood of the workers who had them, hear this you who praise God while taking away the livelihood and food of those created in the image of God and called good,  hear this…  the Lord will never forget anything you have done.  It seems odd, we come into this world with nothing, we leave with nothing and we spend most of our time trying to get something, and in the process we are destroying the very things that do mean something, our relationships with others.  Many make the mistake of focusing more on the profit than on the prophet.  In doing so, what we gain is more than offset by what we lose.  What we gain is a bigger number in the bank account, what we lose is our soul.  It is possible to live well, seek justice and love mercy.  What it takes is simply to focus your life on Jesus words; love the Lord with all that is in you and love your neighbor as yourself.

Mirrors

Thursday July 16th, Mark 6:  17 For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, whom he had married. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." Oooh! Those prophets, they are always getting in the way of profits and alliances and speaking truth to power.  Herod was strangely drawn to John; there was something about the words he spoke that while they stung, they also rung true.   Herod may have been trying to silence the voice of God in the streets by putting John in prison, then maybe he just wanted to keep him around to hear more when he was finished with the prattle of his guests.  Perhaps he even liked to sneak off in the middle of the night to the bowels of the dungeon for a little late night soul searching.  Those who misuse power often try to silence anyone holding up a mirror that shows them what they are doing, and yet at the same time they are drawn to it.  God asks us to be mirror holders.  Through thick and thin, abuse and praise, hold up that mirror and let people see themselves, and one another, as the children of God, created in God’s image, to do the work of God.  Most of us learn over time however that setting down the mirror and keeping our mouths shut is the way to get the promotion.  Bishop Desmond Tutu once said, “if an elephant has it’s foot on the tail of a mouse and you say you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”  When we speak the word of God, expect it to raise a bit of anger as well as a bit of interest in return.  Mirrors have a nasty way of showing flaws in addition to beauty.  

musical of death

Friday July 17th, Mark 6:  21 Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.  The king said to the girl, "Ask me for anything you want, and I'll give it to you." 23 And he promised her with an oath, "Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom." This is one of the old rock and a hard place situations.  Herod had a bit of a concept of justice in his heart; not much, but a bit.  Perhaps those late night conversations down in the dungeon when his conscience wouldn’t let him sleep were beginning to make their mark.  But Satan is not satisfied with a partial payment, he wants it all.  At any time along this long road of life we are given the opportunity to speak up and do the right thing.  Most of us, like Herod would rather save face and remain silent.  In the process the young and innocent pay the price as well as the old and guilty.  The daughter danced not knowing she too was a pawn in this musical of death until it was too late.  Hell is truth seen too late.  You must be careful when you save face; it is often just another way of losing your soul.  

between the fog

Saturday July 18th, Mark 6:  26 The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John's head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 28 and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother.  Herod is not the only one in history to discover that when the next morning comes and sobriety returns, somewhere between the fog of what happened and the reality of the end result, that someone who was in control was not you.  Once again, hell is truth seen too late.   Only two things help us see more clearly, God’s word looking forward, and our hindsight that shows us what we didn’t quite get right.  

Opening Litany based on Psalm 123


Worship Leader:  To you I lift up my eyes O Lord enthroned in the heavens! 

Congregation: As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look continually to the Lord our God who brings mercy to a fallen world.

Worship Leader:  Have mercy upon us, O Lord,

Congregation: Have mercy upon us,

Worship Leader:  We have had more than enough of contempt in this life.

Congregation: Our souls have had more than their fill of the scorn of those who are at ease and the contempt of the proud.


Poem based on Mark 6:1-6

The sun shines here
Like nowhere else
Amid the fields and streams
So familiar
---- to the feet of my youth
as I come over the hill
and see the village
about it’s business
---- as it had been forever
I knew now what it was
I wanted to say
------------ and do
I was aware of who I was
And who I was to be
And I wanted to share
---- this vision of life
with these
---- the ones who had filled my being
with fond memories
of a time
---- when life seemed simpler
---- with less evil in the world
thoughts and memories
swirl through my mind
as I come into the village of my youth
wanting
with all that is in me
to integrate the reality of what was
with the reality
---- that had come to be mine
and with that
I went to the center of my life
And this village
And spoke
Of the message
I had come to bring to the whole world
Starting here in the place
---- where I also started
and as I spoke the new truth
---- of life
the faces I had hoped to save
---- changed
as the walls went up
seeing only the memories
of what was
unable to change and grow
as I had
for they had grown used to
what had been
and therefore
unable to see
a future that included their own
and as the walls
turned to violence
I wept
At the hardness

That is the human heart

looking back

Sunday July 5th, Ezekiel 2: He said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me.  We are commissioned and sent into this world as the children of God.  It is not always a bed of roses.  Often it is those closest to home to whom it is the most difficult to bring the message.  But as God calls you, God has already been in the process of preparing you for the task.  Preparation on our part is good most of the time, but sometimes it is also a way to avoid the task given to us.  For the each and every day evangelism we face in our lives, the ones where someone is dropped right before us in need of hearing the word, there are generally two reasons.  One is that person needs to hear the word from you that day and God has set up the meeting.  Sometimes that meeting is in a most unusual place, like a supermarket aisle, but remember God has set it up and you are ready for it.  The other is that God has set up this meeting because the other person needs to bring the word, and perhaps a little eye opening in the process, for us to hear and experience.  Most of the time both tasks are performed simultaneously.  In most events we are ministering and being ministered to.  It is usually only looking back on it that we can begin to discern the difference.  

getting there called life.

Monday July 6th, 2 Corinthians 12:  6 If I had a mind to brag a little, I could probably do it without looking ridiculous, and I'd still be speaking plain truth all the way. But I'll spare you. I don't want anyone imagining me as anything other than the fool you'd encounter if you saw me on the street or heard me talk. One way to look like the fool on the street, or anywhere else, is to brag.  It is often referred to as having “I” trouble.  Paul had much to brag about in the area of religious experience, and even had a little “I” trouble himself, which is true for most of us.  Paul’s main focus however was the Lord.  And we are called to keep the Lord as the main focus in our encounters with others who want to hear the word.  Any other focus tends to turn around and bite you.  Are you having trouble with depression, unhappiness, ambition, etc?  Change your focus; change the direction your life faces.  All too often feelings of depression are because we feel this life is all about us.  Change your life and your focus in the direction of Christ.  Once you know the one to whom you will go, the one with whom you will spend eternity, it will help you enjoy the journey getting there called life.  

life blossom

Tuesday July 7th, 2 Corinthians 12: My grace is enough; it's all you need.  My strength comes into its own in your weakness.  Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. One of the real strengths of a Christian is the ability to enjoy our weaknesses.  It is in our weaknesses that we can finally let God shine through. Our strengths tend to give us the false hope that we can really do it all on our own.  In the movie “Bruce Almighty” it is when Jim Carrey finally gave up on trying to run everything and just wished for the happiness of another that he began to live.  Often times we find that the same is true for us.  This is not advocating doormat theology where the other walks all over you, but on your terms, out of your relationship with God, work for the happiness of the other in your life and in the process watch your life blossom.  

roll off your back

Wednesday July 8th, 2 Corinthians 12: It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.  This is one of the paradoxes of life, the harder we try the further behind we get.  Every day in every way, give it over to Christ a little bit more and let your life begin.  Keep your focus on Christ in your life and let the troubles that will and do come your way roll off your back.  It is the gift of Grace given to you and to all.  It is the gift of peace.

Open your eyes to the grace

Thursday July 9th, Mark 6: "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! 3 Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.  Expectations!!  Sometimes they come in the form of pressure to perform up to some standard that someone else has of us, sometimes they are the blinders that keep us from seeing the greatness before us and within us.  Sometimes the blinders are worn by others who are unable as of yet to see the work God is doing through us.  But the most destructive times are when the blinders are worn by us.  Expectations can be the blinders that keep us from seeing the Angels before us and beside us.  Expectations can be the blinders that keep us from seeing the miracles in life that unfold before us each and every day, the kindness of others, the grace of God and the love and caring of friends.  Magic tricks work because we only see what we expect to see, and in doing so we are fooled.  Satan tricks, like magic, work because we see what we expect to see and miss the grace of God that surrounds us.  Open your eyes to the grace of God in your life this day, and then live the wow of God’s love!!!

learn.

Friday July 10th, Mark 6: Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.  8 These were his instructions: "Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra tunic.  In the church, we like to study things.  We study “Just war theory” even though Jesus said to love your enemies, not kill them.  We study human sexuality within the context of faith to see if someone can be an active homosexual and an active Christian, even though Jesus said nothing about homosexuality but did say something about divorce.  We spend lots of time studying to primarily try to find the loopholes that will allow us to justify our ideas as God’s ideas.  I think Jesus sent the disciples out with very little so they would spend less time wondering how to best use the things they brought and more time just bringing the Good News of salvation.  Perhaps we could spend less time in study and more time in doing the gospel and in the process, learn.

play our part

Saturday July 11th, Mark 6: 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them."   Do what you can, where you can.  You are not in charge of every aspect of ministry in this world and not only can’t you do it all, most times you are not supposed to do it all.  You can’t do it all everywhere.  Where you don’t connect, someone else might be able to.  Sometimes our evangelism ministry is planting seeds, sometimes watering, most of the time weeding or taking care of the ground in which faith can grow.  We each play our part and in the process minister and are ministered to. Why do you think there are so many religious expressions?  God has the plan; all we have to do is our part.  

6/24/2015

10w for July 12th, I Believe, Light, NL.

The following is a 10-minute worship for July 12th, I Believe, Light, 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: Open My Heart to Your Love, Oh Lord 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

10w for July 12th, Truth to Power, P7.

The following is a 10-minute worship for July 12th, Truth to Power, P7.  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’ll Stand with you by Brian Sirchio from the CD J-Walking, Songs for Justice Workers.  Used with permission, you can find this and other gifts for ministry at www.sirchio.com

10w for July 5th, Psalms of Praise, NL.

The following is a 10-minute worship for July 5th, Psalms of Praise, 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: Praise the Lord (Psalm 148) by the Jay Beech Band from the CD Everyone who is thirsty, come. Use with permission, you can find this and other musical gifts for ministry at www.baytonemusic.com

10w for July 5th, No Blinders, P6.

The following is a 10-minute worship for July 5th, No Blinders, P6. 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 want Jesus to Walk with Me by Andra Moran from the CD Little Miracles. Use with permission you can find this and other music gifts for ministry at http://www.andramoran.com/store

10w for June 28th, Many Thousand Thanks, NL.

The following is a 10-minute worship for June 28th, Many Thousand Thanks, 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: Number 40 (You Give Me a New Song) by Andra Moran from the CD Little Miracles.  Used with permission, you can find this and other gifts for ministry at http://www.andramoran.com/store

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