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  • Latest Blog Post

    God.

    Posted: June 11, 2017 by Carl DeLine   -   No Comments

    Good Morning, my name is Carl and I am being coached by Grace. It is the Grace of God that stands behind us, is to the right of us, to the left of us and opens doors before us. (if you are comfortable repeat that statement using your own name.)

    At times various groups of people would sing as they entered the sanctuary to worship.  Try to sing along as you prepare your mind for today.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSif77IVQdY&feature=share

    https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla&p=amen+chorus+soweto+gospel+concert+youtube#id=2&vid=9b54757ef6fdd49a5b2b2fd6e37070bd&action=click

    SCRIPTURE:

    Morning Scripture: Genesis 1:1-2:4a and Psalm 8 • 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 • Matthew 28:16-20
    http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/texts.php?id=142

    MORNING PRAYER:

    Thank you Lord for each breath this morning.
    Lord, with tears I pray for healing for myself and for those I (we) have come to love.
    Lord I pray for those starting new jobs.
    Lord I pray for those just trying to figure life out.
    Lord I pray for those who are having a bad “hair day.”
    Lord I pray for those wrestling in their minds, trying to figure out life.
    Lord I pray for each person who recovers only to be hit again with illness.
    Lord I pray for those running their own business/
    Lord I pray for our families, the small ones and the larger ones.
    Lord I pray for our travelers.
    Lord I pray for those who have experienced setbacks.
    Lord I pray for those taking great and little strides forward.
    Lord I pray for those doing ministry today.
    Lord I pray for those making life changing decisions today.

    Please add your prayer thoughts as well.

    ADD YOUR PRAYERS IN THE REPLY BOXES ABOVE.

    MUSIC:

    Please choose music that points to the work of the Spirit in our lives.

    Be Thou My Vision- Alison Krauss
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub56L5AYyEM

    Great is Thy Faithfulness – Chris Rice
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0k1WhFtVp0o

    Be Thou My Vision – Eden’s Bridge
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_qL6FNwEsY

    Please place your Music choices in the reply boxes above.

    MEDITATION: God.
    Please read all scripture first.

    In the beginning God. The King James translation of the Bible served as THE BIBLE, the only acceptable translation for many. For many many years traditions and liturgy often guided worshipers without giving time to question what was even being said.

    In the beginning God. As a teenager I questioned that thought. Where did God come from, when did God come? What can we really understand and know about God?

    In the midst of the illness and concerns of our people these questions often hide behind the quiet desperation of those who suffer from day to day. Ultimately the question ceases and changes to another direction. Does God even care?

    I stood in the pulpit one Sunday and instead of preaching a sermon I started with a confession. The words went something like this: This week was one of the most difficult weeks I remember. As was my custom I went to my office on Monday morning. I worked on the text and outline for the coming week. That Monday despite spending extra time in prayer the sermon outline never came. Tuesday had become my day off, but the sermon outline had not been prepared so I went to my office and started over. I spent a half day agonizing, then decided I needed to trust God and go home.

    Wednesday came. It was the day of the week I spent time doing visitation. There were also other tasks needing to be done, I did those and went back to the sermon as possible.

    Thursday arrived. My calendar called for making a list of things to be thankful for. At the top of the list was simply my gratitude for the opportunity to preach. I had no doubt the sermon would come. Thursday came and went. No sermon. Friday, no sermon. As I walked to my office on Saturday morning I wondered if this was the beginning of the end? Were my preaching days over? Saturday was filled with preparation for the activities of Sunday. The sermon never came. That night after supper I walked back to the church. I went into the Sanctuary. I knelt at the alter. I asked God, where are you? Are you ever going to come again? Are there just to many preachers and you don’t have time for me? Did I do something wrong? I don’t have a sermon for tomorrow. I am sorry, I failed. I then said, God, this is my job. I must have a sermon. Yet there was no sermon. Instead I prayed for each member of the congregation. I prayed for all of the activities. I prayed for our community. I prayed for the next few hours. Then I went home.

    Sunday came. I went to my office and prayed again. Yet no sermon.
    That morning, there wasn’t a sermon. When it came time to preach the sermon I told the congregation what I just told you.

    Earlier that morning when I went to my office I had opened the Bible. My finger pointed to a verse in the Epistle of 1st John. It said, Behold what manner of love hath the Father that we should be called the children of God for such we are. That is how I ended my sermon time.

    How do we answer the questions? We acknowledge, in the beginning God, out of the chaos surrounding creation, out of the grayness of life, out of the the brokenness surrounding us the message never changes. God reaches into our lives revealing through all we go through we are still the children of God.  Amen.

    There are moments that touch our souls. One such moment for me is this: Amazing Grace
    https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla&p=joan+baiz+amazing+grace#id=3&vid=878b03b1520cb334c7786d90147e7fce&action=view

    I invite you to go back to the prayer list this morning and add more. The thoughts I listed arise from posts and conversations from our membership.

    Amen.

     

    My name is Carl and I am being Coached by Grace.

    Posted: June 4, 2017 by Carl DeLine   -   No Comments

    GOOD MORNING,

    Today is the first day of a series of days for me expressing new directions and new purposes. Yesterday my meditation time was spent looking back over the last week and looking forward to this coming week.

    Today as I read the scripture, much to my surprise it is Pentecost. This may be a wild and wooly run! Please join me in this venture. I look forward to the discoveries along the way.

    SCRIPTURE:

    Numbers 11:24-30 • Psalm 104:24-34, 35b • 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 or Acts 2:1-21 • John 20:19-23 or John 7:37-39
    http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/texts.php?id=47

    MORNING PRAYER:

    Please add your concerns here.
    Lord there are startling things happening all around us. Please give us the wisdom to know when to respond and the grace to respond.

    As I sit here I think of the thousands of people who seek to rediscover normal in our lives. The new normal really doesn’t feel all that good.

    ADD YOUR PRAYERS IN THE REPLY BOXES ABOVE.

    MUSIC:

    Please choose music that points to the work of the Spirit in our lives.

    They Will Know we are Christians by our Love -
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CobNWUXb1M

    Casting Crowns – Oh My Soul (Official Lyric Video)
    https://youtu.be/DjNZf878ISQ

    It Is Well With My Soul
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHe_qmo3gX4

    MercyMe – Even If (Official Lyric Video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6fA35Ved-Y&feature=youtu.be

    Please place your Music choices in the reply boxes above.

    MEDITATION:
    Please read all scripture first.

    On Saturday I have been asking members to use the day for reflection and catching up. Since Jan 1 of this year a seven day devotional/living process has been posted. The change in my own life has almost been startling as my sugars have been almost perfect. I have struggled with steroid induced diabetes for at least 20 years. The prednisone after what seems like tons of years is now leaving my body and allows me one fresh thought each day. I feel like a child with multiple grandparents and I get to open a birthday present each day. Memories are coming back, thoughts about life, new ways of expressing things all happening. Today I realize it more than ever.

    What does it mean for a preacher to think about giving a meditation only to find out The Lord says WAIT! Then something beyond understanding happens. The disciples were in that situation. Before they knew it something beyond them happened and everyone seemed to understand

    Many years ago I was the pastor of a church in Calgary. We had helped to distribute food to families, it was Christmas time and the recession had hit us as a city hard. On Christmas morning I stood in the pulpit ready to preach my sermon. But I felt this prompting to say nothing. A man stood up, he told the story how he wasn’t a church goer but he did not know where to turn. He came here to this church and asked for help. He had been a roofer and had fallen breaking both legs. We gave his family food and toys. As he talked he wept. He wanted to say thank you. To my surprise guest after guest stood up saying how their lives had crashed. The simple gesture of food, clothing, toys made such a difference. That morning our congregation began to hear the words of the Gospel in words everyone understood.

    What does it mean to be the people of God in a secular world?

    The disciples were a part of an experience. God chooses to be alive in the world. Sometimes I forget that message. Moses faced an experience. Things were going good. Then God chose to use others. His faithful followers were concerned. Moses, they are…. Moses laughed and said I could only wish that God would use everyone. What does it mean to be the people of God in a secular world. In Moses words is found a message so simple. Let go, let God. I smile as I say that out loud. Then I hear it in my memories. How often did people who were a part of my life say that. It is permissible to let go, to trust that God who started all this wants to continue with everyone.

    It is a truth the Apostle Paul understood. Each person has a gift, perhaps if we turn that around we can understand God working. Each person becomes a gift to the whole body. We now have close to 8000 members. I have spent my entire life working primarily with smaller groups, the idea of having 8000 people standing as a group with each person representing a gift from God blows me away. Is this how great the desire of God is to see a difference made. I think so. It will take a while for me to get my head around all this.

    Perhaps the words of Jesus become significant here. “On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me,

    John 7:38 and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”

    There is something needing to be done. Perhaps we will have the privilege of doing it together. Amen.

    A young lady dared to dream to think she could be a part of the difference, She sings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYdmOT4p0LY   Perhaps we too can join her in the flight to be who God chooses us to be.

    Susan Boyle – Wings to Fly

     

    Good morning, my name is Carl and I am being Coached by Grace.

    Posted: May 28, 2017 by Carl DeLine   -   No Comments

    Driving back from Austin last night I saw a billboard. It caused me to think about the grace of God. There have been so many times when my life was in jeopardy, doctor’s were saying we will not say he is going to die, but if I were you I would start making plans. There were so many times this happened I thought this can’t be real, it must all be in my head. In reality it did affect my head. The nerve endings, the grey matter, all of it was affected. The brain fog, the medications, everything went straight to the head. It started in the head and then went everywhere else.
    Think about the grace of God. Think about life itself. Find the pulse on your wrist, feel it beat. The beat is not life, but it says life dwells in this body.
    I woke up singing a chorus I learned as a child. This is the Day….listen in.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cccJhMVFrLs&spfreload=10

    This is the day that the Lord has made

    Prayer: Use the concept of sentence prayer. This is a spot for others to add their words.

    -Lord lead us in worship. We recognize this becomes an opportunity to turn to you and appreciate learning of and about you. Guide us. Please.

    -Lord as I read the scripture it says they gathered together. I pray for all who are gathering together today where ever they are. Please be with them in a way I don’t always understand. Touch them with your Spirit, give them not just an awareness about the future but an awareness about today.

    -Lord we have a way of segmenting people, we classify them as “them.” Allow us to see your uniqueness, neither male nor female, neither this race or that race, neither rich or poor, neither lamb or whole, allow us to celebrate you as you reveal your uniqueness to us.

    -Give us joy. As we climb to the top of our lives may we see the expanse, the filling in of wisdom and knowledge. Let us get excited. Help us to see the flower rise in the sand.

    -Give us an understanding of how you restore us.

    -Give us strength to withstand evil.

    -Give us freedom to look in the face of evil and speak of your love.

    -Give us freedom to be one with each other, give us freedom to be one with you.

    AMEN

    Scripture: http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/texts.php?id=46

    Year A – Easter – Seventh Sunday of Easter : Revised Common Lectionary
    Acts 1:6-14  •
    Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35  •
    1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11  •
    John 17:1-11

    Music:
    Send Us Your Spirit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOWRxnz97ms

    Open the Eyes of my Heart https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idQ1n3cdgfo

    El Shaddai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6S8W2l3Qtc

    Meditation:  A Morning thought

    Last Sunday, I think it was last Sunday, I wrote about laughing when I woke up. There are times I wake up and I am crying, my life has known season’s of darkness only to be overwhelmed by the light around me. Today I woke up singing. I looked at the floor, a huge brown spider with yellow stripes was sitting there. I decided not to alarm him. I continued to sing. He then took off toward the window, the window was open slightly. He ran up the wall, out the window. He was gone. I was happy until I saw this herd of rabbits, deer, skunks, snakes, birds all running away as fast as they could. They obviously did not recognize talent when they heard it. I have learned not everyone/thing understands God celebrates the pureness of sound.

    Years ago I read a book by an Orthodox theologian, For the Life of the World. He talked about life as liturgy. I grew up in non liturgical churches so liturgy had little meaning for me. Then this book came across my path. The author talked about life as an act of worship. When you wake up in the morning, the very opening of yours eyes is an act of celebration, an act of worship. You go for a shower, you put your clothes on, or, or, or…  all acts of worship.

    On this site you are being asked to participate in worship. You are asked to add your prayers to others. You are not alone. You can add your agreement to others.

    You are asked to think about music, music that has been a part of your life, your journey through life. The music that often picks you up to face today, yesterday and even tomorrow. Choose wisely, your music may become the choice of someone else. It may lift them up, it may linger in their thoughts and at the least expected moment out it comes.

    I was preaching one morning. The pianist and I had rehearsed a moment when she would walk to the piano and begin to play Andre Crouch’s version of To God Be The Glory. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E4_MUUaioc She brought the message to a crescendo, to a point people were ready to rise and be the people of God.

    Liturgy becomes your way to walk with God. It is not only limited to a church worship service, it breaks out into all aspects of your life. Your step has an added bounce, your smile starts in your heart. You greet others in that you respect they are a part of your life.

    As I sit here I smile, I sing along because in the midst of the darkness there is light. There is a tugging that pulls the best out of me. It tugs me, lifts me from the bed and gives freedom to start again. Laughingly, I sit here realizing I am working on a computer that is on it’s last leg. All I want is one more meditation, one more moment to say we can overcome. We can take the next step not into oblivion but into purpose.

    How is the subject for the meditation chosen for each Sunday? The scripture is read. The prayer is written. One word that arises  as a word to me becomes the focus? What supporting thoughts come to mind. At what point does the meditation stop? It stops when the thought ends, when others stop commenting, or when it is right.

    And now may the love of God encompass you, may your awareness reveal to others the presence of God and may each step give you a bounce dancing freely in the joy of the Lord.

    Closing thoughts:

    There are times when I like to sit and meditate. At times it is to listen to others. Here is a concert entitled: The Power and Glory of God https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTzKhbvKldo

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