Tag Archives: SpiritofPeace.us

Seeking Jesus Celebration

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

Introduction:
In our gospel today, John is an excellent witness for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. John dutifully tells others what he has seen, offers evidence on behalf of the one who sent him, points to the Lamb of God who gives up His life for the sin of the world.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus asks what are you seeking? The soon to be apostles, Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew, are looking for Teacher just to be with Him. What will be your response?

Seeking Jesus
Seeking Jesus

Scripture:
Kings shall see and stand up, princes, and they shall prostrate themselves, because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you. Is. 49:7.
I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart. Ps. 40:8.
He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 1:8.
John the Baptist testifies, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. John 1:32.

 

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine
William Featherstone (1864).

My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
for thee all the follies of sin I resign;
my gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou;
if ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

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.

This hymn reminds discouraged Christians of the grace they have been given. It is often easy to take a negative view of life, but when we remember the things we have been given, we cannot deny that we are blessed. The hymn proclaims that all power belongs to God, and that he desires to bless us.

Count Your Blessings
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed
Johnson Oatman (1897).
performed by Ann Williamson

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

 

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.

Charlotte Elliott possesses a deep spiritual-mindedness which is so prominent in her hymns. Though weak and feeble in body, she possessed a strong imagination, and a well-cultured and intellectual mind. Her love of poetry and music was great, and is reflected in her verse.

Just as I Am without One Plea
Charlotte Elliott (1800s).

Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bidd’st me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Prayer: Steadfast God, you have enriched and enlightened us by the revelation of your eternal Christ. Comfort us in our mortality and strengthen us to walk the path of your desire, so that by word and deed we may manifest the gracious news of your faithfulness and love. Amen.

O for a Closer Walk with God
William Cowper (1772).

O for a closer walk with God,
a calm and heavenly frame,
a light to shine upon the road
that leads me to the Lamb!

 

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!

Healthy Chicken Chowder

Pastor cooks up healthy nutritious Chicken Chowder; Caldo de Pollo, Sp., or Sopa de Frango, Pt. by name!

Chicken Chowder
Chicken Chowder

Where else does the believer find such pastoral service?
Come Join Us for a discussion of natural healthy nutritious ingredients prepared in an appropriate manner supporting holistic Health and Wellness.

All Are Welcome!

Exercises and Fellowship follow.
Spirit of Peace Pastor Michael Hanus

Cooking Song
LBB Junior Children’s Songs

 

Powerless

Powerless
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21.

Empowerment
Empowerment

It is no coincidence that the very first Step mentions powerlessness: An admission of personal powerlessness over alcohol is a cornerstone of the foundation of recovery. I have learned that I do not have the power and control I once thought I had. I am powerless over what people think about me. I am powerless over having just missed the bus. I am powerless over how other people work (or do not work) the Steps. But I have also learned I am not powerless over some things. I am not powerless over my attitudes. I am not powerless over negativity. I am not powerless over assuming responsibility for my own recovery. I have the power to exert a positive influence on myself, my loved ones, and the world in which I live. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.

Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step 1 Recovery Prayer
Dear Lord,
I admit that I am powerless over my addiction.
I admit that my life is unmanageable when I try to control it.
Help me this day to understand
The true meaning of powerlessness.
Remove from me all denial of my addiction. Amen.

“I am so grateful the holidays are over and behind me.” Anon.
“Alcoholism is a Progressive Fatal Disease for which the Cure is to Stop Drinking.” Shirley.

Serenity Prayer.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen. – Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971).

The Story of twin brothers and their boxing careers.
Powerless – Rudimental

You held it all and I was by your side, powerless. I watched you fall … It’s really a sad story … .

“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Rom. 7:18.

Finding Freedom from Guilt through the Blood of Christ.

Just as I Am
Travis Cottrell

I come broken to be mended
I come wounded to be healed
I come desperate to be rescued
I come empty to be filled
I come guilty to be pardoned
By the blood of Christ the Lamb
And I’m welcomed with open arms
Praise God, just as I am.

Admitting powerlessness is absolutely essential to breaking the addiction cycle, which is made up of five points:

– Pain
– Reaching out to an addictive agent, such as work, food, sex, alcohol, or dependent relationships to salve our pain
– Temporary anesthesia
– Negative consequences
– Shame and guilt, which result in more pain or low self-esteem.

Understanding the addiction cycle is important because it helps explain why the admission of powerlessness is the first step to recovery. Otherwise, we remain caught. If we rely on willpower alone, then the only thing we know to do is to escalate our addiction to get out of the pain. Step 1 calls us to do less – to yield, to surrender, to let go. – Serenity, A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery, p. 22-23.

 

Nine Signs

Nine Signs You are in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship
Similar to other types of abuse, emotional abusers tend to inflict harm over time. It can be easy to fall for an emotional abuser because, instead of being abusive right away, they will often present their most charming selves, then gradually become more abusive once trust has been built. Psychologist Leanne Donoghue-Tamplin tells The Cheat Sheet this process is referred to as grooming. – Cheat Sheet.

 

Know Eight Before Too Late
Know Eight Before Too Late

 

1. You Feel Bad about Yourself.
A loving, supportive relationship should make you feel good about yourself.

2. Your Partner Says Hurtful Things.
People who use words to wound may resort to outright verbal attacks.

3. Your Partner Lies Frequently.
Lying becomes second nature to emotional abusers. Their main concern is getting their way and staying in control.

4. Your Partner Controls the Relationship.
As the relationship progresses, you will feel like you have no say in what goes on (most likely because you do not). Your opinions are ignored or ridiculed. When it is time to make a major decision, you are not included.

5. Your Partner Screams at You.
An emotional abuser may try to assert authority through screaming. This is one of the ways he or she attempts to assume control. Once the relationship gets to this point, you may have become fearful of the abuse escalating.
Barrie Davenport, author of Signs of Emotional Abuse, says many survivors are so overcome by anxiety that they do nothing.

6. You are Criticized Constantly.
Those who verbally mistreat others may have been mistreated during their formative years. If they do not get professional help in timely manner, they often go on to communicate harshly with partners.

7. Your Partner Minimizes the Abusive Behavior.
If you get the courage to point out the bad behavior, your partner may offer excuses or minimize the severity of the behavior.

8. Your Partner is Manipulative.
An emotionally abusive partner will manipulate you in an attempt to get his or her way. You may be pressured to do things you do not want to do. The emotional abuser will try to make you feel guilty or get angry at you for resisting. He or she may also do or say things that cause you to question your perception of reality or your sanity. This is a technique called gas-lighting.

9. You Blame Yourself.
Donoghue-Tamplin says the self-blame is a result of being trained by the abuser to think they are bad or not valuable.

Risk factors for someone being emotionally abusive include: people who have difficulty identifying or communicating their feelings; people who have difficulty taking responsibility for their actions and tend to blame others for their problems; people with personality or mood disorders; people with a manipulative or sociopathic style; untreated victims of abuse; and people with addictions who are not getting help, seeking recovery, or addressing the consequences of their behavior. – Cheat Sheet. http://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/signs-of-an-emotionally-abusive-relationship.html/

What Are Your Choices?
Pray for divine intervention. God wants you to have that which is best for you.
ALE™ Associate, Leave, Educate
Associate with a qualified independent competent mental health professional;
Leave the harmful relationship; or
Educate yourself about the harmful relationship you are in and what you may choose to do about it.
If you choose to stay in your relationship and feel that your issues can be worked out with the help of a mental health professional, one of the first things you will need to do is set boundaries for how you are treated by your partner.
If the behavior continues despite your best efforts, it is time to go.

Qui Tu Es ? Who Are You? Willy William (2016).

 

Baptism of Our Lord Celebration

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

Introduction:

The gospel reading today is about the Baptism of Jesus, not to be likened to nor confused with ours. In Matthew, the questions of Jesus’ sinless purity and divinity are fair presentation for His disciples. We are blessed to hear the Gospel according to Matthew as he sees it in his day. Jesus, a man without sin, takes our sins to the cross, dying a human death so to gift our imperfect nature salvation.
John the Baptist is a rough animal hide clothed grub eating believer who preaches repentance and cleansing by water to prepare oneself to be in the presence of our Lord. Here John meets Jesus face to face, experiences the awkward moment and recognizes the Lord and Savior.
Our Lord God Creator of Heaven and Earth removes all doubt of the presence and identity of His obedient son, Jesus Christ, as Christ rises from the waters of His Baptism. We see the presence of the Triune God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
What would you feel if you were at the Baptism of our Lord Jesus?

 

Baptism of Our Lord
Baptism of Our Lord

Scripture:
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. Is. 42:1.
Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ps. 29:1.
He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. Acts 10:42.
When Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. Matt. 3:16.

 

Pardon Peace Power
Daniel Whittle (El Nathan) 1883.

Pardon Peace Power
Pardon Peace Power

 

Prayer: God of grace and glory, you call us with your voice of flame to be your people, faithful and courageous. As your beloved Son embraced his mission in the waters of baptism, inspire us with the fire of your Spirit to join in his transforming work. We ask this in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Come Holy Ghost Creator Blest
Fr. Louis Lambillotte S.J.

 

Prayer: Sisters and brothers, our baptismal vows call us to compassion and mercy on behalf of those in need. We offer our prayers for the church and the world.

 

Spirit Song
John Wimber
performed by Maranatha Singers

 

Prayer: Dear Lord God, you revealed your Son in the waters of the Jordan and anointed him with the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim good news to all people. Sanctify us by the same Spirit, that we may proclaim the healing power of the gospel by acts of love in your name. Amen.

 

Be Not Afraid.
You Shall Cross the Barren Desert (1975).
Bob Dufford, S.J.
performed by John Michael Talbot

 

Prayer: Dear Creator God, our soul’s delight, your voice thunders over the waters, liberating the future from the past. In the Spirit’s power and the waters of rebirth, Jesus was declared your blessed and beloved Son; may we recall our baptism, and be disciples of the Anointed One. Amen.

 

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!

Footprints in the Sand

Put Down Your Burden

A man driving his pickup truck on a country road saw a woman carrying a heavy load, so he stopped and offered her a lift. The woman expressed her gratitude and climbed into the back of the truck.

A moment later, the man noticed a strange thing. The woman was still holding onto her heavy load despite sitting in the vehicle! Astonished, he pleaded, “Please, Madam, put down your load and take your rest. My truck can carry you and your stuff. Just relax.”

Put Down Your Burden
Put Down Your Burden

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28.

What do we do with the load of fear, worry, and anxiety we often carry as we go through life’s many challenges? Instead of relaxing in the Lord, I sometimes behave like that woman. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28), yet I catch myself carrying burdens I should offload onto Jesus.

We put down our burdens when we bring them to the Lord in prayer. The apostle Peter says, “Cast all your anxiety on Jesus because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7. Because He cares for us, we can rest and relax as we learn to trust Him. Instead of carrying the burdens that weigh us down and weary us, we can give them to the Lord and let Him carry them. – Lawrence Darmani. Daily Bread.

Prayer: I am tired, Lord. I bring You my burdens today. Please keep them and carry them for me.

Prayer is the time and place where burdens change shoulders.

Explanation: A yoke pairs two animals together to pull a load. Often an older, stronger, well-trained animal is paired with a younger animal so that the younger can learn the proper method of pulling. It is the older, stronger animal that does the majority of the pulling while the younger follows along and mimics the actions of the older. As we set aside our burdens and take on Christ’s, we are not simply swapping one burden for another. It is His yoke. We set aside our lone burdens to pull with Jesus, who is the one responsible for the direction and primary force of moving the burden. Then each of us, as the younger, weaker, less-experienced partner learns from Jesus how to pull the burden, following His actions and mimicking His footsteps. – Daily Bread.

Footprints in the Sand
Leona Lewis

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.”

Three Days of Prayer

Three Days of Prayer
Every congregation, member and pastor is being invited to set aside some time each day of January 3, 4 and 5, 2017 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.

LCMC
LCMC

Day 1. January 3rd 2017.

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 4th 2017.
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 5th 2017.
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.

Holy Name of Jesus Celebration

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

Introduction:
Dear People of God, what is in a name? How many names do we hear and know for Jesus? King of Kings, House of David, Savior, Messiah, Lord. Soon our telling the Good News will describe how Jesus Christ takes our sins to the cross to gift us salvation. In our readings of Scripture throughout the liturgical year we find the truths are self-evident, we believe the Word of the Lord. We worship in Word, Song and our Presence. We stand in awe in the name of our Lord.
Let us worship!

Scripture:
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 6:24-6.
O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Ps. 8:1.
God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name. Phil. 2:9.
He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. Luke 2:21.

 

The Lord Bless You and Keep You.
performed by John Rutter

 

Prayer: Dear Lord God, you have claimed us as your people and entrusted the justice and holiness of your creation to our hands and hearts. Hear the prayers we offer this day on behalf of this world. Grant that we may not only pray with our lips, but be courageous in conduct, responding to your grace with faithful and fruitful action. Amen.

 

Name Above All Names
Sovereign Grace Music

 

Prayer: Dear Lord God of ancient blessing, your servant Mary pondered in her heart the treasured words spoken about her Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.
Prepare our hearts to receive his Spirit, that our tongues may confess him Lord. Amen.

 

Joy to the World
Isaac Watts (1719).
performed by Pastor Kevin Schuessler. Guitar.

 

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!

AA Promises

What Are the AA Promises?
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has a set of principles to help alcoholics in recovery become productive members of society. These AA promises derive from Alcoholics Anonymous twelve steps and twelve traditions. Let’s break the AA promises out so they are easier to digest.

The AA Promises:

1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.

2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.

3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.

4. No matter how far down the scale we have gone

5. We will see how our experience can benefit others.

6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.

7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.

8. Self-seeking will slip away.

9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.

10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.

11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.

12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

AA Promises
AA Promises

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us -sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them. – Alcoholics Anonymous p. 83-84.

What do the AA Promises mean?

The AA Promises are meant to be a promise for recovery. The AA promises usually begin to come true after an alcoholic has worked through the steps thoroughly and begins to apply them in their life. When it says that they will be “fulfilled among us-sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly” it means that the AA Promises will happen, but the time frame in which they present themselves are different for everyone. The AA promises will always materialize if the alcoholic works for them. This means that if you are working the twelve steps to the best of your ability and are as honest as you can be while working them, you will receive a spiritual awakening or experience, which then leads to a total personality change.

– WaterShed Treatment Programs.
The Promise
David Grover
performed by When in Rome

If you need a friend, don’t look to a stranger,
You know in the end, I’ll always be there.
But when you’re in doubt, and when you’re in danger,
Take a look all around, and I’ll be there.

 

God Uses a Cracked Pot

God Uses a Cracked Pot

I readily admit and am often reminded that I am less than perfect, a “cracked pot” so to speak. Yet I do my best to pray, listen and act on God’s message. God uses all of His children to make the world He created, our world, a better place. Many of us may be familiar with the story of the “Cracked Pot.” I suggest we take this time to reflect on the story and discern if there is something beautiful we may offer within ourselves to contribute to His kingdom.

Cracked Pot
Cracked Pot

A Water Bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and one-half pots of water to his master’s house.

The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the Water Bearer one day by the stream: “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The Water Bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion, he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again, it apologize to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots.

But if we will allow it, Jesus will use our flaws to grace His Father’s table. In God’s great economy, nothing goes to waste.

So, as we seek ways to minister together, and as God calls you to tasks He has appointed for you, don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and allow Him to take advantage of them, and you, too, can be the cause of beauty in his pathway.

Go out boldly, knowing that in our weakness, we find His strength.

– Lutheran Indian Ministry