Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Posts tagged ‘New Revised Standard Version’

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The Gifts of God 082512

God's Gift

God’s Gift (Photo credit: dustinsapenga)

The Gifts of God 082512

 

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 34:15-22  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2034:15-22&version=NKJV

Joshua 22:21-34  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua%2022:21-34&version=NKJV

Luke 11:5-13  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2011:5-13&version=NKJV

 

This week’s guest blogger is Janet Trevino-Elizarraz

 

It’s easy to be misunderstood.  As I spoke about two days ago, God is intimately acquainted with us because God has chosen to be present with us with God’s ears, eyes, hands… God’s entire being.  We are sought after and known by God.

This would be excellent if only God and I existed though.  This is not the case.

We still are called to live on earth & relate with others that don’t unfortunately know our heart’s intent and also don’t always believe the best about us.

The two and a half tribes were exalted and praised for their outstanding allegiance to God in Thursday’s passage.  You’d think for a second with such adulation that the remaining tribes would respond inquisitively to their actions in yesterday’s passage and not with a call for war.  Being blinded by a solid commitment to remain committed and pure to God above all things can tip the scale on the side of truth and less on love.  So here’s the story in a nut-shell: the eastern tribes created an altar (unbeknownst to Israel that it was of remembrance) but they are misunderstood because their eastern tribal brothers thought they were worshipping other gods.  A few conversations and explanations later, and it’s all sorted out.  There is peace and love again.

 

If I were to say that communication is the key to all human relations, you’d probably say to me, “duh!”  Yeah, it’d even feel a bit cliche to even say it.  But if you give yourself a second to reflect on how often we don’t communicate, and we assume others either know how we feel or think or expect others to step up and say what’s on their minds, it’s more common than you give credit!  At least in the end the Israelites got to talking… what’s fascinating about the Luke passage is that the neighbor even bothered to “bother” his neighbor.  But let’s give us the benefit of the doubt, and say, yeah… I’d ask my neighbor for help.  But would you insist?  I would bet that the readership of this blog would probably not do so.  (And if you know me, I tend to ask for more than people are willing to give without me getting the non-verbal cues.. talk about tension!)

Good thing for me going back to my original point that the passage given ends with explaining how these requests are directed towards God.  Asking, seeking, Knocking on God to show up & respond to us.  And even though we now know that God’s ears, eyes, hands, complete self is with us and supporting us, we are still asked to cry out to God and ask, seek, and knock.  Create your altar of God’s deliverance before you can see God move in faith believing that God will move on your behalf… because that is our guarantee.  With God there is no misunderstanding, and don’t worry, God won’t give you a snake or a scorpion.  😉

 

About Our Guest Blogger This Week, Janet Trevino-Elizarraraz

If she’s not mediating the fights of her four children 7 and under or washing dishes constantly most of the day, Janet spends her time envisioning, organizing, and calling her local “tribe” into more deeply connecting themselves to their inward self, to the Earth, and to the invisible, powerful Presence.

 

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 below. 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 34:15-22

Joshua 22:21-34

Luke 11:5-13

 

Psalm 34:15-22

 

15The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.

16The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

17When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.

18The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.

19Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all.

20He keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken.

21Evil brings death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

22The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

Joshua 22:21-34

21Then the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh said in answer to the heads of the families of Israel, 22“The Lord, God of gods! The Lord, God of gods! He knows; and let Israel itself know! If it was in rebellion or in breach of faith toward the Lord, do not spare us today 23for building an altar to turn away from following the Lord; or if we did so to offer burnt offerings or grain offerings or offerings of well-being on it, may the Lord himself take vengeance. 24No! We did it from fear that in time to come your children might say to our children, ‘What have you to do with the Lord, the God of Israel? 25For the Lord has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you, you Reubenites and Gadites; you have no portion in the Lord.’ So your children might make our children cease to worship the Lord. 26Therefore we said, ‘Let us now build an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice, 27but to be a witness between us and you, and between the generations after us, that we do perform the service of the Lord in his presence with our burnt offerings and sacrifices and offerings of well-being; so that your children may never say to our children in time to come, “You have no portion in the Lord.”’ 28And we thought, If this should be said to us or to our descendants in time to come, we could say, ‘Look at this copy of the altar of the Lord, which our ancestors made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifice, but to be a witness between us and you.’ 29Far be it from us that we should rebel against the Lord, and turn away this day from following the Lord by building an altar for burnt offering, grain offering, or sacrifice, other than the altar of the Lord our God that stands before his tabernacle!”

30When the priest Phinehas and the chiefs of the congregation, the heads of the families of Israel who were with him, heard the words that the Reubenites and the Gadites and the Manassites spoke, they were satisfied. 31The priest Phinehas son of Eleazar said to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the Manassites, “Today we know that the Lord is among us, because you have not committed this treachery against the Lord; now you have saved the Israelites from the hand of the Lord.” 32Then the priest Phinehas son of Eleazar and the chiefs returned from the Reubenites and the Gadites in the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the Israelites, and brought back word to them. 33The report pleased the Israelites; and the Israelites blessed God and spoke no more of making war against them, to destroy the land where the Reubenites and the Gadites were settled. 34The Reubenites and the Gadites called the altar Witness; “For,” said they, “it is a witness between us that the Lord is God.”

Luke 11:5-13

5And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. 9“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

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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Aside

Preservation 082212

English: Black rhino in the Ziwa Sanctuary, Uganda

English: Black rhino in the Ziwa Sanctuary, Uganda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Passenger Pigeon

Passenger Pigeon (Photo credit: cotinis)

 

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 36

Genesis 47:13-26

Mark 8:14-21

 

This week’s guest blogger is Janet Trevino-Elizarraz

Preservation 082212

I feel conflicted when I consider how God preserves people and animals.  It’s really relative in our eyes whom God chooses to keep under God’s care… to some God allows for them to perish and cease to exist and to others God’s witnesses share to us the wonders of God’s faithfulness and provision as if it were normative for all human and animal-kind alike.  So when I read, “O Lord, You preserve man and beast,” I read that with skepticism.  In what ways can I quantify preservation?  Is it simply getting along while still having a pulse, breath, and the occasional fuel-source to survive?  Is that enough?

Or how about the story that I can’t avoid and lament while living in San Antonio, TX when I consider the native people that lived here before the Europeans settled whom faced the dreadful decision to choose their existence and culture how they knew it and in effect, die by disease or sword or to choose a way that was foreign to who there were and live divorced of their history and source entirely.  To them whom I consider are my ancestors, I would say… God preserved you, but the quality of that preservation feels damning to me at the same time.

I consider what the Egyptians experienced with each year that they lost something that was tangible to their existence.  First, their monetary funds… then, their animals… following, their lands – being moved to a new land across Egypt and finally, theirselves.  That was all they had, they gave it all & yet the biblical author tells us in no uncertain terms that they rejoiced.

The only explanations that I can come up with when I consider the author’s reflection of their emotions is either the need of the Hebrew audience to hear the positive Egyptian response of Joseph’s actions on their nation or it could be that even though it’s foreign to the story I carry of my ancestral first people, it could simply be because the people were honored to be near and cared for my such an honorable and admirable man, Joseph.  They were blessed by this relationship.

I don’t tend to hear the expression of appreciation from the native story-tellers when they speak of the day they surrender to the care of the Spanish priests that converted them and organized them because those voices are no longer present here amidst the landmarks of the San Antonio missions that symbolize the European enculturalization.  It’s the mestizos like myself that carry both European and Indian blood that share the story of our unity as well as our struggle to survive.

And yet when we hear the story of the disciples concerned over a meal paired with the desperation of the Egyptians, we can’t help but wrinkle our foreheads a bit.  This is not their life nor their livelihood at stake here… with a simple meal, they forget the one who has sustained them within each moment of the day.  What is a meal, Jesus says?  Why do you go back to being concerned about what means nothing, what I’ve already shown you to be of little consequence?

And us… it’s easy to criticize the disciples and see their short-mindedness in the midst of being with the miracle-worker, Jesus, but how have we completely disconnected ourselves from the struggle to survive.  Is it even possible to understand in a developed country where as a community, hunger is foreign to us.  What does preservation even look like here?  I’m afraid to say that we suffer from a hunger as physically real as the Egyptians, but we equally are as blinded as the disciples were.   We hold both of these devastating circumstances, and we don’t even know it.  (I’ll leave it up to you to figure out how. 😉

About Our Guest Blogger This Week, Janet Trevino-Elizarraraz

If she’s not mediating the fights of her four children 7 and under or washing dishes constantly most of the day, Janet spends her time envisioning, organizing, and calling her local “tribe” into more deeply connecting themselves to their inward self, to the Earth, and to the invisible, powerful Presence that surrounds us.

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 36

1Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in their hearts; there is no fear of God before their eyes.

2For they flatter themselves in their own eyes that their iniquity cannot be found out and hated.

3The words of their mouths are mischief and deceit; they have ceased to act wisely and do good.

4They plot mischief while on their beds; they are set on a way that is not good; they do not reject evil.

5Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

6Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

7How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

8They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

9For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

10O continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your salvation to the upright of heart!

11Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me, or the hand of the wicked drive me away.

12There the evildoers lie prostrate; they are thrust down, unable to rise.

Genesis 47:13-26

13Now there was no food in all the land, for the famine was very severe. The land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine. 14Joseph collected all the money to be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, in exchange for the grain that they bought; and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house. 15When the money from the land of Egypt and from the land of Canaan was spent, all the Egyptians came to Joseph, and said, “Give us food! Why should we die before your eyes? For our money is gone.” 16And Joseph answered, “Give me your livestock, and I will give you food in exchange for your livestock, if your money is gone.” 17So they brought their livestock to Joseph; and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses, the flocks, the herds, and the donkeys. That year he supplied them with food in exchange for all their livestock. 18When that year was ended, they came to him the following year, and said to him, “We can not hide from my lord that our money is all spent; and the herds of cattle are my lord’s. There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our lands. 19Shall we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land in exchange for food. We with our land will become slaves to Pharaoh; just give us seed, so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.” 20So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. All the Egyptians sold their fields, because the famine was severe upon them; and the land became Pharaoh’s. 21As for the people, he made slaves of them from one end of Egypt to the other. 22Only the land of the priests he did not buy; for the priests had a fixed allowance from Pharaoh, and lived on the allowance that Pharaoh gave them; therefore they did not sell their land. 23Then Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have this day bought you and your land for Pharaoh, here is seed for you; sow the land. 24And at the harvests you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and as food for yourselves and your households, and as food for your little ones.” 25They said, “You have saved our lives; may it please my lord, we will be slaves to Pharaoh.” 26So Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt, and it stands to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth. The land of the priests alone did not become Pharaoh’s.

Mark 8:14-21

14Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” 16They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.” 17And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? 19When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” They said to him, “Twelve.” 20“And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” And they said to him, “Seven.” 21Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

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

Aside

SIGHT 082112

Het graan wordt over gelijke zakken verdeeld. ...

Het graan wordt over gelijke zakken verdeeld. Miniatuur in de Biblia figurata, gemaakt voor Raphaël de Mercatellis, Gent (?), eind 15e eeuw. Gent, Kathedraal, Ms. 10, fol. 74 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

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

 

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

This week’s guest blogger is Janet Trevino-Elizarraz

 

 SIGHT 082112

 

SIGHT.  What a precious thing it is to see.  On the surface, it’s an amazing gift to look into the eyes of our loved ones & have visual memory of them that we can carry with us wherever we go.  Yet there is another level of sight that we often neglect or disregard.   To really see beyond the obvious… to see the hand of God in our lives and in our communities’ circumstances.  Isn’t this what Joseph reveals to his brothers when he tells them who he is and what God has done?  His brothers could not respond to him because they were still looking at Joseph with eyes who see only within the three physical dimensions, but there was a story Joseph began to share that develops a new dimension of their reality when Joseph says, “Behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth which is speaking to you.”  Here I imagine is the sight that goes beyond what they initially judged upon seeing the ruler of Egypt… in other words he says, stop simply seeing… LOOK at what God had done.  And he tells his brothers, tell my father what you “see.”

 

The psalmist tell us, “For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” We are directed to seek God, the Great Light around us.  It is with gazing upon this light that we see truly what is.  We see the truth, we see the life, we see the light that is available to us and God’s hand is revealed.

 

SIGHT… you agree with me; it’s a precious thing.  Don’t waste it on seeing what you’ve been told to look for in others and in your surroundings.  STOP and see the story that is unfolding and ask to see what is not right present in front of you but the magic of God’s work actively transforming and moving mountains as you are still, waiting for your eyes slowly to be opened.  Ask for greater sight & you will receive it.

 

About Our Guest Blogger This Week, Janet Trevino-Elizarraraz

 

If she’s not mediating the fights of her four children 7 and under or washing dishes constantly most of the day, Janet spends her time envisioning, organizing, and calling her local “tribe” into more deeply connecting themselves to their inward self, to the Earth, and to the invisible, powerful Presence that surrounds us.

 

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 36

 

Genesis 45:1-15

 

Acts 7:9-16

 

Psalm 36

 

1Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in their hearts; there is no fear of God before their eyes.

 

2For they flatter themselves in their own eyes that their iniquity cannot be found out and hated.

 

3The words of their mouths are mischief and deceit; they have ceased to act wisely and do good.

 

4They plot mischief while on their beds; they are set on a way that is not good; they do not reject evil.

 

5Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

 

6Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

 

7How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

 

8They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

 

9For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

 

10O continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your salvation to the upright of heart!

 

11Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me, or the hand of the wicked drive me away.

 

12There the evildoers lie prostrate; they are thrust down, unable to rise.

 

Genesis 45:1-15

 

45Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. 3Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence. 4Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11I will provide for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’ 12And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you. 13You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.

 

Acts 7:9-16

 

9“The patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him, 10and rescued him from all his afflictions, and enabled him to win favor and to show wisdom when he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who appointed him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 11Now there came a famine throughout Egypt and Canaan, and great suffering, and our ancestors could find no food. 12But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our ancestors there on their first visit. 13On the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to Pharaoh. 14Then Joseph sent and invited his father Jacob and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five in all; 15so Jacob went down to Egypt. He himself died there as well as our ancestors, 16and their bodies were brought back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aside

In God’s Care 082012

Mennonite church IMG_2101-2

Mennonite church IMG_2101-2 (Photo credit: OZinOH)

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

This week’s guest blogger is Janet Trevino-Elizarraz


In God’s Care 082012

God’s care for God’s people comes in many different ways.  It’s easy for us to read in the Psalms about God’s provision and expect for God to act & be the sole caregiver & problem solver for all our struggles in our life when we read “They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house;  And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.”  But the mystery is this… God comes in many shapes & in different forms.  Sometimes because we’ve been teased to believe in an individualistic religion that God’s river will come direct from heaven, when God actually does show up, it may come from the unexpected hand of a stranger… or from whom we perceive to be our enemy.

 

For the Patriarch Israel, he was comforted in sending for more grain for his family’s survival because Judah agreed to be the “surety,” guarantor, of his brother’s safety.  I can imagine that for them it must have been extremely difficult to trust that abundance would be available to them when misunderstandings & relational conflicts were present between both the Egyptian leader & the Hebrews up to that point.  Yet, God showed up to not only provide their daily bread, but to provide them a new homeland and to grow their nation in preparation for their future promise land.  Here we see the unexpected hand that is God’s river provision as a single person in Joseph.

 

In Acts, the promise to be filled with God’s drink takes on a different form.  It was not the direct blessing of God on the people nor was it by one man who’d provide for the widows’ needs but now we begin to see the way that community can also be God’s hands in the world.  Here we see the community leadership growing to provide God’s abundance to all in need… and this leadership being diverse in culture and strengths to provide for the nuanced needs of this new & developing community.  Here we see God showing up to do something new among God’s people!  Unexpected, incarnate, transformative ways of God.

 

As you pray today for your needs or the needs of others, ask for your eyes to be opened to seeing God’s work in the world in a new way.  How may God already be meeting your needs & you not know it or recognize it because it’s foreign to you.  You may even find that you reject it because it’s not the “way” you’ve been taught to expect God.  In gratefulness, thank God for already showing up… maybe then, it’ll become clearer to you.

About Our Guest Blogger This Week, Janet Trevino-Elizarraraz

If she’s not mediating the fights of her four children 7 and under or washing dishes constantly most of the day, Janet spends her time envisioning, organizing, and calling her local “tribe” into more deeply connecting themselves to their inward self, to the Earth, and to the invisible, powerful Presence that surrounds us.

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 36

Genesis 43:1-15

Acts 6:1-7

Psalm 36

1Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in their hearts; there is no fear of God before their eyes.

2For they flatter themselves in their own eyes that their iniquity cannot be found out and hated.

3The words of their mouths are mischief and deceit; they have ceased to act wisely and do good.

4They plot mischief while on their beds; they are set on a way that is not good; they do not reject evil.

5Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

6Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

7How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

8They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

9For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

10O continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your salvation to the upright of heart!

11Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me, or the hand of the wicked drive me away.

12There the evildoers lie prostrate; they are thrust down, unable to rise.

Genesis 43:1-15

43Now the famine was severe in the land. 2And when they had eaten up the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little more food.” 3But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food; 5but if you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’“ 6Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother?” 7They replied, “The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ What we told him was in answer to these questions. Could we in any way know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” 8Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me, and let us be on our way, so that we may live and not die—you and we and also our little ones. 9I myself will be surety for him; you can hold me accountable for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10If we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice.”

11Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry them down as a present to the man—a little balm and a little honey, gum, resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the top of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. 13Take your brother also, and be on your way again to the man; 14may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, so that he may send back your other brother and Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”

15So the men took the present, and they took double the money with them, as well as Benjamin. Then they went on their way down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.

Acts 6:1-7

6Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. 2And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, 4while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” 5What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. 7The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

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

Aside

Running with King David 081812

English: Jerusalem Mount Sion King David Statu...

English: Jerusalem Mount Sion King David Statue – Haredim want King David statue moved (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Running with King David 081812

The heading of Psalm 34 includes “Of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.”  As David composed this psalm perhaps he was reflecting on those days of struggle and chaos when he was a fugitive and leader of an insurgency.

King David’s ascendancy to power was difficult.  After he killed Goliath with a slingshot King Saul appointed David commander of the army.  David was good at the job and gained popular support, much to Saul’s dismay and anger.  Saul tried to assassinate David but David had the friendship and support of Saul’s son, Jonathan, and was able to elude the king’s attempts to kill him.  Eventually the threat to his life became so grave that David had to flee the country.  Where do you find sanctuary when you have been a military commander and your forces have clashed against neighboring countries?  In one country, David pretended to be out of his mind in order to convince that king that he was not a threat.  David ended up hiding in a cave and gathering other outcasts of society to his cause.  David became a kind of Jewish Robin Hood during the unraveling of King Saul’s reign.

Psalm 34 is a hymn of praise to a renewed life after a time of struggle and despair.  It expresses confidence in the faithfulness and justice of God.  As I use Psalm 34 as a prayer for myself I gravitate toward certain phrases in the psalm:

 

  • “O taste and see that the Lord is good.”
  • “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.”
  • “Depart from evil and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”

In the madness of modern life and in the political turmoil of our day, spending a day with the words of King David’s celebration of a renewed life would be a time of re-centering and reconnecting with God.

Guest blogger Lee Lever is pastor of the Austin (Texas) Mennonite Church

 

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 34:9-14

Job 13:1-19

John 4:7-26

 

Psalm 34:9-14

9O fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want.

10The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

11Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

12Which of you desires life, and covets many days to enjoy good?

13Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.

14Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Job 13:1-19

13“Look, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it. 2What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. 3But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God. 4As for you, you whitewash with lies; all of you are worthless physicians. 5If you would only keep silent, that would be your wisdom! 6Hear now my reasoning, and listen to the pleadings of my lips. 7Will you speak falsely for God, and speak deceitfully for him? 8Will you show partiality toward him, will you plead the case for God? 9Will it be well with you when he searches you out? Or can you deceive him, as one person deceives another? 10He will surely rebuke you if in secret you show partiality. 11Will not his majesty terrify you, and the dread of him fall upon you? 12Your maxims are proverbs of ashes, your defenses are defenses of clay.

13“Let me have silence, and I will speak, and let come on me what may. 14I will take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand. 15See, he will kill me; I have no hope; but I will defend my ways to his face. 16This will be my salvation, that the godless shall not come before him. 17Listen carefully to my words, and let my declaration be in your ears. 18I have indeed prepared my case; I know that I shall be vindicated. 19Who is there that will contend with me? For then I would be silent and die.

John 4:7-26

7A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8(His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” 13Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” 15The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” 17The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” 19The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. 24God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” 26Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”

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.

 

 

Aside

The Horses’ Mouth 081712

Brief

Brief (Photo credit: Brett Jordan)

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

The Horses’ Mouth 081712

I have a friend who is into equine assisted growth and learning.  It is about working with horses and their reactions to learn about oneself.  Horses and other creatures have honest, straightforward responses to human presence and interaction.  That’s not something we get all the time in our human relationships.  Often we have to pay a counselor to give us honest feedback about ourselves.  Honest friends who know how to listen carefully and then, in love, respond, are rare treasures in life.

Essentially, Job is telling his friends to be quiet and listen.

The Hebrew scriptures have three ways of knowing about God – the law, the prophets and the wisdom writings.  The law and prophets are understood as the most direct communication from God.  Moses received the law directly from God.  The prophets received inspiration directly from God.  Wisdom writing, on the other hand, is about seeking understanding through human observation, experience and reflection.  Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and other writings are part of the wisdom writing of the Hebrew scriptures.  Perhaps a comparison can be made to the scientific method of observation, hypothesis and experiment to arrive at a working theory.

In Job, the writer is struggling to understand human suffering.  Perhaps the book of Job is an attempt to come to terms with why Israel was defeated and sent into exile when it seemed like God promised them never-ending success.

Wrestling with the ways of God is not easy.  It takes patience, listening, observation, reading, reflection and conversation.  I am glad when I find good companions on my spiritual journey, even if they are sometimes horses.

Guest blogger Lee Lever is pastor of the Austin (Texas) Mennonite Church.

 

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 34:9-14

Job 12:1-25

Romans 16:17-20

 

Psalm 34:9-14

9O fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want.

10The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

11Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

12Which of you desires life, and covets many days to enjoy good?

13Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.

14Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Job 12:1-25

12Then Job answered: 2“No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you. 3But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know such things as these? 4I am a laughingstock to my friends; I, who called upon God and he answered me, a just and blameless man, I am a laughingstock. 5Those at ease have contempt for misfortune, but it is ready for those whose feet are unstable.

6The tents of robbers are at peace, and those who provoke God are secure, who bring their god in their hands. 7“But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; 8ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. 9Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? 10In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being. 11Does not the ear test words as the palate tastes food?

12Is wisdom with the aged, and understanding in length of days? 13“With God are wisdom and strength; he has counsel and understanding. 14If he tears down, no one can rebuild; if he shuts someone in, no one can open up. 15If he withholds the waters, they dry up; if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land. 16With him are strength and wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his. 17He leads counselors away stripped, and makes fools of judges. 18He looses the sash of kings, and binds a waistcloth on their loins. 19He leads priests away stripped, and overthrows the mighty. 20He deprives of speech those who are trusted, and takes away the discernment of the elders. 21He pours contempt on princes, and looses the belt of the strong. 22He uncovers the deeps out of darkness, and brings deep darkness to light. 23He makes nations great, then destroys them; he enlarges nations, then leads them away. 24He strips understanding from the leaders of the earth, and makes them wander in a pathless waste. 25They grope in the dark without light; he makes them stagger like a drunkard.

Romans 16:17-20

17I urge you, brothers and sisters, to keep an eye on those who cause dissensions and offenses, in opposition to the teaching that you have learned; avoid them. 18For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded. 19For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I want you to be wise in what is good and guileless in what is evil. 20The God of peace will shortly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

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.

 

Aside

Sitting with Job in Despair 081612

English: Scroll of the Psalms

English: Scroll of the Psalms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

Sitting with Job in Despair 081512

The story of Job’s troubles is legendary.  He lost family, possessions, health and social status.  Things were so bad that his wife told him to “Curse God and die.”  Job struggled to understand why such bad things had happened to him.  Picking up on that perennial struggle, Rabbi Kushner in 1981 wrote a famous book with the title “When bad things happen to good people.”

Several of Job’s friends stopped by to cheer him up and did not do so well.  One such friend, Zophar, tried to convince Job that he was guilty of something and needed to confess.  In the end, Zophar is rebuked by God for telling Job such things.

Most of the time I do not need my friends to tell me how bad I am.  I tend to be hard enough on myself.  And if something bad comes along (sickness, car breakdown, drought, broken relationship, etc.) I sometimes wonder what I did to deserve this trouble.  I have not found this to be a helpful exercise.  Instead I need to trust in God to walk with me through the storm.

Psalm 34 is a hymn of praise and thanksgiving for God’s help in times of trouble.  Some of the words from this psalm bring comfort:

·        “I sought the Lord and he answered me, and delivered me from all my troubles.”

·        “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed from despair.”

The next time I am feeling like Job, I hope for a friend with listening ears and helping hands.  That would feel like better medicine than a sharp tongue.

Guest blogger Lee Lever is pastor of the Austin (Texas) Mennonite Church

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 34:9-14

Job 11:1-20

Acts 6:8-15

 

Psalm 34:9-14

9O fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want.

10The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

11Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

12Which of you desires life, and covets many days to enjoy good?

13Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.

14Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Job 11:1-20

11Then Zophar the Naamathite answered: 2“Should a multitude of words go unanswered, and should one full of talk be vindicated? 3Should your babble put others to silence, and when you mock, shall no one shame you? 4For you say, ‘My conduct is pure, and I am clean in God’s sight.’ 5But oh, that God would speak, and open his lips to you, 6and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom! For wisdom is many-sided. Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.

7“Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? 8It is higher than heaven—what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know? 9Its measure is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. 10If he passes through, and imprisons, and assembles for judgment, who can hinder him? 11For he knows those who are worthless; when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it? 12But a stupid person will get understanding, when a wild ass is born human.

13“If you direct your heart rightly, you will stretch out your hands toward him. 14If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and do not let wickedness reside in your tents. 15Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure, and will not fear. 16You will forget your misery; you will remember it as waters that have passed away. 17And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning. 18And you will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected and take your rest in safety. 19You will lie down, and no one will make you afraid; many will entreat your favor. 20But the eyes of the wicked will fail; all way of escape will be lost to them, and their hope is to breathe their last.”

Acts 6:8-15

8Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. 10But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. 11Then they secretly instigated some men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12They stirred up the people as well as the elders and the scribes; then they suddenly confronted him, seized him, and brought him before the council. 13They set up false witnesses who said, “This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; 14for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us.” 15And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

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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