|St. Peter United Church of Christ||
Events This Week at
Excuses Removed; Now What?
During the last six weeks, I decided to make a few needed lifestyle changes -- say 'no' more; get more sleep; exercise; change meal portions; and drink more water.
Everything was going fine "except" in the area of exercising. I used going natural (hair); I don't have time or it's dark by the time I get home. Well, the Lord fixed that. 😊
First, honestly, the hair is not really a problem. Second, a coworker that is a former professional athlete has agreed to allow me to workout with him two to three days a week during the lunch hour. Three, we are now in daylight savings time. So, if I am unable to workout during my lunch hour, it is still daylight by the time I get home.
What excuse are you using today delaying what you know you need [or are called] to do?
Thank You Lord for removing excuses today --whether dietary, a business venture or even a career change, we are grateful that You not only remove the excuses but You make a way for the desires of our heart to come to pass.
Please forgive us for the excuses we have made in the past of not following You or serving You as we should. Thank You Lord for giving us a spirit of faith knowing that we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
Beauty for Ashes
There are some things or pits in life we thought we would never recover, i.e, death of a love one, divorce, and/or betrayal by a trusted friend, BUT God. Just when we found ourselves at our lowest point, God stepped in and turned our wailing into dancing [praise] and removed the sackcloth for a garment of praise.
As I praise God for my journey, I want to encourage You as a friend encouraged me last week with the prayer below. Have a blessed worship day. To God Be The Glory!
Thank You Father, in exchange for our filthy rags You clothe us with a garment of praise. Our sins of crimson are lifted and we are washed white as snow. While we were yet sinners and powerless Jesus died for us, the Godly for the ungodly, and we are now covered by His cleansing, atoning blood, destined to reign with Him forever in heaven. Words are totally inadequate to express our thanks but we dedicate our lives to that purpose. Ours is a deep, eternal gratitude to You for Your matchless mercy and grace lavished upon us. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen
To grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. Isa. 61:3
March 20-26, 2017
"Once I Was Blind But Now I See"
The fourth week of Lent; as we move ever closer to the close of Jesus' earthly ministry we continue to seek the relationship that the Creator desires to have with each of us. This week's focus scriptures are 1 Samuel 3:1-14 (paraphrased) and John 9:1-41. Let us continue to break away from this world that separates us from the love of God and the promises of Jesus Christ.
It’s Sunday morning. Last week, with all its demands, is over. The coming week, with yet another round of challenges and demands, is not quite here. I invite you to close your eyes and be in the moment. No matter where you are in your thoughts and feelings—relieved about what you have accomplished, anxious about what’s left undone, concerned about people or projects—no matter where you are in your journey this day—I encourage you to set all that aside and consider where you are right now. Whatever is true for you right now, in this moment, whether it be joy or sadness, gratitude or anxiety, let it come forward. When it is fully present, then listen…for God is present in these moments, too. God meets you where you are and calls you forward, moment by moment, guiding you slowly but surely toward transformation. Loving God, we thank you that you are with us, and that we may call upon you no matter where we are, or what we are feeling. Keep us mindful of your presence and trusting in your promise—that you are working with us in the moment by moment unfolding of our lives. Amen.
“A Time to Keep Silence and a Time to Speak”
Holy God, you promise to speak to us in a still, small voice, but our world and our lives are so loud that we can’t hear you. You offer a voice of reassurance and an invitation of welcome, yet we are too busy to receive your blessing. Too often we pour out our concerns to you, but do not pause long enough to listen for your reply. We may live side by side with our neighbors, but never take the time to really pay attention to their words. Forgive us, God. Help us to have the wisdom of Samuel and say, “Speak, God, for your servant listens.” Amen.
John 9:1-41 ~ As Jesus walked along, he saw someone who had been blind from birth. The disciples asked Jesus, “Rabbi, was it this individual’s sin that caused the blindness, or that of the parents?” “Neither” answered Jesus, “It wasn’t because of anyone’s sin—not this person’s, nor the parents’. Rather, it was to let God’s works shine forth in this person. We must do the deeds of the One who sent me while it is still day—for night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” With that, Jesus spat on the ground, made mud with his saliva and smeared the blind one’s eyes with the mud. The Jesus said, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam”—“Siloam” means “sent.” So, the person went off to wash, came back able to see.
A second time they summoned the one who had been born blind and said, “Give God the glory instead; we know that this Jesus is a sinner.” “I don’t know whether he is a sinner or not,” the individual answered. “All I know is that I used to be blind, and now I can see.” They persisted, “Just what did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” “I already told you, but you won’t listen to me,” came the answer. “Why do you want to hear it all over again? Don’t tell me you want to become disciples of Jesus too!” They retorted scornfully, “You’re the one who is Jesus’ disciple. We’re disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses, but we have no idea where this Jesus comes from.”....