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Enjoy the messages of Pastor Peggy right here (below)

 

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IF

IF Not Us, Who?

IF Not Now, When?

 

“God opens their ears to instruction… If they hearken and serve God, they complete their days in prosperity.” Job 36:10,11

 

 

“IF”    by Rudyard Kipling

 

 

Kipling said, “I have wrote and read this poem for my young son.”

 

 

If you can keep your head when all about you                                 Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

 

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,                              But make allowance for their doubting too:

 

 

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,                                             Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

 

Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

 

 

If you can dream, and not make dreams your master;

If you can think, and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same:

 

 

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

 

 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings,

And never breathe a word about your loss:

 

 

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

 

 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings, nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

 

 

If all men count with you, but none too much:

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

 

 

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

 

 

DAILY PRAYER:

Whether my day seems busy or relatively quiet, I make the conscious choice through prayer to use the time of this day wisely and lovingly. Today, I renew myself in mind and spirit. I allow time for prayer and insight, creating new energy and a better perspective for today and tomorrow spiritually with You, God.

 

 

Dear God, I pray that you will create new energy in me and a better perspective for today, and this week. Today, I seek ways to give my God-given gifts to others, as we go through this Advent season, anticipating the birth of Your Son..

 

 

Today, I give the special gift of my time to others. Today, I take time to write a note, make a call, or visit a friend or loved one in Your nature. Help me to make the best use of my time; help me to eliminate feelings of pressure and stress.

 

 

Today, with Your help, Lord, I allow time for something that gives me true joy. I know that with You, God, there is enough time to include the activities, hobbies, festivities, or leisure that I truly desire. Dear God, I give thanks for the precious gift of today.

 

In Jesus Christ’s name… Amen

 

 

Praying with you during this Advent Season.

God bless you,

Being Prepared

First Sunday in Advent

 

Matthew 24:36-44

 

Be Ready/ Being Prepared

 

 

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matthew 24:36-44, RSV.

 

Grace and peace to you from our expectant Lord. Amen

 

The superintendent of a large Christian school was concerned about the disarray he found in so many of the classrooms he visited. Papers were often strewn on the floor, and the students’ desks were surrounded by clutter. Feeling strongly that learning could not take place in such an untidy environment, he decided to take action. He chose one classroom for an experiment, introduced himself to the students and with a smile made this proposition:

 

 

 

“Your teacher, principal and I provide a well-equipped classroom for you to enjoy but we need your help in keeping your desks and the classroom orderly. Many of you have crumpled papers inside your desks with books left open and the pages bent. Often there are pencils on the floor under your desks along with other debris.

 

 

 

“I would like each of you to clean out your desk today and begin this school year resolving to keep it clean. One day I will return and inspect your desks and the person with the neatest desk will be given this $100 bill. I won’t tell you which day it will be. It will be a surprise. Not even your teacher or the principal will know the day.”

 

 

 

The children squealed with excitement and began immediately pulling things from their desks, filling the trash baskets with crumpled papers, stacking their books neatly inside their desks, and neatly lining up their pencils and pens.

 

 

 

Every morning for the first week, every student checked his or her desk to make sure it was in perfect condition, confident that today would be the day the superintendent returned. The next week, a few boys grew weary of the exercise and returned to their former habits. By the third week, several students remarked, “I doubt if he’ll come back at all. He just said that to make us keep our desks clean.”

 

 

 

After two months, no one in the classrooms bothered to inspect their desks and in fact, forgot the superintendent’s promise except for one girl. Dutifully, she inspected her desk every morning and several times a day, making sure things were in proper order. For months, she was teased by the other students. “He’s not coming back! Why do you keep looking for him? You look stupid believing that promise, anyway.” Still, she remained quiet, kept her desk in perfect condition and waited.

 

 

 

Near the end of the school year, there was a knock on the door and the superintendent entered. Quickly, the students flung open their desks and began frantically to clean them. But the superintendent held up his hand for them to stop. All the students were asked to stand beside their desk at attention while the superintendent inspected each desk.

 

 

 

One after another, he rejected them for being unkempt. One boy tried giving excuses but to no avail. Another blamed the teacher for not reminding them. Still another blamed the superintendent for making them wait so long. Finally, the superintendent arrived at the desk of the little girl who confidently displayed her well-kept desk while beaming at the superintendent.

 

 

 

After inspecting her desk, he took her by the hand to the front of the classroom and awarded her the $100 bill.

 

 

 

“Boys and girls,” he said kindly, “this girl never stopped believing I would return so she kept her desk in perfect order. She didn’t need to worry about what day or even what time of day I would arrive because she was always ready. Always.

 

 

 

Ready – that is the key word for our gospel lesson this morning. Be ready.

 

 

 

We have entered a new church year again as we are in the first Sunday in Advent. Advent is a time to look ahead to the coming of Jesus as a babe in the manger. It is also a time for looking ahead for the second coming of Christ.

 

 

 

Our gospel lesson says very plainly “Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” And how do we get ready?

 

 

 

We are ready for his second coming by being like that little girl in our story, daily preparation. We are to keep our desks clean or in other words we are to repent daily.

 

 

 

You all know that I live on a very small ranch. One thing I like to do or used to like to do before the drought and grasshoppers ended that journey was to garden. I enjoyed working in the garden. I would get all hot and sweaty from pulling weeds and hoeing the garden. The work felt good. I also love to work with the dogs and the donkeys. Animal contact is my passion. Fin, Fur, Feather, and Friends. Afterward, here in Texas and 100 +F weather, I am sticky and stinky and absolutely filthy. So when I am done, it also felt good to get cleaned up afterwards. Nothing makes me feel better than to come in after being outside working/playing and then peeling off those dirty clothes, taking a refreshing shower, and then put on some clean clothing.

 

 

 

How absurd it would be to put on those same old dirty clothes again!

 

 

 

And that is what Jesus is talking about for the season of Advent. We are to clean up our lives, to take off the dirty clothes and put on the new ones of grace. Advent is a time of preparation and the one preparation we can do is repentance. Take off the dirty old self and put on the clean new self. Luther talks about this as he tells us to drown our old self daily in the waters of our Baptism and then to rise up again as a new, forgiven person living in the grace of God.

 

 

 

We are to be ready for the coming of Christ through our act of repentance. We acknowledge before God that we are in need of His grace through Christ, then we are symbolically drown in the waters of Baptism and raised up to a new life.

 

 

 

We are to be ready by daily repentance.

 

 

 

Repentance is the act of turning away from our sins to live a new life in Christ. And so if the second coming does come, God will see us as in our new selves, cleansed by the blood of Christ. God will recognize us because he made us clean through Jesus’ sacrifice.

 

 

 

Ian Macpherson tells a story about a little girl who was on a train to London shortly after the Second World War. She had been evacuated from the city during the air raids and had not seen her mother for a long time. She was excited about meeting her mother on arrival at the station.

 

 

 

A fellow-passenger teased her by saying. “What if she does not recognize you? It is so long since she saw you and she may have forgotten what you look like.” At first the child was shocked by the idea that her mother would not recognize her. But soon she was all smiles again as she announced, “It will be all right. Mummy made the dress I am wearing. If she does not know me by myself, she’ll know me by my frock.”

 

 

 

God will know us by the white clothes of repentance we wear when we repent.

 

 

 

Repentance does not just happen once, it is a daily activity we must do to be ready for his second coming. Daily, like that girl in our first story, we must clean our desks, so to speak. We must clean our selves daily, so we are ready for the second coming of Christ.

 

 

 

Daily preparation is important.

 

 

Daily I must repent because we do not know the time or place of his second coming.

 

 

 

Daily I must repent because daily I sin. Let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that I do now have to repent because I am good even for God. We are never good enough for God. We are sinful people who need the daily washing away of our sins.

 

 

 

C.S. Lewis says: “A Christian is not one who never goes wrong, but one who is enabled to repent and begin over again after each stumble—because of the inner working of Christ.”

 

 

 

Because of Christ I can repent and begin over again. And this happens daily if we are truly honest with ourselves by admitting that” I am a sinful creature who needs to repent of my sins.”

 

 

 

 

Several years ago the Peanuts comic strip had Lucy and Charlie Brown practicing football. Lucy would hold the ball for Charlie’s placekicking and then Charlie would kick the ball. But every time Lucy had ever held the ball for Charlie, he would approach the ball and kick with all his might. At the precise moment of the point of no return, Lucy would pick up the ball and Charlie would kick and his momentum unchecked by the ball, which was not there to kick, would cause him to fall flat on his back. I bet many of you remember that comic strip issue.

 

 

 

This strip opened with Lucy holding the ball, but Charlie Brown would not kick the ball. Lucy begged him to kick the ball. But Charlie Brown said, “Every time I try to kick the ball you remove it and I fall on my back.” They went back and forth for the longest time and finally Lucy broke down in tears and admitted, “Charlie Brown I have been so terrible to you over the years, picking up the football like I have. I have played so many cruel tricks on you, but I have seen the error of my ways! I’ve seen the hurt look in your eyes when I’ve deceived you. I’ve been wrong, so wrong. Won’t you give a poor penitent girl another chance?”

 

 

 

Charlie Brown was moved by her display of grief and responded to her, “Of course, I’ll give you another chance.” He stepped back as she held the ball, and he ran. At the last moment, Lucy picked up the ball and Charlie Brown fell flat on his back. Lucy’s last words were, “Recognizing your faults and actually changing your ways are two different things, Charlie Brown!”

 

 

 

Are you going to change your ways as of today? Lucy saw her fault but was unwilling to change her ways. What about you? Are you ready to repent and change your ways? Are you ready to confess your faults to Christ and allow him to cleanse you so that you are prepared for his second coming?

 

 

 

Jesus says, “Therefore, you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

 

 

 

Be ready, my friends; be ready.

 

 

Amen

The Pearl on the Mountain Top

 

“Let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” Galatians 6:10

 

 

You might come here this morning with a feeling that your problems are so big that you are going to need a miracle from God, that the mountain of your problems is so huge that you do not know how to climb it alone. When that happens, you need someone to believe, with you, in God’s power. You need to connect with a greater power than yourself. You have found what you need here. We here, your Christian sisters and brothers, are your family of faith and we work for the good of each other.

 

 

 

In the beginning, there were only thirteen original Christians in all the world; thirteen people who knew they were connected with the higher power of God. Those thirteen changed the entire world to the way it is today. These men, as you know, were ordinary men. They were exactly like you and me, except, perhaps, they had even more doubts and even more failings than we have ever dreamed of having. But they were un-ordinary in one major way. They had an awareness in their human mind of the Godly power that was with them. The most powerful thing we can have as humans is the knowledge of our connection to God and His power within us.

 

 

 

Richard Bach said this in his book “Illusions”: “You were never given a wish without the power to make it come true.” Think about that. Think about your wishes and your dreams, and the way you have dreamed that life would be. You have the power, inside of you, to make it come true. You have the power of God with you to make anything in your life become a reality. All you have to do is go to God; and your family will accompany you in spirit and love.

 

 

 

I want to share a story with you that you will find fascinating. This is
from Matthew 17 [verses 1-6, NRSV]. It’s the story of the transfiguration.

 

 

 

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves.”

 

 

Whenever the Bible talks about being led up into a high mountain, it’s talking about something, in addition, that is happening in you. In prayer, and in meditation, you are being led up onto a high mountain. If you go up to this high mountain, here is what is actually occurring: you are going from human mind and aligning yourself to the mind and spirit of God.

 

 

 

You are finding that there is going to be a transfiguration, and it’s going to be in you. You are no longer going to have worry, because that is an experience only at the bottom of the mountain. You are not going to have anxiety. You are going up higher in spiritual awareness, in this spiritual place, this rarefied atmosphere, where worry and anxiety and the problems of your daily life cannot survive. You are up on high with the Presence of the living God.

 

 

 

And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were OVERCOME BY FEAR.”

 

 

 

 

That is sometimes the way we regard God, and the way some have regarded God since the beginning of Christianity. Many times we become fearful of God because we think that God is something to be feared. We think that it’s God’s will that we suffer; it’s God’s will that bad things come into our lives. Even the insurance companies mention “An Act Of God” as something to be feared.

 

 

 

But God never brought anything bad into our lives. God brings ONLY good. When God speaks to you in the silence of prayer from a bright cloud inside of you-it will ALWAYS be positive. It will always say, “You are my beloved child in whom I am well pleased.” And God will always affirm you in a positive way. It will always tell you the possibilities. You may pray and ask, “Is this the voice of God?”

 

 

 

I ask you, what did it say to you? Did it tell you about the goodness that is in you, and about your possibilities, OR did it worry? And then you know what voice you’re listening to. If the voice speaks to you in more positive terms than your own human thinking-it is God. If it’s less than positive, it is not the voice of God.

 

 

 

“But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’” It’s interesting that in one version of this story, (Luke 9:28), it says that the disciples were overcome with sleep. We, too, are overcome with sleep. And in our sleep, we go through our day-to-day existence sort of sleepwalking. Many of us, in our sleep, are having nightmares. In our daydreams we are sometimes dwelling in the tape recorder of our mind, replaying it constantly, about the bad things that we think are going to happen to us in the future, or that happened in our past. It is a lie. It is a lie because God is with you. It is a lie that you do not have to believe; it is false.

 

 

 

You can go higher in prayer, and you can go up on the mountaintop and ask for God’s help.   Hallelujah.

 

 

True prayer is thinking what you should think, and feeling what you should feel. I believe that when you pray, God pays closer attention to what you are feeling than what you’re saying.

 

 

 

In Matthew 13:45 [NRSV]. Jesus says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls.” The twelve pearls of great price are inside of us. Christ gifts of empowerment: Faith, love, judgment, imagination, order, zeal, strength, power, understanding, will, elimination, and life. When you use these, you are giving them expression, and you’re giving them to yourself. The twelve pearls of great price are the FRINGE benefits in our lifetime. Giving the pearls wrongly, is to let the fine life energies be consumed in the unrefined part of us. The anger, the cheating, the lying parts are the animal part of us. It is that part of us that is constantly unkind to us. It says things to us that are not true.

 

 

It gets us in trouble. It makes us feel bad. We must take our pearls and use them to the glory of God. God knows the worth of your pearls, and now you allow, in your prayer time, these twelve great pearls of great price to create A NEW YOU.

 

 

 

Prayer is one of your great pearls. Prayer is a time to get into a conscious knowing, a conscious thinking, and a conscious feeling of who you are and what God is. When you do, all things become possible, because with God ALL things are possible. You become empowered to make a difference. You go from a scrap of sand and become the pearl. You are on the mountain top.

 

 

 

And as it says in Galations, “Let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” We are all here working for the good of each other, for all us in this family of faith. We climb the hill together and support each other as we climb and accept our pearls..

 

 

Hallelujah!…….Halleluuuujah!!!!!!

 

 

Let us close with prayer. Repeat it as your prayer.

 

 

Dear God, today, in this moment, I realize that there is a powerful new belief inside of me. I am going to the heights of my human mind to meet with You, Dear God. I’m going up on the mountaintop and I’m being transfigured. I am not asleep anymore; I am awake to the Your Divine possibilities.

 

 

 

I will not remain asleep for one moment in my future days in the nightmares I have worried and obsessed about. I will believe in the power of God, and God will work through me. There will be a transfiguration in my countenance and in my life. I give thanks for this day, and for this powerful thinking and feeling in prayer.

 

 

And I pray in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

 

God bless you!

Problems ??

Let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” Galatians 6:10

 

 

 

You might come here this morning with a feeling that your problems are so big that you are going to need a miracle from God, that the mountain of your problems is so huge that you do not know how to climb it alone. When that happens, you need someone to believe, with you, in God’s power. You need to connect with a greater power than yourself. You have found what you need here. We here, your Christian sisters and brothers, are your family of faith and we work for the good of each other.

 

 

 

 

In the beginning, there were only thirteen original Christians in all the world; thirteen people who knew they were connected with the higher power of God. Those thirteen changed the entire world to the way it is today. These men, as you know, were ordinary men. They were exactly like you and me, except, perhaps, they had even more doubts and even more failings than we have ever dreamed of having. But they were un-ordinary in one major way. They had an awareness in their human mind of the Godly power that was with them. The most powerful thing we can have as humans is the knowledge of our connection to God and His power within us.

 

 

 

Richard Bach said this in his book Illusions: “You were never given a wish without the power to make it come true.” Think about that. Think about your wishes and your dreams, and the way you have dreamed that life would be. You have the power, inside of you, to make it come true. You have the power of God with you to make anything in your life become a reality. All you have to do is go to God; and your family will accompany you in spirit and love.

 

 

 

I want to share a story with you that you will find fascinating. This is
from Matthew 17 [verses 1-6, NRSV]. It’s the story of the transfiguration.

 

 

 

“Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves.”

 

 

 

Whenever the Bible talks about being led up into a high mountain, it’s talking about something, in addition, that is happening in you. In prayer, and in meditation, you are being led up onto a high mountain. If you go up to this high mountain, here is what is actually occurring: you are going from human mind and aligning yourself to the mind and spirit of God.

 

 

 

You are finding that there is going to be a transfiguration, and it’s going to be in you. You are no longer going to have worry, because that is an experience only at the bottom of the mountain. You are not going to have anxiety. You are going up higher in spiritual awareness, in this spiritual place, this rarefied atmosphere, where worry and anxiety and the problems of your daily life cannot survive. You are up on high with the Presence of the living God.

 

 

 

“And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were OVERCOME BY FEAR.”

 

 

 

That is sometimes the way we regard God, and the way some have regarded God since the beginning of Christianity. Many times we become fearful of God because we think that God is something to be feared. We think that it’s God’s will that we suffer; it’s God’s will that bad things come into our lives. Even the insurance companies mention “An Act Of God” as something to be feared.

 

 

 

But God never brought anything bad into our lives. God brings ONLY good. When God speaks to you in the silence of prayer from a bright cloud inside of you-it will ALWAYS be positive. It will always say, “You are my beloved child in whom I am well pleased.” And God will always affirm you in a positive way. It will always tell you the possibilities. You may pray and ask, “Is this the voice of God?”

 

 

 

I ask you, what did it say to you? Did it tell you about the goodness that is in you, and about your possibilities, OR did it worry? And then you know what voice you’re listening to. If the voice speaks to you in more positive terms than your own human thinking-it is God. If it’s less than positive, it is not the voice of God.

 

 

 

“But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’” It’s interesting that in one version of this story, (Luke 9:28), it says that the disciples were overcome with sleep. We, too, are overcome with sleep. And in our sleep, we go through our day-to-day existence sort of sleepwalking. Many of us, in our sleep, are having nightmares. In our daydreams we are sometimes dwelling in the tape recorder of our mind, replaying it constantly, about the bad things that we think are going to happen to us in the future, or that happened in our past. It is a lie. It is a lie because God is with you. It is a lie that you do not have to believe; it is false.

 

 

 

You can go higher in prayer, and you can go up on the mountaintop and ask for God’s help.   Hallelujah.

 

]

 

True prayer is thinking what you should think, and feeling what you should feel. I believe that when you pray, God pays closer attention to what you are feeling than what you’re saying.

 

 

 

In Matthew 13:45 [NRSV]. Jesus says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls.” The twelve pearls of great price are inside of us. Christ gifts of empowerment: Faith, love, judgment, imagination, order, zeal, strength, power, understanding, will, elimination, and life. When you use these, you are giving them expression, and you’re giving them to yourself. The twelve pearls of great price are the FRINGE benefits in our lifetime. Giving the pearls wrongly, is to let the fine life energies be consumed in the unrefined part of us. The anger, the cheating, the lying parts are the animal part of us. It is that part of us that is constantly unkind to us. It says things to us that are not true.

 

 

It gets us in trouble. It makes us feel bad. We must take our pearls and use them to the glory of God. God knows the worth of your pearls, and now you allow, in your prayer time, these twelve great pearls of great price to create A NEW YOU.

 

 

 

Prayer is one of your great pearls. Prayer is a time to get into a conscious knowing, a conscious thinking, and a conscious feeling of who you are and what God is. When you do, all things become possible, because with God ALL things are possible. You become empowered to make a difference. You go from a scrap of sand and become the pearl. You are on the mountain top.

 

 

 

And as it says in Galations, “Let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” We are all here working for the good of each other, for all us in this family of faith. We climb the hill together and support each other as we climb and accept our pearls..

 

 

 

Hallelujah!…….Halleluuuujah!!!!!!

 

 

Let us close with prayer. Repeat it as your prayer.

 

 

Dear God, today, in this moment, I realize that there is a powerful new belief inside of me. I am going to the heights of my human mind to meet with You, dear God. I’m going up on the mountaintop and I’m being transfigured. I am not asleep anymore; I am awake to the Your Divine possibilities.

 

 

I will not remain asleep for one moment in my future days in the nightmares I have worried and obsessed about. I will believe in the power of God, and God will work through me. There will be a transfiguration in my countenance and in my life. I give thanks for this day, and for this powerful thinking and feeling in prayer.

 

 

 

And I pray in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

INSPIRATIONAL SAYINGS

 

Take one or a few of these and meditate on it/them.  Share your thoughts in our chat room this coming week.

 

 

 

*Don’t attempt to run from the past; it is always behind you.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t be afraid of opposition; Remember a kite rises against, not with the wind.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t be afraid of tomorrow, for God has already been there.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t be concerned others not appreciating you. Be concerned about your not appreciating others.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t be irreplaceable – if you can’t be replaced, you won’t be promoted.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t be so Heavenly minded that you do no earthly good. *Don’t control; be in control.

 

 

 

* Don’t count the days; make  the days count.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t ever slam a door; you may want to go back.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. *saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t get married only because of the money. You can borrow it cheaper.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. **Don’t just get something out of church; put something into it.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t kill the dream – execute it!

 

 

 

 

*Don’t learn the tricks of the trade; learn the trade.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t let anybody walk through your mind with dirty feet. (Gandhi)

 

 

 

 

*Don’t let people drive you crazy when it is within walking distance.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t let time take control of your destiny. Let your destiny take control of your time.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

 

 

 

*Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future.

 

 

 

*Don’t limit your challenges – challenge your limits.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t listen to what I say; listen to what I mean.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t love the things you own, lest they own you.

 

 

 

 

*Don’t measure your life by how many breaths you take; measure it by how many times, you get your breath taken away.

 

 

 

*Don’t pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger people.

 

 

 

Dear God, help me live the Truth in my life every single day.

Help me to walk away from error beliefs and opinions and

become a stronger person in faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Competition

Jeremiah 11:18-20 (NIV).  Plot Against Jeremiah

18 Because the LORD revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing. 19 I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying,   “Let us destroy the tree and its fruit;
let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.”
20 But you, LORD Almighty, who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for to you I have committed my cause.

 

 

Psalm 1 (1-3)

1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

 

 

 

Mark 9:30-37(NIV): Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time (GOSPEL)
30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.

 

33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.  35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

 

36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

 

 

 

THOUGHTS:

 

But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.” –Mark 9:34

 

 

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus has to have a discussion with his disciples about humility. When Jesus confronted them about their argument, they were ashamed. Sitting down, Jesus tells them this: “Anyone who wants to be first must be the last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)

 

 

Oh, how often we think we are better than everyone else, even though we are not! The ego is much easier to inflate than a balloon, but pops just as quickly when pricked with shame. The easiest way to avoid this is simply to follow this message: “Be the servant of all.” We must not be preoccupied with who is the best. Rather, we should think about ways to serve, and about how Christ is working within.

 

 

The modern, competitive world makes this rather difficult to do, and this is defintely frustrating. However, what might be even more frustrating is the competition that takes place within ourselves: the competition between desires. I want this, I want that. I want to do great things, and yet strangely, sometimes I want to do things that are terrible and not great in any way. Where does the desire for God fall in with this internal war? If only my desire for God won out in every single instance; then I would stop wasting time wondering where I stand in competition with others and spend much more time thinking about love, both divine and human, and how to submit to Christ’s workings within me.

 

 

Love and Christ ought to always win when in competition with excessive pride toward the false gods, and the only way for that to happen in every instance is to be “the servant of all.”

 

 

 

Prayer of the Day: O God, our teacher and guide, you draw us to yourself and welcome us as beloved children. Help us to lay aside all envy, competiveness, and selfish ambition, that we may walk in your ways of wisdom and understanding as servants of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord who taught us to pray saying,  ‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy  name. thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we  forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,  for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever’.   Amen

Competition

Jeremiah 11:18-20 (NIV)   (The Plot Against Jeremiah)

 

18 Because the LORD revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing. 19 I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying,

“Let us destroy the tree and its fruit;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
that his name be remembered no more.”

 

20 But you, LORD Almighty, who judge righteously
and test the heart and mind,
let me see your vengeance on them,
for to you I have committed my cause.

 

 

 

Psalm 1,  1 – 3

1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,

 

2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.

 

3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

 

 

 

 

Mark 9:30-37(NIV): Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time

 

30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.

 

 

33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.

 

 

35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

 

 

36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them,   37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

 

 

THOUGHTS:

 

But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.” Mark 9:34

 

 

In today’s  reading in Mark, Jesus has to have a discussion with his disciples about humility. When Jesus confronted them about their argument, they were ashamed. Sitting down, Jesus tells them this: “Anyone who wants to be first must be the last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)c  Oh my, how often we think we are better than everyone else or can do something so much better than another, even though we are surely not! The ego is much easier to inflate than a balloon, but pops just as quickly when pricked with shame. The easiest way to avoid this is simply to follow this message: Be the servant of all. We must not be preoccupied with who is the best. Rather, we should think about ways to serve, and about how Christ is working within us.

 

 

The modern, competitive world makes this rather difficult to do, and this is defintely frustrating. However, what might be even more frustrating is the competition that takes place within ourselves: the competition between desires. I want this, I want that. I want to do great things, and yet strangely, sometimes I want to do things that are terrible and not great in any way.

 

 

Where does the desire for God fall with this internal battle or even internal war? If only my desire for God won out in every single instance; then I would stop wasting time wondering where I stand in competition with others and spend much more time thinking about love, both divine and human, and how to submit to Christ’s workings within me.

 

 

Love and Christ ought to always win when in competition with excessive pride toward the false gods, and the only way for that to happen in every instance is to be “the servant of all.”

 

 

 

 

Prayer of the Day:   O God, our teacher and guide, you draw us to yourself and welcome us as beloved children. Help us to lay aside all envy, competiveness, and selfish ambition, that we may walk in Your ways of wisdom and understanding and live always looking to You as  servants of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord who taught us to pray saying, ” Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.   Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debters.  And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. ”  Amen

 

 

May the blessings from God be with each of you and me as we honor God, praise, and worship Him and draw Him deep within our hearts.

 

 

May we love and honor every person we encounter, knowing we are all His children.

 

 

Let us go in peace and serve the Lord,