Category Archives: Reflection

Living Water

Living Water Reflection
for the Community.
Modern Song Focus on Contemporary Church Artists
performing hymns of traditional foundation.

Everyone is Welcome! Join Us in the Mini-Park location!

SpiritofPeace.us
SpiritofPeace.us

To meet requests of believers participating in this worship service offline and requesting a more complete worship guide, I am adding more detail in this service today. This general worship style template may be applied to future worship services as needed.

Introduction:
John illustrates the role of Samaritans in the community and legitimizes the discipleship of women. Jesus builds community through inclusiveness. Overall the disciples of Jesus were not enthusiastic about including Samaritans in the fold. In the story of the woman at the well, the Samaritan woman, who is a spokeswoman for the community, has access to the water in the well in Samaria, but as a Jew, Jesus does not. The woman is recognized as growing faith. Soon Jesus will die for all believers, not only Jewish ones. The living water that Jesus promises the woman is symbolized in the water that Moses made come out of the rock in Exodus 17, is the same God’s purifying water, the Holy Spirit (7:37-39), which will purify our hearts and transform us into the people of God on earth.

Be Not Afraid

Bob Dufford
performed by John Michael Talbot

 

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.

Scripture Readings
Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 95
Romans 5:1-11
John 4:5-42

Prayer: 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.

Prayer Intentions

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

Our Father

Handshake of Peace

Confession

Communion Hymn

Let Us Break Bread Together
African American Spiritual

Communion

Prayer: Enduring Presence, goal and guide, you go before and await our coming. Only our thirst compels us beyond complaint to conversation, beyond rejection to relationship. Pour your love into our hearts, that, refreshed and renewed, we may invite others to the living water given to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Crown Him with Many Crowns

Matthew Bridges (1851).

Blessing:

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.

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
Horatius Bonar (1846).

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!

Fruit of the Tree

Fruit of the Tree Reflection
for the Community.
Modern Song Focus on Contemporary Church Artists
performing hymns of traditional foundation.
Everyone is Welcome!

Introduction:
Jesus finds Himself in the wilderness after His Baptism. The Holy Spirit leads Jesus into a confrontation with the temptations offered by Satan. Jesus emerges victorious. How do we measure up?
In Genesis we visit the well known Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. Satan, under the guise of a serpent, uses persuasive deceit to rob the vulnerable Eve and then Adam of a Life of Ease in Paradise. How do we engage or better yet disengage Satan in our lives?
Psalm 32 is associated with the Rite of Penance. Confession and a contrite heart fits in with the practice of humility necessary to live rightly before God.
In Paul’s Letter to the Romans, he wants to make the point that we are responsible for our sins even though we may be helpless to stop them.
Given the knowledge we discuss and glean in faith today, how will we manage ourselves as we live in the future?

Morning has Broken

Eleanor Farjeon (1931).
Cat Stevens

 

Scripture:
The Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden …”. Gen. 2:16.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Ps. 32:5.
Just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. Rom. 5:18.
Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'” Matt. 4:10.
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.

Just as I am

Charlotte Elliot (1823).
Antrim Menninger Choir

 

Prayer: Beloved friends, in this season of repentance and healing, we accept God’s invitation to be ever-mindful of the needs of others, offering our prayers on behalf of God’s community in the church and the world.

Fill us with your strength to resist the seductions of our foolish desires and the tempter’s vain delights, that we may walk in obedience and righteousness, rejoicing in you with an upright heart. Amen.

We Believe

Newsboys

 

Prayer: Dear Lord God of mercy, your word was the sure defense of Jesus in his time of testing. Minister to us in the wilderness of our temptation, that we who have been set free from sin by Christ may serve you well into life everlasting. Amen.

God be with You

Jeremiah Rankin (1880).
Jim Reeves

 

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!

This Is Not a Test

This is Not a Test.

“We have found a loving, personal God to whom we can turn.” Page 39.
Basic Text, p. 27. Some of us come into recovery with the impression that life’s hardships are a series of cosmic tests designed to teach us something. This belief is readily apparent when something traumatic happens and we wail, “My Higher Power is testing me!” We are convinced that it is a test of our recovery when someone offers us drugs, or a test of our character when faced with a situation where we could do something unprincipled without getting caught. We may even think it is a test of our faith when we are in great pain over a tragedy in our lives.

But a loving Higher Power does not test our recovery, our character, or our faith. Life just happens, and sometimes it hurts. Many of us have lost love through no fault of our own. Some of us have lost all of our material wealth. A few of us have even grieved the loss of our own children. Life can be terribly painful at times, but the pain is not inflicted on us by our Higher Power. Rather, that Power is constantly by our sides, ready to carry us if we can not walk by ourselves. There is no harm that life can do us that the God of our understanding can not heal.

Just for Today: I will have faith that my Higher Power’s will for me is good, and that I am loved. I will seek my Higher Power’s help in times of need. (c) 2016 NA World Services

Iroquois Prayer of Gratitude
We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with waters.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicine for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the corn, and to her sisters, the beans and the squashes, which give us life.
We return thanks to the wind, which moving the air has banished diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and the stars,
which have given us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun, that he has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in whom is embodied all goodness, and who directs all things for the good of his children.

Thank you
Thank you

The Science Behind Cultivating the Attitude of Gratitude and How It Works.

The benefits include health and Wellness, better sleep, feeling more alive, reaching out and receiving compassion, even helping build a better immune system. – Derrick Carpenter. Happify. http://www.happify.com/hd/the-science-behind-gratitude/

How do we get on with cultivating an attitude of gratitude?
Freshen up the Thanks.
Make a Game about Noticing New Gratefulness each day.
Get Real about Your Gratitude Practice.
Be Both Optimistic and Realistic.
Make Thankfulness Fun by Mixing it up.
Be Creative in Engaging your Gratitude activities.
Get Social about your Gratitude.
Write a Gratitude letter.
You are on your way to positive life changes to better yourself.

Gratitude
Beastie Boys

Path to Faith

Path to Faith
True humility and an open mind can lead us to faith, and every A.A. meeting is an assurance that God will restore us to sanity if we rightly relate ourselves to Him. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 33.

My last drunk had landed me in the hospital, totally broken. It was then that I was able to see my past float in front of me. I realized that, through drinking, I had lived every nightmare I had ever had. My own self-will and obsession to drink had driven me into a dark pit of hallucinations, blackouts and despair. Finally beaten, I asked for God’s help. His presence told me to believe. My obsession for alcohol was taken away and my paranoia has since been lifted. I am no longer afraid. I know my life is healthy and sane. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services

Path to Faith
Path to Faith

Step 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Therefore, Step Two is the rallying point for all of us. Whether agnostic, atheist, or former believer, we can stand together on this Step. True humility and an open mind can lead us to faith, and every A.A. meeting is an assurance that God will restore us to sanity if we rightly relate ourselves to Him. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 33.

Humility appears to be the key character component to getting sobriety started, and to keep it progressing. Sally N.

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. C.S. Lewis

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am having trouble with personal relationships. I can not control my emotional nature. I am prey to misery and depression. I can not make a living. I feel useless. I am full of fear. I am unhappy. I can not seem to be of real help to others. I know in my heart that only you can restore me to sanity if I am just willing to stop doubting your power. I humbly ask that you help me to understand that it is more powerful to believe than not to believe and that you are either everything or nothing. (Big Book p. 52:2, 52:3, 53:1, 53:2).

 

Walk the Path of Faith
Emily Christensen
https://youtu.be/kmeAL5kniec

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

Feeling Good

Feeling Good is Not the Point

For us, recovery is more than just pleasure. Page 36.

Basic Text, p. 43. In our active addiction, most of us knew exactly how we were going to feel from one day to the next. All we had to do was read the label on the bottle or know what was in the bag. We planned our feelings, and our goal for each day was to feel good.

In recovery, we are liable to feel anything from one day to the next, even from one minute to the next. We may feel energetic and happy in the morning, then strangely let down and sad in the afternoon. Because we no longer plan our feelings for the day each morning, we could end up having feelings that are somewhat inconvenient, like feeling tired in the morning and wide-awake at bedtime.

Of course, there is always the possibility we could feel good, but that is not the point. Today, our main concern is not feeling good but learning to understand and deal with our feelings, no matter what they are. We do this by working the steps and sharing our feelings with others.

 

Feeling Good Today
Feeling Good Today

Just for Today: I will accept my feelings, whatever they may be, just as they are. I will practice the program and learn to live with my feelings. – (c) 2016 NA World Services

 

Feeling Good
Michael Buble

Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by
You know how I feel
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good
I’m feeling good.

Faith Gone Missing

Faith Gone Missing
Sometimes A.A. comes harder to those who have lost or rejected faith than to those who never had any faith at all, for they think they have tried faith and found it wanting. They have tried the way of faith and the way of no faith. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 28.
I was so sure God had failed me that I became ultimately defiant, though I knew better, and plunged into a final drinking binge. My faith turned bitter and that was no coincidence. Those who once had great faith hit bottom harder. It took time to rekindle my faith, though I came to A.A. I was grateful intellectually to have survived such a great fall, but my heart felt callous. Still, I stuck with the A.A. program; the alternatives were too bleak! I kept coming back and gradually my faith was resurrected. – Daily Reflections. © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.

Leap of Faith
Leap of Faith

Unfortunately in the ways of our world, all the way back before the time of Christ and preceding the prophets, we are temped to lose faith at times when we need it most. This is the human dilemma. It takes strength of character and faith in the Higher Power to get through every day, especially the worst of them.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28.

This transitions us to prayer:

Footprints in the Sand
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.”

 

Waiting Here for You

Christy Nochols

If faith can move the mountains
Let the mountains move
We come with expectation
Waiting here for you, waiting here for you.

Come to our Gathering to hear how Faith is Never Alone, and Good Works accomplished with Love will bring Faith!
Peace and Joy! Pastor Michael Hanus

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

Goodwill

Goodwill is best exemplified in service; proper service is “Doing the right thing for the right reason.” Page 34.

Basic Text, p. xv. The spiritual core of our disease is self-centeredness. In dealing with others, the only motive our addiction taught us is selfishness. We want what we want when we want it. Obsession with self is rooted in the very ground of our lives. In recovery, how do we root self-obsession out?

We reverse the effects of our disease by applying a few very simple spiritual principles. To counteract the self-centeredness of our addiction, we learn to apply the principle of goodwill. Rather than seeking to serve only ourselves, we begin serving others. Rather than thinking only about what we can get out of a situation, we learn to think first of the welfare of others. When faced with a moral choice, we learn to stop, recall spiritual principles, and act appropriately

Peace in Goodwill
Peace in Goodwill

As we begin doing the right thing for the right reason, we can detect a change in ourselves. Where once we were ruled by self-will, now we are guided by our goodwill for others. The chronic self-centeredness of addiction is losing its hold on us. We are learning to practice these principles in all our affairs; we are living in our recovery, not in our disease.

Just for Today: Wherever I am, whatever I do, I will seek to serve others, not just myself. When faced with a dilemma, I will try to do the right thing for the right reason. – (c) 2016 NA World Services

 

Share Your Goodwill

When you have a place to sleep at night,
when you have some food to eat,

when you have a coat to keep you warm,

and shoes upon your feet,
remember there are people
not as fortunate as you.
Remember they might need your help.

You know what you can do.

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!