Archive for November, 2012

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Thessalonians 3:11

Friday, November 30, 2012 – First Sunday of Advent, Year C

1 Thessalonians 3:11Now 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 them.

Prayer: Merciful God, while we are trying to walk where you lead, we ask today that you lead us to those people who are weighing heavy on our hearts and provide us ways to offer them comfort.  Amen. 

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 21:34

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Luke 21:34Be 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?

Prayer: Loving God, we have created some obstacles that obstruct our view of you.  Give us the strength to overcome these self-made barriers.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 25:5

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 – First Sunday in Advent, Year C

Psalm 25:5Lead 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.  Today, consider how you are allowing God to lead you.

Prayer: Steadfast God, we want to go where you lead.  Help us to see the path you intend for us to travel.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 25:1

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Psalm 25:1To 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.

Prayer: Awesome God, we offer ourselves to your service, this and every day.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Jeremiah 33:15

Monday, November 26, 2012 – Advent 1, Year C

We are approaching the first Sunday of Advent.  The lectionary selections for this week include Jeremiah 33:14-16, Psalm 25:1-10, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 and Luke 21:25-36.

Jeremiah 33:15In 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.

Prayer: Almighty God, be with us today as we start our Advent journey.  Help us to move closer to you and your plan for us.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Daniel 7:13-14

I won’t be posting over the holiday.  I wish each of you a blessed Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Daniel 7:13-14As I watched in the night visions, I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One and was presented before him.  To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed. 

I believe people who have joy and hope in their lives are better able to imagine a future in which they live in the abundance God’s kingdom offers.  Part of our role as people of faith, is to help those who surround us to find their joy and hope so that they might dream their dreams and feel empowered to live into them.

Prayer: Loving God, help us as we meet your children this day.  May we help them to see your active presence in their lives.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 132:13-16

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 – Proper 29/Ordinary 34, Year B

Psalm 132:13-16For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his habitation: “This is my final resting place forever; here I will reside, for I have desired it.  I will abundantly bless its provisions; I will satisfy its poor with bread.  Its priests I will clothe with salvation, and its faithful will shout for joy.

It is easy to think of abundance only in terms of monetary wealth.  Yet abundance in this passage is associated with basic sustenance and joy-filled living that comes with living close to God. 

Prayer: Gracious God, help us to lead faith-centered lives so that we can experience lives as full as you intend for us.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 2 Samuel 23:1a, 3-4

Monday, November 19, 2012 – Proper 29/Ordinary 34, Year B

This is the last week of the lectionary year.  Next week we will set our sights on Advent.  In some congregations, this coming Sunday is known as Reign of Christ Sunday.  The scriptures for this week include: 2 Samuel 23:1-7; Psalm 132:1-12, (13-18); Revelation 1:4b-8 and John 18:33-37.  Alternate passages include: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 and Psalm 93.

2 Samuel 23:1a, 3-4These are the last words of David…The God of Israel has spoken, the Rock of Israel has said to me: One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God, is like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning, gleaming from the rain on the grassy land.

Refreshing leadership – that is the phrase that came to mind after reading these verses.  Leadership which is both just and God-centered is like a perfect morning when you can sense the presence of God surrounding you.

Prayer: Loving God, whether we lead a family or a work team, help us to be the people you want us to be.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Hebrews 10:24-25

Friday, November 16, 2012 – Proper 28/Ordinary 33, Year B

Hebrews 10:24-25And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

The word provoke is so often used in a negative context, and its use in this passage creates a vivid picture of what we are called to do with one another. We are asked to incite, goad, needle and irritate one another to love and good deeds.

Prayer: Loving God, you have placed us in communities, and you have simply asked us to be neighbors to one another. Help us with this often challenging task. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 16:8-9

Thursday, November 15, 2012 – Proper 28/Ordinary 33, Year B

Psalm 16:8-9I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure.

Faith and health are divinely and wonderfully intertwined. After I read this passage, I started humming the hymn, “It is Well with My Soul” which contains the stanza:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Prayer: Steadfast God, we often try to keep you at arm’s length. Thank you for standing by our side, even when we don’t acknowledge that you are there. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Samuel 2:8

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

1 Samuel 2:8The LORD raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world.

How is God acting in our lives at this very moment? It is fair to think of this as one of faith’s mysteries. But this scripture, as many in the Bible, assures us that God is an active presence working with us and through us.

Prayer: Almighty God, help us hear you more clearly so that we can live more fully into your vision for us. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Samuel 1:19-20

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 – Proper 28/Ordinary 33, Year B

1 Samuel 1:19-20Elkanah and Hannah rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her. In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the LORD.”

Earlier in the passage, Hannah pleads to God to allow her to conceive a child for her husband. While we don’t know how God will answer our prayers, we are reminded by this passage that with God, anything is possible.

Prayer: God of mystery, thank you for being an active, living presence in our lives. Amen.


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