Tag Archives: Lord’s Prayer

Courageous Faith: Deliver us from Evil

Today was a beautiful day filled with sunshine. We are winding down our sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. Yesterday in St. Louis, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church began a special called session to find a way forward in our denomination. For over 40 years we have wrestled with the issues around human sexuality and at the 2016 Conference, the delegates asked the Council of Bishops to lead us in a way forward.

A commission was created and three plans were offered to the General Conference. Over the next few days a decision will be made. I am praying for grace in the midst of the tension and no matter what the decision, that we as brothers and sisters treat each other tenderly and with compassion. In fact in dealing with the scriptures offered in today’s worship, the author of 1 Peter was pretty clear about how we are treat each other.

It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I support the One Church Plan. In my opinion is offers the biggest tent for the most people to live in the tension of disagreement and also to live together as brothers and sisters. Whatever happens, I will continue to choose love, to choose inclusion over exclusion and continue to be a voice for all people to be loved and welcomed into the body of Christ.

Early this morning as I walked into the sanctuary I was stunned by the window:

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The eastern portion was flooded with light and the rest still shadowed. I had never seen that glass look quite that color, so deep and rich. In my heart I believe that is what the kingdom of God looks like when God’s love and grace floods into our hearts and spirits. One of these days, all of us will be illuminated by the light of Christ and it will literally change the world.

Until then, I am praying for the United Methodist Church, praying for all of us to be delivered from any evil that might try to break us apart. I am praying for God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

You can find the whole of today’s service here. Tomorrow the sermon only will be uploaded as well. #Itstime friends. #Itstime. I am so grateful to be graced to serve.

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Courageous Faith: As We Forgive Others

Forgiveness is one of the hardest things we do as Christians, in my opinion. I am not talking about the easy things to forgive, forgetting an event, or doing something that is annoying. I am talking about the deep hurts and aches that occur within relationships and in our lives. Those hurts that takes days and weeks and often months and years to “get over” and “work through.”

Today’s scripture and the Lord’s prayer take seriously the phrase that we are forgiven to the extent we are able to forgive. Today’s worship service looked at the second part of the Lord’s Prayer phrase on forgiveness: “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” For me, this may be the hardest part of following Jesus: to forgive as I have been forgiven. Today’s worship service can be found here.

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A Song for every Occasion

Today’s National Blog Post Month prompt for today on Facebook was this:

NaBloPoMo Day Eighteen:
What’s your go-to shower song?

I was caught by this prompt. I can’t say I have a “go-to” shower song. In truth, I have many “songs” and it depends on the day, the circumstances and what is happening in my life. In “truth” I probably have a “song” for any occasion. In worship planning at my church, I can come up with a song, a hymn, chorus for just about any worship service or any circumstance that may be happening. It has become somewhat of a joke!

I can’t help it. I was raised on music. Maybe there were times in my earliest memories that music wasn’t playing, but I can’t recall them. Back in the day of “record players” my mother always had an album on, usually musicals. I grew up on Gilbert and Sullivan, Lerner and Lowe, Rogers and Hammerstein, you name it, if it was on Broadway, we had the album.

So there is not one “song” that becomes the soundtrack of my life, there are many, from a variety of genres and from classical hymns to contemporary Christian, from classic rock to pop and folk, old time Broadway musicals to some of the newest musicals on Broadway. Music speaks to the heights and depths of life and experience.

My go-to music changes some with what I am currently experiencing. When I am tired I lean into those old hymns and choruses that restore my soul:

“It is Well With my Soul”

When I am hungry for God:

“Rediscover You”

When I need to remember that the ordinary is holy:

“Holy as the Day is Spent”

When I need to be reminded that I can be more than I think:

“Defying Gravity”

When I need to be reminded that I all I need will be provided:

“Aramaic Lord’s Prayer”

I could list dozens of songs for the soundtrack of my life, for this night, these are enough to speak to my heart and soul and encourage me to be graced to serve.

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