Live Like That…

Joys of efforts with Christian Playbook postings include getting songs and stories from readers, including my precious family members.

On this Valentine’s Day, what if we could recklessly share love with the whole world at a Christ-like level?

“If love is who I am
Then this is where I’ll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back”

The lyrics above are taken from the song Live Like That by Sidewalk Prophets. My brother Thad mentions that this is his aspirational “theme song” with inspiration music as well. It’s HERE for your listening pleasure and is also on the Christian Playbook “All Year Long” playlist HERE.

PRAYER: Creator God, as we continue living on this Valentine’s Day and in the days ahead, may we continue finding more opportunities and varied ways to love recklessly in Christ-like manner.

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, February 16, 2020:


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RFK on a difficult day…

“Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.” ~ Aeschylus

On a very difficult day – one of many in 1968 – Robert F. Kennedy gave THIS impassioned speech in Indianapolis. Bobby spoke about Martin Luther King  Jr.’s goals and about furthering understanding, compassion and love even upon Martin’s death by assassination. Kennedy’s comments resonate today relating to the United States and our globe:

“What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred;  what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but love, and wisdom, and compassion towards one another, feeling of justice toward those who still suffer…” ~ Robert F. Kennedy

PRAYER: Creator, stir in us your wisdom, compassion and love so that ACTION in the midst of sacred anxiety might be our goal.

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!

Another wise man seeking to reunite the nation (remembering his birth 211 years ago)

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, February 16, 2020:


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A Beautiful Day…

Tonight the Oscar Awards show is on. The wonderful actor, Tom Hanks, is a nominee as Best Supporting Actor portraying Mister Rogers. This show is a 3 hankie movie for those who have that penchant for crying.

One of the many powerful scenes includes these lines

“I would like you to pray for me. Will you pray for me?”  ~ Mister Rogers

Fred Rogers was an inspiration to children of all ages, including politicians, writers and more. The movie A Beautiful Day tells of one adult, Tom Junod, who was transformed by the task of writing a 400 word magazine article about Mister Rogers. In the closing words of his article [that was thousands of words OVER the 400 word limit] come these power ones:

“… and now this was it, the missing word, the unuttered promise, the prayer I’d been waiting to say a very long time.

‘Thank you, God,’ Mister Rogers said.”

~ closing of Tom Junod’s article “Can You Say…Hero” in the November, 1998 edition of Esquire

Mister Rogers lives on in positive ways through the lives of millions…

SUGGESTED PRAYER: Thank you, God

SUGGESTED ACTION(S):

  • When you have 30 minutes to invest, read Tom Junod’s article
  • When you have 2 hours to invest, watch the movie A Beautiful Day

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, February 9, 2020:


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Here and Heaven…

Years ago, Chris Thile showed incredible physical and musical energy racing along the Tall Stacks stage in Cincinnati. He shares spiritual energy and imagery in the song Here and Heaven, co-written with Aoife O’Donovan. The music video HERE is wonderful, especially with its introduction, showing the “tuning up” necessary…

The harmonies, instrumentation and lyrics (HERE) share a wonderful tale that stirs the soul.

…With an arrow and bow and some seeds left to sow
we are staking our claim
On ground so fertile we forget who we’ve hurt along
the way

and reach out for a strange hand
to hold someone strong but not bold enough to
tear down the wall…

~ lyrics from Here and Heaven song

Each of us will likely take away different meanings from the lyrics and the song. Could this involve the wall between Here and Heaven? Can we reach out to strangers for help and to help? Is the strong, strange hand imagery for the Creator?

May we continue to recognize the fertile ground we encounter each day as we continue in our own winters, springs, summers and falls…

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, February 9, 2020:


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Challenges to “organized religion”…

In a note about the CP post on MLK Jr. Day, brother Andy referenced “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (link to the letter in its entirety HERE.) It’s a compelling response to the regional clergy’s letter, where among other things they suggest to Dr. King:

We further strongly urge our own Negro community to withdraw support from these demonstrations, and to unite locally in working peacefully for a better Birmingham. When rights are consistently denied, a cause should be pressed in the courts and in negotiations among local leaders, and not in the streets. We appeal to both our white and Negro citizenry to observe the principles of law and order and common sense.

Among his responses, Dr. King mentions

Maybe again, I have been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to status-quo to save our nation and the world? Maybe I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ecclesia and the hope of the world.

What injustices come to mind in your community or a specific geography with relevance to you? May we continue working with organized religion where possible, and with our human community-at-large to “demonstrate” in ways consistent with justice.

We close with this prayerful/hopeful commentary from Dr. King’s letter:

“Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”

Amen!

Enjoy the day, filled with the sacrificial Spirit!


Dark clouds…
Radiant light !

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, February 9, 2020:


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Avoiding Irrelevancy…

“If the church of today does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authentic ring, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century” ~ Martin Luther King Jr. – 1963

Pastor Roger from St. Timothy in east Cincinnati does a regular blog. Last week his post HERE entitled Avoiding Irrelevancy includes the above quote from MLK Jr.. When/if you have time, please read Pastor Roger’s blog post.

POSSIBLE ACTIONS: What ways can you and your community capture the same energy and sacrificial nature that was shared during MLK Jr’s ministry for social justice?

PRAYER: Creator God, help our communities to stand up against injustice while raising the next generations to do the same. Selah. May we engage with society to feed, clothe, visit and love our neighbors, known and unknown. Selah.    Amen!  [NOTE: prayer components from Pastor Roger’s post]

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, February 2, 2020:


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…do justice, love kindness, walk humbly…

“and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the U.S. sparks nice tributes. It also provides reminders of how far our planet’s inhabitants still must go for justice, kindness and humility.

Thanks to CP friend Joan for sharing the video (HERE) of Dr. King’s daughter, Bernice. In this 3 1/2 minute video, Dr. Bernice King discusses her upbringing and how the  Micah 6:8 scripture was spoken about and lived out. Her parents certainly embodied so many of these traits and the legacy continues…

PRAYER: Creator God, as we follow you all our days, help us to share with you our praise. Strengthen our doing; nurture within us an even more loving presence; and awaken a growing willingness to be your humble servants in all we say and do. Amen.

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, February 2, 2020:


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Praise Ye the Lord…

Praise the LORD! How good it is to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. … Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre. He covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth, makes grass grow on the hills. … His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner; but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. Praise the LORD!  ~ Psalm 147:1-11, 20c (selections)

The hymn Praise Ye The Lord feels like it partially talks about this Psalm and it’s sung HERE if you want to hear it. And HERE’S a little history of this hymn in case you’re interested (fascinating how sometimes those who receive credit for a song are the ones who write the harmonies?)

ACTION: go about your day, spurred on to help heal the brokenhearted and in all things to Praise Ye the Lord!

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 26, 2020:


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Movin’ & prayin’ …

Movin’ and prayin’ can be a wonderful way to experience God.

One example is this palms up/down format that Bob Buford mentions in the book Halftime

{Put your PALMS UP – arms outstretched in front of you}

Spend a minute or two praying about giving your life back to God, describing the various ways you can do that…

{Move to PALMS DOWN – arms outstretched in front of you}

Now pray about some ways you intend to release your cares to God…

Close this prayer with a statement like: “In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”


ACTION: Did the palms up/down movements enhance your prayer? If so, maybe you’ll want to try another of the “movin’ and prayin’ ” prayers (LINK HERE) today or in the days ahead?

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 26, 2020:


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We Have a Dream …

Listening and watching Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” message is a stirring experience still today. HERE is some video of that speech, with a longer video HERE. We are privileged to have this holiday to remember the progress made and the present-day opportunities for growth.

Prayers of strength and support today can include those still dealing with injustice in so many ways. We must not be satisfied. May we endeavor to seek justice and peace worldwide for all, NOT allowing race, economic status, religious conviction, gender identification and/or other “stereotyping” to fully define any person or group.

Let freedom ring from every mountaintop … from everywhere!

Enjoy the day, energized for social justice action, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 26, 2020:


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