Jan 23, 2017

This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the Cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. - Acts 4:11-12 In the 1800s, Queen Victoria was crossing the English Channel on her royal yacht. During the course of the trip, her eye fell upon a tiny bird, who with fluttering wings, tried to follow the ship. Apparently, the bird had been attracted by the brightness of the silk flag which floated at the masthead. The queen turned to her daughter and pointed to the bird. As they watched, they could see the bird was becoming weak and weary, darting down to the waves, then climbing back up, trying to find some place to rest. But as this bird was a fragile creature used to the woods and not the company of man, it refused to settle down on the ship. With a faint cry it rose from the waves, soared up to the masthead and, unsuccessfully, tried to rest upon the flag, which had drawn it from the land -- away from safety, shelter and home. The heart of the queen was filled with pity and she commanded her sailors to save the weary bird. Wishing to please his Monarch every able-bodied man jumped to do the job Victoria had entrusted to them. They used every art and every device to capture that bird. Sadly, all their efforts to rescue the bird only terrified it more. At last it fell upon the deck at the feet of the queen. Her majesty stooped and picked up the dead bird and held it tenderly in her hands. Victoria, Queen over an empire upon which the sun never set, had been absolutely helpless in sparing the life of a single, small, scared bird. Her good intentions had not been good enough; her power had proven to be insufficient to the task. I would like to point out that some things don't change. In the worlds of politics, medicine, education and philanthropy, there are many who, with good intentions, are eager to try and save us. It is true, they are willing, but it is equally true, they are not able. Most certainly, they may assist you with simple problems and minor difficulties, but they cannot correct or cure the great sickness of sin that besets and condemns our souls. Nobody can save us other than Jesus. That is because Jesus alone • has lived a perfect life so that our sinful imperfections might be forgiven; • has resisted every temptation so we might be found innocent on Judgment Day; • has conquered death and shown to this doubting world that His sacrifice to save us has been accepted and is complete. THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we give thanks for those people of the world who do their best to make a positive impact. Bless them in their service. Most of all, we pray that every sinful soul may see only Jesus can save from condemnation and damnation. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen. (Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

Posted at 07:29 am by preacher314
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Jan 20, 2017

Two Critical Roles for People of Faith Under a Trump Administration 1. Faith must stand up for itself, for its values, for its standards, and for its priorities. 2. Leadership means sacrifice for the greater good, instead of just the personal one. YOU MUST STAND UP WITHIN, FOR, AND LIVE YOUR FAITH! IT IS MORE VITAL THAN EVER THAT WE DO SO. AND WE MUST BEGIN NOW!!!!!!! And perhaps the value that our country needs most right now, in an age of almost complete cynicism about politics, is the power and promise of hope. We can decide to spend our time, energy, and the gifts of our lives to make this a better world — for those around us, especially for those on the edges, and to be good stewards of the creation itself. That’s who people of faith are supposed to be; that is what we are supposed to do. And there is no better time to do that than right now. No matter what politics says and does, it is always time for faith to flourish and move forward. (Sojourners, sojo.net, Jim Wallis)

Posted at 07:01 am by preacher314
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Jan 19, 2017

INAUGURATION DAY “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” — Exodus 3:5 Leaders can easily fall into the trap of being out of touch with the people. Most leaders of nations enjoy luxuries that the general public does not. It’s easy to become insensitive to the needs of the common man or unsympathetic to a poor man’s plight. God, on the other hand, says “Don’t you dare! My people are my precious children.” Moses was commanded to remain as sensitive as he was at that moment until the day that he died. Insensitivity is a trap we all can fall into. It’s hard to empathize with the hungry if your stomach is always full, or to feel for the homeless when we are enjoying the comfort and warmth of our own homes. But, friends, we who serve the Lord are on “holy ground.” We must remain acutely sensitive to the needs of His children and do our best to meet them, whenever and however we can.

Posted at 07:15 pm by preacher314
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“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” ― Emma Lazarus PLEASE DON'T TURN THEM AWAY

Posted at 08:38 am by preacher314
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Jan 17, 2017

But now thus says the LORD, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine." - Isaiah 43:1 Now most of you know John 3:16 -- the "Gospel in a nutshell." You remember how it begins: "For God so loved the world ...." That passage means the Lord knows and loves everybody, which includes all the billions of people who have ever or will ever live. God loves everybody. Scripture is clear on that. But it is also clear that He loves me, the individual. When Jesus was born, it was to save me. When He knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane, He received and carried my sins. When He died, that was for me ... and so was His resurrection. And now, as Luther said, "The Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel and keeps me in the faith." And that's true for you, too. You see, you are a very special, a one-of-a-kind person to the Lord. THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, truly You are a great God. You have the capacity to love and reach out to save an entire world, but You do so one soul at a time. I pray that while there is still time, the lost may come to know You, appreciate You, and love You in return. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen (Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

Posted at 08:07 am by preacher314
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Jan 16, 2017

Verse But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:24 Voice If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer As we honor the legacy of Dr. King, and the work of people involved in the Civil Rights Movement, bless us with the wisdom you bestowed upon them. (Sojourners, sojo.net)

Posted at 10:00 am by preacher314
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Jan 15, 2017

This is the season of Holy Resistance: resistance against white nationalism, misogyny, Islamophobia; resistance against false news and spectacle; resistance against the lie that America is the greatest when fears the stranger, deports the foreigner, and only protects the interests of those of wealth and power. And as Christians who take Jesus at His word when He says, Whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me," our holy resistance extends to the church when it endorses such lies or stands quietly on the side. I WANT TO RESIST AS A DISCIPLE OF A NONVIOLENT REDEEMER AND LIBERATOR, I WANT TO BE NON VIOLENT! (sojourners)

Posted at 08:24 am by preacher314
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Jan 14, 2017

(please remember) Ephesians 6:12 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places

Posted at 08:25 am by preacher314
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Jan 13, 2017

In the days following the ugliest election in my life (I was born in 1945), I have seen few if any commentaries on how this election impacted the children of America. Our kids hear our fears and anxieties, as well as what they hear on TV or radio, but they are not able to deal with and process those fears as are adults. What is our Christian responsibility to help our children to deal with and overcome the fear and anger they feel when they hear the president-elect denigrate minority groups and promote violence against those who disagree? This is truly a teachable moment in every house of worship, and not just for adults. Our kids are suffering and we cannot let the words of narcissistic bigot go unchallenged. I urge us not to forget the children (from sojourners Bill Turney, Houston Texas)-

Posted at 07:05 am by preacher314
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Jan 10, 2017

I see you but you don't see me I am made invisible by you special powers Not mine, I have no power Your shiny car passes me It does not have a speck of dirt But I am filthy Only me sweat shines at the bus stop As it today in the fields I smell like dirt I know you are not hungry Because I see you in your red car Driving to a fancy resturant You do not I am hungry Because you cannot see me I had no lunch today My belly hurts But you cannot hear my emptiness You only hear the music in you car I see you but you do not see me Perhaps all of me was left In the woods where I slept last night Or maybe the mosquitoes sucked my life away One by on as they found me on the ground Because I had not blanket to cover me So I itch. They saw though you did not. I dream of home. My mother and my sisters Hungry, waiting for the money I will send them for food. "America..... you will make lots of money Our stomachs will be full And you sister will have shoes I hope my boss will pay me this week I look at my boots These boots took me 15 days in the desert Now they will bring through the fields And I wonder...... Is it the car that makes me invisible Because I see you but You do not see me (Patricia Byrne) REMEMBER "SANCTUARY" MEANS "PLACE OF REFUGE," AND THAT HAS PROVEN TRUE FOR MANY OF THE INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE BECOME PART OF OUR COUNTRY

Posted at 03:31 pm by preacher314
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