Every congregation, member and pastor is being invited to set aside some time each day of January 1, 2, and 3, 2019 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.
Day 1. January 1st 2019.
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 2nd 2019.
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 3rd 2019.
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.
A woman struggles to keep her faith and family intact after her husband is diagnosed with stage three brain cancer.
Come visit with Pastor Michael as he leads us on an “mmm” movie meet-up, meal and mingling adventure in the missional community. This meet-up will take us to a special showing of a movie release prior to its west coast premier scheduled for this upcoming November. We will have a live opportunity to meet members of the cast and family story the movie was written about.
Healthy Braised Chicken with Autumn Garden Vegetables
Pastor Cathy Hanus
Holistic Health Coach
We thank You Lord, for all you give; the food we eat, the lives we live; and to our loved ones far away, please send your blessings, Lord we pray. Help us all to live our days with thankful hearts and loving ways. Amen.
Cultivating a thankful heart is a necessity. Without gratitude we would not be a world that goes round and round. Reciting prayer before meals is a great way we can continue to build our thankful hearts and cultivate authenticity. Remembering the Lord and everything that goes into every meal is extremely important. Whether it is the person preparing the meal, the farmer growing the food or even the dear friend that orchestrated the time to be together having a thankful heart created by prayer. – Beliefnet.
Healthy Braised Chicken with Autumn Garden Vegetables
Basmati rice – high in fiber, slower to digest.
Tomatoes – good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper; and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium and Manganese.
Pumpkin – fiber
Carrots – betakerotine
Onion – Onions are rich in powerful sulfuric compounds, responsible for their pungent odor. Studies suggest onions may lower high blood pressure, reduce heart attack risk, and even help protect against cancer. WebMD.
Black radish – important function of black radish extract encourages the liver to produce fat- and protein-digesting bile
Kale – crucifer vegetable, one cup of raw kale, about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces contains:
Vitamin A: 206% of the DV (from beta-carotene)
Vitamin K: 684% of the DV
Vitamin C: 134% of the DV
Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
Manganese: 26% of the DV
Calcium: 9% of the DV
Copper: 10% of the DV
Potassium: 9% of the DV
Magnesium: 6% of the DV
It also contains 3% or more of the DV for vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron and phosphorus
This is coming with a total of 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber) and 3 grams of protein.
Chicken – protein, prepared with coconut oil and spices.
– Pastor Cathy Hanus, Holistic Health Coach. Spirit of Peace.
I am home in heaven, dear ones;
oh, so happy and so bright!
There is a perfect joy and
beauty in the everlasting light.
All the pain and grief is over,
every restless tossing passed;
I am now at peace forever,
safely home in heaven at last.
There is work still waiting for you,
so you must not idly stand,
do it now, while life remains
you shall rest in God’s own land.
When that work is all completed,
He will gently call you home;
oh, the rapture of that meeting
oh, the joy to see you come!
God Needed an Angel in Heaven
God needed an angel in heaven
to stand at the Savior’s feet;
His choice must be the rarest
a lily pure and sweet.
He gazed upon the mighty throng
then stopped and picked the best,
our loved one (child) was His chosen one
with Jesus she [he] is now at rest.
Hinds Feet on High Places, a classic allegory of the Christian life, is based on Habakkuk 3:19. The story follows the character Much-Afraid as she goes on a journey with the Shepherd. But Much-Afraid is scared so she asks the Shepherd to carry her.
The Shepherd kindly replies, “I could carry you all the way up to the High Places myself, instead of leaving you to climb there. But if I did, you would never be able to develop hinds’ feet, and become my companion and go where I go.”
Much-Afraid echoes the questions of the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk; and if I am honest, my questions too: “Why must I experience suffering?” “Why is my journey difficult?”
Habakkuk lived in Judah in the late seventh century BC before the Israelites were taken into exile. The prophet found himself in a society that overlooked social injustice and was immobilized by the fear of imminent invasion by the Babylonians. Habakkuk 1:2–11. Habakkuk asked the Lord to intervene and remove suffering. Habakkuk 1:13. God replied that He would act justly but in His timing. Habakkuk 2:3.
In faith, Habakkuk chose to trust the Lord. Even if the suffering did not end, the prophet believed that God would continue to be his strength.
We too can take comfort that the Lord is our strength to help us endure suffering and will also use the most challenging of life’s journeys to deepen our fellowship with Christ. – Lisa Samra. Daily Bread.
God, sometimes my suffering seems too much to bear. Help me to trust You and continue to walk with You on this journey.
The Lord who made you and helps you says: “Do not be afraid, my chosen one.” Isaiah 44:2.
Isaiah 44:1–5; Esther 9–10; Acts 7:1–21
I had been out late the night before, just as I was every Saturday night. Just twenty years old, I was running from God as fast as I could. But suddenly, strangely, I felt compelled to attend the church my dad pastored. I put on my faded jeans, well-worn T-shirt, and unlaced high-tops and drove across town.
I do not recall the sermon Dad preached that day, but I can not forget how delighted he was to see me. With his arm over my shoulder, he introduced me to everyone he saw. “This is my son!” he proudly declared. His joy became a picture of God’s love that has stuck with me all these decades.
The imagery of God as loving Father occurs throughout the Bible. In Isaiah 44, the prophet interrupts a series of warnings to proclaim God’s message of family love. “Dear Israel, my chosen one,” he said. “I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children” (vv. 2–3 nlt). Isaiah noted how the response of those descendants would demonstrate family pride. “Some will proudly claim, ‘I belong to the Lord,’” he wrote. “Some will write the Lord’s name on their hands” (v. 5 nlt).
Wayward Israel belonged to God, just as I belonged to my adoptive father. Nothing I could do would ever make him lose his love for me. He gave me a glimpse of our heavenly Father’s love for us. – Tim Gustafson. Daily Bread.
Heavenly Father, we all come from families that are broken in one way or another. Thank You for loving us in that brokenness and for showing us what real love looks like.
God’s love for us offers us the sense of belonging and identity we all crave.
We belong to the light, we belong to the thunder
We belong to the sound of the words we’ve both fallen under
Whatever we deny or embrace for worse or for better
Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Psalm 27:10
God, the Perfect Father, will never let us down, leave us, or stop loving us. Psalm 27. 2 Chronicles 32–33. John 18:19–40.
Standing in the crowded store aisle, I struggled to find the perfect Father’s Day card. Although we had reconciled after years of a strained connection, I never did feel close to my dad.
The woman next to me groaned and shoved the card she was reading back into the display. “Why can’t they make cards for people who do not have good relationships with their fathers, but are trying to do the right thing?”
She stormed off before I could respond, so I prayed for her. Thanking God for affirming only He could be a perfect Father, I asked Him to strengthen my relationship with my dad.
I long for deeper intimacy with my heavenly Father too. I want David’s confidence in God’s constant presence, power, and protection. Psalm 27:1–6.
When David cried out for help, he expected God’s answers. Ps. 27:7–9. Though earthly parents could reject, abandon, or neglect their children, David declared God’s unconditional acceptance. Ps. 27:10. He lived with assurance in the Lord’s goodness. Ps. 27:11–13. Like most of us, David sometimes struggled, but the Holy Spirit helped him persevere in trust and dependence on the Lord. Ps. 27:14.
We will encounter difficult relationships on this side of eternity. But even when people fall short, fail us, or hurt us, we are still completely loved and protected by the only Perfect Father. – Xochitl Dixon. Daily Bread.
Lord, thank You for being a Father we can always count on.
Good Good Father
You’re a good good father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
Good Shepherd Celebration for the Community.Modern Song Focus on Contemporary Church Artist performing hymns of traditional foundation.
Everyone is Welcome!
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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).
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.
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.