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Faith isn’t stagnant

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Author of Life, speak so that we can hear. Illuminate so that we can see that “our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in spring time” (Martin Luther). “Bring clarity to replace our confusion. Reveal possibilities to replace our pessimism” (Pr. James Phillips). Resurrect us from the graveyard of no expectations and the status quo. Instead, raise our expectations of ourselves, of each other and of this faith community so that we can share in the movement of the Holy Spirit, here on earth, as it is in heaven.

“When there is a mighty movement of God, no one can stop it” (Pr. James Phillips) and we need not fear, for “nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the Love of God” (Romans 8:39). Faith isn’t stagnant. Faith moves. And as we move forward together, with God and with each other, let us seek Love. Let us seek Grace. Let us seek God in every divine expression.

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2016 in Conversations with God

 

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Don’t let us forget

 

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God of comfort, envelop us in Your truth. Stop us from pointing fingers and remind us that we are unified by our humanity.   Lead our hearts into Your presence. Forgive us when we forget You and each other. Instead, create a community of grace and action. Send us out there, outside of what is familiar, to the places that need grace the most, so that we can be part of building Your kingdom here in this place and in our hearts.

“When something bad happens, we have three choices: we let it define us, we let it destroy us, or we let it strengthen us,” (Frank Langela).   Strengthen us, O Lord, to see and hear the needs of Your people. So many lives that we need to see, remember and honor. Don’t let us ever forget.   Don’t let us forget.

 

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2016 in Conversations with God

 

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2 Corinthians 5.17

Guide us now, oh Great Redeemer, to a place of community with You and with each other. Engage us with a needy world, so that when we see each other, we see God in every expression. Equip us with the understanding that, “it doesn’t matter if we’re right, it matters if we are in relationship” (Pastor Leila Ortiz) with each other and with our Creator. Give us the strength to let go and let God, so that we can invite those who are thirsty and hungry for more than what this world can offer.

Other’s might laugh and gossip, but God knows and walks with each and everyone us. So let’s walk with each other, not against each other, and let’s do what God does; care about those that the world does not.

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2016 in Conversations with God

 

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A Brief Introduction to Law & Gospel

Lutheran Theology: An Online Journal

By Dr Hans Wiersma

There are some interesting words at the beginning of John’s Gospel—words that appear to drive a wedge between Moses and Jesus.  The words go like this:  “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17 NIV).  These words are noteworthy because of the implied converse:  Grace and truth do not come through Moses; the law was not given through Jesus Christ.  Distinctions like this one—telling the difference between Law and Grace—are the hallmark of the Lutheran understanding of, well, just about everything.

In 1525, Martin Luther preached a sermon about two different and distinct sermons.  At the beginning of his sermon, Luther explained how, in the Bible, God preaches only two public sermons—two sermons that all of the people can hear.  According to Luther, God’s first public sermon was on Mt. Sinai, when the people heard God give Moses…

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Posted by on September 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Let us be the Church

Creator God, rebuild every good thing that has been destroyed. Teacher, call to us and draw us into Your story. Make us active players in Your narrative and in this community. Clear our eyes to see those who are not safe. Tear down the walls so that we can reach out to those living in the margins. Unbind us from fear so that we can be Your hands and feet. Meet us where our condemnation and our limitations collapse.  Meet us.

You invited us to Your table by taking the lowest place in ours. You humbled Yourself and gave Your life so that we could live. Give us the courage to receive the Holy Gospel and make us alive. Begin the healing now so that we can be the Church that invites all and sees all. Let us not leave this place as we came, but with changed hearts and minds that have seen and experienced the risen Lord. Let us be the Church again. Let us be the Church.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2016 in Conversations with God, Reblog

 

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We came as sinners but leave as saints

We came as sinners

Merciful Creator, “You are the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 22:13.) You are the only constant in the continuum of life. Connect us to You, to each other, to all times, to all places and to Your greater plan. Disengage us from the world, and silence the noise of the many and tune our ears to the voice of the One. The One who runs to His prodigal children who were lost but now are found.

We’ve carried too much, and we come to this house to lay down our burdens. It is time to leave the anger, leave the pain, leave the sadness and leave the fear at the foot of the cross so that we can find God in the spaces and moments in between life’s first cry and final breath. We came here today as sinners but we leave here as saints, redeemed by God, moving ever forward into the story of love, forgiveness, hope and grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2016 in Conversations with God

 

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The completion of love is the end of fear

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Beautiful and loving God, we cast our gaze towards You as we bring our own sacrifice and praise into the house of the Lord.   Once lost, now we are found for “Where can we go from Your spirit? Or where can we flee from Your presence? If we take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead us, and Your right hand shall hold us fast” (Psalm 139: 7, 9-10 NRSV). Teach us all things about You. Unfold Your revelations and bind us to Your word so that we can be a blessing to all who know us and to those who don’t.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10) but it is not the end, because the completion of love is the end of fear. Yes, it is a scary world but because of God’s love we will not fear, we will not falter, and we will not accept the darkness of the world. We will move forward in light and truth because God is never anywhere other than with us. “And even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4), God is always with us.

 

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2016 in Conversations with God

 

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Change the trajectory of a chaotic world

Micah 6.8

Author of life, You spoke everything into creation, speak now into the realities and situations that are weighing heavily on our hearts.   Make this a safe place. Make our hearts and minds a safe place. Make us feel something that will change the trajectory of a chaotic world. Show us how to serve Your kingdom and not our own, by cutting through the boundaries that we have created so that we can, “seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8).

“God’s story goes from crucifixion to resurrection. We bear witness to this truth when we seek to end suffering. We cannot live out the gospel or the way of the cross, if we allow people to go from crucifixion to crucifixion. We must move from death to life. Not death to more death…The weight of the sin of the world is exposed when our self interest makes us totally unaware of the needs of the other” (Pastor Melissa Greene, Gracepointe Church). Make us aware. Make us aware today and everyday of the work that still needs to be done.

 

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2016 in Conversations with God

 

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Unite us in the solution of the Gospel

Great Defender, we come here for sanctuary because “where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17) and no one is excluded from the grace of God. We’re here because we can’t see what You see, we can’t hear what You hear and we can’t feel what You feel. Open up the depths of our humanity to the awareness of Your compassion. Stop us from pointing fingers. Unite us in the solution of the Gospel of God’s love which “does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (and it) never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:6-8).

We have a lot of work to do. Lord, show us today how we can repair the wounds that divide us. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all” (Galatians 6:9-10) so that it shall be on earth as it is in heaven, just as the Father has always intended it to be.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2016 in Conversations with God

 

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Speak to our fears

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Almighty God, we come to You because we need shelter. We come to You because we’re wrestling with divisions that bring chaos and not community.  We need to unlearn so many things because there is something wrong with saying words of grace and doing nothing. “Tune our ear(s) to wisdom and apply our hearts to understanding” (Proverbs 2:2) because we need to listen to the Word of God through the cries of the forgotten. Bring us back to being part of the change that needs to happen. Bring us back to being beacons of light in the darkness. Bring us back to You.

We cannot un-see what we have already seen. This past week forces us to see the work that is far from over. You tell us that, “if Your people, who are called by Your name, will humble themselves and pray and seek Your face and turn from their wicked ways, then You will hear from heaven, and You will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Heal our land. Heal our hearts so that justice will flow. Speak to our fears, our frustrations and our anger so that we can stand firm on Your Word when the enemy is scattered. Deliver us from evil for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen

 

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2016 in Conversations with God

 

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