Take time

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We all need down time. We have to have time to think, to just sit, to listen for God. God has told us that He speaks in silence. Time in silence, doing nothing, is not time wasted. It is time to “be.”

Take time to sit in a chair with your hands rested on the arms and let silence wash over you. We all need that.

Intimate God, you wait so patiently for us to acknowledge your presence. Help us to take the time to hear you. AMEN

Follow Jesus

No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments. ——————-Holy Bible 1 Timothy 5:23

See! The Bible tells us that it is ok to drink wine. I’m sure that Timothy means for us to do this in moderation. There are many things in the Bible that we can read as rules. Some think that drinking alcohol is wrong. If it is for them then they should abstain. The important thing to remember is that we can never be good enough to follow God on our own. Following rules will not work. It is not a bad thing to do but it will not save us. We are called to follow the path of Jesus the very best we can. We need to continue to try…always.

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Loving God, we can’t reach you by following rules. Help us to follow Jesus instead. AMEN

No Judging!

Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all. ————William Shakespeare

It is so easy for us to judge others. Gossip is usually some form of judgement. Often the things we are quickest to judge in others is the one we don’t see in ourselves. We have not walked in another person’s shoes. We don’t know the whole story. No judgement!

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Forgiving God, remind us that we too are often wrong and quick to judge. Help us to walk with compassion and love. AMEN

Go Down, Death (a poem/sermon)

After writing about death on my blog I decided to post the poem that I posted there. It is one of my favorites and I would love to go to God in this way. blog

Go Down, Death

James Weldon Johnson1871 – 1938

 (A Funeral Sermon)

Weep not, weep not,
She is not dead;
She’s resting in the bosom of Jesus.
Heart-broken husband--weep no more;
Grief-stricken son--weep no more;
Left-lonesome daughter --weep no more;
She only just gone home.

Day before yesterday morning,
God was looking down from his great, high heaven,
Looking down on all his children,
And his eye fell on Sister Caroline,
Tossing on her bed of pain.
And God’s big heart was touched with pity,
With the everlasting pity.

And God sat back on his throne,
And he commanded that tall, bright angel standing at his right hand:
Call me Death!
And that tall, bright angel cried in a voice
That broke like a clap of thunder:
Call Death!--Call Death!
And the echo sounded down the streets of heaven
Till it reached away back to that shadowy place,
Where Death waits with his pale, white horses.

And Death heard the summons,
And he leaped on his fastest horse,
Pale as a sheet in the moonlight.
Up the golden street Death galloped,
And the hooves of his horses struck fire from the gold,
But they didn’t make no sound.
Up Death rode to the Great White Throne,
And waited for God’s command.

And God said: Go down, Death, go down,
Go down to Savannah, Georgia,
Down in Yamacraw,
And find Sister Caroline.
She’s borne the burden and heat of the day,
She’s labored long in my vineyard,
And she’s tired--
She’s weary--
Go down, Death, and bring her to me.

And Death didn’t say a word,
But he loosed the reins on his pale, white horse,
And he clamped the spurs to his bloodless sides,
And out and down he rode,
Through heaven’s pearly gates,
Past suns and moons and stars;
on Death rode,
Leaving the lightning’s flash behind;
Straight down he came.

While we were watching round her bed,
She turned her eyes and looked away,
She saw what we couldn’t see;
She saw Old Death.  She saw Old Death
Coming like a falling star.
But Death didn’t frighten Sister Caroline;
He looked to her like a welcome friend.
And she whispered to us: I’m going home,
And she smiled and closed her eyes.

And Death took her up like a baby,
And she lay in his icy arms,
But she didn’t feel no chill.
And death began to ride again--
Up beyond the evening star,
Into the glittering light of glory,
On to the Great White Throne.
And there he laid Sister Caroline
On the loving breast of Jesus.

And Jesus took his own hand and wiped away her tears,
And he smoothed the furrows from her face,
And the angels sang a little song,
And Jesus rocked her in his arms,
And kept a-saying: Take your rest,
Take your rest.

Weep not--weep not,
She is not dead;
She’s resting in the bosom of Jesus.

From God’s Trombones by James Weldon Johnson. Copyright © 1927 The Viking Press, Inc., renewed 1955 by Grace Nail Johnson. Used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Books USA Inc.

Lord Jesus, let us find the faith to know you will be with us in our hour of death. AMEN

Can you see through “God Glasses?”

No miracle has ever taken place under conditions which science can accept.-—-Ernest Renen

I believe in miracles. I believe they can’t be explained. Science will try to find logical answers. Sometimes they find an explanation that suits them. I have mentioned before that Madeleine L’Engle says “a coincidence is a miracle in which God prefers to remain anonymous.” I tend to see God in the coincidences that occur in my life. I try to see life through “God Glasses.” I try to see the wonderful things that happen and trust that they are miracles. Can you?

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Amazing God, help us to see the miracles around us each day. AMEN 

Community

At its best, Christian community nourishes the alternative life of centering in God, and instill at passion for compassion and justice for the whole creation.———-Marcus Borg

To be the Christian we are called to be we need to be in community. We need others to share our “God moments” and to hear theirs. We need the support of the community when we are in crisis and should be ready to help when others face problems. If you have not found your community keep looking!

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Compassionate God, help us to find that place where we can nurture others and be nurtured. AMEN

Worship or fear

“What the mind doesn’t understand, it worships or fears.” ~Alice Walker

I stole this quote from another blogger. It is so true. We certainly can’t begin to understand God so it seems we have a choice. The Bible talks about both but when it tells us to fear God it usually means “awe” instead of fear. We certainly are called to worship him, praise him and give him thanks for the grace he has shown us. And yes, we should definitely be in awe of him.

awe

Awesome God, you are more than we can ever grasp. Help us to worship, praise and thank you. AMEN

Let go!

Luke 12:27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.

It is so easy to take worries on ourselves. We forget to turn it over to God and let it go. Or we may turn it over and keep picking it back up. Maybe, we think, we can handle it ourselves. Maybe we know better.

The truth is we are sometimes arrogant enough to want to hold on to the worry and not let it loose. God will take over if we let him.

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Gracious God, you must wonder why we insist in holding on to things that you can take and carry for us. Help us to turn lose and let God.

Life is limited

Death gives life its fullest reality. ——————Anthony Dalla Villa, Eulogy for Andy Warhol, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, April 1,1987

jumping kid on the field

Death reminds us that our time in this life is limited. Knowing that there is an end pulls us to live each day to the fullest. God created life and a universe around us. Don’t forget to stop, look, and appreciate each moment.

Amazing God, you created everything. Help us to see that every day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God First

Self is the only prison that can ever bind the soul. ——————Henry Van Dyke
It is easy to get lost in ourselves. We can’t help it. Self seems to be the only things we have. It is understandable that we put ourselves first. However, we are called to put God first. It is a difficult thing to do but we have to keep trying. I don’t know if we will ever achieve it until we are united with God but we have to try.
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God of the universe, keep reminding us that you come first. Help us to keep trying. AMEN