Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also:
This week’s guest blogger is Jackie Casteel, a member of our congregation and a true friend to all.
Again, we read another psalm that has laid out very clearly what is kind of practice is needed to live right. Honesty, compassion for your neighbors, and ah...no collecting interest. I wonder what the world would be like, if every Christian ceased to “put out his money at interest.” If it was an act considered as despicable as murder, lies, and assault, throughout our history, what sort of system would we be living under? Perhaps a caring community where each being involved shares the surplus of their labors with their neighbors, so that all may find what they need to live healthy. Maybe all that interest has lead to the technological advances that have led to all the modern marvels of today, some of which allow us to communicate our beliefs to more than just those in front of us. As for James, yet another selection that seems fitting for me and my life right now. I’ve felt the pressure of multiple jobs, roles, and responsibilities over the past several months and in some cases, years. There have been many times I looked back on a week and wondered how I got through it, feeling exhausted and drained of all enthusiasm, especially when I knew I had to do it all again. Eventually, I learn from others how i’ve helped them, moved them, or did a good job, despite my inability to feel the accomplishment. Like carrying a heavy load up an incline, and standing at the top with loved ones thankful, but never putting down the weight off my back. I can remind myself that that it makes me stronger. I can look back at events in my life that shock most(proven during storytelling open mic!) with love and understanding that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without those trials. They were still difficult. The difference between now and the past, is that I know I will receive the help I ask for. I am thankful for the swiftness at which my prayers are answered, and all those who act as messengers of that love. And right now, today, I have the patience to wait for the next message. I’ve spent enough time at sea.
This week’s guest blogger: : Jackie Casteel considers herself a perpetual student of spirituality on this incredible journey of life. For many years she has been amazed by the ever changing, infinite possibilities in every moment, but has only in recent years started seeking the wisdom held within the bible. She continues to be amazed.
Prayer List: Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).
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We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net
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Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/
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The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm
1 God, who gets invited to dinner at your place?
How do we get on your guest list?
2 “Walk straight,
tell the truth.
3-4 “Don’t hurt your friend,
don’t blame your neighbor;
despise the despicable.
5 “Keep your word even when it costs you,
make an honest living,
never take a bribe.
“You’ll never get
if you live like this.”
The Message (MSG)
“Make Gods for Us”
1 When the people realized that Moses was taking forever in coming down off the mountain, they rallied around Aaron and said, “Do something. Make gods for us who will lead us. That Moses, the man who got us out of Egypt—who knows what’s happened to him?”
2-4 So Aaron told them, “Take off the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters and bring them to me.” They all did it; they removed the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from their hands and cast it in the form of a calf, shaping it with an engraving tool.
The people responded with enthusiasm: “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up from Egypt!”
5 Aaron, taking in the situation, built an altar before the calf.
Aaron then announced, “Tomorrow is a feast day to God!”
6 Early the next morning, the people got up and offered Whole-Burnt-Offerings and brought Peace-Offerings. The people sat down to eat and drink and then began to party. It turned into a wild party!
7-8 God spoke to Moses, “Go! Get down there! Your people whom you brought up from the land of Egypt have fallen to pieces. In no time at all they’ve turned away from the way I commanded them: They made a molten calf and worshiped it. They’ve sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are the gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt!'”
9-10 God said to Moses, “I look at this people—oh! what a stubborn, hard-headed people! Let me alone now, give my anger free reign to burst into flames and incinerate them. But I’ll make a great nation out of you.”
11-13 Moses tried to calm his God down. He said, “Why, God, would you lose your temper with your people? Why, you brought them out of Egypt in a tremendous demonstration of power and strength. Why let the Egyptians say, ‘He had it in for them—he brought them out so he could kill them in the mountains, wipe them right off the face of the Earth.’ Stop your anger. Think twice about bringing evil against your people! Think of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants to whom you gave your word, telling them ‘I will give you many children, as many as the stars in the sky, and I’ll give this land to your children as their land forever.'”
14 And God did think twice. He decided not to do the evil he had threatened against his people.
The Message (MSG)
1I, James, am a slave of God and the Master Jesus, writing to the twelve tribes scattered to Kingdom Come: Hello! Faith Under Pressure
2-4Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
5-8If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
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