Opening Litany based on Psalm 46

Psalm 46

Worship Leader: It is God who is our refuge and strength and our ever-present help in times of trouble, therefore we will not live in fear.  For even though the earth may give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, even if the waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging, we will not fear. Our God is with us, our refuge and strength is ever-present with us. 

Congregation: In Revelation there is a river whose streams bring life and joy to the city of God, the holy dwelling place of the Most High. God is within this Holy City, this dwelling place of God with us, and she will not fall. 

Worship Leader: God brings help to us at the break of each new day and though nations may be in uproar and kingdoms may fall God is still with us and ruler of all. 

Congregation: The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.  Come one and all and see what the LORD has done in our lives and in the lives of all the people of the earth. 

Worship Leader: The Lord brings wars to an end.  The Lord breaks the bow and shatters the spear destroying all the instruments of war, and then says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Congregation: We will exalt the Lord our God among all the nations of the earth, for the LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our strength.

Worship Leader: Welcome to Worship at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church. 

Congregation: Where we are Inspired by God’s Love to Praise, Nurture and Serve and where we live out this calling when we  Gather to Grow through God’s Grace.

Poem based on Reformation Sunday John 8:31-36

It is not a matter of belonging
not a matter of doing
or doing better
Christ has come into this world
and saved us
and called us to be
the children of God
not to be saved
because we are
God has loved us
Christ has saved us
we are now called to run
and enjoy
and be
the children of God.
That’s Grace.

Poem based on Reformation Day John 8:31-36

The little child cried

Looking at the father
And the spilt milk
cried for fear that she had again offended
simply by being
and the fathers arms went around her
and held her
and loved her
loving not the spilt milk
but cleaning the mess
and drying the tears
in love
you are my child because of who you are
and who I am
and in trying not to spill the milk
you live out what my child is
and does
soar my child
soar with the freedom
that comes with knowing who you are
soar with the freedom
to spill milk
and know who you are
soar to the freedom of love
that together

we may soar

God’s grace

Sunday October 26th, Jeremiah 31: "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.  No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD ,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,"  As the children of God we all come before the Lord in the fullness of who we are and are loved by the fullness of who God is.  All people will know the Lord and God will be the God of all people, from the least to the greatest.  We may know the Lord by different names and in different ways, but as the children of God, deep in our hearts we all “know” the Lord.  Look around you today and celebrate all the wonderful and not so wonderful brothers and sisters you have in this world.  Celebrate the different faith traditions, not just different forms of Christianity, but all the different faith traditions that worship God by so many different names and ways, they too are your brothers and sisters in the spiritual journey called life.  Then pray for them.  Let’s admit that we still live in a world where people of faith still fight with and try to destroy other people of faith and that is not the will of a God who created all and called it good.  So today, pray for those of other faith traditions, especially Islam which is facing the scourge of ISIS and other fundamentalists ideologies, that the word of God’s grace may spread through them also.  


Monday October 27th, Jeremiah 31: "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."  We each come before the Lord with lots of baggage.  One of the biggest obstacles in our walk with the Lord is our inability or our unwillingness to see our garbage and therefore our unwillingness to accept forgiveness for the very thing that holds us down in life.  Sometimes that is because we don’t look deep enough.  Most often it is because we look with self-imposed blinders on.  For humans as well as business, self-regulation is just another name for not looking too deep.  What we lose in the process is the gift of the knowledge of our forgiveness.  We walk around weighted down with that bag of garbage slung over our shoulder saying, “what garbage?”  Our life is weighted down and we don’t even know it. But deep down we are aware of that bag of garbage, but just refuse to acknowledge it.  God loves us, and hates to see us suffer.  So bring your personal garbage to church, cast that sack over the communion rail and open your hearts to receive. This is the body of Christ, broken for you.  This is the blood of Christ shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this in remembrance of me….   Then dance down the aisle with your feet a little lighter and that weight off your shoulder, at least for now.   We’ll need to see you again next week.  

for all humanity

Tuesday October 28th, Romans 3: 21But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  Two uses for the law, one is to help create an orderly society where people can go about their lives for the most part, two, is to convict us of our culpability in the sins of this world and drive us to the cross where we find forgiveness.  It is at the cross where we find Christ and forgiveness.  It is at the cross where we look around, and there discover our brothers and sisters who we had thought were enemies.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus; it also comes through the faith of Jesus. It is a gift because even the ability to believe is a gift from God.  It is gift, pure gift, so leap for joy, rejoice, offer the gift to others, celebrate, pray and sing.  For the Lord has come and has brought the gift of grace, forgiveness, life and love for you and for all humanity.  

welcome to the light

Wednesday October 29th, Romans 3: There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  We sometimes lose our focus on the word “all” in that all have sinned and fallen short part.  There is a human tendency to point to the other when it comes to the concept of sin and at least on the surface think we have done our job.  If we do acknowledge our sinful part, at least in the back of our minds, we think that perhaps they have sinned just a bit more than we have.  In the realm of this world of self-help, we find that we are all quite capable of taking care of our own needs, and that at least temporally helps us feel better. We find that the surface at least is clean. That is until we step into the light.  In the light, all our attempts at rationalization, scapegoating, and other means of self-help salvation are seen for what they really are, simply a wipe of the surface without getting any deep cleaning done.  In the light of Christ however, not only can they be forgiven, but more importantly we can also be forgiven.  And what we need forgiveness for most is thinking that it is primarily the “they” in this world that need to be forgiven.  Christ has come, welcome to the light.  


Thursday October 30th, Romans 3:  27Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. 28For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.  Faith is a gift, pure gift.  Salvation is a gift, pure gift.  Seeing one another as brothers and sisters in Christ—priceless.  

free indeed.

Friday October 31st, John 8:  31 Jesus told the people who had faith in him, "If you keep on obeying what I have said, you truly are my disciples. 32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."    33 They answered, "We are Abraham's children! We have never been anyone's slaves. How can you say we will be set free?"  Hell is truth seen too late.  Hell is going through life hiding those bags of personal garbage in the closet hoping no one sees them.  In the process we are missing the opportunity of being free through the forgiveness that comes from Christ.  We all manufacture the ropes that bind us, the illusions that hold us down.  Most of the time what binds us is the tendency of keeping our head in the sand and not seeing the other in this world.  Some of the time our sin is looking around and not seeing what we don’t want to see, our participation in the systems of sin we have created in the world around us.  These forms of blindness all bind us to the garbage in life.  Christ calls us to bring the garbage to the altar and throw it over the communion rail and give it to God.  Then you will be free indeed.  

be free,

Saturday November 1st, John 8: 34 Jesus replied: I tell you for certain that anyone who sins is a slave of sin! 35 And slaves don't stay in the family forever, though the Son will always remain in the family. 36 If the Son gives you freedom, you are free!  Hanging onto the law, we all fall short.  Putting our trust in grace, we all have the freedom to live as a child of God.  Judging others is a way of invoking the law on the “them” of the world while not even seeing the judgment it pronounces upon ourselves.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus used the words, you have heard it said of old, but I tell you……  He then would proceed to radicalize the law, to point out how futile it is to claim the law as the basis of your salvation.  Those who live by the law, live by deceit and the ones most deceived are themselves.  So turn to Christ and be free, and then you will be free indeed.  


David & Bathsheba

David and Bathsheba from Dan Bollerud on Vimeo.

10w for October 19th, Paying Taxes.

The following is a 10 minute worship for October 19th, Paying Taxes. 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. The song of the week is “Hearts full of Gratitude" by Bryan Sirchio from the CD "Something Beautiful for God"  http://www.sirchio.com/index.php?page=cds&viewas=list

10w for October 19th, David & Bathsheba, NL.

The following is a 10 minute worship for October 19th, David & Bathsheba, 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. The song of the week is “Healer of my soul" by John Michael Talbot from the CD "The Ultimate Collection"  http://johnmichaeltalbot.com/complete-discography


Poem based on Matthew 22:15-22

What is this

In God we trust? Stuff
As if
We really trust in god
My party yes
The army yes
As long as they don’t question me
The people, yes
As long as they vote the right way
In god
We trust
The next thing we know
Will be asking us to love
Loving God I understand
Getting all gushy inside
Letting the high waft over me during worship
Getting excited as hating the sin
And loving the sinner
Under the condition of the sinner giving up
Sinful ways
And seeing the world as I do
Because I am Right
But loving others as ourselves
That only work when they
The perfect example of god’s perfection
By my standards
In this world
In God we trust?
Only on the coin my friend
Only on the coin
Forget it man
No way
I mean
That would mean change
Not just who is in charge
But how we do things
We would be forced to face
No way will that work
No way will in God we trust work
In this world
In What god do we trust?
Self preservation?
What god do we trust in?
Give me the coin
I see
In God we trust
We are asked to
Set the priorities
In our life
Set the priorities
That will guide us
And live
In God
In that God we claim to trust

Opening Litany based on Psalm 96:1-13


Pastor: Sing to the LORD a new song; let all the people of the earth sing a new song unto the Lord. 

Congregation: We will sing praises to the Lord and proclaim the salvation of the Lord all our days.  We will proclaim the glory of the Lord to all the nations and the Lord’s marvelous deeds to all peoples. 

Pastor: For the Lord is great and worthy of praise above all gods.

Congregation: Our idols in this world are only that, just idols, but the Lord God created the heavens and the earth.  Splendor, Majesty and Glory surround the presence of the Lord. 

Pastor: Let all the peoples in all the nations of the earth ascribe to the Lord the glory and honor due the name of the Lord of all creation. 

Congregation: We will worship the Lord with praise and say to all people, “The Lord Reigns” For the justice of the Lord will be established over all the earth. 

Pastor: Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad, let the sea resound and all that is in it.  Let the fields be jubilant and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

Congregation: Let all creation rejoice before the Lord who comes to judge the earth and all people with righteousness and loving kindness.  

Ruthie Joy

Sunday October 16th, Psalm 96: 1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.  2 Sing to the LORD, praise the Lord’s name; proclaim the Lord’s salvation day after day.  3 Declare the Lord’s glory among the nations, and the marvelous deeds among all peoples. Do you go through the day singing or at least humming to yourself?  I do and it drives my wife nuts.  I don’t actually sing or hum, which might be part of the problem, I sort of breathe the melody, forming different notes in my head, and making an annoying sound in hers.  Once she knows I am singing and not having a heart attack, she is better with it, and I can go on in my joy.  It is sort of like a meditation; a mindful presence; letting the words, the sounds, the thoughts, and the being, swirl around in my head in prayer.  Sing to the Lord a new song, an old song, any song that tells of the wonders of the Lord.  And spend your day, living in prayer and mindful presences with your God.  It is not a matter that God is not always with you, quite the opposite, but music in your head is sort of like reaching up and taking God’s hand as you walk through the parking lot of life and experience the Joy of being connected.  For a little musical version of this try the following by Ruthie Foster.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl3xuJ0DWQY&feature=related

learn to live

Monday October 17th, Isaiah 45:  1-7 God's Message to his anointed, to Cyrus, whom he took by the hand To give the task of taming the nations, of terrifying their kings— He gave him free rein, no restrictions: "I'll go ahead of you, clearing and paving the road. I'll break down bronze city gates, smash padlocks, kick down barred entrances. I'll lead you to buried treasures, secret caches of valuables— Confirmations that it is, in fact, I, God, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. Cyrus was not a man of God, Cyrus was an opportunists.  God however used Cyrus and led him to bring freedom to the Israelites held in captivity in Babylon.  Whether you believe in God or not, God is in charge, even of you.  God’s plan will prevail in the world and in your life, end of story.  There are failings and wonderings in our lives for sure, but ultimately God is in charge and even the nastiest dirtiest rotten thing that can happen is not beyond God working with you to turn to the good.  Many of the psalms and praises about a coming savior in the Old Testament are not about Jesus, they are about Cyrus and were later reinterpreted to be about Jesus.  So if God can use Cyrus, and if so much of the Old Testament praise is heaped on Cyrus, why do we have such trouble honoring those who, by our standards are outside our understanding of the faith, for their faith?  Perhaps it is because in the back of our minds, we might just think we are still in charge.  Ha!! Fat chance!!!  God is in charge!  Our job is to learn to live with that and celebrate it.  When we do, we get a glimpse of Heaven.   

what would others say

Tuesday October 18th, 1 Thessalonians 1: 7 You became an example for all the Lord's followers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 And because of you, the Lord's message has spread everywhere in those regions. Now the news of your faith in God is known all over the world, and we don't have to say a thing about it. I wonder if they became an example because of what they thought, what their theology was, what they said, or what they did?  Given those choices, my money would be on what they did.  After all we say and do it is what we do that is read by most people.  Being a child of god is about changed lives, not changed thoughts or changed theologies.  And changed lives are what others see.  It is the deeds that people read.  In reading your life, what would others say about you or about your church?  What would cause someone to say about your church, because of you, the Lord’s message has spread and God is known all over the world?  What is stopping you from being that change?

the big “G.”

Wednesday October 19th, 1 Thessalonians 1: 9 Everyone is talking about how you welcomed us and how you turned away from idols to serve the true and living God. Most of us want our idols and our gods (small “g”) in this world.  The only trouble is that if we have our idols, all we have is our gods, not our God.  God is about changed lives, gods (small “g”) are about small lives that remain unchanged and a world that remains unchanged around them.  So welcome others and in doing so, help them and you turn away from idols and little “g’s” into the changed lives of the big “G.” 

willing to share it

Thursday October 20th, Matthew 22: 15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion?  Strange bedfellows!! The Herodians were the supporters of the Roman occupation and were in favor of paying the tax, the Pharisees were popular with the people because the resisted paying the tax.  Strange bedfellows and opposites united for a common purpose, to keep up the fight and get rid of the rabble rousing new guy.  It is unclear who does the talking, but it also matters little, they are both trying to butter Jesus up for the kill.  Jesus is a threat to both their power bases.  Their questions remind me of the political discourse where someone is asked a question and gives an unrelated political spin as an answer.  Jesus, and the Kingdom of God offends both sides, just as the church should be willing to offend both sides of the political spectrum in today’s world.  What is your opinion as a child of God?  Are you willing to share it?

what de Bible

Friday October 21st, Matthew 22: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"  18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?  Take one hot button issue, add two opposite parties and one question, and you have potential trouble. Jesus responds with trouble of his own by naming what is happening, letting a little Gospel light shine on the dark and murky intrigue.  How often do we try to trap Jesus by claiming him for one side or the other in a hot button debate?  Jim Wallis has a book and a blog (http://blog.beliefnet.com/godspolitics) “God’s Politics, how the right gets it wrong and the left doesn’t get it” where you can get a bumper sticker that says “God is neither a Republican or a Democrat.”  Bob Marley, the father of Ragee once said, "Me don' understand politics, me don' understand big words like "democratic socialism." What me say is what de Bible say, but because people don' read de Bible no more, dey tink me talk politics. Ha! It's the Bible what have it written and it strong, it powerful."  Perhaps we need to “name” what de Bible say a bit more in our lives and let its strong and powerful message ring out into a world enamored with hot button arguments.  For a little Bob Marley and the Bible try: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/davebulow/wow/artist_bob_marley.htm

In God We Trust

Saturday October 22nd, Matthew 22: 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"  21 "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." O my, how we hate to pay taxes.  But name me one politician who has actually cut taxes.  There have been politicians who have shifted taxes from the poor to the rich and from the rich to the poor, from local to national and from national to local, from government funded to private funded and from private funded to local funded, but no one has ever actually cut the cost of a civil society.  When you cut everyone’s taxes all you are doing is cutting services.  When you insist on tax cuts for the wealthy, it is so they will support your campaign for re-election and the poor pay the price in cut services.  So let’s finally cut the b.s. about cutting taxes and talk about what it cost to maintain a civil society.  Let us talk about a society where roads are built and maintained, where children are educated and to what degree that would be a benefit to society, where health is maintained and to what benefit to society and how, where military is maintained at what level and for what purpose and at what cost to society and why.  Let us have real conversations about real societal needs.  Our currency has the words on it, “In God We Trust.”  Until we get to that point, all the rhetoric is just b.s.


10w for October 12th, Blessed Journey, NL.

The following is a 10 minute worship for October 12th, Blessed Journey, 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. The song of the week is “Traveling Mercies" by Bryan Sirchio from CD "Something Beautiful for God" 

10w for October 12th, Banquet Time, P18.

The following is a 10 minute worship for October 12th, Banquet Time, P18. 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. The song of the week is “Let us Go to the House of the Lord"  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

You've gotta serve somebody

Joshua, gotta serve somebody from Dan Bollerud on Vimeo.


Poem based on Matthew 22:1-14 The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

This gift of life
So busy
I have to slop the hog
Walk the dog
Wash the car
And drive very far
So busy
With this life you have given me
I just don’t have time
To live it
There is church work to do
Have to bring others into
I don’t have time
But thank you very much
Some other time perhaps
But who are all these people sitting in my pew
And how did they get in
And the music is different
Pot luck food not the same
I don’t know why you made life so hard Lord
Too much to do
I have to get ahead if I am to enjoy
This gift
Of life

Opening Litany based on Psalm 23

Pastor: There are times when we seem almost blind to the blessings that surround us.  In the midst of our fear, our pain, our complacency, we either don’t see or don’t care about the 
Lord’s presence in our lives.  But then something happens, the scales fall from our eyes and 
we see what has been there all along. 

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. 

Pastor: 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. 

Pastor: 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.

Go into your world

Sunday October 12th, Psalm 23: You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths. I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won't be afraid. You are with me, and your shepherd's rod makes me feel safe.  There are times when life can be a bit scary.  For many, the current financial situation with the added threat of ISIS is one of those times.  It is no help that our media seems to be stoking the fires of fear, but usually for some ulterior motive.  In the midst of the fear and fear mongering, the Lord is with us.  We are not alone.  In the midst of the fear in our lives, whether fake or real, we are not alone.  Our Lord is with us.  In the midst of some of our screw ups in life, whether they be big or small, the Lord is with us.  In the midst of the good times and a life filled with glory, the Lord is with us.  In this famous psalm, we hear that in the midst of the deepest darkest of times in life, and in the midst of the greatest most glorious times in life, don’t be afraid, we are not alone, the Lord is with us.  God is with you and with me.  God’s people are with you and me.  Church is a place where it is ok to receive the blessings of God’s presence in life as well as a place to give, and be, an instrument of God’s presence and blessing in the lives of others.  It is in our giving and in our receiving that the Lord is with us.  Go into your world and live as if the Lord is with you this day.  

will bring us down

Monday October 13th, Isaiah 25: 3 Therefore strong peoples will honor you; cities of ruthless nations will revere you. 4 You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.  Both those nations who are friends and those nations who are enemies will be impressed and drawn into the act of caring at seeing a nation who cares for the poor and needy.  Funny how so few in politics get that simple concept.  The ongoing drive by the right to balance the budget on the backs of the poor while heaping more on the pile in their giveaways to the rich are a prime example.  When it comes right down to it, God is simply calling us to follow very simple rules of life, the ones most of us try to teach our children.  It really is kindergarten stuff, if you are nice, you will have friends, if you are mean, you won’t.  The U.S. military budget is slightly more than all the other military budgets in the world combined.  Now I am not saying that we should not supply and pay our military personal well, I think we should.  I also think that there needs to be some perspective, and placing this much emphasis on the stick over the carrot is not a good thing.  A heavenly balance in the other direction is what God calls us to.  Every great empire that has ever fallen in the history of the world has done so because they have overextend themselves militarily and/or shifted the wealth to a very small group at the top, both of which are the driving points of our conservative political party.  An no, Reagan did not bring down the Soviet Union, it was the Soviet Union that brought down the Soviet Union the same way our current policies and the policies of those who cry for increased power and wealth to the top 400 and the military, if left to continue, will bring us down.  If we don’t switch our priorities from sticks to carrots, our financial crisis will be the least of our worries.  

Syzygus, or Suzy, or Sally or Sam

Tuesday October 14th, Philippians 4:  1 My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don't waver. Stay on track, steady in God.  2 I urge Euodia and Syntyche to iron out their differences and make up. God doesn't want his children holding grudges.  3 And, oh, yes, Syzygus, since you're right there to help them work things out, do your best with them.  Paul is working in the congregation in Philippi .  As in so many congregations, there are conflicts and people are not happy.  Notice how it is not a matter of who is right and who is wrong, what is important is that they learn to get along even if they don’t agree, what a perfect bit of advice for a congregation.  What a perfect bit of advice for our nation.  What a perfect bit of advice for our families.  And, oh, yes, Syzygus, or Suzy, or Sally or Sam or George or whoever you happen to be, since you are right there, give them a hand at working things out.  That is the church’s job.  What I noticed was what was not said.  Paul is not asking Pastor so and so, fix it for them.  It is not a matter of the pastor being the body of Christ and fixing what is wrong, it is a matter of the congregation being the body of Christ and mediating, even if the mediation results in living with differences.  The goal is harmony within the body.  The righteousness of being right all to quickly turns into the damnation of self-righteousness in our lives, in our congregations, and in our nation.  

foot of the cross

Wednesday October 15th, Philippians 4:  6-7 Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Let those things that cause you pain and worry be transformed into prayer, unless of course all you want to do is complain and wallow in the worry. Facing the monster that threatens to tear your life apart is the first step in turning the monster into the gift of prayer. There are some however who are not after solutions, only the attention that comes from a pity party.  The next time someone comes to you will a whole list of ills, first ask about their prayer life, then pray for them and with them thanking God for the ills that have brought them to the foot of the cross from which all help comes.  

get in the way

Thursday October 16th, Matthew 22:  1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.  4 "Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.'  5 "But they paid no attention and went off.  It was not for want of an invitation, but rather the seeming importance of the everyday and the mundane in life that drew them aside.  I can’t make it to worship, I have to sleep in, go snow machining, spend time with the kids, go fishing, fix the car, work on the cabin, the kids have hockey, and on and on and on it goes.  Bottom line, the “I” is more important than the “thou”, the thou being God.  We live in a convenience society; there are forty different kinds of bread in the store and a hundred different kinds of candy.  We are used to choosing this or that.  Sometimes all those choices get in the way of what is important in life.  As long as time with God is only a choice among many, it will seldom be “the” choice.  The “I” in L”I”fe gets in the way.

Welcome to heaven

Friday October 17th, Matthew 22:  8 "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.' 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. This is the third story about the kingdom, the two sons, the tenants in the vineyard and now the wedding banquet.  Each deals with the kingdom for insiders and outsiders.  The insiders have become too complacent.  Worship is not about God but about them.  Sometimes we have the same problem in our congregations.  Is it the church? The people?  The culture?  In this parable, the king invites the good and the bad.  The kingdom is filled with good and bad.  Whether the story is about the mustard seed, the net with fish, yeast and bread, time after time Matthew insists that the kingdom stories are filled with good and bad.  The only ones left out are those who think they are too good to be in the same room with the ones they consider bad.  Welcome to heaven.  


Saturday October 18th, Matthew 22:  11 "But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless. 13 "Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14 "For many are invited, but few are chosen."  We are saved by grace and what a glorious gift that is.  It is the gift of God’s love working in our lives to bring about a better us in us.  Sometimes however, all we want is a free ride where we are still the center of the universe, and we get that free ride, just not where we want it to go.  Sometimes even grace calls for a response or at least an acknowledgement.  


10w for October 5th, Covenants and Commands, NL.

The following is a 10 minute worship for October 5th, Covenants and Commands, 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. The song of the week is “What do you want from me" by Andra Moran from the CD "Harmony Groove"  http://www.andramoran.com/store

10w for October 5th, Blessed to be a blessing, P17.

The following is a 10 minute worship for October 5th, Blessed to be a blessing, P17.  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. The song of the week is “God of the Harvest: by Dakota Road from the CD "Boundless Love"   http://www.dakotaroadmusic.com/index.php?p=catalog&parent=4&pg=1


Poem based on Matthew 21:33-46 The Parable of the Tenants

It has been a long time really
Since the beginning of time
We just need a bit more time
To fix things
make the right
the fruit is not cooperating
and we are not sure we like it anyway
we have some suggestions for improvement
what fruit to let in
and what to keep out
and then there is that big stone over there
it is in the way
we are trying to build a wall
keep others out
and after all this time
don’t you think it should be ours anyway
don’t you
and Jesus looked down from the cross
and said
Father, forgive them
For they know not what they do

Opening Litany based on Psalm 80:7-15

Pastor: Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

Congregation: You liberated your people from slavery in the land of the Pharaohs.  You gave them a great land and a great calling, just as you have given us a great land and a great calling.  You blessed them with abundance as you have blessed us with abundance.  

Pastor: Why then O Lord have you broken down the walls so that all who pass by may pick its grapes? Why O Lord do you let the wild things and insects ravage and feed upon the abundance you have blessed us with?

Congregation: Return to us, God Almighty! Look to us from your heavenly realm and watch over this blessing you have planted, the children of God you have called your own, and help us in turn return to You as the cornerstone of our lives. 

weeding and pruning

Sunday October 5th, Isaiah 5:  1 I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. 3 "Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. 4 What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? God created the world and called all that was created not just good, but very good.  God loves this world and has cared for it.  The world has not done so well by God however.  While God is waiting for the fruit of justice and caring for one another to mature within this world, it has returned mainly war and greed.  This creation has all that is needed to be called once again, very good.  What is needed however is for you and I, the worker tenants, to do a little weeding and pruning, starting with our own lives.  I was just in the store and while there could overhear all the conversations about the game this weekend.  War and unrest loom in the Mid-East.   What have we become?  How easily we are bought off with the shiny trinkets of entertainment and war.  My father used to refer to our national obsession of sports as stylized warfare so perhaps one could say that what we are really addicted to is war, in all its manifestations.  Is this the fruit we are called to produce?  Is this the world created by a loving God and called Good? Is this the limit of your calling?

Farmers know

Monday October 6th, Isaiah 5:  5 Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. 6 I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it." 7 The vineyard of the LORD Almighty is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are the garden of his delight. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.  Sometimes, the best one can do for one’s children is to let them go on their own and experience the fruitlessness of a non-connected life. It is painful to watch, often times because it reminds us of our own experiences.  Fredrick Buechner points out in Wishful Thinking, that Christians aren’t any better than anyone else, they just have some half-baked idea who to thank, and what a difference knowing who to thank and going about thanking them makes.  Buddhists would call it mindful presence.  Farmers know that sometimes just letting a field rest for a while is the best thing you can do for it if you want long term production.  But as a parent, which I imagine as similar to God in this situation, it is tough thing to watch, and hoping someday they will find their way and stop hurting is a long and often painful process.

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