Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion; and to you shall vows be performed, O you who answer prayer! To you all flesh shall come. When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us, you forgive our transgressions. Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple. –Psalm 65:1-4 Pray: Thank God for standing by you. Thank God for the people who surround you each day. Thank God for how these people lift you......
Reread Paul’s personal dilemma in his letter to the Romans. Does any of his inner conflict feel familiar to you? I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is......
Read Acts 9:1-19 Reflect: Since you cannot fall up, you have to climb up. When it comes to the mountains of your life, what has climbing been like for you lately? What external obstacles and internal hurdles have you faced? How are you getting through them? Reflect and Practice: As you climb up the mountains of your life right now, are you finding that your perspective changes as you get higher and higher? If so, what looks different to you? If not, are you caught up in looking down at the path?......
Our goal is to begin reading 1 Corinthians this week. As you finish reading Romans, I have a few things for you to think about. When you think about Paul’s letter to the Romans, what stands out to you? What verses are you the most familiar with? How about one of these? Chapter 2 Paul’s lengthy dispute about what the law says about circumcision v. uncircumcision 6:4 “Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the......
No excuses! The truth is I didn’t finish the New Testament in six months. I got behind and almost gave up. After a conversation or two, I realized there were a few others who may have gotten behind in the readings. So, let’s pick up where we left off and continue reading through the New Testament. We can do this together…and we still have a lot to learn. We are picking back up with Romans. As you begin to reread the letter Paul wrote to the early believers in Rome, consider what......
Generally, when we consider the writings of the apostle Paul, we think of letters that are harsh and straight to the point. At times, Paul has a very aggressive style of writing as he tries to persuade his listeners. As a matter of fact, when I read the writings of Paul, I have come to expect his intensity. There are moments in the book of Romans that are no exception. As I reread more of his letter to the Romans, I was encouraged by messages of hope, grace, and God’s righteousness. In......
Have you heard the one about the blind men and the elephant? Actually there is an ancient Indian fable about six blind men describing an elephant after they have each touched a different part of the elephant. Below is an exert from the poem from the 19th century by John Godfry Saxe detailing this fable: Blind Men and the Elephant It was six men of Indostan, To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind. The First approach’d......
I enjoy gardening. In fact, I enjoy it enough that for the past several years prior to moving back home to the Wake-Harnett County area, I lived on an old farm that Joanie and I were restoring along with some other folks from the Charlotte area. We gardened mostly by hand – no big equipment – and mostly using permaculture principles – so no fertilizer, no eletric irrigation, no pesticides…you get the idea. Gardening in this way, we had to pay more attention to bugs and find natural ways of warding them......