My prayer this day

To this end we always pray for you, asking that our God will make you worthy of his call and will fulfill by his power every good resolve and work of faith, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~2Thes. 1:11-12 (NRSV)

Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our fellow men throughout the world who live and dies in poverty and hunger. Give them, through our hands, this day their daily bread, and by our understanding love give Peace and joy.

Lord, make me a channel of thy peace, that where there is hatred I may bring love; that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness; that where there is discord, I may bring harmony; that where there is error, I may bring truth; that where there is doubt, I may bring hope; that where there are shadows, I may bring light; that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted; to understand than to be understood; to love than to be loved; for it is by forgetting self that one finds; it is by dying that one awakens to eternal life. Amen. ~From Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge

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Finding the kingdom

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ~Matt 5:13 (NRSV)

“The man who is proud of anything he thinks he has reached, has not reached it. He is but proud of himself and imagining a cause for his pride. If he had reached, he would already have begun to forget. He who delights in contemplating whereto he has attained, is not merely sliding back; he is already in the dirt of self-satisfaction. The gate of the kingdom is closed, and he outside.

The man who does not house self has room to be his real self- God’s eternal idea of him. He lives eternally; in virtue of the creative power present in him with momently unimpeded creation, he is. How should there be in him one thought of ruling or commanding or surpassing! He can imagine no bliss, no good in being greater than someone else.

He is unable to wish himself other than he is, except more what God made him for, which is indeed the highest willing of the will of God. His brother’s well-being is essential to bliss. The thought of standing higher in the favor of God than his brother would make him miserable. He would lift every brother to the embrace of the Father.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they are of the same spirit as God, and if nature the kingdom of heaven is theirs. ~From Life Essential by George MacDonald

Heavenly Father, help me to have Your Spirit. Help me to see Your Kingdom here on earth. Help me to bring Your love to the world. Amen.

Remembering to say “Thank You”

On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men with skin diseases approached him. Keeping their distance from him, they raised their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, show us mercy!”

When Jesus saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” As they left, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw that he had been healed, returned and praised God with a loud voice. He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus replied, “Weren’t ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? No one returned to praise God except this foreigner?” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up and go. Your faith has healed you.” ~ Luke 17:11-19 (CEB)

I am thankful for holidays and traditions that slow me down and help me to remember to refocus my attention. Life gets so hectic. I don’t mean to be ungrateful. I don’t mean to overlook those things that God does for me. “Thanksgiving” reminds me that I need to think about the things that I am thankful for. “Thanksgiving” reminds me that I need to say thank you more often. “Thanksgiving” reminds me that I need to show my thankfulness by reaching out to those around me.

Thank you Lord for the signs you place in my life that redirect my focus to You. I thank you for the simple things I daily overlook. I thank you for a warm place to lay my head. I thank You for family and friends that love me. I thank You that I can choose the foods I eat and that I that I don’t have to go to sleep hungry. I thank You that I can worship you without risk to my life. Help me to see these blessings regularly. Amen.

Blessed are the meek

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. ~Mark 5:5 (CEB)

“We cannot see the world as God means it, save in proportion as our souls are meek. In meekness only are we its inheritors. Meekness alone makes the spiritual retina pure to receive God’s things as they are, mingling with them neither imperfection nor impurity of its own. A thing so beheld that it conveys to me the divine thought issuing in its form, is mine; by nothing but its mediation between God and my life can anything be mine.” ~From Life Essential by George MacDonald

Remove the scales from my eyes O Lord so that I may see the world as You would have me see it. Help me to accept Your will and to not force my way in things. Amen.

Centered

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. ~Rom. 12:1-2 (CEB)

“For a spiritual life is simply a life in which all that we do comes from the center, where we are anchored in God: a life soaked through and through by a sense of his reality and claim, and self-given to the great moment of his will.

Most of our conflicts and difficulties come from trying to deal with the spiritual and practical aspects of our life separately instead of realizing them as parts of one whole. If our practical life is centered on our own interests, cluttered up by possessions, distracted by ambitions, passions, wants and worries, beset by a sense of our own rights and importance, or anxieties for our own future, or longings for our own success, we need not expect that our spiritual life will be a contrast to all this. The soul’s house is not built on such a convenient plan: there are few soundproof partitions in it.” ~From The Spiritual Life by Evelyn Underhill

Center me this day O Lord to do Your will. When difficulties and conflicts arise help me to see the whole picture. May my longings not distract me and stumble my feet this day. May my will reflect Your will. Amen.

In training

Train yourself for a holy life! While physical training has some value, training in holy living is useful for everything. It has promise for this life now and the life to come.   ~1 Timothy 4:7b-8 (CEB)

“Our Spiritual life is his affair; because, whatever we may think to the contrary, it is really produced by his steady attraction, and our humble and self-forgetful response to it. It consists in being drawn, at his pace and in his way, to the place where he wants us to be; not the place we fancied for ourselves.” ~From The Spiritual Life by Evelyn Underhill

Draw me ever closer to You O Lord. Steady my life. Help me to fill that hole that can only be filled by You. Help me to align my pace with Yours so that I may better understand Your will. Help me to see myself with Your eyes. Amen.

In the end

A day is coming that belongs to the LORD,

when that which has been plundered from you will be divided among you.

I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem for the battle,

the city will be captured,

the houses will be plundered,

and the women will be raped.

Half of the city will go forth into exile,

but what is left of the people won’t be eliminated from the city.

The LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.

On that day he will stand upon the Mount of Olives, to the east of Jerusalem.

The Mount of Olives will be split in half by a very large valley running from east to west.

Half of the mountain will move north,

and the other half will move south.

You will flee through the valley of my mountain,

because the valley of the mountains will reach to Azal.

You will flee just as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Judah’s King Uzziah.

The LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

On that day, there will be no light.

Splendid things will disappear.

On one day known to the LORD, there will be neither day nor night,

but at evening time there will be light.

On that day, running water will flow out from Jerusalem,

half of it to the Dead Sea

and half of it to the Mediterranean;

this will happen during the summer and the fall.

The LORD will become king over all the land.

On that day the LORD will be one,

and the LORD ‘s name will be one.

The entire land will become like the desert

from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem will be high up and firmly in place

from the Benjamin Gate to the place of the former gate,

to the Corner Gate, and from the Hananel Tower to the king’s wine vats.

People will dwell in it;

it will never again be destroyed.

Jerusalem will dwell securely.

This will be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples who

swarmed against Jerusalem:

their flesh will rot, even while standing on their feet;

their eyes will rot in their sockets;

and their tongues will rot in their mouths.

On that day, a great panic brought on by the LORD will fall upon them;

they will all grasp at the hand of their neighbors;

neighbors will attack each other.

Even Judah will fight in Jerusalem.

The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected:

gold, silver, and a great abundance of garments. ~Zech. 14:1-11 (CEB)

“Every United Methodist preacher since the time of John Wesley has been asked a series of questions before being admitted into full membership in an annual conference. The first question is, ‘Have you faith in Christ?’ The second question is, ‘Are you going on to perfection?’ Seventeen more questions follow, and every candidate is to be led in discussion and understanding of the questions by the resident bishop of the area.

Once during the turbulent sixties, Bishop Gerlad Kennedy was asking these historic question of candidates standing before him in the presence of the annual conference session. When asked if he was going on to perfection, one candidate responded ‘No!’ Bishop Kennedy quickly replied, ‘Then where are you going?’ It was an appropriate question then, and it is an appropriate question now- not only for preachers but also for all Christians.

Where are you going? If you continue on the course you have charted, where will it all end? So often we discount Christ’s return, forgetting that in many ways Jesus Christ has never left. Or we begin reasoning that since Christ has never left. Or we begin reasoning that since Christ has not returned yet, why think about it? But the truth is that at the very best, our lives are short and soon we will have reached our destination, whether Jesus Christ will have returned in a cosmic unfolding or not. Are you going on toward God? If not, where are you going? It is always a good time to review and if necessary redirect your life toward God.” ~Rueben P. Job, A Guide for All Who Seek God

Almighty God, as you have given Jesus Christ to be Savior and Lord, grant us now grace to accept and rejoice in our salvation and in His lordship. Amen.

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