Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Posts tagged ‘Aaron’

Aside

Sometimes gaining, Sometimes losing 083112

MOSES MBYE

MOSES MBYE (Photo credit: paddynapper)

Sometimes gaining, Sometimes losing 083112

 

This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

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:

 

Psalm 15 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2015&version=MSG

Exodus 32:15-35 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2032:15-35&version=MSG

James 1:9-16 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James%201:9-16&version=MSG

 

This week’s guest blogger is Jackie Casteel, a member of our congregation and a true friend to all.

 

Sometimes gaining, sometimes losing 083112

 

I prefer not to dwell on this selection from Exodus, but I do want to share that until this week, I knew nothing of Moses ordering the people to kill brother, sister and neighbor over this calf situation. So the tablet breaks, and it means they should do exactly what God just said not to do? I am thankful for Jesus and his message.

James 1:9-16 reminds me of something that took me several years to learn, but as with yesterday’s post, I know I am stronger for the experience.

There will always be hard times, just as there will always be wonderful times. There is a cycle of experience like the expanding and contracting of breath, where both are always happening across all human beings. Some gaining, some losing, but always getting a turn at each.

The best way to live, as we’ve learned previously, is to love one another. This goes for yourself too. Even with the ebb and flow, the world is good, and not evil. We make evil, inside of ourselves – our hearts and minds. That is a choice we make everyday, to allow what we encounter to bring us to tears, or hurtful attitudes, or to recognize what we witness and meet it head on with love, a loving attitude. Not anger or tears or depression. Meet it with grace.

I believe grace is being able to meet every experience with love.  Find Love.

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).

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

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

Subscribe to our blog! Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the right.

 

Psalm 15

Exodus 32:15-35

James 1:9-16

Psalm 15

A David Psalm

1 God, who gets invited to dinner at your place?
How do we get on your guest list?

2 “Walk straight,
act right,
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
blacklisted
if you live like this.”

Exodus 32:15-35

The Message (MSG)

15-16 Moses turned around and came down from the mountain, carrying the two tablets of The Testimony. The tablets were written on both sides, front and back. God made the tablets and God wrote the tablets— engraved them.

17 When Joshua heard the sound of the people shouting noisily, he said to Moses, “That’s the sound of war in the camp!”

18 But Moses said,

Those aren’t songs of victory,
And those aren’t songs of defeat,
I hear songs of people throwing a party.

19-20 And that’s what it was. When Moses came near to the camp and saw the calf and the people dancing, his anger flared. He threw down the tablets and smashed them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. He took the calf that they had made, melted it down with fire, pulverized it to powder, then scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.

21 Moses said to Aaron, “What on Earth did these people ever do to you that you involved them in this huge sin?”

22-23 Aaron said, “Master, don’t be angry. You know this people and how set on evil they are. They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will lead us. This Moses, the man who brought us out of Egypt, we don’t know what’s happened to him.’

24 “So I said, ‘Who has gold?’ And they took off their jewelry and gave it to me. I threw it in the fire and out came this calf.”

25-26 Moses saw that the people were simply running wild—Aaron had let them run wild, disgracing themselves before their enemies. He took up a position at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is on God’s side, join me!” All the Levites stepped up.

27 He then told them, “God’s orders, the God of Israel: ‘Strap on your swords and go to work. Crisscross the camp from one end to the other: Kill brother, friend, neighbor.'”

28 The Levites carried out Moses’ orders. Three thousand of the people were killed that day.

29 Moses said, “You confirmed your ordination today—and at great cost, even killing your sons and brothers! And God has blessed you.”

30 The next day Moses addressed the people: “You have sinned an enormous sin! But I am going to go up to God; maybe I’ll be able to clear you of your sin.”

31-32 Moses went back to God and said, “This is terrible. This people has sinned—it’s an enormous sin! They made gods of gold for themselves. And now, if you will only forgive their sin. …But if not, erase me out of the book you’ve written.”

33-34 God said to Moses, “I’ll only erase from my book those who sin against me. For right now, you go and lead the people to where I told you. Look, my Angel is going ahead of you. On the day, though, when I settle accounts, their sins will certainly be part of the settlement.”

35 God sent a plague on the people because of the calf they and Aaron had made.

James 1:9-16

The Message (MSG)

9-11When down-and-outers get a break, cheer! And when the arrogant rich are brought down to size, cheer! Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don’t ever count on it. You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, that’s a picture of the “prosperous life.” At the very moment everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing.

12Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.

13-15Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.

16-18So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.

 

Aside

Singing with David, Praying with James 083012

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments, painting by Rembrandt (1659) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Singing with David, Praying with James 083012

 

This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

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:

 

Psalm 15

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2015&version=MSG

Exodus 32:1-14

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2032:1-14&version=MSG

James 1:1-8

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James%201:1-8&version=MSG

 

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).

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

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

Subscribe to our blog! Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the right.

 

Psalm 15

Exodus 32:1-14

James 1:1-8

Psalm 15

The Message (MSG)

Psalm 15

A David Psalm

1 God, who gets invited to dinner at your place?
How do we get on your guest list?

2 “Walk straight,
act right,
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
blacklisted
if you live like this.”

Exodus 32:1-14

The Message (MSG)

Exodus 32

“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.

James 1:1-8

The Message (MSG)

James 1

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

 

Aside

Seeing Many Worlds 052212

A reconstructed Israelite house, Monarchy peri...

A reconstructed Israelite house, Monarchy period, 10th–7th BCE. Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

 

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Seeing Many Worlds 052212

 

An article I read yesterday claimed that the ability to be spiritual and to become a Christian depended on the ability to see multiple worlds as real. I’m going to think about that a few years, but in the meantime, this morning’s Psalm (115) begins by speaking of the subject and then : 16The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to human beings. (It never fails to amaze me how what I thinking about and inquiring should be discussed in the next scripture I read.)

 

We do see multiple worlds: the world of human beings, and the ‘world’ or universe or cosmos of God. I can not see all of God’s universe, and can not even envision the infinity of reality, or the abyss of nothingness before God created ‘the heavens and the earth’.

 

Pray for peace today and the kingdom of God

 

 

brother Bill

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).

 

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

 

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

 

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

Subscribe to our blog! Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the right.

 

Psalm 115

 

1Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness.

 

2Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”

 

3Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases.

 

4Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.

 

5They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.

 

6They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell.

 

7They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; they make no sound in their throats.

 

8Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them.

 

9O Israel, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.

 

10O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.

 

11You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.

 

12The Lord has been mindful of us; he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron;

 

13he will bless those who fear the Lord, both small and great.

 

14May the Lord give you increase, both you and your children.

 

15May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

 

16The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to human beings.

 

17The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any that go down into silence.

 

18But we will bless the Lord from this time on and forevermore. Praise the Lord!

 

Numbers 8:5-22

 

5The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 6Take the Levites from among the Israelites and cleanse them. 7Thus you shall do to them, to cleanse them: sprinkle the water of purification on them, have them shave their whole body with a razor and wash their clothes, and so cleanse themselves. 8Then let them take a young bull and its grain offering of choice flour mixed with oil, and you shall take another young bull for a sin offering. 9You shall bring the Levites before the tent of meeting, and assemble the whole congregation of the Israelites. 10When you bring the Levites before the Lord, the Israelites shall lay their hands on the Levites, 11and Aaron shall present the Levites before the Lord as an elevation offering from the Israelites, that they may do the service of the Lord. 12The Levites shall lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, and he shall offer the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering to the Lord, to make atonement for the Levites. 13Then you shall have the Levites stand before Aaron and his sons, and you shall present them as an elevation offering to the Lord. 14Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the other Israelites, and the Levites shall be mine. 15Thereafter the Levites may go in to do service at the tent of meeting, once you have cleansed them and presented them as an elevation offering. 16For they are unreservedly given to me from among the Israelites; I have taken them for myself, in place of all that open the womb, the firstborn of all the Israelites. 17For all the firstborn among the Israelites are mine, both human and animal. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I consecrated them for myself, 18but I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn among the Israelites. 19Moreover, I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the Israelites, to do the service for the Israelites at the tent of meeting, and to make atonement for the Israelites, in order that there may be no plague among the Israelites for coming too close to the sanctuary. 20Moses and Aaron and the whole congregation of the Israelites did with the Levites accordingly; the Israelites did with the Levites just as the Lord had commanded Moses concerning them. 21The Levites purified themselves from sin and washed their clothes; then Aaron presented them as an elevation offering before the Lord, and Aaron made atonement for them to cleanse them. 22Thereafter the Levites went in to do their service in the tent of meeting in attendance on Aaron and his sons. As the Lord had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so they did with them.

 

Titus 1:1-9

 

1Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that is in accordance with godliness, 2in the hope of eternal life that God, who never lies, promised before the ages began— 3in due time he revealed his word through the proclamation with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior, 4To Titus, my loyal child in the faith we share: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

 

5I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you:

 

6someone who is blameless, married only once, whose children are believers, not accused of debauchery and not rebellious. 7For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; 8but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. 9He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it.

 

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

Related articles are presented without endorsement

 

Aside

A Love That Will Grow 052112

 

Aaron, Russian icon from first quarter of 18th...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

 

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

A Love That Will Grow 052112

 

Today’s scriptures are from The Message, a modern ‘paraphrase’ of the Bible. Philippians 1 in particular opens itself up to readers, using this paraphrase, and it is like any letter any of us of us might write to a younger person or friend.

 

‘Live a lover’s life’ Philippians 1: 11 says, and I thought of using that phrase as a title. But for people not searching for a Christian blog that phrase might be misunderstood. Many times our culture cheapens the word love so much that we wince when the Bible uses the word (instead of agape). For a disciple of Christ to lead a life like a lover, means to love so openly and freely that we are able to lay down our life for others, as Christ did for us all.

 

To me, it also means to live our life passionately and fully, and to fall in love all over again, every day and moment.

 

Pray for peace

 

brother Bill

 

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).

 

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

 

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

 

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

Subscribe to our blog! Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the right.

Psalm 115

 
Not for our sake, God, no, not for our sake, but for your name’s sake, show your glory.
Do it on account of your merciful love,
do it on account of your faithful ways.
Do it so none of the nations can say,
“Where now, oh where is their God?”

3-8 Our God is in heaven
doing whatever he wants to do.
Their gods are metal and wood,
handmade in a basement shop:
Carved mouths that can’t talk,
painted eyes that can’t see,
Tin ears that can’t hear,
molded noses that can’t smell,
Hands that can’t grasp, feet that can’t walk or run,
throats that never utter a sound.
Those who make them have become just like them,
have become just like the gods they trust.

4-9 God is higher than anything and anyone,
outshining everything you can see in the skies.
Who can compare with God, our God,
so majestically enthroned,
Surveying his magnificent
heavens and earth?
He picks up the poor from out of the dirt,
rescues the wretched who’ve been thrown out with the trash,
Seats them among the honored guests,
a place of honor among the brightest and best.
He gives childless couples a family,
gives them joy as the parents of children.
Hallelujah!

9-11 But you, Israel: put your trust in God!
—trust your Helper! trust your Ruler!
Clan of Aaron, trust in God!
—trust your Helper! trust your Ruler!
You who fear God, trust in God!
—trust your Helper! trust your Ruler!

12-16 O God, remember us and bless us,
bless the families of Israel and Aaron.
And let God bless all who fear God—
bless the small, bless the great.
Oh, let God enlarge your families—
giving growth to you, growth to your children.
May you be blessed by God,
by God, who made heaven and earth.
The heaven of heavens is for God,
but he put us in charge of the earth.

17-18 Dead people can’t praise God—
not a word to be heard from those buried in the ground.
But we bless God, oh yes—
we bless him now, we bless him always!
Hallelujah!

 

Exodus 28:29-38

 

The Message (MSG)

 

29-30 “Aaron will regularly carry the names of the sons of Israel on the Breastpiece of Judgment over his heart as he enters the Sanctuary into the presence of God for remembrance. Place the Urim and Thummim in the Breastpiece of Judgment. They will be over Aaron’s heart when he enters the presence of God. In this way Aaron will regularly carry the Breastpiece of Judgment into the presence of God.

 

The Robe

 

31-35 “Make the robe for the Ephod entirely of blue, with an opening for the head at the center and a hem on the edge so that it won’t tear. For the edge of the skirts make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet material all around and alternate them with bells of gold —gold bell and pomegranate, gold bell and pomegranate—all around the hem of the robe. Aaron has to wear it when he does his priestly work. The bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place and comes into the presence of God, and again when he comes out so that he won’t die.

 

The Turban, Tunic, Underwear

 

36-38 “Make a plate of pure gold. Engrave on it as on a seal: ‘Holy to God.’ Tie it with a blue cord to the front of the turban. It is to rest there on Aaron’s forehead. He’ll take on any guilt involved in the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate, no matter what they bring. It will always be on Aaron’s forehead so that the offerings will be acceptable before God.

 

Philippians 1:3-11

 

The Message (MSG)

 

A Love That Will Grow

 

3-6Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

 

7-8It’s not at all fanciful for me to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality. You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God. He knows how much I love and miss you these days. Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does!

 

9-11So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.

 

The Message (MSG)

 

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

 

Related articles are presented without endorsement

 

 

Prayer for the Environment 032012

Clean stream water

Clean stream water (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Prayer for the Environment 032012

Numbers 20 tells the story of Moses striking the rock, as God commanded, and allowing water to pour from the rock for the thirst of the Jews and all their livestock. fleeing Pharaoh.

Wandering in the desert, they had become desperate and angry at being led into the desert, apparently to die of thirst.

Of course, we know that water is scarce in Africa, and certain desert regions worldwide, but with human population now racing toward 7 billion people (that’s 7,000,000,000 people!) we all want a glass of cool water for ourselves and for our babies and families. But there is a water problem in California, in Texas, in the Midwest American plain, and water scarcity in southern England is also appearing. It is a global problem.

If we as Christians love all of humanity and all of earth as Jesus taught us, it is time to think of global death due to water shortages, and do what we can as engineers, as farmers, as leaders to address all the global problems with all the talents and resources provided to us by God. Our skills and talents should save the earth.

Pray for the environment today; pray for the suffering earth.

Pray for peace.

Bill

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).

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

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

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Psalm 107:1-16

Numbers 20:1-13

1 Corinthians 10:6-13

 

 

Psalm 107

1O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.

2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble

3and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.

4Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town;

5hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.

6Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress;

7he led them by a straight way, until they reached an inhabited town.

8Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

9For he satisfies the thirsty, and the hungry he fills with good things.

10Some sat in darkness and in gloom, prisoners in misery and in irons,

11for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High.

12Their hearts were bowed down with hard labor; they fell down, with no one to help.

13Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress;

14he brought them out of darkness and gloom, and broke their bonds asunder.

15Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

16For he shatters the doors of bronze, and cuts in two the bars of iron.

Numbers 20:1-13

20The Israelites, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died there, and was buried there. 2Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and against Aaron. 3The people quarreled with Moses and said, “Would that we had died when our kindred died before the Lord! 4Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? 5Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to bring us to this wretched place? It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; and there is no water to drink.” 6Then Moses and Aaron went away from the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting; they fell on their faces, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 8Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and your brother Aaron, and command the rock before their eyes to yield its water. Thus you shall bring water out of the rock for them; thus you shall provide drink for the congregation and their livestock. 9So Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he had commanded him. 10Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Listen, you rebels, shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff; water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their livestock drank. 12But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me, to show my holiness before the eyes of the Israelites, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” 13These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and by which he showed his holiness.

1 Corinthians 10:6-13

6Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. 7Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.” 8We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. 10And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. 13No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

Born Again Of Water And Spirit 031712

 

English: Holy Spirit depicted as the dove (det...

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Born Again Of Water And Spirit 031712

This morning’s selection from John 3 reminds us that something beyond water baptism is necessary is needed for us to be born again. We seek and thirst for the baptism of spirit. John is powerful and clear in this selection, and his words stay with us forever.

This is amazing for us all, that the Holy Spirit will wash over us, and we will by this be born again. It amazed Nicodemus, it amazed John the Baptist, and it continues to be with us, as an amazing part of the spiritual life.

Jesus talks spiritually, this selection also says, and he talks to us of heavenly things, not earthly things. I’m not sure any human can for certain see the spirit in another, but God can see, and you can see into your own heart.

Walk with the Holy Spirit today and may it fill your soul.

Pray for peace,

Bill

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).

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

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

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Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22

Numbers 20:22-29

John 3:1-13

 

Psalm 107

1O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.

2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble

3and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.

17Some were sick through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities endured affliction;

18they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death.

19Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress;

20he sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from destruction.

21Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

22And let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices, and tell of his deeds with songs of joy.

Numbers 20:22-29

22They set out from Kadesh, and the Israelites, the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor. 23Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, on the border of the land of Edom, 24“Let Aaron be gathered to his people. For he shall not enter the land that I have given to the Israelites, because you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. 25Take Aaron and his son Eleazar, and bring them up Mount Hor; 26strip Aaron of his vestments, and put them on his son Eleazar. But Aaron shall be gathered to his people, and shall die there.” 27Moses did as the Lord had commanded; they went up Mount Hor in the sight of the whole congregation. 28Moses stripped Aaron of his vestments, and put them on his son Eleazar; and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29When all the congregation saw that Aaron had died, all the house of Israel mourned for Aaron thirty days.

John 3:1-13

3Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” 3Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? 11“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment (And that’s a good thing!) 102411

Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

Mount Hor where it is believed that Aaron brot...

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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).

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

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Psalm 119:41-48

Deuteronomy 6:1-9, 20-25

Numbers 33:38-39

James 2:8-13

 

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment (And that’s a good thing!) 102411

 

James 2:13 says:   13For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. I think it is a good thing that mercy triumphs over judgment, because my judgment is seriously, always flawed. My judgment is flawed when I use my judgment, and my only option is to try to not judge, and to withhold judgment entirely.

 

Some time ago I had a young man work for me a few days. Soon after several expensive tools disappeared from my workshop and I was certain the young man was a thief. In fact, I really had judged him to be a thief, although I knew I was not certain and had no proof. I never heard from the young man again until, surprise! he came to church. He was sincere, polite, clean and well-spoken. I think his parents raised him right and are proud of him.

 

I felt like cornering him, and grilling him for the truth—whether he had taken tools from and was a thief or not. Something stopped, or rather someone (I think it was Jesus) stopped me from doing that and saying anything. Instead, I praised him for being a hard worker, and doing his best to love and care for his young family. I think we’ll be seeing him at church.

 

Pray for peace,

(brother) Bill

 

 

Psalm 119:41-48

 

41Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise.

42Then I shall have an answer for those who taunt me, for I trust in your word.

43Do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your ordinances.

44I will keep your law continually, forever and ever.

45I shall walk at liberty, for I have sought your precepts.

46I will also speak of your decrees before kings, and shall not be put to shame;

47I find my delight in your commandments, because I love them.

48I revere your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.

Deuteronomy 6:1-9, 20-25

6Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the ordinances—that the Lord your God charged me to teach you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy, 2so that you and your children and your children’s children, may fear the Lord your God all the days of your life, and keep all his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding you, so that your days may be long. 3Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe them diligently, so that it may go well with you, and so that you may multiply greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you.

4Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 20When your children ask you in time to come, “What is the meaning of the decrees and the statutes and the ordinances that the Lord our God has commanded you?” 21then you shall say to your children, “We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22The Lord displayed before our eyes great and awesome signs and wonders against Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his household. 23He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land that he promised on oath to our ancestors. 24Then the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our lasting good, so as to keep us alive, as is now the case. 25If we diligently observe this entire commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, we will be in the right.”

Numbers 33:38-39

38Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor at the command of the Lord and died there in the fortieth year after the Israelites had come out of the land of Egypt, on the first day of the fifth month. 39Aaron was one hundred twenty-three years old when he died on Mount Hor.

James 2:8-13

8You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 9But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. 11For the one who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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