SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS: 03.14.16
Reminders from spring…a prayer:
Your message of hope
to a world tiring of winter’s starkness
longing for that first crocus
to push through snow’s icy blanket
and spread its leaves
like arms outstretched
to its creator
Our yearly reminder, if we needed one
that to a world that was dark and cold
a world devoid of love’s sweet warmth
you sent your Son
to break through sin’s icy blanket
and, arms outstretched
on a cross
he brought us
Thank you” –Unknown Author
Give pause today and reflect during this budding spring season…as the seasons change every year without fail, God’s love is always present with us, even in our darkest moments. Just as the spring comes every year, we should take heart in knowing that God is ever present in every facet of our lives!
SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS: 03.02.16
Reflection for the week:
“Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Give pause today and reflect during this season of Lent on the importance of reconciliation. Let us continue to do the work of ministry with a heart of forgiveness and in a spirit of reconciliation.
“We are all one - or at least we should be - and it is our job, our duty, and our great challenge to fight the voices of division and seek the salve of reconciliation.” –Roy Barnes
SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS: 02.10.16
A prayer for Ash Wednesday:
Remind us often Lord,
when we are feeling
pleased with ourselves,
self-sufficient in our ways,
that for such as us
you walked a road
that took you to a cruel cross,
and rose again to show us where
we might look for rescue
as from this lofty perch
Give pause today and reflect on the great sacrifice of love and the cruelty of the cross, endured by Jesus Christ, for the salvation of all, during this Ash Wednesday.
“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” – Job 42:5-6
SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS: 01.27.16
“God of compassion, your love for humanity was revealed in Jesus, whose earthly life began in the poverty of a stable and ended in the pain and isolation of the cross: we hold before you those who are homeless and cold especially in this bitter weather. Draw near and comfort them in spirit and bless those who work to provide them with shelter, food and friendship. We ask this in Jesus' name.” Amen.- (Church of England)
Give pause today and reflect on the many blessings that are taken for granted each day. While doing this, sit with thoughtful prayer for our brothers and sisters that are homeless within our local community and world. As this area has just experienced the first of many wintery days, be mindful, to pray for those that need shelter and lend hand to those in need.
“Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered” Proverbs 21:13
SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS: 01.18.16
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
Give pause today and reflect on the divine kingdom work that we all have the privilege to partake in. At times, it may be demanding, tiring or stressful. However, the overall reward of “being about our Father’s business” is beyond comparison. We all should give pause and strive to put energies towards the injustices and inequities that face our society today. Each dedicated individuals, with passionate concerns and tireless exertions can help bring change in the world today.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”- Micah 6:8
SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS: 01.11.16
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Give pause today and walk in the peace of God. There are so many opportunities for anxiety and stress to overcome us in our everyday living, with this in mind, we must remember to keep our minds concentrated on Jesus Christ. We must focus our hearts on the word of God. We should not be anxious about anything or stress. Our lives are in the hands of God. The moment we give our lives to Jesus, our life becomes his life. Be reminded that God is the owner and we are just the managers. Cast all of your burdens to him, for he is praiseworthy, pure, lovely, admirable and excellent!
SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS: 12.24.15
Holiday Season Prayer and Reflection
A Christmas Prayer
Jesus, the Light of the World, as we celebrate your birth . . . . May we begin to see the world in the light of the understanding you give us.
As you chose the lowly, the outcasts, and the poor to receive the greatest news the world had ever known, so may we worship you in meekness of heart.
Help us to also remember our brothers and sisters, less fortunate than ourselves, in this season of giving...
Give pause today during this holiday season, still your hearts and reflect on the wonderful blessing given to this world, Jesus Christ. As many in the world concentrate on the material gifts, there is nothing more treasured than the intangible gift of salvation and eternal life. This week, give thanks for our Mighty God, Our everlasting Father and Our Prince of Peace and the opportunity to be in relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS: 12.12.15
Holiday Season Prayer and Reflection
Please forgive me for being, so grumpy, as I trudge through the never-ending tasks set before me this holiday season...
My to-do list seems to keep growing with shopping, church services, and family gatherings
And I'm running short of time!
Restore the joy of Christmas to my heart . . .
And help me to relax each day and make time for
My one true Source of Joy.
Give pause today during this holiday season, and keep heart on the reason for the season. Take time to reflect and enjoy each task, even those that may require more energies than others! There is a joy of the season that should rest upon our hearts. Despite the many “to do” lists, the most important thing on that list should always be, to make time to relax, enjoy family, friends, loved ones and enjoy the true source of our joy, Jesus Christ….
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”- Romans 15:13
SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS: 11.25.15
Help Me Thanksgiving Day Prayer
O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
-Samuel F. Pugh
Give pause today in this season of thanksgiving and reflect on the many blessings that we take for granted every day. Pray for those in need and those without. More importantly, pray to become or continue to be, an agent of change, for the betterment of our world. Always being mindful of the wisdom shared by Solomon in Proverbs 22. “2The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all…. 9He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.”
SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS: 11.19.15
1 Kings 19:11-13
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Give pause today, and know that in those quiets moments, all we need is to hear the gentle whisper of God to give us the courage to move forward. Elijah was hiding in fear, running from Jezebel. In his despair he cried out to God. God’s voice was not found in the mountains crashing, earthquake, nor in a fire. It was in a gentle whisper. Give pause today, and know that the answer that is being prayed for, may not be found in the “miraculous’ but instead, in a gentle whisper that gives us the courage to move forward.
SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS: 11.11.15
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
Although it may seem that we are overwhelmed by the many tasks that lay before us, we must take heart, and know that it is because the Lord’s great love for us, that we will not be consumed! Every day is another opportunity to witness God do the amazing in our lives. The key to unlocking this opportunity is prayer. The temptation to continue to: “press forward”, “work through it”, “endure” and things of the likes, are dependent upon our strength. Today, give pause and know that it is “good to wait quietly (prayer) for the salvation of the LORD.” Despite the cultural climate of “hustle and bustle,” we must be mindful that success or the good, for believers is to place our hope in him and continue to seek him in all of our ways.
SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS: 11.04.15
11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.
There may be times in our life or ministry were it seems that nothing is happening or that life has left the situation. Today, give pause, and know that the Lord can breathe life into any situation. Even those that may seem hopeless! Allow God to breathe his spirit upon you. Live into the fullness of what God has called you to! Walk in confidence and know that he is the Lord and he has spoken it and he will perform it!
SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS: 10.21.15
As the leaves begin to change color and the air begins to have a crisp snap to it, there is a recognition of the season changing. Likewise in life and ministry work, there are different seasons that we all experience. Today, give pause and reflection on a prayer for the seasons of change that we all experience. This prayer is authored by Rachel Wojo
A Prayer for a Season of Change
Dear Heavenly Father,
Just when we settle into a pattern,
things change far too quickly.
One door opens; another closes.
We rise, we eat, we sleep.
We smile, we laugh, we cry.
Change itself is ever changing and
Lord, if I’m truthful, I don’t like change.
Because I desire the control.
Will you forgive my lack of understanding
That your creation of seasons is exquisite?
Would you remind me that the ebb and flow of life
is rippled by the gifts of love and laughter?
And that life is measured by memories, not minutes?
May the season of change fuel me forward
to another beautiful season of
the blessing of Your Almighty hand.
In Jesus’ name,
SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS: 10.14.15
13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, what is his name? What shall I say unto them?
14 And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.
We all have been there. Overwhelmed by the enormity of an assignment or task. Intimidated by the road that lies ahead. Bound by the question of “What if?” Stalled behind the wheel of doubt. Moses, full of uncertainty, and overwhelmed ask the Lord a simple question, “What shall I say unto them?”
God answered with a simple, yet profound answer, “I Am That I Am”. The Torah translates God’s response as “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh” or “I will Be what I will Be."
Today, give pause, and know that in whatever project, task, ministry assignment or life event, that God will BE whatever God needs to BE for you. Moses would succeed at the task set before him, because I AM was with him. Pause and allow the same I AM to BE whatever you need in every situation that you may encounter.
SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS: 09.30.15
A song of ascents. Of David.
1 My heart is not proud, Lord,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.
3 Israel, put your hope in the Lord
both now and forevermore.
In the everyday working of ministry, there is a rapid pace. Phone calls, meetings, problems, and the ever growing “to-do” list. However, in all of the workings that take place, God has still called us to a place of quietness, to place of pause. To a moment of contemplative worship. The Psalmist, David, paused in Psalm 131, in the song of ascents, and recognized that despite his many great works, he needed to be humble. He needed God. It took David to pause, calm himself, and put his hope in the Lord. In the same manner, I submit to you today, that we need to give pause in our everyday workings and allow space for God to move sovereignly in our day. The work of ministry and the work of everyday life, will be there. However, it is only through quiet moments with God, that we will find humility and contentment both now and forevermore.
For the above spiritual reflection, many thanks are owed to:
-Mininister David Harrison
MDiv. Candidate '17
Wake Forest University
School of Divinity
Intern for Love Out Loud