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Showing posts from June, 2015

Prayer Book - Psalm 22

My God, my God, why have You turned Your back on me?
Your ears are deaf to my groans.
O my God, I cry all day and You are silent;
my tears in the night bring no relief. Still, You are holy;
You make Your home on the praises of Israel.
Our mothers and fathers trusted in You;
they trusted, and You rescued them.
They cried out to You for help and were spared;
they trusted in You and were vindicated. But I am a worm and not a human being,
a disgrace and an object of scorn.
Everyone who sees me laughs at me
They whisper to one another I’m a loser; they sneer and mock me, saying,
“He relies on the Eternal; let the Eternal rescue him
and keep him safe because He is happy with him.” But You are the One who granted me life;
You endowed me with trust as I nursed at my mother’s breast.
I was dedicated to You at birth;
You’ve been my God from my mother’s womb.
Stay close to me—
trouble is at my door;
no one else can help me.

Prayer Book - Psalm 16

Keep me safe, O mighty God, I run for dear life to you, my Safe Place.

So I say to the Lord God, You are my Maker, my Mediator, and my Master.  You don't need my "goodness," for I have none apart from you.

And he said to me, "My holy lovers are wonderful, my majestic ones, my glorious ones, fulfilling all my desires."

Yet, there are those who yield to their weakness, and they will have troubles and sorrows unending.  I will never gather with such ones, nor give them honor in any way.

Lord, I have chosen you alone as my inheritance.  You are my prize, my pleasure, and my portion.  I leave my destiny and its timing in your hands.

Your pleasant path leads me to pleasant places.  I'm overwhelmed by the privileges that come from following you, for you have given me the best!

The way you counsel and correct me makes me praise you more; for your whispers in the night give me wisdom, showing me what to do next.

Because you are close to me and always available, my …

Unless You Turn and Become Like Children

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

“Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it…

Unless You Eat The Flesh of The Son of Man and Drink His Blood

So Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. Anyone who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day, because My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood lives in Me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the manna your fathers ate—and they died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.”
-John 6:53-58
This is the original "hard saying" of Jesus.(1)  After saying this, some disciples remarked that this was a hard teaching, and, "many of his disciples turned back and no longer accompanied (followed) him."(vs. 66)  
Today, this saying is still a hard saying, because it is either hard to understand or is something we do…

Unless The Lord Builds The House

Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain...

Sons are indeed a heritage from the LORD, children, a reward.
-Psalm 127:1a, 3

This psalm is a word of wisdom about God's sovereignty and a warning against self-sufficiency.(1)  It is interesting that the word builders in verse 1 is a pun (2) on the word Sons (Children) in verse 3.  The house is a metaphor for family.  The parents are the builders and they build their children.

"Unless the Lord builds the house", says that it simply is not going to turn out well, unless God is involved in your life.  There are only two paths in life; the Lord's path, and the other path.  It is a deception to think there are a variety of paths.  As Jesus said, there's the narrow way and the wide way (Matt. 7:13).

"Unless the Lord builds the house", is a reminder that the "One thing" that is important, is to dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 27:4).  Our whole lives are about building wi…

Unless Your Righteousness

For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
-Matthew 5:20
The righteousness of the Christian is imputed by God, in Christ.  His righteousness gives us the ability to be faithful, to be good, and to be abundantly more righteous than any religious people who haven't been regenerated or born from above.  And Jesus is not saying that we will be more legalistic or observant of the laws than they are, but have his righteousness and life; obeying his commands, enabled by him.
Jesus does not make righteousness easier or make living a holy life obsolete, but makes it harder and says that his followers will be more righteous than the most religious, law-keeping people.  This word was shocking because the scribes and the Pharisees were seen as 'paragons' of righteousness.

Who were the scribes and Pharisees?  The scribes were professional students and teachers of the law.  The Pharisees were membe…

Sky Links 6-11-15

And they were all together in one place...
-Acts 2:1

A Church For All Ages

Do you dream of a church where all ages are present?  I do.  J.R. Miller wrote some ideas about what his church has done to make this workable.  His church formulated, through a consensus of the adults, a list of expectations:

 Adults need to "Put on love" so we don't 'porcupine' each other!  But what about the kids?  J.R. Miller wrote a
This list of expectations would be like a fence around a playground; it would keep our kids feeling safe, yet not restricted. The list of expectations would be like a guardrail along a cliff; it would provide security without unnecessary restriction. So here is what we did. The adults sat down during one of our gatherings and each of us listed behaviors we felt acceptable or unacceptable. This was a great opportunity for us, as parents, to build trust in one another to be responsible for holding all the kids accountable to our shared expectations. J.R. …