Tag Archives: SpiritofPeace.us

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

Christmas Celebration

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

The time is here to enjoy the hymns we are practicing for Christmas Caroling!

Nativity
Nativity

Introduction:
Join us in celebrating the Good News!
God presents Himself to all the ends of the earth! It is easy for Isaiah and the Psalm to flow into one another. Following the Faith and Hope we practiced in the season of Advent, we now experience the Love and Joy sharing the message of Christ’s birth!
In Hebrews, God announces the name of His son to us. Then He goes on to describe His son and all that Jesus will represent and do.
As the angels greet the shepherds, guardians of the flock, we learn the all important message.
Our Lord and Savior has presented Himself to us as a child!
Although we realize that our challenges will be there waiting to confront us when the time comes, take this time to bask in the Joy and Peace that surpasses all our human understanding can bring us!
Peace and Joy! The Christ child is with us! Alleluia!

Come, My Heart, Canst Thou Not Hear It
William Knight (1939).
performed by Hyfrydol.

Scripture:
All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Is. 52:10.
All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. Ps. 98:3.
Let all God’s angels worship him. Heb. 1:6.
To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God. John 1:12.

All the Ends of the Earth
David Haas, Marty Haugen (1983).

Prayer: O Holy One, heavenly angels spoke to earthly shepherds and eternity entered time in the child of Bethlehem. Through the telling of the Christmas story, let our temporal lives be caught up in the eternal in that same child, that we might join shepherds and all the heavenly host in praising the coming of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Edmund Sears (1849).

Prayer: God of glory, your splendor shines from a manger in Bethlehem, where the Light of the world is humbly born into the darkness of human night. Open our eyes to Christ’s presence in the shadows of our world, so that we, like him, may become beacons of your justice, and defenders of all for whom there is no room. Amen.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Charles Wesley (1749).

Prayer: May our gracious God, whose light shines in the darkness of our lives, the One who formed creation, now hear the prayers we offer this day for all people. Splendor of eternal glory, grant that we may be faithful witnesses to the light that dawns this morning, proclaiming Christ’s word of peace and salvation in acts of justice and mercy. Amen.

What Child is This
William Dix (1642). Tune: Greensleeves.
performed by Josh Groban

Wonderful, Merciful Savior
Eric Wyse
performed by Selah

Prayer: Dear God, you spoke and your Word became flesh, breathing a new song of joy and praise into the world. Grant that we may bear the good news of your salvation, proclaiming your promise of peace to the ends of the earth. Amen.

Good Christian Friends Rejoice


At the Name of Jesus
Catherine Noel
performed by MS Baptist Youth Choir and Orchestra (2007). Jackson, MS.

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!

Acceptance and Change

Acceptance and Change

“Freedom to change seems to come after acceptance of ourselves.” Page 371.

Basic Text, p.58. Fear and denial are the opposites of acceptance. None of us are perfect, even in our own eyes; all of us have certain traits that, given the chance, we would like to change. We sometimes become overwhelmed when contemplating how far short we fall of our ideals, so overwhelmed that we fear there’s no chance of becoming the people we’d like to be. That’s when our defense mechanism of denial kicks in, taking us to the opposite extreme: nothing about ourselves needs changing, we tell ourselves, so why worry? Neither extreme gives us the freedom to change.

Acceptance
Acceptance

Whether we are longtime NA members or new to recovery, the freedom to change is acquired by working the Twelve Steps. When we admit our powerlessness and the unmanageability of our lives, we counteract the lie that says we don’t have to change. In coming to believe that a Power greater than we are can help us, we lose our fear that we are damaged beyond repair; we come to believe we can change. We turn ourselves over to the care of the God of our understanding and tap the strength we need to make a thorough, honest examination of ourselves. We admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being what we’ve found. We accept the good and the bad in ourselves; with this acceptance, we become free to change.

Just for Today: I want to change. By working the steps, I will counter fear and denial and find the acceptance needed to change.
– (c) 2016 NA World Services

Changes
David Bowie

 

Rewards of Giving

Rewards of Giving

This is indeed the kind of giving that actually demands nothing. He does not expect his brother sufferer to pay him, or even to love him. Then he discovers that by the divine paradox of this kind of giving he has found his own reward, whether his brother has yet received anything or not. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 109.

Through experience with Twelfth Step work, I came to understand the rewards of giving that demands nothing in return. At first I expected recovery in others, but I soon learned that this did not happen. Once I acquired the humility to accept the fact that every Twelfth Step call was not going to result in a success, then I was open to receive the rewards of selfless giving. – Daily Reflections © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.

A.A. Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Soul Music
Soul Music

The Benedictine Monks suggest that meditating, reflecting, and chanting will make one’s life more complete and assist with the Twelve Steps.

Gregorian Chant
Benedictine Monks

Let’s Learn Gregorian Chant

With or Without You
Gregorian Monks joined by Benedictine Monks