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9.1.20


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. Father, we pray for Bolivia, Cape Verde, Vietnam, Poland, Pakistan and the church in these countries as well as the lost. Jesus, You are kind; help us to be like You. Father, You are merciful; help us to be like You. Spirit, You are faithful; help us to be like you. God, You are love; help us to be like you. 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 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:9-10 NIV “We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.” This was written by Brother Lawrence. In the tumultuous 1600s, with the power struggles, debts, and perpetual unrest, lived several spiritual luminaries whose wisdom still guides people today. Francis de Sales, Blaise Pascal, Madame Guyon, and Francois Fenelon. All pursued an inner path of devotion to Jesus that shed light on both their world and ours. Of all the shining lights of that century though, none speak with the simplicity and humble grace of one lay monk whose quiet presence resided in the heart of turbulent Paris. Brother Lawrence understood the holiness available within the common business of life. He began life as Nicholas Herman, born to peasant parents in Lorraine, France. As a young man, his poverty forced him into joining the army, and thus he was guaranteed meals and a small stipend. (While a soldier he had a vision.) In the deep of winter, Herman looked at a barren tree, stripped of leaves and fruit, waiting silently and patiently for the sure hope of summer abundance. Gazing at the tree, Herman grasped for the first time the extravagance of God's grace and the unfailing sovereignty of divine providence. Like the tree, he himself was seemingly dead, but God had life waiting for him, and the turn of seasons would bring fullness. At that moment, he said, that leafless tree "first flashed in upon my soul the fact of God," and a love for God that never after ceased to burn. Sometime later, an injury forced his retirement from the army, (and he) entered a Carmelite monastery in Paris as Brother Lawrence. He was assigned to the monastery kitchen where, amidst the tedious chores of cooking and cleaning at the constant bidding of his superiors, he developed his rule of spirituality and work. (He observed how hard men work to bring God into focus) “Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?" For Brother Lawrence, "common business," no matter how mundane or routine, was the medium of God's love. The issue was not the sacredness or worldly status of the task but the motivation behind it. "Nor is it needful that we should have great things to do. . . We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God." …He admitted that the path to this perfect union was not easy. He spent years disciplining his heart and mind to yield to God's presence. "As often as I could, I placed myself as a worshiper before him, fixing my mind upon his holy presence, recalling it when I found it wandering from him. This proved to be an exercise frequently painful, yet I persisted through all difficulties." Only when he reconciled himself to the thought that this struggle and longing was his destiny did he find a new peace: his soul "had come to its own home and place of rest." There he spent the rest of his 80 years, dying in relative obscurity and pain and perfect joy.* 240 years later people around the world seek to follow this simple man’s lived example, “Do everything to the glory of God!” * https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/innertravelers/brother-lawrence.html


DAILY SCRIPTURE READING

Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… http://listenersbible.com/devotionals/biy/ If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit https://bibleproject.com/explore/micah/ for an overview of Micah and https://bibleproject.com/explore/2-corinthians/ for an overview of Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. Micah 5:1-7:20 It’s hard not to read the beginning of chapter 5, and see Jesus in it. The language of One to come... What do you think? Chapter 5 has a mixture of both “hope” and “judgment,” which is typical of a prophet. Unlike Amos, where it has only been judgment.  In chapter 6, the question is what shall I do? This comes from the perspective of Israel. Verse 8 is God’s response. What is God saying through Micah about what we are to DO?  How will Micah chapter 7 end, understanding that this is the end of Micah’s writings? 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 What is Paul talking about when he is talking about “earthly tents” and “eternal house?”  In all honesty, the language of 2 Corinthians is very convoluted. I am finding it a little challenging to read. Does it make sense to you? Proverbs 21:17-26 I have to say, verse 19 jumps out at me. But that is only because I have a loving wife. :) Which verse jumps out at you?

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