Last week, I had a few minutes to sit in the presence of stained glassed windows. I thought “interesting color patterns on the floor…” Then I went theological on the whole experience (occupational hazard): I wonder what colors I reflect into the world? Light and bright have places as do subdued and deep colors. Jesus, speaking about himself, said “I am the light of the world.” As his followers, we reflect his light onto all we meet. So this week….what color or colors do we reflect? Sometime this year, have some time with stained glass, especially in a worship place…be quiet…pray…notice how God uses that time.
Humility and Gratitude
When writing about biblical people such as Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Judah, Tamar, and Levi, Martin Luther pulled no punches: “none of us should be self-righteous about our own morality or wisdom. On the other hand, none of us should give up because of our sins…God doesn’t want us to depend on our own efforts or despair because of our sins. He wants us to trust entirely in his mercy and grace.” (Luther’s Works Volume 7, p.10). Like laser lights which lead cats all over the place, despair and pride lead us away from God. Humility and gratitude go a long way in our spiritual growth. Let’s pray for healthy amounts of each this week. Pastor Rich Kramer
Being Rooted and Established In Love
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ….” Ephesians 3: 17-18 (Read verses 16-21)… (read more).
…His Love Endures Forever
“Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 106:1(NIV)… (read more).
I Am With You
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go and I will bring you back to this land, I will not leave you until what I have promised you. Genesis 28:15 (NIV)… (read more).
5 Loaves of Bread and 2 Fish
“’You give them something to eat,’ Jesus said. The disciples replied, ‘We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish.’ ‘Bring them to me,’ said Jesus.” Matthew 14:16-18 (NIV)… (read more).
“Last week, I noticed sunlight shining off of water and reflected off of a nearby tree. The tree was nice and the light was the ‘wow!’ experience.
As Christians, let’s be trees, reflecting Jesus’ love and truth. After all…Jesus is the Light of the world.
On Prayer, by way of Martin Luther, fellow sinner and saint of the 1500’s: “The fathers in the early church said it well: ‘Noting will be accomplished by long-winded prayers.’ In fact, many recommended short, whispered expressions of sorrow and prayers of only a word or two…this can be done anytime.” Let’s pray, even word by word.
…the good old days…
When American recording artist Billy Joel (circa 1980-something) sang: “…the good old days weren’t always good, tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems…”, he was onto something, whether he knew it or not.
King Solomon of Israel (2,200 years ago) blazed a trail for Mr. Joel and others. He observed life around him and wrote: “Do not say ‘Why were the former days better than these?’ For it is not from wisdom that you ask this” (Ecclesiastes 7:10). More likely, though, such a question arises more from fear or anxiety than faith and trust. May our daily prayer this week be…”LORD God…thank you for yesterday, be with us today, and lead us into tomorrow. Amen.”
Is Your Faith Being Tested?
God will bless you, if you don’t give up when your faith is being tested. He will reward you with a glorious life, just as he rewards everyone who loves him. (James 1:12 CEV)
There is a great reward for those who stand with God, a reward given not only in the moment but also for all of eternity. The decision that you will not quit is not one you must uphold by your own strength. You have been given what it takes to finish well: the empowering grace of God, which cannot fail. So run confidently toward your prize. You are never alone in this pursuit; God remains with you always.
The Holy Spirit Helps
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. Romans 8:26-27 NLT… (read more).
Bless Those Who Curse You
…Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Luke 6:28-29 NIV… (read more).