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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Getting Back Up Again……

As people attempting to follow the loving example of Christ Jesus, we’re going to fall down every once in a while. We’re only human, after all. In fact, that’s part of the “forgiveness equation,” isn’t it?

When you have a few minutes, take a listen to this song – We Fall Down But We Get Up. Years back it was a suggestion by a member of another church’s jail ministry worship team.

“Get back up again!” is sung in such an encouraging way in this song. When you make one of the “suitable number of mistakes” in trying to follow your faith and the Spirit … “Get back up again!”

As the song suggests, “For a saint is just a sinner who fell down and got up.”

ACTIONS: step out in faith, “falling down” every once in a while with confidence in grace and mercy

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 19, 2020:


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Prayer Focus: Family & Friends …

Friends and family members can be treasures. Hopefully each of us has enjoyed time with some of these blessed folks over the recent holiday period.

While those holiday memories are fresh, consider listening to this online, six minute Daily Prayer Audio with a focus on Friends and Family. These few minutes of guided prayer can provide a reflective, active time to recognize prayer requests for these special people in your life.

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 19, 2020:


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“So may the words I say      And the things I do

Make my Lifesong sing      Bring a smile to you”

~ Lifesong (Casting Crowns)

Take a listen to the Casting Crowns song Lifesong HERE. Was there a particular word or phrase that particularly captures your attention (the words can sometimes be difficult to hear – the lyrics to the song are HERE in case you’d like to read the poetry?)

So….how does your Lifesong sing?

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 12, 2020:


 

This week we pray for


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Producing Generations of …

In his CAC post called “Diverse Discipleship,” Brian McLaren describes the need for a faith movement that is “decentralized and diverse rather than centralized and uniform” (NOT an institution!)

Towards the end of the CAC post are these words…

In dangerous times like these, . . . we have to produce generations of dedicated, courageous, and creative contemplative activists who will join God to bring radical healing and change to this damaged world, before it’s too late. ~ CAC Diverse Discipleship blog post 2020-01-02

Thinking of the future generations who are growing up with more technological ways to communicate with those around the world, this seems a clarion call for active, contemplative Jesus-followers to embrace technology all the more in intentional ways to heal and change this damaged world.

ACTION: Now…how do we embrace technology with our faith more effectively? Think about this and share ideas with thought-leaders in your faith tradition (and/or with Christian Playbook at salong_now @ yahoo.com)

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 12, 2020:


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Prayers for Iran, Iraq and Syria…

We’ve admired Beth Richardson from afar for many years, ever since her extremely effective Alive Now efforts. She blogs at All the Wonders and her post for today (HERE) is yet another example why we appreciate her so. She mentions the “God timing” of The Ecumenical Prayer Cycle focusing on Iran, Iraq and Syria on this critical week.

ACTION: Please consider checking out Beth’s post above and allow her prayers along with these related intercessions (HERE) to merge with yours…

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!

P.S. It’s not clear this will work – – AMATEUR RUNNING THIS BLOG! 🙂 – –  at the bottom of this post may include The Ecumenical Prayer Cycle’s country information!

Reflections…

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 12, 2020:


 

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Epiphany – following the star…

On this Epiphany, this d365.org devotional is worth a read. Among many good comments, Meredith Forssman says:

“If the story of the wise men is about the light of Jesus shining out for all to follow, it is also about seeing and recognizing the Lord — often in the most unexpected places. Are our eyes open to recognize Christ among us? The light is shining above the vulnerable, the poor, the refugee, the homeless, the outcast. May the light of our faith be our guide as we seek to see Jesus in our midst.”

What actions among the vulnerable, the poor, the refugee, the homeless, the outcast might we be able to take this upcoming week? A few ideas are HERE

EPIPHANY PRAYER STARTER: the first Scripture prayer for Epiphany 2020 from the Revised Common Lectionary Prayers HERE  includes these lines:

“Radiant Morning Star,
you are both guidance and mystery,
Visit our rest with disturbing dreams,
and our journeys with strange companions.”

May we embrace disturbing dreams and strange companions in the days ahead, filled with the mystery and joy of the journey…

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Question: What would have happened if it had been three Wise Women instead of three Wise Men?

Answer: They would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought practical gifts.

That joke and a few others about Epiphany are HERE


 


Lectionary Texts for Epiphany – – January 6, 2020:


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Far From the Arms of Hunger…

It’s good to dream and then act on those dreams when the Spirit stirs. Jackson Browne gives plenty of food for thought in the song Far From the Arms of Hunger (listen HERE.) The full lyrics are HERE including these

When we decide
That all our might just weighs us down
Then will we find
The means to turn our world around

~ Jackson Browne (Far From the Arms of Hunger)

As we continue living into this year, may we find the means to turn our world around on many dimensions…

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 5, 2020:


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Happy New Year!

In THIS devotional from 2015, Joe Lovino shares ideas to jump-start your new year. Not only can this be a new year to take things on, it can be a time to give things up.

What will be on your “give it up” list for the year upcoming? Anything you want to take on?

Enjoy the first day of the new calendar year, filled with the Spirit and the extra energy that the year 2020 can bring!

P.S. In case you want to see what Calvin & Hobbes has to say about taking on and giving up, check it out HERE


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 5, 2020:


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Lang Syne. Pacem…

Memories. Peace.

Consider clicking HERE and listening to some beautiful music while reading on… [music is a combination of Dona Nobis Pacem (Give Us Peace) /Auld Lang Syne performed by Chris Botti and Yo-Yo Ma.]

As we finish off 2019 and anticipate 2020 this song combination seems perfect. We remember old times. We seek peace.

How about this for an old-time memory?

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:14

And this for what we seek to do in 2020 and forward?

In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory. ~ Ephesians 1:11-14

POTENTIAL ACTION(S):

  • Do you create New Year’s resolutions?
    • If so, in reading the Ephesians verses, what comes to mind that could go on the list to praise God’s glory?
    • If not, what can go on this week’s “to do” list using the Ephesians verses for inspiration?
  • Check out a little more about the Scottish history of Auld Lang Syne HERE

Enjoy this last day of 2019, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 5, 2020:


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