Two simple (not simple or rules) rules

God always required something deeper than religious legalism.—-Eric Metaxas in Bonhoeffer.

In Christianity we have many different denominations. I grew up in several of them. I was expected to learn about each and understand what I had to do to be a part of the belief. As a youth I saw them as the rules of belonging. Unfortunately, it seemed to me that many of these tenets were created to keep the lines of a certain denomination clear….to set it apart from the others. This gave me difficulty.

As an adult, the rules I want to follow are not really rules but a way of life. The life that Jesus led and the one that he wants us to follow. He told us how..Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. …Love your neighbor as yourself. These are the only ones we must try our best to follow.

James-Robison-Quote-Jesus-has-given-you-the-power-to-live-as-He

Discerning God, help us to live as you would have us live..to follow your example in all that we do. AMEN

Gather

Where a people prays, there is the church, and where the church is, there is never loneliness.-————-Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Bonhoeffer, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

When we pray together God joins in. We call upon him and he hears. This joining of voices, prayers, intentions and cohesion is truly the church. When this happens we are definitely part of the whole…..complete. We are definitely not alone.

gather

Consuming God, you have promised that where two or more of us are gathered you are there. Help us to meet and join our prayers with those of others. AMEN

 

 

 

Can we be inclusive?

It is important to remember that if we take as our model of the church the hospitality extended to the stranger, it can in no way be a community of like-minded friends but must have at its very heart the inclusion of the others, the different.————Sallie McFague in Models of God.

Too often if someone appears at our church who is radically different from us we choose not to welcome them. We are called to do the opposite. Do we include those dressed poorly, someone obviously homeless or anyone else who doesn’t seem to fit?

inclusion

Inclusive God, we are your creation and we are all yours. Help us to remove our fears and welcome all to our worship. AMEN

Worship — God-Shaped Heart

This is a wonderful article. Please read.

“Many Spirit-filled authors have exhausted the thesaurus in order to describe God with the glory He deserves. His perfect holiness, by definition, assures us that our words can’t contain Him. Isn’t it a comfort to worship a God we cannot exaggerate?” ― Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God It is in the absolute acceptance […]

via Worship — God-Shaped Heart

God with us

God is not distant at the cross and God is not distant in the grief of the newly motherless at the hospital; but instead, God is there in the messy mascara-streaked middle of it, feeling as shitty as the rest of us. There simply is no knowable answer to the question of why there is suffering. But there is meaning….We want to go to God for answers but sometimes what we get is God’s presence. ——————–Nadia Bolz -Weber

God promises that he will be with us always and he will!

never leave you

Ever-present God, thank you being with us throughout our entire lives. AMEN

A radical?

Jesus, I found, bore little resemblance to the Mister Rogers figure I had met in Sunday school, and was remarkable unlike the person I had studied in Bible college. For one thing, he was far less tame. ————-Philip Yancey in “The Jesus I Never Knew”

Someone once said to my husband “Jesus was a conservative.” My husband replied “he was so conservative he got himself crucified.” I really don’t know the story of anyone less conservative than Jesus. He ate with tax collectors, touched women (taboo) and didn’t follow anyone’s rules. I am sure he wishes we could learn to be as open and loving as he was.

Are_We_Radical_Enough_0715_814664186

Radical Jesus, you followed only the image of God’s kingdom and want us to help bring it to fruition. Help us to see that. AMEN

Don’t forget to play!

Play is not an escape; it is the way to release the life-smothering grip of busyness, stress, and anxiety….(It is) a modern expression of hope, a celebration of the flickering light of the gospel that plays with the dark by pouncing on the surrounding darkness like a cat toying with a mouse.—————Michael Yaconelli in Dangerous Wonder

play

I love the image of the light of the gospel pouncing on the darkness like a cat. Play is important to our health as human beings and an expression of the joy that God has given us. Play is NOT wasted time. Be sure to find ways to be playful like that cat and enjoy it.

Unexpected God, you have gifted us with the ability to play and seek out joy. Remind us how important it is. AMEN

Can you understand God?

The the true master knows that if he had a God he could understand he would never hold him to be God-——from “The Gargoyle” by Andrew Davidson

God is way beyond my understanding. There are so many things that happen in the world that make no sense to me. Who would allow pain and suffering if they were in charge? However, I know that there is a God whose wisdom I cannot grasp and no matter how much I study I will never understand. God is infinite and beyond my imagining.

unknowable God

Amazing God, you created the world and all that is in it. Your wisdom is before me every day and I will never understand. You are God. I believe.

Live joy

Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
joy-of-the-lord
Have you met Christians who think that God expects us to be somber in all that we do. Oh no! God created a beautiful world and he expects us to see the joy in it. He does want us to share of our abundance so that others may also have good things. Don’t go around with a sad face and a gloomy disposition. This will make others think that is our way. Let them see joyful Christians who thank God always for his love and abundance.
Gracious Lord, you have given us so much. Let us show the joy that living in you brings us. AMEN