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A little girl finally got to attend a wedding for the first time. While in the church, the girl asked her mother: “Why is the bride dressed in white?” The mother replied to the girl: “because white is the color of happiness and it’s the happiest day of her life today." After a little bit, the girl looks up at her mother and says: “But, then why is the groom wearing black?”

-pastor mike

LET'S PRAY TOGETHER Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun.  Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. We pray for good health and that all may go well with the faithful That our souls will continue to grow and develop. May the church’s faithfulness to the truth be revealed today May we walk in the truth and love so that the lost in this world will see Our sacrifice, humility, patience, in trouble and great joy. They will see and be wooed by the Lover of our souls.  May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm; may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us; may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors. Amen

MEDITATION “…(God) has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. (2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NIV) "One of the greatest barriers to our mission of reconciliation is judgment. Judging is not our job, it’s God’s job. Our job is to discern so that we can be faithful." “Human beings judge one another by their external actions. God judges them by their moral choices. When a neurotic who has a pathological horror of cats forces himself to pick up a cat for some good reason, it is quite possible that in God’s eyes he has shown more courage than a healthy man may have shown in winning (a purple heart or the congressional medal of honor). When a man who has been perverted from his youth and taught that cruelty is the right thing, does some tiny little kindness, or refrains from some cruelty (and in doing so), risks being sneered at by his companions, he may, in God’s eyes, be doing more than you and I would do if we gave up life itself for a friend.

(Let’s look at it the other way round). Some of us who seem quite nice may, in fact, have made poor use of our good heredity and upbringing that we are really worse than (the people we think of as monsters)….This is why Christians are told not to judge. We see only the results which a man’s choices make out of his raw material. But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on what he has done with it. Most of the man’s psychological make-up is probably due to his body: when his body dies all that will fall off him, and the real central man, the thing that chose, that made the best or the worst out of this material, will stand naked. All sorts of nice things which we thought our own, but which were really due to a good digestion, will fall off some of us: all sorts of nasty things which were due to complexes or bad health will fall off others. We shall then, for the first time, see every one as he really was. There will be surprises.”* Humility and gratitude are our armor against deception, especially about our nature and other’s. When we “see” with Christ’s eyes, what a difference! In humility, we are ready to give other’s the benefit of the doubt and realize that we are ourselves are, in truth, not as nice as we’d like to think . Are we ready to have the scales fall from our eyes and see ourselves in truth? Yet God loves us anyway! And as His beloved children. He is transforming us day by day, if we will let Him.. *C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Touchstone, 1996), pp. 86-87.


DAILY SCRIPTURE READING Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit for an overview of Hosea and for an overview of the book of Romans. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. Hosea 8:1-9:17 Chapters 8 and 9 are not “happy” chapters. Consider some of the sins Israel is being accused of… 8:1, 4, 9, 11.  While the images of judgment seem foreign to us, we must remember, that to those who lived in Israel, these were graphic images. I think of those times in the gospels, where Jesus will say something that will enrage those around him, while we seem to keep reading on. That would be the same effect of the words of Hosea on those who were listening. Hosea's words were meant to grab Israel's attention in an emotional way. Romans 8:1-17 Paul is going to sum up what he is saying, by talking about life in the Spirit. This section is very reminiscent of Galatians chapter 5, where Paul talks about the sins of the flesh, and the Fruit of the Spirit. What are some of the advantages to life in the Spirit that Paul lists? Consider these verses... 8:1, 2, 4, 11, 14, 15. Proverbs 17:25-18:6 In these verses Solomon seems to give a lot of weight to what people say. Which of these proverbs point to how we speak, and what are they saying?

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