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 Guatemala, Niger, Vanuatu, Portugal, Kosovo and the church in these countries as well as the lost. Thank You for Your limitless love. Today we ask for special grace for the most vulnerable; The elderly, the orphan, the sick, the poor and the prisoner. You promised freedom, health, and provision for those who are lowly. 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 As a high school junior, I decided to try out for track. I had played field hockey but quit, I had tried out for flag line and had quit, perhaps the third time would be the charm? The coach decided to have the new runners try a variety of events; javelin, hurdles, 100 meter, and the 400 meter. My javelin wobbled and landed so close I may have gotten better distance with a granny throw. In the 100 meter, I put my head down and ran my heart out, I was going so fast, and then as I crossed the line I realized everyone else was already there and had been…for a while. The hurdles incident was gory and sadly predictable and that’s all we’ll say about that. So it was the 400 meter, a single flat out sprint around the track one time. To train for my new event, I would join the team for a warm up run of about a mile across country and then do practice sprints on the track. Shelly and I were both new to the team and as we started out for the first run, we were chatting amiably. Running made it hard to talk, and so as we rounded a bend by a pond Shelly suggested we take a sec and sit behind some pine trees to finish our conversation. It sounded wonderful to me, I was getting winded. So for the rest of the season, she and I would duck behind the pines and sit and chat until the team came running back past and we would rejoin the end of the pack. Needless to say, defying all expectations of my coach, I never got any better over the course of the season. Growth requires that we show up and actually do the work. It wasn’t until I was in college that I moved from always looking for someone else to get me going (good luck with that!) and disciplining myself. I had to get myself up, stay on task, finish the work, even when it was boring or distasteful. I discovered that when I took my calling seriously, I needed to be “all in”, no more slacking, avoiding, ignoring, or hiding. In college, I played intramural outdoor soccer, indoor soccer, co-ed soccer, and indoor hockey. I earned rec-sports champion t-shirts for each of those seasons I played. I rock climbed, ran daily, lifted, and swam. I was not waiting for some one to tell me to run, I took ownership of my life and ran. I am older now, I walk instead of running. However, I learned an invaluable lesson. If I look at my life as someone else’s responsibility then I am surly, intractable, uncooperative, and annoyed, “Leave me alone!” But if I live my life as a free person, choosing to rise and serve every day, with all I have, then I am responsible. Every day I choose to live to the glory of God, whether I feel like it or not. Some days look a lot like my hurdles try-out, but I just keep getting back up again. How about you? Is your faith an obligation laid on you by someone else, or do you own it? Are you “all in”?
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/isaiah/ for an overview of Isaiah 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. Isaiah 3:1-5:7 Isaiah is talking about calamity overtaking Judah. How does he describe this at the beginning of chapter 3? What will happen to them? Is it any different for women? How does this calamity affect women? What will be taken from them? Isaiah 5 seems to shift gears dramatically. Who is represented by the “loved one” and who the “vineyard?” Again, Isaiah seems to have a collection of oracles that are all mashed together. It is better to read them individually and reflect on each one. 2 Corinthians 6:3-7:1 Paul describes his life in the Lord. Does this sound like a sales pitch to you? And yet, in verse 10 he will say, “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” How do you make sense out of these words? Does Christianity make sense to you? There is some sort of a problem between Paul and the church in Corinth. Look at verse 12. Because they have not learned to live in the world as light, what is Paul asking them to do? Psalm 105:12-22 Psalm 105 is a longer psalm, and so as we read it in parts, it might feel a little disconnected. The psalmist is describing first the family Jacob and then what God did for Joseph. Do you remember these stories?