Feb 21, 2017
"Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can
bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither
can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." -John 15:4
We don't have this word in English, but the word in
Greek is Menno. Our best translation for this to abide.
Abide. Jesus says to do that in me -- abide in my love.
Abide in me, find a home in me, and be safe in me, and
when you feel safe in my love. Instead of turning inward
and holding onto everything, you're going to learn to be
like branches on a vine that open up, bloom, and reach
out. You reaching out is you loving others as Jesus has
loved you. That's what it's all about: being rooted in the
vine, being safe in Jesus Christ, and finding the freedom
to be messed up, broken, flawed individuals we are. We
are safe in God's kingdom and can take off our masks
and say, friends, family, this is me. I love you. I'm scared.
I'm hurting. I'm a sinner. I'm broken. I'm angry. But it's
good to be real. You can love others because you're safe.
You can remain in his love. You don't have to prove
anything to anybody. You do enough. You are enough.
You don't have to prove anything to God. Just abide in
him and love others and everything else will fall in its right
place. That's the truth.
Thank you, God, for allowing us to be real. If we abide in
you, we are free to be our imperfect selves.
REFLECTION: Are you abiding in Jesus?
Posted at 06:04 pm by preacher314
Feb 20, 2017
“These are the laws you are to set before them.”
This passage is teaching us that, as great as moments
of revelation and inspiration can be, they are not where
we will find God. It’s wonderful to be moved by a
beautiful sunset or to be awed by a powerful
thunderstorm. They may make us feel more connected
to God and inspire us to change. But that’s not where
we encounter God in the deepest way.
We truly encounter God where we are least expecting it
– in the store, at a business meeting, sitting around the
house with our family. It’s the quiet moments in life
where we choose to follow God’s Word or set His laws
aside; that’s where we truly encounter God.
As you go through the day, keep an ear out for that
“gentle whisper” guiding you and commanding you as
you go through life. When you hear God’s voice and
choose to obey His laws, you will have found Him, no
matter where you may be. Nothing is more sensational
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Posted at 07:07 am by preacher314
Feb 17, 2017
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
Once evil is individualized, becoming part of
everyday life, the way of resisting it also
becomes individual. How does the soul
survive? is the essential question. And the
response is: through love and imagination.
Give us the ability, God, to see where trouble
is rampant and justice is needed. Then give
us, too, the conviction to act and the ability
to establish peace.
Posted at 06:52 am by preacher314
Feb 15, 2017
Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years
of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. —
Imagine how Jacob’s last 17 years on earth must have
felt to him. Even though he was in Egypt, out of the
Holy Land, he was together with his children and
grandchildren and their ever-growing families. Those
precious years were full of peace, abundance, and
godliness. Children, parents, and grandparents all
studied the Word of God together. In this week’s
Torah portion, Jacob truly lived. And as part of life,
he passed on his legacy to his descendants and died
surrounded by his loved ones.
Friends, we’ve just been through the holiday season,
spending time with family and friends. But why wait
just for the holidays to do this? It’s challenging to make
time for family get-togethers in today’s busy world, but
it’s worth the effort. Because in the end, family is what
truly matters in life.
Family, as Jacob knew, is life.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Posted at 07:18 am by preacher314
Feb 14, 2017
MY PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS
Lord, because of the Savior's sacrifice I ask that
You will have mercy on me, a sinner. I'm sorry
for all my sins. Forgive my past and help me
forgive others. Lord, accept my gratitude for
Your love and my blood-bought forgiveness.
In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
Posted at 07:14 am by preacher314
Feb 11, 2017
Let each of you look not to your own interests,
but to the interests of others.
Live for yourself and you will live in vain;
Live for others, you will live again.
God, motivate us to seek justice, even when
the outcome won't affect us.
Posted at 10:08 am by preacher314
Feb 9, 2017
Psalms 119:1-2,4-5,17-18,33-34; I Corinthians 2:6-10;
"... go and be reconciled with your brother first"
It seems clear, and for a variety of reasons, that many
people feel as though we are living in difficult days.
Perhaps your are among them. In an apparent response
to that mood, there was an amusing image portrayed
recently in a popular magazine. Pictured in a department
store is a shopper, standing in front of an attractive
display of neatly stacked pillows. The store clerk is
pointing to the shelves as he says, "No. These are
pillows for screaming into. You'll find our sleeping pillows
on the second floor."
Of course, difficult days summon in us a variety of
emotions. And while screaming into our pillows is far
better than taking out our frustrations on those closest to
us, the Gospel writers tell us, over-and-over again, that
there is a Truly better way. Put your faith and trust in
God's plan for living and you will be blest. Your faith will
bring you happiness. Your faith will bring you fulfillment.
Your faith will bring you ever closer to becoming the
person God created you to be. Indeed, it is your steadfast
faith that will transform your most difficult days into
Blessed days of fulfillment.
Jesus came into this world and preached a Good News
Gospel about God's Rule and God's Love. Time and again,
and in many different ways, He said, "You will recognize
by their fruits the persons whose faith and trust in God's
ways bring them into His Kingdom." You will know them,
He said, by the difference this faith and trust has made in
the way they live. And because their faith and trust in God
have made a difference in the way they live, they are blest,
they are happy.
Sunday Sermons Online
Posted at 07:08 pm by preacher314
Feb 8, 2017
Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
but a false witness speaks deceitfully.
Anyone who has used the power of his office as
United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the
free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not
be elevated to our courts. Mr. [Jeff] Sessions has
used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby
attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters.
Coretta Scott King
God, let us walk in truth, live in truth, and be brave
enough to speak the truth.
Posted at 10:12 am by preacher314
Feb 6, 2017
SUPER BOWL TICKETS FOR SALE
A guy placed an ad on a Local Affairs website:
"I have two tickets for the 2017 Super Bowl,
both box seats. I paid $2500 for each ticket,
but I didn't realize last year when I bought
them that it was going to be on the same
day as my wedding. I am looking for
someone to take my place. The wedding
is at St. Thomas Church, Providence at 3pm.
Her name is Amanda. She's 5'6", about
130 lbs. She is a good cook, too. She'll be
the one in the white dress."
Posted at 08:49 am by preacher314
Feb 5, 2017
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God. Matthew 5:8
The outstretched arms of Jesus
exclude no one, not the drunk in the
doorway, the panhandler on the street,
gays and lesbians in their isolation,
the most selfish and ungrateful in their
cocoons, the most unjust of employers
and the most overweening of snobs.
The love of Christ embraces all without
exception. Brennan Manning
Surround us with living saints who
remind us of the sort of people we
are trying to become. Common Prayer
Posted at 06:26 am by preacher314