Feb 17, 2017
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
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.
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.
Posted at 06:52 am by preacher314
Feb 15, 2017
Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years
of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. —
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
Feb 14, 2017
MY PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS
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
Feb 11, 2017
Let each of you look not to your own interests,
but to the interests of others.
Live for yourself and you will live in vain;
Live for others, you will live again.
God, motivate us to seek justice, even when
the outcome won't affect us.
Posted at 10:08 am by preacher314
Feb 9, 2017
Psalms 119:1-2,4-5,17-18,33-34; I Corinthians 2:6-10;
"... go and be reconciled with your brother first"
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
Posted at 07:08 pm by preacher314
Feb 8, 2017
Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
but a false witness speaks deceitfully.
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
God, let us walk in truth, live in truth, and be brave
enough to speak the truth.
Posted at 10:12 am by preacher314
Feb 6, 2017
SUPER BOWL TICKETS FOR SALE
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
Feb 5, 2017
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God. Matthew 5:8
The outstretched arms of Jesus
exclude no one, not the drunk in the
doorway, the panhandler on the street,
gays and lesbians in their isolation,
the most selfish and ungrateful in their
cocoons, the most unjust of employers
and the most overweening of snobs.
The love of Christ embraces all without
exception. Brennan Manning
Surround us with living saints who
remind us of the sort of people we
are trying to become. Common Prayer
Posted at 06:26 am by preacher314
Feb 1, 2017
DONALD TRUMP AND THE STRANGER
For Christians, in the 25th chapter of Matthew, Jesus makes
clear that how we treat “the stranger” is how we treat him.
That’s what the Gospel text says. And the “stranger” means
immigrants and refugees — the citizens of other nations living
and traveling among us. Therefore, this is a faith issue for us
as Christians. Donald Trump’s executive order on “Protecting
the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”
is in conflict with our Christian faith, and we will oppose it as
a matter of faith.
President Trump’s executive order is not about security; it is
All of us want and value security. But these refugees have
already been thoroughly vetted. They are mostly women and
children who have had to flee situations of violent conflict —
for their very lives. They are in danger; they are not a danger.
They are refugees fleeing from violence, not the agents of
violence toward us. The world’s experts on refugees around
the globe clearly contradict what the ideologues of the new
White House are saying.
This is a political policy, not a rational one. This is a cruel
policy aimed at refugee families in great need and danger;
not a protective policy for American families. This is a
payback policy aimed at satisfying a political base that has
become hostile and hateful to refugees and immigrants. This
is a dangerous policy that is already alienating our partners
around the world, will be used by our enemies to recruit
against us, and will make us less safe.
We will oppose the executive order as a matter of faith.
This is also a policy aimed at a religion: The seven
nations cited are Muslim-majority nations. Furthermore,
the executive order directs the government to prioritize
admittance of refugees (both as possible exceptions to
the current ban and to get special treatment when and if
the refugee ban is lifted) who suffer “religious persecution”
and belong to “minority religions” in their countries. This
amounts to showing preferential treatment for Christian
refugees over Muslim refugees, which President Trump
admitted to a Christian broadcaster. Giving special
treatment to Christians fleeing violence over Muslims
doing the same is both religiously offensive — to many
of us who are Christian — and contrary to America’s best
and constitutional values.
This policy is also aimed at race: The Muslims being
banned by this order are primarily people of color; and their
targeting is directly related to the white nationalist ideology
that has now taken up office in the White House, which is
a great danger to America’s future. The use of religion and
race for political purposes undermines the United States’
fundamental commitment to being a pluralist and democratic
Christian leaders who supported Donald Trump must speak
up as Christians against policies that attack “the strangers”
for their religion and their race.
Christian leaders who supported Donald Trump should also
stand in opposition to Donald Trump’s recent re-embracing
of torture — which is contrary to Christian values and
principles. Torture is anti-Christian, most Christians believe
that, and all of us must now say that again.
Whether it’s the banning of refugees, the targeting of another
religion, the subtle or direct appeals to racism, or the
endorsement of torture, it is time to speak truth to power.
Religious leaders must speak up against these moral choices
of our new president. There is more than politics at stake here;
at stake is the integrity of our faith and the future of our country.
(Jim Wallis is president of Sojourners)
Posted at 08:04 am by preacher314
Jan 31, 2017
Jesus begins in the Sermon on the Mount by affirming
that everyone in his audience is called, loved, powerful,
and valuable. This was remarkable in his day because
the religious people in Jesus' day liked to say some
people are out and some people are in, and the way
that you get in is by doing things the right way and not
being sick. People like lepers and people with bleeding
diseases were believed to be cursed by God because
of a sin of their parents. There was this system in place
where some people were in, and some people were out.
Jesus comes on the scene in the Gospel of Matthew in
Chapter 5, and he begins with the beatitudes in which
he says that everyone belongs. He begins by saying
"blessed are the poor in spirit." Don't misunderstand,
being poor in spirit is not a virtue. Poor in spirit means
you're spiritually bankrupt. Blessed are you if you mourn.
Blessed are you if you've been a doormat your whole life.
In Luke, he says blessed are you if you're poor, if you're
persecuted, if you're unwanted, if you're uninvited. Jesus
says to these people you are called, you are loved, you
are light, you are salt.
Dear God, thank you for accepting me. Even through my
weakness, illness, and sin, I am loved by you and the
salt of the earth.
REFLECTION: If you were there in Jesus day, do you
think you would be in or out?
(Pastor Bobby Schuller)
Posted at 07:54 am by preacher314