2/27/2015

10w for March 1st, NL, God's Unfair Economy.

The following is a 10 minute worship for March 1st, NL, God's Unfair Economy.  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 March 1st, Surender to live, RCL

The following is a 10 minute worship for March 1st, Surender to live, 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.


2/23/2015

Poem based on Mark 8:31-38 2nd Sunday in Lent

These words are so hard to hear
So hard
Why?
--why must our master walk in this direction
Why?
--when we have left our families and work
do we have to hear these words of doom and death
Why?

This talk makes no sense
We could have it all
We could live
We could live in a world so kind
With none of the pain
We left behind
A world far better than any have seen
A world that for many is just a dream
We could have it
We could have it all
The power that comes with the ones
Who lead
And show the way
That people want to follow
They really want to follow you
Away from Romans
--and poverty
----and hardship
we could be a great power
A Nation
--that is looked up to and feared
----by nations
Master!
--Rabbi!
-------listen to what you senses
-------and to what the people are saying
-------listen

and Jesus turns
and faces all
--who have come this far
--and hung on every word
--and lived on every morsel of life
----dropped from his lips
--who have lived as they have never lived before
--with a hope they had never known
Listen, this is my Son
His eyes said
As he looked through the crowd
In a stare of ice
And the thoughts turned to those unexplained moments
That raised the questions
And the hearts raced with fear
--as they knew
----once more
they were in for something more
than they had ever known
--or dreamed
----or bargained for
in the collective memory of all creation

GET--------THEE--------BEHIND--------ME
------(take)---------(up)---------------(thy)--------(cross)
with you temptress minds of humanity
and live
LIVE
--beyond the limits of your perceived reality
and a world that
-----changes
--hatred for hatred for hatred
until all see only the gain in their world.
See and feel and hear that glimmer
That goes beyond the mere pretense of happiness
And see the children’s faces
--for what they could be
LIVE

--(and follow me)

Opening Litany based on Psalm 22


Pastor: I will declare your name to my people O Lord and in the assembly I will praise you. 

Congregation: Let all who live in awe of the LORD, praise the holy name of God. All the descendants of Jacob and Israel, all the peoples of the world Praise the Holy name of God! 

Pastor:  For the Lord has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted ones but has listened to their cry for help.

Congregation: From you O Lord comes the very essence of my praise in the great assembly before all who live in your grace I will fulfill my vows. 

Pastor: The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the LORD will live forever in a life of praise. 

Congregation: All the ends of the earth will remember God’s loving grace and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before the Lord, who is ruler of all. 

Pastor: All the blessed of the earth will feast and worship, All mortals will bow before the Lord of all creation. 

Congregation: We will use the blessings of this world are to serve the Lord so that all future generations will know of the righteousness the Lord has done. 



What can God do

Sunday March 1st, Genesis 17: When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord came to him and said, "I am God All-powerful. Obey Me, and be without blame. 2 And I will keep My agreement between Me and you. I will give you many children." 3 Then Abram fell on his face. Did he fall on his face because of the joy that the promise would finally be true or did he fall on his face because of the fear that the promise would finally be true? I must say that I do hope and pray that the Lord does not visit me when I am 99 and tell me I will be a new father. At many years younger than that my wife and I may joke about it, but believe me, IT IS A JOKE, OK God!!!! But that is that old control thing going on within me again. God made the promise and was true to that promise. The wait for Abe and Sarah was to show that it was God who was doing this great thing. What we can take from this is to trust in God. Trust in Gods always, even when it seems impossible, or laughable, or frightenly laughable.  What can God do through you once you let go of the hands of control?  Trust! Pray! Laugh!

One step from a mis-step

Monday March 2nd,  Genesis 17: 7 I will make My agreement between Me and you and your children after you through their whole lives for all time. I will be God to you and to your children's children after you. Many see religion as a “God and I” thing. God however often sees it as a “God and all the people of creation” thing. The promise was less about the covenant with Abraham and more about God’s promise for all humanity for all time. That promise extends also to us, and to our children, and to our children’s children. Ever since that tree in the Garden thing, we tend to get hung up on the old “What’s in it for me” thing. The temptation after all was to be like God, knowing good and evil and therefore being in charge.  When we do the “what’s in it for me” thing, we are only one step from getting out of step. Life only makes sense when we get back in step and remember that it is a God and All People thing.  It is then we can look around and see in the faces of one another that spark of God, and begin to treat the other as we would treat God.  Then the world will be better for their children and for ours.  Remember God cares for all of God’s children. All of them!!! 

Sarai to Sarah is a life changing experience



Tuesday March 3rd,  Genesis 17: 15 Then God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, do not call her name Sarai. But Sarah will be her name. 16 And I will bring good to her. I will give you a son by her. I will bring good to her. And she will be the mother of nations. Kings of many people will come from her." Here is where the priestly writers during the Babylonian captivity moved from one set of stories about Abraham and Sarah from Israel to another set of stories from Judah. In the languages of the two kingdoms, they pronounced and wrote the names differently. The priests inserted these transitional phrases to move from one set of stories to another. They also explain how God can change our lives. When God enters, everything changes. You might not change your name when God enters, but God will change your heart. When your heart is changed there is no telling what can happen.  Good flows from God, but the good of God flows through the people of God.  So open the flood gates of your heart and let the God colors flow into the world.  While you watch things change in the world around you, notice the change that takes place in your heart also.  

Not a "Sunday only" thing

Wednesday March 4th, Mark 8: 31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. Peter was scared. What he had envisioned was a Messiah which would ride into town on a white horse to the praise of the crowd and the kingdom would be established on earth with great fanfare and little cost, and he and his buddies would ride into power as the new ruling party. Peter wanted regime change.  God wanted a heart change. What Peter was to find out was that the cost of discipleship was and always is, high. If we allow God to be ruler of our hearts, the cost will be high for us also. Following God is not a “Sunday Only” thing. It is a life changing, life altering thing that brings about change in your world, change in their world, and change in the world. And change is not always met with welcome arms.  

the tempter

Thursday March 5th, Mark 8: 33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Satan is not always seen as the harbinger of evil as we often see Satan today, but as the tester. After his baptism, Jesus was tested by Satan out in the desert after 40 days. Here Satan comes as a tester in the form of Peter’s desire for the easy way out. For Jesus however, the path ahead leads not to the easy, “what’s in it for me” way and to personal salvation, but rather leads to the salvation for, and of, the whole world. That kind of salvation and change comes at a cost.  When we seek only our own satisfaction, we tend to short circuit what God has in mind for our mission in the world. Don’t worry about God.  Gods plan will prevail, remember, God has time on his side.  Now what God needs is You on his side also.  

crosses of imperfection

Friday March 6th, Mark 8: 34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. We are called as the children of God to be aware of our cross that we are asked to carry, and to be aware of our brothers and sisters crosses as well. We are asked to carry these crosses not to feel somehow humble and therefore noble, but to carry them to help ourselves and others in this world.  We are asked to carry these crosses in the kingdom here and now. It is not shock to learn that this is not a perfect world. One of the greatest imperfections humans have is the pretense that we need to appear perfect to others. When we carry our imperfections, bathed in the insight we have from facing them and bathed in the forgiveness we receive through Christ for them, bathed in the light of Christ to guide our way, then these imperfections, these crosses can become the instruments through which others may receive blessings. Take up your cross today and follow Jesus. 

what happens when you assume

Saturday March 7th, Mark 8: 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? One of the paradoxes of this life is that the surest way to get to the end of the line is by trying to get to the front of the line. The tree in the garden thing is the first sin mentioned for good reason.  The very essence of sin is the desire to be like God and therefore take over for God. This is your choice daily; trust God, even if you have to wait until you are ninety-nine years old like Abraham.  When we do so, we also find new life born when we least expect it.  

2/17/2015

10w for February 22nd, for the 1st Sunday in Lent, Baptismal Calling.

The following is a 10 minute worship for February 22nd, for the 1st Sunday in Lent, Baptismal Calling.  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, "Out in the Wilderness" by the Jay Beech Band from the CD "Everyone who is Thirsty, Come"  http://www.baytonemusic.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=BTM

10w for February 22nd, Don't do the math, NL.

The following is a 10 minute worship for February 22nd, Don't do the math, 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, "Forgiveness is a Lovely Hand to Hold" by Andra Moren from the CD "Harmony Groove"  http://www.andramoran.com/store

2/16/2015

Opening Litany Psalm 25,


Psalm 25: 1-10 - This psalm is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet, therefore in using the first ten verses I attempted to follow that patterning in English.

Pastor: All gather before you O Lord as we lift our souls to you.
Congregation: Be merciful onto us O Lord and do not let us be put to shame for we put our trust in You O Lord our God.

Pastor: Can anyone whose hope is in the Lord be put to shame?

Congregation: Doomed however are those who are treacherous without excuse, for they will be put to shame.

Pastor: Evermore you will show me your ways, O LORD and teach me to walk in your paths; You O Lord guide me in your truth and teach me your ways,
Congregation: For you are my God and my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Pastor: Gracious Lord, Remember your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.

Congregation: Heed not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways;

Pastor: Instead, remember me according to your love, for you are merciful, O LORD.

Congregation: Just and upright is the LORD who instructs sinners in the ways of righteousness.

Pastor: Kindly the Lord guides the humble in what is right and teaches them the ways of grace and mercy.

Congregation: Lord our God, all your ways are loving and faithful for those who walk in your ways.


Poem based on 1st Sunday in Lent Mark 1:12-15

The old has passed
With a final test and purging
That has set the stage
--in this plane
for eternity to break in
to a world
--still the same
--and yet new
(repent)
a world that has seen
--its future dashed
------again
-----------and again
------by the mindless strivings
of humanity
--trying so very hard
(for the kingdom)
---------to make it alone
standing in its toddler steps
and facing
----life
(of God)
in the hopes and dreams
---of making it
--------with an eye toward the God who was and is
on their own
but the air smells different now
(is at hand)
with a newness
--------and a freshness
that seems to come from beyond time
(Life)
and there is an excitement
(has come to a fullness)
in the air
(that has not been known
on this earth
since God looked at what had been made
and said

It is good)

Creator, Creation and Creature

Sunday February 22nd, Genesis 9: 8 Again, God said to Noah and his sons: 9 I am going to make a solemn promise to you and to everyone who will live after you. 10 This includes the birds and the animals that came out of the boat. 11 I promise every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by a flood. Those who profess rapture theology tend to see this as one of God’s trick statements, sort of a “I won’t use water next time, I’ll watch you all burn with fire ha ha ha!!!” statement. They are wrong, and more than just a bit sadistic.  That view of God as a sadistic SOB is not one I can embrace or even tolerate.  God made a promise to all of life on the planet earth that God will love them and keep them in a loving relationship. The unspoken part of that is that God will keep on our case until we “get it” and start to respond to God, creation, and one another in a similar, loving, caring manner.  In other words, there will be love, there will be grace and there will be Jesus and we are all called to be a part of that; but make no bones about it, there will be love, grace and Jesus with or without our participation. What should we make of this? God is concerned about and loves all of creation. Climate Change is a concern, The Sudan is a concern, the Middle East is a concern, Syria is a concern, Warfare is a concern and you and I are concerns. Our job is to get our concern in line with God’s concerns and care for all creation, all creatures, all people, not just our own back yard.  If we think and pray globally and act locally, our backyard, as well as our neighbor’s backyard will both benefit.  God has called us into relationship with Creator, Creation and Creature because God is in relationship with us.  

time to act

Monday February 23rd, Genesis 9: 12-13 The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever. We can explain the science behind a rainbow but not the beauty or how it makes us feel when we see one. Some call it God’s signature, a sign to us, the earth, our fellow citizens and every living creature on this planet that God is in charge and love will rule the day. Just maybe there is an explicit warning there also. Should we choose to not connect with God’s vision for the world perhaps it will not bode well for us.  Our mistreatment of others and of creation in exchange for money and power is just an expanded version of pissing in the corners of our kitchen and living room and not taking out the garbage, it may mark our territory but in time our own lives begin to stink.  For the last 40 years we have lived by the motto that a rising tide lifts all boats, and then sold the illusion that the way to make the tide rise was to build bigger yachts for a few.   Now we find the water is down, the yachts are listing, the people are starving and there are some in power who are still telling us the problem is that the yachts are not big enough.  God calls us to make boats for everyone.   God also calls us to care and nurture and keep the water in which they float clean while we are at it.  That rainbow signifies a two way contract.  God is doing God’s part, now it is up to us to do our part.  This planet and the people in it are not here simply for our use and taking.  We are called as co-creators to nurture and care for one another and the creation from which we came.  That is the meaning of the rainbow.  Now it is time to act and hold up our end of the deal.  

many colors

Tuesday February 24th, Genesis 9: 16 When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature. 17 The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise. When we see a rainbow, it is not a solo experience.  We are not the only ones to see it.  It is caused by the rain and sunshine which falls on the good and the bad, friend and foe alike.  The curved encompassing shape is a reminder that we live in community on this planet and are called live like we understand that. The old ways of tribalism, racism, sexism and nationalism are not part of God’s intent. We are called instead as stewards of this world and brothers and sisters with one another. What does that mean in your life today? What are you doing to help save this planet given to us by God, to help save relationships given to us by God, to help save an economy that will lift all the boats not just the yachts, and to bring justice as God views justice to the world? When you work with God, you become part of the rainbow that comes in many colors and surrounds all creation with beauty and promise.  

It’s not magic

Wednesday February 25th, Mark 1: 9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Why did Jesus have to be baptized by John? The question stems in part from our view of baptism. If baptism is seen as fire insurance to take away sins, then the question indeed is valid. If however it is seen as an ushering into a relationship with God and with one another, then Jesus’ baptism becomes the symbol of his ministry and a symbol of our ministry. Through the love and teachings of Christ, we are all called to view ourselves and one another as brothers and sisters in this world. Christ came to bring salvation to all, being baptized by John ushers him into our world just as our baptism ushers us into Christ’s world.  It’s not magic, it’s not rules, it’s not ritual, what it is, is relationship. 

we will journey

Thursday February 26th, Mark 1: 10 As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." The voice of God is also heard on the mountain when Jesus is transfigured and in the heavens when Jesus is born. It marks the transitions in the life of Jesus from birth, to ministry to the movement down the mountain as Jesus moves toward Jerusalem and the cross. In Mark’s Gospel the heavens are ripped apart in the process, never to be put back together in the same way again.  God is loose in the world and will not be put back.  In our lives, we may not hear the voice of God speak “you are my child” but we hear the community of God say those words. In our congregation, when someone is baptized, they are brought into the midst of the congregation and with the laying on of hands, are blessed and welcomed by the congregation. It is the collective voice of God. You are our child, whom we love; with you we are well pleased, and with you we will journey through life together, brothers and sisters in Christ.  

Welcome to God’s world.

Friday February 27th, Mark 1: 12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13 and he was in the desert forty days being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. No time for rest. In Mark's gospel everything happens fast and with power. Being a child of God is no special protection for Jesus or for us. Being a child of God is to take on the awesome responsibility of being there for one another. As we enter the Lenten season, it is our calling also. These brothers and sisters of mine in the kingdom, God wasn't just kidding when God asked us to reach out and care for one another, and God wasn't kidding when the most care was given to those who hurt the most. Watch out for one another in this wilderness called life. In our baptismal blessing, it is what we have promised to do.  After his baptism, the spirit drop-kicked Jesus right out into the wilderness where the temptations began and where theology was honed.  In our baptism, the spirit drop-kicks us through the goal posts of life (thank you Bobby Bare) and onto the playing field called life where we are tested and tempted and our theology is honed by a combination of trouble and grace.  Welcome to God’s world.  

once in a while

Saturday February 28th, Mark 1: 14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news. And the good news is??? The good news is that the kingdom of God is near. To each and every one of us, the kingdom is near. Even when we face what John was facing in prison, yes even there, the Kingdom is near.  What we do in life, who we are in life, even our thoughts in life ripple through the kingdom. The good news is that Jesus is never far from you and that the kingdom of God (salvation) is a gift from God and it is near.  Our calling is to walk through this life, knowing, deep in our hearts, deep in our very being, that the kingdom is near, God is near.  God is with us and with those we meet, and if they don’t know it, it is or job to let them know in word it is true, but also, most importantly, in deed.  The time has come, the kingdom is near. Go and announce the good news and use your words once in a while.  

2/11/2015

The following is a 10 minute worship for February 15th, Lose Yourself, 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, "Suddenly, Up on the Mountain" by the Jay Beech Band from the CD "Everyone Who is Thirsty, Come" which can be purchased HERE

10w for February 15th, Transfiguration, Light in Darkness.

The following is a 10 minute worship for February 15th, Transfiguration, Light in Darkness.   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, "Light Shines in the Darkness" by Dakota Road from the CD "Break These Chains" which can be purchased HERE


2/09/2015

Opening litany based on Psalm 41

Worship Leader: If you seek happiness, consider the poor.  It is the Lord you God who is with them.  It is the Lord who delivers them in the day of trouble and delivers them in their days of trouble.  If you seek happiness, consider giving yourself for others.

Congregation: We would do well not to support systems that trample on the poor and weak, for in doing so we oppose the Lord who holds them in their weakness and does not give them up to those who would use them for gain.

Worship Leader: As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.”  My enemies wonder in malice when I will die, and my name perish.  And when they come to see me, they utter empty words, while their hearts gather mischief; when they go out, they tell it abroad.  All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me.

Congregation: The World thinks that a deadly thing has fastened on me and that I will not rise again, even my trusted friends have lifted the heel against me. But you, O Lord, have been gracious to me and have raised me up.

Worship Leader: By this I know Oh Lord, that you are pleased with me; my enemy has not triumphed over me. You Oh Lord have upheld me and set me in your presence forever.

Congregation:  Blessed be the Lord, the God of all people, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.


Opening Litany based on Psalm 50

Pastor: The Mighty Lord God speaks and summons all of creation, from the rising of the sun to its setting. 

Congregation: From the Heavens above, from the holy places in our midst, the perfect beauty of our God shines forth.

Pastor: But our God does not come in silence.  A purifying fire rages before the Lord as the Lord God prepares to judge both the heavens above and the earth below with righteousness. 

Congregation: Gather onto the Lord all the people of God and let the heavens proclaim the righteousness and justice of our God. 


The Transfiguration of our Lord Mark 9:2-9

In the Joy filled intensity of our excitement
We look up
And catch a glimpse of
-----something unseen
--(This)
beyond the realm of all we know
--and feel
----and hear
beyond the encounter of those special moments in life
when every part of our existence
------is focused
on the here and now
and for a brief moment
----all is just right
beyond even the pureness of joy
that comes in the perfection of religious expression
--amid the rising voices
----and the spine tingling timelessness
--(is)
came this almost moment in time
rising from the mist
--of exhausted ecstasy
----on a high mountain top
--(My)
apart
--from the world
----seething in hunger and pain
--longing to see that to which they have turned
----a blind eye
here
--in this almost place and time
comes the light
--(Son)
that can burn through even the blindness
----of not looking
--or looking too hard
with our eyes focused on that unseen moment
that we almost notice
here at this time
the Son of God leads us down
------into
-----------the world around us
to see the glory of God
in the poor and lost around us
to see the pureness of unbounded timelessness
in the moment of love expressed
to one who knows not love
to see
--by not trying to see that faint glimmer
--------------------------------------------off high
--------------------------------------in the distant mist
--(Listen to Him!)
Christ

--in those around us

Matthew 17:1-9 The Transfiguration

All that talk about crosses
It’s kinda creepy
It just feels good to get out
(led them up)
Go for a little hike
Where I don’t know
But good
And we all strive to stay on top
(three shelters)
Up
Out of the way
Longing for the easy way
Out of the dust
(this is my son)
Dirt
(whom I love)
Streets
(listen to him)
If only we could stay here
Have the people come to us
Visit the place it all came together
(he led them)
A holy place
(down the mountain)

A sign of the kingdom

life you have desired

Sunday February 15th, 2 Kings 2:  Elisha replied, "I swear by the living LORD and by your own life that I will stay with you no matter what!" And he went with Elijah to Bethel.   3 A group of prophets who lived there asked Elisha, "Do you know that today the LORD is going to take away your master?"  "Yes, I do," Elisha answered. "But don't remind me of it." Change comes hard.  Sometimes we just want to bury our head in the sand and pretend it isn’t going to happen, at least not to us.  Sometimes even when God wants to bring about change in our lives, we want to bury our head in the sand and pretend that it won’t happen, at least not now.  It just seems easier to go on as we have always done, in our minds.  We hear it in, but we never sing the old songs anymore, confirmation was not like that when I grew up, why do we now allow children to take communion?  These are all statements about keeping the church for me and not opening it up to them, even if they are my children and grandchildren. These statements are all about staying on the mountain top in the booths rather than coming down into the dusty streets or heading toward the crosses in Jerusalem.  What God wants to bring into our lives is what we were destined for from the time of our birth, a relationship with God the creator, a relationship with one another, and a relationship with the creation from which we were formed.  Change doesn’t come easy, but if God is leading, it will bring you down the mountain and back to the life you have desired all along.  

growing in the process.

Monday February 16th, 2 Kings 2:   11 Elijah and Elisha were walking along and talking, when suddenly there appeared between them a flaming chariot pulled by fiery horses. Right away, a strong wind took Elijah up into heaven. 12 Elisha saw this and shouted, "Israel's cavalry and chariots have taken my master away!"  After Elijah had gone, Elisha tore his clothes in sorrow. Change, especially when viewed with an element of loss, can, and often does bring about sorry as well as fear.  Elisha would miss his old friend and mentor Elijah.  Elisha would have been content to follow and never really become the Elisha God had in mind.  Elisha’s journey and calling would now begin and God would open before him vistas and ministries beyond his imagination.  Sometimes it is when we are cut loose, even from good things, that we begin to get our footing on what God has called us to do.  Sometimes loss can also be gain and a ministry ended is just the beginning of a new ministry begun.  I think that perhaps for the health of the church it would be best if we passed the torch rather than just having it pried from our cold dead hands.  The church would be blessed with a melding of the wisdom of the ages and the enthusiasm of youth, and perhaps even growing in the process.  

stay in style

Tuesday February 17 th, Corinthians 4: 3 If our Message is obscure to anyone, it's not because we're holding back in any way. No, it's because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention. 4 All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness.  O that old god of darkness, what a snappy dresser.  Sure wish I had clothes like that, car like that, moves like that, influence and power like that. Sure wish……………..Wait a minute, what am I saying?  It is so easy to get mesmerized by all that styling.  Billions are spent each year just to get us to pay attention to it and want it. Each year we hear that red, blue, green, grey, white etc. is the new black.  My thirty year old ties are right in style now.  Right now someone is working real hard to make something no one wants so they can make enough money to buy something no one needs because it is different from what they needed last year.   God offers something different.  Instead of just a change of clothes, God offers a change of heart that lasts forever.  Instead of a home makeover, God offers a heart makeover, calling each and every one of us to be the child of God we were created to be. It is a change that is guaranteed to stay in style for an eternity. 

shining face of God

Wednesday February 18th,  2 Corinthians 4:  5 Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we're proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. 6 It started when God said, "Light up the darkness!" and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.  That’s it!  All those stories about how humanity interfaced with God, even if they didn’t do a very good job some of the time.  All those stories from the Hebrew scripture were trying to tell us something besides just the cool sounding miracles and battles and stuff.  They were trying to tell us that God is a God of love, and we are called to love God and to love one another.  When the light first came to earth, we were created for just that, love.  When I see the light in the face of Christ, I began to understand.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love you neighbor as yourself is why we were created.  It’s all in Jesus’ face.  Can you see it? Can you see the face of God? Can you see the face of your brothers and sisters? Can you see the face of your enemy?  If not, look again, if you still can’t, you might want to spend some time in the dark and quiet, letting your eyes, ears and heart recover from all the noise your life has been filled with and tune in once again to the love of God and then look.  Ahhhhhhhh! The shining face of God is everywhere!!!

Heaven is near

Thursday February 19th,  Mark 9:  2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Jesus crossed the reality of this world into the reality of the next.  Something new was taking place.  Something new was breaking into the world.  Something new that was already here and the people just didn’t see it.  We don’t see it today either, most of the time.  That feeling that things are going to be OK in the midst of tragedy, that tingle at the sign of the true beauty of creation, that feeling of closeness and love from another human being, they all let us know in one way or another that the newness of God’s love has touched our souls.  What we have to understand is that newness is only newness because we so seldom open ourselves up to that kind of love.  In reality it has been around since the creation of the world.  Here the chasm between God and humanity is crossed and after the flurry of the moment, Jesus brings that down the mountain into the often dusty and dirty streets of our world.  The Kingdom of Heaven is near.  If you are looking for Hallmark beauty and perfection, you probably missed it.  

find God anew

Friday February 20th, Mark 9:  5 Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." 6(He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) Peter just didn’t see the big picture.  One could say he had an edifice complex.  In his fear all he could fathom was a Kodak moment, to stay there and capture the essence of this glorious but transitional event.  In our fear, we too just want to stay put, we want the church to be what it was when we grew up and we want it just for ourselves and people like us, and we want the God of our youth, in that order.  What we don’t realize is that sometimes holding onto the image of the God of our youth can deny our youth the glory of finding the God of their youth.  Sentimentality and Fundamentalism feed on that fear.  We can’t really blame Peter, any of us, given the choice between sitting in the glory on the mountain top and working in the dirt down belos, would want to grab our hammer and saw and start building booths.  What God wanted was for Peter, James and John to take this essence of the nearness of the Kingdom down into the world and there bring about transformed lives rather than booths reminiscent of the past.  God asks the same of us, instead of focusing on the self and past memories of our experience of adoring God, focus on others and find God anew through their eyes.   

dusty streets,

Saturday February 21st, Mark 9: 7 Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!"  Truth and wisdom start with listening.  We can’t do that when we are talking.  We can’t do that when we are being entertained.  We can only do that when we enter into the presence of the living God and tune out everything else.  We can’t stay in that place, just as Peter, James and John could not stay on the mountain top.  But we must return to that place in our lives where we can connect with the transcendent and loving Christ in order to bring wholeness to our lives and the lives around us.  If the wholeness that comes from connecting with the living and loving God doesn’t include the dusty streets, your still not listening.  

2/05/2015

10w for February 8th, Restoration, NL.

The following is a 10 minute worship for February 8th, Restoration, 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, "The Healing Hand of Jesus" by the Jay Beech Band from the CD, "Everyone who is Thirsty, Come." Used with permission.  You may purchase this and other CD's by the musician Here. 

10w for February 8th, Feasting With Family, NL,

The following is a 10 minute worship for February 8th, Feasting With Family, 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 by Texting 10w to 22828.  The song for the day is "Everyone Who is Thirsty, Come," by the Jay Beech Band from the CD by the same name.  Used with permission.  You may purchase this and other CD's by the musician Here. 

2/02/2015

Poem based on 5th Sunday after Epiphany Mark 1:29-39



Into this world came the Christ
----Immanuel
casting out evil
--which had for so long dominated the very life
----of all who lived and breathed
in this perfect creation
--now soiled
----for too long
------for anyone to remember
He came
--casting out and making whole
--------again
--(help)
the people struggling to see
the other side
--of this existence
the other side
--into a world of what is
----from the beginning of time
Jesus came and healed
--(our eyes)
those who suffer
--what they need not suffer
that they may become
--that which they are
----and are called to be
As the hopeless encircled this power
------Christ
in hope
and felt the Power
--of God
----in
------that place
--------(see)
in their lives
--to far removed from the perfection of the universe
----to know
--(the glory)
------that it is once more
----------here
in this place
in this timeless moment
------within the limits of our lives
Here
With the sick and the poor and the despised and the lovely
Here
In a new way for all time
Changing the changeless lives
--(that is)
now

--(Christ)

Opening Litany based on Psalm 147


Worship Leader: Let us Praise the Lord for it is good to sing praises to the Lord our God.

Congregation: The Lord builds up the people of God and gathers those scattered by the deceit of their hearts and ways.

Worship Leader: The Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  The Lord creates the heavens and calls each star by name.  Great and wonderful is the Lord our God whose might and power have no limit.  The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.

Congregation:  Sing to the Lord with grateful praise and make music to the Lord our God.  For the Lord covers the sky with clouds and supplies the earth with rain.

Worship Leader: The Lord makes the grass to grow on the hills, food for the cattle who graze and beauty for the birds to fly over.

Congregation: The Lord does not take pleasure in the strength of the horse or warrior, but rather delights in those who live in the awe and love of the Lord.

Worship Leader: Praise the Lord all you people of God.  For the Lord is your refuge and strength.  The Lord brings peace and satisfies the people with good things.

Congregation: The Lord our God has set the world and all that is in it in motion.  At the word of the Lord, the earth responds.

Worship Leader: The word and ways of the Lord have been given to the people of God.

Congregation: Let us Praise the Lord for it is good to sing praises to the Lord our God.  


Lift your eyes

Sunday February 8th Isaiah 40: 26 Lift up your eyes and see. Who has made these stars? It is the One Who leads them out by number. He calls them all by name. Because of the greatness of His strength, and because He is strong in power, not one of them is missing. It is the Lord God who is the master hand behind all of creation. It is the Lord God who calls us all to come before the Lord and worship. We don’t all worship in the same way. We don’t all use the same name when we worship. Sometimes we are even silly enough to think that our way of understanding God and our way of worshiping God is right and everyone else, or at some of them, are wrong. That is like one of your children telling you that you must love some of your children and are not allowed to love some of your other children. God must just smile and wonder when we will all grow up and understand that God loves all the children of God. When we look at creation through our eyes, we see only that which surrounds our small limited view, and sometimes not even all of that.  When we look at creation through a God’s eye view, it is quite a different picture.  It is a picture of all of creation that God created and called good.  It is a picture of all people created in the image of God being called Good by the God who created them.  Our calling is to think globally or perhaps even cosmically, and act locally.  

Lifted up

Monday February 9th Isaiah 40: 31 But they who wait upon the Lord will get new strength. They will rise up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weak. The world tends to beat those on the bottom down.  The Lord lifts them up with wings like eagles. Where does the church stand?  When I support one group who find themselves rejected by a portion of society, I receive support from many who take the same view.  When I support all people who are rejected by a portion of society, I pretty much torque off everyone.  It is alright as a pastor to support gay rights in the eyes of some, but many of those who support you on gay rights don’t want you to support union rights, or abortion rights, or voting rights, or the right to assembly or the right to speak your mind no matter how offensive it may seem to some.  In God’s eyes, the lowly are lifted up.  That does not mean that they are not held responsible for their own prejudices and attitudes and behaviors, it simply means they are lifted up to be as responsible as anyone else.  For we all, ALL, fall short of the glory of God, but no one falls short of the grace of God.  So as Jesus put it to Peter, but you, who do You say I am, in your words, in your deeds, in the way you spend your money, in the people and projects you support, who do you say Jesus is?  When we are focused on that, we are less focused on the possible shortcomings of others.  

Messenger

Tuesday February 10th 1 Corinthians 9: I have become a servant of everyone so that I can bring them to Christ. The trouble you can run into with reading Paul is that you can get the superhero version of what it means to be a Christian. The Lord does not call us to be a servant to everyone. The result would be that we all wound end up doing nothing. You can relate to some people but not all people. Even Jesus only had 12 disciples. The more honest you are with yourself, the more you can relate to others. God is not after a superhero in the kingdom being a servant to all and saving the whole world. God is after an honest person who can be the messenger of God’s grace to others with whom you identify. View God’s grace globally, and act on God’s grace locally.  

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