Simple things

Find joy in the simple things. That’s all love needs to thrive on. From the TV series Call the Midwife

simple things

 Our society has brainwashed us to think that happiness comes from things. The things we can buy. The truth is that happiness comes from inside us. It is almost as if it is hidden away to make us uncover its secret. Most joy comes from things we can’t buy. Love, the smell of a flower, the stars on a beautiful night, the sound of the ocean. These are the things that fill our soul and turn us toward true joy.

Prayer: Help us to see the things that are real.

 

A Quiet Day

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.1 John 2:2

A quiet day. Jesus is in the tomb. It is all over. His body was taken down and wrapped for burial. On this day he is gone. Take time on Holy Saturday to pause and think about what sort of day it was for the disciples.

Prayer: “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom.” Taize

 

Hope

“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”
– Carl Sandburg

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The world seems to be getting worse and worse. I don’t know if it really is more evil or just that we learn about it so much quicker. Sometimes it is hard to believe that there is any hope for mankind. Yet good things still happen and babies are born. I guess God hasn’t given up on us yet.

 

Prayer: Thank you loving God for continuing to give us a chance. We just don’t seem to learn. Forgive us our sins. Amen

 

Use what you have

Your talent is Gods gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.              Leo Buscaglia

talents


Some people have obvious talents. They can sing or write books or act in plays. Most of us don’t even realize we have talents. The things we can do seem so ordinary. Who would care if I could teach a class …so many others can too…or compute someone’s taxes or paint their house for them? I’m just an average Joe. But God cares. No matter if you think you can’t do anything for his glory he knows that you can. Every skill can be used for the glory of God.

Prayer: Lord, help is to see and use the things we can do for the glory of God. AMEN

 

Music touches the soul

There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is.       William P. Merrill

Inspiring-beautiful-music-quote1

To me, music is not like prayer, it is prayer. I can sit in the church and listen to the music and be pulled out of myself. Attending a service where everyone sings out in praise can touch my soul. I can be moved to tears by a beautiful hymn. I thank God that he has gifted us with music.

Prayer: Thank you God for the beautiful music. May we continue to be touched by it and drawn closer to you. Amen

 

Don’t CHOOSE to sin


When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out.                                                  Frank Sinatra

Get_out_of_jail_free

 It has always puzzled me that some people think it is fine to do wrong because they can be absolved of it. This is wrong thinking. The things we confess to God and ask for forgiveness should be slip ups. Choosing to commit sinful acts because we can be forgiven is not how God expects us to behave. His forgiveness does not give us permission to choose to sin.

Prayer: God of grace, remind us we must choose the right path. We cannot choose wrong because of his forgiveness. It is a gift of grace when we stumble not a get out of jail free card. Help us to remember this. AMEN

God expects

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.       Galileo Galilei

god expects

For a long time religion and science were at odds. At some times they still are. Some people find the theory of evolution and God’s creating everything to be in conflict. There is the fear that we will uncover some fact that makes God irrelevant. But I think God gave us not only our brains but also our curiosity about the world around us. I don’t think he is concerned about what we will discover.

Prayer: Amazing God, help us to use our minds and our curiosity to bring about your kingdom on earth. Amen

 

Cross to crown

No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.
William Penn

crown

Remember the old hymn that says “if you cannot bear the cross then you cannot wear the crown.” The Christian life is not easy. Sometimes it seems that way to us since we are at the end of an age when to be a Christian was the easy path. Everyone else (who mattered was Christian. Anyone who wanted to get with the in crowd went to church. You were accepted if you were Christian. Not so any more. The number of Christians is declining and we don’t have to go to church to be socially acceptable. It may even be becoming a detriment. What will you do then?

Prayer: Lord Jesus we have been complacent for too long. Help us to see that being Christian requires sacrifice. The cross is for us not the crown. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch out for envy

A Psalm of David. 

Psalm 37:1-7

envyFret not yourself because of the wicked,
    be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass,
    and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your vindication as the light,
    and your right as the noonday.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;
    fret not yourself over him who prospers in his way,
    over the man who carries out evil devices!

We read part of this Psalm in church this morning. I was struck by verses 1 and 7. Too often we are envious of those who seem so much better off than us. It is so easy to wish that we could be rich or famous. Maybe someone else’s life seems easier. God reminds us to not sink to envy. It just makes us unhappy. We must no “fret” about those who seem to do well. For one thing we are not traveling in their shoes. Their life may not be as perfect as it seems. Peace and happiness have nothing to do with what we have. It is more about how we live.

Hymn: “You have come down to the lakeshore”: Jesus is calling us

Today I want to share another hymn that is special to me. The words speak to me when I sing it. Truly God is calling each of us to follow. He wants us abandon our selfish ways and follow him. He want us abandon the things that are holding us back. Come, he says, I am waiting.

This is a favorite version as it uses the Spanish (and English) and is played in that style. It doesn’t have all the verses but is beautiful.

Lyrics:
You have come down to the lakeshore
Seeking neither the wise nor the wealthy,
But only asking for me to follow.

Sweet Lord, you have looked into my eyes,
Kindly smiling, you’ve called out my name.
On the sand I’ve abandoned my small boat;
Now with you, I will seek other seas.

You know full well what I have, Lord;
Neither treasure nor weapons for conquest,
Just these my fishnets and will for working.

Sweet Lord, you have looked into my eyes,
Kindly smiling, you’ve called out my name.
On the sand I’ve abandoned my small boat;
Now with you, I will seek other seas.

You need my hands, my exhaustion,
Working love for the rest of the weary,
A love that’s willing to go on loving.

Sweet Lord, you have looked into my eyes,
Kindly smiling, you’ve called out my name.
On the sand I’ve abandoned my small boat;
Now with you, I will seek other seas.

You who have fished other waters;
You, the longing of souls that are yearning;
O loving Friend, you have come to call me.

Sweet Lord, you have looked into my eyes,
Kindly smiling, you’ve called out my name.
On the sand I’ve abandoned my small boat;
Now with you, I will seek other seas.