Day 59 | Sunday, 17 May 2020
NOTE: We have a black bear in the neighborhood. It has taken down bird feeders of Carolyn, Eileen and Ann. Remove all feeder as sources of food for the next two weeks. Be careful when walking the woods - carry a noise maker if possible.
The assigned readings for the 6th Sunday of Easter are: Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:8-20; 1 Peter 3:13-22 and John 14:15-21.
Paul became quite a witness for the Christ and the new age movement. In Acts, he finds himself in the middle of Athens which was the center of classical Greek learning and culture. In the midst of that setting, Paul introduces God as the “creator of all things, as the life-giver to all creatures, and as Lord over all nations.” We refer to our connection to God as being God’s children. Some translations use the term offspring. I have always appreciated that term “offspring” as I relate to God. I am part of God’s family. WOW! I am one of God’s beloved children. What that means to me is that I am loved, I am protected, I am not alone.
Acts 17:22-31 (CEB)
22 Paul stood up in the middle of the council on Mars Hill and said, “People of Athens, I see that you are very religious in every way. 23 As I was walking through town and carefully observing your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: ‘To an unknown God.’ What you worship as unknown, I now proclaim to you. 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, is Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn’t live in temples made with human hands. 25 Nor is God served by human hands, as though he needed something, since he is the one who gives life, breath, and everything else. 26 From one person God created every human nation to live on the whole earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God made the nations so they would seek him, perhaps even reach out to him and find him. In fact, God isn’t far away from any of us. 28 In God we live, move, and exist. As some of your own poets said, ‘We are his offspring.’
29 “Therefore, as God’s offspring, we have no need to imagine that the divine being is like a gold, silver, or stone image made by human skill and thought. 30 God overlooks ignorance of these things in times past, but now directs everyone everywhere to change their hearts and lives. 31 This is because God has set a day when he intends to judge the world justly by a man he has appointed. God has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
22 So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them. "It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously. 23 When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I'm here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you're dealing with. 24 "The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn't live in custom-made shrines 25 or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn't take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don't make him. 26 Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living 27 so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. 28 We live and move in him, can't get away from him! One of your poets said it well: 'We're the God-created.' 29 Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn't make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?
30 "God overlooks it as long as you don't know any better - but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he's calling for a radical life-change. 31 He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged, and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead."
Guiding Parent, thank you for your creation. Thank you for being a loving, protecting parent who has adopted us into your family. During these times when we are separated from our genetic families, it is so comforting to know that we are part of your family. In you, we move, exist and have our being. Let our words of praise fill our days. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Hear our prayers. Amen
Today: pray for your families.
Day 58 May 16, 2020
Finally, a Saturday without snow! The temperature has risen, and I have planted some seeds in my raised garden beds. I have lettuce, spinach and radishes up. I am going to plant onion sets soon along with other vegetables. I enjoy this process. Out of tiny seeds comes a harvest of fresh produce. I look at those tiny lettuce seeds and wonder how they produce such nice leafy plants. This takes me to some of the parables of Jesus. Today I am looking at a couple parables in Mark about seeds and the kingdom of God.
Mark 4:26-33 More parables about God’s kingdom (CEB)
26 Then Jesus said, “This is what God’s kingdom is like. It’s as though someone scatters seed on the ground, 27 then sleeps and wakes night and day. The seed sprouts and grows, but the farmer doesn’t know how. 28 The earth produces crops all by itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full head of grain. 29 Whenever the crop is ready, the farmer goes out to cut the grain because it’s harvest time.” 30 He continued, “What’s a good image for God’s kingdom? What parable can I use to explain it? 31 Consider a mustard seed. When scattered on the ground, it’s the smallest of all the seeds on the earth; 32 but when it’s planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all vegetable plants. It produces such large branches that the birds in the sky are able to nest in its shade.” 33 With many such parables he continued to give them the word, as much as they were able to hear.
26 Then Jesus said, "God's kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man 27 who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows - he has no idea how it happens. 28 The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. 29 When the grain is fully formed, he reaps - harvest time! 30 "How can we picture God's kingdom? What kind of story can we use? 31 It's like a pine nut. When it lands on the ground it is quite small as seeds go, 32 yet once it is planted it grows into a huge pine tree with thick branches. Eagles nest in it." 33 With many stories like these, he presented his message to them, fitting the stories to their experience and maturity.
Jesus was a great storyteller using parables as his main teaching tool. He knew that people liked stories, and who of us does not like stories? His parables were not always easily understood. He made use of this communication tool to talk about the good news of God’s kingdom and God’s love.
“Our notion of plant growth is one of continuity and process in which each stage yields to the next. But it is not continuity alone which is emphasized here; it is also contrast. There is a contrast between the seed as it is cast upon the earth and the subsequent appearance of blade, ear and grain. The seed is frail, vulnerable, and insignificant when compared to the harvest.” (The Parables of Jesus: Glimpses of The New Age page 97)
The New Age of God’s kingdom started out as a small seed, germinated, and has grown into the present day multi branched huge tree. We trust the growing process when we plant seeds in the ground. God’s hand is found in the movement of history, as well as in the recesses of the soil. How is your spiritual garden growing?
Holy God, planter of seeds, nurturer of the soil, we continue to trust the mysterious process of growth in your kingdom and your love for us. May we do our part to plant more seeds for your kingdom. Lord, hear our prayers. Amen
Today: seeds of hope
Day 57 | Friday, 15 May 2020
Today’s thoughts are from The Church Mouse
The church mouse has a Master’s degree and post-Masters certification in New York State and Pennsylvania. These were received from Saint Bonaventure University's graduate program in Counseling Psychology from 1991 through 1996.
Sixteen years were spent from 1991 through 2007 working at Dunkirk City Schools with youth at risk, substance abuse counseling, and high school counseling. Two years prior to 1991 were spent volunteering at Dunkirk City Schools during internship programs.
The survivalist information comes from a lifelong passion for the subject prompted by being raised by people who lived through the 1918 Spanish flu, the Great Depression and World War II.
Let's think today about mental fatigue, boredom, loneliness and fear.
2. Boredom and loneliness:
*Boredom is usually experienced in long-term survival situations (like ours), where loneliness and repetitive activities are keeping the human mind from being challenged.
The best method for dealing with boredom is to keep busy, and remember that even your smallest activity is playing a part in your overall survival goal.
*Loneliness can often leave you with a feeling of despair; it can make you want to just give up. In order to deal with loneliness, you must first accept your current situation, and understand that by keeping busy and focusing on your goal, you can survive. Rely on your skills, and on your ability to get through your situation and ultimately reach your goal of survival. Talk with God!
Fear is the body's way of avoiding dangerous situations that can cause us physical and mental harm. As long as the fear is founded on tangible facts, it can be very useful.
Fear can keep our actions in check, and it can trigger our natural “fight or flight” response. Fear that is unfounded in facts can impair our ability to make rational decisions, and it can jeopardize our ability to survive. Worry is a type of fear that can be based on facts but can be something that has not and may not ever happen. Don't be fearful of the unknown, don't worry about that which you cannot control period instead, keep your mind on the task before us: preparing to mitigate the threat at hand, and to concentrate on survival.
*When you consider our survival situation, always remember to S.T.O.P.
Stop Think Observe Plan
*The U.S. Army uses the acronym S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L. to help soldiers remember how to survive.
Size up the situation
Undue haste makes waste
Remember where you are
Vanquish fear and panic
Act like a native (do with less)
Live by your wits
Blessed God who has gifted us with many skills. Help us use our skills and knowledge to overcome any mental fatigue, boredom, loneliness, and fear we may be feeling due to having to stay at home. Strengthen our will to survive and surround us with your strength. Bring us inner peace. Hear our prayers. Amen
Today: How are you surviving? Pray for what you need.
Day 56 | Thursday, May 14, 2020
A scripture reference we see posted a lot and many events is John 3:16. I understand why people love quoting this verse but I also know that it is important to read the other verses around this one to appreciate what was happening. Leading up to John 3:16 is this whole discussion with Nicodemus about new birth, which Nicodemus finds very confusing. I don’t think Nicodemus is the only one confused. There have been many discussions around the concept of new birth. The heart of the Gospel of John is “new life as God’s children through faith in Jesus’ person and mission.” “Seeing, or entering, the Kingdom of God requires a transformation comparable to a new birth.” (CEB 1335) Look at it as an inward change by God’s Spirit. For me, that is not a onetime experience. It is a continuing process. One of my most favorite quotes is “I am a Christian in the process of becoming” and it will take my lifetime. “To be born again from above means receiving life in the Spirit through the life-giving death of Jesus.” (CEB 1336)
Today I am quoting John 3:1-18 form The Message.
1 “There was a man of the Pharisee sect, Nicodemus, a prominent leader among the Jews.
2 Late one night he visited Jesus and said, "Rabbi, we all know you're a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren't in on it."
3 Jesus said, "You're absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it's not possible to see what I'm pointing to - to God's kingdom."
4 "How can anyone," said Nicodemus, "be born who has already been born and grown up? You can't re-enter your mother's womb and be born again. What are you saying with this 'born-from-above' talk?"
5 Jesus said, "You're not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation - the 'wind hovering over the water' creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life - it's not possible to enter God's kingdom.
6 When you look at a baby, it's just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can't see and touch - the Spirit - and becomes a living spirit.
7 "So don't be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be 'born from above' - out of this world, so to speak.
8 You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it's headed next. That's the way it is with everyone 'born from above' by the wind of God, the Spirit of God."
9 Nicodemus asked, "What do you mean by this? How does this happen?"
10 Jesus said, "You're a respected teacher of Israel and you don't know these basics?
11 Listen carefully. I'm speaking sober truth to you. I speak only of what I know by experience; I give witness only to what I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here, no hearsay. Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions.
12 If I tell you things that are plain as the hand before your face and you don't believe me, what use is there in telling you of things you can't see, the things of God?
13 "No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man.
14 In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up -
15 and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.
16 "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
17 God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.
18 Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”
Gracious God, we pray for your Spirit to continually work in us to keep us fresh in our faith journey. We thank you for our new birth in Jesus which has put us on our journey within your Love. Hear our prayers. Amen.
Today – pray for the children who are becoming ill.
Day 55 | Wednesday, 13 May 2020
Notice: The second annual Woodlands Memorial Day weekend street sale has been canceled.
2 Samuel 22:1-7 David’s thanksgiving psalm (CEB) “David spoke the words of this song to the Lord after the Lord delivered him from the power of all his enemies and from Saul.
2 He said:
The Lord is my solid rock, my fortress, my rescuer.
3 My God is my rock—I take refuge in him!--
he’s my shield and my salvation’s strength,
my place of safety and my shelter.
My savior! Save me from violence!
4 Because he is praiseworthy,
I cried out to the Lord,
and I was saved from my enemies.
5 Death’s waves were all around me;
rivers of wickedness terrified me.
6 The cords of the grave surrounded me;
death’s traps held me tight.
7 In my distress I cried out to the Lord;
I cried out to my God.
God heard my voice from his temple;
my cry for help reached his ears.”
1 “David prayed to God the words of this song after God saved him from all his enemies and from Saul.
2 God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight.
3 My God - the high crag where I run for dear life, hiding behind the boulders, safe in the granite hideout; My mountaintop refuge, he saves me from ruthless men.
4 I sing to God the Praise-Lofty, and find myself safe and saved.
5 The waves of death crashed over me, devil waters rushed over me.
6 Hell's ropes cinched me tight; death traps barred every exit.
7 A hostile world! I called to God, to my God I cried out. From his palace he heard me call; my cry brought me right into his presence - a private audience!”
God is our rock. You will note the similarity of this quote from David with Psalm 18. Isn’t it good to be able to affirm that God is our rock? It has been good these days of changing times to be able to affirm that God has not changed. God is our solid rock upon which we stand. In times of our distress and uncertainty, we know that we can call out to our God. It is because God hears us that we know each day that we will get through these times. As written by Edward Mote in 1834, there is assurance in his hymn “My Hope Is Built” – (refrain) “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand.”
God our Rock, we give you our praises for being our solid foundation. We admit that there are times when we step off on our own and begin to sink in the muck. We rejoice that you hear the cries of your people. Be with those who are looking for solid footing today. Hear our prayers. Amen
Today: Let us pray for food service personnel.
SEE YOU AT NOON!
Day 54 Tuesday, 12 May 2020
For almost two months now we have been under a stay at home order. We have all had to adjust our patterns of living. We have been dwelling on the things we cannot do, such as:
We cannot get any closer than six feet to another person.
We cannot get our hair cut, permed, colored etc.
We cannot go to the movies, restaurants, stores in the mall.
We cannot worship in our church buildings.
We cannot attend a funeral for a friend.
Nonessential businesses cannot open.
We cannot gther for our exercise group.
Students and teachers cannot be in a school building.
Groups of more than 10 are not allowed.
We cannot watch any sports.
We cannot travel to see family members.
We cannot visit in the hospital, assisted living homes, nursing homes and even some active senior living buildings.
And the list goes on as we add whatever each of us has not been able to do since the invasion of the Virus.
Today, I want you to spend some time thinking about what we can do, such as:
Take a walk
Exercise at home
Call a friend
Eat a take-out meal to help a restaurant
Gather on Wednesday’s at noon for the Lord’s prayer
Thank each and everyone you encounter who is working on our behalf
Send a card to someone in need
Follow three simple rules (which we studied in 2019 from Rueben Job)
“Do No Harm; Do Good; Stay in Love with God”
Add whatever you wish to this list. I just want us to think about what we can do rather than what we cannot do.
Colossians 3:12-17, 23 12 Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. 14 And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people. 16 The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him. 23 Whatever you do, do it from the heart for the Lord and not for people.
Colossians 4:6 6
Your speech should always be gracious and sprinkled with insight so that you may know how to respond to every person.
Lord our God, today we pray that we will do no harm, that we will do good and that we will stay in love with you. Guide our thinking and praying to what we can do. Hear our prayers. Amen
Today: What can you do?
Day 53 May 11, 2020
It has been just over a week since I shared a version of the 23rd Psalm. Today I am sharing with you a version from a book titled Psalms Now.
“The Lord is my constant companion.
There is no need that He cannot fulfill.
Whether His course for me points
to the mountaintops of glorious ecstasy
or to the valleys of human suffering,
He is by my side,
He is ever present with me.
He is close beside me
when I tread the dark streets of danger,
and even when I flirt with death itself,
He will not leave me.
When the pain is severe,
He is near to comfort.
When the burden is heavy,
He is there to lean upon.
When depression darkens my soul,
He touches me with eternal joy.
When I feel empty and alone,
He fills the aching vacuum with His power.
My security is in His promise
to be near to me always,
and in the knowledge
that He will never let me go.”
Of all the versions I have shared over the past 53 days. This one speaks to me most in our present circumstances in our country. For those who have contracted the coronavirus and for those 80,000 plus who have died from it, this version hits home. There certainly have been and are valleys of human suffering, pain has been severe. For the millions who are now unemployed, the burden is heavy, and depression has overcome any kind of joy. Others in isolation and those who are alone, are feeling the emptiness of the lack of contacts.
When you read this, do you have a sense of comfort? Do you feel the presence of the shepherd? Do you know that the shepherd will pick you up and carry you in your time of need?
“Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need your tender care.” God of light shine upon the darkness that is casting a shadow on your people who are becoming weary over the ripples of this disease. We need to feel your presence, your guidance, your strength. Continue to walk with us on this journey into new territory. Blessed Jesus, we need your tender care. Hear our prayers. Amen
Today: Those who are alone.
Day 52 May 10, 2020
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY
The assigned readings for this the fifth Sunday of Easter and Festival of Christian Home are: Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16; Acts 7:55-60; 1 Peter 2:2-10; John 14:1-14. Celebrate this Lord’s Day by attending the virtual worship of your choice.
In the lesson from Peter we find our identity as believers. Let me borrow and commentary on these verses. “Holiness of Heart and Life - Humility”
“Chapter 2 of 1 Peter is built around the theme, found in v.9, of the Christian’s new identity and responsibility for personal integrity: (see below). The new birth is not a magical event that changes a person instantly into the likeness of Christ, but rather the commitment to the daily journey of intentional painful, and sacrificial work of character formation. The Jesus-follower must constantly deal with character issues of ‘the flesh’ that threaten to sabotage the soul, damage relationships, and neutralize the mission of Christ.” (Wesley Study Bible p 1562)
What an honor and a responsibility we have as God’s people during these trying days. We need to remain strong and continue to build upon our cornerstone. We can be a witness to those in need by sharing God’s love which is not always accepted. Just as Jesus was rejected, there are times when we as Christians are rejected as well.
1 Peter 2:2-10 (CEB) “2 Instead, like a newborn baby, desire the pure milk of the word. Nourished by it, you will grow into salvation, 3 since you have tasted that the Lord is good.4 Now you are coming to him as to a living stone. Even though this stone was rejected by humans, from God’s perspective it is chosen, valuable. 5 You yourselves are being built like living stones into a spiritual temple. You are being made into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Thus it is written in scripture, Look! I am laying a cornerstone in Zion, chosen, valuable. The person who believes in him will never be shamed. 7 So God honors you who believe. For those who refuse to believe, though, the stone the builders tossed aside has become the capstone. 8 This is a stone that makes people stumble and a rock that makes them fall. Because they refuse to believe in the word, they stumble. Indeed, this is the end to which they were appointed. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are God’s own possession. You have become this people so that you may speak of the wonderful acts of the one who called you out of darkness into his amazing light. 10 Once you weren’t a people, but now you are God’s people. Once you hadn’t received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
1 Peter 2:2-10 The Message “2 Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God's pure kindness. Then you'll grow up mature and whole in God. 3 You've had a taste of God. 4 Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor. 5 Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you'll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God. 6 The Scriptures provide precedent: Look! I'm setting a stone in Zion, a cornerstone in the place of honor. Whoever trusts in this stone as a foundation will never have cause to regret it. 7 To you who trust him, he's a Stone to be proud of, but to those who refuse to trust him, The stone the workmen threw out is now the chief foundation stone. 8 For the untrusting it's . . . a stone to trip over, a boulder blocking the way. They trip and fall because they refuse to obey, just as predicted. 9 But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you - 10 from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.”
God who has given us new life in Christ, let us be building blocks upon the cornerstone. Help us remember that we have been chosen by you to a higher calling. We want to be your instruments in these days. Hear our prayers. Amen
It isn’t helping our emotional and mental status to have freezing weather with snow on May 9th. This too shall pass. I truly hope that you are all doing well and maintaining a healthy outlook.
Earlier in the week I said I would address the weariness some are having due to so many opinions being offered about the virus and reopening and more. When I offer these thoughts each day to you, I add some personal comments. I have always said that I am not pushing my beliefs on anyone. I offer my thoughts from my personal beliefs and from John Wesley’s quadrilateral – Scripture is primary; tradition, experience and reason (does it make sense).
I believe as Christians, a goal is to live a life that is in balance. I believe Jesus talked about having balance in our lives. “Too often, most of us live a life that is far out of balance – putting the things that are not as important first or letting them tip the scales too far in one direction.” We balance our lives between, work, relaxation, family and faith not necessarily in this order. Our meals are supposed to be a balanced diet (not doing too well with that right now). We need a healthy balance in our lives to be healthy and happy. I believe that our body, mind and soul must be in balance to truly be at peace.
Balance – We might say that in our present circumstances, things are out of balance. Who or what do you listen to for balance in your life right now? Who are what do you trust? If we only listen to one news station, are we getting a balanced picture? If we only pay attention to a single politician, is the information accurate? Sometimes it's necessary to stretch our minds by paying attention to more than one source of information.
For me, I want to hear what the leading scientists have to say about the progression of this virus for the future. I'm not particularly interested in what politicians might say because they don't have the scientific background or information. I expect that not everyone will agree with me about this point of view. But we do need to take in information and run it through our own filters.
For me, I understand that Jesus wants me to have a balanced life. Jesus Christ is the center, the core of my faith. Around that core, I have flexible bands not rigged ones. I learn more and my bands are stretched. Then sometimes I relearn and readjust my bands. I can get so engrossed in my religion that I forget that I live in the world. Besides, if all I do is 100% religious’ activity, I find that my halo has slipped. I then become so heavenly minded that I am no earthly good. I could eat green beans all the time and then I would forget what other foods are good for me.
Once with his disciples, Jesus had to take them away to recharge their batteries. Mark 6:31, 32 “31 Many people were coming and going, so there was no time to eat. He said to the apostles, “Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.” 32 They departed in a boat by themselves for a deserted place.
”Balance - Matthew 11:28-30 28 “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Put on my yoke and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. 30 My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.”
When the leaders were trying to trick Jesus between keeping the religious laws and the government he replied in Mark 12:17 “17 Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” His reply left them overcome with wonder.”
Balance in John 10:10 “I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.” In Ephesians 5:15 “So be careful to live your life wisely, not foolishly.” In 2 Timothy 1:17 “God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled.” In 2 Peter 3:17-18 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been warned in advance, be on guard so that you aren’t led off course into the error of sinful people, and lose your own safe position. 18 Instead, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him belongs glory now and forever. Amen.” In Ecclesiastes 7:16-1716 “Don’t be too righteous or too wise, or you may be dumbfounded. 17 Don’t be too wicked and don’t be a fool, or you may die before your time.”
And one of the most significant Old Testament passages about balance is in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
A season for everything
“There’s a season for everything
and a time for every matter under the heavens:
2 a time for giving birth and a time for dying,
a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted,
3 a time for killing and a time for healing,
a time for tearing down and a time for building up,
4 a time for crying and a time for laughing,
a time for mourning and a time for dancing,
5 a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones,
a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces,
6 a time for searching and a time for losing,
a time for keeping and a time for throwing away,
7 a time for tearing and a time for repairing,
a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking,
8 a time for loving and a time for hating,
a time for war and a time for peace.”
I don’t like just quoting one or two verses, so forgive me for that endeavor today.
I said I would address the many opinions and our weariness. I hope I have not added to the weariness you may be feeling. Again, I am not imposing my beliefs on any of you, just sharing.
A bit of humor – “I don’t have a problem with those who disagree with me, they have a perfect right to their ridiculous opinions.”
Gracious and Holy God, we know that your desire for us is to live lives that are balanced. We admit that sometimes we are out of balance. Right now, during these unpredictable days in our world, we struggle to find balance. We seek the guidance of your Holy Spirit as we go through these days. If we are out of balance, help us restore balance in our lives. Jesus, lead us to a quiet place when we need to rest. Lord, Hear our prayers. Amen
Today: What do you need to balance your life?