The healing word of God

Psalm 103

Of David.

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

god heals

This is one of my favorite Psalms. When I am stressed I remember these words and they comfort me. I hope that everyone has some words from the Bible that they can member when they need help. I read these words out loud over ad over as a mantra and they bring me peace.

Pain can heal

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” 
― Bill Keane

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Our past has taught us so many lessons. God expects us to use them to move forward. The hurts we carry open us to more understanding. Use them to help others.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us to share the pains we have experienced so that others can feel our openness and our love. AMEN

It’s not fashionable

Today it is fashionable to talk about the poor. Unfortunately, it is not fashionable to talk with them. –Mother Teresa

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This is so true! Most of us would prefer to avoid the homeless or those begging on our streets. We see them as “less than” us. It’s as if we are concerned about becoming contaminated by them. We have to begin to look through Jesus’ eyes and see them as children of God just like us. Then we will be willing to talk with them.

Could you?

I decided it is better to scream. . . . Silence is the real crime against humanity.
-Nadezhda Mandelstam, author

Most of us are aware that when something evil is going on silence allows it to continue. God calls us to step up. One who did and forfeited his life was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. During Hitler’s reign he left a place of safety in Britain and the US to return to Germany and work against Hitler. He was executed only a short while before the end of the war.

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How many of us would be willing to go to prison or give our life to stop evil? I hope I would. Would you?

Gracious God, give us the strength and courage to face and fight evil. AMEN

 

Compassion is learned

Suffering is a journey deeper into the heart of life.  From the movie The Human Experience

 

How shallow we can be if we have had very little problems in our lives. We just float through each day wondering why other people seem to struggle so. Compassion for those suffering is hard to grasp since we have nothing to measure it against. Travail in life is not what we would choose. But the fire of its pain brings the beauty of understanding and love for those who suffer.

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Compassionate God, you sent you son to suffer and in so doing chose to experience our pain, sorrow, and  grief. Help us to use what we have learned in our own trials to ease the path of others.

 

Works are not the whole story

As the apple is not the cause of the apple tree, but a fruit of it: even so good works are not the cause of our salvation, but a sign and a fruit of the same.     Daniel Cawdray

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We are saved by grace through faith. We can’t work our way into God’s good graces. However, we can’t truly be following Jesus if our belief in him doesn’t produce good works. The more we follow in Christ’s footsteps the more fruit we will produce.

Prayer: Father, let our faith produce the good fruit that you expect of us. Amen

 

 

Plant seeds

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.     Robert Louis Stevenson

plant seeds

 A lot of times I hear people say: “I prayed for my friend and nothing happened.” “I tried to talk to someone about God but it didn’t change anything.” That may be what we see but we may never know the final result. It is amazing years later to have someone say: “you helped me when I was down.” We need to keep on spreading those seeds.

 

Prayer: Loving Jesus, you know that we have become self conscious talking about you to others. We feel uncomfortable and usually can’t see any result. Remind us to spread the seed and let you do the rest. Amen

 

Be generous

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver                           2 Corinthians 9:6-7

 

generous

We have all heard this verse many times especially during stewardship campaigns. I suspect that few of us are really cheerful givers. Getting us to pledge to the church is like pulling teeth. I don’t know what is wrong. Are we worried about having enough for ourselves? Are we afraid to commit to something? Is the church not important enough to us? I don’t know the answer. Do you?

Prayer: Giving God, you give us so much and I’m not sure that we see it or appreciate it. Help us to focus on what we have and need and not on what we want or desire. Remind us to support your kingdom with our money and our time. Amen

 

 

Our hands

““I screamed at God for all the starving children, and then I realized that all of the starving children were God screaming at me.” 

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This reminds me of the old story about the man who heard about a flood on the radio and said God would take care of him. The water rose and he ended up on the roof of his house. A boat came by and offered to save him but he declined saying God would save him. A helicopter came and tried to help him from the roof. Again he refused saying god would provide.
The man drowned and when he reached heaven he demanded from God “why didn’t you save me?” God replied: “I sent a news report, a boat and a helicopter. What are you doing here?”

We expect our answers from God to be extraordinary and ignore the things in front of us.

 

Prayer: God of wisdom, forgive us when we are blind and don’t see the messages you send. Amen

 

Take something on

Ash Wednesday is tomorrow and Lent is here. We have always heard about giving up things for lent but it is also time to take something on. Make a decision to add something that helps others. Each day I like to choose something in my home that can help someone else…… things that can be given away to charity. I put them aside to be donated at the end of Lent.

Lent-2015 - christchurchcolumbia_org