Holy Week – LP’s Prayer, Good Friday steps and more…

Today CP re-visits the Holy Week Prayer shared over 10 years ago. You can read LP’s prayer shared with the MWPC community in his Beacon Lite article HERE and/or listen to it read aloud HERE (sorry, it’s not LP reading it – sure wish we had that available!)

May this Holy Week be Spirit-filled as we feel stirred by LP’s prayer plus MLK Jr.’s words from the last CP post…

P.S. Looking for a Good Friday activity? Perhaps walking the steps to the Rankin House in Ripley as part of 100 Steps to Liberty: An Invitation for Good Friday? Details HERE


unrecognizable man with bulb against sundown sky
Photo by Clement Eastwood on Pexels.com

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, March 31, 2024:


Know someone who might like receiving messages like this?**  If so, forward this message to them and they can sign up HERE

POTENTIAL ACTIONS – FOOD INSECURITY: This season will likely find increasing numbers of folks looking for food, presenting opportunities to

  • share financial and/or food offerings with a local food pantry
  • check with your faith community about upcoming opportunities to feed community members
  • volunteer to help with a local mobile food pantry or community dinner
  • find a Little Pantry in your area and help stock it with shelf-stable food items
  • accept a Call to Action item from Season of Peace devotional posting

NOTE: for those in the Cinci region, some food organizations are listed HERE


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – click HERE for MORE humor, updated periodically. 


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

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“Organized religion” challenges then and now…

Today CP re-visits posts/materials from years back about Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Over the years “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” has been recommended as CP reading material by several (link to the letter in its entirety HERE and audio of Dr. King reading it HERE) It’s a compelling response to the regional clergy’s letter of that day, 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? Is your organized religious group – if you have one – making great strides on this topic? Are there opportunities for you and your friends to make a difference, inside or outside of the organized church? Can you turn your faith to the “inner spiritual church?”

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!

May we continue working with organized religion where possible, and with our human community-at-large, to “demonstrate” in ways consistent with justice!

Enjoy the day, filled with the sacrificial Spirit!


unrecognizable man with bulb against sundown sky
Photo by Clement Eastwood on Pexels.com

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 21, 2024:


Know someone who might like receiving messages like this?**  If so, forward this message to them and they can sign up HERE

POTENTIAL ACTIONS – FOOD INSECURITY: This season will likely find increasing numbers of folks looking for food, presenting opportunities to

  • share financial and/or food offerings with a local food pantry
  • check with your faith community about upcoming opportunities to feed community members
  • volunteer to help with a local mobile food pantry or community dinner
  • find a Little Pantry in your area and help stock it with shelf-stable food items
  • accept a Call to Action item from Season of Peace devotional posting

NOTE: for those in the Cinci region, some food organizations are listed HERE


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – click HERE for MORE humor, updated periodically. 


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

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A Love Supreme…

Several years back, Joan S. was kind enough to highlight the CAC devotional HERE. Practice: Lectio Divina with A Love Supreme by John Coltrane is a novel and sensorial approach of doing Lectio Divina.

Listening to Coltrane’s music HERE and reading the words in their longhand form with the highlights is fabulous. Take your time in allowing the words and music to flow over you. The love is experiential.

The concluding wording is a wonderful prayer:

Elation. Elegance. Exaltation. All from God. Thank You God! Amen

Enjoy this day sharing elation, elegance and exaltation, filled with the Spirit!



Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 14, 2024:


Know someone who might like receiving messages like this?**  If so, forward this message to them and they can sign up HERE

POTENTIAL ACTIONS – FOOD INSECURITY: This season will likely find increasing numbers of folks looking for food, presenting opportunities to

  • share financial and/or food offerings with a local food pantry
  • check with your faith community about upcoming opportunities to feed community members
  • volunteer to help with a local mobile food pantry or community dinner
  • find a Little Pantry in your area and help stock it with shelf-stable food items
  • accept a Call to Action item from Season of Peace devotional posting

NOTE: for those in the Cinci region, some food organizations are listed HERE


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – click HERE for MORE humor, updated periodically. 


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

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Dig It Up…

The story of Naomi’s bitterness in the book of Ruth is the subject of the ODB devotional HERE. Aren’t there some times in life when you just need to name an issue to begin addressing it?

The fact that Naomi has people call her “Mara” – bitter – perhaps helps them in relationship practices. When a person shares with others how they are feeling, it allows for discussion. In Naomi’s case that can lead to efforts of digging up the bitterness and replacing it with joy!

POSSIBLE ACTIVITIES

  • reflect on any current situations that are bringing up bitterness in your life
  • who might you turn to for discussion about them? if no one in your sphere comes to mind immediately, perhaps a good conversation topic for God? 🙂

PRAYER: God, help me unearth the challenges in my life and share them with you (and with others when so moved.) In so doing, may I allow myself the amazing grace you so willingly provide. Amen.

May this day provide emptying of the bitterness while filling up with joy, with stirring by the Spirit!


P.S. with a focus on “digging”

  • if you’re looking for possible charities for 2024, check out DIGDEEP. Millions in the U.S. are still without easy access to clean drinking water and this organization is digging up solutions to make a difference
  • before we know it gardening season will be upon us. Check out SeedSavers or another catalog to start dreaming of what you might plant in a container, your yard or in a garden plot


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 14, 2024:


Know someone who might like receiving messages like this?**  If so, forward this message to them and they can sign up HERE

POTENTIAL ACTIONS – FOOD INSECURITY: This season will likely find increasing numbers of folks looking for food, presenting opportunities to

  • share financial and/or food offerings with a local food pantry
  • check with your faith community about upcoming opportunities to feed community members
  • volunteer to help with a local mobile food pantry or community dinner
  • find a Little Pantry in your area and help stock it with shelf-stable food items
  • accept a Call to Action item from Season of Peace devotional posting

NOTE: for those in the Cinci region, some food organizations are listed HERE


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – click HERE for MORE humor, updated periodically. 


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

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SONG: another take on We Three Kings…

The “Wise Men” have arrived from their journey (check out the picture below!)

On this Epiphany, maybe a little edginess? HERE is a 9-minute, non-traditional rendition of We Three Kings with Bruce Cockburn on guitar, voice of Lou Reed, Rosanne Cash vocals plus Bob Wasserman on bass, incorporating the poem “Journey of the Magi” by T.S. Eliot. It’s a recording from Columbia Records Radio Hour “Christmas With Cockburn” from December 20, 1992.

How many of us have journey reminders from hearing this rendition and/or reading the poem? Some snippets of the “Journey of the Magi” by T.S. Eliot include these lines:

…With the voices singing in our ears, saying That this was all folly…

…But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation, With an alien people clutching their gods…

WOW – this grandson of a Unitarian minister has brought some heavy-thinking opportunities to light with his poetry! Our journeys might be, in some small measure, like the wise folk in the Bible.

PROSPECTIVE ACTIVITIES

  • Looking back at 2023, what epiphanies arrived when making some difficult journeys?
  • Are there some stars or other signs you have as we begin 2024 that might lead to epiphanies? How might you foster those journey opportunities?

May this Epiphany Day 2024 bring with it wonderful reflection experiences along with some fantastic adventure planning for the year(s) ahead…

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


P.S. This song is now on the YouTube playlist of Christian Playbook – Christmas music. And, of course, it doesn’t need to be Advent or Christmastide to listen to them HERE! 🙂 



Wise Men Have Arrived!

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 7, 2024:


Know someone who might like receiving messages like this?**  If so, forward this message to them and they can sign up HERE

POTENTIAL ACTIONS – FOOD INSECURITY: This season will likely find increasing numbers of folks looking for food, presenting opportunities to

  • share financial and/or food offerings with a local food pantry
  • check with your faith community about upcoming opportunities to feed community members
  • volunteer to help with a local mobile food pantry or community dinner
  • find a Little Pantry in your area and help stock it with shelf-stable food items
  • accept a Call to Action item from Season of Peace devotional posting

NOTE: for those in the Cinci region, some food organizations are listed HERE


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – click HERE for MORE humor, updated periodically. 


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

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NEW-TO-US SONGS?

Continuing with our Christmastide resource HERE, several new-to-us songs may have surfaced during the time period.

Show of hands, how many knew these songs…

  • Jesus Christ, The Apple Tree? Listed for New Years Day, it’s a good message for those of us looking at the year past and thinking about our souls being more “with Jesus Christ.” Searching YouTube for this song brought the beautiful version HERE, including a creative finish
  • Huron Carol? History on the song is HERE, with musical efforts in English HERE and in Huron language HERE

These songs are now on the YouTube playlist of Christian Playbook – Christmas music. And, of course, they can be listened to all-year-long right HERE! 🙂 

May these songs and so many of the season continue to move us through this Christmastide and in the years ahead…

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!



Wise men are getting closer…

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, January 7, 2024:


Know someone who might like receiving messages like this?**  If so, forward this message to them and they can sign up HERE

POTENTIAL ACTIONS – FOOD INSECURITY: This season will likely find increasing numbers of folks looking for food, presenting opportunities to

  • share financial and/or food offerings with a local food pantry
  • check with your faith community about upcoming opportunities to feed community members
  • volunteer to help with a local mobile food pantry or community dinner
  • find a Little Pantry in your area and help stock it with shelf-stable food items
  • accept a Call to Action item from Season of Peace devotional posting

NOTE: for those in the Cinci region, some food organizations are listed HERE


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – click HERE for MORE humor, updated periodically. 


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

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Where Are Your “Wise Men (People?)”

CP is blessed by our dear friend and periodic contributor, Toni**  About Christmastide, she remembers several things, including:

  • her uncle, an English professor at Notre Dame, had a tradition of sending his Christmas greeting in the form of a lovely letter. It would arrive during the 12 days of Christmas.
  • “when my sister and I were young, we had so much fun moving the 3 kings closer and closer to my parents’ manger scene. My sister laughed out loud when they visited earlier in the month, to see that in our Fisher Price manger scene (one of many in our home) the “kings” were off to the side”

What wonderful traditions, perhaps some that several of you CP’ers follow?!? For many households, the kings make their way to the manger scene as soon as we put it up. Perhaps next year we’ll allow the kings to make their way more slowly to the manger, possibly even allowing them to arrive on January 6th

Toni also references a wonderful resource HERE that Kate Bowler shared in a recent post. Perhaps in the next few days it’ll prove to be a wonderful way for some CP’ers to experience the season?

  • while reviewing earlier days of the calendar, maybe we’ll remember some of our wise people – “Send an email of thanks to someone who has been a spiritual inspiration to you. Your priest, pastor, teacher, or mentor.” – as suggested on the 5th Day of Christmas?
  • maybe this New Year’s Eve, we’ll sing Auld Lang Syne with just a little more gusto after hearing it and possibly reading more about it HERE or elsewhere?

May you all appreciate “old times, especially times fondly remembered,” with fantastic New Year’s activities on the horizon…

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


** “many thanks for being you,” Toni!




Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 31, 2023:


Know someone who might like receiving messages like this?**  If so, forward this message to them and they can sign up HERE

POTENTIAL ACTIONS – FOOD INSECURITY: This season will likely find increasing numbers of folks looking for food, presenting opportunities to

  • share financial and/or food offerings with a local food pantry
  • check with your faith community about upcoming opportunities to feed community members
  • volunteer to help with a local mobile food pantry or community dinner
  • find a Little Pantry in your area and help stock it with shelf-stable food items
  • accept a Call to Action item from Season of Peace devotional posting

NOTE: for those in the Cinci region, some food organizations are listed HERE


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – click HERE for MORE humor, updated periodically. Included now is a grin-inducing New Bible Reading Plan (Pearls Before Swine)


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

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Present as a Gift, or the Gift is the Present …

We’re now in “the twelve days of Christmas” period leading up to Epiphany. On this day, maybe we share a present to ourselves?

Such a present is described in the 12/20 devotional entry of Society of St. Andrew’s Advent materials:

Calm yourself; drop your focus down to your diaphragm and breathe. Inhale for four and exhale for four. Feel the moment. Only then may we quiet ourselves enough to hear the Spirit.

Mindfulness activities like above and also HERE can provide a wonderful cleansing to all Spirit’s stirring and other soul-enriching possibilities

Give yourself the present of mindfulness activities to increasingly allow for the Spirit’s stirring!




Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 31, 2023:


Know someone who might like receiving messages like this?**  If so, forward this message to them and they can sign up HERE

POTENTIAL ACTIONS – FOOD INSECURITY: This season will likely find increasing numbers of folks looking for food, presenting opportunities to

  • share financial and/or food offerings with a local food pantry
  • check with your faith community about upcoming opportunities to feed community members
  • volunteer to help with a local mobile food pantry or community dinner
  • find a Little Pantry in your area and help stock it with shelf-stable food items
  • accept a Call to Action item from Season of Peace devotional posting

NOTE: for those in the Cinci region, some food organizations are listed HERE


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – click HERE for MORE humor, updated periodically. Included now is a grin-inducing New Bible Reading Plan (Pearls Before Swine)


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

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Merry Christmas! SONG: Birthday of a King …

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see–I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”  ~ Luke 2:10-12

A cherished family friend had the regular honor of singing Birthday Of A King during worship over the Christmas season. It’s a nice tune with a great message, certainly worthy of sharing HERE, sung beautifully by the Talley Trio.

Merry Christmas!!! May the peace and joy of this season be with you this day and throughout the year ahead…

[The CP Christmas playlist is HERE should you want to listen to more Christmas music]



Lectionary Texts for Christmas Day 2023:


Know someone who might like receiving messages like this?**  If so, forward this message to them and they can sign up HERE

POTENTIAL ACTIONS – FOOD INSECURITY: This season will likely find increasing numbers of folks looking for food, presenting opportunities to

  • share financial and/or food offerings with a local food pantry
  • check with your faith community about upcoming opportunities to feed community members
  • volunteer to help with a local mobile food pantry or community dinner
  • find a Little Pantry in your area and help stock it with shelf-stable food items
  • accept a Call to Action item from Season of Peace devotional posting

NOTE: for those in the Cinci region, some food organizations are listed HERE


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – click HERE for MORE humor, updated periodically. Included now is a grin-inducing New Bible Reading Plan (Pearls Before Swine)


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

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SONG: Breath of Heaven …

The song Breath of Heaven is co-written by Chris Eaton and Amy Grant. It has a beautiful melody and wonderful lyrics including “Breath of Heaven be forever near me…”

As this songfacts webpage describes:

“This Christmas song tells the nativity story from Mary’s perspective. It portrays the mother of Jesus as a frightened young girl, attempting to deal with the circumstances of giving birth to the Holy Father’s Son. Despite her human doubts, Mary’s faith in the goodness and mercy of God remain and help her deal with the unique situation she finds herself in.”

Embedded in this songfacts webpage is a chance to hear Amy Grant performing this song (near the right margin as a YouTube offering.) You can also hear it on our Christian Playbook YouTube channel with various Christmas songs HERE

As we enjoy this Advent season, may we continue to hear songs old and new with the wonder and joy of the Christian faith!

PRAYER: Choose a prayer prompt from Bob Hostetler’s blog list HERE? [Maybe #13: “give thanks for your favorite Christmas movie” (one of the ones listed HERE perhaps?) ]

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!




Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 24, 2023:


Know someone who might like receiving messages like this?**  If so, forward this message to them and they can sign up HERE

POTENTIAL ACTIONS – FOOD INSECURITY: This season will likely find increasing numbers of folks looking for food, presenting opportunities to

  • share financial and/or food offerings with a local food pantry
  • check with your faith community about upcoming opportunities to feed community members
  • volunteer to help with a local mobile food pantry or community dinner
  • find a Little Pantry in your area and help stock it with shelf-stable food items
  • accept a Call to Action item from Season of Peace devotional posting

NOTE: for those in the Cinci region, some food organizations are listed HERE


CHRISTIAN PLAYBOOK HUMOR – click HERE for MORE humor, updated periodically. Included now is a grin-inducing New Bible Reading Plan (Pearls Before Swine)


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