Tag Archives: Spirituality

Prayer

Honest Prayer

Although honesty is difficult to practice, it is most rewarding. Page 163.

honest
honest

Basic Text, p. 96. How difficult we find it to be honest! Many of us come to NA as confused about what really happened in our lives that it sometimes takes months and years to sort it all out. The truth of our history is not always as we have told it. How can we begin to be more truthful?

Many of us find it the easiest to be honest in prayer. With our fellow addicts, we sometimes find that we have a hard time telling the whole truth. We feel certain that we will not be accepted if we let others know us as we really are. It is hard to live up to the “terminally hip and fatally cool” image so many of us portrayed! In prayer, we find an acceptance from our Higher Power that allows us to open our hearts with honesty.

As we practice this honesty with the God of our understanding, we often find that it has a ripple effect in our communications with others. We get in the habit of being honest. We begin to practice honesty when we share at meetings and work with others. In return, we find our lives enriched by deepening friendships. We even find that we can be more honest with ourselves, the most important person to be truthful with!

Honesty is a quality that is developed through practice. It isn’t always easy to be totally truthful, but when we begin with our Higher Power, we find it easier to extend our honesty to others.

Just for Today: I will be honest with God, myself, and others. – (c) 2018. NA World Services.

Honesty
Billy Joel

 

Challenge of the Day

Meeting the Challenge of the Day

The decision to ask for God’s help is our greatest source of strength and courage. Page 153. 

Challenges
Challenges Ahead

Basic Text, p. 26. A challenge is anything that dares us to succeed. Things new and unfamiliar serve as challenges, whether those things appear good or bad to us. We are challenged by obstacles and opposition from within ourselves and from without. New and difficult things, obstacles and opposition, all are a part of “life on life’s terms.” Living clean means learning to meet challenges.

Many of us, consciously or unconsciously, took drugs to avoid meeting challenge. Many of us were equally afraid of failure and success. Each time we declined the day’s challenge, we suffered a loss of self-esteem. Some of us used drugs to mask the shame we felt. Each time we did that, we became even less able to meet our challenges and more likely to use.

By working the NA program, we find the tools we need to successfully meet any challenge. We come to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, a Power that cares for our will and our lives. We ask that Power to remove our character defects, those things that made our lives unmanageable. We take action to improve our conscious contact with that Higher Power. Through the steps, we are given the ability to stop using drugs and start living.

Each day, we are faced with new challenges. And each day, through working our program of recovery, we are given the grace to meet those challenges.

Just for Today: I will ask my Higher Power to help me squarely meet today’s challenge. – (c) 2018. NA World Services. 

Precious Lord Take My Hand 

Trinity Celebration

Trinity Celebration for the Community. Modern Song Focus on Contemporary Church Artists performing hymns of traditional foundation. 

Everyone is Welcome!  

Nicodemus
Nicodemus

Introduction:  

The Lord calls upon Isaiah and Isaiah shows no fear. In his vision, Isaiah experiences a visually painful act to seek forgiveness. How do we discern reality in our lives? May we draw inspiration from our visions. 

Psalm 29, the voice of the Lord, should create thunderous messages in our lives. God does love you and me. 

Today in Paul’s letter to the Romans, God adopts us as His children. We adopt one another through Christ, a relationship we have gained in being believers in Christ. 

Nicodemus, a learned Pharisee of his day, struggles with the concept of born again, as Jesus calls his spiritual theology into question. Rebirth to faith, not knowledge. We are all recipients of Gods gift. 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life. John 3:16. We will explore these concepts further in today’s sermon. 

I anticipate and hope with all my heart that today we will be transformed, born again, and leave enthusiastic about our role in Gods kingdom! 

John 3:16.
John 3:16.

 

Here I am Lord, Dan Schutte (1981). 

Scripture: 

Old Testament: Isaiah 6:1-8. 

Psalm: Psalm 29. 

New Testament: Romans 8:12-17. 

Gospel: John 3:1-17. 

John 3:5.
John 3:5.

Prayer: God of delight, your Wisdom sings your Word at the crossroads where humanity and divinity meet. Invite us into your joyful being where you know and are know in each beginning, in all sustenance, in every redemption, that we may manifest your unity in the diverse ministries you entrust to us, truly reflecting your triune majesty in the faith that acts, in the hope that does not disappoint, and in the love that endures. Amen. 

 

The Lord Will Bless His People with Peace 

Responsorial Psalm 

 

Prayer Intentions: Holy, holy, holy God, in calling forth creation from the void, revealing yourself in human flesh, and pouring forth your wisdom to guide us, you manifest your concern for your whole universe. You invite us, as your people, to gather the world’s needs into our hearts and bring them before you. 

Prayers of the People; 

Holy, holy, holy God, fill us with strength and courage, with discernment and compassion, that we may be your instruments of justice and love in this world, that it may be on earth as it is in heaven.  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

Christ in Me Arise, Trevor Thomson 

 

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 God, the earth is full of the glory of your love. May we your children, born of the Spirit, so bear witness to your Son Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, that all the world may believe and have eternal life through the One who saves, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen. 

 

Closing Hymn. 

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!, Anonymous 

 

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.  

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.  

H.P. as Guide

H.P. AS GUIDE
See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us. – ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 164. A.A. Big Book.

Higher Power
Higher Power coin

Having a right relationship with God seemed to be an impossible order. My chaotic past had left me filled with guilt and remorse and I wondered how this “God business” could work. A.A. told me that I must turn my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understand Him. With nowhere else to turn, I went down on my knees and cried, “God, I can’t do this. Please help me!” It was when I admitted my powerlessness that a glimmer of light began to touch my soul, and then a willingness emerged to let God control my life. With Him as my guide, great events began to happen, and I found the beginning of sobriety. – Daily Reflection. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.

Step 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

“Higher Power” is a term given significance in the 1930s in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and is used in other twelve-step programs. It is also sometimes referred to as a power greater than ourselves and is frequently abbreviated to “HP.” The term refers to a spiritual supreme being.

“I rely on My Higher Power to give me what I need and I am grateful I do not get some things I deserve.” Shirley. (2016).

“Higher Power” is one of three new songs Boston recorded for their Greatest Hits album. This track features their original lead singer Brad Delp. Boston leader Tom Scholz wrote this with bass player David Sikes. The “Higher Power” is a concept in Alcoholics Anonymous to help participants deal with their addiction. In this song, Delp sings about looking beyond himself for guidance. We hear Serenity Prayer right before the guitar solo.

Higher Power
Boston (1997).

Hey, my higher power
Yeah, give me the power

Let me love you
Take me home to your religion for the night
Let me touch you
Teach me how to see your vision through my eyes
Turn the pages
Tell my story, let me face another day
Safe embraces, I feel it comin’ now
My captain’s on his way

Hey, my higher power
The world is spinnin’, but I’m not afraid
Yeah, give me the power
It’s the beginnin’, the beginnin’ of another day

Yeah!

Let me hold you
Take me back into the secrets of my mind
Let me know you
Come and save me Lord
Don’t let me cross the line.

Hey, my higher power
The world is spinnin’, but I’m not afraid
Yeah, give me the power
It’s the beginnin’, the beginnin’ of another day.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things
I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference
And may your love shining down, amen.