Archive for November, 2013

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 100

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Psalm 100Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing. Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name. For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness for all generations.

A favorite and familiar hymn based on this Psalm known as Old 100th:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him all creatures here below;
Praise him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. AMEN.
Thomas Ken, 1674

Prayer: Gracious God, as we near Thanksgiving Day, may our thoughts turn to you in thanks for all your wonderful works. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Philippians 4:5

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Philippians 4:5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.

What a wonderful verse for us to consider this morning. There are so many symbols of status like wealth, material possessions and academic degrees, but it is our gentleness, the way we treat one another, that God wants us to show.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us be gentle to all the people we meet today. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Deuteronomy 26:3, 10

Monday, November 25, 2013

We turn our attention this week to Thanksgiving Day. The lectionary selections for Thanksgiving include Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Psalm 100, Philippians 4:4-9 and John 6:25-35.

Deuteronomy 26:3, 10You shall go to the priest who is in office at the time, and say to him, “Today I declare to the LORD your God that I have come into the land that the LORD swore to our ancestors to give us…So now I bring the first fruit of the ground that you, O LORD, have given me.”

Give the first fruits of your labors to the Lord. We are reminded by today’s passage that all we possess, all we create, is a gift from God.

Prayer: Almighty God, we will express thanks for many people and things this week, but we are especially thankful for your steadfast presence in our lives. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 46:8-9

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Psalm 46:8-9Come, behold the works of the LORD; see what desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

Behold the works of the Lord: All wars will end and all the implements of war will be destroyed allowing for a lasting peace. Come Lord, come.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us bring peace to our neighborhoods and our cities so that we can help bring peace to this world. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 1:76-77

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Luke 1:76-77“…And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins…”

Zechariah, the soon-to-be father of John the Baptist, was visited by an angel who foretold the birth of his son. Because his initial reaction was disbelief, he was struck mute until his son was born. These verses are part of the prophecy uttered by Zechariah right after he named his son, in what is sometimes called the Bededictus, the song of Zechariah.

Prayer: Almighty God, grant us discerning spirits so that we can understand your will for us. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Jeremiah 23:1-2

Monday, November 18, 2013

This Sunday will mark the end of the three-year lectionary cycle. This last Sunday of the year is also known as Reign of Christ Sunday, and our scriptures for this week begin to anticipate the beginning of Advent. The scripture selections for this week include: Jeremiah 23:1-6; Luke 1:68-79 or Psalm 46; Colossians 1:11-20 and Luke 23:33-43.

Jeremiah 23:1-2Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD.

We often think of the Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians as having the phrase, ‘Do no harm.’ While not found in the Oath in that way directly, the thought is certainly there. I thought of this familiar phrase after reading this passage, as it does speak to the damage and the alienation we can cause one another.

Prayer: Merciful God, keep us mindful of the needs of others and help us be good shepherds to one another. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center –

Friday, November 15, 2013

Luke 21:6-7[Jesus is speaking.] “As for these things that you see [the Temple], the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them.”

Have faith in our mighty and wondrous God. Let the outward expressions of your faith be worthy of imitation. These are two themes of the passages for this week. This passage reminds us to have faith in our faith…to trust our understanding of our faith amid the challenges that seek to pull that faith out from under us.

Prayer: Steadfast God, give us strength and wisdom to be faithful servants to both you and one another. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Wednesday and Thursday

Computer glitches prevented posting yesterday.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Isaiah 65:21-22They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

When a tree loses a branch, the tree slowly extends itself over the resulting wound, sometimes leaving a knot or a scar. Other times, the tree sends off shoots of new life around the broken place, sometimes creating several new branches. Either way, the tree is forever changed.

Prayer: Healer God, help us remain in communion with you through life’s trials so that we can continue to grow despite the injuries incurred. Amen.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

2 Thessalonians 3:7-8For you yourselves knowhow you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, and we did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it; but with toil and labor we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you.

In Paul’s letters to Timothy, he speaks of the importance of being a good example to those he is leading in the faith. Now in this letter from Paul and Timothy, they are asking the Thessalonians to be good examples to one another.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us lead lives worthy of imitation by others around us. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Isaiah 65:19-20

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Isaiah 65:19-20I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.

It is not difficult to hear the weeping in our streets today – arguments, gunshots, ambulance and police sirens, to name a few. Consider today how you are peacemaker amidst the chaos that surrounds us each day.

Prayer: Lord God, open our hearts and make us instruments of your peace. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Isaiah 65:17-18

Monday, November 11, 2013

The lectionary texts for this week include Isaiah 65:17-25; Isaiah 12; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 and Luke 21:5-9. Alternate selections include Malachi 4:1-2a and Psalm 98.

Isaiah 65:17-18For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight.

It would be nice if we could selectively remove memories from our past – times we wronged others and times we were wronged. With a loving, forgiving and gracious God at our side, we are able to walk into each day as a newly created being.

Prayer: Creator God, help us be more forgiving people – to others and to ourselves. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 145:17-19

Friday, November 8, 2013

Psalm 145:17-19The LORD is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of all who fear him; he also hears their cry, and saves them.

Many of the scriptures for this week have encouraged us to hold fast to our faith, to trust ourselves and not to be easily swayed by others who might not have good intentions. This passage from Psalm 145 seemed to be a good way for us to end our week.

Prayer: Gentle God, strengthen our faith in you and keep us mindful of your steadfast presence in our lives. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 2 Thessalonians 2:14-15

Thursday, November 7, 2013

2 Thessalonians 2:14-15For this purpose God called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.

“…stand firm and hold fast.” The Thessalonians are being encouraged to practice their faith with great confidence. It is easy for us to be timid about our faith, but we should recall from elsewhere in the Bible that, like the Thessalonians, we are called to be beacons, to be lights.

Prayer (adapted from 2 Thessalonians 2:17): Loving God, comfort our hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word. Amen.

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November 2013

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