A long time ago, twelve young men left everything to follow a promise, placing their entire future on a foundation of hope. That foundation was Jesus. Their future was the Church. Never meant to be an institution or political entity, that naive group of young men would later grow into a worldwide expression of God’s commitment to heal, save, and deliver.
Church is NOT a building; it is People. It is where millions of People throughout the Ages have come to find Community, Rest, Peace and Remption through Jesus. ALL ARE WELCOME!
Church is NOT for the Elite. It is NOT for the Perfect. Church is for ALL of Us. Church is a Place to Find Friendship and Purpose, where We can Meet Jesus and Rally around One Another.
In today’s reading from the Gospel of Mark, Can you imagine what it is like to be tossed around while on a boat in the sea in a storm at night? This is a frightening thought! Would this be more or less disruptive than being admonished by Jesus for lacking faith while He stands and commands the sea to be still?
If you love and trust in Jesus, He will calm the torment in your soul and life. Give this a try. Do practice this at home. Let Us Gather to Ask Jesus to Calm Our Raging Storms.
Job is a classic Old Testament Faith in God tester. In a show of God-like strength, God returns Job’s volley with an appropriate series of questions putting Job in his place.
David opens Psalm 107 with a community hymn of praise; O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Then we see a pattern in the following examples of Gods goodness; distress, prayer, delivery and thanks. It appears a lot like what we experience in day to day life. Praise God for we are redeemed.
Paul speaks freely to the Corinthians and to us in this reading today. Are we able to both speak together with one another and say tough things? As your pastor, I genuinely pray that we may.
Here I am to Worship
Old Testament: Job 38:1-11.
Psalm: Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32.
New Testament: 2 Corinthians 6:1-13.
Gospel: Mark 4:35-41.
Your hand is upon your people, O God, to guide and protect them through the ages. Keep in your service those you have called and anointed, that the powers of this world may not overwhelm us,
but that, secure in your love, we may carry out your will in the face of all adversity. Amen.
Redeemed : to compensate for the faults or bad aspects of (something);or gain possession of (something) in exchange for payment.
Big Daddy Weave
Friends in Christ,
God invites us to hold the needs of our sisters and brothers as dear to us as our own needs. Loving our neighbors as ourselves, we offer our thanksgivings and our petitions on behalf of the church and the world.
Prayers of the People,
Hear our prayers, God of power, and through the ministry of your Son free us from the grip of the tomb, that we may desire you as the fullness of life and proclaim your saving deeds to all the world. 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.
Just As I Am
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).
Keeper of our lives, you know the hardness and gentleness of human hearts. You call your people to faithful living. Through the storms of life
that bring suffering and fear, joy and laughter,
teach us to turn to you for all we need, so that we may come to know your presence even in the midst of the trials that surround us. Amen.
O My Soul Arise
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 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
But it is from our twisted relations with family, friends, and society at large that many of us have suffered the most. We have been especially stupid and stubborn about them. The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 53.
Self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. With it comes the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God’s help, we find that bit by bit we can discard the old life, the one that did not work, for a new life that can and does work under any conditions whatever. – AS BILL SEES IT, pp. 10, 8.
Believe in Me
Just for today, I will have faith in someone in NA who believes in me and wants to help me in my recovery. Page 165.
Basic Text, p. 100. Not all of us arrive in NA and automatically stay clean. But if we keep coming back, we find in Narcotics Anonymous the support we need for our recovery. Staying clean is easier when we have someone who believes in us even when we do not believe in ourselves.
Even the most frequent relapser in NA usually has one staunch supporter who is always there, no matter what. It is imperative that we find that one person or group of people who believes in us. When we ask them if we will ever get clean, they will always replay, “Yes, you can and you will. Just keep coming back!”
We all need someone who believes in us, especially when we can not believe in ourselves. When we relapse, we undermine our already shattered self-confidence, sometimes so badly that we begin to feel utterly hopeless. At such times, we need the support of our loyal NA friends. They tell us that this can be our last relapse. They know from experience that if we keep coming to meetings, we will eventually get clean and stay clean.
It is hard for many of us to believe in ourselves. But when someone loves us unconditionally, offering support no matter how many times we’ve relapsed, recovery in NA becomes a little more real for us.
Just for Today: I will find someone who believes in me. I will believe in them. – (c) 2018. NA World Services.
Belief. Acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists; Trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.
Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it is not strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose. When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth. That is the measure of our character defects, or, if you wish, of our sins. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 65.
This is where long-term hope is born and perspective is gained, both of the nature of my illness and the path of my recovery. The beauty of A.A. lies in knowing that my life, with God’s help, will improve. The A.A. journey becomes richer, the understanding becomes truth, the dreams become realities and today becomes forever.
Although honesty is difficult to practice, it is most rewarding. Page 163.
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.