8/03/2015

Poem based on 11th Sunday After Pentecost John 6:41-51

We ate from the manna
Provided
For all to eat
When the people were in need
And were filled.
We were given the land
And the knowledge
To make our people Great
And were filled.
We were given the word
Sustaining us
Through time of hardship
Forgotten too often
Through times of prosperity
It added a richness
--to our lives
a wholeness
without which
--we would not exist
and we were filled.
We hunger Lord
For the living Bread
That will sustain us
Through hardship and prosperity,
We long to come to You
Drawn by
The love that has been
And the love that lives now
Eternal

And to be full.

Opening Litany based on Psalm 34


Worship Leader: I will exult the Lord at all times in my life.  The Praise of the Lord will be forever on my lips. 

Congregation: We too will glory in the Lord.  Let all who are afflicted hear the good news of the Lord and rejoice with us as we exult the name of the Lord together. 

Worship Leader: In my time of need, when I sought after the Lord, the Lord answered me and delivered me from all my fears.  The Lord will do the same for you!

Congregation: Those who dwell in the presence of the Lord… their faces are radiant and never covered with shame.

Worship Leader: The ones that the world rejects who call upon the name of the Lord.. the Lord will be with them and help them in the midst of their troubles.

Congregation: The angel of the Lord encamps around those who live in awe of the Lord and the Lord delivers them from all the woes and cares of this world. 

Worship Leader: As we gather around the table of the Lord this day, taste and see that the LORD is good and blessed is the one who takes refuge in the Lord. 

Congregation: As the Holy people of God, we will live in awe of the wonders of the Lord, for those who live this way lack nothing of importance in this life. 

Worship Leader: the strong and mighty may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.  So come my children, listen, and learn to live in awe of the wonders of the Lord.  Whoever loves the Lord, and desires to live in the blessings of the Lord, keep your tongue from evil, your lips from telling lies, turn from evil and seek peace in this world. 

Congregation: For the Lord looks upon the righteous and hears the cries of their hearts, but the God of Grace turns a deaf ear to those who seek evil. 

Worship Leader: The righteous cry and the Lord hears them, the brokenhearted and those for whom the world has crushed their spirit wail and the Lord delivers them from their troubles. 

Congregation:   The righteous may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers them and protects them from being broken.  

Worship Leader: Evil will slay the wicked and the foes of the righteous will be condemned but the Lord will rescue those who love the Lord.


Congregation: All who take refuge in the Lord will live surrounded by the greatness of God’s grace.  

same old

Sunday August 9th, 1 Kings 19: 3-5 When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba, far in the south of Judah. He left his young servant there and then went on into the desert another day's journey. He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade, wanting in the worst way to be done with it all—to just die: "Enough of this, God! Take my life—I'm ready to join my ancestors in the grave!" Exhausted, he fell asleep under the lone broom bush.  There are times when I am just worn out.  I remember being hassled by a Canadian border guard late one evening as I was leaving Alaska to drive to start Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa.  After about a half hour of inane questions he asked what work I had done in Alaska.  I told him I primarily worked in Juvenile corrections.  He then asked why I was going to Dubuque, I told him I was going to Wartburg Seminary.  He asked what a seminary was, I told him it was an educational and training center to become a Lutheran Pastor.  He smirked that going from Juvenile corrections to being a pastor was quite a switch.  I couldn’t help myself, I just blurted out laughing that he hadn’t been in many Lutheran congregations or he would know it was not much of a switch at all.  Little did I know how fortuities that smart-aleck comment would become.  Following the will of God is not all smiles and happiness, and sometimes even the best and strongest just get worn out, or more probably, worn down.  It is worth noting however, that like Elijah, even when we think we have hit our limit and run, God does not leave us alone in our pity.  God seeks us out, renews our strength and sends us on our way, whether we like it or not.  

40

Monday August 10th, 1 Kings 19:  7 The angel of God came back, shook him awake again, and said, "Get up and eat some more—you've got a long journey ahead of you." 8-9 He got up, ate and drank his fill, and set out. Nourished by that meal, he walked forty days and nights, all the way to the mountain of God, to Horeb. When he got there, he crawled into a cave and went to sleep.  Then the word of God came to him: "So Elijah, what are you doing here?" First thought is that must have been some meal.  After being exhausted, God feeds him and he is good for a 40 day walk.  Reminds me of Jesus’ baptismal blessing being preparation for his 40 days in the desert, or Israel’s 40 years of wandering.  A time of preparing, of getting ready for what lies ahead.  So, what are you doing here?  God has fed you, nourished you, and blessed you beyond belief, now, what are you doing here?  You have been prepared, but for what?  What was, or is, the outcome of your time of testing?  Or did you just take a side road into personal prosperity? You have been blessed, so now in the kingdom of God here on earth how are you to be a blessing?  What a Joy it must be for God when we sometimes get it and respond in love to the world God has created.  Why not try it today?

brothers and sisters

Tuesday August 11th, Ephesians 4:  25 We are part of the same body. Stop lying and start telling each other the truth. I remember a sermon by a local TV preacher.  He expounded on the story of the rich man and Lazarus.  His concern was that preachers do not tell the truth and preach about hell.  He then portrayed the horrors of hell and expounded on how all must be saved in a Bible Believing church, such as his, that teaches and warns about hell or else they will go to hell themselves.  He lamented that this was the case with his father, who although he claimed to be a Christian, was not a born again Christian and had never said the “believers prayer” and was therefore burning in hell.  I feel sorry for Pastor Prevo, and I feel sorry for his dearly departed father.  We are called to tell the truth about scripture.  For me the story of the rich man and Lazarus is about the breakdown of the family of God, our failure to see each other as brothers and sisters in Christ and to seek the justice and the system changes that relationship fosters.  The rich man’s sin was that even in hell, he still saw Lazarus only as someone to be used and do his bidding.  Isn’t that one of the great human sins that we are always putting asunder that which God has joined together? I agree with Pastor Prevo that we do need to start telling each other the truth, but the truth is that there is more said in the scriptures about the evils of social and economic separation than almost any other subject except the need for faith.  Believe and care, or as Christ put it, love God and love others.  We are all part of the same body, the Body of Christ.  We are all part of the creation God created and called good.  We are not called to be our brother’s keeper, with one on top and one on the bottom of a dysfunctional system, we are called to be our brother’s brother, our sister’s sister, in relationship with one another.  It is the very argument that is at the basis of most of our political arguments today.  Are we going to recognize one another as brothers and sisters and share with one another not only assets, but more importantly, opportunities?  When will we all, from top to bottom, and from bottom to top, act in accordance with what is best for all, rather than what is best for me?  There are no golden parachutes in the kingdom of God, nor are there deadbeats gaming the system.  Live your life as if you love God and love others this day, all the rest is window dressing.   

give

Wednesday August 12th, Ephesians 4: 26 Don't get so angry that you sin. Don't go to bed angry 27 and don't give the devil a chance. 28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Be honest and work hard, so you will have something to give to people in need. 29 Stop all your dirty talk. Say the right thing at the right time and help others by what you say. 30 Don't make God's Spirit sad. The Spirit makes you sure that someday you will be free from your sins. 31 Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don't yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. 32 Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ. Christians all too often succumb to the temptation to worry about what others are doing wrong rather than what we could do better.  Ephesians 5 used to be one of the main texts used in weddings, and it was often used as a “power over” text, pulling out the “woman be subservient to your husband” part and putting the emphasis there.  In reality, Ephesians is about what each of us should be doing, not about how we think others should act.  It is a text about the oneness of God’s creation and the unity we share with one another.  It is a text about following the law, but doing so in such a way that we see in one another as a child of God to be loved, to be cared for, to give of yourself for.  The list given above is simply how we go about treating one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.  The power expressed is the power to give of one’s self.  

therefore I am

Thursday August 13th, Ephesians 5:  1 Do as God does. After all, you are his dear children. 2 Let love be your guide. Christ loved us and offered his life for us as a sacrifice that pleases God. Descartes has had his mark on society.  In a rational, post-enlightenment world “I think therefore I am” rules the day.  It is after all, all about the “I.”  God calls us instead to live by the phrase, Amo, ergo sum, I love, therefore I am.  In a post-enlightenment world it is about as counter-cultural as you can get.  But it is in loving that we are connected to the love of God.  It is in loving that we live out the fullness of the connectedness of all of creation.  It is in loving that we experience the fullness of God’s grace as we show that grace to others.  Our calling is a calling into relationships, with God, with one another and with the creation from which we were formed. Let love be your aim in life, and live by the motto: Amo, Ergo Sum.  

goodness

Friday August 14th, John 6: 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.  God created the heavens and the earth and called it good.  At each stage of creation God looks at what has been created and it is pronounced good.  God’s word creates not only the world, but also the goodness which is the glue that holds it together.  It is the same with humanity, we are not loved because we are good, we are called good because we are loved. It is Gods will that that very same goodness of creation be extended out to the world around you today.  Christ said to love one another as I have loved you, and when Christ loved, he reached out, he healed and he gave of himself.  We live the love of God when we love one another as the brothers and sisters in Christ both they and we really are.  

receiving end

Saturday August 15th, John 6: 47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."  A little bread and we are on our way for now, a little bread of life and we are on our way forever.  Salvation and goodness come from God.  They are given to us in the message and ministry, the death and resurrection of Jesus.  We are the ones who receive that goodness.  As receivers, we are not in charge of who else might be on the receiving end of the good gifts of God.  God so loved the world he gave his only son, and that is good enough for me.  The grace that comes from God, if indeed it be grace, extends to all.  Our job is not to judge, but to live as brothers and sisters in Christ.  

7/29/2015

10w for August 2nd, Bread of Life. P10.

The following is a 10-minute worship for August 2nd, Bread of Life. P10. 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 Am the Bread of Life by John Michael Talbot.  Used with permission, you can find this and others gifts for ministry at www.johnmichaeltalbot.com

10w for August 2nd, NL, The Gift of Love.

The following is a 10-minute worship for August 2nd, NL, The Gift of Love. 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: Love will lead the way by Celia Whitler from the CD On the Road to Somewhere.  Used with permission, you can find this and other gifts for ministry at: http://celiamusic.net/

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.  

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