Archive for November, 2009

Praying through Advent – Eighth Day of Advent – Malachi 3:1

Malachi 3:1 – See I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come into his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight – indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.

Journeys often have a purpose, getting from point A to point B being the most obvious. As you enter the second week of Advent, the scriptures challenge you to consider another reason for making a journey, and that is to deliver a message. This week, consider your role as a messenger for God.

Almighty God, walk with me this week as I consider the words and actions which communicate the message I am sending about your kingdom. AMEN.

Picture for the Third Sunday of Advent – Luke 3:8

“Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.”

Praying through Advent – Seventh Day of Advent – Psalm 24:4

Psalm 24:4 – Make me know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.

You have started a journey this week. Whether your walk has been physical, metaphorical or a mixture of both, you have been engaged in a conversation with God to help draw you closer to God’s plan for you. Rejoice today in your progress, even if it seems insignificant.

God of wonder, you can make the faith of a mustard seed do amazing things. Continue walking beside me as I continue in my journey toward you. AMEN.

Praying through Advent – Sixth Day of Advent – Luke 21:34

Luke 21:34 – Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly.

Part of healthy living is learning to live with moderation. In this passage, moderation allows you to see God’s plan more clearly. Consider an excess in your life as you journey today. Is this excess separating you from God?

Loving God, I have created some obstacles that obstruct my view of you. Give me the strength to overcome these self-made barriers. AMEN.

Praying through Advent – Fifth Day of Advent – Luke 21:28

Luke 21:28 – Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

Lower your head as though you are in prayer, then raise your head as though you are seeing the glory of God. If this motion feels comfortable to you, repeat it today as you pray to God.

God of mystery, I raise my head toward you that I might see you more clearly. AMEN.

Praying through Advent – Fourth Day of Advent – 1 Thessalonians 3:11

1 Thessalonians 3:11 – Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you.

Prayers to God often are often open-ended requests for direction. In today’s passage, Apostle Paul is asking God to lead him to specific people. There is at least one person in your life who needs your presence. Consider that person and pray today that God will provide a way to lead you to him or her.

Merciful God, while I am trying to walk where you lead, I ask today that you lead me to this person who is weighing heavy on my heart and provide me a way to offer this person comfort. AMEN.

Healthy Holiday Traditions

My coworkers at Church Health Center have written an article on that offers 10 suggestions for creating a healthier holiday season for you and your family.

Praying through Advent – Third Day of Advent – Psalm 25:5

Psalm 25:5 – Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.

Trust, even trust in God, must be cultivated and developed over time. This passage asks you to trust God as you are moving forward. As you walk today, consider how you are allowing God to lead you.

Steadfast God, I want to go where you lead. Help me see your way for me. AMEN.

Praying through Advent – Second Day of Advent – Psalm 25:1

Psalm 25:1 – To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.

Close your eyes and meditate on this brief passage. Repeat this passage raising your arms over your head each time. As you raise your arms, stretch your fingers wide as though you are holding tight to God’s grace. Throughout the day, take a fifteen second prayer break by repeating the passage four times to yourself.

Awesome God, I offer myself to your service this and every day. AMEN.

Praying through Advent: First Day of Advent – Jeremiah 33:15

Lectionary selections for the first Sunday of Advent include: Jeremiah 33:14-16; Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 and Luke 21:25-36.

Jeremiah 33:15 – In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

Advent is the time when Christians anticipate God dwelling among us through Jesus and that time when God incarnate will dwell among us again. It is a time of great anticipation – of birth, rebirth and renewal. Advent is a time of movement – toward a new vision of the world, toward a renewed vision of God and toward a new vision of ourselves living in concert with God’s plan for us.

Almighty God, be with me today as I start my Advent journey. Help me move closer to you and your plan for me. AMEN.

Praying through Advent – An Introduction

Advent: the start, the arrival, the dawn of a journey that leads us not only to Bethlehem but to a new understanding of our relationship to the world and to one another as people of faith. Advent is a journey in which the destination may not be known at the time of departure. As such, Advent is a journey of faith.

This collection of devotionals based on the lectionary readings is designed to help you focus your thoughts for a few minutes each day during Advent. As this is a journey, the scriptures often center on this idea of movement which is both physical and metaphorical in nature. As you experience this season of Advent, consider walking daily as a symbolic discipline of your Advent journey.

Praying through Advent – A Daily Devotional

Working with my friends at, we have created a daily devotional for Advent we are calling Praying through Advent. This collection of 25 daily thoughts and prayers are based around the lectionary selections for Year C. If you are looking for an Advent devotional for yourself or your congregation, I hope you will consider Praying through Advent.

Since the devotional is lectionary-based, I will continue to post the individual days on this blog in advance of Sunday.

Peace, Butch

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November 2009

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