Sunday, January 6, 2013

January 6~ The Feast of the Epiphany


Today, we also remember the Three Wise Men (Magi) who came from the East and who searched
for the King of Kings on a journey that took about two years (to get to Jesus, and likely another two years to get home)!

They followed a star to a strange, unknown place.

We think of what kind of longing and dedication this must have taken.

We think of how they disobeyed Herod's orders and went home a different way (at great expense of time and money- since the shortest distance between two points is- of course- a line...)

And we MARVEL at their dedication and loyalty to THE KING.

Although they were most certainly not of Hebrew origin, and they did not know The Story or all the fine points and rules of the Jewish faith...they were able to see The Star for what it was and were able to recognise The King for who He was...


Father God, Thank You for Being Our TRUE LOVE...
Thank you for unfolding the story of THE GOSPEL (THE GOOD NEWS)
to our broken, undeserving world.
Thank You for including and incorporating Outsiders in your Kingdom.
Thank you for giving us Beautiful, Shining Goals to follow.
Help us to not lose perspective, not to chase after non-Kingdom oriented goals.
Help us to Follow your son, Jesus.
Help us to follow in His WAY.
Help us to be...
to have eyes that see beyond the trappings of religion...
hearts that see the truth...
and lives dedicated to the King and furthering His Kingdom.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

January 5~ The Twelfth Day of Christmas

Today is January 5th (Also Known as “Twelfth Night”) - Happy "Twelfth Day of Christmas"!

Today we think about the “Twelve Drummers Drumming” which represent the Twelve Points of Doctrine in the Apostles' Creed:

1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave].
5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
7) I believe in the Holy Spirit,
8) the holy catholic Church,
9) the communion of saints,
10) the forgiveness of sins,
11) the resurrection of the body,
12) and life everlasting.

Today we contemplate the importance of a sound doctrine (orthodoxy).  Yet we also recognise  the necessity of having a sound Christian walk (orthopraxy), as evidenced by love of God and love of others (by Jesus' own definition).

We contemplate the importance of showing those inside the family of Christ and those NOT YET inside the family LOVE.

We ask ourselves: “Do I live the Gospel I claim?...and… 
"If they came to arrest me for being a Follower of Jesus- would there be enough evidence to convict me?” ...and...
"Did my behavior point to Jesus?"

Father God, Thank You for Being Our TRUE LOVE...
Thank you for unfolding the story of THE GOSPEL (THE GOOD NEWS)
to our broken, undeserving world.
Thank you for giving us solid truths to believe in.
Among all the "truths" that we seek to memorize and understand,
Help us to keep your son, THE TRUTH, Jesus
ever in the forefront of our minds.
Help us to live by him and in him and through him;
Help us to follow in His WAY.
Above all... 
help us to have eyes that see beyond the trappings of religion...
hearts that see the truth...
and lives dedicated to the King and furthering His Kingdom.

Friday, January 4, 2013

January 4~ The Eleventh Day of Christmas

Today is January 4th- Happy "Eleventh Day of Christmas"!

Today we think about the “Eleven Pipers Piping” which represent the Eleven Faithful Apostles. (The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans.):

1) Simon Peter,
2) Andrew,
3) James bar Joseph (Jesus' brother),
4) John,
5) Philip,
6) Bartholomew,
7) Matthew,
8) Thomas,
9) James bar Alphaeus,
10) Simon the Zealot,
11) Judas bar James.
Today we contemplate our God's faithfulness to us and out utter inability to be so toward him.

We also think of how his love for us never fails, despite our lack of faithfulness.  We looks at Christ's response to Judas and to Peter. 

He is ever-loving, ever-forgiving, ever-calling us back to himself, and ever-giving us a million second chances.
We ask ourselves: “How can I live a life that’s faithful to the call of Christ on my life?”

…And we seek to live intentionally in Him, by His Spirit.


Heavenly Father, thank you for being our TRUE LOVE...
Help us to remember that we are so easily capable of unfaithfulness toward you.
We Doubt...
We Deny...
We Deceive..
We Disown.
Help us to remember that it is only through Your Grace that we remain close to you,
and that it is only by YOUR Faithfulness to us that we are saved
(not the opposite way around).
Be the tie that binds us to You,
Be the tie that binds us to each other,
For you are in all things and through all things and because of You...
All things hold together

Thursday, January 3, 2013

January 3rd~ The Tenth Day of Christmas

Today is January 3rd...Happy "Tenth Day of Christmas"!
Today we think about the “Ten Lords A-Leaping."

They represent the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20:1-17:

1) You shall have no other gods before me;
2) Do not make an idol;
3) Do not take God's name in vain;
4) Remember the Sabbath Day;
5) Honor your father and mother, and you will live long;
6) Do not murder;
7) Do not commit adultery;
8) Do not steal;
9) Do not bear false witness;
10) Do not covet.

Today we contemplate our inability to follow these commands…

We acknowledge our ineptitude at perfection, yet rejoice in the knowledge that we have been created with the ability to lean into The One Who is Perfect...
The One Whose Power Perfects Our Weakness...
The One Who Came to take away the sins of the world…

Today we remember that Jesus instructs us to
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind & strength; and love your neighbor as yourself,” and shows us that following this simple rule makes is easier to live a life that promotes human flourishing.

Today we reflect on how we can stay in this frame of mind throughout the coming New Year, and how we can promote human flourishing (ours and that of others) in order to glorify God.


Father, Thank You for being our True Love,
Help us to remember that our sufficiency comes from you,
As does any ability to love you and others.
We lean into you and ask for your Holy Spirit to
Indwell us...
Inspire us...
Intoxicate us...
With a Love for You that is
So strong...
So inescapable...
So amazing...
That it demands
Our life...
Our soul...
Our all...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January 2~ The Ninth Day of Christmas

Today is January 2nd- Happy “Ninth Day of Christmas"!

Today we think about the “Nine Ladies Dancing.”

They represent The Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22:

1) love,
2) joy,
3) peace,
4) patience,
5) kindness,
6) goodness,
7) faithfulness,
8) gentleness,
9) self-control.

Today we contemplate how we are being continually Spiritually Formed, and we ask ourselves these questions:

How have I been receptive to the Holy Spirit’s workings in and through me throughout the past year, and does my life bear spiritual fruit?

How can I be receptive to the Holy Spirit’s workings in and through me more fully throughout the coming year, so that I can more fully bear spiritual fruit?


Father God, Thank You for being My TRUE LOVE.
Thank you for giving me the ability, through your Spirit, to bear spiritual fruit.
Help me to remember that the "fruit" is of you, not of me...
That bearing this fruit is about You, Your Kingdom...
And Not about me.
As I look out at the winter trees that have...
No leaves...
No fruit...
May I be ever reminded that when they appear thus,
I cannot tell what kind of tree they are.
Let their bare branches be a stark reminder to me of
How I appear to others when I do not embody Your Spirit of...

& Self-control.
Help me to look more like an evergreen tree this coming year...
Help me not just to "act" in these ways...
Help me to embody the Spirit of these ways
in Jesus' name,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January 1st- The Eighth Day of Christmas (& Happy New Year!)

Today is January 1st- Today, we are Blessed to celebrate a New Year, and we also celebrate the "Eighth Day of Christmas"!

Today we think about the “Eight Maids A-Milking”-who represent the Eight Beatitudes:

1) Blessed are the poor in spirit,

2) Blessed are those who mourn,

3) Blessed are the meek,

4) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

5) Blessed are the merciful,

6) Blessed are the pure in heart,

7) Blessed are the peacemakers,

8) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. (Matthew 5:3-10)

We reflect upon these things and we and we contemplate what it means to be “blessed” using Jesus’ frame of reference...

No doubt, at one time or another over this past year- you have been "blessed" according to Jesus' definition. And as surely, as I type these words...during the next year to come, either you or I will experience poverty of spirit, mourning, persecution, humiliation, or degradation. But not to worry, for along with these things, according to The One who knows, comes blessing. This is my prayer for you as we enter a new year: that God will bless you despite, and even 'because of' the negative things that may assail you during this coming year. Additionally, I pray that God will mightily bless you by making you hunger and thirst after Him, and by growing you in righteousness so that you may become more kind, more merciful, more pure in heart, and one who walks in and relentlessly "wages peace." I hope you will pray the same for me...