Lent

Deliverance!

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 24 – 30 September 2018

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org 

Sunday 30 September is the nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22.  Esther advocates to the king for her life and the lives of her people. Haman is executed on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. These stories are background for the feast of Purim.

Psalm 124. A psalm of thanksgiving to God for deliverance.

James 5:13-20. James calls for individual and corporate acts of prayer for healing and confession/forgiveness of sin and commends those who seek to restore persons wandering from the faith.

Mark 9:38-50.  Disciples of Jesus must never place stumbling blocks before others. Instead, they must focus on removing all forms of stumbling from their own lives, even if at high cost to themselves.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: God is the source of all good things.  Each day praise God for something good that comes to us from him as a gift of grace (an undeserved gift given freely and abundantly). Today: Something of beauty.

Confession: This week focus on areas of your life where you are relying on your own strength.  Each day try to identify a way in which you resist allowing God’s presence to empower, lead and comfort you.  Then affirm your commitment to living out of God’s presence within you.

The Word: See readings above or use your own devotional guidelines.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: “I ask for your prayers for the peace of the world, for the rulers of all the nations…”  (Our intercessions this week are taken from the Methodist Service Book.)

Personal prayers: (Use this section to list people you need to pray for or situations of personal concern that you need to bring before God in prayer)

Transforming Verse: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:2)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: God is the source of all good things.  Each day praise God for something good that comes to us from him as a gift of grace (an undeserved gift given freely and abundantly). Today: Something incredible

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: “I ask for your prayers for government in accordance with God’s holy will, and for a just and proper use of the natural resources of the world.”

Personal Prayers:

Transforming Verse: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:2)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: God is the source of all good things.  Each day praise God for something good that comes to us from him as a gift of grace (an undeserved gift given freely and abundantly).  Today: Something comforting.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: “I ask for your prayers for the concerns and activities of this congregation (your congregation) and of this neighbourhood.”

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:2)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: God is the source of all good things.  Each day praise God for something good that comes to us from him as a gift of grace (an undeserved gift given freely and abundantly). Today: Something reassuring.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: “I ask for your prayers for ourselves, our families, friends and neighbours.”

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:2)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: God is the source of all good things.  Each day praise God for something good that comes to us from him as a gift of grace (an undeserved gift given freely and abundantly).  Today: Something challenging.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: “I ask for your prayers for all in sorrow, anxiety or sickness.”

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:2)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: God is the source of all good things.  Each day praise God for something good that comes to us from him as a gift of grace (an undeserved gift given freely and abundantly). Today: Something awe-inspiring.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: “I ask for your prayers for the neglected, the persecuted and the lonely.”

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:2)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: God is the source of all good things.  Each day praise God for something good that comes to us from him as a gift of grace (an undeserved gift given freely and abundantly). Today: Something inspiring worship.

Confession: See Monday’s confession.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: “I ask for your prayers for those in any need or trouble.”

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… (Isaiah 43:2)

Repent!

Yearly Rhythm

It is Lent and we are following Christ on his journey into Jerusalem.  What needs to die with Christ on the cross?

Weekly Rhythm

I again offer you the Jesuit prayer of examen.  Practice it again this week, or if your did not use it two weeks back make time this week for an examination of your life.  This is part of your Lenten Journey.

There are five steps:

  1. Recalling we are in the presence of God
  2. Looking over the events of the day with gratitude for the day’s gifts
  3. Inviting the Holy Spirit to help us evaluate our actions and attitudes with honesty and patience
  4. Reviewing the day making yourself aware of where Christ assisted your decisions and where you should have paused to receive his instruction
  5. A heart to heart talk with Jesus, sharing your thoughts on your actions, attitudes, feelings and interactions.

Daily Rhythm

 Devotional Diary 22 -28 February 2016

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org Sunday 28 February 2016 Third Sunday of Lent

Isaiah 55:1-9. A prophetic song in which God promises mercy, pardon, and abundant provision to those who repent and trust in God.

Psalm 63:1-8.  A Psalm of trust. “My soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you … my soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, my mouth praises you with joyful lips.” This psalm enables the congregation to sing and pray with deep physicality in response to the offer of abundant provision for all who will repent and trust in God.

1 Corinthians 10:1-13.  The pattern of the baptized life is to be one of continual repentance, trusting that God will not test us beyond our strength.

Luke 13:1-9. Time is available for repentance and response — the fig tree and the gardener.

This week: Our adoration focus reflects on Psalm 8.  We continue with our 21-day cycle of confession.  In our shared prayer focus we pray for people we know who are involved in certain professions and work. 

Monday:

Adoration Focus: O Lord, our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world!  (Psalm 8:1)

Confession: Lord forgive me when I rely only on my own strength and I ignore your call to share in the richness of your infinite resources.  Help me to “plug-in” and to live out of your power.

The Word: Use readings above or your own devotional aids.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone you know who is in the police force.

Personal prayers: (Use this section to list people you need to pray for or situations of personal concern that you need to bring before God in prayer)

Dedication:  “One Step enough for me…  “  Lord I thank you that you do not go so far ahead that I have no hope of following. Lord, by your help I commit myself to today’s “Step”.

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: O Lord, our Lord…Your praise reaches up to the heavens… (Psalm 8:1)

Confession: Lord forgive me when I fill my life with hurry and never touch base with your order and love.  Help me to listen to your breathing and to be filled with your breath.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone you know who is in the government.

Personal Prayers:

Dedication: “One Step enough for me…  “  Lord I thank you that you do not go so far ahead that I have no hope of following. Lord, by your help I commit myself to today’s “Step”.

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: When I look at the sky, which you have made… what is man that you think of him?  (Psalm 8:3+4)

Confession: Lord forgive me when I live only for what I can get.  Lord, I find it so hard not to get swallowed by the spirit of materialism, and sometimes I don’t even recognise that I am guided by its ethics.  Set me free that I may be guided by your values.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone you know who is involved in children’s work.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “One Step enough for me…  “  Lord I thank you that you do not go so far ahead that I have no hope of following. Lord, by your help I commit myself to today’s “Step”.

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: When I look at the… moon and stars, which you set in their places – what is… mere man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:3+4)

Confession: Lord, I do not have a firm faith, at times I doubt and am unable to trust you. O Lord strengthen my faith I pray that I may find my peace in you.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone you know who is involved in adult education.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “One Step enough for me…  “  Lord I thank you that you do not go so far ahead that I have no hope of following. Lord, by your help I commit myself to today’s “Step”.

Friday:

Adoration Focus: What is man… Yet you made him inferior only to yourself… (Psalm 8:4+5)

Confession: Lord, I am so reluctant to actively witness to your glory.  Lord forgive me and show me how to witness in loving and creative ways.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone you know who is in the healing profession.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “One Step enough for me…  “  Lord I thank you that you do not go so far ahead that I have no hope of following. Lord, by your help I commit myself to today’s “Step”.

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: What is man… you crowned him with glory and honour. You appointed him ruler over everything you made…(Psalm 8:4,5+6)

Confession: Lord I am so self-focused I find it difficult to praise others and even to really lose myself in my praise of you.  Forgive me Lord and give my heart wings to rise up in praise.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for someone you know who is involved in the farming industry.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “One Step enough for me…  “  Lord I thank you that you do not go so far ahead that I have no hope of following. Lord, by your help I commit myself to today’s “Step”.

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: O Lord, our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world! (Psalm 8:9)

Confession: Lord you have said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God.”  I have sought first my own kingdom.  Forgive me and help me to have Godly priorities.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  Pray for someone you know who is in the ordained ministry.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: “One Step enough for me…  “  Lord I thank you that you do not go so far ahead that I have no hope of following. Lord, by your help I commit myself to today’s “Step”.

Temptation. What pulls your strings?

DSC04437

Seasonal Rhythm

Tenth of February is Ash Wednesday the beginning of lent. Bobby Gross speaks of this seasons work as “humbled in the turning” and “heartened in the rising”.  We examine ourselves. We follow Jesus as takes up his cross. We die with him.  We are also “heartened in the rising” (made new in Christ as we rise with him).  Each Sunday in this season is a mini Easter.

Weekly Rhythm

During Lent find some space to try this Jesuit Prayer of Examen.  If will be helpful to have a pen and some paper available to record the process.

There are five steps: to the prayer

  1. Recalling we are in the presence of God
  2. Looking over the events of the day with gratitude for the day’s gifts
  3. Inviting the Holy Spirit to help us evaluate our actions and attitudes with honesty and patience
  4. Reviewing the day making yourself aware of where Christ assisted your decisions and where you should have paused to receive his instruction
  5. A heart to heart talk with Jesus sharing your thoughts on your actions, attitudes, feelings and interactions.

Daily Rhythm

 Devotional Diary 7 – 14 February 2016

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org Sunday 14 February 2016 First Sunday of Lent

Deuteronomy 26:1-11. The first part of the ritual instruction for the offering of tithes of first fruits in the temple. This ritual calls for the one making the offering to confess God as deliverer of the people and provider of the harvest now enjoyed in the promised land. In this way, the ritual both reminds and reinforces the identity of the family with the people and the people with the story of their God.

Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16. By singing or praying this psalm, the congregation confesses God’s continued promise of protection for God’s people.

Romans 10:8b-13.  Paul declares God’s intention to save all who believe upon and confess Jesus as Lord.

Luke 4:1-13.  Luke recounts the temptation of Jesus following his baptism and a period of fasting in the wilderness prior to the beginning of his public ministry. Jesus consistently confesses his identity in response to the temptations to choose another way.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: 1 John 1:5: “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”

Confession: Lord forgive us when we have looked at suffering through hardened eyes, give us your eyes of love.

The Word: Use readings above or your own devotional aid.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for God’s mission among us.  Today:  Lord we pray for all who have crossed boundaries to go out in mission in the name of Christ.  We pray that we may learn from their courage and sense of mission.

Personal prayers: (Use this section to list people you need to pray for or situations of personal concern that you need to bring before God in prayer)

 

Dedication:  O Christ, the Master Carpenter who at the last, through wood and nails, purchased our whole salvation, wield well your tools in the workshop of your world, so that we, who come rough-hewn to your bench, may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: 1 John 2:2: “He (Jesus Christ) is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Confession: Lord, forgive us when we have looked at the poor through hardened eyes, give us your eyes of love.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for God’s mission among us.  Today:   As we seek to reach beyond ourselves we pray that we would always build on the rock and sure foundation, Jesus Christ.

 

Dedication: O Christ, the Master Carpenter who at the last, through wood and nails, purchased our whole salvation, wield well your tools in the workshop of your world, so that we, who come rough-hewn to your bench, may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)

Wednesday: Ash Wednesday:  “To dust we will return.”

Adoration Focus: 1 John 3:1: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”

Confession: Lord, forgive us when we have looked at our neighbour through hardened eyes, give us your eyes of love.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for God’s mission among us.  Today:  Loving with God’s heart, praying with God’s heart.

Personal prayers:

 

Dedication: O Christ, the Master Carpenter who at the last, through wood and nails, purchased our whole salvation, wield well your tools in the workshop of your world, so that we, who come rough-hewn to your bench, may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: 1 John 3:16: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”

Confession: Lord, forgive us when we have looked at those close to us through hardened eyes, give us your eyes of love.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for God’s mission among us.  Today:  Praying for your church that we may enter into God’s mission more deeply.

Personal prayers:

 

Dedication: O Christ, the Master Carpenter who at the last, through wood and nails, purchased our whole salvation, wield well your tools in the workshop of your world, so that we, who come rough-hewn to your bench, may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: 1 John 4:8: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Confession: Lord, forgive us when we have looked those of other races through hardened eyes, give us your eyes of love.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for God’s mission among us.  Today:  Identify part of God’s mission to transform our world and pray into it.

Personal prayers:

 

Dedication: O Christ, the Master Carpenter who at the last, through wood and nails, purchased our whole salvation, wield well your tools in the workshop of your world, so that we, who come rough-hewn to your bench, may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: 1 John 5:11: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”

Confession: Lord, forgive us when we have looked at the young through hardened eyes, give us your eyes of love.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for God’s mission among us.  Today:  Pray into an area of mission where God may be calling you to serve.

Personal prayers:

 

Dedication: O Christ, the Master Carpenter who at the last, through wood and nails, purchased our whole salvation, wield well your tools in the workshop of your world, so that we, who come rough-hewn to your bench, may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: 2 John 3: “Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.”

Confession: Lord, forgive us when we have looked at ourselves through hardened eyes, give us your eyes of love.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for God’s mission among us.  Today:  Pray for the church at large that the church may join hands in serving the mission of God.

Personal prayers:

 

Dedication: O Christ, the Master Carpenter who at the last, through wood and nails, purchased our whole salvation, wield well your tools in the workshop of your world, so that we, who come rough-hewn to your bench, may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)