Feb 22, 2017

Holy God, I know that you are present with all of your beloved children and especially wherever there is struggle and suffering. I pray that you would be with me as well, and help me to be with and for those in need of support. Fill me with your strength, courage, and grace, and help me to incarnate my hope for a better world into action. Amen.

Posted at 06:40 pm by preacher314
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Feb 21, 2017

"Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." -John 15:4 We don't have this word in English, but the word in Greek is Menno. Our best translation for this to abide. Abide. Jesus says to do that in me -- abide in my love. Abide in me, find a home in me, and be safe in me, and when you feel safe in my love. Instead of turning inward and holding onto everything, you're going to learn to be like branches on a vine that open up, bloom, and reach out. You reaching out is you loving others as Jesus has loved you. That's what it's all about: being rooted in the vine, being safe in Jesus Christ, and finding the freedom to be messed up, broken, flawed individuals we are. We are safe in God's kingdom and can take off our masks and say, friends, family, this is me. I love you. I'm scared. I'm hurting. I'm a sinner. I'm broken. I'm angry. But it's good to be real. You can love others because you're safe. You can remain in his love. You don't have to prove anything to anybody. You do enough. You are enough. You don't have to prove anything to God. Just abide in him and love others and everything else will fall in its right place. That's the truth. PRAYER: Thank you, God, for allowing us to be real. If we abide in you, we are free to be our imperfect selves. REFLECTION: Are you abiding in Jesus? (Bobby Schuller)

Posted at 06:04 pm by preacher314
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Feb 20, 2017

“These are the laws you are to set before them.” Exodus 21:1 This passage is teaching us that, as great as moments of revelation and inspiration can be, they are not where we will find God. It’s wonderful to be moved by a beautiful sunset or to be awed by a powerful thunderstorm. They may make us feel more connected to God and inspire us to change. But that’s not where we encounter God in the deepest way. We truly encounter God where we are least expecting it – in the store, at a business meeting, sitting around the house with our family. It’s the quiet moments in life where we choose to follow God’s Word or set His laws aside; that’s where we truly encounter God. As you go through the day, keep an ear out for that “gentle whisper” guiding you and commanding you as you go through life. When you hear God’s voice and choose to obey His laws, you will have found Him, no matter where you may be. Nothing is more sensational than that! With prayers for shalom, peace, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

Posted at 07:07 am by preacher314
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Feb 17, 2017

Verse Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23 Voice Once evil is individualized, becoming part of everyday life, the way of resisting it also becomes individual. How does the soul survive? is the essential question. And the response is: through love and imagination. Azar Nafisi Prayer Give us the ability, God, to see where trouble is rampant and justice is needed. Then give us, too, the conviction to act and the ability to establish peace. (Sojourners, sojo.net)

Posted at 06:52 am by preacher314
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Feb 15, 2017

Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. — Genesis 47:28 Imagine how Jacob’s last 17 years on earth must have felt to him. Even though he was in Egypt, out of the Holy Land, he was together with his children and grandchildren and their ever-growing families. Those precious years were full of peace, abundance, and godliness. Children, parents, and grandparents all studied the Word of God together. In this week’s Torah portion, Jacob truly lived. And as part of life, he passed on his legacy to his descendants and died surrounded by his loved ones. Friends, we’ve just been through the holiday season, spending time with family and friends. But why wait just for the holidays to do this? It’s challenging to make time for family get-togethers in today’s busy world, but it’s worth the effort. Because in the end, family is what truly matters in life. Family, as Jacob knew, is life. With prayers for shalom, peace, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

Posted at 07:18 am by preacher314
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Feb 14, 2017

Lord, because of the Savior's sacrifice I ask that You will have mercy on me, a sinner. I'm sorry for all my sins. Forgive my past and help me forgive others. Lord, accept my gratitude for Your love and my blood-bought forgiveness. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

Posted at 07:14 am by preacher314
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Feb 11, 2017

Verse Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4 Voice Live for yourself and you will live in vain; Live for others, you will live again. Bob Marley Prayer God, motivate us to seek justice, even when the outcome won't affect us. (Sojourners, sojo.net)

Posted at 10:08 am by preacher314
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Feb 9, 2017

Psalms 119:1-2,4-5,17-18,33-34; I Corinthians 2:6-10; Matthew 5:17-37 "... go and be reconciled with your brother first" (Matthew 5:24). It seems clear, and for a variety of reasons, that many people feel as though we are living in difficult days. Perhaps your are among them. In an apparent response to that mood, there was an amusing image portrayed recently in a popular magazine. Pictured in a department store is a shopper, standing in front of an attractive display of neatly stacked pillows. The store clerk is pointing to the shelves as he says, "No. These are pillows for screaming into. You'll find our sleeping pillows on the second floor." Of course, difficult days summon in us a variety of emotions. And while screaming into our pillows is far better than taking out our frustrations on those closest to us, the Gospel writers tell us, over-and-over again, that there is a Truly better way. Put your faith and trust in God's plan for living and you will be blest. Your faith will bring you happiness. Your faith will bring you fulfillment. Your faith will bring you ever closer to becoming the person God created you to be. Indeed, it is your steadfast faith that will transform your most difficult days into Blessed days of fulfillment. Jesus came into this world and preached a Good News Gospel about God's Rule and God's Love. Time and again, and in many different ways, He said, "You will recognize by their fruits the persons whose faith and trust in God's ways bring them into His Kingdom." You will know them, He said, by the difference this faith and trust has made in the way they live. And because their faith and trust in God have made a difference in the way they live, they are blest, they are happy. Sunday Sermons Online sermoneditor@voicings.com

Posted at 07:08 pm by preacher314
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Feb 8, 2017

Verse Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness speaks deceitfully. Proverbs 12:17 Voice Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts. Mr. [Jeff] Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters. Coretta Scott King Prayer God, let us walk in truth, live in truth, and be brave enough to speak the truth. (Sojourners, sojo.net)

Posted at 10:12 am by preacher314
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Feb 6, 2017

A guy placed an ad on a Local Affairs website: "I have two tickets for the 2017 Super Bowl, both box seats. I paid $2500 for each ticket, but I didn't realize last year when I bought them that it was going to be on the same day as my wedding. I am looking for someone to take my place. The wedding is at St. Thomas Church, Providence at 3pm. Her name is Amanda. She's 5'6", about 130 lbs. She is a good cook, too. She'll be the one in the white dress."

Posted at 08:49 am by preacher314
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