Tag Archives: praise God

Judgment of People, and Psalm 50

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, July 30, 2017

PowerPoint Presentation

Judgment of People, and Psalm 50

As I read this sermon outline from Advent 1935 written by Bonhoeffer, I get little whispers of things to come. Premonitions of fearful and horrible things. The Nazi regime in Germany was becoming repressive, even as early as December 1935.

The troubling backdrop for this earnest sermon writing of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s causes a lump to form in my throat. Bonhoeffer’s biographer Eberhard Bethge was also troubled: “The Protestant Church was not in the habit of opposing state legislation, but from 1935 onwards it was becoming increasingly clear that resistance would have to be offered.” [1]

(As I said, troubling times, indeed.)

The sermon taken from Psalm 50 was written to highlight God’s best. Even though there were many trials coming at the reader because of the German government, the secret seminary persisted. Bonhoeffer already thought it courageous to stand against the Nazi regime. And, God preaching to the government was something fearful people would gravitate toward.

Dear Lord, Bonhoeffer seemed to be strong and courageous in the 1930’s, with more possibilities to expand horizons. This sermon outline is heartening. I hope and pray my church (in Morton Grove) to allow considerable freedom. O, God who reveals Godself to us, help each of us to praise You, and praise all creation of Your hands. Thank You for God’s loving kindness to each of us. O God, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

 

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 62.

PEACE: God’s Love Within

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, August 16, 2016

God brings peace

PEACE: God’s Love Within

This post includes a second definition of PEACE from Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church. But, before we get to that, I need to tell a bit about the Englewood neighborhood, and Mothers Against Senseless Killing (MASK). This excellent group has a dinner outreach called Take Them a Meal. Several people from Morton Grove traveled to the south side of Chicago to provide for the dinner, two weeks ago.

The weather was quite warm—and so was the fellowship and community! Heartwarming, too.

As the dinner outreach packed up, Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church started to set up on the same street corner. They have an outdoor worship service every Wednesday night during the summer. That church has a regular outreach to the Englewood community.

I greeted several of the church members, including the associate pastor, Frederick Schells. A kindly man, he gave me his view of peace right away. Pastor Frederick’s personal definition: “PEACE is the love of God within you.”

As I asked for him to elaborate, he said, “Peace has to be recognized from within.” He talked about the importance of God in each individual’s life, and how the presence of God is a foundation for peace.

The presence of God can be a comfort and encouragement for many, especially when going through difficult or challenging times. The Gospel of John lets us know that Jesus promised peace—His peace. Not as the world gives. Not fleeting or temporary, but permanent. Everlasting peace.

Praise God. Thank You for Your peace.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Pray, Pray, and Pray Some More

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Call to Me - Jeremiah-33-3

Pray, Pray, and Pray Some More

Just sent out the prayer email of the week to my congregation. Lots to pray about!

Praise God for so many things, including a little baby finally coming home from the hospital! Please remember those who are shut ins, those who are sick at home, in the hospital and in care centers.

And, while we are at it, pray for those who are especially on your hearts.

Pray. Pray. And, thank God for prayer, that we are invited into God’s throne room of grace.

Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza #PursuePEACE.  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE: Feeling Safe, Being Safe

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, April10, 2016

PEACE: Feeling Safe, Being Safe

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Today I will share some special personal definitions of PEACE. These definitions came from an opportunity to visit the Muslim Community Center last Sunday afternoon.

The president of the Sunday school reminded the gathered crowd that I was there to ask the simple question “What is PEACE, to you?”

First, Taqeer’s personal definition: “PEACE is inside, at first, in your heart.”

When I asked if I could know more about that definition, Taqeer said, peace gets planted inside you. After that, then you give peace to others.

Then, Zaineb. Her personal definition: “PEACE is being/feeling safe, and equality.”

I was very much moved by what she told me. First, she mentioned her definition. I asked for further words to describe It was then that I felt such compassion. She had such challenges! Being born into a refugee camp, she had such memories. Frightened, feeling helpless and powerless, anger, despair. Zaineb and I embraced. I felt my heart overflow with such compassion for her.

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Thanks to God that Zaineb is here in this country, now. Be truly present to her and her loved ones as she journeys along her path. Thanks for Taqeer and his family, too. We praise You for openness and for welcoming such a spectrum of difference, diversity and ability.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

(Thanks to everyone at the Muslim Community Center in Morton Grove, for making this week f personal definitions of PEACE possible.)

PEACE: Knowing God is in Control!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, March 10, 2016

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PEACE: Knowing God is in Control!

Today we have another definition from the North Shore Assembly of God in Skokie. (If you remember, I discussed the division and animosity becoming so prevalent in the public discourse.) Again, I took the opportunity to ask each one about their personal definition of PEACE. I got more fascinating definitions! Here is one from Pam Swamy: “PEACE is knowing God is in control, and whatever happens, I trust Him!”

Pam had what some at her church would say is a powerful testimony! Here is just a bit of it.

Some time ago, Pam went to the doctor for a regular gynecological exam. The doctor found an ovarian cyst. She went through the treatments for cancer. All the while, she had a deep feeling that the Lord was with her in a powerful manner. She had peace throughout her “insides.”

Years later, when Pam was diagnosed with breast cancer, she felt, “God is in control. I felt strongly that it’s my job to trust Him. And, I do!” She never said, “why me?” This is the path she is walking. She very much feels her position as a daughter of the most High God.

Wow. Double wow. That is what PEACE means to Pam. I thanked her so much for her testimony, for her words, and for her personal definition.

I am hard put to it to come up with fitting words to comment on Pam’s testimony. Except—I praise God for Pam and her gracious words, her praise-worthy definition of PEACE. How wonderful to have that assurance, to know that God is with her, no matter what.

Thank You, God, for wonderful people like Pam who have such words of assurance. And PEACE. Amen and amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Like St. Augustine, My Heart is Restless, Lord

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, October 8, 2015

sunrise breaking through clouds

Like St. Augustine, My Heart is Restless, Lord

Instead of going forward in The Oxford Book of Prayer, I looked backwards. Back a page, to a little, short prayer of St. Augustine. And, I was struck by it. I’ve known about this prayer for some years, and I repeatedly think about it. Even occasionally pray it. But today, it moved me particularly much.

Today’s prayer is about Longing. I chose it for today, and this brief prayer is also about “Thy Kingdom Come” (Prayer 173, page 64) [1] It actually is a quote from Augustine’s Confessions, which I first read a number of years ago. As set forth in elegant translation in my Oxford Book of Prayer: “Thou awakest us to delight in Thy praises; for Thou madest us for Thyself, and our heart is restless, until it repose in Thee.”

Perhaps it is the translation. (I read the Confessions in a more modern, less poetic translation, years ago.) However, I found these words of Augustine—in this particular translation—to resonate deeply within me.

Such a thought. (!!!) I was made, fashioned, created, for God. I was awakened, after God took joy in my creation, to delight in Him. And not only to delight, but praise! Rejoice! (As the psalmist says, “Such knowledge is too much for me to comprehend.”)

But, wait! That’s not all. God created me expressly for Godself. In my mind’s eye, I can see a Master Craftsman meticulously fashioning me in God’s state of the art workshop. After all, Psalm 139 does mention people being painstakingly fashioned inside of their mothers’ wombs.

I’ll need to think about that for a while. My heart is restless, indeed. I praise God for such words. Indeed, I do.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 64.

Center. The Messiah is Born!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, September 21, 2015

Jesus Mafa, Woman at the-Well, Unknown African artist

Jesus Mafa, Woman at the-Well,
Unknown African artist

Center. The Messiah is Born!

One of the vivid images I remember from Christmas-time in my childhood is that of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Linus answers Charlie Brown’s question, “Does anybody really know what Christmas is all about?” Linus repeats part of the Christmas narrative from the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke. The annunciation to the shepherds.

Linus quoted the King James Version of Luke; I would like to use the New International Version of the Bible. Luke 2:10: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.” My word—Name of God for today is Messiah.

As I used Centering Prayer today, with “Messiah” as my focusing word, my mind flitted between Luke 2 and John 4, and tended to remain on John 4. But back to Luke 2.

What did the angel say to the shepherds? A Savior has been born. The Messiah. The Lord. The Messiah is a Hebrew title for “anointed one.” This Savior, this Anointed One is special. The special-est special of ever. Of all time.

While trying to center, my mind flitted to John 4, where the Rabbi Jesus talks with the Samaritan woman at the well. Verses 25 and 26: “25 The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.’ 26 Then Jesus declared, ‘I, the one speaking to you—I am He.’”

I realized that Jesus was not only called Messiah by others, but He was claiming that Name for Himself. Savior. Lord. Messiah—Anointed One. Yes, I probably had had that insight in the past, but it came to me afresh today. Anew. With deep conviction. Praise God.

Dear Lord, Messiah Jesus, thank You for this insight. Yes, I probably did figure it out in the past, but my memory is not what it used to be. So, I forget some stuff. Thanks for reminding me of it, again. This is an awesome insight. Praise to Your name.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er