Keep quiet—walk away

Conflict cannot survive without your participation. ————-Wayne Dyer

The Bible shows us how to avoid conflict. It tells us to turn the other cheek. Not an easy thing to do. For most of us it has nothing to do with physical violence but instead using words (that may not be too kind). A person can’t argue by themselves. If you can’t keep your temper walk away. Words can hurt and cannot be taken back whether out loud or on social media.

walk away

Gracious Lord, you have called us to kindness and love. Help us to remember this when faced with unpleasant situations. AMEN

Mercy

Pope Francis insists that mercy is at the very top of the Christian hierarchy of great truths and everything falls apart whenever mercy is displaced by anything else or anything less.

The dictionary defines mercy as: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

The Old Testament. Mercy: A Part of God’s Nature. Although people have the capacity for showing mercy, especially toward those with whom they already have a special relationship, a lack of mercy is more natural to the human condition. Mercy is, however, a quality intrinsic to the nature of God. It is for this reason that in some situations “merciful” was a sufficient description of God. from: Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

Mercy is something we don’t always see as related to us. We think of a courtroom with a judge. But sometimes we are the judge. We can choose to be hard-nosed or forgiving. Notice that the dictionary includes forgiveness in the definition. Forgiving a hurt is mercy. We have opportunities to forgive and it is sometimes difficult to do. We may have to show forgiveness but work for a while on really forgiving.

In-todays-society-in-which-forgiveness-is-so-rare-mercy-is-ever-more-important.

Merciful God, you have forgiven us so much. Help us to show the mercy that you so readily give. AMEN

Why are we here?

If I can stop one heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain
If I can ease one Life the Aching
Or cool one in pain

Or help one fainting Robin
Unto his Nest again,
I shall not live in Vain.

Emily Dickinson

flower 1

We often wonder “why are we here?” What is the point of this life? I think that this poem tells us why. We are here to love God’s world and everything in it.

Miraculous God, help us to cherish everything in this world. AMEN

Hope

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.–——Christopher Reeve

Christopher Reeve spent the last years of his life strapped in a wheelchair and yet he could say this. I have a friend whose doctor’s have said that she would be dead years ago. Her life is not perfect…she is living with physical losses but she continues to live each day. Her Facebook page is filled with family trips, boat rides, ocean photos and the most wonderful paeans (songs of triumph) to God. She is filled with love for God and her life. God is with her. She knows it and she rejoices in it. So should we.

This-Certain-Hope-–-The-Practice-Series-on-Hebrews-6-19

Loving God, we thank you for the gift of your presence and love. Help us to see it each day. AMEN

The fern is green!

Outside of my house I can see the resurrection ferns growing on the oak trees. I love having this reminder of how life can come from death. When things are dry and there is little rain it turns brown and looks dead. Then the rains come and it rises green. I remember the hymn “Now the Green Blade Riseth” and the fern is proof of that.

resurrection fern

J. M. C. Crum
The United Methodist Hymnal, No. 311

Now the green blade riseth, from the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth many days has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

Yes! Love lives again. Thanks be to God! AMEN

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

God forgives—others can too

Eve left the garden and wondered if God was still hurt by her betrayal of His love for her. ———————-Suzanne Boyd

We often do things that hurt others. If we care about them we regret that hurt. We wish we could take it back. We also do things that we know makes God dismayed and disappointed. In both cases we need to seek forgiveness. Genuine regret can be seen and felt by the person we hurt. By acknowledging our regret and asking for forgiveness we can begin to set things right.sorry

Be sure to say you are sorry when you hurt someone.

Forgiving God, we know that when we ask forgiveness we will receive it from you. Help us to also seek forgiveness from those we hurt. AMEN

Families are the compass

compassIn today’s world the family is at risk. Too many are floundering. We have lost our center. Families are the moral compass that holds us together.  Too many are floundering. We need the support and guidance that the family provides. We also need the love. We must teach about the love of God and his importance to our lives. Parents have to be a living example of that love.

 

God our Father, we need your help, guidance and love to be the parents you have called us to be. Be with us each and every day. AMEN

 

Gossip

No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues. ——-Bertrand Russell

I am sure that gossip is evil. I am also sure that gossip is irresistible. When we hear something juicy about someone we just can’t wait to pass it on. Does it make us feel better? Do we seem less vulnerable ourselves? Somehow we do think that putting someone else down makes us better than…..but we are not.

gossip

 

We are called to love one another, have compassion and be kind. We are not called to gossip.

 

Loving God, forgive our sharing of gossip and remind us that we too are not perfect. AMEN

Choose love

Jesus chose love rather than power. –————Suzanne Boyd

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.–   John Dalberg-Acton

I think that the quote above makes if perfectly clear why Jesus made the choice he did. It did not please some of his disciples. They had a different plan. Jesus makes it clear with his ministry that his is the right choice. Power is an idol. Don’t make the mistake of choosing it.

choose love3

Heavenly father, remind us that love is the only choice. AMEN