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the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also. Lectionary
Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/
The Difficulty of Prayer 051413
The Difficulty of Prayer is that we really have no reason or excuse for not praying , not a really good reason or a really good excuse, that
is. The problem with prayer is that we originally found it quite easy and natural. Now, it’s become an unnatural act. We have to stop,
rearrange our schedule, and rearrange our activities to allow time for prayer. But it doesn’t happen that way for me so much. Prayer should come to us as easily and naturally as kneeling
down to take a cool drink of water from a clear stream.
Instead, the world and people and activities that have to be done crowd in on me and crush me like a little stinky bug. I can’t even slow this
crushing rearrangement of life, the taking of my life day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.
I know every day how difficult it is to find time for prayer and to find time for reading the Bible.
Pray for peace,
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
Pray with us!
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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The Message (MSG)
29 1-2 Bravo, God, bravo!
and all angels shout, “Encore!”
In awe before the
in awe before God’s visible
Stand at attention!
best to honor him!
Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming
God, across the flood waters.
God topples the northern cedars.
The high ridges jump like wild kid goats.
thunders, the wilderness quakes;
He makes the desert of Kadesh
A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips
We fall to our knees—we call out, “Glory!”
from which his power
from which he rules the world.
gives his people peace.
The Message (MSG)
2-3 Bringing all this to a climax, Solomon got all the
leaders together in Jerusalem—all the chiefs of tribes and the
family patriarchs—to move the Chest of the Covenant of God from
Zion and install it in The Temple. All the men of Israel assembled
before the king on the feast day of the seventh month, the Feast of
were ready, the Levites took up the Chest. They carried the Chest,
the Tent of Meeting, and all the sacred things in the Tent used in
worship. The priests, all Levites, carried them. King Solomon and the
entire congregation of Israel were there before the Chest, worshiping
and sacrificing huge numbers of sheep and cattle—so many that no
one could keep track.
of the Covenant of God to its place in the Inner Sanctuary, the Holy
of Holies, under the wings of the cherubim. The outspread wings of
the cherubim formed a canopy over the Chest and its poles. The ends
of the poles were so long that they stuck out from the entrance of
the Inner Sanctuary, but were not noticeable further out—they’re
still there today. There was nothing in the Chest itself but the two
stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb where God made a
covenant with Israel after bringing them up from Egypt.
Holy Place. All the priests there were consecrated, regardless of
rank or assignment; and all the Levites who were musicians were
there—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their families, dressed in their
worship robes; the choir and orchestra assembled on the east side of
the Altar and were joined by 120 priests blowing trumpets. The choir
and trumpets made one voice of praise and thanks to God—orchestra
and choir in perfect harmony singing and playing praise to God:
Yes! God is good!
His loyal love goes on forever!
The Temple of God. The priests couldn’t even carry out their duties
because of the cloud—the glory of God!—that filled The Temple of
The Message (MSG)
Agrippa? I couldn’t just walk away from a vision like that! I
became an obedient believer on the spot. I started preaching this
life-change—this radical turn to God and everything it meant in
everyday life—right there in Damascus, went on to Jerusalem and the
surrounding countryside, and from there to the whole world.
‘whole world’ dimension that the Jews grabbed me in the Temple
that day and tried to kill me. They want to keep God for themselves.
But God has stood by me, just as he promised, and I’m standing here
saying what I’ve been saying to anyone, whether king or child, who
will listen. And everything I’m saying is completely in line with
what the prophets and Moses said would happen: One, the Messiah must
die; two, raised from the dead, he would be the first rays of God’s
daylight shining on people far and near, people both godless and
He interrupted with a shout: “Paul, you’re crazy! You’ve read
too many books, spent too much time staring off into space! Get a
grip on yourself, get back in the real world!”
“With all respect, Festus, Your Honor, I’m not crazy. I’m both
accurate and sane in what I’m saying. The king knows what I’m
talking about. I’m sure that nothing of what I’ve said sounds
crazy to him. He’s known all about it for a long time. You must
realize that this wasn’t done behind the scenes. You believe the
prophets, don’t you, King Agrippa? Don’t answer that—I know you
this up much longer and you’ll make a Christian out of me!”
“That’s what I’m praying for, whether now or later, and not
only you but everyone listening today, to become like me—except, of
course, for this prison jewelry!”