Oct 20, 2016

In his final sermon, Jesus focused on the plights of vulnerable, marginalized, and targeted people groups: the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the immigrant, the imprisoned, and the destitute. Jesus identifies with them saying: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these you did for me.” Then he calls the faithful to work toward their equitable inclusion in society—in essence, to protect the image of God in them—to protect marginalized people’s divine call to help steward the world. In a democracy, the most basic way citizens steward the world is by exercising one’s right to vote You know many people say that it doesn't matter who you vote for, just that you vote. Their wrong it does make a difference. I have one request. When you vote ask yourself this question. WWJD WHAT WOULD JESUS DO. When you vote, vote not only as an American but as a person of Faith! I just voted and I will tell you this much-----I did not vote for Donald Trump.

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Psalm 146: 7b-10 7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, 8 the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. 9 The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. 10 The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord. Reflection: Recently I attended a forum discussion on diversity. When a dialogue on race began, a participant said, :I don't see color. My immediate internal response was, "You don't see this sun-kissed God creation sitting across the aisle?" The participant's statement is often a way to avoid acknowledging personal biases toward African Americans. Talking about race does not mean there has to be a negative confrontation. Christians are often prisoners to historical myths and preconceptions about people from different cultures and ethnicities. People want to be respected, seen and acknowledged. We marginalize and oppress people when we deny their existence as human beings created by a holy God. "The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous: (vv. 7b-8) Prayer: Lord, we are all created in your image. Liberate us from being blind seers and help us see our sisters and brothers. And forgive us when we do not see all of your creation as good. Amen (from the Covenant Home Altar, Velda R. Love, author)

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Oct 18, 2016

Scripture: Psalm 146: 1-7a Praise the Lord. 1. Praise the Lord, my soul. 2 I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. 3 Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. 5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. 6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever. 7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed(N) and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, Reflection The chorus to one of my favorite gospel songs from childhood starts, "God is the joy and the strength of my life, removes all pain, misery, and strife. He promised to keep me, never to leave me. He'll never, never fall short of his word." This song lifts my soul and provides me with a reason to praise God at all times. The psalmist encourages us to praise the Lord. I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. African descended people are not always able to experience the goodness, joy, and peace of God because of racial oppression and continuing acts of injustice. But despite the long history of racism, we are still able to praise God because God created us in God's likeness and image as taught by our ancestors through God's word. God did not create race, racism, and oppression. God created humanity equal and good; God is the maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them----God remains faithful forever. God upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. Prayer: God, thank you for being my all and all. AMEN (from the Covenant Home Altar, Velda R. Love author)

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Oct 14, 2016

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? — Lamentations 3:38 We need to know that everything we experience is good. I love these verses from Psalms: “Surely the righteous will never be shaken . . . They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD” (112:6–7). The righteous don’t fear “bad” news because they know in their hearts that nothing is truly bad. They recognize that everything comes from God. But how can we keep our hearts steadfast when going through crisis? Rabbi Nachman (18th century) taught that we must use our mouths to declare our faith. Even just saying “I believe” will give us strength to keep going with faith. I want to encourage us all to speak words of faith to ourselves and to others. Let’s declare that no matter how things seem, we know that God is in control and has a good plan for us and for the world. With prayers for shalom, peace, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

Posted at 10:16 am by preacher314
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Oct 12, 2016

Jim Wallis Donald Trump has continued to shrug off his condoning and bragging about sexual assault on the ubiquitous Access Hollywood video ��" which now many of our children have seen as well via social media ��" as merely “locker room talk.” It was my oldest son, home for his fall college break, who told me last Friday, “You need to watch this Dad; it’s really disgusting and it’s all over Facebook.” So I did watch it, and my son was right: It is utterly disgusting to hear Trump reduce women to property that he can handle however he wants to. My son is an 18-year-old college baseball player, and a lifelong athlete who has been in “locker rooms,” or in his case, dugouts and the gyms, for his entire life. He said, “I’ve never heard that kind of talk from any of my teammates or fellow athletes … never.” My younger son, who at 13 and also a baseball and basketball player, confirmed that he had never heard any of his sports buddies talk that way. I felt deeply offended and angry, that my two sons couldn’t avoid hearing Donald Trump boast about groping women and laughing that because he was a star he could get away with it; those words are now everywhere in a video nobody can avoid. Donald Trump was a 59-year-old man when he spoke about women as mere objects for his sexual gratification ��" and he is now the presidential candidate of a major party for president of the United States. MY QUESTION IS DO WANT THIS PERSON AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

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Oct 10, 2016

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 For those of you who may have been on a distant planet for the last decade, Justin Bieber is a singer. Actually, Justin Bieber is a very rich, very successful singer who has grown up in front of large crowds, screaming teenage girls, and adults who don't quite manage to see what the big hubbub is all about. Although he seems to be getting things under control, his public life has not been without a stumble or two. Even so, recently Mr. Bieber received a glowing report from the mother of a nine-year-old girl. It seems that last May Mr. Bieber took time out of his busy schedule and paid a visit to Kaylee Drew who was suffering from acute myeloid leukemia. Stopping by the girl's hospital room Mr. Bieber made that girl feel, at least for a while, first- rate. Drew's mother wrote, "I need to make sure you know how much you made her happy." The mother shares, at the end, when Drew was unresponsive, a Justin Bieber song played into her earphones managed to make her smile. Now I have to admit, Justin Bieber's songs don't get my feet to tappin' and my hands a-clappin'. That being said, I have to applaud and appreciate anyone who manages to brighten the last days of a dying child. If that is the case for a rock star who paid a one-time, short- term visit to Kaylee, what ought to be the world's response to the Savior? You know, when Jesus enters an individual's life, it isn't for a stolen moment or two. No, when Jesus comes, He comes to stay. That is why, over the centuries, He has been by the deathbeds of the rich, the poor, the young, the old, the parents, and the children. He has been there when death came quietly, and He was there when death gave a long-time warning. Jesus was there when the dying individual was alone, and He was there for the person surrounded by a host of family and loved ones. But there's more to be said about the Savior's presence when a person dies. We need to remember that when the physician is helpless and the medicine is ineffectual, Jesus is doing some of His best work. He who died so we might be forgiven and adopted into God's family of faith is there to take us through the valley of the shadow of death. He is present to assist the dying and comfort the mourning. He is there -- and because He is -- when death comes calling, we need not be afraid. THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the time is coming when I will leave this world. May I be comforted by the knowledge that at that time I will not be alone. On that day the Savior will take me to a reunion in heaven that will never end. In Jesus' Name I give thanks. Amen. (Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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Oct 5, 2016

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 3:8 The Bible's most common command is do not worry or do not be afraid. In the word of God, the most common thing that is said is do not be anxious, do not be worried, or do not be afraid. Worry, more than anything, will suffocate your spiritual life. It will cut you off from intimacy with God and others. Whereas faith, trust, rest, and slowness will allow you to grow deeper in your faith with God. Focus on what's good in your life. That will give you the hope and the confidence to not be anxious and to not be suffocating. Do you ever feel strangled by worry or anxiety? Stop it! Relax and focus on what's lovely, praiseworthy, noble, true, and good, and watch as you change your thoughts as your whole world begins to change. PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank you for your love. Today I pray that I focus on the lovely things in my life. Amen. (Rev. Bobby Schuller)

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Oct 2, 2016

Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Al Gore were in an airplane that crashed. In heaven, they found God sitting on the great, white throne. He addressed Al first. "Al, what do you believe in?" Al replied, "Well, I believe I won the election in 2000, but it was your will that I did not serve. I've come to understand that now." God thought for a second and said, "Very good. Come and sit at my left." God then addressed Bill. "Bill, what do you believe in?" Bill replied, "I believe in forgiveness. I've sinned, but I've never held a grudge against my fellow man, and I hope no grudges are held against me." Again, God thought for a second and then said, "You are forgiven, my son. Come and sit at my right." God then turned to Hillary and asked, "Hillary, what do you believe in?" She replied, "I believe you're sitting in my chair." (Hillary Clinton supporters I hope you have a sense of humor I couldn't resist)

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Sep 30, 2016

During the first Presidential Debate New York City was used as an example of effective use of stop- and frisk, when it was in effect. Here are the statistics. ..Stop-and-frisk, as it was practiced in New York City, was ineffective in reducing violent crime. But it had an overwhelmingly disproportionate impact on young black and Latino men. The New York Police Department’s data shows that 90 percent of stops conducted under stop-and-frisk were young men of color who had done nothing wrong. And the level of racial profiling went from discriminatory to absurd: In 2011, more young black men were stopped and frisked than there were young black men living in New York City. This suggests that many young men were stopped multiple times. That same year, weapons were found on 1.8 percent of black and Latino people who were stopped, but on 3.8 percent of white people who were stopped — nearly double the rate. Racism is America’s original sin, and we saw that racial sin again in the first presidential debate. —@jimwallis

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Sep 28, 2016

Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Proverbs 15:30 Today, let’s greet everyone we see with a bright and cheery disposition. Who might we bring joy to today? Who can we get to smile? How can we make someone else a little bit happier? When we live our lives looking for ways to make others more joyful, we are rewarded richly for our kindness. God gives us joy in our own hearts and strength to our spirits. With prayers for shalom, peace, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

Posted at 06:49 am by preacher314
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