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Aside

Take In the Frightened Children 110713

The happy children of The Little Field Home

The happy children of The Little Field Home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy Children Playing Kids

Happy Children Playing Kids (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Galego: , Galicia Publish by= Luis Miguel Buga...

Galego: , Galicia Publish by= Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez. Self made. (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 17:1-9 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2017:1-9%20&version=MSG

 

Genesis 38:1-26 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2038:1-26&version=MSG

 

Acts 24:10-23 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2024:10-23&version=MSG

 

Take In the Frightened Children 110713

 

Psalm 17:7 says it clearly:

 

Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
take in your frightened children who
Are running from the neighborhood bullies…

 

I’ve thought often about what exactly JesusKingdom of Heaven might look like. I suspect I strongly want the Kingdom of Heaven to come to be here earth between, among and beyond all of Jesus’ disciples, you and I, but also included everyone else.

But I really don’t KNOW what the Kingdom of Heaven will be like. I wish I did, folks, but I don’t. Still, there are a few basic ideas I expect to see in the Kingdom. One is in today’s Psalm, and that is the idea, the concept, the requirement within the Kingdom that puts forth that in the Kingdom there will not be fear. The poor will not fear eviction and foreclosure, the poor will not fear hunger and starvation, the sick will not go on without good medical care, children will not be raised in fear—no matter what. I’m beginning to believe also that even animals should not live in fear, and humans should consider that a good pot of beans is preferable to a hunk of slaughtered fearful animals.

Imagine a world, ruled by the law of Jesus! All of the life in the universe living with peace and justice as the ruling principles rather than greed and control! And what comes with this is a living world functioning without fear, and children living and growing with any fear in their lives.

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 17:1-9

The Message (MSG)

A David Prayer

17 1-2 Listen while I build my case, God,
the most honest prayer you’ll ever hear.
Show the world I’m innocent—
in your heart you know I am.

3 Go ahead, examine me from inside out,
surprise me in the middle of the night—
You’ll find I’m just what I say I am.
My words don’t run loose.

4-5 I’m not trying to get my way
in the world’s way.
I’m trying to get your way,
your Word’s way.
I’m staying on your trail;
I’m putting one foot
In front of the other.
I’m not giving up.

6-7 I call to you, God, because I’m sure of an answer.
So—answer! bend your ear! listen sharp!
Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
take in your frightened children who
Are running from the neighborhood bullies
straight to you.

8-9 Keep your eye on me;
hide me under your cool wing feathers
From the wicked who are out to get me,
from mortal enemies closing in.

Genesis 38:1-26

The Message (MSG)

38 1-5 About that time, Judah separated from his brothers and hooked up with a man in Adullam named Hirah. While there, Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite named Shua. He married her, they went to bed, she became pregnant and had a son named Er. She got pregnant again and had a son named Onan. She had still another son; she named this one Shelah. They were living at Kezib when she had him.

6-7 Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn. Her name was Tamar. But Judah’s firstborn, Er, grievously offended God and God took his life.

8-10 So Judah told Onan, “Go and sleep with your brother’s widow; it’s the duty of a brother-in-law to keep your brother’s line alive.” But Onan knew that the child wouldn’t be his, so whenever he slept with his brother’s widow he spilled his semen on the ground so he wouldn’t produce a child for his brother. God was much offended by what he did and also took his life.

11 So Judah stepped in and told his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow at home with your father until my son Shelah grows up.” He was worried that Shelah would also end up dead, just like his brothers. So Tamar went to live with her father.

12 Time passed. Judah’s wife, Shua’s daughter, died. When the time of mourning was over, Judah with his friend Hirah of Adullam went to Timnah for the sheep shearing.

13-14 Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law has gone to Timnah to shear his sheep.” She took off her widow’s clothes, put on a veil to disguise herself, and sat at the entrance to Enaim which is on the road to Timnah. She realized by now that even though Shelah was grown up, she wasn’t going to be married to him.

15 Judah saw her and assumed she was a prostitute since she had veiled her face. He left the road and went over to her. He said, “Let me sleep with you.” He had no idea that she was his daughter-in-law.

16 She said, “What will you pay me?”

17 “I’ll send you,” he said, “a kid goat from the flock.”

She said, “Not unless you give me a pledge until you send it.”

18 “So what would you want in the way of a pledge?”

She said, “Your personal seal-and-cord and the staff you carry.”

He handed them over to her and slept with her. And she got pregnant.

19 She then left and went home. She removed her veil and put her widow’s clothes back on.

20-21 Judah sent the kid goat by his friend from Adullam to recover the pledge from the woman. But he couldn’t find her. He asked the men of that place, “Where’s the prostitute that used to sit by the road here near Enaim?”

They said, “There’s never been a prostitute here.”

22 He went back to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. The men there said there never has been a prostitute there.”

23 Judah said, “Let her have it then. If we keep looking, everyone will be poking fun at us. I kept my part of the bargain—I sent the kid goat but you couldn’t find her.”

24 Three months or so later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law has been playing the whore—and now she’s a pregnant whore.”

Judah yelled, “Get her out here. Burn her up!”

25 As they brought her out, she sent a message to her father-in-law, “I’m pregnant by the man who owns these things. Identify them, please. Who’s the owner of the seal-and-cord and the staff?”

26 Judah saw they were his. He said, “She’s in the right; I’m in the wrong—I wouldn’t let her marry my son Shelah.” He never slept with her again.

Acts 24:10-23

The Message (MSG)

10-13 The governor motioned to Paul that it was now his turn. Paul said, “I count myself fortunate to be defending myself before you, Governor, knowing how fair-minded you’ve been in judging us all these years. I’ve been back in the country only twelve days—you can check out these dates easily enough. I came with the express purpose of worshiping in Jerusalem on Pentecost, and I’ve been minding my own business the whole time. Nobody can say they saw me arguing in the Temple or working up a crowd in the streets. Not one of their charges can be backed up with evidence or witnesses.

14-15 “But I do freely admit this: In regard to the Way, which they malign as a dead-end street, I serve and worship the very same God served and worshiped by all our ancestors and embrace everything written in all our Scriptures. And I admit to living in hopeful anticipation that God will raise the dead, both the good and the bad. If that’s my crime, my accusers are just as guilty as I am.

16-19 “Believe me, I do my level best to keep a clear conscience before God and my neighbors in everything I do. I’ve been out of the country for a number of years and now I’m back. While I was away, I took up a collection for the poor and brought that with me, along with offerings for the Temple. It was while making those offerings that they found me quietly at my prayers in the Temple. There was no crowd, there was no disturbance. It was some Jews from around Ephesus who started all this trouble. And you’ll notice they’re not here today. They’re cowards, too cowardly to accuse me in front of you.

20-21 “So ask these others what crime they’ve caught me in. Don’t let them hide behind this smooth-talking Tertullus. The only thing they have on me is that one sentence I shouted out in the council: ‘It’s because I believe in the resurrection that I’ve been hauled into this court!’ Does that sound to you like grounds for a criminal case?”

22-23 Felix shilly-shallied. He knew far more about the Way than he let on, and could have settled the case then and there. But uncertain of his best move politically, he played for time. “When Captain Lysias comes down, I’ll decide your case.” He gave orders to the centurion to keep Paul in custody, but to more or less give him the run of the place and not prevent his friends from helping him.

Aside

Books, David’s Book and the Bible 110713

English: John Clare (1793-1864), Poet.

English: John Clare (1793-1864), Poet. (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 17:1-9 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2017:1-9&version=MSG

 

Deuteronomy 25:5-10 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2025:5-10&version=MSG

 

Acts 22:22—23:11 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2022:22%E2%80%9423:11&version=MSG

 

Books, David’s Book and the Bible 110713

Today, the word of the day, and the topic of the day has been books, and I’m thankful for it. I thought about a book I’d shared with a friend, and wondered about both the intellectual and relationship content of it.

I had requested some books from a college library and they had in turn requested the books from a larger university and from a seminary. Books I had requested by one author have been a subject of my curiosity for over 40 years, and despite occasionally searches for work by this author—a minor Romantic poet named John Clare—I had never connected with work by John Clare.

Finally, this time, my loyal library located and borrow 10 books for me by the author/poet John Clare. John Clare was known and described as the ‘peasant/poet’, and my recent renewed interest in him springs from a book I’m reading named ‘Luke; Peasant/Poet’ and refers to the Gospel of Luke as telling the story of Jesus from the unique perspective of a peasant and poet, and I love it!

Well, what brought all these ideas and considerations to reality was reading today’s Psalm 17. It begins by explaining that this, as with many others, is a Psalm of David.

‘Experts’ discuss whether there even was a real person named King David, or whether it is all a legend. In the matter of David, this, to me, is a silly discussion. Of course there really was a David, who shepherded sheep, played the lute and wrote the most amazing songs imaginable. I’ve been reading the Psalms for maybe 55 years, and each day they surprise, shock me, and carry me away in song and tune.

Sing the poet David’s songs, and 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 17:1-9

The Message (MSG)

A David Prayer

17 1-2 Listen while I build my case, God,
the most honest prayer you’ll ever hear.
Show the world I’m innocent—
in your heart you know I am.

3 Go ahead, examine me from inside out,
surprise me in the middle of the night—
You’ll find I’m just what I say I am.
My words don’t run loose.

4-5 I’m not trying to get my way
in the world’s way.
I’m trying to get your way,
your Word’s way.
I’m staying on your trail;
I’m putting one foot
In front of the other.
I’m not giving up.

6-7 I call to you, God, because I’m sure of an answer.
So—answer! bend your ear! listen sharp!
Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
take in your frightened children who
Are running from the neighborhood bullies
straight to you.

8-9 Keep your eye on me;
hide me under your cool wing feathers
From the wicked who are out to get me,
from mortal enemies closing in.

Deuteronomy 25:5-10

The Message (MSG)

5-6 When brothers are living together and one of them dies without having had a son, the widow of the dead brother shall not marry a stranger from outside the family; her husband’s brother is to come to her and marry her and do the brother-in-law’s duty by her. The first son that she bears shall be named after her dead husband so his name won’t die out in Israel.

7-10 But if the brother doesn’t want to marry his sister-in-law, she is to go to the leaders at the city gate and say, “My brother-in-law refuses to keep his brother’s name alive in Israel; he won’t agree to do the brother-in-law’s duty by me.” Then the leaders will call for the brother and confront him. If he stands there defiant and says, “I don’t want her,” his sister-in-law is to pull his sandal off his foot, spit in his face, and say, “This is what happens to the man who refuses to build up the family of his brother—his name in Israel will be Family-No-Sandal.”

Acts 22:22-23:11

The Message (MSG)

A Roman Citizen

22-25 The people in the crowd had listened attentively up to this point, but now they broke loose, shouting out, “Kill him! He’s an insect! Stomp on him!” They shook their fists. They filled the air with curses. That’s when the captain intervened and ordered Paul taken into the barracks. By now the captain was thoroughly exasperated. He decided to interrogate Paul under torture in order to get to the bottom of this, to find out what he had done that provoked this outraged violence. As they spread-eagled him with thongs, getting him ready for the whip, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is this legal: torturing a Roman citizen without a fair trial?”

26 When the centurion heard that, he went directly to the captain. “Do you realize what you’ve done? This man is a Roman citizen!”

27 The captain came back and took charge. “Is what I hear right? You’re a Roman citizen?”

Paul said, “I certainly am.”

28 The captain was impressed. “I paid a huge sum for my citizenship. How much did it cost you?”

“Nothing,” said Paul. “It cost me nothing. I was free from the day of my birth.”

29 That put a stop to the interrogation. And it put the fear of God into the captain. He had put a Roman citizen in chains and come within a whisker of putting him under torture!

30 The next day, determined to get to the root of the trouble and know for sure what was behind the Jewish accusation, the captain released Paul and ordered a meeting of the high priests and the High Council to see what they could make of it. Paul was led in and took his place before them.

Before the High Council

23 1-3 Paul surveyed the members of the council with a steady gaze, and then said his piece: “Friends, I’ve lived with a clear conscience before God all my life, up to this very moment.” That set the Chief Priest Ananias off. He ordered his aides to slap Paul in the face. Paul shot back, “God will slap you down! What a fake you are! You sit there and judge me by the Law and then break the Law by ordering me slapped around!”

4 The aides were scandalized: “How dare you talk to God’s Chief Priest like that!”

5 Paul acted surprised. “How was I to know he was Chief Priest? He doesn’t act like a Chief Priest. You’re right, the Scripture does say, ‘Don’t speak abusively to a ruler of the people.’ Sorry.”

6 Paul, knowing some of the council was made up of Sadducees and others of Pharisees and how they hated each other, decided to exploit their antagonism: “Friends, I am a stalwart Pharisee from a long line of Pharisees. It’s because of my Pharisee convictions—the hope and resurrection of the dead—that I’ve been hauled into this court.”

7-9 The moment he said this, the council split right down the middle, Pharisees and Sadducees going at each other in heated argument. Sadducees have nothing to do with a resurrection or angels or even a spirit. If they can’t see it, they don’t believe it. Pharisees believe it all. And so a huge and noisy quarrel broke out. Then some of the religion scholars on the Pharisee side shouted down the others: “We don’t find anything wrong with this man! And what if a spirit has spoken to him? Or maybe an angel? What if it turns out we’re fighting against God?”

10 That was fuel on the fire. The quarrel flamed up and became so violent the captain was afraid they would tear Paul apart, limb from limb. He ordered the soldiers to get him out of there and escort him back to the safety of the barracks.

A Plot Against Paul

11 That night the Master appeared to Paul: “It’s going to be all right. Everything is going to turn out for the best. You’ve been a good witness for me here in Jerusalem. Now you’re going to be my witness in Rome!”

Aside

Reading the Ancient Texts 103013

English: By Rembrandt.

English: By Rembrandt. (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 84:8-12 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2084:8-12&version=MSG

 

Daniel 5:13-31 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel%205:13-31&version=MSG

 

Matthew 21:28-32 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2021:28-32&version=MSG

 

 

Reading the Ancient Texts 103013

 

As disciples of Jesus we often make a commitment to read the Gospels frequently and also to read the Hebrew books, our ‘Old Testament‘.

 

Reading the New Testament, the Gospels, makes instant sense to us; we can read through and pick out the words of Jesus himself, and I must admit I still prefer a Bible that has ‘the words of Jesus in red’. On a page of text, the clear, prominent words in red jump out to me, and speak clearly to me. Even though the words of Jesus are 2,000 years removed from now almost, and Jesus was a Mediterranean Jewish peasant (and most of us are not) the words, the characters, the events speak out loud to me, and have become a foundation of our culture.

 

The Old Testament is more problematic. The morals, the stories, the characters and the teachings sometimes just do not speak to me, or to many disciples. We are not pre-Christian, Jews living in a Roman, a Babylonian, or a Jewish kingdom. I’ve never lived the life of nomadic shepherds or seen what the temple was like. Neither have I lived a life such that family, community and the temple were the key features of my identity, and actually, my identity as a disciple of Jesus does not easily tie into the ancient, Semitic language and culture. Sure, we are all human, but there is much I just don’t understand.

 

But, if I read the Old Testament and make allowances for it—such as, ‘well, it is the honest voice and history of God’s people‘ even if I don’t understand it completely, then what should I say when I read an ancient Buddhist, Taoist or Hindu text? Are those texts also the honest voice and history of God’s people?

 

There’s much to consider here. If an old Buddhist text recommends I wear an orange or ochre robe, pray and burn incense, should I? No, but then neither do I slaughter lambs, and doves and pigeons and make burnt meat offerings to God in the temple.

 

So, I’m left confused. Do my beliefs and faith as a disciple of Christ compel me to behave like an ancient Jew, and does reading an ancient text from any ancient religion or philosophy compel to practice as the ancients practiced? Perhaps, but remember that burning incense is a primary cause of home fires. Be careful.

 

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 84:8-12

The Message (MSG)

8-9 God-of-the-Angel-Armies, listen:
O God of Jacob, open your ears—I’m praying!
Look at our shields, glistening in the sun,
our faces, shining with your gracious anointing.

10-12 One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship,
beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches.
I’d rather scrub floors in the house of my God
than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin.
All sunshine and sovereign is God,
generous in gifts and glory.
He doesn’t scrimp with his traveling companions.
It’s smooth sailing all the way with God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

Daniel 5:13-31

The Message (MSG)

13-16 So Daniel was called in. The king asked him, “Are you the Daniel who was one of the Jewish exiles my father brought here from Judah? I’ve heard about you—that you’re full of the Holy Spirit, that you’ve got a brilliant mind, that you are incredibly wise. The wise men and enchanters were brought in here to read this writing on the wall and interpret it for me. They couldn’t figure it out—not a word, not a syllable. But I’ve heard that you interpret dreams and solve mysteries. So—if you can read the writing and interpret it for me, you’ll be rich and famous—a purple robe, the great gold chain around your neck—and third-in-command in the kingdom.”

17 Daniel answered the king, “You can keep your gifts, or give them to someone else. But I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.

18-21 “Listen, O king! The High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar a great kingdom and a glorious reputation. Because God made him so famous, people from everywhere, whatever their race, color, and creed, were totally intimidated by him. He killed or spared people on whim. He promoted or humiliated people capriciously. He developed a big head and a hard spirit. Then God knocked him off his high horse and stripped him of his fame. He was thrown out of human company, lost his mind, and lived like a wild animal. He ate grass like an ox and was soaked by heaven’s dew until he learned his lesson: that the High God rules human kingdoms and puts anyone he wants in charge.

22-23 “You are his son and have known all this, yet you’re as arrogant as he ever was. Look at you, setting yourself up in competition against the Master of heaven! You had the sacred chalices from his Temple brought into your drunken party so that you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines, could drink from them. You used the sacred chalices to toast your gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone—blind, deaf, and imbecile gods. But you treat with contempt the living God who holds your entire life from birth to death in his hand.

24-26 “God sent the hand that wrote on the wall, and this is what is written: mene, teqel, and peres. This is what the words mean:

Mene: God has numbered the days of your rule and they don’t add up.

27 “Teqel: You have been weighed on the scales and you don’t weigh much.

28 “Peres: Your kingdom has been divided up and handed over to the Medes and Persians.”

29 Belshazzar did what he had promised. He robed Daniel in purple, draped the great gold chain around his neck, and promoted him to third-in-charge in the kingdom.

30-31 That same night the Babylonian king Belshazzar was murdered. Darius the Mede was sixty-two years old when he succeeded him as king.

Matthew 21:28-32

The Message (MSG)

The Story of Two Sons

28 “Tell me what you think of this story: A man had two sons. He went up to the first and said, ‘Son, go out for the day and work in the vineyard.’

29 “The son answered, ‘I don’t want to.’ Later on he thought better of it and went.

30 “The father gave the same command to the second son. He answered, ‘Sure, glad to.’ But he never went.

31-32 “Which of the two sons did what the father asked?”

They said, “The first.”

Jesus said, “Yes, and I tell you that crooks and whores are going to precede you into God’

kingdom. John came to you showing you the right road. You turned up your noses at him, but the crooks and whores believed him. Even when you saw their changed lives, you didn’t care enough to change and believe him.

Aside

He Has Ascended! 050913

 

attribuito a Dosso Dossi (Ferrara c. 1490 - 15...

attribuito a Dosso Dossi (Ferrara c. 1490 – 1541/1542) Ascensione di Cristo (venduto) Tecnica: olio su tavola Dimensioni: cm. 128 x 95.5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The ascension of Jesus

The ascension of Jesus (Photo credit: BrianMKA)

 

He Has Ascended! 050913

 

 

 

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/

 

 

 

Ascension of the Lord

 

 

 

Acts 1:1-11 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%201:1-11&version=MSG

 

 

 

Psalm 47 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2047&version=MSG

 

 

 

Ephesians 1:15-23 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201:15-23&version=MSG

 

 

 

Luke 24:44-53 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2024:44-53&version=MSG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He Has Ascended! 050913

 

 

 

 

 

 

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/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ascension of the Lord

 

 

 

Acts 1:1-11 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%201:1-11&version=MSG

 

 

 

Psalm 47 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2047&version=MSG

 

 

 

Ephesians 1:15-23http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201:15-23&version=MSG

 

 

 

Luke 24:44-53 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2024:44-53&version=MSG

 

 

 

 

 

 

He Has Ascended! 050913

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Ascension Day, the 39th day since Easter. On this, the 40th day of Easter, the celebration and memory of Jesus’ ascension to heaven is remembered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is odd that the day is not more widely, or universally observed by not only the church, at large, or by individual disciples like you and me (and that’s really all there is—there is just a church if we decide to organize our love of Jesus that way).

 

 

 

 

 

 

But the Ascension was the earliest known Christian ‘holiday’. On Ascension day, Jesus ascended to heaven through a parting in the clouds, in the presence of his disciples. To me, the ascension is a real reason to celebrate. Even Easter and Good Friday are less joyous to me, since Jesus was executed on the one day, and the Easter Bunny tends to rule the other day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides,the ascension is demonstration of a fundamental fact we believe—that Jesus opened the way to heaven for you and I. Jesus erased the big
sin (and maybe the only sin—our voluntary separation from God) I don’t believe that Jesus was the atonement or the sacrifice to pay the blood price for this sin, although I understand many people believe this. Instead, I simply think that Jesus erased the sin of our separation from God, in all its sinful variations, by showing us how to be forgiven for our sins and reunited with God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ascension is also the earliest holiday to be celebrated by early Christians,and somehow that makes it more valid to me (and to others I think).In 68 CE, those Christians were celebrating today! If Jesus was executed in 32 AD the beginning of the tradition of celebrating Ascension day began just 3 decades later.

 

 

 

Iimagine (and my own imagination is a great part of my religion) that those early Christians did not need to celebrate Good Friday and Easter because the memory of that Holy Weekend was still, culturally and ethnically with them—they were the earliest Christian Jewish people, before Christianity was clearly a new religion and not just a Jewish sub-group. The exact date of Christmas might not have been known, and there were not yet Wal-Mart Stores, K-Mart stores and Target at which to barter or buy plastic junk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ascension day was in a sense, and still is to me, a date for celebration by common people. On this date, Jesus did not just come to earth or rise from the dead! Those are each fantastic stories and express important ideas about Jesus and God, but I cannot participate directly in them. I have already come to earth, and I do not expect to rise from the dead—Jesus did those things but I cannot follow his act. But when Jesus, in my heart, ascends to heaven by rising through the clouds I feel like he is leading the way, showing the way, for me to follow after.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the way, the Old Order Amish are the only religious group or Christian church or assembly to observe Ascension Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Acts
1:1-11

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

To
the Ends of the World

 

 

 

1 1-5 Dear Theophilus, in the first volume of this book I wrote on everything
that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he said good-bye to
the apostles, the ones he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was
taken up to heaven. After his death, he presented himself alive to
them in many different settings over a period of forty days. In
face-to-face meetings, he talked to them about things concerning the
kingdom of God. As they met and ate meals together, he told them that
they were on no account to leave Jerusalem but “must wait for what
the Father promised: the promise you heard from me. John baptized in
water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And soon.”

 

 

 

6 When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you
going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?”

 

 

 

7-8 He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the
Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when
the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in
Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the
world.”

 

 

 

9-11 These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared
in a cloud. They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly
two men appeared—in white robes! They said, “You Galileans!—why
do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus
who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly—and
mysteriously—as he left.”

 

 

 

Psalm 47

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

A Psalm of the Sons of Korah

 

 

 

47 1-9 Applause,
everyone. Bravo, bravissimo!
Shout
God-songs at the top of your lungs!
God Most High is
stunning,
astride land and ocean.
He crushes hostile people,
puts nations at
our feet.
He set us at the head of the line,
prize-winning
Jacob, his favorite.
Loud cheers as God climbs the mountain,
a ram’s horn blast at the summit.
Sing songs to God, sing
out!
Sing to our King, sing praise!
He’s Lord over earth,
so sing your best songs
to God.
God is Lord of godless nations—
sovereign,
he’s King of the mountain.
Princes from all over are
gathered, people of Abraham’s God.
The powers of earth are God’s—
he soars over all.

 

 

 

Ephesians
1:15-23

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

15-19 That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and
your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t
stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you
and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our
Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and
discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so
that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp
the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers,
oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless
energy, boundless strength!

 

 

 

20-23 All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him
on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe,
everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt
from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever.
He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the
center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is
not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church.
The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which
he fills everything with his presence.

 

 

 

Luke 24:44-53

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

You’re the Witnesses

 

 

 

44 Then he said, “Everything I told you while I was with you comes to this: All the
things written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in
the Psalms have to be fulfilled.”

 

 

 

45-49 He went on to open their understanding of the Word of God, showing them
how to read their Bibles this way. He said, “You can see now how it
is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third
day, and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is
proclaimed in his name to all nations—starting from here, from
Jerusalem! You’re the first to hear and see it. You’re the
witnesses. What comes next is very important: I am sending what my
Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives,
until you’re equipped with power from on high.”

 

 

 

50-51 He then led them out of the city over to Bethany. Raising his hands he
blessed them, and while blessing them, took his leave, being carried
up to heaven.

 

 

 

52-53 And they were on their knees, worshiping him. They returned to Jerusalem
bursting with joy. They spent all their time in the Temple praising
God. Yes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aside

Jesus and the Fiscal Cliff 111412

We need to get this to the Fiscal Cliff! What ...

We need to get this to the Fiscal Cliff! What could go wrong? (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Dr. Seuss cartoon

Dr. Seuss cartoon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesusand the Fiscal Cliff 111412

 

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 94 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2094&version=MSG

Ruth 4:7-22 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ruth%204:7-22&version=MSG

Luke 4:16-30 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%204:16-30&version=MSG

 

Jesus and the Fiscal Cliff 111412

 

Our gospel this morning, from Luke 4, talks about the government’s fiscal cliff. That’s a funny sounding pair of words like ‘froggy doggy’ or ‘that cat’. But other than sounding like a phrase from Dr. Seuss, whom I miss reading to children, the fiscal cliff is the latest announcement of doom or dread in the news.

 

Do we have to have an impending cliff, for there to be news? It seems like the fiscal cliff replaces the impending doom if one candidate or another won or lost, and I pray for both candidates and their wives and families—the threats and promises of violence to them personally are insane and from insane persons (some of whom claim to be Christians while preaching hate and violence).

 

So, this ‘fiscal cliff’ is supposed to be our present doom—the government will go broke! All banks will crash! All paychecks will bounce! But I think us common people will still have to go to work, I suspect.

 

But actually, maybe we should not read the news, unless it is the good news, or maybe read less of the world’s news, and instead focus on what it within reach.

 

Jesus, in Luke 4 faces a cliff, but shakes it off, gives them the slip, and goes on his way. And that’s what being a disciple means—walk away from the cliff! Go on your way with Jesus.

 

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 94

The Message (MSG)

94 1-2 God, put an end to evil;
avenging God, show your colors!
Judge of the earth, take your stand;
throw the book at the arrogant.

3-4 God, the wicked get away with murder—
how long will you let this go on?
They brag and boast
and crow about their crimes!

5-7 They walk all over your people, God,
exploit and abuse your precious people.
They take out anyone who gets in their way;
if they can’t use them, they kill them.
They think, “God isn’t looking,
Jacob’s God is out to lunch.”

8-11 Well, think again, you idiots,
fools—how long before you get smart?
Do you think Ear-Maker doesn’t hear,
Eye-Shaper doesn’t see?
Do you think the trainer of nations doesn’t correct,
the teacher of Adam doesn’t know?
God knows, all right—
knows your stupidity,
sees your shallowness.

12-15 How blessed the man you train, God,
the woman you instruct in your Word,
Providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil,
while a jail is being built for the wicked.
God will never walk away from his people,
never desert his precious people.
Rest assured that justice is on its way
and every good heart put right.

16-19 Who stood up for me against the wicked?
Who took my side against evil workers?
If God hadn’t been there for me,
I never would have made it.
The minute I said, “I’m slipping, I’m falling,”
your love, God, took hold and held me fast.
When I was upset and beside myself,
you calmed me down and cheered me up.

20-23 Can Misrule have anything in common with you?
Can Troublemaker pretend to be on your side?
They ganged up on good people,
plotted behind the backs of the innocent.
But God became my hideout,
God was my high mountain retreat,
Then boomeranged their evil back on them:
for their evil ways he wiped them out,
our God cleaned them out for good.

Ruth 4:7-22

The Message (MSG)

7 In the olden times in Israel, this is how they handled official business regarding matters of property and inheritance: a man would take off his shoe and give it to the other person. This was the same as an official seal or personal signature in Israel.

8 So when Boaz’s “redeemer” relative said, “Go ahead and buy it,” he signed the deal by pulling off his shoe.

9-10 Boaz then addressed the elders and all the people in the town square that day: “You are witnesses today that I have bought from Naomi everything that belonged to Elimelech and Kilion and Mahlon, including responsibility for Ruth the foreigner, the widow of Mahlon—I’ll take her as my wife and keep the name of the deceased alive along with his inheritance. The memory and reputation of the deceased is not going to disappear out of this family or from his hometown. To all this you are witnesses this very day.”

11-12 All the people in the town square that day, backing up the elders, said, “Yes, we are witnesses. May God make this woman who is coming into your household like Rachel and Leah, the two women who built the family of Israel. May God make you a pillar in Ephrathah and famous in Bethlehem! With the children God gives you from this young woman, may your family rival the family of Perez, the son Tamar bore to Judah.”

13 Boaz married Ruth. She became his wife. Boaz slept with her. By God’s gracious gift she conceived and had a son.

14-15 The town women said to Naomi, “Blessed be God! He didn’t leave you without family to carry on your life. May this baby grow up to be famous in Israel! He’ll make you young again! He’ll take care of you in old age. And this daughter-in-law who has brought him into the world and loves you so much, why, she’s worth more to you than seven sons!”

16 Naomi took the baby and held him in her arms, cuddling him, cooing over him, waiting on him hand and foot.

17 The neighborhood women started calling him “Naomi’s baby boy!” But his real name was Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David.

18-22 This is the family tree of Perez:

Perez had Hezron,
Hezron had Ram,
Ram had Amminadab,
Amminadab had Nahshon,
Nahshon had Salmon,
Salmon had Boaz,
Boaz had Obed,
Obed had Jesse,
and Jesse had David.

married in the first place, have children, manage their homes, and not give critics any foothold for finding fault. Some of them have already left and gone after Satan.

16 Any Christian woman who has widows in her family is responsible for them. They shouldn’t be dumped on the church. The church has its hands full already with widows who need help.

Luke 4:16-30

The Message (MSG)

16-21 He came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,

God’s Spirit is on me;
he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor,
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and
recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the burdened and battered free,
to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”

He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him, intent. Then he started in, “You’ve just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place.”

22 All who were there, watching and listening, were surprised at how well he spoke. But they also said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son, the one we’ve known since he was a youngster?”

23-27 He answered, “I suppose you’re going to quote the proverb, ‘Doctor, go heal yourself. Do here in your hometown what we heard you did in Capernaum.’ Well, let me tell you something: No prophet is ever welcomed in his hometown. Isn’t it a fact that there were many widows in Israel at the time of Elijah during that three and a half years of drought when famine devastated the land, but the only widow to whom Elijah was sent was in Sarepta in Sidon? And there were many lepers in Israel at the time of the prophet Elisha but the only one cleansed was Naaman the Syrian.”

28-30 That set everyone in the meeting place seething with anger. They threw him out, banishing him from the village, then took him to a mountain cliff at the edge of the village to throw him to his doom, but he gave them the slip and was on his way.

Aside

What to Do with Widows. And Others 111312

 

What to Do with Widows. And Others 111312

Male Black Widow Identification

Male Black Widow Identification (Photo credit: scismgenie)

 

 

 

 

 

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 94 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2094&version=MSG

 

 

Ruth 3:14—4:6 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ruth%203:14%E2%80%944:6&version=MSG

 

 

1 Timothy 5:9-16 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Timothy%205:9-16&version=MSG

 

 

 

 

 

What to Do with Widows. And Others 111312

 

 

 

 

 

The readings from Ruth, and also Timothy discuss what to do with widows. It is not so much that we have to decide if the church should follow Old Testament rules (related to land tenure) or the Gospel rules and ideas in Timothy, that widows should be taken care of, but enlisting the aid of selected widows. The problem is that the church doesn’t hardly take care of widows, orphans, the homeless or the hunger. But then, we’ve turned our gospel duties over to governments, along with our hate, our ignorance and our violent desires.

 

 

 

 

 

Take back from government everywhere to expectation of love. Jesus reserves it for you and me.

 

 

 

 

 

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 94

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

94 1-2 God, put an end to evil;
avenging God, show your colors!
Judge of the earth, take your stand;
throw the book at the arrogant.

 

 

3-4 God, the wicked get away with murder—
how long will you let this go on?
They brag and boast
and crow about their crimes!

 

 

5-7 They walk all over your people, God,
exploit and abuse your precious people.
They take out anyone who gets in their way;
if they can’t use them, they kill them.
They think, “God isn’t looking,
Jacob’s God is out to lunch.”

 

 

8-11 Well, think again, you idiots,
fools—how long before you get smart?
Do you think Ear-Maker doesn’t hear,
Eye-Shaper doesn’t see?
Do you think the trainer of nations doesn’t correct,
the teacher of Adam doesn’t know?
God knows, all right—
knows your stupidity,
sees your shallowness.

 

 

12-15 How blessed the man you train, God,
the woman you instruct in your Word,
Providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil,
while a jail is being built for the wicked.
God will never walk away from his people,
never desert his precious people.
Rest assured that justice is on its way
and every good heart put right.

 

 

16-19 Who stood up for me against the wicked?
Who took my side against evil workers?
If God hadn’t been there for me,
I never would have made it.
The minute I said, “I’m slipping, I’m falling,”
your love, God, took hold and held me fast.
When I was upset and beside myself,
you calmed me down and cheered me up.

 

 

20-23 Can Misrule have anything in common with you?
Can Troublemaker pretend to be on your side?
They ganged up on good people,
plotted behind the backs of the innocent.
But God became my hideout,
God was my high mountain retreat,
Then boomeranged their evil back on them:
for their evil ways he wiped them out,
our God cleaned them out for good.

 

 

Ruth 3:14-4:6

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

14 Ruth slept at his feet until dawn, but she got up while it was still dark and wouldn’t be recognized. Then Boaz said to himself, “No one must know that Ruth came to the threshing floor.”

 

 

15 So Boaz said, “Bring the shawl you’re wearing and spread it out.”

 

 

She spread it out and he poured it full of barley, six measures, and put it on her shoulders. Then she went back to town.

 

 

16-17 When she came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “And how did things go, my dear daughter?”

 

 

Ruth told her everything that the man had done for her, adding, “And he gave me all this barley besides—six quarts! He told me, ‘You can’t go back empty-handed to your mother-in-law!’”

 

 

18 Naomi said, “Sit back and relax, my dear daughter, until we find out how things turn out; that man isn’t going to fool around. Mark my words, he’s going to get everything wrapped up today.”

 

 

4 Boaz went straight to the public square and took his place there. Before long the “closer relative,” the one mentioned earlier by Boaz, strolled by.

 

 

“Step aside, old friend,” said Boaz. “Take a seat.” The man sat down.

 

 

2 Boaz then gathered ten of the town elders together and said, “Sit down here with us; we’ve got some business to take care of.” And they sat down.

 

 

3-4 Boaz then said to his relative, “The piece of property that belonged to our relative Elimelech is being sold by his widow Naomi, who has just returned from the country of Moab. I thought you ought to know about it. Buy it back if you want it—you can make it official in the presence of those sitting here and before the town elders. You have first redeemer rights. If you don’t want it, tell me so I’ll know where I stand. You’re first in line to do this and I’m next after you.”

 

 

He said, “I’ll buy it.”

 

 

5 Then Boaz added, “You realize, don’t you, that when you buy the field from Naomi, you also get Ruth the Moabite, the widow of our dead relative, along with the redeemer responsibility to have children with her to carry on the family inheritance.”

 

 

6 Then the relative said, “Oh, I can’t do that—I’d jeopardize my own family’s inheritance. You go ahead and buy it—you can have my rights—I can’t do it.”

 

 

1 Timothy 5:9-16

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

9-10 Sign some widows up for the special ministry of offering assistance. They will in turn receive support from the church. They must be over sixty, married only once, and have a reputation for helping out with children, strangers, tired Christians, the hurt and troubled.

 

 

11-15 Don’t put young widows on this list. No sooner will they get on than they’ll want to get off, obsessed with wanting to get a husband rather than serving Christ in this way. By breaking their word, they’re liable to go from bad to worse, frittering away their days on empty talk, gossip, and trivialities. No, I’d rather the young widows go ahead and get married in the first place, have children, manage their homes, and not give critics any foothold for finding fault. Some of them have already left and gone after Satan.

 

 

16 Any Christian woman who has widows in her family is responsible for them. They shouldn’t be dumped on the church. The church has its hands full already with widows who need help.

 

 

Saint Timothy

Saint Timothy (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

 

 

 

Aside

Who’s Counting?111212

English: Rib fractures in an infant secondary ...

English: Rib fractures in an infant secondary to child abuse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who’s Counting?111212

 

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 94 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2094&version=MSG

Ruth 1:1-22 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%2036:1-13&version=MSG

1 Timothy 5:1-8 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Timothy%205:1-8&version=MSG

 

Who’s Counting? 111212

 

Whenever we talk to folks from the larger church—the church beyond our community—the first question we are asked is—how many people are attending your church now? Or even worse, what are your tithes amounting to?

 

I argue, and some think I am making excuses, when I explain that what we all do as a church is uncountable and should always be uncounted and uncountable. I argue that what we do as a church ‘doesn’t count’ and doesn’t add up.

 

A young man we knew is an example. He had been the victim of severe child abuse and child neglect, as the child of an alcoholic family, and found himself always resorting to violence to protect a younger, mentally disabled brother. But he tried to seetle down, tried to express his present love for his wife and 4 small children in a Christian way.

 

Whenever we talked he was deeply touched. He was deeply hurt by his past hurts, but absolutely determined that the violence and pain of his childhood would not reach his children and home.

 

But his demons pursued him, and the drugs he took for peace did not work, and his life often erupted in violence, often in situations very similar to the protection he had needed as a child, and never got. He protected a nephew, a niece, a neighbor child and so on, but he protected them sometimes with his fists, or once, with a baseball bat, and his rage was a mental illness.

 

But he saw himself as a peaceful Mennonite, and saw himself as a disciple, even though he only came to church once, and limited his ‘churchiness’ to conversations and prayers with the ministers and others.

 

Last Friday, he took a gun and shot himself in the head. The rage finally has ended.

 

Should we count him as part of our church? Should we count him as one in need of the peace of Jesus Christ?

 

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.

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Psalm 94

Numbers 36:1-13

Romans 5:6-11

 

Psalm 94

The Message (MSG)

94 1-2 God, put an end to evil;
avenging God, show your colors!
Judge of the earth, take your stand;
throw the book at the arrogant.

3-4 God, the wicked get away with murder—
how long will you let this go on?
They brag and boast
and crow about their crimes!

5-7 They walk all over your people, God,
exploit and abuse your precious people.
They take out anyone who gets in their way;
if they can’t use them, they kill them.
They think, “God isn’t looking,
Jacob’s God is out to lunch.”

8-11 Well, think again, you idiots,
fools—how long before you get smart?
Do you think Ear-Maker doesn’t hear,
Eye-Shaper doesn’t see?
Do you think the trainer of nations doesn’t correct,
the teacher of Adam doesn’t know?
God knows, all right—
knows your stupidity,
sees your shallowness.

12-15 How blessed the man you train, God,
the woman you instruct in your Word,
Providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil,
while a jail is being built for the wicked.
God will never walk away from his people,
never desert his precious people.
Rest assured that justice is on its way
and every good heart put right.

16-19 Who stood up for me against the wicked?
Who took my side against evil workers?
If God hadn’t been there for me,
I never would have made it.
The minute I said, “I’m slipping, I’m falling,”
your love, God, took hold and held me fast.
When I was upset and beside myself,
you calmed me down and cheered me up.

20-23 Can Misrule have anything in common with you?
Can Troublemaker pretend to be on your side?
They ganged up on good people,
plotted behind the backs of the innocent.
But God became my hideout,
God was my high mountain retreat,
Then boomeranged their evil back on them:
for their evil ways he wiped them out,
our God cleaned them out for good.

Numbers 36:1-13

The Message (MSG)

The Daughters of Zelophehad

36 The heads of the ancestral clan of Gilead son of Makir, the son of Manasseh—they were from the clans of the descendants of Joseph—approached Moses and the leaders who were heads of the families in the People of Israel.

2-4 They said, “When God commanded my master to hand over the inheritance-lands by lot to the People of Israel, my master was also commanded by God to hand over the inheritance-land of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters. But what happens if they marry into another tribe in the People of Israel? Their inheritance-land will be taken out of our ancestral tribe and get added into the tribe into which they married. And then when the year of Jubilee comes for the People of Israel their inheritance will be lumped in with the inheritance of the tribe into which they married—their land will be removed from our ancestors’ inheritance!”

5-9 Moses, at God’s command, issued this order to the People of Israel: “What the tribe of the sons of Joseph says is right. This is God’s command to Zelophehad’s daughters: They are free to marry anyone they choose as long as they marry within their ancestral clan. The inheritance-land of the People of Israel must not get passed around from tribe to tribe. No, keep the tribal inheritance-land in the family. Every daughter who inherits land, regardless of the tribe she is in, must marry a man from within her father’s tribal clan. Every Israelite is responsible for making sure the inheritance stays within the ancestral tribe. No inheritance-land may be passed from tribe to tribe; each tribe of the People of Israel must hold tight to its own land.”

10-12 Zelophehad’s daughters did just as God commanded Moses. Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, Zelophehad’s daughters, all married their cousins on their father’s side. They married within the families of Manasseh son of Joseph and their inheritance-lands stayed in their father’s family.

13 These are the commands and regulations that God commanded through the authority of Moses to the People of Israel on the Plains of Moab at Jordan-Jericho.

1 Timothy 5:1-8

The Message (MSG)

The Family of Faith

5 1-2 Don’t be harsh or impatient with an older man. Talk to him as you would your own father, and to the younger men as your brothers. Reverently honor an older woman as you would your mother, and the younger women as sisters.

3-8 Take care of widows who are destitute. If a widow has family members to take care of her, let them learn that religion begins at their own doorstep and that they should pay back with gratitude some of what they have received. This pleases God immensely. You can tell a legitimate widow by the way she has put all her hope in God, praying to him constantly for the needs of others as well as her own. But a widow who exploits people’s emotions and pocketbooks—well, there’s nothing to her. Tell these things to the people so that they will do the right thing in their extended family. Anyone who neglects to care for family members in need repudiates the faith. That’s worse than refusing to believe in the first place.

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