Good Morning, this is the Meditation for Sunday August 13, 2017 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.)
•Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28 and Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b •
• 1 Kings 19:9-18 and Psalm 85:8-13 •
• Romans 10:5-15 •
• Matthew 14:22-33
PLEASE READ THE SCRIPTURE BEFORE PROCEEDING AS ALL INPUT WILL HAVE PARALLES FROM THE READINGS.
PRAYER:—add your prayer thoughts in the reply boxes below.
Lord we live in a world of blended families. It seems like this has been the norm. Somehow the norm has been redefined and socio-economic decisions have then been created and like Joseph’s brothers angst has grown.
Lord sometimes things don’t go right but history shows You still made it right.
Lord how many times can each of look back and count good things that happened to us. Thank You.
Lord sometimes it feels lonely. Then when I look around I see where you have been and are now seeking to do your good work. Enable me to be faithful, to stay faithful. Please.
Lord in the midst of knowing and doing what is right, in the midst of working at doing what is right, in comes Jesus. His presence calms the storm letting all to know that right and goodness is often just being willing to stand, not arguing just loving.
Lord it is easy to get lost. At times the storm clouds of life become tumultuous, anxiety takes control. Just as the disciples had to learn, teach us to reach out and receive your presence.
MUSIC: please select music prompted by your reading of the text.
Immortal Invisible. https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla&p=Immortal%2C+Invisible%2C+God+Only+Wise+you+tube#id=4&vid=a2aca7b81ee5cebbfd15d3bbaf28a21e&action=view
When Morning Gilds the Skieschttps://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla&p=when+morning+gilds+the+skies#id=7&vid=87bee2ea9a68fac59ed7c15ee9d54d56&action=view
I shared once before about a message I had prepared. It was a very difficult message. The title of it was Please Forgive Me I Forgot.
The title of the message did not appear in the worship bulletin. While I was sharing the message it seemed as if no one moved a muscle. The quietness was overwhelming. The only sound was that of a penitent young pastor confessing to a congregation.
When the message was over a man in the congregation went to the pastor and told him off. “I don’t come to hear a sermon about how human my pastor is. I come to be motivated, to be lifted above the experiences of the week. All week long I work hard, I am tired and the last thing I want to hear is that!”
As I was reading the scripture for the morning the words please forgive me I forgot came to mind.
Joseph’s brothers had made a decision. They were tired of the “little brat” always getting his way. Joseph was special and he seemed to know it. In their frustration they forgot. They planned together. In a weaker moment they gave in and at least let him live. But they forgot.
The Psalmist reminds us life is made up of history. We can look back, we can monitor our steps, our experiences. Once we do that even the worst of things seem to fall into perspective. There are so many good things. There were so many GOOD things. It is as if the Psalmist is reminding us not to forget there will be a lot more good things yet to come.
Elijah found himself feeling somewhat alone. The story tells us God used a battalion of natural catastrophes to get Elijah’s attention. Still he had to be reminded he was not alone. One could only imagine the scene when Elijah woke up. Perhaps he said something like this…”Please forgive me I forgot!”
The Apostle Paul reminds us of a very simple message. Somehow it is a message that has gotten lost in the glass cathedrals, in the sound systems, in the worship teams and in the mission quests to “win” the world for Jesus. Paul simple tells us in the midst of everything going on God has reached out to us. Jesus has stepped into our world to say, simply trust God for God has prepared the antidote for dying. There is no distinction between this person and that person. All need to simply accept, believe, respond to the outreached hand. Like the disciples who went in the boat, when the storm came they forgot. Perhaps the pressures of living with sarcoidosis, broken medical services, family and friend systems that breakdown, histories that prove whatever we want to argue for need to be put into perspective. God simply says, I gave you life now live it in the freedom to know I will ultimately give you eternal life. It is yours to choose.
CLOSING THOUGHT: IMMORTAL INVISIBLE.
Good Morning, this is the Meditation for Sunday August 6, 2017 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.)
Opening prayer: Good morning God. It has been quite a night. As I stop and I listen to the silence I remember the battles during the night. Like Jacob of old we/I wrestle. I show the effects of many battles but now I rest. Guide me, guide us in this time to learn of you, to celebrate you and to walk with you. Make this our prayer. Amen.
As I read the posts I pray for individual people and their concerns from skin issues to lungs and breathing, from joint pain to walking, from brain fog to concerns about the di
As I read the posts I read about broken relationships and family struggles, from job loss to money shortages, from losing one’s home to moving from spot to spot to survive. Lord hear our prayer.
As I read the posts I read that you seem distant and far away, you seem to be nonexistent to many, Lord remove what ever existing barriers there are to clearing the way to your working.
Add your thoughts of prayer in the COMMENTS area.
Lord hear our prayer. Amen.
• Genesis 32:22-31 and Psalm 17:1-7, 15 •
• Isaiah 55:1-5 and Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21 •
• Romans 9:1-5 •
• Matthew 14:13-21
Please choose music consistent with the Scripture reading from today.
Love Divine, All Love Excelling.
My Jesus I love thee
Down to the River to Pray
Where is your brain at? A friend said recently, “you are in your brain, aren’t you?”
It is not something I had consciously done. My response, my hip and back are hurting again, I said. A while ago I had gone to the doctor and asked for a cortisone shot. He refused me. I knew it would be a matter of time before I would be incapacitated by the pain. Someone in his (the doctor’s) system had sent me a letter asking me to evaluate this doctor. I chose to wait. I will write someday. In the meantime I will go in search of yet another service. Living twenty minutes from hospital care doesn’t guarantee hospital care.
Each time I read the story of Jacob my mind wanders to unnecessary pain.
A man in the night came, wrestled with Jacob, put his hip out and then Jacob resigned himself to this as some form of wrestling with God.
The prayer of the Psalmist comes as a cry for vindication. What happens to a person when the support system around them collapses? Jacob found himself wrestling with a stranger. Many have wrestled with who this stranger was. Some say an angel, Jacob said it was God. Jacob said he prevailed yet he is remembered for his limp.
The Psalmist says, test my heart, look at my steps, I will be found faithful, I will remain faithful.
Today as I contemplate these words I think of my own walk. This wrestling with sarcoidosis has become my third career. The last 16 years have been an experience of rekindling the years of struggle. My first career was in the church. I had a wonderful experience as long as I ignored the pressures from the outside. If I could have been just a pastor, but that wasn’t the case. In each church setting unbelievable pressures from the outside came. Politics took it’s toll. Eventually I found myself in the community. There again as long as I was in the program/project wonderful things were happening. Then politics got involved. Politics. What role does politics have to do with anything?
In my worlds I have discovered politics have become the way one culture either works with or dominates another culture. Jacob was to become Israel. The sons of Jacob were to become multiple nations of people. The brokenness of Jacob carried over.
I went to a doctor. I was told in that system do what you are told. What does it mean to wrestle with multiple levels of brokenness? The body is broken. The medical system is broken. My next thought scared me. A random thought hit me…hope is broken!
The prophet Isaiah is known to many as the prophet of hope. The text certainly supports that view. He leaves us with the understanding that we can turn to God. My ultimate experience leaves me with the same understanding. I can turn to God. In fact after all else was tried there were no other options. The arrogance of the man who wrestled with Jacob. The politicians fighting for their own agenda. The medical system now imposing it’s so called “bottom line” ideology all strip us of our dignity.
The story told about Jesus encourages us to understand their can be dignity in this life of ours. For Jesus it was simply to take what you have, then share it as you can. AMEN.
I’ll fly away
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.)
Opening thought: This has been a difficult week for me as I gave myself permission to experiment with words, specifically “God talk.” I chose to listen to the implications of words rather than just the words themselves.
Humanity is more than a religious society, we are also a spiritual society. In some way we are also a people who attempt to control what we think that spirit should sound like and what form that spirit should take. The human sense of ego is clearly a part of this discussion. Please take time to spend a moment to focus on your own sense of spirit before you go any further. If you are a praying person pray to be sensitive to the tidal wave of emotions you will hear. Pray you will have a mind that can objectify words in order to hear what is actually being said.
The format for this meditation process will be consistent with the past. I as writer identify a thought or theme that has become a burning issue for me at this moment. I then read the assigned text from the Lectionary. I write down what principles about life, or what story arises that speaks specifically to me from the text. I ask you very clearly to read ALL the scripture in the assigned writings. There is no denial I come with preconceived positions or conclusions of faith. It is the hope you would see certain words as a statement of belief rather than “the ultimate word, or final word” of truth on a specific subject.
Please hear the words of this congregational hymn.
How does this speak to you or do you find the lack of professionalism offensive?
Genesis 28:10-19a and Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24 • Wisdom of Solomon 12:13, 16-19 or Isaiah 44:6-8 and Psalm 86:11-17 • Romans 8:12-25 • Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Prayer: please read the Scripture and write words meaningful to you that lead you in prayer.
Lord, Jacob had a dream, the conclusion of the dream said you are in this place. Lord are you in my place too?
Lord, the Psalmist tells us his thoughts are about you, then concludes: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wickedness in me. Lord do I want to pray that way after spending a week living in the depths of my soul.
Lord, Solomon was known for his wisdom, help me in what I think is my wisdom as well. Solomon concluded people make mistakes, I wonder if my people here think about the mistakes we make or are we just to busy defending our right to be wrong.
Lord, Isaiah says there is one God, are you that God?
Lord, the Psalmist talks about you again. I am humbled by his words. He is content in a way I am not. I seek to submit myself to the spirit of your words.
Lord, the Apostle Paul tells us there is something going on. We are a part of that “going on.” Lord give me, give us patience to watch it unfold. Allow us to experience how great it may be.
Lord Jesus puts patience into another image. It is the image that that both good and bad seed have been sown. At the end of time the fruit of the good seed shall be harvested and the fruit of the bad seed shall be burned. Lord is that what all this pain and suffering is all about? Help me to know because everyday I get asked “why me Lord, why all these words that lead to discontent and hurt.
Lord, Jesus puts patience into another image. It is the image that that both good and bad seed have been sown. At the end of time the fruit of the good seed shall be harvested and the fruit of the bad seed shall be burned. Lord is that what all this pain and suffering is all about? Help me to know because everyday I get asked “why me Lord, why all these words that lead to discontent and hurt.
Music: please add you choices below.
Seek Ye the Lord
Seek Ye First
I Created You
Meditation: the high road.
I have approached this morning with a certain amount of fear. You are my friends. You are my fellow sojourners, my goal is to walk along side of you, sometimes in front of you and even sometimes behind you. But always in a way you knew you were not abandoned. Words. Words can and do hurt.
We are a people with a long term illness. Sometimes the illness dies before we do. Sometimes we quit living before we die.
The background for the meditation is a conflict about how we include our ultimate sense of hope, or express words about our hope. Can we say those things/words publically? Even more so can we wish that hope, that “blessing” on someone who doesn’t either like your words or are offended by your words?
The use of the Bible is a centuries old practice. Each generation tries to be consistent with the truth of the previous generation. Then there are groups and generations who manipulate historical words to there own purposes. We have this happen around issues of gender, abortion, use of money, use of mineral wealth, authority structures, etc. It just so happens that this site deals with health. So the use of the Bible is again done. What do I mean by done?
Lets go to the Bible and see how it is “done!” The writer of Genesis uses it as story telling and history. The Psalmist uses it as words of faith. This is different than “truth.” This is an extremely important distinction. Why, because! No matter what the situation the person is saying no matter what I choose God. Words arise out of pain, words arise out of wonderment, it is as if the words don’t matter. Only the belief in God matters.
The texts go on, Solomon, Isaiah, the Psalmist, Paul and even Jesus starts from the quotient “God is.” I find our members who bring “God talk” into their post share this common belief. Again, “God is!”
That brings us to the second group of people. They take the position “God isn’t.”
I cannot speak for this group. In fact I have spent most of the day trying to. What alarms me is we have become a comfortable society. Even with illness that seems to be out of control trust for many falls in the medical system. Someone will figure it out. The important thing right now is not to tell people what are the acceptable words as much as what the acceptable attitude is around words.
Even in the religious community there are confusing words. For instance in the Christian environment three additional groups have emerged.
The first is a group that suggests healing is a matter of belief. Biblical words are often strung together to make a point. If you accept this point you will be healed. If you aren’t then there is something wrong with you.
The second group is a form of Christian hedonism. This group again takes Biblical words and strings them together to justify a successful materialistic lifestyle. There is a demanding process that surfaces. A very clear set of words and values take shape. Every now and then a new person is added to this group proving it is the only way to believe.
The third group also seems to be growing. In the midst of all the tragedy and struggles this group chooses not to blame God for the failures but nor do they talk about miraculous healings. They talk about the teachings of Jesus as a way of life. In this process a way of life is viewed as a way to stand against evil. Sarcoidosis would clearly be seen as the result of evil.
Language arises out of perspective and beliefs. I appreciate the perspective of a team of our moderators. The group of 30 were asked to consider the situation that arose. A conclusion was conceived. We are a secular environment. We started like so many hospitals, schools, social groupings. As we grew we are/were appealing to many outside a faith basis. As the group grows it is imperative language adjusts to remain nurturing a healing environment. It is also imperative people from both religious and non-religious groupings understand words change in meaning. Therefore time has to be taken to discover what is actually being said. Assumptions, conclusions, and actions based on wrong interpretation is wrong in and of itself.
Therefore the solution is found in the willingness to seek not just a middle road but the high road.
Conclusion: My God.