Aug 24, 2016
WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR

Scripture: 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’30 In reply Jesus said: ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half-dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said, “and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.” 36 ‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’ 37 The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’(NIV Luke 10:29-37) A car turned directly in front of a young woman crossing the street. She reflexively reached out her hands to avoid walking into the followed the woman. He grabbed her by the back of her coat and punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground. He stood over her as if trying to decide what to do, before walking back to his car. A young man rushed to help her up. He waited while she made a police report, and then offered her a ride home. In New York City people don't offer or accept rides from strangers, but she was grateful for his kindness and compassion, and she accepted the ride. Jesus does that for us. Like the Samaritan, Jesus has compassion for our broken and violated state. He pours oil on our wounds and carries us to places of safety. He invites us to go and do likewise. Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for caring for us. Help us to show mercy. In Your Name Amen (Covenant Home Alter author Mary Trujillo)

Posted at 08:30 am by preacher314
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Aug 21, 2016
THE GIFT OF UNANSWERED PRAYER

We don’t always get what we pray for. But we always get what we need, and that makes all the difference. When we pray for one thing and we don’t get what we asked for, it feels as though one of two things has happened. Either God didn’t hear our prayers, or He has denied us a gift. But neither is true. God hears every one of our prayers. Sometimes He says “yes” and other times He says “no.” But when God says “no,” it’s not because He doesn’t want us to have good things. When God says “no” to what we asked for, it’s because He has something even greater to give us! When your prayers seem to go unanswered, thank God for your unanswered prayers because those are often the greatest gifts of all.

Posted at 10:03 am by preacher314
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Aug 17, 2016
THE NATURE OF THE KING

Scripture: Luke 3: 7-8 7 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.(NRSV) Reflections: Every week I meet with students and professionals who are trying to "get in" somewhere. "We spend time going over strategies for success, trying to come with the best way to get in by spinning accomplishments and selling. In Luke 3, John the Baptist shared a very different strategy for getting in. His audience understood works and sacrifices as part of religious ritual. Yet this realm that John spoke of required sacrificing to help not oneself, but those in need (v.11). The bureaucrat's resume of accomplishments and the soldier's steel sword would not get them in. This King demanded honesty and selfishness (vv. 13-14). In short, this King was impressed not by achievements or pedigree, but by how one's life mirrored character. Let us seek to show humility and integrity to our families, friends, schools, jobs, and communities, no matter the cost. Prayer: Dear Lord, this week help me to live a life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, choosing to give rather than gain. Amen. (Covenant Home Alter author, Quaime Lee)

Posted at 07:40 am by preacher314
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Aug 16, 2016
SHIELD ME

May Christ shield me today against poison and fire, against drowning and wounding, so that I may fulfill my mission and bear fruit in abundance. Christ behind and before me, Christ behind and above me, Christ with me and in me, Christ around and about me, Christ on my right and on my left, Christ when I lie down at night, Christ when I rise in the morning, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone that speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

Posted at 07:12 am by preacher314
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Aug 12, 2016
I RISE TODAY

I rise today through the power of God: God's might to comfort me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to lead me, God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me, God's Heavenly Host to save me from the snares of the devil, from temptations to sin, from all who wish me ill, from near and afar, alone and with others.

Posted at 09:51 pm by preacher314
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BEING RIGHT

Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them. — Proverbs 26:12 “Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” How could there be more hope for a fool than a wise person? When we are so attached to being wise in our own eyes – to being right all the time — there is more hope for a four-year-old who doesn’t know much, but also doesn’t need to be right. Sometimes our attachment to our wisdom can stop us from making intelligent decisions. Today, let’s take some time to think about “being right.” When do we feel the need to be right? Does it ever get in the way of our relationships at home, at work, or with strangers? Today, practice being kind over being right. And if there is a relationship in our lives that needs mending, let us be brave enough to pick up the phone and call. Choose happiness, choose kindness, and choose life.

Posted at 07:39 am by preacher314
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Aug 11, 2016
LOVING THE UNLOVABLE

(Jesus said) "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35 No, I don't love everybody -- and you don't either. Almost nobody loves everybody . Almost. You see, there is an exception to that rule. That exception is Jesus. Jesus, the sinless Son of God, the Savior of the world, managed to love everyone. I don't know how, but He did. Think for a moment of what that meant. He loved the Pharisees who tried to trick Him, and Herod, the King, who killed babies in an attempt to eliminate any competition. Jesus loved the priests who refused to identify Him as the Savior, and He loved the crowds who wanted to be healed and fed, but had little use for salvation. Jesus loved the disciples who slept when He needed them, and He loved Judas who betrayed Him with a kiss. Jesus loved the Roman Procurator who decided to save his hide rather than dispense justice. Jesus loved the men who whipped Him, who spit on Him, who nailed Him to the cross. And Jesus loved us, which is reason and example enough for us to try and do the same . PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that Jesus, in spite of my many sins, has continued to love me. May I follow His example and do all I can to love everyone -- especially those I consider to be most unlovable. In the Savior's Name I ask it. Amen. (from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

Posted at 07:26 am by preacher314
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Aug 6, 2016
THE WORD COMES ALIVE!

Scripture: read Luke 4: 14-21 Reflection: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.' And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down...Then he began to say to them, 'Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing (v v. 17-21) It was not an unusual thing for Jesus to stand in to read the Scriptures; this was something he had done many times before. However, this day was different. This was more than a cursory reading of sacred test; today the Scriptures came alive. Jesus was (and is) the living word! His life personified that prophetic message, and his works would make words of Scripture tangible in the lives of others. When we read the Scriptures, that should be the cry of our hearts. We should hunger for the word to come alive in our actions every day. Prayer: Father may your word become tangible and real in my life. Help me not only to hear and read, but to live and do your word each day. Amen (Covenant Home Alter, author Shaun Marshall)

Posted at 08:10 am by preacher314
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Aug 5, 2016
THE WORK OF WISDOM

Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions. Ecclesiastes 7:10 When the passion wears off and we get depressed, that’s precisely when it’s time to press on. God might gift us with excitement at the start of something new in order to get us moving, but it’s up to us to carry on when things get tough. If you are going through a slump or feel that you are acking the passion you once had, don’t get down. Instead of acting from passion, lead with wisdom until you reach your goal and reclaim even more inspiration than before. With prayers for shalom, peace, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

Posted at 07:35 am by preacher314
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Aug 3, 2016
WONDROUS WORKS OF HIS PERFECT LAW

Scripture: Read Psalm 19 Reflection: Have you ever listened to the beautiful song of the sunrise? Or witnessed the eloquent preaching of snow capped mountains as the communicate to us the incredible artistry of God? When we pause to appreciate the natural beauty of our world, and quiet ourselves away from the noise of sin that surrounds us, we will hear creation whisper, "trust the voice of God...His law is perfect. Surrender to Him, allow your soul to be His canvas, and let His word transform your life into a masterpiece for His glory. God is an amazing artist, and His perfect law and allows our lives to be His wondrous works. Let's surrender to the pen stroked of His perfect law, and allow our lives to be His work of art. "The heavens are telling the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech and night to night declares knowledge..... The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul" (vv. 1-2,7) Prayer: Father, I realize that Your law is perfect and my ways are not. Help me to surrender to Your word, so that my life may tell of your glory. Amen (Covenant Home Alter, author Shaun Marshall)

Posted at 07:53 am by preacher314
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