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 Love2022-05-11T19:24:18-04:00

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

Who Are You?

I am a Christian who has bipolar disorder. I cycle from extreme mania to pits of depression, but I am not a manic-depressive. My identity is not in my illness. My identity is in Christ. Where do you find your identity?  This morning my pastor shared a story of a teenage girl who had lost a sense of her she was. Like many her age, she had looked for her identity in relationships with others just as lost as she was. Her self-worth plummeted. Whatever confidence she once had crashed to the ground. She desperately needed someone to pick her up, someone to share with her the hope that was rooted in her faith. Not just some wish for better days, but a genuine hope that would hold onto her when she fell. Somehow, she found her way to the pastor's study. He sat quietly with her. Listened to her. [...]

Who Are You?2018-07-29T21:47:27-04:00

Heritage from the Lord; Fruit of the Womb

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,     the fruit of the womb a reward.  (Psalm 127:3) After worship today we had a luncheon recognizing Nursery volunteers. Our coordinator shared Psalm 127:3 and noted how important children are in the life of the faith family. She called the names of those who are serving in nursery care. It was quite impressive to hear of the many women, men, and teens devoting their time to see that the youngest among us are cared for in Christ. This day also happens to be my grandson's second birthday. I don't see him often, but each time I do he is a delight. Unlike his older sister who has the vocabulary of an Oxford grad, he is the daredevil in the family. All boy, as they say. We were playing on their jungle gym and I noticed when he got to the bottom of the slide [...]

Heritage from the Lord; Fruit of the Womb2018-06-03T20:26:14-04:00
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