Category Archives: Devotion

Good Shepherd Celebration

Good Shepherd Celebration for the Community. Modern Song Focus on Contemporary Church Artist performing hymns of traditional foundation. 

Everyone is Welcome!  

Good Shepherd
Good Shepherd

Introduction: 

In the Parable of the Good Shepherd, as retold by John, Jesus is preaching to His people with a focus on the Pharisees. When Jesus starts with Very Truly I Tell You … we should take heed. As John is often quick to point out, the good shepherd will lay down his life for his sheep. This is quite different from a hired hand observing his masters sheep. Jesus will be obedient to His Father. Jesus will lay down His life and die for our sins. Jesus is the model for church leadership. If we identify ourselves as in called to Ministry, are we fraught with fear yet? 

In today’s reading from Acts, we see the elders, chief priests, and scribes gathering to hear Peter and John. We find confrontation between those putting Jesus to death and the power that raised Jesus up. The confrontation is still on. Jesus is the stone that was rejected by the builders, it has become the cornerstone. We know the power of the Lord surpasses all that may attempt to defeat it. 

In Psalm 23, David proclaims the Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want.   Of course it is easy to imagine Jesus as Shepherd. Let us, as David, pause to consider ourselves in the role as Shepherd, seeking strength from God while pursuing His command to love one another, despite the difficulties we sometimes face doing so, and then continuing to return to Jesus no matter when or what we are dealing with. 

Today’s Letter of John urges us to identify as, and practice being, children of God. 

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less. Edward Mote (1834). 

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. 

Scripture: 

Old Testament: Acts 4:5-12. 

Psalm: Psalm 23. 

New Testament: 1 John 3:16-24. 

Gospel: John 10:11-18. 

 

Prayer: Mighty God, in whom we know the power of redemption, you stand among us in the shadows of our time. As we move through every sorrow and trial of this life, uphold us with knowledge of the final morning when, in the glorious presence of your risen Son, we will share in his resurrection, redeemed and restored to the fullness of life and forever freed to be your people. Amen. 

 

Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us. Dorothy Thrupp. (1836). Rick Betts. 

Savior, like a shepherd lead us, Much we need Thy tender care; In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, For our use Thy folds prepare: Jesus, blessèd Jesus, Thou hast bought us, Thine we are; Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus, Thou hast bought us, Thine we are. 

 

Prayer Intentions: 

Dear God, your Son remained with his disciples after his resurrection, teaching them to love all people as neighbors. As his disciples in this age, we offer our prayers on behalf of the universe in which we are privileged to live and our neighbors with whom we share it. Prayers of the People; Open our hearts to your power moving around us and between us and within us, until your glory is revealed in our love of both friend and enemy, in communities transformed by justice and compassion, and in the healing of all that is broken. Amen. 

Apostles Creed 

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen. (Book of Concord). 

Our Father 

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Book of Concord).  (Matthew 6:9-13). 

Liturgy of the Eucharist 

Handshake of Peace 

Confession 

The Apostle John proclaims, If we confess our sins He who is faithful and just will forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. 

Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.

Communion Hymn

Holy Spirit, Come to Us, Kindle in Us the Fire of Your Love. Taize Community 

 

Institution of the Lord’s Supper

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  – Matthew 26:26-28(ESV). 

Communion

Prayer: Shepherd of all, by laying down your life for your flock you reveal your love for all. Lead us from the place of death to the place of abundant life, that guided by your care for us, we may rightly offer our lives in love for you and our neighbors. Amen. 

Closing Hymn. 

God be with You Till We Meet Again. Jeremiah Rankin (1880). Antrim Mennonite Choir. 

God be with you till we meet again, By His counsels guide, uphold you, With His sheep securely fold you, God be with you till we meet again. Till we meet, till we meet, Till we meet at Jesus’ feet; Till we meet, till we meet, God be with you till we meet again. 

 

The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26. 

The Service has ended. Go in Peace. 

Thanks be to God.  

Cleaning House Celebration

Cleaning House Celebration
for the Community.
Modern Song Focus on Contemporary Church Artists
performing hymns of traditional foundation.
Everyone is Welcome!

Gospel of John
Gospel of John

Introduction:
John tells us Jesus presents a performance and a promise to us in the clearing of the temple; destroy the temple and in three days I will raise it up.
In Exodus, Moses tells us that God spoke the words of redemption to him. The Ten Commandments are a Covenant within the Covenant spoken to and shared with Abraham.
In Psalm 19 Psalmist David prays the words, Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Paul’s letter to the Corinthians today preaches the Way of the Cross, the scandalous experience Jesus had at the hands of self centered people in society. Has much changed in our lives today?

Lord of the Heavens
Hillsong

Scripture:
Old Testament: Exodus 20:1-17.
Psalm: Psalm 19.
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.
Gospel: John 2:13-22.

Prayer: God of wilderness and water,
your Son was baptized and tempted as we are.
Guide us through this season,
that we may not avoid struggle,
but open ourselves to blessing,
through the cleansing depths of repentance
and the heaven-rending words of the Spirit. Amen.

Jesus Shall Reign
Keith Getty

Prayer Intentions: Faithful God of love,
you blessed us with your servant Son
so that we might know how to serve your people
with justice and with mercy.
We gather the needs of ourselves and others,
and offer them to you in faith and love,
seeking to be strengthened to meet them.
Prayers of the People;
Shape us and transform us by your grace,
that we may grow in wisdom and in confidence,
never faltering until we have done all that you desire
to bring your realm of shalom to fulfillment. Amen.

Apostles Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen. (Book of Concord).

Be Thou My Vision
Mary Byrne
Audrey Assad

Our Father
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Book of Concord). (Matthew 6:9-13).

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Handshake of Peace

Confession
The Apostle John proclaims, If we confess our sins He who is faithful and just will forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.

Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.

Communion Hymn

Come to Us Creative Spirit
David Mowbray (1977).
Angel Voices

Institution of the Lord’s Supper

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. – Matthew 26:26-28(ESV).

Communion

Prayer: Holy One, creator of the stars and seas,
your steadfast love is shown to every living thing:
your word calls forth countless worlds and souls;
your law revives and refreshes.
Forgive our misuse of your gifts,
that we may be transformed by your wisdom
to manifest for others
the mercy of our crucified and risen Lord. Amen.

Closing Hymn.

The Summons
John Bell

The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26.

The Service has ended. Go in Peace.
Thanks be to God.

Christmas Fellowship

ALL ARE WELCOME!

You Are Invited to a

Health and Wellness Christmas Party

Nativity
Nativity

12 pm Noon Thursday December 14

Valley View Community Center

400 W Meigs St Valley NE

to Celebrate Christmas and Share in Good Food and Fellowship!

Your favorite food dish donation is welcome!

Organized by: Spirit of Peace and the Health and Wellness Team.

Contact: Karen, 402-289-2902; Rebecca, 402-359-2204;

Pastors Cathy or Michael, 402-541-7019.

Spirit of Peace, Box 245, Valley, NE

SpiritofPeace.us

 

Good Bad Ugly

Good, Bad, Ugly

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5.

A dear friend of mine sent me a text message that said, “I am so glad we can tell each other the good, the bad, and the ugly!” We have been friends for many years, and we have learned to share our joys and our failures. We recognize we are far from perfect, so we share our struggles but we also rejoice in each other’s successes.

David and Jonathan had a solid friendship too, beginning with the good days of David’s victory over Goliath. 1 Sam. 18:1–4. They shared their fears during the bad days of Jonathan’s father’s jealousy. I Sam. 18:6–11; 20:1–2. Finally, they suffered together during the ugly days of Saul’s plans to kill David. 1 Sam. 20:42.

Good Bad Ugly
Good Bad Ugly

Real friendships are a gift from God.
Good friends don’t abandon us when external circumstances change. They stay with us through the good and the bad days. Good friends also may point us to God in the ugly days, when we may feel tempted to walk away from our Lord.

Real friendships are a gift from God because they exemplify the perfect Friend, who remains loyal through the good, the bad, and the ugly days. As the Lord reminds us, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Heb. 13:5. – Keila Ochoa. Daily Bread.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank You for the good friends You have placed in my life, but above all, I thank You for Your friendship.

 

Good Bad Ugly
Queimada soundtrack
Jose Dolores

Prayer for Peace

Almighty, all-merciful God,
through Christ Jesus you have taught us to love one another,
to love our neighbors as ourselves,
and even to love our enemies.
In times of violence and fear,
let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts,
so that we may not be overcome with evil
but overcome evil with good.
Help us to see each person in light of the love and grace
you have shown us in Christ.
Put away the nightmares of terror
and awaken us to the dawning of your new creation.
Establish among us a future where peace reigns,
justice is done with mercy, and all are reconciled.
We ask these things in the name
and for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
– Prayers for Times of National and International Crisis and Tragedy.

Spirit of Peace
Spirit of Peace

They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. Isaiah 2:4.
Project Ploughshares, Ontario Canada.

Song of Peace

#Peace #ENDviolence

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
for the Community.
Modern Song Focus on Contemporary Church Artists
performing hymns of traditional foundation.
Everyone is Welcome!

Introduction:
Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem forty days after His birth to complete Mary’s purification after childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn son, in obedience to the Torah. Mary and Joseph could not afford a lamb; so they sacrificed two young pigeons. Upon bringing Jesus into the temple, they met Simeon. The Holy Spirit told Simeon that “he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Simeon then uttered the prayer that would become known as the Nunc Dimittis or Canticle of Simeon, which prophesied the redemption of the world by Jesus.

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Scripture:
I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. Malachi 3:1.
Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. Ps. 84:4.
Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. Heb. 2:18.
Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation. Luke 2:29-30.
Prayer: God of steadfast love, you sent your Son to be the light of the world, saving people everywhere from sin and death. As Anna gave thanks for the freedom he would bring, and Simeon saw in him the dawn of redemption, complete your purpose once made known in him. Make us the vessels of his light, that all the world may glory in the splendor of your peace. Amen.

 

When to the Temple Mary Went
Johannes Eccard
Guilford Cathedral Choir (Barry Rose).

Prayer: Strong and mighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus, the presentation of your Son in the temple was his first entrance into the place of sacrifice. Grant that, trusting in his offering upon the cross to forgive our sins and uphold us in the time of trial, we may sing your praises and live in the light of your salvation, Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26.

We are all stewards spreading the Word of Jesus’ blessings for His people.
Picnic Fellowship Activities for the Entire Family!

Of course lively discussion and activities will be available!
Perhaps you may prefer to sit and visit!
Please Contact Us with Special Requests!

I Am in His Care

Always in His Care

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8.

On the day our youngest daughter was flying from Munich to Barcelona, I visited my favorite flight tracking website to follow her progress. After I entered her flight number, my computer screen showed that her flight had crossed Austria and was skirting the northern part of Italy. From there the plane would fly over the Mediterranean, south of the French Riviera toward Spain, and was scheduled to arrive on time. It seemed that the only thing I didn’t know was what the flight attendants were serving for lunch!

Why did I care about my daughter’s location and circumstances? Because I love her. I care about who she is, what she’s doing, and where she is going in life.

Whatever our circumstances today, we can rely on God’s presence and care.

In Psalm 32, David celebrated the marvel of God’s forgiveness, guidance, and concern for us. Unlike a human father, God knows every detail of our lives and the deepest needs of our hearts. The Lord’s promise to us is, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Ps. 32:8.

Whatever our circumstances today, we can rely on God’s presence and care because “the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.” Ps. 32:10. – David McCasland. Daily Bread.

In His Care
In His Care

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank You for watching over me in love and guiding me along Your path today.

We are never out of God’s sight and His loving care.

Psalm 32 is an interesting look into the covenant relationship the believer has with the living God. King David, the writer of this psalm, is aware of his own personal sins and the need for confession and forgiveness. This spiritual connection with the living God is not simply a positive experience but includes God’s chastisement that leads to confession and restoration. Ps. 32:4-5. Yet even within the ups and downs of our walk of faith, we have the assurance of God’s watchful care and provision.

 

I Am in His Care
Eva Mae LeFevre
Universal Music Group

 

Footprints in the Sand

Put Down Your Burden

A man driving his pickup truck on a country road saw a woman carrying a heavy load, so he stopped and offered her a lift. The woman expressed her gratitude and climbed into the back of the truck.

A moment later, the man noticed a strange thing. The woman was still holding onto her heavy load despite sitting in the vehicle! Astonished, he pleaded, “Please, Madam, put down your load and take your rest. My truck can carry you and your stuff. Just relax.”

Put Down Your Burden
Put Down Your Burden

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28.

What do we do with the load of fear, worry, and anxiety we often carry as we go through life’s many challenges? Instead of relaxing in the Lord, I sometimes behave like that woman. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28), yet I catch myself carrying burdens I should offload onto Jesus.

We put down our burdens when we bring them to the Lord in prayer. The apostle Peter says, “Cast all your anxiety on Jesus because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7. Because He cares for us, we can rest and relax as we learn to trust Him. Instead of carrying the burdens that weigh us down and weary us, we can give them to the Lord and let Him carry them. – Lawrence Darmani. Daily Bread.

Prayer: I am tired, Lord. I bring You my burdens today. Please keep them and carry them for me.

Prayer is the time and place where burdens change shoulders.

Explanation: A yoke pairs two animals together to pull a load. Often an older, stronger, well-trained animal is paired with a younger animal so that the younger can learn the proper method of pulling. It is the older, stronger animal that does the majority of the pulling while the younger follows along and mimics the actions of the older. As we set aside our burdens and take on Christ’s, we are not simply swapping one burden for another. It is His yoke. We set aside our lone burdens to pull with Jesus, who is the one responsible for the direction and primary force of moving the burden. Then each of us, as the younger, weaker, less-experienced partner learns from Jesus how to pull the burden, following His actions and mimicking His footsteps. – Daily Bread.

Footprints in the Sand
Leona Lewis

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”

Three Days of Prayer

Three Days of Prayer
Every congregation, member and pastor is being invited to set aside some time each day of January 3, 4 and 5, 2017 for prayer.
Prayer is a gift that God has given to us as a means to approach the throne of grace with confidence, like that of a child coming to her parents sharing concerns, victories, defeats and every part of life. It is an opportunity to express the deepest heartache and the greatest joy. Prayer is a conversation between the Creator and the created … and the conversation began with God, for us, in Christ Jesus. – Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, LCMC Service Coordinator.

LCMC
LCMC

Day 1. January 3rd 2017.

Confession. This is a day focused on confession. We have made our lives, our relationships, and even the church, in our own image. We confess that the church belongs to Jesus and not to us. We gather to lay down our pride, our sin and our agenda and ask the Lord of the church for forgiveness, which He gives freely and with mercy.

Day 2. January 4th 2017.
Petition. This is a day of petition. Pray for your congregation, for the pastor, for the leaders, for those who carry out ministries, for the Sunday School teachers, for the Confirmation leaders, for those leading adult Bible studies and for those leading small groups. Pray for those in hospital and nursing home ministries. Pray for all those connected to your church that they might know God’s redeeming love for all in Christ.

Day 3. January 5th 2017.
Vision. This is a day for vision. Pray that the Holy Spirit will again move through the hearts and minds of leaders and pastors that God’s vision for His church might be revealed and fulfilled. This is a time of prayer for renewal, revival and encouragement. Pray for God’s vision.