Tag Archives: spirit

Life Lesson: January 30

30 Jan

Meditate

Read Matthew 5 : 1-12. Think about what it means to bless and be blessed.

Sing
Vs 1 Blest be the tie that binds /  Our hearts in Christian love / The fellowship of kindred minds / Is like to that above
Vs 2 Before our Father’s throne /  We pour our ardent prayers /  Our fears our hopes /  Our aims are one / Our comforts and our cares
Vs 3 We share our mutual woes /  Our mutual burdens bear /  And often for each other flows / The sympathizing tear
Vs 4 When we asunder part /  It gives us inward pain /  But we shall still / Be joined in heart / And hope to meet again

Message
Recently, after reading the Beatitudes, I saw what Jesus meant about what blessing is and who is blessed.  Those who are poor in spirit are blessed because they will inherit the kingdom of Heaven. Inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven is the blessing. God blesses those who mourn, because He comforts them. Comfort is the blessing. The blessing of the meek is that they will inherit the earth. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are blessed, because God fills them with righteousness. He blesses the merciful by being merciful to them. The pure in heart are blessed in that they will see God. God blesses peacemakers because they are called His sons. And finally, those who are persecuted because they are righteous or because they belong to Jesus are blessed because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. These are the blessings.

I realize that when I ask God to bless someone, I am not asking for that person’s healing or prosperity. I am asking for that person to be transformed into the kind of person God blesses.  Then, the blessing is automatic.

Blessing
Adapt this prayer for someone in your family, for one of your friends or for one of your acquaintances:
“ Heavenly Father, may (my daughter, my friend) be merciful because You are showing them mercy. May (my friend) have a pure heart so they can see You in their life today.”

Move
Take a walk around your block and pray God’s blessings on each house.

Create
Think about a time when you felt lonely. Can you recognize others who are lonely? Have you had a time to be a friend to someone else who was lonely? How might you pray for them? Write your prayer/blessing.

Nourish
Eat a raw fruit or vegetable that you have never tried before. Buy an extra and share it with a neighbor.

Rest
Find 10 minutes to be still. Do nothing during this time. This is God’s time to renew you in mind, body and spirit.

Recreation
Visit a museum.

Pray
Find the clergy listing in the phone book. Pray for all clergy in your phone book, asking God to bless them (transform them). Concentrate on the person you are praying for, not the theological differences you may have.

Snacks
Have a healthy alternative to ice cream sandwiches. Use low-fat whipped cream between two chocolate graham crackers. Freeze until cream is set.

World Prayer
Before you go to sleep, pray for those who are being persecuted for being Christians. Thank God, that He has given them the Kingdom of Heaven.

Sleep
Before falling asleep, jot down as many blessings as you can think of. Count your blessings.

From morning until night, God wants us to worship and commune with Him. Start your day in His Word and then weave throughout the day these elements of devotion, worship, contemplation and service to others.  

_______

CREDITS:
Message: M. Dobra, excerpts from FM Fall 2010, pg. 18
Lyrics: John Fawcett, 1782, Public Domain

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Rhythms or Devotion in Motion

25 Jun

Rhythms, sometimes called Devotion in Motion, is probably the hardest to describe. As Christians, we need to have some deliberate and continuous habits of worship, yet prayer and worship does not have to be the same old, same old all the time. Pray and worship in dance. Pray and worship in stillness, in song and in action. Use your whole body, mind and soul. Use them all at once. Pray and worship by yourself, or with small groups and with the larger body of Christ. Through motion, patterns and songs, you can go through a series of worshipful activities that will stretch and work your body and soul.

Webster says that rhythm is an ordered recurrent alternation of strong and weak elements in the flow of sound and silence in speech. He says that it is movement, fluctuation, or variation marked by the regular recurrence or natural flow of related elements. This sounds elegant.

Scripture shows us that God is a God of rhythm. 1 Kings 8:58,  May he (God) keep us centered and devoted to him, following the life path he has cleared, watching the signposts, walking at the pace and rhythms he laid down for our ancestors.  Jeremiah 5:24-25, How can we honor our GOD with our lives, The God who gives rain in both spring and autumn and maintains the rhythm of the seasons, Who sets aside time each year for harvest and keeps everything running smoothly for us?

Rhythms/Devotion in Motion is a great opportunity to learn to follow direction. Coordinating a group of individuals to learn a song and a pattern of movements, in a short amount of time can be a challenge. A good leader will get the group under control, give the directions and still leave time for meaningful worship. A good participant will watch, listen and follow the directions, even if they do not make complete sense to start with. During all of this, the participant will also be able to allow God to work and speak.

I have heard it said that there are no spectators in rhythms and we should move what still moves. In the same way, there are no spectators in life and we should do what we can with what God has given us to be rhythmic in our love and interaction with others.

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