Saturday, January 28, 2012

Capable of so much more…

We are made in God's image with the capability of representing God in God's mission of bringing every human being into a fulfilling family relationship with God. Every human being is capable of receiving God's wonderful and abundant family life. The problem of missing God's abundant family life is never on God's side of the equation but on ours.

Proverbs 5: 23 For lack of discipline they will die,

If that is true, and it is, then the abundance of spiritual disciplines will bring God's abundant family life into reality for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. To follow Jesus a person will discipline themselves to stop following anti-Christ personalities and ways.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pay attention!

My mind keeps drifting to being in the Caribbean next week on a cruise with hundreds of like minded ministers of the gospel. Meanwhile … I still need to pay attention now.

Proverbs 4:20 …, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.

Lord, help me pay attention, and listen now so I can enjoy next week and beyond.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Listening

It is hard to listen to another person's perspective if a habit of quarreling with one another has developed.

Ge. 45:24 "Don't quarrel on the way!"

Lord, help us change the way we think about the way we interact with one another, so we can listen to one another. Help us acknowledge in a positive way when the one we have argued with is right. For a season remind me that I could be the one that is in need of correction, so I can break this bad habit of arguing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Extravagant Possibilities

Just read an article on Patricia Cohen who wrote that middle age is, ""a time of extravagant possibilities". Let us renew our minds so that every day, including middle age and beyond is "a time of extravagant possibilities.

Proverbs 3: 1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,

2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.

Lord, help us renew our minds to the fact that getting older is a time of peace, prosperity and extravagant possibilities.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

SWEET!

If you have trouble going to sleep listen to what is going on inside your head as you lie down to sleep. What you are hearing can be adjusted and transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Proverbs 3: 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Lord, help us sleep, so when we awake, we will exclaim, SWEET!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Listen

Listening for the Lord precedes listening to the Lord.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Listen

Listen for scriptures that you had once memorized to come to you in times of decision making and seeking guidance.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spiritual Formation: Listening Prayer

With two ears and only one tongue, maybe it is a not so subtle hint that we should listen to God twice as long as we talk to God.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Listening Prayer

Ge. 22: 1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.

Let us set aside a few moments all during every day of January, to listen for the Lord's call. When reading the bible, I am struck with how clear Abraham heard the voice of God. It must be possible for a human being to tune in to the Lord's voice.

Lord, help us tune in to you. Show us how to listen.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In every season, God’s blessings abound

This has been a season of endings. My need for a medi port has ended, so it is now in some bio hazard medical waste dump. I asked if I could take it home as a trophy, to mount next to my other trophies but there are rules against that kind of thing. My hair has now grown back to a donateable length and it will be offered up to the Lord in its entirety. I will look like a sheared sheep next week. I can tell you, that in every season of life, God's blessings abound. The cancer, cancer treatments, bald head, and long haired season, have all been blessed by the abundant grace of a loving heavenly Father.

Lord, whatever season we enter and leave, we pause and thank you that your grace is and has been sufficient.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Arrival

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24 NIV)

We, have now arrived at the presence and person of Jesus. Now what?

Besides the obvious, such as worship, giving, humbling ourselves and others, I learned something new at our district's day of prayer yesterday.

Prayer is sowing seeds of faith. Once in God's presence begin sowing seeds of faith by prayer.

What injustice do you see? What need are you aware of. What lack is in your world?

Sow seeds of faith in prayer.

Lord, teach us to to pray as we continue the journey to remain in your presence.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The day before:

Matthew 5:19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven,

If tradition is true, then the Maji's journey to Bethlehem is almost complete. This is the eve of their arrival. The day before something huge happens is always a day of preparation (at least for me). Whether it is Christmas Eve, New Years Eve, or the day before a race, or getting stitches removed, it is moment to reflect and to ensure one is ready for the big event.

Times of reflection and asking one's self, "are you ready?" is a good thing.

What commandment have you set aside for whatever reason? The Law of Moses was set into context by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Early in this year, it would be good review them and the ones that have been "set aside", may need to be taken back up.

Lord, forgive us for our justifying our behaviors that are contradictory to your commands. Forgive us for setting them aside. In Jesus name, we take them up again, and by your grace choose to live by them. Amen.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Three days from Bethlehem

Tradition has it that the Magi arrived in Bethlehem on January 6. The exact date is not as important as the fact that they completed their journey. They worshipped, honored, and bestowed gifts to the baby Jesus. We don't know much about them, except that they did complete their journey.

Some are faster than others, and when a person gets to their destination is not as important as getting to the destination. At least ten minutes a day of integrated, holistic exercise that incorporates spiritual formation with bodily exercise will eventually bring a person to the presence of the Lord. It is consistency with one's spiritual disciplines that we are constantly moving forward. During this month it is my hope and prayer that you have discovered a few routines that worked for you, and will be able to move into this new year with a means to accomplish the God given dreams and hopes in your life. As you wrap up an exercise routine pause for a few seconds and listen to the voice of the Lord calling to you, encouraging you, and blessing you.

Lord, help us enter into your presence and listen to your voice calling out for us to follow you.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Listening Prayer

Matthew 2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem.

Bethlehem is a short distance from Jerusalem, so it would have been easy to think that the star was leading them to Jerusalem, the capitol city. They were so close, but so far away, and their mistake was costly to the children in Bethlehem.

Some mistakes we make are more costly than others. Today, let us listen to the Lord before engaging in any tasks or activities. Fifteen or twenty seconds to pause and listen before proceeding, may save you and others in your life time and treasure.

Lord, teach us how to listen. Open our ears and the eyes of our understanding so we may follow you into your blessing and away from human mistakes. In Jesus name, amen.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Beginnings

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

The three kings would have sensed that they were close to their destination. They also would be very far from home, and would have fond memories of what was behind to keep them stable while they journeyed further and further away from home. They would have brought something from home to remember what was behind. I doubt if they brought some black eyed peas and ham hocks to have a traditional New Year's dinner with the other kings and new found friends. I am certain they would have had some tradition to help them remember with fondness their families back home, their parents, their community, their spirituality, and any number of things that had established the hearts of the three kings.

Some kind of simultaneous celebrating of tradition and a new beginning would have been set aside all along their journey to realign them to their goals and God given dreams as well as all the people and things that God had already blessed them with.

Who are the people and what are the things that God has already blessed you with that you can celebrate and remember on this day in which we also by faith imagine a preferred future?

Lord, thank you for the people and things in which you have blessed us with in our past and in our present. Help us establish traditions that will establish our hearts. Help us also keep moving forward as you lead us into a future that you are already present in. Forgive us all our sins, and give us joy for the journey ahead.