Religion is like holding on to a rock in the middle of a raging river; faith is learning how to swim.”       Source Unknown

RagingMercedWeb

Religion can be a wonderful thing but it is not the thing we strive for. Faith is the thing we seek. Faith is not just miraculously there one day. We have to work at. When we first start to swim we spend a lot of time sinking to the bottom. Even once we know how we can falter in a huge wave or use up all our energy staying afloat and sink. Faith is not a noun but a verb. It is not something we can hold in our grasp but something we must use. Faith is not knowing you can step out over the precipice but not being sure about it and still stepping out.

Prayer: Increase our faith day by day and give us the courage to use it. Amen

 

Refined by fire

We are always on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things.
Henry Ward Beecher

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We weren’t promised a rose garden. We were promised that God would never leave us. Having a life free of problems may not be the thing that makes us beautiful in God’s eyes. The Bible reminds us that pottery is put into the flame to make it beautiful. In times of trial turn to God and come out of the trial refined by him.

Prayer: Ever present God, go with us into the flame and bring us out made beautiful for you. Amen

 

Show me your hands

Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your feet. Are they wounded in service? Show me your heart. Have you left a place for divine love?
Fulton J. Sheen

WorkingHands

 We live is such a technical age. We have machines to wash out clothes and our dishes. We don’t have to put stamps on our mail and take it to the post office. We park as close as we can to the mall so that we don’t have to walk far. Then we complain that we work too hard. Most of us have no idea what real work is. Mother Theresa had those scars on her body but great love in her heart. We need to follow her example. I wonder if when we get to heaven St. Peter will ask us these questions.

Prayer: Lord, our life is easy compared with people in other countries. Many of us don’t have to work with our hands. We are called to do your work and to be your hands and feet. Get us moving! Amen

 

Cross to crown

No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.
William Penn

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Remember the old hymn that says “if you cannot bear the cross then you cannot wear the crown.” The Christian life is not easy. Sometimes it seems that way to us since we are at the end of an age when to be a Christian was the easy path. Everyone else (who mattered was Christian. Anyone who wanted to get with the in crowd went to church. You were accepted if you were Christian. Not so any more. The number of Christians is declining and we don’t have to go to church to be socially acceptable. It may even be becoming a detriment. What will you do then?

Prayer: Lord Jesus we have been complacent for too long. Help us to see that being Christian requires sacrifice. The cross is for us not the crown. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can we change?

Psalm 8:3-8

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
    mortals[a] that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God,[b]
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

Earth-Day-Beautiful-Picture

Lord who are we to be worthy of your love? You have given us so much and I weep to see what we have done with it. We have not cared for the earth or its beauty. It is time for us to take responsibility for our selfishness and turn things around.

Loving God, help us to be worthy of your love. AMEN

What is grace?

1-13-Grace-DefinitionDo we really understand grace? Do we get that this gift is greater than any we have ever received or ever will. The fact that grace is a free gift of God does not remove us from responsibility. It is not a get out of jail free card. Grace carries with it the fact that God loves us so much that we are given this gift before we respond…..and respond we must. Living out the message of Christ and follow his word is our response.

Generous God, you are willing to give us the gift of grace without any promise on our part. Help us to respond with hearts full of love and willingness to be your hands and feet. AMEN

 

 

Walk humbly

Micah 6:8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

This is such a wonderful verse and sounds so simple. What could be easier? Actually the question should be what could be harder? Are we always kind? I doubt it. Do we walk humbly? For us this is counter-culture. We need to keep this verse in front of us and read it every morning.

walk humbly

O Lord, our God, you ask so little and yet to us it seems to be too much. Help us to write this verse on our hearts. AMEN

God made us!

God made me on a morning when he had nothing else to do.———-C.F. Lloyd

We can often feel this way about ourselves. We can’t imagine that we have any skills or talents to offer. We feel useless.

One quote that I have always loved is “God didn’t make junk.” Each of us has something to offer. Each of us has gifts that God has given us. We just have to recognize them and put them to use for his kingdom. We are worthy….God made us.

ta da

Imaginative God, you made each of us unique. Help us to find and use the gifts that you have given us. AMEN

We are what we think

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8 New International Version (NIV)

Many times I have heard people say, “you are what you eat.” It seems to me that we are also what we think, If we spend all of our live talking about bad or unhappy things, then we are unhappy. If we concentrate on happy things, then our outlook is different. This piece of scripture hits the nail on the head. We need to be thinking of noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable things.

we are what we think

Direct our thoughts, Lord. We need your guidance and help to keep thinking good things. AMEN