First Steps – November 12, 2018

Dr. Timothy Tennent, current President of Asbury Theological Seminary, recently wrote an article where he said, “We often long for peaceful, calm waters with as little disruption as possible. It is disruptive to see the culture in chaos, the church in crisis, and challenges at every turn. But, when we look at the Bible, we regularly see how God moves in that liminal space which we call “disruption.” The old saying, “God comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable” is truer than we sometimes care to admit. But, all through the Scriptures we see God taking ordinary people, with their sometimes-limited vision, and calling them forth to become full participants in His mighty acts of salvation.”

I don’t know about you, but I often don’t see disruption as a good thing.  Yet, if I know that a disruption will create something inside of me that I long for (nature of Christ) and will witness to God’s goodness in the world, then perhaps I should view God’s disruptive grace differently.

Maybe not all disruptions are bad. What do you think? Look for God’s disruptive grace this week. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned.


This week’s reading:

  • Monday – Hebrews 2
  • Tuesday – Hebrews 3
  • Wednesday – Hebrews 4
  • Thursday – Hebrews 5
  • ​Friday – Hebrews 6

Please Pray for:

  • Our nation and our newly elected officials
  • Our families, homes, workplace, church, and community
  • Those that are suffering and grieving.
  • Ongoing Building Renovations, Modifications, and Phase 3: Construction of New Youth Building and rear parking.
  • The United Methodist Church.

First Steps – November 5, 2018

Our capacities for compassion are deepened when we stay grounded in the sacred truth of our belovedness. Did you know that is how God sees you? So often we forget and start believing the lies that we are not worthy of love. We seek the source of value in our work, wealth, physical appearance, and in others while deep within, a longing lingers. We long for the face of God to remind us of His care.

The walking with God invites us to remember that our belovedness is as secure as the air we breathe. It is the ground on which we have our being. In fact, God’s face is smiling as we speak. We deepen our connection with this compassionate God in various ways — prayer, meditation, solitude, retreat, worship, ritual, fellowship, and community. Every moment we recall God’s grace in our life, we connect with God’s presence in the world. Beloved! Look for God’s grace in your life. Know of his love.

 

 

This week’s reading:

  • Monday – Titus 2
  • Tuesday – Titus 3
  • Wednesday – Jude
  • Thursday – Philemon
  • ​Friday – Hebrews 1

 

 

  • Please Pray for:
  • All Saints’ Sunday and all those gone before us.
  • Our nation and our leaders
  • Our families, homes, workplace, church, and community
  • Those that are suffering and grieving.
  • Ongoing Building Renovations, Modifications, and Phase 3: Construction of New Youth Building and rear parking.
  • The United Methodist Church.

First Steps – October 29, 2018

The other day I had the unique privilege of spending a few moments with a couple just after they celebrated the birth of a child.  When I entered the room I saw a beautiful baby resting silently in the loving arms of her mother.  No words were needed to express her love for her child.  Granted, there will be many future moments where the mother will sing or speak to her baby, but there will be countless hours of silence where the baby is simply held by both mother and father.  The baby cradled in the arms of either parent will be enough for trust, safety, and intimacy.

Contemplative prayer is resting silently in the arms of God.  No words are needed.  Throughout the history of the church, contemplation is a quiet awareness of God.  It is a consciousness that goes deeper than words or thoughts can express.  It is resting in God.  If Meditation is thinking about something and it meaning, then contemplation is a deeper awareness beyond the scope of words.

As she held her child, there were no words spoken or needed yet there was great awareness.  This week, seek to be aware of God’s presence in your life.  Look for it.  No words are needed to do this.  Silently pray for God’s presence to envelop you.  Trust in his grace.


This week’s reading:

  • Monday – 2 Timothy 1
  • Tuesday – 2 Timothy 2
  • Wednesday – 2 Timothy 3
  • Thursday – 2 Timothy 4
  • ​Friday – Titus 1

Please Pray for:

  • The people devastated by damage from Hurricane Michael.
  • Our nation and our leaders.
  • Our families, homes, workplace, church, and community.
  • Those that are suffering and grieving.
  • Ongoing Building Renovations, Modifications, and Phase 3: Construction of New Youth Building and rear parking.
  • The United Methodist Church.