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!

Ash Wednesday Reflection

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

Introduction:
Remember You are dust. Repent and be faithful to the Gospel.
You have come from dust and you will return to dust.
Expect to hear any of these disturbing words as you appear before the minister who will rub ashes into your forehead in the sign of the cross. Why?

Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

Marantha Singers

 

Scripture:
Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near. Joel 2:1.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Ps. 51:1.
We entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Cor. 5.
Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Matt. 6:1.

Proclamation of Gods Kingdom

 

Prayer:
Righteous God, in humility and repentance we bring our failures in caring, helping, and loving, we bring the pain we have caused other, we bring the injustice in society of which we are a part, to the transforming power of your grace.
Grant us the courage to accept the healing you offer and to turn again toward the sunrise of your reign, that we may walk with you in the promise of peace you have willed for all the children of the earth, and have made known to us in Christ Jesus. Amen.

O for a Closer Walk with God

William Cowper (1772).

 

Prayer:
Gracious and merciful God, you see into the secret places of our hearts, where we mourn our sins. As we turn again to your grace, receive our prayers.

Look with mercy on our contrite hearts, wash from us the stain of iniquity, and create a new and right spirit in us, that we may declare your praise and offer an acceptable sacrifice in these Lenten days; through Christ Jesus, who bore our sins on the cross. Amen.

Lords Prayer

Charlotte Church

 

Prayer:
O God, you delight not in pomp and show, but in a humble and contrite heart. Overturn our love of worldly possessions and fix our hearts more firmly on you, that, having nothing, we may yet possess everything, a treasure stored up for us in heaven. Amen.

Just as I am without one plea

Charlotte Elliot (1835).
Antrim Mennonite Choir

 

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.

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!

Transfiguration Celebration

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

Introduction:
Exodus informs us that Moses was on the mountain for forty days and nights before he came down with the law on the tablets.
In Psalm 2, David tells us that we will be happy taking refuge in the Lord.
Peter informs us that prophecy comes to us through those moved by the Holy Spirit speaking the Word of God.
God confirms that Jesus is His Son. God Said It, That Settles It. The disciples must first understand their Jesus Christ before they can properly proclaim.
What would you think and do if you are witness to this Transfiguration?

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

Reginald Heber (1826).

Scripture:
Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights. Ex. 24:18.
Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling kiss his feet, or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled. Happy are all who take refuge in him. Ps. 2:11.
No prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2 Peter 1:21.
This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him! Matt. 17:5.

Sovereign Lord

Cassidy Brothers
Sweet Spirit

 

Prayer: Holy God, mighty and immortal, you are beyond our knowing, yet we see your glory in the face of Jesus Christ, whose compassion illumines the world.
Transform us into the likeness of the love of Christ, who renewed our humanity so that we may share in his divinity, the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who live and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Name of All Majesty

Timothy Dudley-Smith
Promising Voices

 

Prayer: Dear Lord God, as your Son drew apart to be in prayer with you, we offer our prayers for the transformation of the world and the church.
You revealed your glory and presence in your beloved Son, Jesus the Christ. In receiving our prayers, reveal the glory and presence of your Spirit alive in the world today, free us from all doubts, and empower us to act as a transfigured people. Amen.

Be Thou My Vision O Lord of My Heart

Slane
Mary Byrne, Translator (1903).
Old Irish Hymn, “Bí Thusa ‘mo Shúile,” into English as “Be Thou My Vision”

 

Prayer: Dear Lord God of the covenant, the cloud of your splendor and the fire of your love revealed your Son on the mountain heights. Transform our lives in his image, write your law of love on our hearts, and make us prophets of your glory, that we may lead others into your presence. Amen.

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.

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!

Disciples Here and Now Celebration

Disciples Here and Now Celebration
for the Community.
Modern Song Focus on Contemporary Church Artists
performing hymns of traditional foundation.
Everyone is Welcome!

Introduction:
Today we learn one more installment of Jesus teaching the Sermon on the Mount. It is very fitting for the final Sunday in Epiphany. Jesus wants the attention of His disciples to gather just what it means to be His disciples. Pearls of Wisdom for us today.

How can I keep from singing

a cappella

Scripture:
You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. Lev. 19:18.
Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I will observe it to the end. Ps. 119:33.
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. 1 Cor. 3:10.
Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. Matt. 5:42.

Make me a channel of your peace.

St Francis Assisi
Sebastian Temple

 

Prayer: Perfect Light of revelation, as you shone in the life of Jesus, whose epiphany we celebrate, so shine in us and through us, that we may become beacons of truth and compassion, enlightening all creation with deeds of justice and mercy. Amen.

Lord of Glory

King’s Kids

 

Prayer: To God who welcomes all in love, let us pray for the good of the church and the concerns of those in need.
God of every land and nation, you have created all people and you dwell among us in Jesus Christ. Listen to the cries of those who pray to you, and grant that, as we proclaim the greatness of your name, all people will know the power of love at work in the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Teach me, O Lord, your way of truth

Psalmody

 

Prayer: Dear Lord God most holy, in Jesus Christ you have laid a foundation upon which to build our lives. Help us to follow your perfect law of love, that we may fulfill it and observe it to the end. Amen.

My hope is built on nothing less

Edward Mote (1834).
Sovereign Grace

 

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!

Discipleship in the City Celebration

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

Introduction:
We are still at the scene of Jesus preaching the Sermon on the Mount. Today, Matthew brings us awareness of the responsibilities of discipleship with community focus. We are accountable and responsible for one another for the sake of the community. Pursuing success in righteousness as a disciple of Jesus Christ may intersect with and challenge perceived social earthly material success, but this is to be expected. When faced with material wealth which might be enjoyed for a portion of this life directly placed at odds with discipleship and salvation with Jesus Christ, which do you choose?

Be Not Afraid

John Michael Talbot

Scripture:
If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. Deut. 30:16.
Happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. Ps. 119:1.
For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building. 1 Cor. 3:9.
So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Matt. 5:23-4.

Prayer: Dear Lord God, you spoke your word and revealed your good news in Jesus, the Christ.
Fill all creation with that word again, so that by proclaiming your joyful promises to all nations
and singing of your glorious hope to all peoples,
we may become one living body, your incarnate presence on the earth. Amen.

Teach me, O Lord, Your Way of Truth

Psalmody

Prayer: To Our Lord God who welcomes all in love, let us pray for the good of the church and the concerns of those in need.

God of every land and nation, you have created all people and you dwell among us in Jesus Christ. Listen to the cries of those who pray to you, and grant that, as we proclaim the greatness of your name, all people will know the power of love at work in the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

Gentile or Jew

One Bread One Body
John Foley
John Michael Talbot

 

Prayer: Divine Gardener, you give growth to our seeds and to the towering forest trees; you raise to abundant life that which seems dead. Teach us to choose blessing and life rather than death, so that we may walk blamelessly, seeking you through reconciliation with all of your children. Amen.

Dona Nobis Pacem Domine

Jacques Berthier

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.

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

Salt and Light Upon the City Celebration

Salt and Light Upon the City Celebration
for the Community.
Modern Song Focus on Contemporary Church Artists
performing hymns of traditional foundation.
Everyone is Welcome!

Introduction:
Isaiah tells us that when we worship, we should do it selflessly, more concerned for the community than for self.
In Psalm 112 David tells us that if you are good you will do well.
In 1 Cor. 2 Paul speaks to us as it informs us we may come to adopt the righteousness of Jesus through servitude and this culminates our days in knowing Joy.
We are still at the scene of Jesus preaching the Sermon on the Mount. Today, Matthew brings us awareness of the responsibilities of discipleship. It is ours to live out our identity, today we focus on salt and light. In our natural dispositions, we may seek comfort, yet Jesus calls upon us to be salt and light. We will explore this call.

 

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
Come Unto Me and Rest
Horatius Bonar (1846).

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto me and rest;
lay down, O weary one, lay down
your head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
so weary, worn, and sad;
I found him in a resting place,
and he has made me glad.

 

Scripture:
Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Is. 58:1.
Praise the Lord! Happy are those who greatly delight in His commandments. Ps. 112:1.
What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor. 2:9.
No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. Matt. 5:15.

Prayer:
Perfect Light of revelation,
as you shone in the life of Jesus,
whose epiphany we celebrate,
so shine in us and through us,
that we may become beacons of truth and compassion,
enlightening all creation with deeds of justice and mercy. Amen.

 

Here in this Place New Light is Streaming
Gather Us In
Marty Haugen

 

Prayer: To God who welcomes all in love, let us pray for the good of the church and the concerns of those in need.
God of every land and nation, you have created all people and you dwell among us in Jesus Christ. Listen to the cries of those who pray to you, and grant that, as we proclaim the greatness of your name, all people will know the power of love at work in the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

God Moves in a Mysterious Way
William Cowper (1774).
Jeremy Riddle Choral
acapella

 

Prayer:
O God of light,
your searching Spirit reveals and illumines
your presence in creation.
Shine your radiant holiness into our lives,
that we may offer our hands and hearts to your work:
to heal and shelter,
to feed and clothe,
to break every yoke and silence evil tongues. Amen.

 

Christ, Be Our Light!
Longing for light, we wait in darkness
Bernadette Farrell

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!

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.