Oh God, gather me now to be with you as you are with me.
Soothe my tiredness;
quiet my fretfulness;
curb my aimlessness;
relieve my complusiveness;
let me be easy for a moment.
O Lord, release me
from the fears and guilts which grip me so tightly;
from the expectations and opinions which I so tightly grip,
that I may be open
to receiving what you give,
to risking something genuinely new,
to learning something refreshingly different.
for claiming so much for myself
that I leave no room for gratitude;
for confusing exercises in self-importance
with acceptance of self-worth;
for complaining so much of my burdens
that I become a burden;
for competing against others so insidiously
that I stifle celebrating them
and receiving your blessing through their gifts.
O God, gather me to be with you as you are with me.
Ted Loder, Guerillas of Grace
There is so much hatred and fear filling the airwaves and news feeds these days. Fear does not look good on the people of God. We are suppose to dress ourselves in with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience and over all that wear the coat of love. (Col. 3:12, 14)
Right now thousands of mamas and children are starving to death in displacement camps after escaping ISIS in Fallujah. I’m thankful for organizations like Preemptive Love Coalition, a global movement of peacemakers changing the way we engage the world’s most polarizing conflicts by confronting fear with acts of love.
Join me in giving. $35 feeds a family of six for two weeks.
The following is the text from my sermon on June 12, 2016 at FBC JC. The lectionary text was Psalm 5. You can also listen to the audio file here.
Sit up straight. Shoulders back. Stop slouching. Both feet on the floor.
Some of you just heard your mother’s voice and, without thinking, adjusted your posture.
Those are but a few of the marching orders of proper posture. Last week on our senior trip to Virginia we had a discussion one night over dinner about the “elbows off the table” rule. There is an old saying, “Mable, Mable, strong and able, keep your elbows off the table, this is not a horse’s stable, but a fancy dining table.” Any of you ever heard that before?
None of us around the table knew the official reason “no elbows on the table” is proper but we took some guesses. In the end most of us decided it was a stupid rule and proceeded to shovel food into our mouths like pigs at a trough.
Over the years I’ve been instructed and corrected many times about proper posture. I tend to slouch. Sometimes I work at my computer as if there’s a 40-pound monkey sitting on my shoulders. At home on the couch, I tend to tuck my legs up under me and lean to the left. Years of improper posture have caught up and, on occasion, my body will gently and kindly let me know that I’ve broken posture rules and we need to go see our friend, the chiropractor.
As annoying as it can be, proper posture does matter but not just physical posture. Posture definitely means a position of a person’s body but it also means a particular way of dealing with or considering something; an approach or attitude. So not only is physical posture important for living well but so is our mental, emotional and spiritual posture. How we orient our minds and our spirits. What position we place our entire being in as we live each day and encounter varied situations and circumstances. And if we don’t practice proper posture things become out of balance. Our bodies are out of balance. Our minds and emotions are out of balance. Our faith is out of balance.
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