Let me sow love

Psalm 85:8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
    for he will speak peace to his people,
    to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.[a]

where-there-is-hatred-let-me-sow-love

With war always looming on the horizon, I wish that the whole world would hear words of peace. We must make God very sad with all the hatred and violence that goes on in the world some of the worst of it in the name of God. Even his faithful people don’t hear his voice. None of us are exempt.

The Hebrew word shalom means fullness having everything you need to be happy and fulfilled. It’s easy to be peaceful when you have everything you need. That’s where the world’s problems are. Not everyone has what they need much less what they want.

Christ tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. If I want my neighbor to be happy and fulfilled as much as I want that for myself then things will be good.

Frederick Buechner says “for Jesus peace seems to have meant not the absence of struggle but the presence of love.”

Prayer: Lord God of peace, let us grow in love toward you and our neighbor until wars cease and shalom rains. Support us with your Holy Spirit and surround us with your love, now and forever. Amen

Take God along

In my deepest, darkest moments, what really got me through was a prayer. Sometimes my prayer was ‘Help me.’ Sometimes a prayer was ‘Thank you.’ What I’ve discovered is that intimate connection and communication with my creator will always get me through because I know my support, my help, is just a prayer away.

Iyanla Vanzant

God touch

A friend of mine always said that the person that you know best is the one you spend the most time with. It is true. This should encourage us to spend time with God. God already knows us but we have much to learn.

Speak to God, pray to God, take him along every day.

God is waiting

Psalm 94:19 New International Version (NIV)

19 When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.

waiting

Sometimes we are overwhelmed with problems. Worry takes over our thoughts and easily escalates into anxiety and possibly panic. When our emotions take over it is hard to take a breath and remember our real strength doesn’t come from us.

It is God who is there for us just waiting. All we have to do is call out and we will receive the consolation we need. Turn toward God. He is there.

Spending time

Psalm 84:10

For a day in your courts is better
    than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than live in the tents of wickedness.

spending time together

I have discovered an interesting thing. The more time that I spend with God….praying..listening…the better I feel. Maybe that’s what the psalmist is talking about. Someone I knew said the person we know best is the one we spend the most time with. Maybe we need to spend more time with God and less time with psychics and horoscopes. Living with God is a much better deal.

Prayer: Lord of Wisdom, turn us from false prophets who lead us along wrong paths. Show us the way to you through your Son Jesus Christ out Lord. AMEN

Do we really see them?

Psalm 41:1

Happy are those who consider the poor;[a]
    the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.

We don’t want to see the poor and needy. It disturbs us. Probably because we feel guilty about not doing something. We see homeless people on the streets and they are dirty, wear layers of clothing (have everything they own on their backs) and often smell bad. They are not pleasant to be around. They often beg for money and we generally assume that they will use the money for liquor or drugs. Hoe much we assume! I wonder if we would fee the same way if we knew their story.

see the poor

Christ calls us to give out of our abundance. Maybe we think we don’t have much to give but by comparison we are very rich. The psalmist tells us that we will be happy if we help…that help will come to us in our time of need if we do. It reminds me of the saying “what goes around, comes around!” If we do nothing that could be a scary thought.

Prayer. God of the homeless and needy . Help us to not pass by when we encounter the poor. Le us see the incredible plenty that we have and inspire us to share. Remind us that we, also could be one of those in need but for your grace. AMEN

Rest

He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
come-and-take-the-rest001
I have always found this verse from the so loved psalm intriguing. Why does it say “he makes me?” There is an easy answer to that. We are so busy…so prone to never stropping that we don’t slow down. God wants us to stop. He wants to us to just rest in the beauty of nature and listen for his voice. He wants us to hear the babble of the brook and dip our hands into the still waters.
Take the time to take your rest.

Words hurt

Proverbs 21:23 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

23 To watch over mouth and tongue
    is to keep out of trouble.

Recently I was with someone who has been struggling with illness. It has caused some problems with mental abilities and the result can be disturbing. Memories are skewed and sometimes things are said that really hurt. It is hard to remember that the memories are not accurate and the words spoken come from a disoriented place.

words hurt

Words can hurt. We have to be careful about using our mouths to upset someone else. My father used to say “put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in motion.”….something we all need to keep in mind.

In the case of those who can’t monitor their words forgiveness and understanding are important. The rest of us have no excuse.

Be careful using words.

Never presume

Romans 15:1-2 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

15 We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor.

dont-judge-my-path

How often do we look down on others for something they can’t help. So many who suffer from mental illness are thought of as “less than.” They may be functioning members of society fighting their demons every day but that is something we can’t see. It is so easy to be judgmental. Never presume weakness. It may actually be enormous strength that we can’t see.

Put away anger and hatred

Ephesians 4:31-32 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

hate-resentment-energy-love

This world needs this verse from Ephesians. Everyone seems so angry. So much division and hatred. It seems to me to every major religion in its pure form teaches peace, compassion and love. Put away your anger and bitterness and every day show your love for one another.

caring and praying

It is a wonderful thing to care about others. Putting feet to the caring is the next step.

It is a wonderful thing to pray. Putting feet to the prayer is the next step.

caring-quotes

 

Notice the girl in the clip. She is actually doing something.

Sometimes doing something is not possible but when it is… do it. Too often the caring stays in our minds and not in our actions.

Caring and praying are critical. Just remember to follow through with the next step.