Abiding…Purging…


Whether you are a gardener or not, the SSJE post HERE about pruning will likely resonate. There are just too many wonderful, important things to pursue in life, plus lots of others that give us additional joy.

It can be too easy to just keep piling on more and more good stuff to the point of near-exhaustion. And even if not exhausting, this “too much of a good thing” gets in the way of other priorities in our faith tradition. With reflection and then sometimes painful trimming, we can continue branching out as a key element of the complex vine.

POSSIBLE ACTIONS: in the week upcoming, consider reading the “Read More and Comment” (HERE) SSJE section, and then taking time as Brother Geoffrey outlines:

I find it helpful to get a big piece of paper and then just write down or draw all the different parts of my life, all my relationships, activities, commitments; gather everything together. Then spend time just looking at it all, with Jesus. … Then, with clippers in hand, ask for the courage – or your worst enemy! – to prune, ruthlessly, that you may bear much fruit, to God’s glory.

Abiding. Pruning. Not easy, but important as we each seek to favorably pursue God’s wishes for the creation we are to become…

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit! 


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, July 3, 2022:



Know someone who might like receiving Christian Playbook messages like this?  If so, please forward this message and they can sign up WITH THIS LINK


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – regular updates, including toonfever.com

STREAMING WORSHIP SERVICES – Cincinnati, Bowling Green and more!


CLICK ON ICONS BELOW FOR LINKS TO CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK PAGES ON DEVOTIONALS, PRAYERS, MUSIC, STUDY AND LOVE

DevotionalPraying handsSingendes Quartett3StudyMobius strip

Know someone dealing with Post Traumatic Church Syndrome?


Know someone who has felt estranged from “the church?” The book Post Traumatic Church Syndrome by Reba Riley may be a magnificent match for their reading pleasure.

This book found its way into the listening routine on a recent trip to Canada. Reba’s experiences during her “30 Faiths Before 30” journey provide humor plus lots of “AMEN” moments.The trio in the car all enjoyed what we heard.

Reba comes at this from a faith-filled but frustrated start to an AHA-filled finish. Well worth the 11 hours of listening (audio available from the Cinci library HERE and you can likely reference it easily from this to your home library or make a purchase should you be so inclined)

POSSIBLE ACTIONS: spend a few minutes reflecting on which faith traditions you have experienced over a lifetime. What are some of the AHA moments you had during those times? [While you may not have experienced 30 different faiths, yet, you’ve likely experienced a few…]

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!

P.S.  Anyone catch that the song links for How Can I Keep From Singing were reversed accidentally? 🙂 This is the one from 1860  (song story HERE and music HERE) and one a little more contemporary (HERE). 


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, June 26, 2022:



Know someone who might like receiving Christian Playbook messages like this?  If so, please forward this message and they can sign up WITH THIS LINK


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – regular updates, including toonfever.com

STREAMING WORSHIP SERVICES – Cincinnati, Bowling Green and more!


CLICK ON ICONS BELOW FOR LINKS TO CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK PAGES ON DEVOTIONALS, PRAYERS, MUSIC, STUDY AND LOVE

DevotionalPraying handsSingendes Quartett3StudyMobius strip

How Can I Keep From Singing?


My life flows on in endless song;
   Above earth’s lamentation,
  I hear the sweet, tho’ far-off hymn
   That hails a new creation;
  Thro’ all the tumult and the strife
   I hear the music ringing;
  It finds an echo in my soul—
   How can I keep from singing?

Do you hear the sweet music? How appropriate to read these words in lamentation times…

The song titled How Can I Keep From Singing has several renditions including these from 1860 This is the one from 1860  (song story HERE and music HERE) and one a little more contemporary (HERE).

While the melodies and words are different, the message seems mighty similar. How Can We Keep From Singing?

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, June 26, 2022:



Know someone who might like receiving Christian Playbook messages like this?  If so, please forward this message and they can sign up WITH THIS LINK


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – regular updates, including toonfever.com

STREAMING WORSHIP SERVICES – Cincinnati, Bowling Green and more!


CLICK ON ICONS BELOW FOR LINKS TO CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK PAGES ON DEVOTIONALS, PRAYERS, MUSIC, STUDY AND LOVE

DevotionalPraying handsSingendes Quartett3StudyMobius strip

Happy MaRoMo Day!


[NOTE: this is a re-post from previous years, with updates]

“It is not flesh and blood, but heart which makes us fathers and sons.” ~ Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805)

Happy Father’s Day.  Hmmm… while appreciating the concept, perhaps this is less about celebrating men who father children (flesh and blood) and/or raise children and more about recognizing men who are wonderful examples to children?

So… maybe this year we say “Happy MaRoMo** Day!” to all the important guys in our lives?

For many of us, lifetime blessings include a multitude of positive male role models – dad, brothers, uncles, brothers-in-law, cousins, nephews, friends, teachers, ministers, work colleagues and more. For many of us, Jesus has certainly been an important MaRoMo, albeit in story rather than in person!

What positive characteristics come to your mind when thinking of Jesus? JOY may be one, perhaps helped along by Sherwood E. Wirt’s book JESUS Man of Joy, including this description

“Jesus smiled wider and laughed heartier than any human being who has ever walked the planet.  He was young.  He radiated good cheer.  The real Jesus was a man of such merriment, such gladness of heart, such freedom and openness, that he proved irresistible.  He became known through Galilee for his genuine strength, sparkle in His eyes, the spring in His gait, the heartiness in His laugh, the genuineness of His touch; His passion, playfulness, excitement, and vitality: His JOY!  He made a dazzling display of love.  He set hearts afire.  He was an elated, triumphant young man with an incredible quality of life.”

~ JESUS Man of Joy,  p.22

Wirt continues with some action-oriented thinking:

“We ourselves may also express the joy of the Lord in smiles and laughter and good cheer, but those are not the only ways.  We participate in his joy through acts of worship, praise, prayer, and song, in witnessing to the saving grace of God and in helping others.”  –  – JESUS Man of Joy p.22

May each of us – male and female – find some Christ-like behaviors to model for our world on this Happy MaRoMo Day and in the years to follow…

POSSIBLE ACTION: Identify some important male role models in your development. Spend some time thinking about their impact, then thank God for their influence and possibly send a note, place a call or do some other form of reaching out to those still with us in mortal form…

May you enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!

 


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, June 19, 2022:



Know someone who might like receiving Christian Playbook messages like this?  If so, please forward this message and they can sign up WITH THIS LINK


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – regular updates, including toonfever.com

STREAMING WORSHIP SERVICES – Cincinnati, Bowling Green and more!


CLICK ON ICONS BELOW FOR LINKS TO CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK PAGES ON DEVOTIONALS, PRAYERS, MUSIC, STUDY AND LOVE

DevotionalPraying handsSingendes Quartett3StudyMobius strip

Selah – the pause…


The word Selah finds its way into the Bible in a number of places, but primarily in the Psalms. Some sources think the word was an instruction to pause before continuing with the next section, somewhat like what a rest provides in musical scores – a break from the singing/playing.

An example of Selah is HERE as part of Psalm 50. In taking that pause, we as the readers get a chance to reflect on the previous section before moving on to new ideas.

Taking Selah experiences in our daily lives can be transformative. Pausing and reflecting after key life events can help us return revitalized for whatever comes next. Maybe the recent Easter season brought new “AHA” moments about your faith?

ACTION: Take a pause, reflecting on your Easter and Pentecost experiences. Are there upcoming actions you can do based on “Spiritual stirrings?”

May Selah times find their ways into your days, helping the Spirit to move in new and wonderful ways!

 


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, June 19, 2022:



Know someone who might like receiving Christian Playbook messages like this?  If so, please forward this message and they can sign up WITH THIS LINK


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – regular updates, including toonfever.com

STREAMING WORSHIP SERVICES – Cincinnati, Bowling Green and more!


CLICK ON ICONS BELOW FOR LINKS TO CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK PAGES ON DEVOTIONALS, PRAYERS, MUSIC, STUDY AND LOVE

DevotionalPraying handsSingendes Quartett3StudyMobius strip

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah…


The blog post “Hallelujah may just be enough” (HERE) focuses on the word Hallelujah. The author says uttering Hallelujah multiple times 

“is claiming your part in what God is up to”

The nice thing about the SSJE post is you can read and/or listen to the commentary.

Perhaps today will offer many moments for Hallelujah said aloud – whispered, shouted, said silently or …

One way of experiencing this word is by listening to the familiar Hallelujah Chorus. Perhaps  you have time to listen/watch the flash mob version HERE or another favorite you have?

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, June 12, 2022:



Know someone who might like receiving Christian Playbook messages like this?  If so, please forward this message and they can sign up WITH THIS LINK


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – regular updates, including toonfever.com

STREAMING WORSHIP SERVICES – Cincinnati, Bowling Green and more!


CLICK ON ICONS BELOW FOR LINKS TO CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK PAGES ON DEVOTIONALS, PRAYERS, MUSIC, STUDY AND LOVE

DevotionalPraying handsSingendes Quartett3StudyMobius strip

Creative Prayer While Walking…


Lynne Babb’s post on Creative Prayer While Walking (HERE) is music to the ears of those of us who like the idea of CP’s “Movin’ and Prayin’ ” (HERE). One particularly noteworthy commentary of Lynn’s post is part of a foreward she wrote for another person’s book:

Christians have long underemphasized the significance of the body, and I am thrilled that in recent years Christians have begun to rediscover spiritual practices based in the body, including fasting, pilgrimage, walking a labyrinth, and the stations of the cross. Friends increasingly tell me they are finding joy in a variety of bodily positions while praying.

Movement can effectively enhance prayer. Perhaps today will offer an opportunity to try some “thinking in the presence of God” as Lynne describes it or another of CP’s “Movin’ & Prayin’ “ activities?

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Want some listening pleasure related to this topic? Maybe Nat King Cole singing Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit (HERE)?
  • Or maybe a quick grin with Peanuts talking about Prayer in School HERE?

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, June 12, 2022:



Know someone who might like receiving Christian Playbook messages like this?  If so, please forward this message and they can sign up WITH THIS LINK


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – regular updates, including toonfever.com

STREAMING WORSHIP SERVICES – Cincinnati, Bowling Green and more!


CLICK ON ICONS BELOW FOR LINKS TO CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK PAGES ON DEVOTIONALS, PRAYERS, MUSIC, STUDY AND LOVE

DevotionalPraying handsSingendes Quartett3StudyMobius strip

Living in the Spirit…


Pentecost is a wonderful reminder of the rush of the wind in our lives. The CAC article (Link HERE) shares insightful commentary from Richard Hauser, including this:

Our effort is not a self-conscious striving to fill ourselves with the important Christian virtues; it is more getting out of the way and allowing [Christ’s] Spirit to transform all our activities.

It’s well worth the read. In closing, that webpage post includes this:

Read Paul’s beautiful prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21:

That is why I kneel before Abba God, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. And I pray that God, out of the riches of divine glory, will strengthen you inwardly with power through the working of the Spirit. May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, so that you, being rooted and grounded in love, will be able to grasp fully the breadth, length, height and depth of Christ’s love and, with all God’s holy ones, experience this love that surpasses all understanding, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. To God—whose power now at work in us can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine—to God be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus through all generations, world without end! Amen.

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, June 5, 2022:



Know someone who might like receiving Christian Playbook messages like this?  If so, please forward this message and they can sign up WITH THIS LINK


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – regular updates, including toonfever.com

STREAMING WORSHIP SERVICES – Cincinnati, Bowling Green and more!


CLICK ON ICONS BELOW FOR LINKS TO CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK PAGES ON DEVOTIONALS, PRAYERS, MUSIC, STUDY AND LOVE

DevotionalPraying handsSingendes Quartett3StudyMobius strip

Go Light Your World…


Go Light Your World (HERE) is one of the most recent songs added to the Christian Playbook songlist (thanks for the reco., Chris D!) Definitely worth the listen when you have 4 minutes – excellent message, great upbeat rhythm plus nice melody and harmonies!

The song lyrics (HERE) share a number of ways we can use our candles to light the world, dealing with the darkness one person at a time. We can all likely recognize the frustrated brother, “robbed and lied to” sister plus the opportunities to

Seek out the helpless, deceived and poor…

Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn…

May this day and those ahead provide you (and your lighted candle) a wonderful injection of the Holy Spirit as you seek out those around you…




Lectionary Texts for Sunday, June 5, 2022:



Know someone who might like receiving Christian Playbook messages like this?  If so, please forward this message and they can sign up WITH THIS LINK


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – regular updates, including toonfever.com

STREAMING WORSHIP SERVICES – Cincinnati, Bowling Green and more!


CLICK ON ICONS BELOW FOR LINKS TO CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK PAGES ON DEVOTIONALS, PRAYERS, MUSIC, STUDY AND LOVE

DevotionalPraying handsSingendes Quartett3StudyMobius strip

Memorial Day reminders … “At the End”


It’s a Christian Playbook tradition to point folks to the Guideposts article A Devotion for Memorial Day by Fred Bauer. This provides some historical perspective on the holiday and Fred’s holiday practice with his mother. Definitely worth the 3-5 minute read!

This article and holiday offers time for reflection and various activities along the lines of…

  • Thinking of those who’ve passed
  • Decorating graves
  • Reminding loved ones of what will happen with us (maybe you did this with your Binder of a Lifetime?)
  • Honoring memories as we see fit

POSSIBLE ACTION: If you feel the urge, consider taking a 5-15 minute stroll through a cemetery you pass along your way today. Pray for those buried there, their sacrifices, their families and the love that they shared. Maybe some flowers come along with you? Then, maybe it’s time for a phone call to someone whose memory you’d like to celebrate while they are still alive?

PRAYER (from the Guideposts article)

Teach us, Lord, the best way to pay an unpayable debt is to show with our lives that we didn’t forget.

May this Memorial Day be filled with memories, actions and the Spirit!




Lectionary Texts for Sunday, June 5, 2022:



Know someone who might like receiving Christian Playbook messages like this?  If so, please forward this message and they can sign up WITH THIS LINK


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – regular updates, including toonfever.com

STREAMING WORSHIP SERVICES – Cincinnati, Bowling Green and more!


CLICK ON ICONS BELOW FOR LINKS TO CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK PAGES ON DEVOTIONALS, PRAYERS, MUSIC, STUDY AND LOVE

DevotionalPraying handsSingendes Quartett3StudyMobius strip