"The 7 Deadly Sins" part 2

I was invited to write a second devotional following the first which dealt with the 7 deadly sins as defined by Pope Gregory I, also know as Gregory the Great.  We were to write about our experiences in the Faith and I explained that at age of almost 92 I was one of the most experienced sinners in our church.  Taht assumes believing in the truth tha all of us are sinners.

Pope Gregory lists pride as the number one si which he claims is really the source of all others.  He also lists "vainglory" as a synonym of pride.  I was once expelled from school as a freshman in high school in what might be a description of this one.  All of us like to be winners - the best of something - number ONE.  To be htebest there is a something is often a the bas of our wrong doings.  In shop class the freshman next to me challenged me to a blow-torch fight.  We were taking instructions in how to heat a soldering iron in preparation to solder two pieces of metal together.  I was making a dust pan as a gift to my mother who made good use of such pans when cleaning house.  I was trying to be a good boy and show mom that I loved her.

When the guy next to me challenged me to a duel I wasnot about to be labeled a chichen by my peers in the class; so I fought back as any red blooded American male would do when confronted with such a challenge.  For all I knew he could be a Democrat and my parents were strong Republicans and were teachig me to be the same.

Our shop teacher Mr. Pease, rather thanreferee a fair fight, condemned us both by sending us both to the school superintendent who sent us bot home for the rest of the week and said we would not be readmitted until we told our parents what had happened and that they, personally, would have to bring us back before we were readmitted.

Neither of us will ever know whether or not we were the number one blowtorch fighter in the world.  And it is only by the grace of God and by forgiving parents and school theacher that either of us ever graduated.  So much for vainglory.  Bit it hurt our pride.

-rit by rod-

The scripture for this devotional is Romans 12:3. If sloth does not prevail in you life you will look it up. 

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

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… for in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:26, 28 (NRSV)

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We have also received an inheritance in Christ. We were destined by the plan of God, who accomplishes everything according to his design. We are called to be an honor to God’s glory because we were the first to hope in Christ. You too heard the word of truth in Christ, which is the good news of your salvation. You were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit because you believed in Christ. The Holy Spirit is the down payment on our inheritance, which is applied toward our redemption as God’s own people, resulting in the honor of God’s glory.

Ephesians 1:11-14

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I haven’t inherited much in my life, but one thing I have inherited is my great-grandfather’s quilt from his childhood. I love this precious, well-loved, more than a hundred-year-old quilt and its teal and white colors with accents of faded red, gray and pink. I love how every time I wrap up in it, I think of all who have been kept warm by the same fabric and stitching. This quilt connects me to something greater than myself — my extended family throughout the years.

While the writer of Ephesians isn’t telling us we’re inheriting a quilt from God, I think what he is saying is that we’re inheriting something very precious and well-loved that has withstood the test of time. In Christ, we’re being wrapped into a loving, all-embracing fabric of the family of God, and that is enough.

Molly Brummett Wudel

 

pray

God, in a world that constantly tells me I need to do all that I can with all that I am to be the best in all that I do, your grace is a drink of cool, fresh water! Give me lots of it, so that I can be excellent in the things that matter — in loving and sharing generously with the world. Amen.

go

God, may I feel the warmth and comfort of your inheritance through Christ this day. Amen.

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Conflict

Hello precious one ! I hope you are staying cool and dry. Have you ever been in a conflict where no matter what you do or don't do, it isn't ever right/good enough? My prayer for you today is that you may let go when someone wrongs you and I pray that your heart will be softened so that you will both give and receive forgiveness. Sometimes our lives get full and we don't want to be bothered to stop for 5 minutes and show/acknowledge anothers presence and the need for forgiveness and understanding. My prayer is that you will find the good in others. May God's blessings be upon you and may you be bathed in His healing light! Love and hugs!

Julie

Anticipation

Hello beautiful child! I trust your week is coming to a peaceful end. We are in the airport in San Fransisco waiting to get on the plane to Denver. We left the car in Denver, so since we are arriving late at night, we will stay there tonight and drive home tomorrow. I thought about how many journeys in our life are sort of like this trip. We work hard to get ready to go, anticipating what we will need. Then the first leg comes. We are excited and ready to go. We go to the next step, again anticipating and planning for a place we may not even know about. Each stop on our journey, we heave a sigh of relief and relax and cruise for awhile. Then you start preparing for the next step. At the end of our journey, we just want to be home. We are tired yet calm at the same time. Our lives are like this...we come brand new and need to learn. We are sponges! Then we move into other parts of our life: school, dating, graduation, college, marriage (sometimes divorce), jobs and life in general. We anticipate and plan for the next leg in our journey. We also learn about loss and grief. We learn about faith and forgiveness. And then, as we get closer to the end of our life, we yearn to go home on high....to see those who have gone before us and to see our Father face to face. Through all of these stages, we can learn to be accepting or we can go kicking and fighting all the way. I choose to work towards acceptance and forgiveness for I know that in heaven there is no more strife, fighting and grief. We are home. My prayer for you today is that you will prepare for and accept whatever the next leg of your journey is. May you always remember that you are a child of God. God bless! Love and hugs!

Julie 

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

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God, no matter what comes my way today, opportunities or challenges, you are with me.
Remind me that your grace is enough for me, especially when I’m feeling low.
Your grace sustains me.

Amen.

listen

He called for the Twelve and sent them out in pairs. He gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a walking stick—no bread, no bags, and no money in their belts. He told them to wear sandals but not to put on two shirts.

Mark 6:7-9

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When I go on a trip, I take so many things. I want to be prepared for anything that might happen – to feel secure. If I don’t watch myself, I can pack way too much.

When Jesus called the disciples, he told them to bring only the most essential thing – a stick to support them as they go. It must’ve been hard to leave behind things that might have been important or useful. It must’ve been hard to leave behind what felt safe.

Though it may seem like a small thing, our desire to pack too much can show that we don’t want to rely on God. It’s initially about being prepared, but it can seep into other areas of our lives. We can overpack on our desire to feel smart or attractive or strong, you name it.

Jesus told the disciples to bring the bare minimum. We can try that too. When we do, we learn to rely more on God and on those around us. We remember that we have more than enough.

Daniel Potter

 

pray

God, when I try to bring too much on my journey, help me to relax and really think about what I need. You are always providing for me. Remind me that, thanks to your grace, I have more than enough. Amen.

go

Remember:

  • God’s strength is enough.
  • God’s peace is enough.
  • God’s love is enough.
  • God’s grace is enough.
  • You are enough.

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7 Deadly Sins rit by rod (Rodney Gist)

Tami asked me to contribute devotional articles of about 200 words as part of a pool of folks who contribute to her weekly publication duties.  My first thought was "Nope - 'm retired!" But as I thought about it, I thought Nope would give young people the excuse of Nope, I'm too young.  But that's what Jeremiah tried to do when God asked him to write to the Israelites about his feelings about God. (See Jeremiah 1:7)  Since Tami asked me to just write about my experiences I thought about what are my experiences?

The Lord said to me, "All men are sinners and since I've given you almost 92 years on earth you should be one of the most experienced sinners in the world, just write about that."  So I decided I'll write about what Pope Gregory the Great (6th century AD) listed as Seven Deadly Sins most spiritually damaging to human beings.  I started by looking them up to see if I remembered them right. (Old age damages your memory.) Then God said to me, "I know what you are thinking - but that's just another excuse.  Sloth is one of the deadly sins - forgetting ain't, so get busy and start writing." So where to begin?

I noted that dejection is also one of the seven.  Some call it melancholy others depression and I understand that there is a lot of that going around these days.  So much so that the suicide rate has recently increased in our society, and it infects people of all ages. So I couldn't tell God I am just too depressed to write.  He'd say that it was just another excuse, just get out of your lazy boy chair, turn off the television, finish off that 3rd cup of coffee you're drinking and do what Tami wants you to do.

But just as I got all this written, I realized that my 200 words were up and I only mentioned two of the seven deadly sins - sloth and depression.  I will get into the other five deadly sins in later posts.

The text for today's writing is from the Bible - Psalms 130:7-8. So don't let Sloth make you too lazy to look it up!

Rodney Gist

 

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

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When faced with rough waters and stormy winds we ask:

Will I make it? Will God carry me through the storm? Is God enough?

A 4th-century martyr, Severus of Thrace, wrote:

“To all who are tossed by the waves, Lord, you are the calm of the harbor; you are the hope of the hopeful.”

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So they cried out to the Lord in their distress, and God brought them out safe from their desperate circumstances. God quieted the storm to a whisper;
the sea’s waves were hushed. So they rejoiced because the waves had calmed down; then God led them to the harbor they were hoping for. Let them thank the Lord for his faithful love and his wondrous works for all people. Let them exalt God in the congregation of the people and praise God in the assembly of the elders.

Psalm 107:28-32

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The Psalm begins with a word about God’s faithful love. Then, to show what God’s faithful love looks like, the songwriter tells a story about a time when God saved God’s people from trouble. Now, in a sort of grand finale, the Psalmist calls for rejoicing – a sensible response for people who have been delivered from a desperate situation. The God whose love is enough in the storm deserves to be celebrated.

What kind of story would you tell, if you could step into the Psalm writer’s role? What kinds of storms has God helped you through? What are some of the challenges you’ve overcome, even though you were afraid you couldn’t? What did those experiences show you about God’s faithful love? What did they give you to celebrate? How might those memories comfort you the next time you feel like you’re in the middle of a storm?

Justin Joplin

 

pray

Wow, God! Your faithful love is amazing. It never ends. Help me to share it as abundantly as I have received it. Amen.

go

As you go, carry this conviction deep in your heart: Through calm and chaos, God’s faithful love is enough to sustain you.

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Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

God, no matter what comes my way today, opportunities or challenges, you are with me.
Remind me that your grace is enough for me, especially when I’m feeling low.
Your grace sustains me.

Amen.

listen

I was given a thorn in my body because of the outstanding revelations I’ve received so that I wouldn’t be conceited. It’s a messenger from Satan sent to torment me so that I wouldn’t be conceited.

I pleaded with the Lord three times for it to leave me alone. He said to me, “My grace is enough for you because power is made perfect in weakness.” So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9

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We live in a world that celebrates strength. We praise great athletic accomplishments or strong-willed speakers. We honor those with the highest achievements. Jesus’ life, and the lives of many of Jesus’ servants, show another way to be strong. Our scripture says “power is made perfect in weakness.”

Think of folks like Mother Teresa or Gandhi. Their physical bodies were seen as weak – a frail nun or a man that fasted away. Yet, these two had great inner strength. And so did Jesus.

You and I probably aren’t called to be the next Gandhi or Mother Teresa or even the next great athlete. We are called, instead, to admit that we might not be what the world calls strong. We find strength in our faith and power in the grace of God revealed in Jesus. It’s hard to admit we aren’t so strong. When we do, we begin to rely on something outside of our ourselves – the God who created all that is or ever will be. Let that be enough for us today.

Daniel Potter

pray

God, it’s hard to admit my weakness. It can make me feel unimportant or insignificant. Your grace gives me strength when I feel weak. So today, I rely on your grace to be enough. Amen.

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Remember:

  • God’s strength is enough.
  • God’s peace is enough.
  • God’s love is enough.
  • God’s grace is enough.
  • You are enough.

Read more

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go

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The root of generosity, as in most matters of faith, is trust.
Do I trust that there is enough to share?
Enough for me and for you and for all of us?
Do I trust in God's abundance?

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 Since you excel in so many ways in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.

I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.

You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich. 2 Corinthians 8:7-9 (NLT)

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Paul writes to the church in Corinth: “Be the best … you are the best.”

Being the best is an idea that we’re familiar with: we want to dominate on the soccer field, win a marching band competition, become the valedictorian, get the promotion at work. Our competitive society pushes us to be the best, and that can feel like a lot of pressure!

Paul isn’t pressuring the Christians in Corinth to excel in sports or music, in school or at work. He’s encouraging them to be excellent in holy things: in their faith, in their commitment, in love. Paul says they don’t have to do this out of their own strength, though. The grace needed to be the best in holy things comes from Jesus Christ, whose way of self-emptying love for the world invites us all to an abundant life.

Jesus’ grace makes us rich so that we have enough to share generously of ourselves and be excellent in faith and love.

Meredith Forssman

pray

God, in a world that constantly tells me I need to do all that I can with all that I am to be the best in all that I do, your grace is a drink of cool, fresh water! Give me lots of it, so that I can be excellent in the things that matter — in loving and sharing generously with the world. Amen.

go

Go out and share with your heart.
Don’t share because you feel pressured. Don’t share with hesitation.
Share with cheerfulness and with love.
For you can trust in this: “God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work.”

based on 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

Pause

By Mother Teresa

Slow down, breathe deep, and connect to your power source.

“In this room you see a big bulb and a big switch. But, if there is no connection with the main power house, then there can be no light. Faith and prayer is the connection with God, and when that is there, there is service.”

Take a moment, connecting with God, and know this: Faith carries you through. Faith calls you to action. Faith is enough.

Hold it Together

By Julie D

Hello precious child of God! This morning as Dana and I were walking on the beach, I got hit by a huge wave that knocked me off my feet and rolled me in the undertow. I held it together and shut my mouth and closed my eyes. I didn't panic so I didn't get into any real trouble. But afterwards, I was thinking about times in my life where I had that same feeling...of being knocked off my feet and rolled and pulled under. I thought of all the ways I coped with the turmoil. Sometimes I close my eyes and just move forward. Sometimes, I open my mouth and end up swallowing way more than I needed to. Sometimes I panicked and got myself into all kinds of trouble. And sometimes I hold on and just go with the flow. I think the difference is the times I reached out for God’s hand and He pulled me up and out. I’m sure my days of getting rolled are not over but I believe in my heart that if I trust in Him, I will always be safe. May God shine His blessings down upon you and may you be given His abundant peace! Love and hugs!

Great Examples of Faith

Hebrews 11:1, 5-6

1 Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.

5 It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“ he disappeared because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Great Examples of Faith

Hebrews 11:3-4

1 Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.

3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

4 It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith.

Be Thankful

By Julie D

Hello my precious child! I trust your day is winding down. Today I am thankful. Not for anything specific but thankful in general for all the bounty and gifts God has given me. As I look around me, I see smiles and head nods, the whisper of the wind in the palm trees, the beauty of all the colors of the water...I am surrounded by blessings and for all this and more, I am thankful. My prayer for you is that you look around you and see the world God has made for you and that you can be thankful for at least one thing today. May God's blessings be upon you. May you bask in the glow of His smile. May you always know that He is with you and may you always feel His love. Love and hugs!