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Archive for the ‘Mini-Noontime’ Category


Psalms: Seek Wholeness – The Heart

Friday, December 8, 2017

When we open ourselves to God in our search for wholeness, there is no better door than the heart. The psalmist reminds us that sincerity in our relationship with God is a secure and holy path to fullness and transformation.

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 9:1)

God says: I do not need your admiration to know that my love can heal and convert harm to goodness; but your praise warms my heart so that it overflows into the core of all creation.

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever. (Psalm 86:12)

God says:  I do not need your burnt offerings to satisfy my desire to live in and with you; but your sacrifices in my name affirm my constant love in you.  

The arrogant smear me with lies,
    but with my whole heart I keep your precepts. (Psalm 119:69)

God says: I do not need your presence in the Temple to tell me that you have confidence in me; but your gathering with the faithful strengthens your hope in my presence.

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
    for you have exalted your name and your word
    above everything. (Psalm 138:1-2)

God says: I have created you out of my love. I have created you in love. I have created you for love. When you open your heart to me, you open yourself to fullness and wholeness in me.

 When we explore other versions of these verses, we encounter a fullness and openness of heart. 

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Romans 12: Seek Wholeness – New Life 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

We must be willing to give up our comforts if we hope to find true wholeness.

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

We must be willing to be authentic if we hope to overcome evil.

Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

We must be willing to pace ourselves if we want to serve God through a lifetime.

Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

We must be willing to live the Law of Love if we want to follow The Way.

Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

We must be willing to forgive those who harm us if we expect to agree with God’s judgment rather than impose our own.

Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

God says: My servant Paul wrote these words to the Romans two thousand years ago. Today he writes these words to you. When you seek to live a new life, you discover the gift of wholeness that I gladly give to you.

Using the scripture link and drop-down menus, we open the door to a new life.

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John 14:12-14: Seek Wholeness – The Work

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

If we cannot believe Christ’s presence in our lives today, we can at least do the works we see Jesus doing in the Gospels. Over time, we will discover that Jesus brings us hope.

I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works.

If we do not trust God with the enormous events of our lives, we can at least trust God with small actions. Over time, we will discover that God is faithful.

The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing.

If we do not allow the Spirit to heal us through transformation, we can at least open ourselves to the possibility of renewal. Over time, we will discover the Spirit’s deep and abiding love for us.

You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.

God says: Despite your doubts, despite your fears, despite your anxieties, you are already whole. I breathe in you. I rest in you. I work and play and pray in you. If you seek wholeness, know that you already possess it. And this possession becomes evident if you can only do the works you see Jesus doing. When you step into my Way, you discover that you are loved into a wholeness that you recognize readily. Trust me. You can count on it.

When we use the scripture link and drop-down menus to explore versions of these verses, we discover that we are already whole in our Gospel work of Christ’s Way.

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2 Timothy 3:10-17: Seek Wholeness – Truth

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

But don’t let [the state of the world] faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 

God says: You do not need to worry about my plan. It has been well laid out since before you were on the earth and it moves into a future that has no end. I understand that when you look at the years you have allotted to you, you see war, anger, and rage. But when you seek wholeness in me, my truth reveals itself to you. Suddenly you see with my giant eyes. You hear what I hear. And you act as I act. Rather than focus on the all that is going badly, open yourself to the million small stories that accompany the painful events surrounding you. When war rages, my faithful buoy one another up. When injustice prevails, the remnant senses the power of my long arms. You can believe my promise that all will be well. You can trust my action that brings goodness out of harm. You can trust my love that conquers all anger, cruelty, and hate.

When we compare varying versions of these verses, we stumble upon the wholeness of God’s truth.

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1 Thessalonians 5:23-24: Seek Wholeness – Freedom

Monday, December 4, 2017

May the God who gives us peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being—spirit, soul, and body free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you will do it, because he is faithful.

God says: You do not need to look for the pieces you believe are missing from your life. All that you believe you lack, you have. You have only to relax into me and you will slowly perceive these missing bits of your persona. You have only to rely on Christ and you will feel the presence of the courage you believe you lack. You have only to rest in the Holy Spirit and you will sense healing and consolation. Reality is not what you see with your eyes, touch with your hands, or hear with your ears. Reality is my full and transforming presence in you that dwells in you since before your conception, and will continue in you long after your temporal death. You can trust my promise. You can trust my action in your life. You can trust my love.

When we compare varying versions of these verses, we discover a new freedom in our wholeness and oneness with God.

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John 14:16: Seek Connection

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Jesus says: I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. (GNT)

God the Creator says:  I know that on many days you feel disconnected and ungrounded; but my Spirit lives in you to bring you home to me. I know that you spend nights feeling alone or even abandoned; but my Spirit is with you always. Do I not promise this to you in your exodus journeys that bring you out of enslavement to dangerous ways of life or thinking?

Jesus says: I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. (NRSV)

God the Creator says: Do I not, in the person of my son during the great Discourse on the evening before my human death, promise that I will be with you always?

Jesus says: I will ask the Father, and he will give you another comforting Counselor like me, the Spirit of Truth, to be with you forever. (CJB)

God the Creator says: Do I not promise to abide in you every morning at your rising, every noonday when you pause to rest in me, and every evening when you lie down to rest?

Jesus says: I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. (MSG)

God the Creator says: You can rely on me. You can believe in me. You can stand firm on my shoulders. I speak the truth of my love to you when I tell you that I have been with you since before your inception; and I am with you through endless time and space. Rest peacefully in me. Always.

When we use the scripture links and the drop-down menus to explore this verse, we find new connections with the Creator, with Christ, and with the Holy Spirit. To discover how the Spirit helps us to understand Scripture, click on the image above of visit: https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/the-holy-spirit-the-word-of-god-and-you.html 

Tomorrow, seek participation as we begin the season of Advent.

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Ephesians 4: Seek Ripening

Friday, December 1, 2017

Richard Rohr, OFM explains that we learn wisdom and have no need to judge others when we allow ourselves to ripen in God’s image, to mature in Christ’s love, to grow in the Spirit’s patience and perseverance.

“If we are to speak of a spirituality of ripening, we need to recognize that it is always characterized by an increasing tolerance for ambiguity, a growing sense of subtlety, an ever-larger ability to include and allow, and a capacity to live with contradictions and even to love them!” (Rohr 346)

Paul tells the Ephesians, and he tells us: And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature. (GNT)

God says: You have no need to judge one another. You have no need to point out specks on the eyes of others. You have no need to strain gnats before drinking from the cup I offer you. Do you see yourself swallowing camels or does the log in your eye keep you from discerning your own image? How do you represent me in the world? How do you act as my hands and feet, lips and eyes, heart and mind? My Spirit lives in you to bring you wisdom and patience. My Son lives in you to bring courage and persistence. I live in you to bring you strength and maturity.When you welcome ripening, you will suffer loss but this loss is a gain when you allow me to suffer with you. When you welcome maturity, your desire to protect yourself or to win at all costs will disappear because when you fully welcome me you will learn that with me a loss is a gain and a gain is a loss. When you ripen in me, you never grow old. When you mature in me, you never fear the woes of the world. When you grow in me, there is no limit to your patience and love. Come to me when you worry about gnats and camels, specks and beams, rights and wrongs. Come to me, and you will have need of nothing more, for my love alone is enough.

Today we God offers us an opportunity to seek growth, wisdom and maturity. God calls us to ripen in the Spirit, and to come to full season in Christ.

We turn to Luke 6:37-42 and Matthew 23 to remind ourselves of Christ’s warning against judging others.

Enter the words spiritual maturity into the blog search bar to explore other reflections on how we might grow in Christ.

Click on the spiritual path image for a Huffington Post blog post on signs of spiritual maturity. 

Richard Rohr, OFM. A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations. Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016.

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Psalm 16: Seek Confidence

Friday, November 24, 2017

Trust

When we begin to trust God, we grow in confidence. When we grow in confidence, we are better able to trust God.

You, Lord, are all I have,
    and you give me all I need;
    my future is in your hands.
How wonderful are your gifts to me;
    how good they are!

This is a beautiful prayer of Trust in God’s love for us – for his safekeeping of us. I like the metaphor of the Cup. It may refer to our daily drinking from the chalice of Christ’s sacrifice for us; or it may refer to our own willingness to offer our lives back to God as a blessing in the Cup of Our Lives.

God says: You have every reason to doubt my existence; but know that I move in you as the Spirit of goodness, justice, truth and mercy.

And so I am thankful and glad,
    and I feel completely secure,
because you protect me from the power of death.
I have served you faithfully,
    and you will not abandon me to the world of the dead.

God says: You have every reason to believe in me. I have created a world in which you have freedom of choice and the promise of my strength and guidance.

I praise the Lord, because God guides me,
    and in the night my conscience warns me.

I am always aware of the Lord’s presence;
    God is near, and nothing can shake me.

God says: When you read these verses today, rely on my deep and constant love for you.

You will show me the path that leads to life;
    your presence fills me with joy
    and brings me pleasure forever.

God says: Each time you recite these verses, my Spirit rises in you as it calls you to join me in the great mystery I have planned for us.

Protect me, O God; I trust in you for safety.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    all the good things I have come from you.”

God says: You have every reason to doubt me. You have every reason to believe in me. Today I call on the Spirit within you. Today I call you to place your trust in me. Today I ask you choose to grow and live in my love, mercy and confidence.

Adapted from a reflection written on July 1, 2007.

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Solomon's Temple

Solomon’s Temple

Nehemiah 12:44-47

Their Due Portion

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A reprise from October 28, 2013.

The whole of Israel used to give the cantors and gatekeepers their due portion for each day.

Nehemiah describes not only the restoration of the Temple when the exiles return from their place of deportation; Nehemiah also explains that the rites and rituals were also restored.  All those who officiate at liturgies are to receive their due portion.  In return, the Levites, the sons of Aaron and all those who make liturgy possible are to perform their duties.  Nehemiah not only rebuilt walls and external structures, he rebuilt internal structures as well.

The Second Temple

Nehemiah’s Temple

God says: Each of you deserves your due portion.  When you insist on having less or more you upset your natural balance.  When you take more than your share you deny others of the goodness I have in store for them.  When you take less, you deny the gift you are to the world.  When you corrupt yourself or others you corrupt the vessel that contains hope for the world.  When you deny yourself or others you also deny me. Carry out the task shown to you.  Fulfill the hope planted in you.  Come to me with your questions and concerns.  Rather than take more or less than is meant for you, rather than fill your barns to bursting or depleting your energies until you are fully spent . . . receive your due portion and remain in the truth.  This is where your true treasure lies.

Jesus reminds us that the measure we measure with is measured out to us.  (Luke 6:38) He also reminds us that where our heart lies, there will be our treasure.  (Luke 12:34)

For more information on the duties of gatekeepers, go to: http://prepareforthelamb.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/gatekeepers-watchmen-you-are-to-speak-out-the-lord-has-called-you-out-to-be-bold-today/

For more information on the Second Temple, click on the image of Nehemiah’s Temple or go to: http://michaelruark.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/there-is-enough-room-for-both/

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