My Biggest Thanks is Grace by Ray Lehman

My biggest thanks is the Grace that God provides. This Grace can only be given as a gift and it is undeserving. If I were to be aware of the awesomeness of God but had no Grace that was available to me, I would go mad, or more mad than I already am, as I have been diagnosed with schizoaffective type bipolar disorder. Jesus provided a way where there was no way. God had showed us that blood must be shed for the forgiveness of our sins. All the way back to Cain and Abel and the sacrifices they provided to God. Jesus was the Lamb of God to be the final and ultimate sacrifice for the sins of those that would believe and receive His gift of ultimate redemption with the Father and indwelling of Their Spirit, the Holy Spirit. We see with Abraham and Isaac the story being [...]

My Biggest Thanks is Grace by Ray Lehman2024-06-18T14:27:00-04:00

Praying the Bible, day by day

My morning and evening prayers have me reflecting on pilgrimage. The Scripture reading this morning is about a significant and mysterious event in the childhood of Jesus. Mary and Joseph take him along on their family pilgrimage to Jerusalem. They then return home, or start to before they realize he is not with them. They had assumed, even taken for granted that he was in the crowd of pilgrims returning home. He was not. Lectio 365 asks us to consider times we take for granted that Jesus is with us only to discover we have left him behind. For me I lose sight of Christ when I overlook my daily devotional practices and get lost in the crowd of people and things and busyness of the world. Where do you find Christ in your daily life? +      +      + Love does not delight in evil but [...]

Praying the Bible, day by day2024-06-18T14:27:02-04:00

Prayers Inspired by Psalms with a Friend by George Love

In his book Psalms with a Friend George Love recommends writing Psalm prayers after reading and reflecting on them. Here is my Psalm 18 prayer: God of the Sabbath, my enemies surround me and disturb me. I have been restless and have desperately tried to fight back, overextending myself. I panicked. Then I cried out to you. I asked my friends to pray for me. You heard my cries. You answered our prayers. You delivered me from the deadly ways of desperation and gave me restorative rest. And from Psalm 35: Then I will rejoice in the LORD.      I will be glad because he rescues me. With every bone in my body      I will praise him. Lord, who can compare with you?     Who else rescues the helpless from the strong? (Psalm 35.9-10) ... give great joy to those who came to my defense.   [...]

Prayers Inspired by Psalms with a Friend by George Love2024-06-18T14:27:26-04:00

Will you lay down your life for me?

Jesus asks his disciples and us this pivotal question of discipleship. It has often been interpreted as martyrdom. Will you die for me? But I learned this week that the Greek word translated life here is not bios, or physical life but psuche, which describes our inner life of thoughts and feelings. So Jesus is asking: Will you lay down your internal orientations and agendas? Are you weilling to pattern your life around my example? Will you let your heart come into sync with mine, until you care about the same things as I do. (from The Reservoir: A Fifteen-Month Weekday Spiritual Formation Devotional by Renovare). This insight makes all the difference in the world to me. It affirmed my decision to go on psychotropics, for instance, in an effort to experience relative balance and continue to provide and be present for my family. Had I not been a husband and a [...]

Will you lay down your life for me?2022-04-10T18:49:49-04:00

Word of the Year: Eucharisteo – the miracle of thanksgiving.

Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.  ― Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are   Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  (2 Corinthians 9.10-11)   Each year I select a word to focus on in my faith journey each day. Said better, God selects the word and I confirm it. Today the word came to me from Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts. The word Eucharist appears in various forms 53 times in the Greek Scriptures. Strong’s Concordance lays out three ways that these words can be used: 1. To be grateful, to feel grateful; 2. To express gratitude [...]

Word of the Year: Eucharisteo – the miracle of thanksgiving.2022-01-02T20:56:30-05:00

Rooted in Scripture: The Intersection Bible Study Method by Paul Dazet

Paul Dazet is Senior Pastor of Sandy Hook United Methodist Church in Columbus, Indiana. Paul has a Bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Cincinnati, a Master’s degree in ministry from Golden State School of Theology, and is ordained in the Church of the Nazarene. Paul and his wife Stacy have been married since 1992 and have three children: Rebecca (and Jacob), Jake, and Micah. Paul loves coffee, books, and conversations. This past year was crazy for everyone.  For my family, we are dealing with the loss of our first grandchild, God calling us to a new church in a new denomination in a new city, and now we are providing care for a close family member who is in a fight against cancer.  And personally, I struggle with depression and anxiety.  It was 2020, enough said.  I’m sure you have your own stories of suffering and hardship during [...]

Rooted in Scripture: The Intersection Bible Study Method by Paul Dazet2021-02-09T13:33:43-05:00

Why I Write in Less than 500 Words

I was a pastor for almost 20 years.  A big part of my job was to take the sacred Word and inspire people to do good things.  To do this, I did a lot of writing (over 500 sermons,  300 e-devotions, 200 newsletter articles, countless pastoral letters). Then I left pastoral ministry. Why? For many reasons, some of which I'm still sorting out. Essentially, God had another ministry in mind. For the past decade I have served an author with A Way with Words publishing, an outreach of Delight in Disorder Ministries. People ask me, "Do you write exclusively about faith and God?”  My answer is “Yes and no.”  Yes, because I believe all good writing carries with it sacred a sacred duty to "speak the truth in love." Since we are created in the image of God and creation reflects God’s good order, when we write faithfully about any [...]

Why I Write in Less than 500 Words2021-02-06T07:39:23-05:00

From One Generation to the Next by Lindsay & Landon McIntosh

I was raised in a loving Christian home. We went to church every Wednesday, and twice on Sunday. Youth group, choir, and bell choir were part of my life and I loved it…. socially that is…I never really dived into the Bible, I did not know all the books of the Bible, and I could not have quoted a verse if my life depended on it. Church was a safe place to go and have fun with friends. However, the older I got the more things began to change. I noticed that while my friends were still wanting to have fun and socialize, I wanted to listen to the sermon, and I wanted to learn about the Bible. So, I began to sit with some of the older kids, and my parents and really listened to the sermons.  Throughout the next several years I worked on building my faith and [...]

From One Generation to the Next by Lindsay & Landon McIntosh2021-01-16T17:38:56-05:00

Blessed are the Comforted Who Comfort Others

At Dad's funeral service, my Uncle Geoff read this passage from 2 Corinthians 1 -- 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. Comfort. Nine times in just five verses. In the original Greek, one extended sentence. Nine times! The Apostle Paul knew how [...]

Blessed are the Comforted Who Comfort Others2020-08-16T21:29:06-04:00

Moving from Anxiety to Motivation

{This post was originally composed January 8, 2018.}   Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4.6)   My good friend Eric came over Saturday. We now have all the recording equipment necessary for our upcoming podcast, Revealing Voices and now need to learn how to use it before our debut on March 1. Eric also brought over a Ninja blender to make the smoothies we will drink and review on our show. Eric was here from 10:30 am - 3:30 pm and made tremendous progress. I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck. The more time passed, the more progress Eric made, and the more my mind became encased in a cage of anxiety. Eric is a good communicator, but because of my state of mind, here's what I heard: "Blah, blah, Skype, [...]

Moving from Anxiety to Motivation2019-04-21T19:19:06-04:00
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