Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It is time yet...

Acts 1:6-8
So when they had come together, they asked him,
“Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Lord Jesus,
is it time yet?
Your disciples remind me of
when I was a little child.
Asking about tomorrow,
dreaming of the future:
is it time yet?

Their question is practical and heart felt.
Didn't you promise through the prophets
the Kingdom of Israel would be rebuilt, restored, and glorious?
They are under the occupation forces of Rome.
Even today the Holy Land continues
to be a conflicted territory
as various groups claim rights to the land
as if we have all forgotten
what scripture teaches...

At least 3 times the Bible states:
"The earth is the LORD's,
and everything in it, the world,
and all who live in it" (see Ps 24, Deut 10:14, I Corin 10:26)

Is it time yet?
And you say to us, "It is not for you to know..."
What are we to know then?
"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,
and you will be my witnesses..."

Lord Jesus,
Today I will need your power.
Come Holy Spirit.
Help me be a bold witness
to your presence in my life.
Come Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Do not be afraid!

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

(The following prayer is not my writing, 
but it is a prayer that I needed today!)

you know that
I need to hear you
say this over and over
during my day.
For, as I have told
you many times,
I am often afraid.

I am afraid in so many ways--
of failure, of illness,
of looking foolish
in front of others,
of others who wish me harm,
of losing my security,
my job, my loved ones,
my stuff, my life.

I know I shouldn't be afraid,
but, Jesus, look around!
"Do not be afraid."
How often I hear
those words coming to me
from the pages of Scripture.

And yet as I hear
your words today,
I hear them not just
as words of comfort.
I hear a command:

And I realize that
if I am truly
to be your disciple,
I must have faith
that you have truly
conquered sin and death,
and that only fear
stands between me
and the life you offer me.

Jesus, may your Spirit
give me courage
as I move through the fear
of dying to myself and
rising to new life in you.
Plant the peace you
give me deep in my heart,
so that it will remind me always
that you will never let me go.


(prayer from www.livingwithchrist.us)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Another Advocate

John 14:15-16
If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. 

I do love you.
Each day I awake part of your new creation.
I rise to follow you seeking
to do your will
to keep your commandments:
Loving God, loving others, loving one another.

Forgive me
when my following and seeking and loving
are halfhearted.

Thank you for the gift
of your Advocate, your Holy Spirit,
a much needed reminder of your love,
a constant companion of your presence,
a encourager in doubt,
a challenger in complacency,
a comfort in pain,
a wise counsel in deciding,
a voice of calling in discipleship.

Lord Jesus,
today I will need your Advocate.
Today I will need to be an advocate for another.
Empower me to be a sign of your presence at work for good.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

In order that...

I Peter 2:9-10
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people,
in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts
of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.

O Choosing One,
the stories of your choosing are surprising:
you choose:

Abraham and Sarah way too old
to give birth to your child of promise & laughter, Isaac
Moses, a fugitive with a fear of public speaking
to set your people free from Pharaoh & slavery
Ruth, a foreigner, an outsider, and yet
a model of committed faithfulness
Mary, an unwed young woman
to give birth and mother the Son of God
Saul, an educated pharasee and killer of people of The Way
to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to gentiles and all who would listen

and you choose me
with my weaknesses, sins, fears, needs...
to proclaim your mighty acts -- your love for the WHOLE world.

But that makes sense
because if you can use them,
if you can use me,
then YOUR love and grace can be trusted.

For once I was a nobody,
now I am a Child of God;
once I had not received mercy,
but now I have been given mercy to share with others!

O Choosing One,
today I choose to live up to who you call me to be:
one among the chosen,
one among the royal,
one among the priesthood of all believers,
one among the Kingdom of God
one among God's own people.
I am a Child of God!
And I will live that way.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

That where I am...

John 14:3

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 

Thank you for going ahead of us
Preparing the way
Preparing a place

It is humbling to know
that the goal of your preparations
the reason for all of your hard work
is so that we can be with you.

You are a "with-you" kind of God.
Lo, I am with you always. (Matthew 28)
He shall be called, Emmanuel, which means God with us. (Luke 2 & Isaiah)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1)

All your preparations remind me
of the work that goes into getting ready
to host someone at my home...
I work to make them feel
welcome, at ease, cared for and cared about...
You do the same for me, for us, every day.

Thank you.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Behold and see!

Acts 7:55-56

But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 'Look,' he said, 'I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!' 

I've never had a vision,
Day dreams perhaps,
But never a vision like Stephen's
a vision of the Risen Christ at the right hand of God.

I have a hard enough time
Seeing my own life clearly
Blurred by pride and fear, ego and ambition

Give me new eyes to see.
By the power of the Holy Spirit,
Give me the corrective lense of Scripture
That I may see the world as you see it.

Grant that I may see the Risen Christ
As the faithful worship together
And in the face of adversity, even persecution,
May I like Stephen proclaim with boldness
The Son of God!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Acts 2:42
"They devoted themselves
to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship,
to the breaking of bread and the prayers."
what am I devoted to?
If someone looked at my daily life,
what would they say I devoted myself to?
Gmail, Facebook,
conversations with people, time at my desk,
my phone, food!

the early church committed itself to four key acts:
1) the apostles' teaching --
telling the stories of faith,
studying and learning and sharing
who God is and who we are as the children of God,

2) fellowship --
yes, having fun together, but more than that
being the family of God,
caring for and praying for and loving each other
the needs of one became the needs of all,
the burdens of one were shouldered by all.
They shared ALL things in common ...
their worries, fears, joys, prayers, loves, needs, resources, help, food...
all shared together in koinonia fellowship

3) breaking of the bread --
sharing a meal -- daily bread
sharing THE meal -- Eucharist, the bread of life
table fellowship, eating together, and all that comes with a meal
hospitality, sharing, serving, thanking, praising, nourishing, telling stories...
it all happens at the table
fed on grace, forgiven and reconciled,
a foretaste of the heavenly banquet to come,

4) prayers --
They prayed with and for one another.
They worshiped together:
praise, confession, lament, thanksgiving, calling, sending, giving, asking, receiving.
They prayed THE prayer.
Joining with all the saints and with Jesus himself praying:
Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be Thy name...

Today may I be devoted to you
in all I say and do.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The God on whom I set my faith and hope

I Peter 1:21
Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.

Lord Jesus,
because of the love and faith stories
of those who have gone before me
and the faithful who stand beside me,
I have come to know you
and to trust the God who sent you.

Your faith in God lived out among us
teaches me to put my faith in God as well.
But it was your resurrection from the dead,
your Easter triumph, your new life, your transformed life
given you by the power of God Almighty
that teaches me to put my hope in that same God --

the God of Abraham and Sarah,
the God of Ruth and Job,
the God of Samuel and Jael,
the God of Esther and Jeremiah,
the God of Mary and Joseph,
the God of Anna and Simeon,
the God of Mary Magdalene and Peter,
the God of Paul and Lydia,
the God of Agnes and J D,
the God of Ruth and Bob,
the God of Glenda and Charles,
the God of Hobbie and Ramsey,
the God of Brueggemann and Cousar,
the God of Griffith and Mendenhall,
the God of McLeod and Rhoad,
the God of Baldridge and Peggy,
the God of FPC and EPC,
the God of Alle and Charles --

the same God on whom
the saints of past and present
set their trust and hope.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. -- Hebrews 12:1-2