• June 17th, 2024

    17 JUN. 2024 · Today is June 17. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.      Take a moment and quiet yourself. Take a deep breath. Welcome God’s presence. And say, “Come Holy Spirit.”         Today’s reading is from the book of 1 Samuel, chapter 14.     One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.   Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. No one was aware that Jonathan had left.     Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.”   “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”   Jonathan said, “Come on, then; we will cross over toward them and let them see us. If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them. But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the LORD has given them into our hands.”   So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.” The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.”   So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the LORD has given them into the hand of Israel.”         Welcome to prayer. As you orient yourself to the Lord today, consider Jonathan and his armor bearer. Young, impetuous, full of faith, ready to take a risk and trust in the Lord’s provision. We might even call them: unwise. How is it that you come to prayer today? Are you full of faith? Ready to step out into mission? Talk to the Lord about how you’re feeling right now.      Listen to the story again and pay attention to my favorite line: Jonathan says to his servant: come on, let’s go over to that enemy encampment. ‘perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf’. I love the ‘perhaps’ in this story.       This is a story about courage, risk, and trust in the provision and providence of God. Jonathan has a sense of God’s power that compels him toward the enemy. Compels him toward the place of risk and total dependency on God. Ask God for the gift of courage today as we end our time of prayer. Music: We Come Alive - Vineyard Worship - (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVo28XKX5aY
    12m 18s
  • Examen - June 15th, 2024

    15 JUN. 2024 · This is a version of the five-step Daily Examen that St. Ignatius practiced. 1. Become aware of God’s presence. 2. Review the day with gratitude. 3. Pay attention to your emotions. 4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it. 5. Look toward tomorrow.
    10m 14s
  • June 14th, 2024

    14 JUN. 2024 · Today is June 14. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace through the power of the Holy Spirit    Take a moment and quiet yourself. Take a deep breath. Welcome God’s presence. And say, “Come Holy Spirit.”       Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 23.    There was a man by the name of Joseph, a member of the Jewish High Council, a man of good heart and good character. He had not gone along with the plans and actions of the council. His hometown was the Jewish village of Arimathea. He lived in alert expectation of the kingdom of God. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Taking him down, he wrapped him in a linen shroud and placed him in a tomb chiseled into the rock, a tomb never yet used. It was the day before Sabbath, the Sabbath just about to begin.    This text says many things about Joseph of Arimathea: he was a member of the High council. He had a good heart, and good character. He had resisted the plans to kill Jesus. He lived in ‘alert expectation’ for the kingdom of God... and when he saw Jesus, he begain to follow him, perhaps quietly, perhaps in total secrecy. And then: he took responsibility for the proper burial of Jesus. Try to put yourself in his place... how do you feel, taking the body of Jesus down from the cross?      Followership of Jesus can look like a lot of things. As you listen again, think about what Joseph’s followership looked like:  Joseph’s faith in Christ was quiet, but it motivated him to take action in this tender space. After the death of Christ, and before the resurrection... in the quiet, in between space, Joseph demonstrated a tender faithfulness. Contemplate that as today’s time of prayer comes to a close.     Music: Bless Your Name - Vineyard Worship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EEw2hI2wTw
    16m
  • June 13th, 2024

    13 JUN. 2024 · Today is June 13.   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you.     Take a moment and quiet yourself. Take a deep breath. Welcome God’s presence. And say, “Come Holy Spirit.”       Today’s reading is from the book of Acts, chapter 14.     In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.    This passage is one of many miraculous physical healings found in the book of Acts. Often times we Christians – even though our faith is full of mystery and miracle – struggle to understand the miraculous. What thoughts does this passage bring up for you?      This story, after the section we heard, the crowd begins to worship Paul and Barnabus as gods themselves. The disciples spoke against the worship that was directed toward them, but even then, scripture says... they had a hard time getting the crowd to stop. They had been convinced by what they saw – and thought that something sacred was going on. Listen again to what the crowd was eyewitness to.      As we end our time of prayer, can you sit with the Lord and consider the state of your own faith? Do you feel full of faith today? Or perhaps, empty? Can you be honest with the Lord about the condition of your faith?     Music: Healing Presence - Vineyard Worship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHDTfj50COw 
    10m 21s
  • June 12th, 2024

    12 JUN. 2024 · Today is June 12. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.     Take a moment and quiet yourself. Take a deep breath. Welcome God’s presence. And say, “Come Holy Spirit.”       Today’s reading is from Ezekiel 17.   “ ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender spring from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the forest will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.   “ ‘I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.’   There is so much hope to be found in these words. Do you need a word of hope today as you come into prayer?       I have seen a plant that looks 100% dead come back to life... first, a single brown stalk, totally dry... and then a bud, and again: a leaf! Listen to the scripture again, and think about the difference between something that is dead, and something that is simply dormant: that which is dormant holds deep within it both the power for and the presence of life.    This scripture reminds us that nothing is beyond hope. No season is too dry, no heart is too hard, no soil is too infertile for the Lord. It also reminds us that our hope comes from the Lord. Only he has the power to restore that which looks lost to hope. As we come to a close, pray for God’s hope to come alive in you. If there is a situation in your life that feels beyond hope, ask for God to give you the gift of intercession towards it.     Music: You Speak - Vineyard Worship:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avPNP3E059I
    10m 14s
  • June 11th, 2024

    11 JUN. 2024 · Today is June 11. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you.       Take a moment and quiet yourself. Take a deep breath. Welcome God’s presence. And say, “Come Holy Spirit.”          Today’s reading is from the book of 1 Kings, chapter 18.     Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made. At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention. Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which had been torn down. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” With the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.” “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again. “Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench. At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”     This story sounds strange to our ears... a trash-talking battle between prophets... and then, after a lot of drama that feels straight from an HBO miniseries.... a miraculous demonstration of power from God, ‘so that these people will know God, and so that they will know God wants their hearts to turn back to him’ from idols. Is there any place where you are praying: “answer me, Lord, answer me....”?      Listen to the story again, and allow the Lord to draw your attention to a simple word or phrase.      Demonstrations of the power of God always points us to His presence. End your time of prayer today contemplating God’s presence and power in your life and thanking Him for his faithfulness to you. Music: You Are Worthy Of Our Praise - Vineyard Worship - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cqohXrjzYs
    19m 38s
  • June 10th, 2024

    10 JUN. 2024 · Today is June 10. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.      Take a moment and quiet yourself. Take a deep breath. Welcome God’s presence. And say, “Come Holy Spirit.”         Today’s reading is from the book of 1 Samuel, chapter 7.     So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only. Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the LORD for you.” When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the LORD.”    Samuel is directing the Israelites to turn away from idolatry... Baal and Ashtoreth were popular idols of the time. Sameul calls the people of God to repent from their sin of looking to idols instead of looking to God. Idols are things made of human hands, things that are not God, but that take the place of God in our lives. Idols are things we give our attention, energy, and emotions toward. As you come to prayer today, are there things in your life that perhaps have taken the place of a modern day idol? Things that you spend a lot of energy, attention, and energy on? Things that you rely on and trust in... instead of God?      Confession is a powerful tool. Confession is when we say what is real, and allow God to meet us in that real. The Israelites confessed: we have sinned. That was real. Is there anything in your ‘real’ right now that you have not brought to the Lord intentionally? If so, take time right now to speak that thing out loud to the Lord.      Samuel calls the people of God to return to the Lord with all their hearts. As we end our time of prayer today, turn your heart toward Jesus, and make time through the rest of your day to continue to reorient yourself toward Him.  Music: Kyrie Eleison - Vineyard Worship - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T7n1j03UZA
    13m
  • Examen - June 8th, 2024

    8 JUN. 2024 · This is a version of the five-step Daily Examen that St. Ignatius practiced. 1. Become aware of God’s presence. 2. Review the day with gratitude. 3. Pay attention to your emotions. 4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it. 5. Look toward tomorrow.
    10m 45s
  • June 7th, 2024

    7 JUN. 2024 · Today is June 7. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace through the power of the Holy Spirit. Take a moment and quiet yourself. Take a deep breath. Welcome God’s presence. And say, “Come Holy Spirit.” Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 21. As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Sometimes we give to God out of an abundance, and sometimes, we give the very little we’ve got left. How are you coming to prayer today? Do you feel like you are able to be abundantly present to the Lord? Or do you come feeling very small, or impoverished? Take time to imagine yourself in the place of the poor widow. You are standing in the temple, waiting to give your ridiculously small offering, You are a woman, a widow, and poor, which likely means you feel out of place among all the rich. Can you imagine how she is standing, eyes downcast? How others might be looking at her out of the corner of their eyes? Can you imagine, how very small she might be feeling as she places her coins into the treasury? Listen again, and try to feel the smallness that she may have felt. Jesus ends with words that draw us back to the upside-down nature of the kingdom of God: to the rich, she gave almost nothing. To Jesus, she gave close to everything. Jesus sees things with different eyes. He sees YOU with different eyes. And He sees what you give, and how you give it, in an upside down sort of way. As we end, that about what it means to give to God out of abundance, vs what it means to give out of poverty. Ask Him for eyes that see what He sees in this world: where two very small coins can amount to extravagant and honored worship. Music: Above All Else - Vineyard Worship - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NovFTjZeVi0
    10m 58s
  • June 6th, 2024

    6 JUN. 2024 · Today is June 6. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you. Take a moment and quiet yourself. Take a deep breath. Welcome God’s presence. And say, “Come Holy Spirit.” Today’s reading is from Ezekiel 11. I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. That’s quite a picture: God removing a heart of stone, and replacing with a heart of flesh. Can you meditate quietly for a moment and hold a picture of each sort of heart in your mind? Can you consider: what’s the condition of your heart today as we enter into prayer? I once heard someone say that we like to think we can build picket fences around our hearts: to let some things IN, and keep other things OUT. But, they said, we can’t do that. We either keep our hearts soft to all, or they become hard to all – not like a picket fence, but like a concrete barrier. Sometimes, our hearts grow hard from good use. They become spiritually calloused, as it were. Listen again, and listen for the invitation of God. We used to pray for our children, when they were young, to be soft-hearted and thick-skinned. A soft heart sees beauty in the world, it allows for vulnerability and tenderness, it invites communion. A hard heart is often cynical, walled-off, judgmental, and in pain. End today's prayer by getting curious about the condition of your heart. If you don’t feel self-aware, perhaps ask a good friend, a close colleague, or a family member like your kids how they are experiencing you right now. Give them permission to speak honestly, and do the work of listening in humility. Music: I Will Hold On - Vineyard Worship - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3g3S2b0dZI
    11m 53s

A time to BE STILL with God. A daily scripture reading and meditative devotional from Mondays to Fridays and a time of reflection on Saturdays through the practice of a...

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A time to BE STILL with God. A daily scripture reading and meditative devotional from Mondays to Fridays and a time of reflection on Saturdays through the practice of a weekly Examen.
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