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Weekly Inspiration

Weekly Inspiration

Caring-101

Something more

Revelation 21:22-22:5 by Rene A. Perez Most Sundays after church we pick up fast food. Usually we go through the drive-through to bring the food home. It never fails that whenever we go, the same homeless man approaches us to ask for money; and every time, if we can, we give him a few coins. One day I realized God was asking me to do more. I did not hear a voice out of nowhere; I simply felt a tug…
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Persuaded by God

Acts 16:9-15 by Rene A. Perez What amazing ways God employs to persuade us to follow! The book of Acts tells of Paul’s vision of a man in Macedonia who begs him to come and help. Although Paul and Silas conclude that God is calling them to Macedonia, I can think of numerous undertakings I considered to be of my making before I realized that it was God’s idea all along. For Paul and Silas, it begins with God’s vision.…
Prayer

Praising God

Psalm 148:1-6 By Bo Prossert Creation is groaning and has gotten our attention recently. The fury of hurricanes, tsunamis, and tornadoes; the rumblings of volcanoes, earthquakes, and mudslides; warming of polar caps, destruction of acid rain: all this and more demand that we pay attention. If we listen closely, we will hear the groans of our world-not just its inhabitants but also the trees, the stones, the water, the air! Are we listening? Are we responding? God commanded, and the…
john10-22

I Shall Not Want

John 10:22-30 by Kim Poolet Growing up in the Texas panhandle, my family drove many miles across wide open spaces for vacations or to visit family. My brother would read and I would sleep. My grandmother sat between us to keep peace in the backseat. After a while the monotony of the miles would take its toll, and one of us would start the eternal questions: “Are we there yet?” “How much longer?” We were impatient passengers along for the…
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EASTER SUNDAY

John 20:1-18 Scripture is definite: death ends every life. That is why “the last enemy to be destroyed is death,” declares Paul. Enemy indeed­ so much so that “if Christ has not been raised,” those “who have died in Christ have perished” and we are “of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:17-19). Our one hope is that if God actually raised Jesus from the dead, he will do so for us who believe in his dream. The…
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Transformations

John 21:1-14 by Thoburn F. Thompsont This passage is so rich in images-disappointed fishermen, slow recognition of a beloved master returned from the dead, nets not torn by a huge catch, 153 large fish, a lakeside charcoal fire, and an invitation to share a meal of roasted fish and bread. I live in Minnesota. Folks in my part of the country know what it is to fish and not catch. We know about torn nets and the “big” fish. We…
Blessed

God’s Human Speech

John 20:19-23 by Barbara Bater We tend to think of language as the essential element of com­munication, but it’s not . Eye movement, tone of voice, physical gestures, volume, space, and time play a larger part in the mean­ing we take from other people’s messages to us and the ways our conversations are heard and interpreted by others. Imagine the disciples huddled behind a door that has been “locked for fear of the Jews.” They apparently don’t believe what Mary…
MixedMessage

A Play within the Play

Isaiah 42:1-9 by W Paul Jones The church divides its year into two “rehearsal” periods for a drama that discloses the meaning of everything. The plot unfolds in three acts: promise/ gift/response. The first rehearsal is titled Advent/Christmas/Epiphany and the second Lent/Easter/Pen­tecost. During the intervening thirty-plus weeks, we live out that drama in our “ordinary” daily life. Thus Lent crescendos this week as a play within the play. Excitement is rampant as we dress for our parts, ready to pass…
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Holy Friendship

Isaiah 50:4-9a by Pam ela Hawkinst As we approach the end of the Lenten journey, I am stopped at the beginning of verse 7 of this chapter from Isaiah : “I have set my face like flint …. ” Through the prophet’s imagery, I imagine the face of Jesus, jaw jutting forward and eyes strong, as the time draws near to complete the journey begun earlier, when he first “set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51) . I…
Busy

A People of Hope

John 12:1-8 by Bronson C. Davis Some days the pressures of daily life can overwhelm us. We often try to do the proverbial “twice as much in half the time” and run ourselves ragged trying to inculcate speed, productivity, and dependability into our working lives. We live by deadlines and find ourselves at the mercy of expectations from coworkers, family, and friends. No wonder we find ourselves easily distracted, unable to focus on what is happening right before us. We…
Lent

Lost and Found

Joshua 5:9-12 by Kim Cape The rhythm of the Christian year quickens in Lent. As Advent prepares us for Jesus’ birth, Lent prepares us for Jesus ‘ death and resurrection. Being human, we are not equipped for either theophany. In our Joshua text, the people renew their commitment to their covenant God. By celebrating the Passover they reenact their parents’ story of deliverance; the current generation recalls God’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt . The eyewitness generation has died; this…
Luke 13

Repentance-A Way of Life

Luke 13:1-5 by J. Thomas Laney Jr. While Jesus is teaching one day, someone in the crowd brings up a much talked-about event-the killing of some Galileans who were in Jerusalem to offer their sacrifices. Pilate had likely ordered the killing and the mixing of their blood with that of their sacrificed animals in a brutal display of power. We are not told why the person raises the issue, but Jesus’ response indicates that the real reason lies in revisiting…