First Sunday of Lent 2017 – Matthew 4:3-4

This is my final post on this WordPress platform.  Thank you for years of likes and, from time to time, comments.  I hope you will follow me to Church Health’s website where I will continue to nurture my faith and hopefully nurture yours as well.  As I tell my coworkers who receive this post by email every day: “Have a blessed day.”  Butch

Friday, March 3, 2017 

Matthew 4:3-4The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

In the Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi instructs Daniel to have “Balance!”  Jesus is instructing us in the same way in this passage.  For optimal health, we need both a measure of nutritional sustenance and a measure of spiritual sustenance.  Take both, daily.

Gracious God, may we feel your overflowing love in us today and every day.  Amen.

First Sunday of Lent 2016 – Matthew 4:1-2

Thursday, March 2, 2017 

Readers: My blog posts will begin appearing on the Church Health website (built on the WordPress platform) beginning Monday, March 6.  I hope you will follow me there.

Matthew 4:1-2Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished.

I have never used fasting as a spiritual discipline, but I have known people who found it an extremely effective way to better connect with God.  As people of faith, we are challenged to find our own ways to walk closer to God.

Loving God, help us move toward you so that we may be better disciples.  Amen.

First Sunday of Lent 2017 – Matthew 6:19-21

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Matthew 6:19-21“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Part of the discipline of Lent is to take time to intentionally reassess our lives and our faith.  It is a time to redefine our priorities.

Loving God, help us to know your will.  Give us the strength to act in ways which honor that knowledge.  Amen.

Have a blessed day,

First Sunday of Lent 2017 – Genesis 3:2-5

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 

I hope you will follow me to my new home on the Church Health website.

Genesis 3:2-5The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Temptation confronts all of us.  Broken resolutions to ourselves and others provide all the evidence we need of the power of temptation.  BUT God stands ready to provide support for our journey and forgiveness for those times when we fall short.

Loving God, give us strength for each day of our journey through life.  Be our guide.  Be our beacon.  Amen.

First Sunday of Lent 2017 – Genesis 2:15

Monday, February 27, 2017

This is the last week I will be posting on this blog.  My blog is moving to Church Health’s website.  I hope you choose to follow me there.  I will continue to share my blog on Facebook and Twitter.

Lent begins this week with Ash Wednesday.  Our passages for this first Sunday of Lent offer the following four scriptures from the lectionary: Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5:12-19 and Matthew 4:1-11.

Genesis 2:15The LORD God took man and put him in the Garden of Eden to till it and keep it.

The creation narratives of the first and second chapters of Genesis might provide ample opportunity for debate, but I love this vision of our role on Earth as its caretakers.  We are asked to be good stewards of God’s creation.

Creator God, thank you for this wonderful day.  Help us to understand our role in caring for your masterful creation.  Amen.

Transfiguration Sunday 2017 – 2 Peter 1:18-19

Friday, February 24, 2017

2 Peter 1:18-19We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.  So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed.  You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in the dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

For most of my life, my faith has been a conversation between God and me.  It may seem odd since I have been writing devotions for ten years, but sharing my faith with others has not come naturally.  The passage from 2 Peter reminds us that our faith should be shared both in word and deed.

Loving God, you work within and through us in marvelous ways.  Help us to be better sharers of our faith with others.  Amen.

Transfiguration Sunday 2017 – Matthew 17:3-4

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Matthew 17:3-4Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking to Jesus.  Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

Have you ever had an experience so wonderful, you wished you could stop time and live in that moment forever?  I imagine most of us have.  But Jesus had them trek back down the mountain where they reengaged the people they were called to serve.

Gracious God, may we never lose sight of the needs of those we are called to serve.  Amen.

Transfiguration Sunday 2017 – Psalm 2:10-11

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Psalm 2:10-11Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.  Serve the LORD with fear, with trembling kiss his feet, or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled.  Happy are those who take refuge in him.

Our world is in such turmoil…there is so much healing needed.  Our passage today reminds us that our God is also the God of our leaders.  Pray today for our leaders to hear God’s will.

Almighty God, help our leaders hear your voice in their lives so that they can lead as you would want.  Amen.

Transfiguration Sunday 2017 – Exodus 24: 16-18

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

Exodus 24: 16-18The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day, he called Moses out of the cloud.  Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel.  Moses entered the cloud, and went up to the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

When I think of fog, I think of dimness and uncertainty.  We want our choices to be crystal clear, but they rarely are.  To approach God and receive the law and commandments, Moses first had to walk into a fog, where his vision would be limited and his path uncertain.  We are also asked by God to step into the unknown on trust – to take a leap of faith.  

Mighty and wonderful God, strengthen our faith so that we may boldly go where you lead.  Amen.

Transfiguration Sunday 2017 – Exodus 24:12

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sunday is the last Sunday in Epiphany and is known as Transfiguration Sunday recognizing the transfiguration of Christ.  The lectionary scriptures for Sunday are Exodus 24:12-18, Psalm 2 or Psalm 99, 2 Peter 1:16-21 and Matthew 17:1-9.

Exodus 24:12The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.

I have trouble imagining the vastness of God so I like that Moses had to go to a mountaintop to see God.  I was once at the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado where I was able to see not just all of Colorado but several surrounding states, too.  When I think of God’s presence, I often think of that panoramic view I enjoyed as a teenager.

Ever-present God, help us to remember that wherever we go, you are already there.  Amen.

Seventh Sunday of Epiphany 2017 – Matthew 5:44-45

Friday, February 17, 2017 

Matthew 5:44-45But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and send rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.

Throughout the week, we have been exploring our care for one another.  Our concluding passage for this week reminds us that we are all in this world together…that we are all precious children of God.

Loving God, help us to recognize each person we meet today as our neighbor, as our brother or sister.  Amen.

Seventh Sunday of Epiphany 2017 – Leviticus 19:17-18

Thursday, February 16, 2017 

Leviticus 19:17-18You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself.  You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

“Love your neighbor as yourself,” is surely one of the most recognized passages in scripture.  The Golden Rule, or the ethic of reciprocity as it is also called, is found in some form in nearly every world religion.  This provides us with a common reference point for all people of faith.

Almighty God, help us better recognize our neighbors and treat them as we would like to be treated.  Amen.


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