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[personal profile] susannah
How often do you sense the numinous? The mysterious, awe-inspiring otherness of God? As a mountaineer, all through my life I have known moments when my being has been stilled - by a sudden sense of presence... of a God "just round the corner"... a sense of the deep mystery and loveliness of God. In a sense, I think God calls to us this way, all along our journey. Perhaps that's why people were drawn out to the wilderness. Perhaps that's what Moses felt when he saw the burning bush. I also feel it in great cathedrals sometimes. Or at dusk, as light fades, and the day stills. It's as if, sometimes, at God's choice, we are overshadowed by God's presence, and we know God is there, but God seems deep and beyond our words and explanations.

At times like this, we realise that though God is personal and can draw so close to us, God is also God, and beyond our control or definition. At this point, it is as if we are aware of a 'cloud of unknowing', and our tense mental control runs out of road, and in silence and wonder we become simply recipient. I love this 'hidden' God. This God who is so deep. The God, who when we stop and rest by the constantly flowing stream, is 'just around the next bend in the river'. And incites us, and touches us with yearning, and leads us on.

Do you have experiences like these?
susannah: (Default)
[personal profile] susannah
How easily we get hurt, or hurt ourselves, and retreat into a protective hard shell. It's very understandable.

Yet God longs for us to open our hearts to healing and the touch of God's love. We can't do it ourselves. It's a work of grace.

Deep in our innermost place, God waits for us, day after day, all through our lives. Longs to comfort, reassure us. Longs to touch us with love and forgiveness and acceptance. Longs to open us up.

Being a Christian is opening our hearts and letting God in. It is also opening our hearts to others - not keeping God's love just for ourselves, but sharing it, letting it flow, just like God shares with us.

Open your eyes, open your ears, Jesus is trying to touch your heart. Open your mind, open your life, Jesus is wanting to show you. His grace is all you need, and in your weakness you'll have strength. Please don't be proud, please don't pretend, Jesus can see every need you have. Weakness is hard, failure is real, but Jesus can give you your freedom.

Jesus just longs for us to let down our defences, and let him touch our hearts with his gentle, powerful love. Longs to heal us where we hurt the most. Longs to open our hearts, and be there, be there with us.
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[personal profile] susannah
I love the Book of Ruth. It is such a tender-hearted narrative. And I love the way a lot of its perspectives involve two women, walking with God, and the solidarity between them, and their faithfulness.

A lot of the Bible seems quite masculine-slanted in its voice (which is not to imply that God cares any the less about women). In the Book of Ruth though, there is a refreshing account of two women's fidelity in adversity, their feelings, their perspective.

Of course, I also love the good, decent, strong and masculine role of Boaz in the narrative. He demonstrates how a good estate should be run, he shows care, he shows respect for a woman's dignity, he shows faith.

In the way Boaz runs his household and estate, I like to think it reflects the eternal household and good estate of God, to which each of us is invited and called.

The Book resonates with mercy, love and grace.
susannah: (Default)
[personal profile] susannah
May the God of all grace and love be with you, and may you know God's kindness and presence in your life. Please be assured that you are known, and understood, and dearly loved.
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[personal profile] anotherheather
Any other Anglicans/Episcopalians in here? Thoughts?

The archbishop of Canterbury is proposing to effectively dissolve the fractious and bitterly divided worldwide Anglican communion and replace it with a much looser grouping.

Justin Welby has summoned all the 38 leaders of the national churches of the Anglican communion to a meeting in Canterbury next January, where he will propose that the communion be reorganised as a group of churches that are all linked to Canterbury but no longer necessarily to each other.

He believes that the communion – notionally the third largest Christian body in the world with 80 million members, after the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox churches - has become impossible to hold together due to arguments over power and sexuality and has, for the past 20 years, been completely dysfunctional.
anotherheather: (Default)
[personal profile] anotherheather
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." - Deuteronomy 31:8

"Dear Friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." - 1 Peter 4:12-13
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[personal profile] anotherheather
"O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord." Psalm 117 (KJV)
anotherheather: (Default)
[personal profile] anotherheather
"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18
anotherheather: (Default)
[personal profile] anotherheather
(* I would say "Daily" but daily hasn't been happening...)

2 Kings 6:1-23 (ESV) )

Matthew 5:38-48 (ESV)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers,what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
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[personal profile] anotherheather
Proverbs 3:1-6 (ESV)
My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

2 Timothy 3:14-17(ESV)
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
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[personal profile] anotherheather
Psalm 27:5 (NRSV), "One thing I have asked of the Lord; one thing I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life."

1 Corinthians 4:1-7 (GNB), "You should think of us as Christ's servants, who have been put in charge of God's secret truths. The one thing required of such servants is that they be faithful to their master. Now, I am not at all concerned about being judged by you or by any human standard; I don't even pass judgement on myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not prove that I am really innocent. The Lord is the one who passes judgement on me. So you should not pass judgement on anyone before the right time comes. Final judgement must wait until the Lord comes; he will bring to light the dark secrets and expose the hidden purposes of people's minds. And then all will receive from God the praise they deserve.

"For your sake, my brothers and sisters, I have applied all this to Apollos and me, using the two of us as an example, so that you may learn what the saying means, 'Observe the proper rules.' None of you should be proud of one person and despise another. Who made you superior to others? Didn't God give you everything you have? Well, then, how can you boast, as if what you have were not a gift?"
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[personal profile] anotherheather
Two, since I will not be able to post tomorrow:

Matthew 4:18-25 (NIV)

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

1 Corinthians 2:1-13 (NIV)

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived” —
the things God has prepared for those who love him—

these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.
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[personal profile] anotherheather

Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
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[personal profile] anotherheather
Two for today, since one is from the apocrypha:

Psalm 19 (GNB)

God's Glory in Creation

1How clearly the sky reveals God's glory!
How plainly it shows what he has done!

2Each day announces it to the following day;
each night repeats it to the next.

3No speech or words are used,
no sound is heard;

4 yet their message goes out to all the world
and is heard to the ends of the earth.
God made a home in the sky for the sun;

5it comes out in the morning like a happy bridegroom,
like an athlete eager to run a race.

6It starts at one end of the sky
and goes across to the other.
Nothing can hide from its heat.

The Law of the Lord

7The law of the Lord is perfect;
it gives new strength.
The commands of the Lord are trustworthy,
giving wisdom to those who lack it.

8The laws of the Lord are right,
and those who obey them are happy.
The commands of the Lord are just
and give understanding to the mind.

9Reverence for the Lord is good;
it will continue for ever.
The judgements of the Lord are just;
they are always fair.

10They are more desirable than the finest gold;
they are sweeter than the purest honey.

11They give knowledge to me, your servant;
I am rewarded for obeying them.

12No one can see his own errors;
deliver me, Lord, from hidden faults!

13Keep me safe, also, from wilful sins;
don't let them rule over me.
Then I shall be perfect
and free from the evil of sin.

14May my words and my thoughts be acceptable to you,
O Lord, my refuge and my redeemer!

Wisdom of Solomon 7:26-8:1 (GNB)

She is a reflection of eternal light, a perfect mirror of God's activity and goodness. Even though Wisdom acts alone, she can do anything. She makes everything new, although she herself never changes. From generation to generation she enters the souls of holy people, and makes them God's friends and prophets. There is nothing that God loves more than people who are at home with Wisdom. Wisdom is more beautiful than the sun and all the constellations. She is better than light itself, because night always follows day, but evil never overcomes Wisdom. Her great power reaches into every part of the world, and she sets everything in useful order.
anotherheather: (Default)
[personal profile] anotherheather
I have a small devotional book that gives me multiple verses and psalms for any given day. I'm happy to keep doing these if others find them useful. :)

Matthew 3:13-17 (NIV)

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
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[personal profile] brisus
With the holidays fast approaching, many people get greedy, needy, and rude. Take the time to continually show a positive example and the light of Christ in our lives.

Remember to give thanks on Thanksgiving and enjoy the time with family/friends.

Remember when Christmas is near, to really think about the meaning behind it.

We have a lot to be thankful for--but are we truly thankful?
cheyinka: the words 'glory, glory, send your glory' on a golden background (my glorious)
[personal profile] cheyinka

In case anyone was looking forward to reading it, there's now a complete English translation of the interview with Pope Francis after World Youth Day on the Catholic News Agency website.

If anything stands out as in need of explanation, I'm willing to do my best in the comments! (As a cradle Catholic, I often don't recognize things that are peculiarly Catholic and might need explaining to non-Catholics, so I don't have anything to provide ahead of time.)

brisus: (Love - Marriage/Cross/Rings)
[personal profile] brisus

I highly recommend this ebook that is currently free on RIGHT NOW:
The Love Dare

If you download it, take this free evaluation at before you start to see where you may need improvement and what your strengths are. After you finish this ebook, take it again and compare your results.

I'm just starting this myself, but wanted to share it with you all. It is highly recommended from multiple sources and says it can really help your marriage grow.

If you're going to do this too, maybe we could start a discussion based on it if you'd like?
brisus: (Religious - Forgive Them)
[personal profile] brisus
"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth."
- Revelation 3:15-16

How many of us talk the talk, but fail to walk the walk?
Don't just SAY you're a Christian--do your best to live the life God tells you to and follow His Word. You can't just pick and choose which parts of the Bible you want to follow or believe in, or skew what you read to fit your lifestyle... You are either ALL IN or nothing at all. It's a choice... your decision. Make it a good one.
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[personal profile] lovetheword


Read Matthew 17:1–13
           He (Jesus) was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Matthew 17:2–3 NKJV
* * *
      To Peter, James and John, the greatest men who ever lived were Moses and Elijah. For them to see Jesus talking to these renowned heroes further convinced them that He was the Messiah. But they needed to go a step farther in their understanding of who Jesus was. Peter, not knowing what to say, proposed building a tabernacle, one each for Moses, Elijah and Jesus.
      While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" (17:5) They fell on their faces in fear!
* * *
      Lord Jesus, beloved Son of God, In You, we have access to the very throne of the Father. Help us to live like children of the King, trusting You to lead and guide us every day as You reveal more and more just who You are. Help us to communicate to our generation, and the generation to come, how they too can know the Son of God.
* * *
      Jesus came and touched them and said, "Arise, and do not be afraid." When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. Matthew 17:7-8 NKJV
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