Category Archives: Monday Musings

THIS WEEK -DEVOTION

Devotion – the fact or quality of being devoted to a divine being : worship service; reverence, devoutness. Religious observance, divine worship; A form or prayer or worship directed to a special object or for private use.

(Oxford Dictionary)



Devotion is a powerful concept which can change everything. Our foremost objective as Christ followers is to be devoted to him and his ways. As we become devoted to him, we find the strength to live in ways previously out of our reach and serve in ways beyond our strength. I would ask, what does it mean to be a fully devoted follower of Christ and how does it change us?

We must begin with the first Christ followers – the first century disciples.  In the preface to Thomas Merton’s Course in Desert Spirituality he asks this question, “If for some reason it were necessary for you to drink a pint of water taken out of the Mississippi River and you could choose where it was to be drawn out of the river—would you take a pint from the source of the river in Minnesota or from the estuary at New Orleans?” The answer is obvious, we would want to go to the source before it was polluted and changed by the great journey. I would propose we start at the beginning of the church to see what devotion meant to them.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42)  Luke, author of Acts, gives us four foundations to living the devoted life: teachings of the Apostles, fellowship(community), breaking of the bread, and prayer.

Teachings of the Apostles

This was vitally important in the time of the writing of the Book of Acts, because the disciples were eyewitnesses to the work of Jesus. They knew him. The apostles could give personal recollections of the work and teachings of Jesus. This was before the body of material was written into our New Testament. Out of these early teachings would come the teachings of the church. Today we have those teachings in our written word. We are to devote ourselves to the study of the word and all the traditions which have sprung forth from it. By study of the word, we are receiving the teachings of the apostles. It is no accident that study of the word is many times called devotions.

Fellowship (Community)

Perhaps this was first about the apostles but very quickly spread to mean the whole community of Christ followers. These people were and are a group of companions who share a common life. We know that the early church lived a communal life sharing all things in common. That is no longer true, but we still share the unique belief in a resurrected Lord, and that is certainly something to bring us together. I believe that fellowship around the table with meals together is an important part of the Christian life. All churches should take some time to fellowship together.

Breaking of the Bread

This is likely more that simply eating meals together. It is the communion of the body of Christ which I;s ultimately manifested in the Eucharistic celebration where we share in the sacrifice of Christ by sharing in the taking of the bread and the wine. By taking this bread and wine we become present with him in a mystical and real way. He plainly instructs us to partake of his body and blood and become one with him. The frequent observance of the Sacrament of Holy Communion is a vital part of the life of a fully devoted follower of Christ.

Prayer

The Apostles devoted themselves to prayer. They still attended the Temple and participated in the regular meetings of the synagogue. Today we are not to forsake the assembly of ourselves for prayer and sacrament. Prayer goes further than the corporate prayer of the church. Each devoted follower of Christ must have times of individual prayer. Prayer is observed by words and silence. Words that come from our heart and lead us to God silence; that allows God to speak to us by his spirit. The prayer life of the Christ followers is vital.

As Christians we can live a fully devoted spiritual life by exercising these four foundational principles.



Quotes BannerThe credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spend themselves in a worthy cause; who at best know the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if they fail, fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

~~~Theodore Roosevelt

Every hand and every hour should be devoted to rescue the world from its insanity of guilt, and to assuage the pangs of human hearts with balm and anodyne. To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is Godlike.

~~~Horace Mann

It is rather for us here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.

~~~Abraham Lincoln

Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.

~~~H. L. Mencken

Discipline says, ‘I need to.’ Duty says, ‘I ought to.’ Devotion says, ‘I want to.’

~~~Adrian Rogers

The heart can think of no devotion greater than being shore to the ocean-holding the curve of one position, counting an endless repetition.

~~~Robert Frost

Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.

~~~Shannon L. Alder

We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.”

~~~Brother Lawrence

To devote a portion of one’s leisure to doing something for someone else is one of the highest forms of recreation.

~~~Gerald B. Fitzgerald

I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.

~~~Frank Lloyd Wright

Scripture BannerAnd whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

~~~Colossians 3:17

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

~~~Philippians 4:13

I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.

~~~John 17:4

For if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.

~~~Romans 14:8

According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

~~~Philippians 1:20

Whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

~~~1 Corinthians 10:31

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

~~~Deuteronomy 6:5

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

~~~Hebrews 13:5

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

~~~2 Timothy 2:15

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

~~~John 13:34-35

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

~~~Luke 10:25-28

Prayer BannerLord, It is my greatest desire that I can become fully devoted to you and your will and way. Help me this day to learn of you so that I may know how serve you and those that you send my way. May my devotion to you light the way for others to find and follow you. Let your spirit dwell within me this day and every day.

Amen

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THIS WEEK – CONTENTMENT

Contentment– The action of satisfying; pleasure, delight, gratification. A source of pleasure ,delight or a condition or quality of being tranquil and happy. 

(Oxford Dictionary)



Contentment is an elusive goal in the United States today. More than 16% of Americans have experienced a bout of significant depression in 2019. I am sure even more have suffered a bout of depression during this pandemic. We all strive to have a life of contentment. Many seek peace and harmony by buying lots of stuff or working extremely hard and others by being daring or adventurous. Unfortunately, these endeavors fall short. Perhaps we should consider ways that is counterintuitive to our culture.

Greek philosopher Plato said,” The greatest wealth is to live content with little.” That would be a very novel idea for most of our world. To be content in the 21st century is to have many things. Contentment is found in the next promotion, winning an athletic competition, or reaching a savings goal. These things drive us, and the more of them we grasp, the more we want. There seems to be no end to our discontentment with what we have and our drive to have more. Those of us who proclaim to be followers of Christ know that he, like Plato, taught that wealth was in having less. Wealth is found in scarcity of the world ‘s goods. How do we achieve Christian contentment?

Christian contentment puts others first. We are willing to give up our seat at the table for another. Christians ask themselves if they really need that new car or another set of clothes. We learn to live with less so that we might have more. Our wealth and thus our contentment comes from learning to live with what we already possess. That opens the way for generosity and joy.

We also gain contentment by living a life of consistency and stability. Our lives are disciplined and ordered. A contented person knows what they will do each day. They do not demand to have a new novelty in their lives daily. Contented people enjoy the small things of life. They notice the blessings that God gives them every day. They are content to eat the food that is being provided and the work that lies ahead of them. Contented people stay put and make things work.

Contented people understand they are loved by God and the love of God is greater and deeper than any misfortune we may face. No matter what, God is there, and he will carry us through. Contentment is the acceptance of God’s love and care.

May we achieve Christian contentment today.



Quotes Banner

I have learned that to be with those I like is enough

― Walt Whitman

For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.

― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I am content; that is a blessing greater than riches; and he to whom that is given need ask no more.

― Henry Fielding

Be content with what you have;

rejoice in the way things are.

When you realize there is nothing lacking,

the whole world belongs to you.

― Lao Tzu

He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.

― Socrates

Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well lived.

― Eleanor Roosevelt

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.

― Epictetus

We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without.

― Immanuel Kant

At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you.

― Elizabeth Gilbert

Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.

― Socrates

The greatest wealth is to live content with little.

― Plato

Scripture BannerLet mutual love continue.

~~~Hebrews 13:1

For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

~~~Matthew 6:32-33

Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it;

~~~1 Timothy 6:6-7

And he said to them, ‘Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.’

Wait for the Lord, and keep to his way,

  and he will exalt you to inherit the land;

  you will look on the destruction of the wicked.

~~~ Luke 12:15

‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

~~~Matthew 6:25-25

Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have.

~~~Philippians 4:11

Wait for the Lord, and keep to his way,

  and he will exalt you to inherit the land;

  you will look on the destruction of the wicked.

~~~Psalm 37:34

I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live;

~~~Ecclesiastes 3:12

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

~~~Matthew 5:6

And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

~~~Philippians 4:19

Prayer BannerLord, I ask that you allow me to find the path of contentment found in Jesus Christ. May I follow his way and be led by his light. Help me to discern that in Jesus all things are found. Wipe away the doubt and hesitation that robs me of the joy I receive through you. In the absence of hesitation and doubt there is true contentment. Hear us Lord.

Amen

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THIS WEEK – ILLUMINATION

Illumination- an instance of spiritual enlightenment; And inspiration, a revelation.

(Oxford Dictionary)

Illumination simply means to bring light. We turn on a light as we enter a dark room so we may see. The lighted room makes it possible for us to avoid stumbling over an obstacle that may be in front of us. As Christians we are taught that Jesus is the light of the world. The prologue of the Gospel of John says, “What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” That is spiritual illumination, and it brings the presence of God into our lives and guides us so as not to stumble over the hindrances of worldly life. Jesus is the Word and the Word lives with us and his illuminating spirit changes everything .

Spiritual illumination is at the center of our spiritual journey. It begs the questions:

  •  What is spiritual illumination and how do we get it?
  • What do we do with it and how does it change our lives?

    Spiritual illumination is the real presence of God in our lives as is manifested by the Holy Spirit that dwells in us. At our Baptism we are baptized into the Holy Spirit. The sacrament of baptism bestows upon us the presence of God. The community that witnesses the baptism pledges itself to be the supporters of the life of the one who is baptized. At baptism we are given the light of God and the uplifting of the faith community. In the Wesleyan tradition, we experience “means of grace.” The sacrament of baptism and the participation in conferencing (community) are two of them.

    Once we recognize the illumination of God in our lives, we are compelled to live a life that is worthy of such grace and love. That means that we begin to practice some of the other means of grace such as, Bible Study, doing good works, seeking justice and so many more. Divine illumination may change the things we do, the places we go, the people we associate with and the way we conduct our daily lives.

    The Christian life demands that we go the second mile by always doing more than is expected of us. Christians are to be the first to help, the first to forgive, the first to pray and more than anything are to be the salt of the earth. The life of divine illumination is a heavy calling and a serious responsibility, but it is a life of great reward.

    “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

    ~~~Jesus 



    Quotes BannerThe window of the soul cleansed perfectly and made completely transparent by the divine light.

    ~~~John of the Cross

    Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.

    ~~~Anne Frank

    It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past. It is always along the side of us…on the inside, looking out.

    ~~~Jonathan Safran Foer

    Most people use statistics like a drunk man uses a lamppost, more for support than illumination.

    ~~~Andrew Lang

    When we shine our light,

    We help others through the darkness.

    When we show them their own light,

    We begin to illuminate the world.

    Speak kindly, love deeply, have faith.”

    ~~~Wendy Rae

    It is in moments of shadow that illumination happens.

    ~~~Cheyanne Ratnam

    Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating.

    ~~~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    While some men see ordinary happenings, others see divine light and guidance.

    ~~~Thomas Merton 

    We are kept from the experience of Spirit because our inner world is cluttered with past traumas. As we begin to clear away this clutter, the energy of divine light and love begins to flow through our being.”

    ~~~ Thomas Keating



    Scripture BannerNow I have heard about you that a spirit of the gods is in you, and that illumination, insight and extraordinary wisdom have been found in you.

    ~~~Daniel 5:14

    But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

    ~~~John 14:26

    There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.

    ~~~John 1:9

    For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,

    ~~~Hebrews 6:4

    I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

    ~~~Ephesians 1:18

    But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.

    ~~~John 16:13-16

    Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.

    ~~~1 Corinthians 4:5

    Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law

    ~~~Psalm 119.18

    Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

    ~~~Psalm 119:105

    When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

    ~~~ John 8:12

    Prayer Banner

    LORD, Guide us by your Word and Spirit,

    that in your light we may see light,

    in your truth find wisdom,

    and in your will discover your peace,

    through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Amen

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    THIS WEEK – HARVEST

    Harvest- to reap or gather in the results a previous work or action or to remove for use.

    (Oxford Dictionary)



    The word harvest readily suggests the fall season and the time of gathering the produce of the land and celebrating the blessings of the season. I think of pumpkins, corn and other vegetables that are symbolic of the harvest season. Harvest surely means those things but so much more. Harvest is used to refer to the spiritual gathering of people in the name of Jesus. He said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” That plentiful harvest he was referring to was all the people who are waiting to hear a word from God. We are the workers of that harvest. How do we harvest? Let us look at a few possibilities.

    It is possible that the best way to prepare to harvest others is to sow proper seeds in our own lives. In the Lenten season we are called to take a careful look at who we are and where we are going. Are we ready to face God the way we are right now? If not, what needs to be changed? What less than savory elements do we have to remove from our lives? These sorts of question are the ones that lead to a profoundly good harvest. I hope you will take them to heart.

    To be a worker in the harvest we must offer ourselves freely to the work. Each day we look for opportunities to tell the story of Jesus. His story changes lives. We spread the joy and peace that comes with being a follower of Jesus the Messiah. People are looking for peace and tranquility in all sorts of directions today. They seek it in leaders that they follow and in fanciful religious theories. The story of Jesus is true and simple. It needs to be told, and we are the ones to tell it. You can be the voice of Jesus.

    We must remember that the harvest is plentiful because all people seek a pathway to God. The world hungers to find the path. The Jesus path is simple because it is paved by love. Love presents enormous possibilities. The message of Jesus is above all else is a message of love and grace- love enough to die on the cross and grace enough to offer the love to all. The possibilities are infinite, because the love is infinite The harvest is endless when the love is endless.

    Harvest is a powerful word because it is the act that brings both physical and spiritual life to the world. We must continue to observe the harvest, and God will continue to send the opportunities necessary.

    His love, his grace will always be available to everyone.





    Quotes Banner

    Before the fruits of prosperity can come, the storms of life need to first bring the required rains of testing, which mixes with the seeds of wisdom to produce a mature harvest.

    ~~~Lincoln Patz

    What are you planting today to harvest tomorrow?

    ~~~Lailah Gifty Akita

    Raindrops and teardrops have two things in common. Both fall freely, and yield abundance. The former leads to abundant harvest and the latter, abundant mercy.

    ~~~Martin Uzochukwu Ugwu

    We reap the fruit of the seeds we sow. Every good deed, every bad deed—they are the means of planting seeds that will reward us one day with a merited harvest from life’s garden.

    ~~~Richelle E. Goodrich

    AS I watch’d the ploughman ploughing,

    Or the sower sowing in the fields, or the harvester harvesting,

    I saw there too, O life and death, your analogies;

    Life, life is the tillage, and Death is the harvest according

    ~~~Walt Whitman

    Sowing seeds in all areas of your life is an ongoing never-ending process sow seeds every day and sow twice as much seeds during your seasons of harvest

    ~~~James D Wilson

    Harvest is real, but be wise to sow what you will love to reap in the new year, because your day of harvest is fast approaching.

    ~~~Bamigboye Olurotimi

    Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.

    ~~~Robert Louis Stevenson

    What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action.

    ~~~Meister Eckhart

    In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.

    ~~~William Blake

    Many are needed to plant and water what has been planted now that the faith has spread so far and there are so many people… No matter who plants or waters, God gives no harvest unless what is planted is the faith of Peter and unless he agrees to his teachings.

    ~~~Thomas Becket

    Racism and injustice and violence sweep our world, bringing a tragic harvest of heartache and death.

    ~~~Billy Graham



    Scripture BannerWhile the earth remains,

    Seedtime and harvest,

    And cold and heat,

    And summer and winter,

    And day and night

    Shall not cease.

    ~~~Genesis 8:22

    Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

    ~~~Matthew 9:37

    Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

    ~~~2 Corinthians 9:10

    Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land.

    ~~~Leviticus 26:5

    Indeed, the Lord will give what is good,

    And our land will yield its produce.

    ~~~Psalm 85:12

    And sow fields and plant vineyards,

    And gather a fruitful harvest.

    ~~~Psalm 107:37

    ‘Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest.

    ~~~Leviticus 19:9

    The sluggard does not plow after the autumn,

    So he begs during the harvest and has nothing.

    ~~~Proverbs 20:4

    Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

    ~~~Matthew 9:37-38

    Like snow in summer and like rain in harvest,

    So honor is not fitting for a fool.

    ~~~Proverbs 26:1Prayer Banner

    LORD, Teach me to plant the good seeds in my life. These are the seeds that will produce a harvest that would be productive and godly. Strengthen and guide me to cultivate the spiritual seeds that you have gifted to me. Help me to remove the obstacles that interfere with my goal of living a godly life. Give me the gift of discernment so that I might have an abundant harvest.

    Amen

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    THIS WEEK – GRACE

    Grace – The free and unmerited favor of God as manifested in the Salvation of sinners and bestowing of blessing. The divine regenerating, inspiriting, and strengthening influence of God. 

    (Oxford Dictionary)



    Grace has many meanings and nuances, but the one that really counts is this one. Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God. We all need that ticket punched. The late Adrian Rogers, a Southern Baptist pastor of some stature, said, “Grace is God’s acceptance of us. Faith is our acceptance of God accepting us.” That is true, but I see grace as far more. The grace God gives us is in his control, not ours to claim under some preset rule.

    John Wesley speaks of the prevenient grace of God that is bestowed on all of us. Such grace is not a grace that has to be accepted but grace that is poured out by God on all his creation. Some people limit this grace to small children or people of limited understanding. I am convinced that it goes much further than that. God’s grace is upon us in our time of strife and rebellion. It is ridiculously hard to reject the loving grace of a loving God. How does that grace work?

    It protects us in our frailties and weaknesses. We all have areas of our lives that are targeted by the adversary or the evil presence in the world. God’s grace is with us when we need the strength to resist what are our less than pure natural tendencies. It is like God being our guide in a foreign land. He is with us to make sure we do not lose our way. We all need grace when our strength fails us. The gracious hand of God taps us on the shoulder and assures us we are not alone. What can seem hopeless is suddenly achievable because of his presence.

    Grace surrounds us when we feel abandoned. Into every life there are times of desperation and despair. These are times that we feel very much alone. We do not feel attacked but just abandoned. Our lives are not surrounded by temptations but just a void of emptiness. Into that void can walk the grace of God that lets us know we are never alone. God does not abandon his creation.

    His loving grace is patient when we rebel. Not even one of God’s creation can honestly say that we have not said no to God at least once. When we stray of our own free will, God’s grace is still with us. God does not sit waiting for us to say yes or no. He is always there. His grace is like a person yelling to the top of their lungs to get our attention in a noisy place. They will not give up until we see them.

    So it is with God when we stray. He keeps on calling and offering until we hear Him.



    Quotes BannerReligion in its humility restores man to his only dignity, the courage to live by grace.

    ~~~George Santayana

    It has been great journey from where I have started to where I am today. I am really blessed with God’s grace.

    ~~~Dhanush

    Grace is the beauty of form under the influence of freedom.

    ~~~Friedrich von Schiller

    God appoints our graces to be nurses to other men’s weaknesses.

    ~~~Henry Ward Beecher

    For his heart was in his work, and the heart giveth grace unto every art.

    ~~~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    An error gracefully acknowledged is a victory won.

    ~~~Caroline L. Gascoigne

    The only man who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ.

    ~~~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.

    ~~~Anne Lamott

    Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected.

    ~~~Jonathan Edwards

    Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.

    ~~~Dietrich Bonhoeffer



    Scripture BannerBut to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

    ~~~ Ephesians 4:7

    The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    ~~~John 1:14

    But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

    ~~~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

    From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

    ~~~ John 1:16

    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

    all the days of my life,

    and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

    my whole life long.

    ~~~ Psalm 23:6

    Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,

    whose trust is the Lord.

    ~~~Jeremiah 17:7

    However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

    ~~~Acts 20:24

    But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

    ~~~James 4:6

    But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it.

    ~~~James 1:14

    But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

    ~~~Ephesians 4:7

    Prayer BannerLORD, Without your grace we are hopelessly lost. Our lives are a shattered mess of missed intentions and goals. It is with your divine grace that we come together to be the creation that you intended. Today we ask you to bestow the grace necessary for the day.

    Amen

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    This Week – FAIR

    Fair- Of character, reputation, conduct: free from moral stain, unsullied, spotless. Of a person, action argument, etc.: just, unbiased, equitable, impartial; legitimate, in accordance with the rules or standards.

    (Oxford Dictionary)



    Early in my life I was taught that I must be fair with all people. I have yet to meet someone who does not want life to be fair. We want things to be fair for us first and then, of course, everyone else. I can still hear the school yard echo, “No fair!” looming over the playground. Fair defined as equal treatment is what I want to muse about today. Let us look at some ways that we can learn what it is to be fair and how to react to unfairness.

    The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of the word fair is equitable. We all feel that we deserve equitable treatment at work, in our relationships and in our business dealings. Everyone wants to feel that they are of equal value to the next person. Discomfort arises in us when we feel we are being ignored or in some way neglected. We want to be valued by others, and we feel that is the way to be fair.

    There is a Crown Royal distillery billboard that reads, “Live generously and life will treat you royally.” That is what can happen if we are overtly fair to all that we encounter. We learn the art of generosity, because we are always intentionally and freely doing the absolute best for others. Such fair generosity brings a reward of liberty from always speculating what is fair.

    Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist, Bill Gates, reminds us that, “Life is not fair; get used to it.” That is particularly important point coming from a man who gives away billions of dollars a year. Life is not always fair, but it is our responsibility to make it so. Our behavior is a key to creating fairness around and within ourselves. I have always believed that life is about as fair as you make it. I do, however, wish that the unfair were sometimes in my favor.

    As followers of Christ, we are called to be scrupulously fair to all persons we meet. That is our role as the salt and light of the earth. There are times when we are tempted to level that playing field. We are the authors of fairness, and we bring it to the rest of the world because we are the recipients of the generosity of Jesus when he redeemed us.

    This week be fair, go the second mile, share from the heart, and help bring true fairness to the world.





    Quotes Banner

    We don’t need to be good. But let’s try to be fair.

    ~~~Holly Black, The Cruel Prince

    Being good is easy, what is difficult is being just.

    ~~~Victor Hugo

    Fairness does not mean everyone gets the same. Fairness means everyone gets what they need.

    ~~~Rick Riordan

    In the end we are always rewarded for our good will, our patience, fair-mindedness, and gentleness with what is strange.

    ~~~Friedrich Nietzsche

    You cannot be fair to others without first being fair to yourself.

    ~~~Vera Nazarian

    God hates violence. He has ordained that all men fairly possess their property, not seize it.

     ~~~Euripides

    As for doing good that is one of the professions which is full. Moreover, I have tried it fairly and, strange as it may seem, am satisfied that it does not agree with my constitution.

    ~~~Henry David Thoreau

    Life is not fair; get used to it.

    ~~~Bill Gates

    Fairness is not an attitude. It’s a professional skill that must be developed and exercised.

    ~~~Brit Hume

    It is always wise, as it is also fair, to test a man by the standards of his own day, and not by those of another.

    ~~~Odell Shepard

    It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.

    ~~~Eleanor Roosevelt

    Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.

    ~~~Oscar Wilde

    I know the world isn’t fair, but why isn’t it ever unfair in my favor?

    ~~~Bill Watterson

    Scripture BannerHe judges the world with righteousness;

       he judges the peoples with equity.

    ~~~ Psalm 9:8

    Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favour to the skilful; but time and chance happen to them all.

    ~~~Ecclesiastes 9:11

    A false balance is an abomination to the Lord,

       but an accurate weight is his delight.

    When pride comes, then comes disgrace;

       but wisdom is with the humble.

    The integrity of the upright guides them,

       but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

    ~~~ Proverbs 11:1-3

    You shall not render an unjust judgement; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor.

    ~~~ Leviticus 19:15

    Speak out, judge righteously,

       defend the rights of the poor and needy.

    ~~~ Proverbs 31:9

    Happy are those who observe justice,

       who do righteousness at all times.

    ~~~Psalm 106:3

    Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, for you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

    ~~~Colossians 4:1

    If a king judges the poor with equity,

       his throne will be established for ever.

    ~~~Proverbs 29:14

    But let justice roll down like waters,

       and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

    ~~~Amos 5:24

    Honest balances and scales are the Lord’s;

       all the weights in the bag are his work.

    ~~~ Proverbs 16:11Prayer Banner

    LORD, Our great longing in life is to be treated with fairness. Teach us that the road to fairness is to treat all as we want to be treated. Keep us honest and truthful in all our ways so that we might be fair to all we meet. We pray that you would give us the wisdom to be fair in all our dealings.

    Amen

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    THIS WEEK – DECISION

    Decision– To settle a question, dispute by finding in favor of one side; bring to a settlement ,resolve; influence, pronounce judgment.

    (Oxford Dictionary)



    Decisions, decisions – they come along every day. Many times, they keep us up at night or cause much anxiety and stress. Decisions flood our lives with complications, but no one can avoid them. When we wake in the morning we must decide what we are going to wear and where we will start our day. Each day brings with it a multitude of decisions. It is not if we will have decisions to make, but how we will deal with them. I will share a few thoughts on decision making.

    There should be some automatic decisions in your life each day. We will get up in the morning and do the work that God has given us for the day. We will care for our spouses and children. We will be honest and productive today. If we fail at any one of those automatic decisions, we fail at life and fall into much trouble.

    There needs to be some time given to just what should your automatic decisions be. Everyone must decide and make that choice a lasting one. These auto decisions become the guiding force of our lives. Until we prioritize such things, we are always in grave danger of failing ourselves and those that God has sent our way. Settle your automatic decisions today with the help of scripture and prayer.

    Many decisions are made because of immediate needs. We should always be ready to adapt to the urgency of the day. All of us have lived in this Covid-19 pandemic for the past year, and it has required decisions that we never anticipated. The lesson we should learn is that decision making is not static but changes with events and times. The important thing is to know how to decide.

    We decide based on our core values. What is important to us? Who is important to us and why? Examine these questions and you will have a basis to face every decision that will ever come your way. If you neglect the what, who and why then great trouble can result. Be prepared under all conditions to make decisions with the help of scripture, reason and prayer and God will see you through.

    I like this list of scriptures for decision making provided by lisanotes.com (READ THE POST HERE) you might want to give it a try.



    Quotes BannerEvery human being is born without faith. Faith comes only through the process of making decisions to change before we can be sure it’s the right move.

    ~~~Dr. Robert H. Schuller

    Waiting hurts. Forgetting hurts. But not knowing which decision to take can sometimes be the most painful.

    ~~~José N. Harris

    You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.

    ~~~~Michelle Obama

    Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.

    ~~~Peter F. Drucker

    This is what I found out about religion: It gives you courage to make decisions you must make in a crisis, and then the confidence to leave the result to a Higher Power. Only by trust in God can a man carrying responsibility find repose.

    ~~~Dwight D. Eisenhower

    It is the characteristic excellence of the strong man that he can bring momentous issues to the fore and make a decision about them. The weak are always forced to decide between alternatives they have not chosen themselves.

    ~~~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

    ~~~Theodore Roosevelt

    It is often said that a wrong decision taken at the right time is better than a right decision taken at the wrong time.

    ~~~Pearl Zhu

    The straight line, a respectable optical illusion which ruins many a man.

    ~~~Victor Hugo

    Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.

    ~~~Peter F. Drucker

    So just ask the question. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? “No” isn’t really so bad, and “Yes” might take you places you’d never expect.

    ~~~Katie Couric

    Decision making is easy when your values are clear.

    ~~~Roy Disney

    Scripture BannerBe strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

    ~~~Deuteronomy 31:6

    Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

    ~~~Psalm 27:14

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

    ~~~Proverbs 3:5-6

    I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

    ~~~Philippians 4:13

    Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

    ~~~1 Chronicles 16:11

    If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

    ~~~James 1:5

    Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

    ~~~Jeremiah 33:3

    I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

    ~~~Psalm 32:8

    But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

    ~~~James 3:17

    Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

    ~~~ Isaiah 41:10 

    Prayer BannerLORD, Decisions are faced and made every day. Sometimes they are hard and other times easy. Please give us the wisdom to decide in all circumstances. We ask you to guide us in all decisions we make. Everything is easier when you are with us.

    Amen

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    This Week – Ego

    Ego Self-esteem, self-importance; a person’s sense of this in himself or herself. That part of the mind which has a sense of individuality and is most conscious of self.

    (Oxford Dictionary)



    The word EGO can be scary because the proper balance of ego and humility is a true challenge. Thomas Merton said, “Everyone of us is shadowed by an illusory person: a false self. We are not very good at recognizing illusions, least of all the ones we cherish about ourselves.” Most of the time that is the way we think of our ego, that self-delusionary false self that we project to the world. Let me divide our ego into two parts.

    We all need to have a positive view of ourselves if we are to look at the world in a realistic way. God created you in his own image, and that means that you are unbelievably valuable to him. People who have an exceptionally low self-esteem find it difficult to think well of others. God desires us to have a strong enough ego to be valuable and productive in the world. Our ability to love ourselves is key to our love for others. The writer Tennessee Williams believed that we see each other through our flaws. Our flaws are part of us, and we must embrace them as well. The problem is that we do not have enough positive ego to go beyond our flaws and flourish as God intended. We must value ourselves. Jesus put it best, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This is the part of our ego that is important to healthy living.

    The second part of our ego is the dangerous one. We have all encountered egotistical, narcissistic, self-absorbed people in our lives. They make life miserable. Somehow they operate under the delusion that they are the only people in the world that really know anything. You want to know how to run your life, just ask. Egotistical people always have an answer, and their answer is the only one. Merton would refer to this type of behavior as the false self at it worst. This is the ego we are to avoid and control. Such ego leads to misunderstandings, hurt feelings and sometimes violent behavior.

    The real key to understanding our ego is to embrace that we are created in the image of God. That means that we are to love ourselves. It also means that we are to conduct ourselves in a way that projects that created image. Psychologist Sigmund Freud warned that we must not give in to the primitive ego that destroys ourselves and others but must rise to the “super ego” that builds ourselves and others. Unlike Freud, I know that we do not have to do this alone. Because we are followers of Jesus, we have the companionship and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God guides on our way. This Spirit shows how to love others as we love ourselves, and Jesus is the prime example of that love.

    Your ego is not your natural born enemy, but it is a force to be reckoned with on your journey. Let us understand that we are worthwhile and valuable, but everyone we meet is just as valuable. Remember the words of the writer of Proverbs.

    The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.



    Quotes BannerMidlife is the time to let go of an over dominant ego and to contemplate the deeper significance of human existence.”

    ― Carl Gustav Jung

    Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, “What else could this mean?”

    ― Shannon L. Alder

    Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.”

    ― John Lennon

    Enlightenment is ego’s ultimate disappointment.”

    ― Chögyam Trungpa

    “If a man thinks he is not conceited, he is very conceited indeed.”

    ― C.S. Lewis

    The ego is the false self-born out of fear and defensiveness.”

    ― John O’Donohue

    “The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist.”

    ― Eckhart Tolle

    “Or, rather, let us be more simple and less vain.”

    ― Rousseau Jean-Jacques

    “You never really learn much from hearing yourself speak.”

    ― George Clooney

    Never allow your ego to diminish your ability to listen.”

    ― Gary Hopkins

    How to get rid of ego as dictator and turn it into messenger and servant and scout, to be in your service, is the trick.”

    ― Joseph Campbell

    One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star.

    ―Gilbert K. Chesterton



    Quotes Banner“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

    ~~~John 5:31

    Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

    ~~~Colossians 4:6

    So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.

    ~~~John 8:28

    And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

    ~~~Mark 10:17-18

    Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

    ~~~1 Peter 5:5

    Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

    ~~~Proverbs 16:18

    The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.

    ~~~Proverbs 29:23

    Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.

    ~~~Proverbs 16:5

    Prayer Banner

    LORD, We fear what our egos may drive us to do. You have warned us many times of the dangers of being prideful or boastful. Help me ,Lord, to have enough self-worth to glorify you and enough humility to value others. Guide me down the path that allows me to be the person that you intended to create.

    Amen

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    This Week – Desire

    ______________________________________________________

    Definition

    Desire – Long for, want earnestly, (a thing , a person) Feel loss of, to miss. Express a wish for, ask for, request, a thing or a person.

    (Oxford Dictionary)



    More often than I would like to admit the word desire is linked to physical passion. I acknowledge that physical desire is a very real thing, but I want to examine the word beyond that aspect. During the dark days of World War II, England had a great deal of difficulty keeping men in the coal mines. It was a thankless kind of job, totally lacking in any glory. Most chose to join the various military services. They desired something that could give them more social acceptance and recognition. Something was needed to motivate these men in the work that they were doing so that they would remain in the mines.

     

    Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered a speech one day to thousands of coal miners, stressing to them the importance of their role in the war effort. He did this by painting for them a mental picture. He told them to picture the grand parade that would take place when VE Day came. First, he said, would come the sailors of the British Navy, the ones who had upheld the grand tradition of Trafalgar and the defeat of the Armada. Next in the parade, he said, would come the pilots of the Royal Air Force. They were the ones who, more than any other, had saved England from the dreaded German Luftwaffe. Next in the parade would come the Army, the ones that had stood tall at the crises of Dunkirk.

    Last of all, he said, would come a long line of sweat-stained, soot-streaked men in minor’s caps. And someone, he said, would cry from the crowd, “And where were you during the critical days of the struggle?” And then from ten thousand throats would come, “We were deep in the earth with our faces to the coal.” We are told that there were tears in the eyes of many of those soot laden and weathered faced coal miners. They had been given a sense of their own self-worth by the man at the top. That story begs the question. What are our desires?

    We desire self-worth. Just like the Welsh coal miners of that day, we have a deep desire to think we and our work make a difference. It is exceedingly difficult to toil each day with a feeling of worthlessness. Our desire is to be worthwhile and worthy. Such is a very natural and legitimate desire.

    We desire recognition. All people have a simple desire to not be invisible to the world.  Most people do not need a recognition ribbon for all they do but do want to be seen and appreciated. There are loads of people who work in literal invisibility. They suffer from their lack of recognition. We are largely responsible for their lack, because we take so much for granted in the world. Whether they are our parents, children or the worker at the grocery, they desire and deserve our recognition.

    We desire love. The desire to be loved is perhaps our greatest and most complicated desire. It is one that can drive us into some extremely dangerous ground. We live in a world that has defined love in a very carnal direction. Love is not always carnal. Love is the kind word, the helping hand and the warm smile for which we a yearn. Our society has, in many ways, forgotten about this type of love. The desire for the purity of the love of God stands at the front of the line.

    Desire can be used to make us better persons. My hope is that you will channel your desire in a direction that will bring you peace and blessing.



    Quotes BannerDo not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

    ~~~Epicurus

    Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.

    ~~~Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code

    Unsatisfied desire is in itself more desirable than any other satisfaction.

    ~~~C. S. Lewis

    The scientist is motivated primarily by curiosity and a desire for truth.

    ~~~Irving Langmuir

    There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.

    ~~~George Bernard Shaw

    The world is little, people are little, human life is little. There is only one big thing — desire.

    ~~~Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark

    Give me a hundred men who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I will shake the world. I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; and such alone will overthrow the kingdom of Satan and build up the kingdom of God on earth.

    ~~~John Wesley

    Ultimately, it is the desire, not the desired, that we love.

    ~~~Friedrich Nietzsche

    The authority of those who profess to teach is often a positive hindrance to those who desire to learn.

    ~~~Marcus Tullius Cicero

    Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.

    ~~~William Blake



    Scripture BannerWhom have I in heaven but You?

    And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

    ~~~Psalm 73:25

    A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,

    Favor is better than silver and gold.

    ~~~Proverbs 22:1

    Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.

    ~~~Hebrews 13:18

    But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.

    ~~~Romans 7:8

    But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.

    ~~~Matthew 12:7

    It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.

    ~~~1 Timothy 3:1

    Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,

    And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

    ~~~Psalm 51:6

    This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

    ~~~James 1:19-20

    For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.

    ~~~Romans 7:18

    Prayer Banner

    LORD, Desire can be a tricky emotion. It is an emotion that can lead us down the wrong path. Desire is also the strongest drive we have when we seek you. Help us to separate our selfish desires from those that drive us toward you and your love. May we all learn to possess holy desires that drive us toward you and your love. Amen

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    This Week – Care

    Care – An object or a matter of concern; a thing to be done or seen too – a charge, protective oversight, or guardianship. 

    (Oxford Dictionary)



    I doubt that there is a person on earth who genuinely wants to be known as uncaring. We all seem to care about a variety of things and people that touch our lives and even some that do not. To develop an attitude of care we must look both inside and outside of ourselves. That is perhaps the greatest challenge of becoming a caring person.

    Looking outward is vital because we must see life as it exists beyond our world. Bertrand Russell tells us,“One must care about a world one will not see.” The imperative of that statement is that we must look outside of our world, or we truly just do not care about anything. Our world is full of people who never look outside of themselves to even care for the people that surround them. There is a near epidemic of abuse in so many homes today that we begin to wonder if anybody really cares. We must perhaps begin the journey of care by thinking about the many hurts and needs in the world that we never see. I pray God that we will never see starvation on the street corner, but we need to realize that such destitution is a part of the world that we live in. As we begin to care about the things we do not see, we develop keener eyes to see the needs that surround us. We begin to care for our neighbors and friends, our families, and caring becomes a way of life.

    Now comes the next challenge. Most of us have heard of “compassion fatigue.” It is defined as a condition characterized by emotional and physical exhaustion leading to a diminished ability to empathize or feel compassion for others. In other words, we no longer care about anything or anybody. Why? Perhaps the primary reason is that we have neglected to care for ourselves. To properly care for others, we must care for ourselves. The beginning of self-care is rest. When we do not take the time to rest, we find ourselves at a loss to do the things that we love. Rest allows us to rethink what we are doing and why we are doing it. The quieting of our minds allows us to see our value to the world and the importance of respecting ourselves as a special creation of God. Essential to self -care is a positive view of ourselves before we lift a finger to others. This allows us to look deeper at the needs that surround us. With a healthy dose of self-love and self -care we are ready to care for the world.

    The caring person knows how to show love and respect. There is no love without respect. It is not enough to tell someone you care when you do not value their worth to the world and see yourself as some sort of paternal figure that wants to straighten up their disastrous lives. People do not need a human savior but a friend and companion who cares about them. As persons of care, we are led to build up the self-worth of those we care for and about. Our imperative is to make their lives more worth living, and in doing so, they too become caring people. It is contagious. When people discover that others care about them, they begin to care about the world. In some nearly mystical sense, they are led to become people of care as well.

    What are human beings that you are mindful of them,

       mortals that you care for them?

    ~~~Psalm 8:4



    Quotes BannerIf we take care of the inches, we will not have to worry about the miles.

    ~~~Hartley Coleridge

    I care not much for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.

    ~~~Abraham Lincoln

    One must care about a world one will not see.

    ~~~Bertrand Russell

    Give me a hundred men who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I will shake the world. I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; and such alone will overthrow the kingdom of Satan and build up the kingdom of God on earth.

    ~~~John Wesley

    My friend…care for your psyche…know thyself, for once we know ourselves, we may learn how to care for ourselves.

    ~~~Socrates

    Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.

    ~~~Dale Carnegie

    If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.

    ~~~D. L. Moody

    Nobody is so busy that they can’t make time for the people they really care about.

    ~~~Leila Sales

    A song and a smile from someone I cared about could be enough to distract me from all that darkness, if only for a little while.

    ~~~Ransom Riggs

    The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.

    ~~~Carson McCullers



    Scripture BannerThat there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.

    ~~~1 Corinthians 12:25

    Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

    ~~~Corinthians-2 11:28

    For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.

    ~~~Philippians 2:20

    But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

    ~~~Philippians 4:10

    Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.

    ~~~Peter-1 5:7

    The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

    ~~~Psalm 23:1

    what are human beings that you are mindful of them,

       mortals that you care for them?

    ~~~Psalm 8:4

    And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

    ~~~Matthew 10:30-31

    The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,

    ~~~John 10:13-14

    The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.”

    ~~~Luke 10:35

    Prayer BannerLORD,

    Teach me to care for the unloving.

          Teach me to care for the undeserving.

              Teach me to care for the unknown.

                  Teach me to care for the unreachable.

    Teach me that in caring for these I can learn to care for myself and have the peace that is bestowed upon a person of a caring heart. I ask that your spirit guide me as I seek these things. AMEN

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