Ordinary Time

Pentecost 3 – Life Bringers

appreciate_life_by_simpsinator-d6lwkfo

Seasonal Rhythm

We are heading for the Third Sunday after Pentecost (Ordinary Time).  How does the Christ Story shape our lives both individually and communally?   This week our calling is to be life bringers.

Daily Rhythm

Devotional Diary 39 May – 5 June 2016

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

1 Kings 17:8-16 (17-24).  Elijah is directed to live in Sidon and to be fed by a widow in Zarephath. When her son dies, Elijah prays for him to be restored.

Psalm Response: Psalm 146.  “The Lord watches over the sojourners, and upholds the widow and the orphan.”

Galatians 1:11-24.  Paul reminds the Christians in Galatia that the gospel he shared with them was truly from Jesus, and not based on the opinions of others.

Luke 7:11-17. Jesus raises the dead son of a widow of Nain.

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:  See readings above.

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: 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 by 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: Lord, we pray for all who have crossed boundaries and reached out to people different from themselves.  We pray that we may learn from their compassion and care.

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 by your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)

Wednesday:

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: We pray for all who have crossed boundaries and shared their faith and witnessed in difficult circumstances.  We pray that we may learn from their conviction and calling.

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 by 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: We pray for all who have crossed boundaries and cared for the poor and those lacking resources.  We pray that we may learn from their concern and generosity.

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 by 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 at those of other races through hardened eyes. Give us your eyes of love.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: We pray for those who have crossed boundaries and have cared for and loved those of another generation.  We pray that we may learn from their empathy.

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 by 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: We pray for those who have crossed boundaries and have learnt to give with a generous spirit.  Pray that we may learn from their sense of self-sacrifice.

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 by 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:  We pray for all who have crossed boundaries and learnt to worship God.  Pray that we may learn from their ability to look beyond themselves to see the greatness 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 by your hand.  We ask it for your name’s sake.  (Source unknown)

Dealing with resistance

DSC04476

Seasonal Rhythm

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany.   Still the season of light.  This Sunday: Jesus announces his mission and immediately faces opposition, but the mission continues.

I remind you of the journey of these weeks we are in:

Jan 3 The Magi: All people are called into this journey.
Jan 10 Christ’s baptism. Baptism: Discovering who we are…. is missional.
Jan 17 The wedding at Cana. Signs: where/what are we pointing to…the new wine.
Jan 24 Jesus defines his calling: What is our mission?
Jan 31 The people take offense at Christ: Facing the realities of mission.
Feb 2 Jesus is lifted up in the temple: It’s all about Jesus.
Feb 7 The Transfiguration: Transformation, this little light of mine.

This season moves into the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday on the 10 February 2016.

Weekly Rhythm

“Be still and know that I am God”.   Sit comfortably and relax.  Start at the top of your head and gradually move to the tip of your toes letting go of tension.  While relaxing, focus also on your breathing.  Breathe a little slower and deeper.  Then find a word that will help you keep your focus as you enter the silence.  Perhaps: Jesus or God or Father or….
Simply repeat this word as you breathe deeply.  Find your rest in God’s embrace.  This exercise should take about 20 minutes.  (Sometimes it is helpful to set a timer.)

Daily Rhythm

 Devotional Diary 25 – 31 January 2016

Readings for this week with thanks to www.umcdiscipleship.org Sunday 31 January 2016

 Jeremiah 1:4-10:   The Lord calls Jeremiah as a youth: “To pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

Psalm response — Psalm 71:1-6Words that could represent both Jeremiah’s and our lifelong response to God’s call.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13:  A song or poem celebrating divine love, the heartbeat of every gift of the Spirit.

Luke 4:21-30:   The violent response to Jesus’ sermon in Nazareth.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. (A song of praise)

Confession: (Our confessions this week are by Neil Dixon)  Lord God, we confess that we have stifled your Spirit within us. You have sent your Spirit of love, but we have preferred to hate those who oppose us. Lord, teach us how much we need the power of your Spirit in our lives and breathe new life into us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: This week we pray for the people of our world.  We rejoice together in the people of the world and we pray that they may know the freedom to be all that God has created them to be.

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: (A prayer prayed while pruning a tree) I pray Thee, Lord, to purge me and take away my selfishness and sinful thoughts, that I may bring forth more fruits of the Spirit. (Prayer of a Chinese Christian man)

 Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: Lord of all being, throned afar, Thy glory flames from sun and star; center and soul of every sphere, Yet to each loving heart how near.  (Methodist Hymn Book 32)

Confession: Lord God, we confess that we have stifled your Spirit within us. You have sent your Spirit of joy, but we have taken your gifts for granted and been ungrateful. Lord, teach us how much we need the power of your Spirit in our lives and breathe new life into us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today we thank God for the people of our church and rejoice in their gifting and pray that they may be encouraged in their work for the Lord.

Dedication: (A prayer prayed while pruning a tree) I pray Thee, Lord, to purge me and take away my selfishness and sinful thoughts, that I may bring forth more fruits of the Spirit. (Prayer of a Chinese Christian man)

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: Come let us all unite and sing – God is love! (MHB 22)

Confession: Lord God, we confess that we have stifled your Spirit within us. You have sent your Spirit of peace, but we have allowed our selfishness to cause division and disharmony. Lord, teach us how much we need the power of your Spirit in our lives and breathe new life into us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today we pray for all people  who live in oppressive circumstances. Pray that they may know the power to be set free from these shackles.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: (A prayer prayed while pruning a tree) I pray Thee, Lord, to purge me and take away my selfishness and sinful thoughts, that I may bring forth more fruits of the Spirit. (Prayer of a Chinese Christian man)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: The trumpets sound, the angels sing, the feast is ready to begin.  The gates of heaven are open wide and Jesus welcomes you inside.  (A song of praise)

Confession: Lord God, we confess that we have stifled your Spirit within us. You have sent your Spirit of patience, but we have been worried and anxious when we have not seen immediate results from our efforts, or evidence of your love. Lord, teach us how much we need the power of your Spirit in our lives and breathe new life into us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today we pray for people who are victims of violence and are in difficult circumstances.  We pray for insight, bravery and support.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: (A prayer prayed while pruning a tree) I pray Thee, Lord, to purge me and take away my selfishness and sinful thoughts, that I may bring forth more fruits of the Spirit. (Prayer of a Chinese Christian man)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: My life is in you Lord, My strength is in you Lord, My hope is in you Lord, in You, it’s in You.  (A song of praise)

Confession: Lord God, we confess that we have stifled your Spirit within us. You have sent your Spirit of kindness, but we have been indifferent to other people’s needs. Lord, teach us how much we need the power of your Spirit in our lives and breathe new life into us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today you are invited to pray for any particular situation that you may be led to pray for as you reflect on the people of this world.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: (A prayer prayed while pruning a tree) I pray Thee, Lord, to purge me and take away my selfishness and sinful thoughts, that I may bring forth more fruits of the Spirit. (Prayer of a Chinese Christian man)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: King of glory, King of peace, I will love Thee;… (MHB 23)

Confession: Lord God, we confess that we have stifled your Spirit within us. You have sent your Spirit of goodness, but through our thoughtlessness, as well as our deliberate wrongdoing, we have sinned. Lord, teach us how much we need the power of your Spirit in our lives and breathe new life into us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Today we pray for husbands and wives and different family structures (e.g. single parent families)  Think also of those who are to be married this Saturday.

Personal prayers:

Dedication: (A prayer prayed while pruning a tree) I pray Thee, Lord, to purge me and take away my selfishness and sinful thoughts, that I may bring forth more fruits of the Spirit. (Prayer of a Chinese Christian man)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: Saviour like a shepherd lead us; Much we need Thy tender care. (MHB 609)

Confession: Lord God, we confess that we have stifled your Spirit within us. You have sent your Spirit of faithfulness but we have been fickle in our resolve, unreliable disciples of Jesus.  Lord, teach us how much we need the power of your Spirit in our lives and breathe new life into us.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus:  Lift up your prayers for the peoples of this world as you gather for worship today!

Personal prayers:

Dedication: (A prayer prayed while pruning a tree) I pray Thee, Lord, to purge me and take away my selfishness and sinful thoughts, that I may bring forth more fruits of the Spirit. (Prayer of a Chinese Christian man)

Hannah’s song, the true temple

Mother and Child Goedgedacht WCape

Yearly Rhythm

Sunday 15 November 2015
The Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost
(Ordinary Time)
Year B
Colour: Green

“Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it,
listen for what it intends to do with you.”
Parker J Palmer

 

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of the everyday

Devotional Diary 9 – 15 November 2015

DOWNLOAD THE DEVOTIONAL DIARY AS A PDF HERE

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

1 Samuel 1:4-20. A barren woman named Hannah, whose husband has two wives, prays for a child while the other wife despises her.

Canticle of response: 1 Samuel 2:1-10.  “The Song of Hannah.”

Hebrews 10:11-14, (15-18), 19-25.  Christ’s self-offering in obedience to God throughout his life in the face of suffering and death enables us to appear before God without shame. It also emboldens us to offer ourselves as witnesses to God’s salvation through love and good deeds now and until the end of the age.

Mark 13:1-8. The disciples express their awe at the size of the renovated temple campus. Jesus declares it will all be destroyed, but that his disciples should live fearlessly and ignore all claimants to messiahship during those days.

In our adoration and confessional focus this week we follow a suggestion from “Signposts to Spirituality” by Trevor Hudson.

Monday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?””

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance today/tomorrow?”  Thought: cleansing

The Word: Use the readings suggested above or your own scripture reading plan.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for your own life: how is God seeking to send you?

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: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:16 NIV) 

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?””

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?” Thought: A new beginning…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for your church. Pray for a specific part of its life of service.

Personal Prayers:

            Transforming Verse: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:16 NIV)

Wednesday: 

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?””

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?”  Thought: Breathe in and out, deeply, slowly…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for ministers of the Gospel that they may lead while following Christ.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:16 NIV)

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?””

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?”  Thought: Let God’s Spirit fill you…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for your wider church body or denomination, that it may reach out in Christ’s name.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:16 NIV)

Friday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?””

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?”  Thought: Walk in step with God’s Spirit; find a new rhythm…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for all who are struggling to see themselves as empowered to serve God.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:16 NIV)

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?””

Confession: “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?”  Thought: Find a new centre out of which to live…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for all who are facing opposition and hardship in their service of God.

Personal prayers:

            Transforming Verse: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:16 NIV)

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: “Ask God to reveal where He has been present to you in the past day. Then ask, “What have I to be thankful for?””

Confession:  “In the past day, what strong moods have I experienced and what attitudes lie beneath them? For what do I need to ask forgiveness?  For what do I need God’s help and guidance tomorrow?”  Thought: Bow/kneel before your God and worship…

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Praying for God’s direction and strength in our service in his name.  Today pray for that in your worship you might serve God by lifting up his name.

Personal prayers:

Transforming Verse: “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:16 NIV)

Weekly Rhythm

Joining our stories with the story of God

As you read and pray remember these three basic questions to make the Scriptures relevant to your life:
What does the passage say?
What does the passage mean?
How does it apply to my life?

To work with the passages in more depth visit these sites:

Sacredise – helpful notes on the scripture passages and videos, songs, liturgy and prayers.

Discipleship Ministries (The United Methodist Church) – click on the Preaching tab for excellent notes.