Monday, 31 March 2014

Monday - surely goodness

Psalm 23: 5 – 6 ....

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.  Amen.


How do you dwell in the house of the LORD?   Does goodness and love follow you all the days of your life or do you reflect upon your life as one black cloud after another?  How can God restore Your life to fullness?


Prayer:   God of All,  surround me with Your goodness and Your love so that I can share Your goodness and love with my family and my friends and my community.   Bless our Church as we worship and study and pray together.  All for the sake of Your Son.  Amen.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Sunday - restore our soul

Psalm 23: 3- 4   He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me;  Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.


How does God restore your soul?     Is God a comfort to you?


Prayer:  Sustaining God,  each and every day continue to restore my soul so that I can walk on Your path to righteousness in delight and joy.   But in all things may Your will be done.  Amen.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Saturday - rest and nourishment

Psalm 23: 1- 2   The LORD is my shepherd,  I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.


How is the LORD your shepherd?    How,  do you think,  God provides you with rest and nourishment?


Prayer:  LORD my shepherd,  thank You for providing my life with everything that I need.  Thank You for the times of rest and the times of nourishment for my soul.   In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Friday - generations

Ephesians 3: 20-21 ....Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.

How do you share the work and love of Christ with all generations?  How does our Church share the work and love of Christ with all generations?

A couple of years ago,  there was a big push in the quilting world to begin mentoring a younger quilter.  This is a fantastic idea!   Someone had great vision to see that quilting must be shared with all generations so that quilting continues in the future.   And that vision caught on!   But sharing our knowledge and experience with the younger generation isn't only a one way street...  as we share our lives and gifts with the younger generation,  they in turn share their enthusiasm and wisdom with the older generation.   Neat!

Prayer:  Great God,  You do more than we ask or imagine.  Fill us today with Your love and enthusiasm so that we can share Your work and Your love with all generations.  Amen.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Thursday - rooted in love

Ephesians 3:16 – 19    … may God strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fulless of God.


How do you let Christ dwell in your heart so that you may be rooted in love?


Prayer:  God Almighty,  You heal us with Your strength so that each day we can share Your love with our family and our friends and our community.   Amen.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Wednesday - holy living

Galatians 5: 22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 


As we live and mature as Christians, the apostle Paul reminds us that the fruit of the Spirit must be shown in our lives.   Would your family and friends say you have the fruit of the Spirit?  Why or why not?


Prayer:  This day,  O God,  we come before You with our ears open to Your calling and our hearts open to Your voice.  Help us to mature as Christians through the reading of Your most Holy Word and through our prayers that together You may instill within our hearts  Your love,  joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.   Amen.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tuesday - living at peace

Romans 12: 17-19   Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you,  live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written “’It is mine to avenge, I will repay’, says the Lord.”


Is it easy to live at peace with everyone?  Why or why not?   How does God play a role when you start to get angry and want to repay evil for evil?


Prayer:  Great God of peace,  help us to curb our tempers when we get angry.   Through the reading of these Holy Words,  open our eyes to Your teachings of love and peace.   May we live this day in peace and compassion.   This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Monday, 24 March 2014

Monday - bow down

Psalm 95: 6-7  Come, let us bow down in worship,  let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;  for he is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under his care.  


What does it mean to “bow down in worship”?   Does it mean we literally bow down to God or does it mean we make time each and every day to spend time in God’s presence?


Prayer:  O Come,  let us bow down and worship YOU, O LORD our Maker.   We come before You today to spend time in Your presence so that we can hear Your voice. Lord Almighty,  we sit in silence now asking You for a task that we can do in Your name today.   Amen.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sunday - Lent 3

Psalm 95: 1- 3    Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.  For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. 


Hymns are vocal prayers to God.  We sing hymns each Sunday at Church.  Do you remember to sing hymns Monday to Saturday?


Prayer:  LORD, You are our GOD and we are Your people.   We will sing for joy to You this day and always.  Amen.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Saturday - harmony

Romans 12: 15-16

Rejoice with those who rejoice;  mourn with those who mourn.  Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.

 Listen to God in the silence of your meditation.   Meditate upon what the word harmony means to you.
Ask  God how you can help your Church and Session and Minister live in harmony with one another.

What one thing  will you do today in order to live in harmony with one another?


Prayer:  With You O LORD as my guide,  I will live this day in joy and prayer and harmony.    Be with me when my temper starts to rise so that my temper can be changed into Your love and Your peace.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Friday - Joyful in hope

Romans 12:  9-13    Love must be sincere.  Hate what is evil;  cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honour one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.    Share with God’s  people who are in need.   Practice hospitality.

 Joyful in hope.  What a great phrase to keep before one's  day.   No matter what our day looks like,  to repeat to ourselves the phrase "joyful in hope"  creates positive thoughts when we have a tendency to sometimes think negatively.     Patient in affliction.  Oh boy.   This is a tough one.   When we are feeling ill or recovering from illness,  sometimes we get cranky that we aren't healing as quickly or as whole-ly as we think we should.   Now healing from illness isn't the affliction that Paul was talking about but it certainly reflects upon healing from illness.     Always share with those who are in need.  This means  keeping those who are afflicted and live without hope and joy in your prayers.  This means giving warm mittens and toques to those who have none.  This means  inviting people over for a bowl of soup who are living with mounting frustrations and sadness.    Practice hospitality.   No matter who comes to your door or speaks to you on the phone or e-mails you,  practice hospitality.   Hospitality is more than opening your home up to your family and friends.  Hospitality today includes your family and friends and community and who ever is in contact with you.    Hospitality means praying for your guest,  giving food to nourish their bodies,  making sure that your guest is better off than when they arrived on your doorstep/e-mail.    

This weekend, how will you work on being joyful in hope…. Patient in affliction… faithful in prayer… share with those who are in need… and practice hospitality?


Prayer:  Redeemer God,  provide for me the gifts to serve others in joyful hope and hospitality so that when evening comes,  You delight in my work and my prayers.   Amen.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Thursday - reconciliation

Romans 5:  10-11  … we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!  Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Throughout our history of the Christian Church  the word "reconciliation"  ebbs and flows.   Some decades the Church focussed upon reconciliation and in other decades,  reconciliation was a forgotten word.   Jean Calvin  stated that all Presbytery meetings have a time of reconciliation.    In this decade,  our Church is involved in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada with First Nations peoples.  This is a nation wide commission of reconciliation.   Yet what about our local churches?   Do we have  a time each Sunday during worship for reconciliation?  What about in our daily lives?   Reconciliation has a three part focus:  conversion,  confession,  celebration.     First we have to acknowledge and identify that we have wronged and been wronged (conversion).  Next we seek and ask God's forgiveness as well as the party we have injured in thought,  word, or deed.  Then there is a big celebration (Lord's  Supper)  knowing that we are forgiven and our hearts are cleansed.... and who doesn't like cake... :)
What does the word “reconciliation” mean to you?    Does  love, peace, and justice have anything to do with reconciliation?

Prayer:  Great God,  we rejoice that through Jesus Christ our Lord,  we have been reconciled and forgiven.  Amen.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Wednesday -

Romans 5: 6 and 8   You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


Christ died so that we could live lives of continual forgiveness without being burdened down by sins.    It is kind of like being patted on the shoulder and hearing the words "there, there".  Comfort!   Is there anyone you need to forgive? 


Prayer:  Forgive us Divine God when we stumble and think our lives miserable.  Remind us through Your Words we read that in Your great love, You have forgiven us.  Forgive us O Lord and set our feet back on the path to Your love. This we pray in the name of Christ our Saviour.  Amen.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Tuesday - Coming and Going

Psalm  121: 7-8    The LORD will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life;  the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.


Do you ever say thank you to God for watching over your whole life?  How do you say thank you to God?


Prayer: God and Divine Healer,  thank You for watching over my whole life.  Thank You for being with me through the joyous times and the horrible times.   For in You,  we live and move and have our being.  Thank You!  Amen.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Monday - comfort

Psalm 121: 3 –     God will not let your foot slip --  God who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, God who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.


Do you find it comforting that God watches over you?


Prayer:  Holy God,  Holy Mighty,  Holy Immortal One have mercy upon us.  Holy God,  Holy Mighty,  Holy Immortal One grace us Your peace.  Amen.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Sunday - Lent 2

Psalm 121:  1-  2   I lift up my eyes to the hills --  where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. 


How do we ask the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth for help?


Prayer:  God of all,  we lift up to You today in prayer our family, especially (names of family)……    our Church family…..  especially our Elders as they led us in Your wisdom and spiritual decisions…..  our Board members……  our Music Director.   We also lift up to You today in prayer our friends so that together, family--  Church family-- and friends,  we might delight in Your love and Your peace.  Amen.


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Saturday - Compassion

Colossians 3: 12  Therefore, as God’s chosen people,  holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.


How will you “clothe” yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience this week?


Prayer:   Lord our God,  You know me better than I know myself.  Instill within me Your compassion so that I may see who needs Your help this day.  Instill within me Your kindness so that I can be kind to those in need.  Instill within me Your gentleness so that I can be a bearer of Your love and not just a bear.  Instill within me Your patience so that I can hear Your still soft voice calling to me.  Amen.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Friday - strengthen the faith

Colossians 2: 6-7  So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.


Strengthened in the faith as you were taught.  Who taught you about Jesus?  Was it your family or a Sunday School teacher or Youth Group leader?   Often we think when we “graduate” from Sunday School or are Confirmed that that is the end to our learning about the Good News.   Amusingly enough,  in my 51 years here on earth  I’ve learned that we continually learn about our faith.  Our learning must never stop.   In order to grow and mature as Christians,  we must always thirst for the Word of God.   With the internet these days, there are many amazing websites and blogs that centre us in the Word of God --- all the blogs on the Presbyterian Record website, sacred space,  pray as you go,,   and Taize are just a few of these websites.   Check them out and  discover that they strengthen each of us in our faith and teach us to thirst for the Good News of God always. 


How do you continue to learn about Christ so that your faith is strengthened?


Prayer:  May the Word of Christ go with me and be with me this day as I live and move and having by being within the love of God my Father.  Amen.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Thursday - reconciliation

Colossians 1: 19-20   For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Christ, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

 This century we have witnessed some amazing reconciliations with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada.   Each of these commissions were created to begin the process of seeking out the truth,  granting forgiveness,  and reconciliation.   Big tasks.    Yet  together by taking small steps at first,  truth and reconciliation is found.  And as the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission continues,  it is amazing to see the renewed life that has been created by sharing stories of life journeys. 

What does the word “reconciliation” mean to you?   Does reconciliation also include peace and justice?

Prayer:  Holy God,  may the fullness of Christ dwell within us richly so that when times in our lives become tough and frustrating or we live in despair,  we can turn to You and dwell in Your love.  Amen.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Wednesday - living life worthy of God

Colossians 1: 10  

 May you live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God….


How do we live a life worthy of God and please God in every way?


Prayer:   Almighty God,  we offer up to You today our prayers,  the reading of Your Most Holy Word,  and our meditations upon You.  Amen.

Tuesday -

Colossians 1: 9

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.


Who will you pray for today so that God can fill them with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding?

Prayer:   Everlasting Father,  we lift those in prayer who need Your spiritual wisdom and understanding……..   Fill us with Your spiritual wisdom and understanding this day so that we listen to Your voice and Your calling.  Amen.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Monday - spreading the Good News

Colossians 1: 6 All over the world this gospel is producing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.

The Good News of Christ is spread all over our world.  How amazing!  The Good News is spread through all the world both by scripture,  but also by word and deed and action.   We are walking billboards of  Christ :)
How is the gospel producing fruit and growing in you?     What is the first scripture you remember having heard?

Prayer:    Heavenly God,  help us this day to read Your Word --  Your Bible—and to take what we have read out into our community.  Amen.

Sunday, 9 March 2014


Psalm 32: 8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
 Teaching and instructing is a gift.   As we teach and instruct (and mentor :)  we always learn more about the subject than  probably the student will learn.    Teaching and instructing is a double gift.     While we teach,  we also learn.    Last week I was giving a presentation on the Battle of Vimy Ridge to an Army Cadet Corps.    This is the same Corps that many years ago,  I was involved with doing Administration and Supply.   Imagine my surprise when I heard one of the Cadets I had taught,  teaching a new Cadet how to wear his beret.     My surprise was that the older Cadet was using the same words and same actions that I had taught to him.    So,  if people remember what they are taught by instruction.... what do people remember by our actions?   We also teach through our examples and our actions.      Some scholars call this secondary teaching.   But no matter what it is called,  we teach through our voice,  our actions, and our examples.     
Today as we sit in Church,  how will we be instructed and taught of the love of God?    How will God instruct and teach you today?

Prayer:  Thank You God that You instruct us and teach us and watch over us each and every day.  Amen.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Lenten Saturday

Isaiah 26:4

Trust in the LORD forever,  for the LORD, the LORD is the Rock eternal.


How is God your strength?


Prayer:   Everlasting God,  You are our foundation upon which we rest.  Help us always to read Your Word so that we maintain a strong foundation.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Lenten Friday - World Day of Prayer

Ephesians 2: 4 - 5
But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.   (NRSV)
What one thing will you do today to show others of God’s  great love and grace?
Prayer:   Great God,  You love us even when we stumble and fall.   Thank You Great God for Your love so that we are made alive in Christ. Today on this World Day of Prayer may we all come before You with hearts made alive in Christ to worship and adore You.   We come before You on this special day lifting up to You in prayer those who need Your great love and grace.   Amen.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Lenten Thursday

Psalm 51: 1 - 2

Have mercy on me, O God,     according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  (NRSV)


God forgives us each and every time that we sin.   Today, how will you forgive those who have hurt you in thought, word, or deed?  Today, how will you forgive yourself for those you have hurt in thought, word, and deed?


Prayer:    Divine Healer,  You love us  so much that You forgive us every time we hurt others in thought, word, or deed.   This day O LORD,  we bring before You those who have hurt us in thought, word, or deed…………  and we give to You their pain and anger. We give to You,  O LORD, our pain and anger so that You can turn us around to see Your loving arms giving us a big hug.   This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Ash Wednesday

In the Middle Ages and still today,  people go to Church and ask God for forgiveness.   They hand God their sins and say, “Please forgive me”.  Then as a visual sign that they are forgiven,  the Minister draws a cross on their foreheads using ashes.    Usually the ashes are the burned remains of  last year’s palm branches.


Lent is a time during which the Church looks at what they believe.   It is a time of reflecting upon our life in Christ and how we can become amazing examples of Christ in our neighbourhood and world.   Lent is also a time of repentance – a time of saying to Christ, “I am sorry for not sharing your life with others”. 


  Colossians 3:12-14

12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  (NRSV)


How will we share the love of Christ with everyone that we meet today?


Prayer:  Almighty God, I rejoice in Your love.  Grant me the enthusiasim today to  share Your love with everyone that I meet.  Amen.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Shrove Tuesday

Why is it called Shrove Tuesday?  The word shrove is an old English word meaning to shrive, which means to obtain forgiveness for one's sins by way of confession and doing penance. During the Middle Ages,  this would be the day when  Christians were expected to go to Church and ask God  for forgiveness.   


 But something else happens on Shrove Tuesday.    Pancakes galore.   Why pancakes?    This takes us back to the people leaving Egypt.   God tells Moses that the people must use up all rising agents (yeast, baking soda,  baking powder).   All rising agents must be used up before the Exodus.  This became known as the Feast of the Unleavened Bread. 


Exodus 12:14 - 20

14 This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance. 15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day shall be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day you shall hold a solemn assembly, and on the seventh day a solemn assembly; no work shall be done on those days; only what everyone must eat, that alone may be prepared by you. 17 You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread, for on this very day I brought your companies out of the land of Egypt: you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a perpetual ordinance. 18 In the first month, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day, you shall eat unleavened bread. 19 For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether an alien or a native of the land. 20 You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your settlements you shall eat unleavened bread.

(New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.)


How will eating pancakes become a reminder for you of Moses and the people leaving Egypt in the Exodus?


Prayer:  Thank You God that You walk with  us on unexpected journeys.  Amen.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Monday - Lent

Lent – what does it mean?

The word “lent” actually means  to lengthen.   This doesn’t mean that we all grow a few inches  but  the daylight hours are growing longer.   As the days grow longer we receive more times of sunlight.   And when we have more hours of sunlight,  we know that spring is around the corner.    Lent is forty days long and are forty days of inward reflection.   Sundays are not counted in the forty days as Sundays are days of celebration of the Resurrection.

Prayer:  Prepare our hearts this day O LORD as we begin this season of Lent.  Instill within us the thirst for Your Holy Word,  the need to come to You in worship and praise,  and the quiet times for meditation.  This we ask in Your Son's name.  Amen.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Sunday - Lenten preparing

Lent is that time in the Church when we all take time to pray and reflect.  Some Churches give something up for Lent in order to make the time of Lent more meaningful.    Some Churches open the Church up during the weekdays for  more times for worship and prayer.  Some Churches do more in their communities as an example of Christ serving those who are in need.    


In the Presbyterian Church in Canada,  we do something more for Lent through our prayers and our service.  Doing more prayers and more times of reflection make some people groan because it means work.   Yes,  praying and making times of reflection is work but think of it this way.   Preparing oneself for Lent is  like getting ready to go outside in the winter time.   We know that outside will be cold and windy,  so we dress in a heavy coat,  with a toque or hat or hood, and we wear mittens or gloves,  and tuck our feet into snow boots.  We add extra clothing to keep our bodies from freezing.    Lent is the time when we add extra prayers and times of reflection in order to keep ourselves prepared for the glorious celebration at Easter.  


Consider this blog your toque and mittens  and parka for the next  forty six days. A toque, mittens and parka are essential for keeping us warm and healthy during winter.   Each day,   will be a prayer (toque to keep us warm in God’s love),  a scripture to help us grow as Christians (parka to surround us and keep us warm in God’s love),  and a question to keep us pondering throughout the day (mittens to keep us warm in God’s love). Essential for keeping us warm and healthy in the love and knowledge of God.  

The scriptures are from the New International Version.  Zondervan, 1983 unless noted otherwise).