Ash-Wednesday-Lent

Lectionary readings for Ash Wednesday Cycle A: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Psalm 51:1-17; II Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 and Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 Guidance on using the lectionary. I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating…

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Guidance on using the lectionary. Lectionary readings for January 6, 2017: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12 “A good journey begins with knowing where you are and being willing to go somewhere else.” Richard Rohr Today we celebrate epiphany—the “showing forth” or “the revelation” of Christ in the world. Epiphany takes its themes…

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What is Spiritual Leadership?

Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.  Those who are spiritual discern all things…  1 Corinthians 2:14-15a A pastor told me that his church had outgrown their facility, so they were asking,…

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Advent Week One

Lectionary readings for November 27, 2016: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Rom 13:11-14; Matt 24:36-44 Click for complete Advent calendar (Cycle A) and guidance on using the lectionary. “God comes to us like the sun in the morning—when it is time.”—Carlo Carretto, The God Who Comes My favorite time of any day is the pre-dawn moments before the…

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Advent 2016

“Of all types of waiting, the waiting of pregnancy is most like the waiting that we do during Advent. The waiting of pregnancy is like the waiting we do for God.” – Wendy Wright For four years my wife and I were eager to have a baby. At first, naturally, we tried like everyone else. After…

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Election Dat 2016: Teach us to pray today

“Lord, teach us to pray…”  ~ Jesus’ disciples in Luke 11 Ok, I admit it.  I’ve been discouraged, grumpy and even a bit depressed this election season, as I’m sure many of you have been. Perhaps the most accurate way to describe my state of mind and heart is that I have experienced desolation, in…

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spiritual discernment for groups

“If we are not pursuing the will of God together in fairly intentional ways, what are we doing? Our own will? What seems best according to our own thinking and planning? That which is merely strategic or expedient or good for the ego?” —Ruth Haley Barton Years ago I remember watching the doctor who invented…

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Practicing What we Preach

“A leader is a person who must take special responsibility for what’s going on inside him/herself, inside his or her consciousness, lest the act of leadership do more harm than good.” –Parker Palmer By the time you get this, I will have begun an eight-day silent retreat.  During this time, I will not have access…

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“The way to spiritual wholeness lies in an increasingly faithful response to the One whose purpose shapes our path, whose grace redeems our detours, whose power liberates us from crippling bondages of the prior journey and whose transforming presence meets us at each turn in the road.” – M. Robert Mulholland Spiritual formation has become one of the major movements…

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Guidance on using the lectionary. Lectionary readings for the Liturgy of the Palms: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-20; Luke 19:28-40 Lectionary readings for the Liturgy of the Passion: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 22:14-23:56 or Luke 23:1-49 “Could you not stay awake with me one hour?” Matthew 26:40 Holy Week is a bizarre juxtaposition of…

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Guidance on using the lectionary. Lectionary readings for March 13, 2016: Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 A journey into God may be the best way to describe Lent and Holy Week. Of course, it…

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Guidance on using the lectionary. Lectionary readings for March 6, 2016: Joshua 5:9-12; Psalm 32; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 God, help us find our confession; The truth within us which is hidden from our mind; The beauty or ugliness we see elsewhere But never in ourselves; The stowaway which has been smuggled Into the dark…

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Guidance on using the lectionary. Lectionary readings for February 10, 2016: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 “‘And yet even now,’ says the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart…’” –Joel 2:12 Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Church’s observance of the Lenten season—six weeks…

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Lent

Oh God, let something essential happen to me, something more than interesting or entertaining or thoughtful.  Oh God, let something essential happen to me, something awesome, something real.  Speak to my condition, Lord and change me somewhere inside where it matters.  Let something happen which is my real self, Oh God. —Ted Loder This year,…

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Lectionary readings for December 25, 2015: Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 98; Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12); John 1:1-14 Guidance on using the lectionary. St. John of the Cross If you want the Virgin will come walking down the road pregnant with the holy and say, “I need shelter for the night, please take me inside your heart, my time…

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Lectionary readings for December 13, 2015: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6; Phillipians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18 Click for complete Advent calendar (Cycle C) and guidance on using the lectionary. “If we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” – Romans 8:25 No matter how disciplined, organized and prayerful you are, you never outgrow waiting. Tracts of humanity wait: for…

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Lectionary readings for November 29, 2015: Jeremiah 33: 14-16; Psalm 25: 1-10; 1 Thessalonians  3:9-13; Luke 21: 25-36 Click for complete Advent calendar (Cycle C) and guidance on using the lectionary. “Unto you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.  O my God, in you I trust.”  Ps 25:1, 2 “Hurry up and wait!” Usually this statement is laced with…

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“When we submit our lives to what we read in Scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s. God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves.”  – Eugene Peterson I can still remember the first time I heard the…

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“Wherever there is something in our life that is not conformed to the image of Christ, there is a place where we are incapable of being all God wants us to be with others … a place where our life with others is hindered and limited and restricted in its effectiveness and in its fullness…

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Part 4

You can also read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this Beyond Words series. Then he said to them, “How foolish you are, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:25-26) If you ask…

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Part Two

Part 1 of this Beyond Words series can be found here. “While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’” —Luke 24: 16, 17 Just think! If the disciples…

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Click for guidance on using the lectionary Lectionary Readings for Ash Wednesday Year B: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 Today is Ash Wednesday—the beginning of the Church’s observance of the Lenten season.  At some point throughout this day, many of us will experience the symbolic gesture of receiving the…

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Lent

Click for guidance on using the lectionary Lectionary Readings for Ash Wednesday Year B: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 “‘And yet even now,’ says the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart . . .’” – Joel 2:12 This year Ash Wednesday comes early! Whether we feel ready…

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Epiphany

Click for guidance on using the lectionary. Epiphany of the Lord: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12 “The incredible gift of the ordinary! Glory comes streaming from the table of daily life.” – Macrina Wiederkehr Today, in the rhythm of the church year, we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany—the manifestation of…

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Christmas Eve:  Isaiah 9:2-7 Psalm 96 Titus 2:11-14 Luke 2:1-14 (15-20) Christmas Day:  Isaiah 52:7-10 Psalm 98 Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12) John 1:1-14 Click for complete Advent calendar (Cycle B) and guidance on using the lectionary. “Christ is born to us today, in order that he might appear to the whole world through us.” -Thomas Merton…

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Lectionary readings for the first Sunday of Advent (Cycle B). Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37 Click for complete Advent calendar (Cycle B) and guidance on using the lectionary. “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down!”—Isaiah 64:1 Waiting is one of God’s immensely sweeping invitations. To wait expectantly…

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“When we submit our lives to what we read in Scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s. God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves.” – Eugene Peterson I can still remember the first time I heard…

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With gratitude for pastors everywhere

“On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.”  Psalm 138:3 Several years ago I went to a particularly difficult memorial service with my daughter, Haley. It was the funeral for one of her friends from high school who died in a complicated way from causes that were not entirely…

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training partner Ironman

I changed out of my dress slacks and button-down into spandex tri-shorts and my favorite red technical shirt as slowly as I could. It had been a long day at the office with several meetings and requests for assistance. I knew what was ahead so I was in no hurry. Most days I looked forward…

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Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ mother Mary, and the apostle John stayed near the cross and kept watch as Jesus suffered and died.

Scripture for Good Friday (April 18, 2014): Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 22; Hebrews 10:16-25; John 18:1-19:42 “Who can stay awake in this night of God? Who will not be as if paralyzed by it? Christ’s struggle was with God. This was his real agony. He overcame it through his self-surrender. That was his victory, and our hope.” …

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Winter's end

“Look, a little cloud no bigger than a person’s hand is rising out of the sea!” —I Kings 18:44 I love the way the rain comes at winter’s end hosing down the sooty earth, washing away the dirt that comes from who-knows-where. Oh God, I need a cleansing rain in my life, sullied as I…

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crucifix

Scripture for Ash Wednesday: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 “‘And yet even now,’ says the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart . . .’” —Joel 2:12  Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Church’s observance of the Lenten season—six weeks that are set apart for…

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Scripture for Ash Wednesday: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 “Lent is a time of returning to God.  It is a time to confess how we keep looking for joy, peace, and satisfaction in the many people and things surrounding us without really finding what we desire. …

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Prayer

“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.  Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation.  This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.”…

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Advent candles

Lectionary Readings for Christmas Eve: Isaiah 9:2-7, Psalm 96, Titus 2:11-14, Luke 2:1-14 (15-20) for Christmas Day: Isaiah 52:7-10, Psalm 98, Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12), John 1:1-14 Advent Calendar (Cycle A) and guidance for using the lectionary “How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given.”—O Little Town of Bethlehem Christmas Eve marks the end of Advent…

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