Stories

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Have you noticed that Jesus rarely answered questions. Most of the time he told stories. We call them parables. He was one of the best storytellers of all time. His stories always had a moral and always left us thinking about the meaning. Stories stick with people better than anything else. It is hard to forget about the Prodigal Son or the Good Samaritan. If we grew up Christian just the mention of these stories brings up images. Go to the New Testament. Pick out and read the stories.

Watch out for idols

Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul. Democritus

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The Bible talks about making idols. Do we realize what those are? They are not statues made of gold but the things we love more than God. Idols can be money, possessions, power….anything that gets in the way of putting God first. Our happiness comes from loving God and knowing that we are loved.

Starving amid abundance

Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death! From Auntie Mame

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This is so true. I wonder how often we stop to savor just being alive. Are we thankful for what we have instead of longing for what we don’t have.? Most of us in this county are so blessed compared to those living in third world countries. My husband and I lived in Panama for a while ( Many years ago)  and it made me decide that everyone in this country should have to live  in a place of horrible poverty and need for a least a year.

Take time to be aware of your blessings. Thank God always.

Loving God, forgive us for our lack of vision. We do not see the good around us as often as we should. Help us to see our blessings and give thanks. AMEN

 

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.

 

Maundy Thursday

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”         Matthew 20:28

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It is so difficult to believe that someone would give his life for me. I don’t feel worthy of such a sacrifice. Think about it. You are standing on a street corner and a car comes up over the curb. The person next to you pushes you out of the way and is killed instead of you. Knowing this I would have to live my life differently.

That is why, knowing Christ’s sacrifice, I need to look carefully at how I am living my life.

Prayer:  Jesus, thank you for sacrificing your life for me. I am unworthy of your love. Bring my life closer to your example. Amen

 

 

 

Do I follow through?

Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand. Mark Twain

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“Love your neighbor as yourself, turn the other cheek, follow me.” These are passages from the bible that I do understand. There are many more. The trouble is that they call me to be a better person. Who they ask me to be seems impossible. How can I learn to be the Christian you want me to be.?

Prayer: Lord help me! I do understand these words you have given me but I don’t seem to be able to follow through. Help! Amen

Faith of convenience

A faith of convenience is a hollow faith.  ~M*A*S*H, Father Mulcahy, “A Holy Mess,” 1982

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Christianity did not begin as a belief of convenience. In fact, it was very inconvenient as the early Christians were persecuted and killed. Now that it is an “accepted religion” we take it for granted. It is convenient to go to church on Sundays. It is also convenient that we can choose to not go. It is interesting to know that Christianity is growing the most in places where Christians are persecuted. Maybe we are too comfortable.

Prayer: Patient God, move us out of our comfort zone and help us to not take you for granted. Amen

 

Read

By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me.  The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green.  The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.  Thomas Merton

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Thomas Merton felt himself changed by reading scripture. We might think well that was centuries ago and it won’t happen to me.

Not so, Thomas was a man of the 20th century and lived a somewhat risqué life before he found God. The Bible did change his life and his way of thinking. It could happen to us. Reading the Bible daily and with real attention could make us see things differently as Thomas did. Try it!

Homework: Read the Bible this week with all your attention for at least 10 minutes.

Prayer: Generous God, you gave us the Bible as a guide in our lives. May we actually pick it up and not just read but absorb it. Amen