Archive for September

Wednesday Night Live

Wednesday Night Live Registrations are now available at the church or on-line. Simply click on the link below for a registration and a consent form. Mail/Drop off the forms to the church. Registrations cannot be filled out on-line at this time. Thanks! Wednesday Night Live is a program for 3rd – 5th grade students.  WNL will resume September 7th at 7:00 pm  with an informational meeting for students and parents/guardians.

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Daily Walk for Sept 27 – Oct 3

Monday, September 27, 2010: Two Are Better Than One
Daily reading: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; John 15:12-17
In Ecclesiastes 4, Solomon reflects on the nature and benefits of friendship as opposed to a life alone. We often hear this text at weddings, but it’s intended to speak beyond marriage relationships. There is value in two people doing things together. In working, it’s simply easier and safer to work together. In walking, if one falls down, there’s someone to help. In most aspects of life, it’s good to have a friend. In your life, who is the friend you can count on? Do you have a friend in your workplace? Pray for your friends throughout the day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010: A Threefold Cord
Daily reading: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 again, Psalm 139:1-6
Notice how Solomon starts with the number one and then moves to the number two and ends with the number three. The wisdom in these verses teaches us that friendship is not only desirable, but necessary. The metaphor of a single cord that is easily broken is a vivid example of how fragile a solitary life can be. Add another cord and it’s not so easily broken. Add the third cord and there’s even more strength and sturdiness. The writer might be implying that God’s presence in a relationship can be the third cord, giving it sturdiness. Do you sense that God is present and active in your friendships? Is there something you can do to become more aware of how God works in friendships? Ask God to help you see how God is present and working in your relationships.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010: Unity
Daily reading: Ephesians 4:1-16; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17
As is true of many of Paul’s letters, Paul spends the first half of Ephesians talking about what God has done, and then spends the second half talking about what that means in practical terms for daily life. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians this transitional hinge is between chapters 3 and 4. Since we’ve been saved by grace, since we’ve been reconciled, since we are one in Christ, since all the old barriers that separated us have been leveled on the cross … how, then, shall we live? In today’s passage, Paul begins to answer that question by talking about the unity of the body of Christ (1-6) and the diversity of the body of Christ (7-16). The unity of the body of Christ is a gift and an objective reality. The challenge for the church is to live out this reality by faith in daily life. Have you ever experienced real Christian unity? Do you remember what that felt like? In your prayers, ask God to reveal how you can be an instrument of God’s peace and bring unity to the body of Christ.

Thursday, September 30, 2010: Humility and Gentleness
Daily reading: Isaiah 57:15 and Philippians 2:1-8
Both the Greek and Roman cultures considered humility and gentleness to be weak character traits showing a lack of self-respect. The Old Testament, however, paved the way for a positive connotation of humility because God lives with the humble (Isaiah 57:15). Jesus exalted humility as a virtue. Self-centered living fractures community. Putting the needs of others first builds unity. As you live this day, be mindful of how humility and gentleness lead to greater unity. You might experience the opposites of these two characteristics, as well. How can you be a living example of humility and gentleness as you live this day? Ask God to lead you to specific situations in which you can be humble and gentle with others.

Friday, October 1, 2010: Patience and Loving Forbearance
Daily reading: Galatians 5:22-26; 1 Corinthians 13
The problem with community is that it involves imperfect people! Building healthy, unified community requires putting up with one another’s weaknesses and flaws. Elsewhere, Paul reminded believers that love is forgiving and keeps no record of wrongs. While this is challenging, Paul is merely urging us to give to others what we have already abundantly received from Christ. In your life today, you will encounter the flaws and imperfections of those around you. How will you deal with them? Can you demonstrate patience when something is taking too long? Can you exhibit loving forbearance when you would rather walk away? In your prayers today, ask God for patience in all situations. As you live this day, practice patience and forbearance.

Saturday, October 2, 2010: Live Out What God Has Done
Daily reading: Ephesians 4:4-6; Jeremiah 29:11-14
Why should we care about unity? Why work together with the Spirit to build and maintain unity? Paul answers that question in verses 4-6. He affirms the objective reality that there is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God and Father of all. Once again Paul is emphasizing that the life of faith is frequently little more than choosing to live out what God has already done. How can believing people live in disunity when, in fact, God has already made us one? How can you live into this reality of unity today? How can you live more fully into all that God has done for you? In your prayers today, ask God to show you the places in your life where the Holy Spirit can bring unity.

Sunday, October 3, 2010: Uniformity
Daily reading: Ephesians 4:7; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Unity is different than uniformity. Paul is not advocating for sameness. He is advocating for a profound and healthy interdependence in which the diverse gifts of each person are invested toward the same ends: unity of the faith; unity of knowledge of Christ; and maturity of the body, becoming like Christ. We are all gifted uniquely, and these gifts, when used in unity, form the body of Christ. The diversity of Christian community can and should be a strength! How are your unique gifts being used to build up the body of Christ? Is there something you can do today to use these gifts more fully? In your prayers, ask God to clarify your spiritual giftedness and then lead you to new ways to use those gifts

Daily Walk for Sept 20-25

Monday, September 20, 2010: Prophecy
Daily reading: Luke 4:16-19, Isaiah 61:1-3
Luke communicates several important aspects of Jesus’ Kingdom work as the Messiah in this section. The good news he proclaims is for the poor, captive, blind and oppressed, those normally thought to have been abandoned by God. The good news is for the Gentiles, not just the Jews (the point of 4:25-27). The good news will be rejected by some, especially those with power and status to protect. How does Jesus go about fulfilling this prophecy for the poor? The blind? The captive? The oppressed? In your prayers today, pray for people who might fall into any of these categories.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010: Authority
Daily reading: Luke 4:31-37, Matthew 28:18-20
Jesus leaves his hometown of Nazareth and moves 20 miles north to Capernaum, a fishing village on the Sea of Galilee which becomes his missional home base. As is his custom, he begins teaching in the synagogue, because his mission is first to Israel. The people are astounded at his teaching, because he teaches as one who has authority, first-hand knowledge of God. Jesus isn’t just spouting theology he learned in school. In the synagogue, Jesus encounters a man possessed by an unclean spirit. Jesus is able to cast out the demon without destroying the man who is possessed, and does so with words, connecting him to the One who created all things by speaking them into being. When Jesus speaks, he speaks with authority. Throughout the scriptures, how does Jesus choose to demonstrate his authority? In your prayers for today, ask Jesus to speak a new word of hope into your life.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010: Resurrection
Daily reading: Luke 4:38-39, Matthew 22:23-33
The scene changes to Simon Peter’s home, where his mother-in-law lies sick with a fever. This is our introduction to Simon in Luke’s Gospel. Jesus casts out the fever just as he cast out the demon, by rebuking it. Once again, there is a focus on the power of Jesus’ words. Immediately Simon’s mother-in-law rises up, a phrase that carries subtle implications of resurrection, and she serves Jesus. Word about Jesus spreads, and he heals many more from sickness and demonic possession. It seems as if Jesus brings resurrection to everything and everyone he touches. What needs a resurrection in your life? Pray for Jesus’ resurrection life to touch you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010: Fulfillment
Daily reading: Luke 4:40-41, Acts 1:6-8
These incidents illustrate the truth of Luke 4:16-30. Jesus is indeed the embodiment of Isaiah’s words. He is the promised Messiah. Now that the King has come to inaugurate his Kingdom, the enemies of the Kingdom are beginning to fall: Satan, sickness and death. Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecy read out loud in the Nazareth synagogue earlier in this chapter. Unlike people in his hometown, who dismiss Jesus based on his lowly upbringing, the people of Capernaum focus on Jesus’ authority and power. Like God’s creative word, Jesus’ word does something. While the demon knows who Jesus is, the crowds are still uncertain. Among other things, this incident shows the power of the new King to defeat the enemies of darkness, and to set humanity free. Through the power of his words and his actions, Jesus demonstrates that he is the fulfillment of all that God has promised. In the pattern of Jesus, how can your words and actions really do something new today? In your prayers today, ask God for a new way to join your words to your actions.

Friday, September 24, 2010: Kingdom Reality
Daily reading: Luke 4:42-44, Luke 9:57-62
Verses 42-44 are a summary statement of this chapter. All that Jesus has done in this section is a living proclamation of the good news of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom has come; it is here and now. And we recognize its arrival because the enemies of the Kingdom are beginning to fall at the hand of the King. Can you identify things in your life that are enemies of the Kingdom of God? In your prayers today, ask God to give you new eyes to see those things that work against the Kingdom reality of God.

Saturday, September 25, 2010: Upside-Down!
Daily reading: Luke 6
In the chapters that follow, Jesus’ power will overcome leprosy, paralysis, the law, a withered hand, even death – all of them signs of the in-breaking of the new Kingdom. Everything is turned upside down. The poor, hungry, grieving and persecuted are blessed in the new Kingdom. The rich, full, prideful and popular will be brought low. Enemies are to be loved. Judging has no place in the Kingdom. People will be known by their actions, not their words or their status. Living into this new Kingdom reality by faith will bring blessing, joy and stability to life. Are there things in your life that need to be turned upside-down, or shaken up? In your prayers this week, invite God to come and turn your life upside-down.

Sunday, September 25, 2010: Good News!
Daily reading: Luke 4:42-44, Matthew 11:2-6
Luke’s Gospel begins with Jesus teaching in the synagogue, quoting Isaiah (Luke 4:16-30). Luke communicates several important aspects of Jesus’ Kingdom work as the Messiah in this section. First, the good news he proclaims is for the poor, captive, blind and oppressed, those normally thought to have been abandoned by God. Second, the good news is for the Gentiles, not just the Jews (the point of 4:25-27). Third, the good news will be rejected by some, especially those with power and status to protect. It is important to note that when Jesus proclaims this good news, it’s for everyone. It’s been said that if the gospel isn’t good news for everyone, then is isn’t really the gospel. In your life, who have you thought stood outside of this good news? In your prayers, ask God to open your heart to everyone, and become a good news proclaimer on behalf of Christ.

Wednesday Night Live

Wednesday Night Live meets this week from 7 – 8 pm.  All 3rd – 5th grade students are welcome!  Please remember to use the circle drive (Wee Wisdom side) for drop off. Check-in occurs in  the Sunday school preschool room. We will not be using the YAC door as the High School Youth will be utilizing this space.  At dismissal, WNL students will wait in the preschool room to be picked up or with an adult at the circle drive door.  No student will be allowed to wait for pickup in the cafe area due to confirmation being in session.  If you have any questions, please contact Jill at jill@lcrmarion.org.

Daily Walk for Sept 13-19

Monday, September 13, 2010 John 21:1-14 – Full Circle
No one knows exactly why Peter decides to go fishing, but because he is a man of action, and fishing had been his prior profession, it shouldn’t surprise us that he decides to go out. He invites six other disciples to join him. They fish in the Sea of Tiberias (the Sea of Galilee) at night. This Gospel story has come full circle. Remember, at the beginning of John, Jesus asks them to join him in becoming fishers of men. Now they return to the occupation they know so well after three years of ministry. In your life, what has come full circle? In your prayers today, thank God for being faithful to you in ways you have seen, and in ways unseen.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 John 21:4-6 – The First Miracle
The professional fishermen labor all night long and catch absolutely nothing. We can imagine their frustration, which is only compounded by a perfect stranger calling out directions from the beach. Jesus cries out, “cast your nets on the other side of the boat.” On the surface, this suggestion is just plain stupid. Why would there be fish on one side of the boat and not the other? The first miracle of this story is that the disciples comply well before they know that the stranger is Jesus. When have you needed to do something that seemed completely illogical in order to be obedient to God? In your prayers today, ask God to lead you into deeper obedience.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 John 21:7-9 – Recognizing Jesus
And why don’t they recognize Jesus? Does the rising sun and the haze on the water obscure their vision? Does Jesus wish not to be recognized? Does Jesus’ appearance dramatically vary post-resurrection? No reason is given in the story. The real point here is that this story is about revealing what was not previously known, and this revealing happens on multiple levels in this chapter. What is it that keeps you from recognizing Jesus today? In your prayers, ask God to reveal the presence of Christ to you more clearly.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 John 21:9-11 – The Second Miracle
The second miracle of the story is the amazing catch itself. Much is made of the number 153, which is the number of fish caught. Some propose that this was the total number of species of fish known to the ancient world, a metaphor pointing to the fact that all nations would be “caught up” in the gospel. Based on the fact that John is a detailed recorder, it might simply mean that they caught a lot of fish, period. The second miracle is that God provides in such great abundance that sometimes we can’t even comprehend it. Where has God’s abundance, beyond your comprehension, shown up in your life? In your prayers, ask God to direct you to new and creative ways to use your abundance for others.

Friday, September 17, 2010 John 21:12-14 – God’s Presence
By meeting the disciples in the mundane, everyday moments of life, even when they don’t recognize him, Jesus reminds them once again that he would always be with them. We’re reminded of the same thing whenever we break bread. This story reminds us of the abundance of wine at the wedding at Cana, and the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus is revealed in the breaking of the bread. When we share in Holy Communion, the risen Christ is present with us, and is revealed in the breaking of the bread. Where and when do you sense God’s presence? In your prayers, invite God to come and be present to you.

Saturday, September 18, 2010 John 21:15-19 – God’s Purpose
Jesus has a purpose for the disciples’ lives, and for ours. It’s a purpose he gave them when he first called them to be “fishers of people.” Here, at the end, he points them in that direction again. We, too, are called to fish for people, to plant seeds of love that connect people to Christ. Luther once said, “We are all mere beggars telling other beggars where to find bread.” As you move through this Saturday, how are your actions connected to God’s purpose for you? In your prayers, ask God to reveal your purpose more clearly every day.

Sunday, September 19, 2010 John 21:4-6 – God’s Provision
Notice again the theme of abundance that comes from these vers­es. Note the fact that the disciples had caught nothing, and then, when Jesus shows up, there’s more fish than they can imagine. Each time we take a step of obedience as disciples, Jesus meets us with abundant provision. We will always have enough to do all that we’ve been given to do. Stop and meditate on that phrase: we will always have enough to do all that we’ve been given to do. In the realm of the Kingdom of God, we are called to tasks that we’re equipped to do. In the realm of the Kingdom of God, we are given the exact amount of what we need to accomplish God’s purposes. Where in your life have you stopped believing in an abundant God of provision? In your prayers this week, ask God to lead you into deeper trust that God really can provide for our needs.

Daily Walk for Sept 6-12

Monday, September 6, 2010 John 16
What do the disciples’ heavy hearts keep them from understanding (17)? What is the tone of the voices heard in 17-18? If you were there, would you be encouraged or confused by Jesus’ answer? What event is Jesus talking about in 20-22? Jesus tells the disciples to pray in his name. Do you think the disciples can even grasp what Jesus tells them in 28? Can you? As Christians, we live in a world that is way out of alignment with Christ, yet we can expect our relationship with Christ to produce peace and comfort. Spend time praising God for his wonderful care and love.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 John 17
This chapter reveals the close relationship between the Father and the Son. In this chapter Jesus prays for himself, for his disciples, and for all believers. What event is approaching (1, 12:23-24)? Think about what it means to glorify someone (4-5, 12, 22, 24)? What is Jesus concerned about in 11 and 15? What does Jesus mean by “the name you gave me” (11; see also Exodus 3:14)? What is the focus of Jesus’ prayer in 20-26? What about the unity between God and Jesus are we to copy? Imagine the enormous love that Jesus has for us (24). Who have you glorified this week by the way you live? How so? How are your prayers for others like or unlike Jesus’ prayer? Let this chapter speak to you about your prayer skills and habits. How is your relationship with Jesus affecting the way you live?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 John 18
Jesus completes his mission: he is betrayed and arrested. What do you learn about Jesus when you see how he deals with the soldiers (4, 8) compared to how Peter deals with them (11)? Peter doesn’t seem to get what is going on. Would you have been overzealous like Peter, or would you have remained quietly in the background? What would you have done on Jesus’ behalf? How do you account for the difference between Peter here (17) and the Peter in verse 10? What must Peter have felt after the cock crowed three times (27; see also 13:37-38)? How does the story of Peter encourage you and humble you? How do you explain the ups and downs in your own spiritual journey? It seems like both Peter and Pilate caved in under pressure. Why, then, do we honor Peter and scorn Pilate? Do you see any of Pilate’s character traits in yourself? It is easy for us to blame the high council for their injustice, but we must also remember that Peter and the disciples added to the pain by deserting and denying Jesus.When have we deserted and denied the Savior? Spend some time in prayer.

Thursday, September 9, 2010 John 19
After you read chapter 19, read Matthew 27, Mark 15 and Luke 23. This will help you get a full picture of the sentencing and crucifixion of Jesus. Pay attention to details, how each author presents the events. The message is the same from all three accounts. If Jesus were here today, preaching the same gospel, who would be the chief priests, the Peters and the Pilates? Who would you be? How is Jesus’ death real to you? How has the blood and water of Jesus touched your life? What would your life have been like without them? How will you show your love for and commitment to Jesus this week?

Friday, September 10, 2010 John 20
Mary Magdalene visits the tomb. What do you think she is feeling? Why didn’t she recognize Jesus? How does Jesus respond to her? How does Jesus refer to the disciples (17)? What is new in their relationship from now on (see 15:15)? Reflect on times of grief when Jesus has spoken to you? Did you recognize his voice? How did it affect you? How does Jesus deal with Thomas’ doubt (29)? What is significant about how Thomas responds? Think about the doubts and questions you struggle with now. This is a great time to bring them to the foot of the cross, and accept the healing and forgiving power of the Holy Spirit. Let Jesus erase all your doubts.

Saturday, September 11, 2010 John 21
Here we see Peter and six other disciples after the resurrection. Imagine what they discussed on their 90-mile journey to Galilee. Are they going back to work, fishing for fun, or trying to return to normal? Why does Peter jump into the lake? The disciples fished all night and caught nothing, but after following Jesus’ instructions they had so many fish that they were unable to lift the nets. Why does Jesus ask Peter three times, “do you truly love me?” What does he tell Peter, and you and I today, to do to prove our love and loyalty to him (15)? Have you ever felt that you’ve blown it so badly that God would surely never speak to you again? Will you share God’s forgiveness and love with someone this week?

Sunday, September 12, 2010 Psalm 130
Despair can make us feel isolated from God. This psalm reminds us that times of despair are precisely the times that we need God the most. Crying out to God turns our attention away from the problem to the only one who can really help. When we pray, the lines of communication are completely open. Spend time lifting up your life to God. Embrace God’s love and forgiveness.

Wednesday Night Live 2010-2011

Wednesday Night Live registration has started. Registrations are  on the table in the gathering space. They will be available soon on the web-site.  All 3rd – 5th graders are invited to be a part of WNL. Friends are always welcome.  WNL starts September 8th at 7:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. We will have a parent/student meeting to go over the new time and calendar for the upcoming year. WNL will not have a registration fee this year as we will not be ordering new t-shirts.  Contact Jill with any questions.