Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Tuesday - Pastoral Care

Today's  retreat follows the scriptural devotional that we've been following.  This scripture speaks of Judas committing suicide as he thought this was the only way out of a bad situation.    Please remember that there is always another way out of any seemingly bad situation.   If you ever get in a place where you think suicide is the only choice you have,  please talk to your Minister.... counsellor.... friends and family... mental health staff.... they will help you through any situation.

Tuesday Retreat....
Prayer:   God grant us the courage to do the things You would have us do.  Grant us serenity to do the things You would have us do.  Grant us wisdom to know what You want us to do today.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read  St. Matthew 27: 1 – 10

The Chief Priests and Elders decide to put Jesus to death.   They led Jesus away.   As they led Jesus away,  Judas suddenly realizes what he has done by betraying Jesus.   Judas is seized with remorse.  He goes to the Chief Priests and Elders and say, “I have sinned.  For I have betrayed innocent blood.”   The Chief Priests and Elders could care less about Judas.  They say that the responsibility of betraying Jesus is totally upon Judas’s shoulders.      And Judas only sees one way out of that responsibility of betraying his friend…. by killing himself.

How sad that Judas only sees one way  out of   his betrayal.  Yesterday we meditated on decision making and making bad decisions.  This was Judas’s  worst decision.  He did not depend upon the love of God for forgiveness nor ask God for help.  Judas took it upon himself to kill himself.  How sad!

In today’s world,  many people commit suicide.   And that is so sad.   People only look at the immediate and think that suicide will get them out of their situation.   They totally forget about the life God has given to them and the future.   Today keep in your prayers all those who are about to make a life-ending decisions.  Pray for God’s guidance to be with each and every person who is about to make a life-ending decision.      

Prayer:   God of Glory and Might,  we ask for Your guidance today for those who are about to make a life-ending decision.  Put us in the path of  those who need Your guidance today.  May we bring grace and peace and comfort to those who need it today. May those who are making a decision today rely upon You and Your Word.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Monday - making positive choices

The retired Minister and I led worship yesterday at St. Andrew's and then Valleyview Seniors Home.   The Minister's question was "how many people do we wait for until we do not worship as the crowd is too small?"   I responded and said if only one person shows up for worship.... we worship!    And then thank God that that one person showed up.  
So we had four for worship at St. Andrew's  and thirty people for worship at Valleyview Seniors Home.  Now,  not that Jesus keeps a record of how many people show up for worship... it is important for Ministers and Elders to know that worship continues even if only one person shows up.

But that is a choice each Minister and Elder needs to make.   For me,  no matter how many people show up,  we worship God!  Worship is always a positive choice. 

Monday Retreat....
Prayer:   As we follow You today O Lord,  may we be bold in our belief.  May we go forth in Your love and light so that all may know of Your glory.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew 26: 69- 75

Peter does follow Jesus.  This scripture states that Peter is sitting in the courtyard.  Peter is sitting waiting to hear what will happen to his friend and mentor and teacher Jesus. 

Those in the courtyard start pointing their fingers at Peter saying, “You know this Jesus!  You are one of his followers!”  Yet Peter denies knowing Jesus.  Then Peter realizes what he has done.  He has denied his friend,  his mentor, and his teacher.  Peter goes outside the courtyard and weeps bitterly.

Jesus had told Peter what Peter  would deny Jesus,   but Peter could not believe he would be so weak-kneed.  And then it came to pass.  Peter suddenly made a choice… he could either say, “Yes I know Jesus” and also be put up on trial… or he could deny knowing Jesus and live.

Often we look at others who do not stand up for their beliefs and we point our fingers and say, “We would never do that”.   Yet given the same circumstances,  we would probably do the same thing as Peter.

But why?  Why would we deny knowing Jesus?  Frequently because we think it will get us out of having to explain what we believe.  We think that it is easier to “sit on the fence” and not rock the boat by saying nothing.   But as Peter found out,  life gets mighty harsh when we sit by and do nothing.

Today,  be alert of the choices you make.  Ask yourself if any of your choices are made so you won’t rock the boat.    Ask yourself if by making any of your choices,  you deny the love of God to be brought into the situation.  

Prayer:   Redeeming God,  help us make good positive choices today so that we can glorify Your glory and love.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Sunday of Worship

Normally I don't make comments on the Sunday blog but two things happened yesterday to make me go, "hummm".      First Husband and I were at a garage sale yesterday of a congregational member from St. Andrew's  Brandon.  The congregational member reminded me of the Nursing Home Worship Sunday afternoon.  I had totally forgotten.  How horrible to forget worship.   Thank goodness God was in the midst of my Husband wanting to go to a garage sale!      
Then a local Brandon minister and I were e-mailing concerning Worship in Nursing Homes.  He stated for the Summer months that he nor the lay ministry team does not lead worship in Nursing Homes.... even though worship continues in Nursing Homes over the summer.  I asked if he had anyone that stepped in to lead the Nursing Home Worships while he was away.   He said, "no".   I wept at this answer.    How can one deny worship to those who can't get out of the Nursing Home?  How can one deny worship to those who need the love of Christ?   I am  so sad that some Ministers think because summer comes along that God goes on holidays.  
I e-mailed the minister asking why volunteers are not asked to help out lead worship in Nursing Homes during the summer .  His response was, "Because we need a sabbath.".    A sabbath.    While yes indeed those who minister to the people of God do need a time away,  this is where the Elders and congregational members must provide leadership.    God does not take holidays!   And for those of us who serve in the Church,  we can not just write off a whole group of people because it is "summer".    Those who are in Nursing Homes need the joyous Word of God brought to them (and often the Good News is brought from the Seniors to those of us who lead them in Worship!!!).   Worship should not be a time of draining of one's self.  Worship is a time of renewed enthusiasm that God provides for us each time we come before God.  
So next time a Nursing Home calls and says, "Can you help us lead Worship?" please jump at the opportunity that God has provided you!    This is the way we share the love of God with others.     

Sunday of Worship....
Holy God,  this is the day we stop and worship You with Your community.  May we worship to Your glory.   May the Holy Spirit rest upon all those who preach this day and all those who lead us in praise this day.  May the Holy Spirit rest upon all those who sit and abide in Your presence.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Saturday - praying for forgiveness

Saturday Retreat.....
In order for each of us to be able to say “thank you God”, we need to forgive ourselves and others.   The Forgiveness Prayer exercise today is an easy one but a thorough exercise.
Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise.   On the left hand side  write the name of the person and  what they have done to you.  Add anyone you can think of on this list…. From the driver who didn’t stop to let you cross the road to the sister that forgot your birthday.
The more we forgive the more healing can be done. 

Name of Person                                                    Forgiveness

When you are done writing the names on the left hand side of your paper, start writing on the right hand side this phrase

 Dear _________, I do forgive you for _____________ and I set you free.  I do forgive myself for feeling hurt/ angry/  violated and I do set myself free.

Wait until you feel different in anyway when you think about that person.  Then go to the next name on your list.  Sometimes the list is a few names and sometimes the list is pages long.   But remember,  the more we forgive the more of God’s love we share. 

End your  Forgiveness Prayer exercise with this  prayer: 
God of all Graciousness,  I thank you that I can come to you with heavy burdens and You take all my burdens  from me.  Thank you Great God that you have taken my sorrows and anger and replace them with Your forgiveness and love.   May I too be the love of God to all those that I meet this day.  Assist me as you assisted the early Apostles and Church leaders to find blessings and opportunities even in the most challenging experiences.  In Jesus’ Name I pray.   Amen.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Friday - one positive change

Friday Retreat.....
Prayer:  Great God,  we thank You  for the great sacrifice Jesus made for us. Your graciousness and love is beyond all measure.  For this and our eternal life,  we give You thanks and praise.    Amen.

Read St. Matthew 26: 57 – 68

This is the portion of scripture that we often begin reading during Holy Week.   It is difficult scripture to read.   While we know the end result of this scripture (resurrection of Jesus),  it is hard to read of the trials that Jesus went through before the crucifixion.  But we must read this scripture in order for us to understand the great sacrifice Jesus and God made for us.

Jesus is now standing before Caiaphas, the High Priest, and the teachers of the law, and the elders.   The Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death.

Why would the Sanhedrin want to put Jesus to death?    Jesus had been preaching in the Temple and teaching in the marketplace about God and the Messiah.  The Sanhedrin is afraid of Jesus.  He is teaching new things and the people are learning that God is love and not a God of a million laws.   Jesus is bringing about change.

Change.  Funny  how none of us like change.  Change makes us really look at what we believe.  Change is sometimes negative but if it is a true inward looking at ourselves and our behaviours and that change helps us reflect the love of God, then the change is a positive change.  Take time today to look inward at your attitudes and behaviours.  

Today make one positive change in your life and delight in the love of God.

Prayer:  Creator God,  thank You for helping us to make one positive change in our life today.  Thank You that we can delight in Your love.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Thursday - the always present Jesus

Thursday Retreat....
Prayer:   Jesus,  we know that You love us no matter what we do.  We know that You love us from reading Your Words.  We know that You love us from the prayers that we pray.  We know that in all things,  You forgive us when we forget to do Your work in this world.   Have mercy upon us O Lord.  Amen.

Read:  St. Matthew 26: 47-56

This portion of scripture is the arrest of Jesus.  Read through this portion of scripture a couple of times.  Meditate upon the words that  Jesus says in response to Judas.  Meditate upon the words that Jesus says in response to  the crowd.

In both instances,  Jesus is reassuring Judas as well as the crowds.  Jesus tells them why his arrest has to happen.  

Jesus says that his arrest occurred so that the Scriptures for telling of a Messiah might be fulfilled.    Jesus says that his arrest must occur so that the prophets might be fulfilled.

Then in their fear and panic,  the Disciples desert Jesus.  Jesus is alone with God and those who arrest him.

Do you ever have times when you think your friends and family have deserted you and you are left all alone?  This portion of scripture reassures you that God is present with you every step of your day.  

Prayer:  Great God,  every step we take this day we know that You are with us.  Every breath we take this day we know that You are with us.  Every thought we have this day,  we know that You are with us.  Thank You God.  Amen

Many blessings!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Sliding into Wednesday's Prayers

Wednesday Retreat....
Prayer:   We praise You O LORD.  You provide us with blessings.  Even when we fall asleep or forget to do Your work,  You love us unconditionally.  We thank You!  Amen.

Read St. Matthew 26: 36 – 46

Then Jesus went with his Disciples to a place called Gethsemane.   Jesus took Peter and James and John.  Jesus asks to the three that his soul is overwhelmed with sorrow.   So Jesus goes and prays.  He asks Peter and James and John to keep awake and keep watch … to say prayers for Jesus.

When Jesus returns from praying,  he finds Peter and James and John sound asleep.  What?  Why would they be sleeping when Jesus asked them to pray for him?  Frequently when we are under stress,  our body says, “that’s it” and makes us take a nap.  Nothing wrong with naps at all!

Yet,  Jesus went to pray three times,  and three times he asked the Disciples to pray for him and three times he returns to find the Disciples asleep.    

Are we like the Disciples?  Do we say to people, “we will pray for you and your situation” and then forget?  Oopsie.    Always always remember if you say to someone you will pray for them,  to keep your promise.    Prayers for people do not have to be long prayers… they can be prayers that say, “Here Lord,  I bring Mrs. X in your presence today.  Be with her and answer her needs as Your will be done. This I ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

Simple prayers… but remember to pray if someone asks you!

Prayer:   Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  have mercy upon us!   Be with those who need Your love and mercy this day.  We lift up to You those people we know that need Your love in their lives……..  We lift up to You today those people who are struggling with jobs and bosses…..  We lift up to You today those people who are sick and infirmed.   Be with these people and if it is Your will,  answer their needs.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Tuesday Retreating

Holy God,  we thank You that You love us beyond all measure.  You are our Creator and Redeemer. Amen.

Read St. Matthew 26: 31 – 35

Jesus predicts Peter’s denial as well as all the other Disciples denial.   The disciples never thought they would deny Jesus…. but they did.  

While we sit on this side of reading the Gospel,  we frequently go, “tsk tsk” at the Disciples denying Jesus.  Yet,  we can’t point any fingers at the Disciples without first looking at our own lives.

Have we ever denied Jesus?  Have we ever closed our hearts to doing the work of Jesus?  Have we ever walked away when someone asks, “why do you believe in Jesus”?

Thank goodness Jesus forgives us of the things we have left undone or unsaid!

Prayer:   O Lord our God,  bless us in all that we do and say this day.  Holy God,  Holy Mighty One have mercy upon us.  Holy God,  Holy Mighty One have mercy upon us.  And grant us Your peace.  Amen.

Wednesday July 25
Prayer:   We praise You O LORD.  You provide us with blessings.  Even when we fall asleep or forget to do Your work,  You love us unconditionally.  We thank You!  Amen.

Many blessings!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Monday - time of Retreat

This weekend was a time of retreating.  Old Son works Tuesday to Friday and then has Saturday to Monday as his days off.   He really knows how to balance life.  When he works,  he works hard.  And when he has his days off he knows how to rest and retreat. 
While I was madly scrambling this weekend to get paperwork completed for the Synod and Museum all the while getting frustrated as my arthritis was displaying it's presence,  I marvelled that Old Son was resting and retreating.    To life a balanced life is a gift that we not only give to ourselves but give to God. 
So too in the Church do we need to balance our paperwork with our Worship and especially the Sacraments!  
Take time today to retreat in God's goodness!  Whether you have the day off or not :) 

Monday Retreat.....
Prayer:  Great God,  prepare our hearts for Your Word this day.   Remind us that You love us more than we can fathom.  Remind us that Jesus loves us when we continue Your work in this world.  Amen.
Read St. Matthew 26: 17 – 30

The Disciples ask Jesus what he wanted them to do to prepare for the Passover.  Jesus replies that the Disciples are to go into the city to a certain man and state to him that they will be celebrating the Passover together. 

As the Disciples and Jesus are reclining at the dinner table,  Jesus says, “One of you will betray me.”  Judas pipes up and says, “Surely not I, Rabbi?”  Jesus replies, “Yes it is you.”           Judas must have suddenly realized what he had done.  Yikes.

Then Jesus celebrates what we now call The Lord’s Supper.  This is a supper of remembering the sacrifice Jesus made for us as well as being a supper of forgiveness.    And indeed Jesus had already forgiven Judas for his betrayal.   How much more will Jesus forgive us of any sins we commit.   And how much more does Jesus love us for continuing his work in this world. 

Prayer:   Great God,  we remember the sacrifice Jesus name for us.  We remember that through this sacrifice,  You have forgiven us and given us eternal life.  May we take the work of Jesus into the world this day.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Sunday -- Worship at the Lake

Prayer:   Holy God,  Holy Mighty,  Holy Immortal One have mercy upon us.  Holy God,  Holy Mighty,  Holy Immortal One have mercy upon us.  Holy God,  Holy Mighty,  Holy Immortal One grant us Your peace. Travelling mercies for those who are travelling today.  Prayers of hospitality and grace to those congregations that have new visitors today.  May all Churches open their doors with hospitality and love to those who are in need.   This we ask in Jesus' name.   Amen.

Many blessings!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Saturday Keeping our Souls in Tune

Remember to make time today to prepare your heart and mind and soul for Worship.

Prayer:  Great God,  help us to prepare our hearts and minds and souls for Your Worship.  Help us to prepare our hearts for Your Words.  Help us prepare our minds for Your wisdom.  Help us prepare our souls for the joy of praying in Your Holy Name. We thank You that You provide for all our needs.  May we always remember the needs of others this and every day.   We ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Humble Friday

Phew.  Yesterday's  blog retreat was about what we would do for Jesus yesterday.
Well,  sometimes life is amusing.   I would have to answer that question, "What did I do for Jesus yesterday?  Nothing,  I was cranky".      Cranky.  Do you ever have days when the paperwork just mounts up and then your boss comes in and says "why aren't you finished your paperwork yet?"  Cranky.    Or when one is taking an online course with an online chat and declares that between certain hours,  you will be unavailable... and yet everyone and his dog seems to come in and ask questions?  Cranky.

So what does a person do when they are cranky?   The best thing is to send short prayers to God filled with "give me hope"   and "keep my temper at bay" (as getting angry never solves anything)  and "all things are in Your hands God ... but hurry with Your peace!"  and   then take a couple of drinks of cleansing water.    Cranky frequently means one needs a short time away.... step out into outside for a breath of fresh air and a short time of meditation and prayers.    Cranky can be overcome but it takes work to become at peace and living in grace and love.   I wonder if Judas lived life as a cranky guy?

Friday Retreat.....
Prayer:  Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  You are our life and our love.  Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  You are our Messiah and we give You thanks!  Amen.

Read St. Matthew 26: 14 – 16

Judas agrees to hand Jesus over to the Chief Priests.  Down through history,  Christian Scholars have asked the question of  “did Judas know what he was doing”?   Why would Judas betray Jesus?   and  Did Judas hand Jesus over just for the money?

In fact,  Judas did not hand Jesus over for the money.  Thirty pieces of silver is what was paid for  a slave (Exodus 21: 32)  or what the prophet Zechariah received for wages (Zechariah 11: 12 – 13).   So Judas did not hand Jesus over for the millions of dollars.

Some Scholars state that Judas was seeking a Messiah who would bring down the current political scene and return Israel to a Jewish state.  The Scholars continue on to suggest that Judas discovered Jesus was not a political Messiah and was not going to bring about havoc onto the Romans.

So what does Judas handing Jesus over to the Chief Priests become?   Very simply,  Jesus the Messiah was not the Messiah that Judas was looking for.  Judas was disappointed.   Judas was impatient with all the time he had spent with Jesus hoping Jesus would be a political Messiah.

Judas missed the whole point of Messiah,  resurrection, and eternal life.  Judas was living in the “here and now” and missed the whole point of living a life in God’s presence.

Yet,  at some point Judas must think, ‘What have I done?’ as he throws the 30 pieces of silver back into the Temple.

Judas did not understand the love and grace that Jesus was preaching.  How sad!  Yet are we any better?  Do we sit each Sunday in our Church pew and listen to the reading of Scripture and the Sermon and then do nothing?    Something to think about!

Prayer:  Help us O Lord to take Your words out into our lives.  May we  remember that You are our love and our grace.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Amazing Thursday - What will you do in the name of Jesus today?

Thursday Retreat......
Prayer:  Merciful God,  may we be a blessing to everyone this day.  May we live in Your love and abide in Your presence.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew 26: 6 – 13

At the home of Simon the Leper,  an un-named woman pours expensive perfume over the head of Jesus.  

The Disciples are indignant with this woman.    Why waste perfectly good expensive perfume that if sold could have helped feed the hungry and  clothe the needy and visit those invalid or inprisioned.  Aha !  The Disciples did understand what Jesus was telling them about being good sheep!!!   But, unfortunately,  none of the Disciples realized that the unnamed woman was carrying out her own “good sheep” taskings.  

Jesus responds to the Disciples by saying, “When she poured this perfume on my body,  she did it to prepare me for burial.”

Today what will you do in the name and sake of Jesus Christ our Lord?

Prayer:   Great God,  may we live in Your glory and know that everything we do is done in Your name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Wednesday of rain and refreshment

During this summer of high heat and high humidity,  any time it rains we all breathe a sign of
relief.  The rain gives us a bit of cooling and liquid for the plants.   How much more is the
love of God refreshing for us when we come to God and say, "Here I am.  Let me listen to

Wednesday Retreat.....
Prayer:  Great God,  when we are in times of trial,  may we remember that You are with us in all that we do and say.  Help us to remember that You are like the refreshing rain after a time of high heat. In all things,  grant us Your healing and Your strength.  Nourish and refresh our souls so that we can do Your work here on earth.    In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew 26: 1 – 5

The plot against Jesus.   And now we come to the portion of scripture that  tells of Jesus’ death.   We never like to read these verses as they are sad.  Yet we read these verses knowing the rest of the story.  Jesus did rise again from the dead.   And we need to read these verses in order to remind ourselves of the sacrifice God and Jesus gave for us. 

Jesus finishes teaching the Disciples and now prepares his Disciples for what will come next.  Jesus will be handed over to be crucified. 

The Chief Priests and Elders assembly before Caiaphas, the High Priest,  and together they plot how to take Jesus.  They decide that they can not take Jesus during the Feast as the people would riot. 

Prayer:  Heavenly God,  when our life is filled with frustration or trials,  may we continue to rely upon You.  We remember Your words and Your love to all.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Amazing Tuesday

Tuesday Retreat.....
Pray: “All we like sheep have gone astray, and each one of us has followed after our own way!” Lord we know this in our hearts and we seek for the ways in which we can follow You each and every day. Amen.

Read St. Matthew 23: 31 – 46

Good Goats and Bad Sheep.  Matthew and Dennis Linn lead workshops on Being a Christian.  At one of their workshops,  they were  trying to explain about this very parable of the Sheep and the Goats.  It was not going well.   The participants were taking the images of Sheep and Goats literally.    In order to explain this parable,  the Linn brothers said to the participants,  if you have ever been able to feed the hungry, clothe the needy, visit the sick or imprisioned,  then you would qualify as a good sheep.
BUT,  if you have ever even once failed to feed the hungry, clothe the needy, and visit the sick or imprisioned…. then you are a goat.       After a pause of silence in the room,  one of the participants said, “I get it!  We are all good goats!”  

Yet Jesus is telling the Disciples (and us)  that we must not be content being “good goats”  we must strive to be good sheep and help those in the world that can not help themselves.

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth,  whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me”.

Today,  what will you be?  A good goat or a good sheep?

Pray: We know too often the moments when we have been good goats, when try as hard as we can we know that we have failed to live up to all we know we should be. Help us to be Your followers to know that You are still calling us in all of our moments to reach for the best that we can be as the followers of Christ our Shepherd. Amen.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Resurrection Monday

Today is LCol Thompson's Funeral.   This is a time of celebration of his life.   But a lot of people view his death as the end.   How sad to think others view death as  that of when  a person dies, that is the end.   Death is a new beginning.   Death is not the end.   Through the scriptures we read and know that God has given us hope and love in the Resurrection.  Hallelujah!

Remember to make time today for sitting (or standing) in God's presence!
Monday retreat.....
Pray: As the new day dawns may we be led to the places where we can see the needs that You have for others in the world. Amen.

Read  St. Matthew 25: 14 – 30

This is another parable about the end of times.   Jesus begins by saying that the return of the Messiah will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted three servants with differing amounts of money (talents). A “talent” was worth more than a thousand dollars.    The man gave his servants a lot of money.  He entrusted his servants with all of his property.     Wow!  The master must have really trusted and respected his servants to give them all of his property.  

After a long time,  the Master returns and asks the servants what they have done with his money.  The Master compliments these two servants and calls them “good and faithful servants”.   While the first two servants have doubled their Master’s money,  the third servant decided to bury the money and keep it safe.  The Master is angry with the third servant and states that he should have at least put the money in a bank where it could have earned interest.   Life is not good for the third servant.

Banking at the time of Jesus was suspect.   If the third servant had put the Master’s money into the bank,  the Master might actually have ended up with less money through nefarious bankers.

So what is the point of this parable?   We have to remember why Jesus told this parable in the first place.  This parable is not about money but about how we use what God has given us before the Son of God returns.   Do we keep our “talents” and gifts to ourselves?  Or do we go out into the world asking God to use us each day to bring about His Kingdom here on earth?  According to this parable,  nothing gets done for the Kingdom of God without taking some risk.  And taking risk is scary,  but with God by our side,  all things are possible Oh Good and Faithful Servant.

Pray; You have given us much Lord, riches to use, gifts with which to serve others, wisdom and sanctified imaginations with which to provide solutions to the challenges of living in this world. Help us to make effective use of these your gifts not for our own glory but for Yours, and for the building up of Your kingdom. Amen.

Sunday, 15 July 2012


Prayer:   God of all Majesty, as we prepare for worship this day, give us words of hope and comfort, give us actions of love so that all we meet may know that You care for them. Speak through the words we say that everyone may clearly know that You are a God who loves and cares for them.  Be with those who preach today that they may remember that You are a God of love and majesty.   Be with those of us who sit in the pew that we may hear the Good News of God.  Help us to centre ourselves today in Your strength,  Your healing, and Your love so that no matter how our day unfolds,  we remember that our day is lived in Your glory.  This we ask in Jesus' name.    Amen.

Many blessings

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Saturday Preparing for Sabbath Worship

Prayer: Help us Father to grow in  grace, love and peace. May we walk with You this day in all that we do.  May we immerse ourselves  in Your presence in all that we say and wherever we may travel.
Remind us yet again,  O LORD,  of the fruits of Your Spirit.... provide us with Your love,  joy, peace, patience,  kindness,  goodness, faithfulness,  and self-control.  May we be a reflection of these gifts.    Prepare our hearts for worship of You and abide in Your strength,  Your healing, Your light, and Your love.  This we ask in Jesus' name.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Friday - Thinking Positive, Thinking with wisdom

Positive.  Thinking positive.  Thinking with joy and love and peace.   Amazing how difficult it is sometimes when we get into a situation not of our making when people start throwing negative poison arrows at us.   Harsh words and harsher opinions deflat our love and joy and then we too become negative and forget the God of love. 
It takes much practice to turn ourselves around when the negative arrows are thrown to know how to keep our minds in God's love and joy.  It is called wisdom.  Prayers of protection are the best... quick prayers asking God to keep you in God's loving care.....    And a constant affirmation of who we are in God!  And that is called wisdom..... of keeping ourselves turned to a God of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, and faithfulness.  

Friday retreat....
Prayer:    Wise and Loving God,  we ask that You impart to us today Your wisdom.  God of Joy and Peace,  we ask that You impart to us today Your joy and Your peace so that we can be Your hands and Your voice this day to those who need You.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew  25: 1-13

The Parable of the Ten Virgins.    This is a story Jesus told about being prepared for the return of the Messiah.    Ten Virgins took their lamps to wait for the bridegrooms.  Five of them were foolish but did not take any oil with them.  Five wise virgins took extra oil in jugs.    At midnight the bridegrooms appeared…. and the five foolish virgins had no oil left in their lamps.  Their lamps were dark.  So they asked the five wise virgins if they would give them some oil.  The five wise virgins said, “No,  go purchase some instead.”  Off the five foolish virgins went  to purchase some more oil.  When they came back,  the doorway was shut.  The bridegrooms and the five wise virgins were inside the wedding banquet.

This is not a story about being prepared with oil but about being prepared for the return of the Messiah.  Jesus could have told this story about the five foolish preachers and the five wise preachers but Jesus told the story about weddings.  Weddings are times of great joy and happiness.   How much more will our joy and happiness be when the Messiah returns!  Yet Jesus says we are to do something while we wait.  We are to be prepared for the return of the Messiah but sharing our “light”.. our love of Christ…. we are to continually prepare ourselves by praying daily and reading/meditating upon Scripture…. we are to prepare ourselves by asking God, “What can I do for You today”.   We do not know the day he will return but we must continue in our work of spreading the Good News of God to each and every person we meet.

Almighty God,  we ask what we can do for Your today so that Your Good News is spread throughout the world.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.
Many blessings!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Thursday Retreat - Return of Christ

Yesterday was the big Bus Tour from Winnipeg.  The visitors got off the bus and were cranky.  They came into the hot Brandon Armoury (we have had constant heat for the last couple of  weeks) and were cranky.   We introduced ourselves,  sat down for lunch,  said Grace,  and ate.  After eating and
getting re-freshed,  they were no longer cranky.    
Isn't that amazing the way the simple act of drinking water or eating food after extreme heat boosts our physical body and our soul?

Amazing!  Just think of this same boost to our soul and attitudes if we drank in the Word of God each day!

Thursday Retreat.....
Prayer:    God of time and space,  we give You thanks today that You are with us as we go throughout our days.   We give You thanks today that You are with us in everything that we do.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew 24: 36 – 51

From an owner of a house and a thief to a faithful servant and a wise master,  there is the theme of the future here.    While we do not know what the future will bring,  as Christians we are given tasks to carry out. 

The most important verse in this portion of scripture is verse 42… “keep watch, because you do not know on what day Your Lord will come.”   Keep watch and keep the faith.  

We must always be ready for the return of Christ.  And why?  Because until the time Christ returns,  we are Christ’s hands and feet in this world.  This is an amazing responsibility that Christ has given to us but it is a responsibility that we must do.

Read through this scripture again,  jotting down any words,  phrases,  or thoughts that have leapt out as you listen for the voice of God to  speak to your heart.   Ask yourself  how is the Lord revealing Himself to you?
Quietly reflect on the words and phrases the Holy Spirit is emphasizing in your heart.     
Capture all you have meditated on and bring it as a prayer before God. Let your heart cry out with praise, confession, gratitude, sorrow, or comfort.

End your prayer time with this prayer……   Lord Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  let Your healing flow down upon me.   Lord Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  let Your healing spring up within me.  Lord Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  Let Your healing love enfold me.  Lord Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  let Your healing power flow through me.    Amen

Many blessings!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Compassionate Wednesday

Yesterday our former Commanding Officer,  LCol Thompson of 26 Fd Regt RCA and 38 Brigade died.  This is a time of saddness for all of us but yet it is also a time of joy.... LCol Thompson is now in heaven,  free from the pain of cancer,  and rejoicing over no longer having to do any paperwork. Please keep his family in your prayers... both his biological family and the family of 26 Fd Regt RCA - 38 Brigade.      This is a time of celebration of the resurrection.

Wednesday Retreat.....
Prayer:  Great God,  we ask for forgiveness this day for those things we have left unsaid.  We ask for forgiveness this day for those things we have left undone.  We ask for forgiveness this day knowing that You have already forgiven us and we are saved in Your love.  Amen.

Read St Matthew 24: 29 – 35

Jesus then gives the disciples another Sign of the End of the Age.    The moon will not give light,  the sun will darken,  the stars will fall from the sky (quoting from Isaiah 13: 9 - 10 and Isaiah 34:4).   The Son of Man will return and this will be the Sign of the end of the Age.  

Good grief!   These signs are starting to be a real downer. This chapter seems to be nothing but bad news.    What  Jesus is doing is  was preparing and teaching  the Disciples (and us today too) that being a Christian is not easy.   Bad stuff will happen but if we remain true in the faith,  we will see Jesus. 

How do we prepare for Christ’s return?   Or do we?    Do we pray to God each day bringing our hopes and requests and asking forgives and expressing our thanksgiving to God?    Does our lifestyle say to our neighbours “there is something different about you”?
Jesus is telling the Disciples (and us today too) that our lifestyle,  our beliefs,  and the way we carry out our day to day life needs to always reflect the love of Christ.   

God of mercy and justice,  help us to carry out our day to day life reflecting the love of Christ.   This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Most Amazing Tuesday

One of our good friends in Killiam Alberta was wondering why our denomination is shrinking and in survival mode.  You know the type of survival mode he means... the Church pulls inward and pulls their offerings and tithes inward and forgets about sharing the Good News through Missions with those in their community and world.

What does this say about our Ministers?    In our denomination,  it is horrific that our Seminarians only receive one homelitic course in their four years of training.   One course!  How can one be prepared to preach the Good News with only one course??!!   And what happens when our focus comes off of God's word preached through Ministers?   We end up with bad sermons which makes for impossible worship.  We end up with Ministers who preach half truths and state that Sermons do not have to be theologically sound nor accurate.   Yikes.   And people begin to walk out the door seeking another place of Worship where the Good News is preached from the pulpit and Worship is truly a a blessing. 

All Theological Colleges...  I urge you to look at what is being taught,  at what courses you are offering.   If there are no or very few courses on Biblical Understand nor Homelitics,  then what is the focus of the new seminarians?  We end up with weak ministers and false leaders and a turning away from God.   This is not good.  This is a time for prayer and vision and hope.

The Disciples too listened to Jesus as he talked about false leaders..... 

Tuesday Retreat....
Prayer:    Lord Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  may Your love flow over us.  Lord Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  may Your joy flow through us.  Lord Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  may Your peace flow within us.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew  24: 23 – 28

Jesus continues to instruct the disciples that there will be many who say, “I am the Messiah”  or “I am the Christ”.  These false Messiah’s will perform miracles and marvellous signs… yet they will not lead the people to God.    Beware of those leaders who declare they are of Christ yet do not live as Jesus taught the disciples to live.   

How can we tell false leaders?   Only over time and through prayer.   If the spiritual leader is truly of God,  then they will have the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace patience,  kindness,  gentleness, self-control, goodness, and faithfulness).    It is important to know the fruit of the spirit so that we can recognize who is a Godly leader and who is just in it for the money or power.       

Jesus tells his disciples that where ever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.  What Jesus means by this is when there is a group of believers or even a single believer,  there will always be bad leaders trying to tempt them away from their beliefs.  Hold onto your belief in the love of God!

God of love and life,  we thank You that we can come into Your presence and meditate upon Your words.   Grant us courage so that we may be a blessing to others this day.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!