Think

Psalm 19:14

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable to you,
    Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

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A lot of preachers use this verse before beginning a sermon. I imagine that most of the time they have a plan about what they will say. That is not always true of the rest of us. Too often we don’t think about what we are saying. The words just rush out and we often wish we could take them back. Our hasty words can injure others. My father used to say “put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in motion.” Wise words indeed.

Patient God, help us to think before speaking so that our words can be acceptable in your sight. AMEN

Be a steward

Nature is perfect, wherever we look, but man always deforms it. ———J.C.F. von Schiller

God made us stewards of the earth. He made us and then expected us to care for everything else. Instead we listened to the part about being in charge and forgot the rest. If we can’t learn to be stewards (dictionary: manage or look after another’s property) before long there will be nothing to manage.

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Abundant God, your plan was for us to care for your creation. Help us to do just that. AMEN

Journey

The only sin which we never forgive in each other is a difference of opinion—————–Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are so good at sticking to our own opinion and rejecting the opinions of others. Each of us is on a journey toward God and each of us is at a different place in that journey. Be mindful of the thoughts of others and be careful not to put rocks in their path. Your thoughts may be good ones but they may not be ready to hear them.

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Amazing God, help each of us on our journey toward you and remind us not to hinder others. AMEN

Can we be inclusive?

It is important to remember that if we take as our model of the church the hospitality extended to the stranger, it can in no way be a community of like-minded friends but must have at its very heart the inclusion of the others, the different.————Sallie McFague in Models of God.

Too often if someone appears at our church who is radically different from us we choose not to welcome them. We are called to do the opposite. Do we include those dressed poorly, someone obviously homeless or anyone else who doesn’t seem to fit?

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Inclusive God, we are your creation and we are all yours. Help us to remove our fears and welcome all to our worship. AMEN

Can you understand God?

The the true master knows that if he had a God he could understand he would never hold him to be God-——from “The Gargoyle” by Andrew Davidson

God is way beyond my understanding. There are so many things that happen in the world that make no sense to me. Who would allow pain and suffering if they were in charge? However, I know that there is a God whose wisdom I cannot grasp and no matter how much I study I will never understand. God is infinite and beyond my imagining.

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Amazing God, you created the world and all that is in it. Your wisdom is before me every day and I will never understand. You are God. I believe.

Parent

An ounce of parent is worth a pound of the clergy.———–Spanish proverb

Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs on earth. It is also one of the most important. What can matter more than shaping the lives of others. God sees us as his children and wants us to see what a loving parent looks like. Follow God’s example and love your children with all your heart.

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Loving father, you remind us that you love us. Help us to share our own love and yours with our children. AMEN

Community

At its best, Christian community nourishes the alternative life of centering in God, and instill at passion for compassion and justice for the whole creation.———-Marcus Borg

To be the Christian we are called to be we need to be in community. We need others to share our “God moments” and to hear theirs. We need the support of the community when we are in crisis and should be ready to help when others face problems. If you have not found your community keep looking!

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Compassionate God, help us to find that place where we can nurture others and be nurtured. AMEN

Mind yourself

Difference of rite ought not to involve differences of faith-———Christopher Dawson

Sometimes I think that we spend as much or more time pointing out the flaws of other denominations that we do about other religions. Some feel that their path is the only one and want to be sure that everyone else is wrong.

God is so far beyond out understanding that none of us can claim to have the only truth. Don’t waste time putting down others.

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Gracious Lord, remind us to mind our own search for you and not someone else’s. AMEN

No judging

be kindWe are so quick to make judgements. We can decide in one moment about a person and be completely wrong. Indian lore talks about walking a mile in someones shoes. Many times I have known someone for quite a while and had no idea of the tragedies in their life. We have to let go of judging. God knows the whole story and will judge. It’s not our job.

Loving God, you know how we put people into categories and make judgements. Help us to see others with compassion and love.

“Comparisons are odious”

comparissons

My favorite author, Madeleine L’Engle says: “Comparisons are odious.” This works in several different ways. Do we spend time comparing ourselves to others and falling short? Do we compare to prove that we are better than. Comparisons hurt. It hurts us if we end up feeling unworthy. It hurts us in a different way if we see ourselves as better than others. In this country our founding fathers said the “all men (women also) were created equal and endowed with their creator certain inalienable rights…..etc.

Lear not to make comparisons. They hurt no matter what.

Creating God, you planned for to stay away from comparisons. You know their power to create pain. Help us to see all mankind as equal. AMEN