"Wise Man?"

Wise man, wise man,
Where are you going?
Crossing the desert
To follow a star?

Wise man, wise man
What are you bringing
Some far-away king
From the Empire Bazaar?

Wise man, wise man
Waht will you do
With the hungry eyes
That are looking at you?

Wise man, wise man,
Can you pass by —-
Not seeing the waif
While watching the sky?

Wise man, wise man,
Which will it be?
For millions and millions
Are waiting to see.

rit by rod

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

The world doesn’t need a miracle from above to end hate, oppression, injustice, and inequality. It doesn’t need an act of God to end the suffering we see happening.

The world needs us, followers of Jesus, to say “Enough already!” and to work together to be God’s hands and feet.

listen

When he came, he announced the good news of peace to you who were far away from God and to those who were near. We both have access to the Father through Christ by the one Spirit. So now you are no longer strangers and aliens. Rather, you are fellow citizens with God’s people, and you belong to God’s household.

Ephesians 2:17-19

think

When you take a stand, haters and critics may get you down – but keep the faith! When you fight for justice and equality, you may get overwhelmed and want to give up – but keep the faith! Whatever you are going through, whatever struggles you have, keep the faith!

Keep the faith and do something about the pain you see in the world. Keep the faith and be involved with the political process and make change happen. Keep the faith and feed the hungry, help the poor, and liberate the oppressed. Keep the faith and believe that in the end love, grace, and justice will rise from the ashes of anger, despair, and suffering because they always do. Persist and keep the faith knowing that you are not alone. Keep the faith because you belong to God and there is nothing you cannot accomplish. Keep the faith and be the hands and feet of Christ.

Ed Stallworth

 

pray

Lord, with so many things that can bring me down, lead me and inspire me to keep my faith in you. Amen.

go

You are the answer to the prayers of the hungry, lonely, bullied, oppressed, and hurting.

What will you do today – not tomorrow or someday – to be the hands and feet of God in your world?

Read more

Devotion by Julie

Greetings oh most precious child of God! There are days when I start to write something, get interrupted and end up losing everything I'd said so far. Today I am going to use that analogy....why does something or someone seem to be a detriment instead of a benefit? Why do we keep hitting our heads on the wall in front of us? Why do we think things have to be done our way and that we don't need someone telling us what to do? Why do we fret and complain when things are not going our way? When are we going to be quiet and truly listen to what He is telling us? I don't know about you, but I tend to be most comfortable when I'm the boss and I get to call the shots. At least that was how I lived most of my life. It is only in the last few years that I can say, I'll sit back and you can handle it. Why do we need to be "the boss" of everyone? My prayer for you today is that you look around you. Are you calling the shots or is someone else calling them for you. Are the "shots" good for your well being? Is there peace within and beside you? My prayer is that you will seek to live life as a gentle, loving friend and maybe even lover if that option is still there with you. Know that holding on to anger and issues that no longer exist or that can/should be changed by a true apology doesn't hurt the other person half as much as it changes you. May God give you the gift of forgiveness and of peace. May you always know He is watching over you. And may you bring love and peace back in to your relationships. Love and hugs!

Devotion by Julie

Good morning oh most precious child! I trust your day is off to a great start. Someone that we dearly love is having to make some really tough choices about medical treatment. She will have to decide the path she will go down now. She and I have talked in the past and she tells me there is nothing to worry about because it is what it is and she accepts that. In a way learning we are getting to the tough choices is hard. We argue or bargain or rage. But not her. She is ready for whatever happens. I tell her I am concerned about her but not worried because I know she is at peace about the next steps she will face. She has chosen minimal treatment. Do you think you can accept the tough decisions we all have to make? Do you think your faith would keep the fear and grief in check? The answer for her is yes. My prayer for you today is that you look around in your life. See if your choices, whether they be hard or easy, are ones you can live with. Figure out your next step and then turn it over to God. He has your back and He will even carry you if you can no longer stand. May God's love and His peace be with you. May you be filled with acceptance for what is to come. And always, always remember your Heavenly Father is a breath away. Love is the medicine, and the only medicine that can get you through and this beautiful lady is loved beyond measure. God's blessings on you today and may faith, courage and perseverance lead you where you need to go. Love and hugs!

Devotion by Julie

Hello my precious child! There is a chill in the air and the leaves are starting to turn. I love this time of year and all the changes that come with it. I always loved the start of school as the kids reconnected with friends they hadn’t seen all summer. And honestly, while I love to go swimming and have picnics and just have fun together, I feel a sense of relief to have some me time. It is also a time of transition for God’s creation. The grapes and choke cherries are ready to pick, corn and fresh vegetables and lots of other food are abundant. I wish they could spread all the bounty out just a little bit so I could savor all the flavors over a longer time. It’s time to put away the patio furniture and move the plants inside. It is a time of settling in and hibernating and having the taste of soup or pot roast in the crockpot. My prayer for you today is that you will see this time as a positive. It is like our lives...we are aging and our bodies aren’t working the way they used to. Take time to savor the time of life you are currently in and see the good in the sometimes tough times. May God bless you with His presence in your life. Love and hugs.

Devotion by Julie

Hey there precious one! I trust your day is treating you kindly. Music has always been a vitally important part of my life. When I would get frustrated and angry, my mom would send me to the piano to pound it out. When I was happy, the piano sound was more gentle and flowing. When I was working on my masters degree, my kids would know the kind of mood I was in because of the music playing in our house. If it was classic, the best plan was just to be quiet and hang out in your room. If it was piano or instrumental music with no singing music, moms studying. But if it was on the station they had been listening to at the volume they were listening to, they could ask me most anything and the answer would be yes. Music was also something I shared with my dad. He had a beautiful tenor voice and I loved accompanying him. I asked him to sing for my wedding. He said yes if he got to pick the song. His choice was to sing "where are you going my little one." He sang it right before he gave me to Dana. My prayer for you is to think about and remember a song that means/meant a lot to you. Listen to it with your eyes closed and just let yourself drift back to how you felt, who did you listen to it with and listen to the words if there are any. Life is too short to waste when it comes to music. Music soothes the hurts in your life. Music can heal the holes in your life. Music can lift you up so you can fly. My prayer is that you will take time to listen to your "favorite " song and be filled. God bless you and keep you. May He shine His countenance upon you. And may He give you His peace. Love and hugs!

"The Seven Deadly Sins" part 7

Since I have been writing about the seven deadly sins as listed by a 6th century AD pope, I will conclude by series of devotionals with one we can read in the letter to the Ephesians. The bible tells us that sin is more than just personal. Even though the Creation story in Genesis implies that sin resulted from Adam and Eve eating the apple off the tree, one of my seminary professors taught that sin was not related nearly so mo much from the apple on the tree as it was from the “pair on the ground!”

We humans are born possessing many desires and appetites. These are good or bad only in relationship to how they are perceived and how they are used. And that pertains to organizations and institutions as well as individuals. Sin is certainly relevant to large institutions and organizations that serve many people. The writer of Ephesians there puts it this way: “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

The will of God is not always in line with majority rule or via a five to four vote in the Supreme Court. The Bible tells us: “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 6:29 (As a man I think I can safely say that God intended to include women in this order as well! Just in case we should ever get a female majority in congress!)

Ephesians, in the concluding chapter says. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil…Stand, therefore, having girded your loins with truth and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 10, 14-15

 
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Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

The world doesn’t need a miracle from above to end hate, oppression, injustice, and inequality. It doesn’t need an act of God to end the suffering we see happening.

The world needs us, followers of Jesus, to say “Enough already!” and to work together to be God’s hands and feet.

listen

As God’s household, you are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. The whole building is joined together in him, and it grows up into a temple that is dedicated to the Lord. Christ is building you into a place where God lives through the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:20-22

think

We do not follow Jesus and call him Lord and Savior just so that we can go to heaven when we die. We follow Jesus so that we can bring heaven to earth while we are still alive. With Christ as our cornerstone, we build a world of love, grace, and peace by serving those in need. We build a refuge for the suffering and oppressed by demanding justice. We build a holy community for all of us by living a life of hope and compassion.

There will be challenges. We will have our struggles, but if we persist in love, together we can overcome and be who we are called to be. We will break the barriers that divide us. We will bring light to the darkness that surrounds us. We will bring justice and freedom against those forces that oppress us. We will bring heaven to earth. Why? Because we are the hands and feet of God and that’s what we do.

Ed Stallworth

pray

Lord, may love work in me, through me, and because of me as I strive with my fellow believers to be your hands and feet in the world. Amen.

go

You are the answer to the prayers of the hungry, lonely, bullied, oppressed, and hurting.

What will you do today – not tomorrow or someday – to be the hands and feet of God in your world?

8

Read more

Devotion by Julie

Greetings most precious child of God. Today is the first day of school here in Rapid City and it started off really well. Lane was excited this morning, unlike yesterday when he was just plain scared. But driving home I heard a song that I'd like to share with you.

 

I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow,

And each road leads you where you wanna go,

And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,

I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.

And if one door opens to another door closed,

I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,

If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile.

But more than anything, more than anything

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,

Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,

You never need to carry more than you can hold,

And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,

I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,

Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but you never forget,

All the ones who love you, in the place you live,

I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,

And you help somebody every chance you get,

Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,

And always give more than you take.

But more than anything, yeah, more than anything

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,

Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,

You never need to carry more than you can hold,

And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,

I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,

Yeah, this, is my wish. Yeah, yeah.

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,

Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,

You never need to carry more than you can hold,

And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,

I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,

Yeah, this, is my wish (my wish, for you).

This is my wish (my wish, for you)

I hope you know somebody loves you (my wish, for you).

May all your dreams stay big (my wish, for you)

Songwriters: Steve Robson / Jeffrey Steele

My Wish lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Domino Publishing Company

 

May God bless you and may you feel the warm embrace of His arms! Love and hugs!

Pause- Listen-Think-Pray-Go by d365

pause

The world needs light. The world needs hope. The world needs selflessness. The world needs equality.

The world needs us to show how Christ walked with those that are oppressed and unique, how Christ prayed for all people, and how Christ served humbly without recognition.

Let us shine with the light of Christ.

listen

You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house.

Matthew 5:14-15

think

Think about being in a dark room when all you have to see by is the light shining through the cracks around a closed door. The light peeking around the door helps guide you to find the light switch. Light shows us the way out of darkness.

When you walk into a room, you are different. Your light is different from the person you walk in with. Our Christian walk needs to be one of light. There is much darkness in our schools, neighborhoods, and world.

What are people going to see when you walk into a room? Will you be the one that shines the light on those that need hope in their lives, or will you hide in the darkness because you are afraid to be different? Be different, because Jesus set the example of how our light should shine.

Megan Turner Doud

 

 

pray

Lord, let me be different, unique, and confident, so my light will shine in the darkness of hate, oppression, and selfishness that I am around each and every day. Amen.

go

Go, sharing your faith with words and deeds.

Go, living in this dark world, and may you be the light.

Go, serving others with humility and grace as Christ did.

And go, singing words of praise each and every day.

Pause- Listen-Think-Pray-Go by d365

pause

The world needs light. The world needs hope. The world needs selflessness. The world needs equality.

The world needs us to show how Christ walked with those that are oppressed and unique, how Christ prayed for all people, and how Christ served humbly without recognition.

Let us shine with the light of Christ.

listen

Declare God’s glory among the nations; declare his wondrous works among all people because the Lord is great and so worthy of praise.

Psalm 96:3-4a

think

Has there ever been a time where you have been reluctant to share your faith? Think of that time and try to recall why you were hesitant to speak up for your faith. There are times you might be reluctant because you are afraid of what others will think, or you don’t want to be labeled “that Christian person.” Take a moment to give that reluctance or hesitancy up to God.

As Christ followers, we need to be open to sharing our faith with our peers. The psalm says to declare God's glory to ALL – and that starts with the people closest to us. We don’t have to quote scripture or have all the answers. But we are called to simply share our faith through our words and actions, openly and authentically.

How will you share your faith today at work or school? How will you shine to others the light of Christ?

Megan Turner Doud

 

pray

God, change the world to know your love. May I be strong in my faith to be an instrument of your grace and love, now and forever. Amen.

go

Go, sharing your faith with words and deeds.

Go, living in this dark world, and may you be the light.

Go, serving others with humility and grace as Christ did.

And go, singing words of praise each and every day.

Pause- Listen-Think-Pray-Go by d365

pause

The world needs light. The world needs hope. The world needs selflessness. The world needs equality.

The world needs us to show how Christ walked with those that are oppressed and unique, how Christ prayed for all people, and how Christ served humbly without recognition.

Let us shine with the light of Christ.

listen

Don’t hesitate to be enthusiastic—be on fire in the Spirit as you serve the Lord! Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer.

Romans 12:11-12

 

think

Did you spend time serving this summer? Maybe you took a mission trip or served on a mission site at summer camp. Maybe your youth group served the community in your own backyard. Have you thought about continuing that spirit of service during the school year?

Serving is fun, but it is also hard – at times it drains us, especially if our hearts and minds are not geared to serve others, but instead are focused on serving ourselves.

When we serve ourselves instead of others, our enthusiasm for Christ is missing. Working to serve ourselves instead of others exposes a disingenuous heart. When this happens – and it does – refocus on when and why you are called to serve. Refocus by devoting yourself to prayer and asking God to change your heart to be genuine. Will you refocus each day? Or will you stay stagnant in your relationship with Christ and others?

Megan Turner Doud

pray

.Lord, take away my fears that hinder me from living fully. Help me serve with enthusiasm and joy. Lord, help me be an example to my friends and family. Amen.

go

Go, sharing your faith with words and deeds.

Go, living in this dark world, and may you be the light.

Go, serving others with humility and grace as Christ did.

And go, singing words of praise each and every day.