My way

Men are not flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose between the Almighty and them.             Abraham Lincoln

my way

 

We are good at going our own way. We plan without listening for God’s wisdom and then wonder what went wrong. Maybe we should listen first and act second. God may have a different plan.

Prayer: God of patience, you must grow tired of our strong-mindedness and willfulness. Help us to spend time with you in prayer and to be still and hear your voice. AMEN

 

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.

Dignity

Sometimes I wonder if anyone has the ability to speak kindly. Dignity is a forgotten word. I can’t imagine Jesus being undignified. Angry yes, as he was with those selling at the temple. How close are we to being able to dig deep into our Christian life to withstand the frustrations that beset us. We must call on God to help us maintain the dignity expected of us as Christians.

maturity

You don’t have to know the result

I think this is the perfect time to center on a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.

15-powerful-quotes-from-martin-luther-king-jr-400x400

I am sure that Christ had no plan to be the most important person the world has ever known. His plan was to teach us about his father and how to live our lives. Each of us has a choice each day to live as Christ taught us. What is right is always the thing to do. We don’t know what the impact of that choice will be. It doesn’t matter.

Receive the answers

existence

We pray to God for many things. We pray for others, for health, about out daily lives. The list is too long to list. Sometimes our prayers are answered but it is not the answer we wanted. The answer can make us question how our beliefs. That can be scary. Don’t worry. Those answers will cause us to grow in the knowledge of God and his ways.

Follow Jesus

Isaiah has a clear picture of what we wait for during Advent. We wait for Jesus who can show us how to live. His life is our path. Follow it.

isaiah

Isaiah 61: 1-3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

1 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.

Follow the path

Psalm 23: 3b

He leads me in right paths[c]
    for his name’s sake.

right path

This little snippet of the Psalm packs a powerful punch. God want to help us make right choices. If only we would spend time in prayer and listen to God. We don’t take the time and we wander off in the wrong direction. God wants us to behave in such a way that others will say “I want to be like you are. You are an example that I want to follow.” This is what brings people to God. Not the sermons or lectures about God but our behavior. Our actions are the things that influence others.

God, you will show us the right paths if we listen. Help us to be the example of your path in the world. AMEN

God’s wisdom

Psalm 19:7-10

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the decrees of the Lord are sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is clear,
    enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever;
the ordinances of the Lord are true
    and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey,
    and drippings of the honeycomb.

God’s desires for us have always been there. Here they are in David’s words.We are so blind that we don’t see the truth. We don’t see how to live a life of love. Finally he sent us an example whose life we are to emulate. Do we get it yet?

Lord, open the eyes of our hearts. AMEN