Wednesday, October 28, 2009

God Offers

In Uncertainty, God offers Faith.

In Anxiety, God offers Calm.

In Confusion, God offers Clarity.

In Spinning, God offers Rest.

In Fear, God offers Strength.

In Insecurity, God offers Solid Ground.

In Pressure, God offers Breath.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Every Morning We Will Raise

Every morning we will raise
to our God our songs of praise.
Every morning we will raise
to our God our songs of praise.

With God's kind protection blessed,
sweet and deep has been our rest.
In the morning we will pray
God's protection for this day.

What this day will bring to pass,
gladness or sorrow we cannot guess.
You, who give the light divine,
shine on us, Christ Jesus, shine.

Then, when comes the dark of night,
all with in us still shall be bright;
you will bring your peace and love,
radient gifts sent down from above.

Music: John B. Dykes, (19thC)
Words: William H. Furness (19thC) adapted
Sequence: Cathouse Pandemonium, Ltd.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

James Begins This Weekend

This weekend we begin a series from the Book of James. This weekend we'll look at James 1:2-18, "Trials and Temptations."

Here is the passage from the Message:

2-4Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

5-8If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

9-11When down-and-outers get a break, cheer! And when the arrogant rich are brought down to size, cheer! Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don't ever count on it. You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, that's a picture of the "prosperous life." At the very moment everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing.

12Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.

13-15Don't let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, "God is trying to trip me up." God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one's way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.

16-18So, my very dear friends, don't get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Canticle 18 A Song to the Lamb

Splendor and honor and kingly power *
are yours by right, O Lord our God,

For you created everything that is, *
and by your will they were created and have their being;

And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain, *
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,

From every family, language, people, and nation, *
a kingdom of priests to serve our God.

And so, to him who sits upon the throne, *
and to Christ the Lamb,

Be worship and praise, dominion and splendor, *
for ever and for ever more.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Living Wall

This is CRAZY! You can check out this HUGE living wall in Pittsburgh at the PNC building.The 2,380 sq foot living wall is soil based and includes many regional plants, all acquired locally within 500 miles of downtown Pittsburgh. It's made up of 602 2×2 ft square panels of life.

And it's not just for show. It was designed for beauty as well as energy reduction. As of September 23, the panels reduced the temperature of the building, with preliminary studies showing that the wall behind the panels is 25% cooler than ambient temperatures.

Just goes to show that sometimes you have to look beyond what you've always known to get the job done....of course this makes me think of the New Hope community. What are the aspects of friendship that we need to take another look - or a 'new' look at to allow God to create the community HE sees? Where is God doing a new thing? How can we be a part?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Prayer from the Daily Office

General Thanksgiving:

"Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen."

Check out the daily office.