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.

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

A Psalm for living

Psalm 15

Lord, who may abide in your tent?
    Who may dwell on your holy hill?

Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
    and speak the truth from their heart;
who do not slander with their tongue,
    and do no evil to their friends,
    nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
    but who honor those who fear the Lord;
who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
who do not lend money at interest,
    and do not take a bribe against the innocent.

Those who do these things shall never be moved.

saying

This is a Psalm to live by. It we follow this path we will not only show others how to live we will be fulfilled ourselves.We need little explanation to understand that this is the way Jesus calls us to live. A Psalm for living.

Loving God, help us to follow you path and live in your ways. AMEN

Choose Happiness

Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling. ——Margaret Lee Runbeck

happiness 2

Our thinking about happiness seems out of sync. We look for happiness to bowl us over but it’s not like that. Happiness can live with us on our journey if we let it. Will I choose to see the good in things today? Will I thank God for my blessings acknowledging them myself? To me, this is the crux of the matter. Most of the time happiness is our choice. Sure, we do have bad times but my perspective colors my journey. Choose to be happy!

God of love, you have given us the chance to choose happiness. Help us to see it in our lives. AMEN

A radical?

Jesus, I found, bore little resemblance to the Mister Rogers figure I had met in Sunday school, and was remarkable unlike the person I had studied in Bible college. For one thing, he was far less tame. ————-Philip Yancey in “The Jesus I Never Knew”

Someone once said to my husband “Jesus was a conservative.” My husband replied “he was so conservative he got himself crucified.” I really don’t know the story of anyone less conservative than Jesus. He ate with tax collectors, touched women (taboo) and didn’t follow anyone’s rules. I am sure he wishes we could learn to be as open and loving as he was.

Are_We_Radical_Enough_0715_814664186

Radical Jesus, you followed only the image of God’s kingdom and want us to help bring it to fruition. Help us to see that. AMEN

No Exceptions

Religious liberty includes freedom to change one’ religion or belief without consequent social, economic and political disabilities. Implicit in this right is the right freely to maintain one’s belief or disbelief without external coercion or disability. ——–World Council of Churches

We are all so divided. Not just into totally different religions but into divisions within religions. So often we cast stones at those of other faiths or other denominations. Jesus called us to love one another. He did not include the word “if.”

no exceptions

Matthew 22:36-40 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

 

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

Hope

Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not  oust them.-———————Vincent McNabb

hope 4

Hope is one of the most precious things that God has given us. We need hope to get up each day. We use it to start a new project or a new job. We have hope. Thank God for it.

God of compassion, thank you for the gift of hope. AMEN

Forget rules

The truth is a person not a set of rules.————–unknown

god-is-truth

The truth is a person and that person is Jesus. Jesus is not a set of rules. We humans have tried to turn our faith, our belief, our Christianity into a set of rules. A set of do’s and don’ts. Jesus said love one another. Love God and your neighbor. That’s all it takes. If we could just do those things life would be amazing.

Extraordinary God, help us to see the truth and follow it. AMEN