Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Posts tagged ‘Lord’

Looking to the Hills—Music and Meaning 101713

Columbia Mountains as seen from the Rocky Moun...

Columbia Mountains as seen from the Rocky Mountain Trench (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Bucegi mountains (on the right is Car...

English: Bucegi mountains (on the right is Caraiman Cross) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

Psalm 121 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20121&version=MSG

 

Isaiah 54:11-17 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2054:11-17&version=MSG

 

Acts 17:22-34 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2017:22-34&version=MSG

 

Looking to the Hills—Music and Meaning 101713

Psalm 121 provides the inspiration for today’s blog post. If we read the Psalm from The Message restatement or translation, it sounds like this:

121 1-2 I look up to the mountains;
does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from
God,
who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

I do not know if this is the correct translation or whether the King James Version below is better:

Psalm 121

King James Version (KJV)

121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

 

In this version, the King James Version, the hills and God seem to be the same being, a being that provides our strength. But in The Message the hills and God are two distinct beings, and we are mistaken for thinking our strength might come from the hills.

Despite, The Message’s question, I never thought that my strength could come from the hills. As long as I’ve had enough strength to even consider, I knew this all had to come from God.

This meaning, this harmony and resonance as the words of King James bounce through us, says that there also a meaning to the music of the words. And I love to admit it, I believe in part because these words are music, with a meaning heard deep below.

Pray for peace,

Pastor Bill

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.

 

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

Psalm 121

The Message (MSG)

A Pilgrim Song

121 1-2 I look up to the mountains;
does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

3-4 He won’t let you stumble,
your Guardian God won’t fall asleep.
Not on your life! Israel’s
Guardian will never doze or sleep.

5-6 God’s your Guardian,
right at your side to protect you—
Shielding you from sunstroke,
sheltering you from moonstroke.

7-8 God guards you from every evil,
he guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
he guards you now, he guards you always.

Isaiah 54:11-17

The Message (MSG)

11-17 “Afflicted city, storm-battered, unpitied:
I’m about to rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
Lay your foundations with sapphires,
construct your towers with rubies,
Your gates with jewels,
and all your walls with precious stones.
All your children will have God for their teacher—
what a mentor for your children!
You’ll be built solid, grounded in righteousness,
far from any trouble—nothing to fear!
far from terror—it won’t even come close!
If anyone attacks you,
don’t for a moment suppose that I sent them,
And if any should attack,
nothing will come of it.
I create the blacksmith
who fires up his forge
and makes a weapon designed to kill.
I also create the destroyer—
but no weapon that can hurt you has ever been forged.
Any accuser who takes you to court
will be dismissed as a liar.
This is what God’s servants can expect.
I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best.”
God’s Decree.

Acts 17:22-34

The Message (MSG)

22-23 So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them. “It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously. When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I’m here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you’re dealing with.

24-29 “The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?

30-31 “God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better—but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he’s calling for a radical life-change. He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead.”

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Even This Friday is Good 061413

Cover of "Friday (New Line Platinum Serie...

Cover of Friday (New Line Platinum Series)

English: Friday prayer in Duraz Camera: Canon ...

English: Friday prayer in Duraz Camera: Canon EOS 7D License on Flickr (2011-08-02): CC-BY-SA-2.0 Flickr tags: Bahrain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friday-Love!

Friday-Love! (Photo credit: Viewminder)

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. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

Psalm 32 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2032%20&version=MSG

 

2 Samuel 15:1-12 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Samuel%2015:1-12&version=MSG

 

Romans 11:1-10 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%2011:1-10&version=MSG

 

Even This Friday is Good 061413

On Friday it seems like we get released from the world, and somehow distance ourselves from all that is not part of following Christ.

On Friday, we can look forward to the Lord’s day, and the sense of peace, security and community that surrounds the day, as distant as it can be from the workday week. At end, there is refuge in church on Sunday if you are lucky enough to be part of a physical, hugging, sharing church. If not we may find our Lord’s Day in being with family and friends.

Certainly, beginning Friday, we begin to let our being, as a follower of Christ, find peace and unity with God.

Pray for peace,

Pastor Bill

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.

 

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

Psalm 32

The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

32 Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be—
you get a fresh start,
your slate’s wiped clean.

2 Count yourself lucky—
God holds nothing against you
and you’re holding nothing back from him.

3 When I kept it all inside,
my bones turned to powder,
my words became daylong groans.

4 The pressure never let up;
all the juices of my life dried up.

5 Then I let it all out;
I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”

Suddenly the pressure was gone—
my guilt dissolved,
my sin disappeared.

6 These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;
when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts
we’ll be on high ground, untouched.

7 God’s my island hideaway,
keeps danger far from the shore,
throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.

8 Let me give you some good advice;
I’m looking you in the eye
and giving it to you straight:

9 “Don’t be ornery like a horse or mule
that needs bit and bridle
to stay on track.”

10 God-defiers are always in trouble;
God-affirmers find themselves loved
every time they turn around.

11 Celebrate God.
Sing together—everyone!
All you honest hearts, raise the roof!

2 Samuel 15:1-12

The Message (MSG)

15 1-2 As time went on, Absalom took to riding in a horse-drawn chariot, with fifty men running in front of him. Early each morning he would take up his post beside the road at the city gate. When anyone showed up with a case to bring to the king for a decision, Absalom would call him over and say, “Where do you hail from?”

And the answer would come, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.”

3-6 Then Absalom would say, “Look, you’ve got a strong case; but the king isn’t going to listen to you.” Then he’d say, “Why doesn’t someone make me a judge for this country? Anybody with a case could bring it to me and I’d settle things fair and square.” Whenever someone would treat him with special honor, he’d shrug it off and treat him like an equal, making him feel important. Absalom did this to everyone who came to do business with the king and stole the hearts of everyone in Israel.

7-8 After four years of this, Absalom spoke to the king, “Let me go to Hebron to pay a vow that I made to God. Your servant made a vow when I was living in Geshur in Aram saying, ‘If God will bring me back to Jerusalem, I’ll serve him with my life.’”

9 The king said, “Go with my blessing.” And he got up and set off for Hebron.

10-12 Then Absalom sent undercover agents to all the tribes of Israel with the message, “When you hear the blast of the ram’s horn trumpet, that’s your signal: Shout, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron!’” Two hundred men went with Absalom from Jerusalem. But they had been called together knowing nothing of the plot and made the trip innocently. While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he managed also to involve Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s advisor, calling him away from his hometown of Giloh. The conspiracy grew powerful and Absalom’s supporters multiplied.

Romans 11:1-10

The Message (MSG)

The Loyal Minority

11 1-2 Does this mean, then, that God is so fed up with Israel that he’ll have nothing more to do with them? Hardly. Remember that I, the one writing these things, am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham out of the tribe of Benjamin. You can’t get much more Semitic than that! So we’re not talking about repudiation. God has been too long involved with Israel, has too much invested, to simply wash his hands of them.

2-6 Do you remember that time Elijah was agonizing over this same Israel and cried out in prayer?

God, they murdered your prophets,
They trashed your altars;
I’m the only one left and now they’re after me!

And do you remember God’s answer?

I still have seven thousand who haven’t quit,
Seven thousand who are loyal to the finish.

It’s the same today. There’s a fiercely loyal minority still—not many, perhaps, but probably more than you think. They’re holding on, not because of what they think they’re going to get out of it, but because they’re convinced of God’s grace and purpose in choosing them. If they were only thinking of their own immediate self-interest, they would have left long ago.

7-10 And then what happened? Well, when Israel tried to be right with God on her own, pursuing her own self-interest, she didn’t succeed. The chosen ones of God were those who let God pursue his interest in them, and as a result received his stamp of legitimacy. The “self-interest Israel” became thick-skinned toward God. Moses and Isaiah both commented on this:

Fed up with their quarrelsome, self-centered ways,
God blurred their eyes and dulled their ears,
Shut them in on themselves in a hall of mirrors,
and they’re there to this day.

David was upset about the same thing:

I hope they get sick eating self-serving meals,
break a leg walking their self-serving ways.
I hope they go blind staring in their mirrors,
get ulcers from playing at god.

Get up and make your bed! 042313

India - Jamnapur village, Bihar

India – Jamnapur village, Bihar (Photo credit: CGIAR Climate)

 

 

Farmer and bullocks. Tambhol Village, November...

Farmer and bullocks. Tambhol Village, November, 2006 Photo by Dan Tunstall. 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Farmers Market San Francisco

Farmers Market San Francisco (Photo credit: Swami Stream)

 

The blues musician Blind Willie Johnson

The blues musician Blind Willie Johnson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

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. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

 

 

Psalm 100
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20100&version=MSG

 

 

 

Ezekiel 45:1-9 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2045:1-9&version=MSG

 

 

 

Acts 9:32-35 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%209:32-35&version=MSG

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get up and make your bed! 042313

 

 

 

 

 

 

Somehow, when I hear this phrase I can hear the sound of a blues musician singing and playing on a street corner somewhere. Somehow when we’re in the midst of the blues, it’s hard to do this, but the gospel truth is that this is exactly what we have to do.

 

 

We have to get up, make our beds, and get on with the work the Lord has given us to do. It is hard, so hard sometimes, I know. People are really in pain it seems, and I think sometimes that all the technology and chemicals and electromagnetic things humans have put into the environment have drug us all down a notch or two. But we can’t mourn our own pain; we can’t mourn a lost environment. All we can do is get up, make our beds and get on with restoring this degraded and sad environment. How did we so expertly destroy a world of complete perfection and beauty, replacing it with endless fast foods, strip malls, big malls and bigger malls, and all this separated by crowded loud homes.

 

 

I read today that one of the world’s largest agricultural monster companies intends to build a beautiful 400 acre expansion campus, to expand its research and production. I can’t believe it—a company that has done more evil to farmers, farms, and the food in your mouth than any satan could dream now wants to create a ‘beautiful’ campus.

 

 

In India, 650,000 small farmers are reported to have committed suicide because of this company’s products, but they are going to be a better, beautiful 400 acre campus!

 

 

But take any other example that you hear God telling you needs correcting! Are the homeless in your town getting love and food? Are single mothers learning how to raise healthy infants? Are the elderly being visited and fed well? Are you going to see the people in prison,or are they too black, too poor and too violent for us to be near?

Pray for peace, brothers and sisters. For God’s sake pray for peace often. Let us plead with God to bring us peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have to get up, make our beds, and get on with the work the Lord has given us to do. It is hard, so hard sometimes, I know. People are really in pain it seems,
and I think sometimes that all the technology and chemicals and electromagnetic things humans have put into the environment have drug us all down a notch or two. But we can’t mourn our own pain; we can’t mourn a lost environment. All we can do is get up, make our beds and get on with restoring this degraded and sad environment. How did we so expertly destroy a world of complete perfection and beauty, replacing it with endless fast foods, strip malls, big malls and bigger malls, and all this separated by crowded loud homes.

I read today that one of the world’s largest agricultural monster companies intends to build abeautiful 400 acre expansion campus, to expand its research and production. I can’t believe it—a company that has done more evil to farmers, farms, and the food in your mouth than any satan could dream now wants to create a ‘beautiful’ campus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In India, 650,000 small farmers are reported to have committed suicide because of this company’s products, but they are going to be a better, beautiful 400 acre campus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

But take any other example that you hear God telling you needs correcting! Are the homeless in your town getting love and food? Are single mothers learning how to raise healthy infants? Are the elderly being visited and fed well? Are you going to see the people in prison,or are they too black, too poor and too violent for us to be near?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pray for peace, brothers

and sisters. For God’s sake pray for peace often. Let us plead with

God to bring us peace.

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Bill

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subscribe

to our blog!

Delivery

daily by e-mail.

Click

the button on the right.

 

 

 

Psalm

100

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

A Thanksgiving Psalm

 

 

 

100 1-2 On your feet now—applaud God!
Bring

a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into

his presence.

 

 

 

3 Know this: God is God, and God,

God.
He made us; we didn’t make

him.
We’re his people, his well-tended

sheep.

 

 

 

4 Enter with the password: “Thank

you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking

praise.
Thank him. Worship him.

 

 

 

5 For God is sheer

beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal

always and ever.

 

 

 

Ezekiel

45:1-12

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

Sacred Space for God

 

 

 

45 1-4 “When you divide up the inheritance of the

land, you must set aside part of the land as sacred space for God:

approximately seven miles long by six miles wide, all of it holy

ground. Within this rectangle, reserve a seven-hundred-fifty-foot

square for the Sanctuary with a seventy-five-foot buffer zone

surrounding it. Mark off within the sacred reserve a section seven

miles long by three miles wide. The Sanctuary with its Holy of Holies

will be placed there. This is where the priests will live, those who

lead worship in the Sanctuary and serve God there. Their houses will

be there along with The Holy Place.

 

 

 

5 “To the north of the sacred

reserve, an area roughly seven miles long and two and a quarter miles

wide will be set aside as land for the villages of the Levites who

administer the affairs of worship in the Sanctuary.

 

 

 

6 “To the south of the sacred

reserve, measure off a section seven miles long and about a mile and

a half wide for the city itself, an area held in common by the whole

family of Israel.

 

 

 

7-8 “The prince gets the land

abutting the seven-mile east and west borders of the central sacred

square, extending eastward toward the Jordan and westward toward the

Mediterranean. This is the prince’s possession in Israel. My

princes will no longer bully my people, running roughshod over them.

They’ll respect the land as it has been allotted to the tribes.

 

 

 

9-12 “This is the Message of God,

the Master: ‘I’ve put up with you long enough, princes of Israel!

Quit bullying and taking advantage of my people. Do what’s just and

right for a change. Use honest scales—honest weights and honest

measures. Every pound must have sixteen ounces. Every gallon must

measure four quarts. The ounce is the basic measure for both. And

your coins must be honest—no wooden nickels!

 

 

 

Acts

9:32-35

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

Tabitha

 

 

 

32-35 Peter went off on a mission to visit all the churches.

In the course of his travels he arrived in Lydda and met with the

believers there. He came across a man—his name was Aeneas—who had

been in bed eight years paralyzed. Peter said, “Aeneas, Jesus

Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed!” And he did it—jumped

right out of bed. Everybody who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him

walking around and woke up to the fact that God was alive and active

among them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aside

Exhausted 101112

An exhausted father uses a pram

An exhausted father uses a pram (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

Psalm 90:12-17 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2090:12-17&version=MSG

Deuteronomy 5:1-21 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%205:1-21%20&version=MSG

Hebrews 3:7-19  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=%09%09Hebrews%203:7-19%20&version=MSG

 

Exhausted 101112

 

I’ve been out of town this week working. In the evening, the doors and stairwells and stair ways of the cheap motel where I’m staying are crowded with workers, girlfriends and boyfriends, wives and husbands. They know I’m a preacher because one evening as I was walking inside my Bible fell out of my case, and a young man picked it up for me and handed it to me.

 

They smoke and drink and laugh and moan as they relax in the cool evening air of fall. I suppose we all could condemn them (and everyone else!) for some reason. But like me they are exhausted. They work hard and when I wake at 6:00 am, their pickups and equipment trailers full of ladders and tools are gone from the parking lot.

 

It’s so easy for Christians to be people of condemnation and arrogance. But instead, why can’t we be people of comfort, or people of joy?

 

Psalm 90 sounds like a song sung by the workers of ancient Israel, asking for God;s help:

‘And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us,
confirming the work that we do.
Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!

Read it aloud to yourself, and everyone you know who is weary.

 

Pray for peace,

Bill

 

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.

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

 

Psalm 90:12-17

Deuteronomy 5:1-21

Hebrews 3:7-19

Psalm 90:12-17

The Message (MSG)

12-17 Oh! Teach us to live well!
Teach us to live wisely and well!
Come back, God—how long do we have to wait?—
and treat your servants with kindness for a change.
Surprise us with love at daybreak;
then we’ll skip and dance all the day long.
Make up for the bad times with some good times;
we’ve seen enough evil to last a lifetime.
Let your servants see what you’re best at—
the ways you rule and bless your children.
And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us,
confirming the work that we do.
Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!

Deuteronomy 5:1-21

The Message (MSG)

Moses Teaches Israel on the Plains of Moab

5 Moses called all Israel together. He said to them,

Attention, Israel. Listen obediently to the rules and regulations I am delivering to your listening ears today. Learn them. Live them.

2-5 God, our God, made a covenant with us at Horeb. God didn’t just make this covenant with our parents; he made it also with us, with all of us who are alive right now. God spoke to you personally out of the fire on the mountain. At the time I stood between God and you, to tell you what God said. You were afraid, remember, of the fire and wouldn’t climb the mountain. He said:

I am God, your God,

who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
out of a house of slaves.

No other gods, only me.

8-10 No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am God, your God, and I’m a most jealous God. I hold parents responsible for any sins they pass on to their children to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation. But I’m lovingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.

11 No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name.

12-15 No working on the Sabbath; keep it holy just as God, your God, commanded you. Work six days, doing everything you have to do, but the seventh day is a Sabbath, a Rest Day—no work: not you, your son, your daughter, your servant, your maid, your ox, your donkey (or any of your animals), and not even the foreigner visiting your town. That way your servants and maids will get the same rest as you. Don’t ever forget that you were slaves in Egypt and God, your God, got you out of there in a powerful show of strength. That’s why God, your God, commands you to observe the day of Sabbath rest.

16 Respect your father and mother—God, your God, commands it! You’ll have a long life; the land that God is giving you will treat you well.

17 No murder.

18 No adultery.

19 No stealing.

20 No lies about your neighbor.

21 No coveting your neighbor’s wife. And no lusting for his house, field, servant, maid, ox, or donkey either—nothing that belongs to your neighbor!

Hebrews 3:7-19

The Message (MSG)

6-11 Now, if we can only keep a firm grip on this bold confidence, we’re the house! That’s why the Holy Spirit says,

Today, please listen;
don’t turn a deaf ear as in “the bitter uprising,”
that time of wilderness testing!
Even though they watched me at work for forty years,
your ancestors refused to let me do it my way;
over and over they tried my patience.
And I was provoked, oh, so provoked!
I said, “They’ll never keep their minds on God;
they refuse to walk down my road.”
Exasperated, I vowed,
“They’ll never get where they’re going,
never be able to sit down and rest.”

12-14 So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. For as long as it’s still God’s Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn’t slow down your reflexes. If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we’re in this with Christ for the long haul.

These words keep ringing in our ears:

Today, please listen;
don’t turn a deaf ear as in the bitter uprising.

15-19 For who were the people who turned a deaf ear? Weren’t they the very ones Moses led out of Egypt? And who was God provoked with for forty years? Wasn’t it those who turned a deaf ear and ended up corpses in the wilderness? And when he swore that they’d never get where they were going, wasn’t he talking to the ones who turned a deaf ear? They never got there because they never listened, never believed.

 

 

Aside

Still Here 090312

Farm, Tropical Island, China

Farm, Tropical Island, China (Photo credit: IvanWalsh.com)

 

Still Here 090312

 (and special thanks to all who prayed for rain–the drought was broken by 6 inches of rain in three days!)

 

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 106:1-6, 13-23, 47-48 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20106:1-6,%2013-23,%2047-48&version=MSG

Deuteronomy 4:9-14 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%204:9-14&version=MSG

1 Timothy 4:6-16 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Timothy%204:6-16%09&version=MSG

 

Still Here 090312

After 4 weeks of welcoming guest bloggers to our church blog, I (pastor Bill) am back for one week, then another 4 week round of guest bloggers begins. I’m looking forward to the next round of invited guests.

What happened and why did we decide to invite guest bloggers? For one, we never intended the blog to be just by and about our own small church. We wanted all along to invite and involve many others in writing and reading the daily blog posts.

We’ve noticed some things in watching the blog over these weeks. One member of the congregation noted that one of our bloggers knew more about the Bible than we did, and that is correct. Many Mennonite preachers have a better Bible education than I do, and it comes through clearly in their writing. I also have enjoyed the ‘spirit’ of guest bloggers—they have been excited about scriptures when I saw no particular thrill.

Something that has occurred, and that I did not anticipate is that some of our most loyal blog readers and subscribers have ceased commenting or ‘liking’ our blog posts. Perhaps they missed the ‘old’ blog, or didn’t feel as comfortable with the guest bloggers’ writing styles. Well, we’re back to ‘normal’ again for a week, and after a second round of guest bloggers, things will return to ‘normal’.

Today’s scriptures all reminded me of the importance of seeing ourselves as God’s people, as staying true, day to day, to God’s laws and rules for happiness, and Jesus messages of spiritual freedom and salvation added on top!

I don’t know if this happens to you, but I wake in the morning sometime as if I’ve dreamed and walked far away, to a foreign land and in the company of foreign people. I’m confused and disoriented (more than usual).

Reading the Bible first thing in the morning, while dawn is new, and beginning to pray, bring me back to sanity and calm!

These assurances and discussion (in the three Bible scriptures for today) bring us all back together once again. Praise the Lord!

The ‘rule’ for today may be to read the Bible daily and pray without ceasing. It’s a simple guide for life, but we are often so busy, we think, that it is overlooked. Breathe deep, dear friends, read the Bible, and pray.

Pray for peace

brother Bill

 

 

 

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 106:1-6, 13-23, 47-48

Deuteronomy 4:9-14

1 Timothy 4:6-16

Psalm 106
Hallelujah! Thank God! And why?
Because he’s good, because his love lasts.
But who on earth can do it—
declaim God’s mighty acts, broadcast all his praises?
You’re one happy man when you do what’s right,
one happy woman when you form the habit of justice.

4-5 Remember me, God, when you enjoy your people;
include me when you save them;
I want to see your chosen succeed,
celebrate with your celebrating nation,
join the Hallelujahs of your pride and joy!

6-12 We’ve sinned a lot, both we and our parents;
We’ve fallen short, hurt a lot of people.

13-18 But it wasn’t long before they forgot the whole thing,
wouldn’t wait to be told what to do.
They only cared about pleasing themselves in that desert,
provoked God with their insistent demands.
He gave them exactly what they asked for—
but along with it they got an empty heart.
One day in camp some grew jealous of Moses,
also of Aaron, holy priest of God.
The ground opened and swallowed Dathan,
then buried Abiram’s gang.
Fire flared against that rebel crew
and torched them to a cinder.

19-22 They cast in metal a bull calf at Horeb
and worshiped the statue they’d made.
They traded the Glory
for a cheap piece of sculpture—a grass-chewing bull!
They forgot God, their very own Savior,
who turned things around in Egypt,
Who created a world of wonders in the Land of Ham,
who gave that stunning performance at the Red Sea.

23-27 Fed up, God decided to get rid of them—
and except for Moses, his chosen, he would have.

47-48 Save us, God, our God!
Gather us back out of exile
So we can give thanks to your holy name
and join in the glory when you are praised!

Blessed be God, Israel’s God!
Bless now, bless always!
Oh! Let everyone say Amen!
Hallelujah!

Deuteronomy 4:9-14

The Message (MSG)

9 Just make sure you stay alert. Keep close watch over yourselves. Don’t forget anything of what you’ve seen. Don’t let your heart wander off. Stay vigilant as long as you live. Teach what you’ve seen and heard to your children and grandchildren.

10 That day when you stood before God, your God, at Horeb, God said to me, “Assemble the people in my presence to listen to my words so that they will learn to fear me in holy fear for as long as they live on the land, and then they will teach these same words to their children.”

11-13 You gathered. You stood in the shadow of the mountain. The mountain was ablaze with fire, blazing high into the very heart of Heaven. You stood in deep darkness and thick clouds. God spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but you saw nothing—no form, only a voice. He announced his covenant, the Ten Words, by which he commanded you to live. Then he wrote them down on two slabs of stone.

14 And God commanded me at that time to teach you the rules and regulations that you are to live by in the land which you are crossing over the Jordan to possess.

1 Timothy 4:6-16

The Message (MSG)

6-10You’ve been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching. Now pass on this counsel to the followers of Jesus there, and you’ll be a good servant of Jesus. Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers.

11-14Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use.

15-16Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation.

The Message (MSG)

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

Mennonite Food

Mennonite Food (Photo credit: Nate Hofer)

Aside

Thanks to the New Testament 090112

'Smallest Bible'

‘Smallest Bible’ (Photo credit: agent_mikejohnson)

Thanks to the New Testament 090112

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=NKJV

Exodus 34:8-28 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2034:8-28&version=MSG

John 18:28-32 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2018:28-32&version=MSG

 

This week’s guest blogger is Jackie Casteel, a member of our congregation

Thanks to the New Testament 090112

Before my reflection on Exodus 34:8-28, I want to remember the right way to live that came from Isaiah 33:10-16. Isaiah asks us to live honestly, by not lying or gaining from extortion, and by not taking part in the evil contemplation of murder. And John 15:16 reminds us to love one another.

The words of Moses (after ordering his people to kill one another) seem to describe many of the things I feel strongly against as an activist, and I can see how these patterns of behavior and attitudes have survived in the actions of those throughout history. He talks of driving people out of their native lands, smashing their civilizations and disrespecting their culture. He mentions redeeming the firstborn of livestock and men, an idea that I am unfamiliar with until googling to find that I must pay money to someone when a son “openeth my womb” (although not if by cesarean section). At least I’m not instructed to break his neck!

It is amazing to see more carefully consider the differences in the vast time span between these books of the bible, and the varying messages that have been handed down. I can greater appreciate the Christian faith that has followed the path of living honestly, not charging interest on babies, and loving each and every being on this earth. I am eternally grateful for the alternative.

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 34:8-28

John 18:28-32

Psalm 15

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Character of Those Who May Dwell with the Lord

A Psalm of David.

15 Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honors those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
He who does not put out his money at usury,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things shall never be moved.

Exodus 34:8-28

The Message (MSG)

8-9 At once, Moses fell to the ground and worshiped, saying, “Please, O Master, if you see anything good in me, please Master, travel with us, hard-headed as these people are. Forgive our iniquity and sin. Own us, possess us.”

10-12 And God said, “As of right now, I’m making a covenant with you: In full sight of your people I will work wonders that have never been created in all the Earth, in any nation. Then all the people with whom you’re living will see how tremendous God’s work is, the work I’ll do for you. Take careful note of all I command you today. I’m clearing your way by driving out Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Stay vigilant. Don’t let down your guard lest you make covenant with the people who live in the land that you are entering and they trip you up.

13-16 “Tear down their altars, smash their phallic pillars, chop down their fertility poles. Don’t worship any other god. God—his name is The-Jealous-One—is a jealous God. Be careful that you don’t make a covenant with the people who live in the land and take up with their sex-and-religion life, join them in meals at their altars, marry your sons to their women, women who take up with any convenient god or goddess and will get your sons to do the same thing.

17 “Don’t make molten gods for yourselves.

18 “Keep the Feast of Unraised Bread. Eat only unraised bread for seven days in the month of Abib—it was in the month of Abib that you came out of Egypt.

19 “Every firstborn from the womb is mine, all the males of your herds, your firstborn oxen and sheep.

20 “Redeem your firstborn donkey with a lamb. If you don’t redeem it you must break its neck.

“Redeem each of your firstborn sons.

“No one is to show up in my presence empty-handed.

21 “Work six days and rest the seventh. Stop working even during plowing and harvesting.

22 “Keep the Feast of Weeks with the first cutting of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year.

23-24 “All your men are to appear before the Master, the God of Israel, three times a year. You won’t have to worry about your land when you appear before your God three times each year, for I will drive out the nations before you and give you plenty of land. Nobody’s going to be hanging around plotting ways to get it from you.

25 “Don’t mix the blood of my sacrifices with anything fermented.

“Don’t leave leftovers from the Passover Feast until morning.

26 “Bring the finest of the firstfruits of your produce to the house of your God.

“Don’t boil a kid in its mother’s milk.”

27 God said to Moses: “Now write down these words, for by these words I’ve made a covenant with you and Israel.”

28 Moses was there with God forty days and forty nights. He didn’t eat any food; he didn’t drink any water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Words.

John 18:28-32

The Message (MSG)

The King of the Jews

28-29They led Jesus then from Caiaphas to the Roman governor’s palace. It was early morning. They themselves didn’t enter the palace because they didn’t want to be disqualified from eating the Passover. So Pilate came out to them and spoke. “What charge do you bring against this man?”

30They said, “If he hadn’t been doing something evil, do you think we’d be here bothering you?”

31-32Pilate said, “You take him. Judge him by your law.”

The Jews said, “We’re not allowed to kill anyone.” (This would confirm Jesus’ word indicating the way he would die.)

The Message (MSG)

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

 

Aside

Monday Again? 082712

Nehemiah 8:10

Nehemiah 8:10 (Photo credit: Tatiana P.)

Monday Again? 082712

 

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 119:97-104 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20119:97-104&version=NKJV

Nehemiah 9:1-15 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nehemiah%209:1-15&version=NKJV

Ephesians 5:21—6:9 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%205:21%E2%80%946:9&version=NKJV

 

I don’t like Mondays. I do like the restful, somewhat peaceful type of Sunday, when after church we gather somewhere with family and friends and share a meal of some kind. It is a day filled with the spirit of Jesus, I think.

 

But Mondays are more about rules than spirit. There are time rules, traffic laws, work rules all around me, and the rules seem to dominate the spirit in some way.

 

But Psalm 119 speaks of the law, and following the law. The ancient, Jewish laws seem to overrule the quiet, peace of Jesus Christ. I think Jesus knew this, that sometimes following the rules and laws produced a dead spirit. And he declared his disciples to be free from the law, and subject only to the spirit.

 

So, we have to focus on keeping the Holy Spirit alive by our own spiritual lives. The law? It seems to go on forever anyway. It is the spirit that needs daily attention.

 

Pray for peace,

brother Bill

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 119:97-104

Nehemiah 9:1-15

Ephesians 5:21—6:9

 

Psalm 119:97-104

97Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all day long.

98Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is always with me.

99I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your decrees are my meditation.

100I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.

101I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word.

102I do not turn away from your ordinances, for you have taught me.

103How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

Nehemiah 9:1-15

9Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. 2Then those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors. 3They stood up in their place and read from the book of the law of the Lord their God for a fourth part of the day, and for another fourth they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God.

4Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the stairs of the Levites and cried out with a loud voice to the Lord their God. 5Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.” 6And Ezra said: “You are the Lord, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life, and the host of heaven worships you. 7You are the Lord, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham; 8and you found his heart faithful before you, and made with him a covenant to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite; and you have fulfilled your promise, for you are righteous. 9“And you saw the distress of our ancestors in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea. 10You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted insolently against our ancestors. You made a name for yourself, which remains to this day. 11And you divided the sea before them, so that they passed through the sea on dry land, but you threw their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters. 12Moreover, you led them by day with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire, to give them light on the way in which they should go. 13You came down also upon Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14and you made known your holy sabbath to them and gave them commandments and statutes and a law through your servant Moses. 15For their hunger you gave them bread from heaven, and for their thirst you brought water for them out of the rock, and you told them to go in to possess the land that you swore to give them.

Ephesians 5:21—6:9

21Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. 24Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands. 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, 27so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. 28In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30because we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. 33Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.

6Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother” —this is the first commandment with a promise: 3“so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” 4And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. 5Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; 6not only while being watched, and in order to please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women, 8knowing that whatever good we do, we will receive the same again from the Lord, whether we are slaves or free. 9And, masters, do the same to them. Stop threatening them, for you know that both of you have the same Master in heaven, and with him there is no partiality.

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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