"God be merciful to us & bless us, & cause His face to shine upon us.
That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad & sing for joy!"
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"We Praise and Thank You, O Christ" - 11 October 2015 AM and PM
We praise and thank you, O Christ, for the communion we have
with you by the bread and wine, and the communion we have with one another
because of you. We thank you that you gladly draw near to us, renew us, and
graciously fill us. As we have imbibed in the outward and ordinary means of
Word, Sacrament and prayer, may our homes and hearts and hopes be full of you,
and restocked with your goodness.
High King of Heaven, we implore you to save our country from
self-inflicted catastrophes and commotions; and rouse the hearts and hands of
the people of this land to compassionately and industriously help those who
have lost everything in wildfires or wild floods. And we remember that we are
not the only nation in need of your help, and so we pray that all the realms of
this round earth may be preserved in fairness and fortune.
Lord God, Mighty God, Compassionate God; “Pity the nations,
O our God, constrain the earth to come; send your victorious Word abroad, and
bring the strangers home.” And to this end we long to see you move in the
hearts and on the minds of many, even maybe some here, who have yet to see that
your Son is the way, the truth and the life, and that only through him can
anyone come to you (John 14.6).
Lord God, we pray for your Church world over, including the African
Methodist Episcopal Church; The Progressive National Baptist Convention; the African
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; The Church of God in Christ; Christian
Methodist Episcopal Church; and the Missionary Baptist Church. May the
Gospel of Jesus Christ be clearly and boldly proclaimed, your whole counsel
declared, your honor upheld, your love displayed, and your holiness and justice
reverenced. We pray for the enemies of your church, the fierce tormentors of
your people and the willful corruptors of your truth; bring their counsels to nothing,
and show that you are the Lord. A please set your church as a city on the hill,
to whose light the nations will flow, and from which the nations will go as
lions lying down with lambs, beating their swords into plowshares, and spear
into pruning hooks.
Stretch forth your hand, O Lord, and refresh those who are
worn thin….give renewed hope to those who are overcome by bleakness….re-glue those who feel that they,
or their marriages, are coming apart….and watch over those who are traveling on
land, sea or air….
“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and
power; for You created all things,
and by Your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4.11 NKJV).
Father from whom all fatherhood is named, who gladly calls
us your sons and daughters, and who lovingly disciplines us as your legitimate
children; we pray for our families in this church. May the relationships
between husbands and wives rightly reflect the relationship between Christ and
his Church. May the actions and relations between parents and their children be
holy, wholesome and godly – in both directions. May those who are unmarried
find their fellowship with you deepened, and their service for you fulfilling. O Lord, hear our prayer.
For those here, and those of our membership, who are living
through dark times and stiff situations – strained marriages, straying
children, stressed finances, stretched emotional resources, slashed hopes, suffering loved ones…whatever it may be – you are the one who can keep our heads above
the waterline, buoy us up to ride the waves and storms; help them, hold them,
enfold them in your compassionate arms, and bring them through. O Lord, hear our prayer.
We pray for your Church throughout the nations, including St.
Mary’s Episcopal Church; St. Paul’s; Westmoore Community Church; The Gathering;
and Lighthouse Foursquare Church; We ask you to help your church; that
she may be the pure virgin presented to Christ as she was meant to be. Knowing
that the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, may your church be on her guard
and not be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. And if
someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one the apostles proclaimed,
or a different spirit from the one she received, or a different gospel from the
one she accepted, may it be that she would not put up with it readily, but
always hold faithfully to you and your way (2 Corinthians 11.1-4). O Lord, hear our prayer.
Father of compassion and mercy, we especially pray for your
churches – our brothers and sisters – who are under pressure, being pursued,
and pounded. With the psalmist we pray for them: “Remember this, O LORD, how
the enemy scoffs, and a foolish people reviles your name. Do not deliver the
soul of your dove to the wild beasts; do not forget the life of your poor
forever. Have regard for the covenant, for the dark places of the land are full
of the habitations of violence. Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame; let
the poor and needy praise your name. Arise, O God, defend your cause; remember
how the foolish scoff at you all the day! Do not forget the clamor of your
foes, the uproar of those who rise against you, which goes up continually”
(Psalm 74.18-23)! O Lord, hear our prayer.
When I was 20 years old, I was stationed in a Muslim country for two years. During that time I read the Quran (in an English translation from Oxford), interacted with Muslim acquaintances, and saw Islam lived out in it's communal context. Therefore I was excited when my mother gave me a copy of "Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus". With bazillions of reviews already plastered on the various sites and venues, mine will be short and succinct.
Nabeel Qureshi has woven together a very personal and personable volume written to give "an insider's perspective into a Muslim heart," as well as equip readers "with facts and knowledge, showing the strength of the case for the gospel contrasted with the case for Islam," while chronicling his own inner struggles, sacrifices and doubts when grappling with the Christian faith. The style of writing is autobi…
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So cantillates Jennifer Michelle Greenberg, mother, wife, writer, musician and abuse survivor, in her new 240 page hardback "Not Forsaken: A Story of Life After Abuse". This volume is the tale of her terrors and troubles at the hands of an abusive father, and it is far, far more. It is truly a story of life after abuse, abundant life found only in the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. An easy to read book, it is ideally suited for those who have been traumatized and those who long to help the trampled! "I am not my abuser. I have a choice. I aspire to heal and grow by God's grace" (82).
Just like taking an abnormal psych class in college, a reader will likely see their reflection on many pages in the 200-page hardback "When Narcissism Comes to Church: Healing Your Community from Emotional and Spiritual Abuse". This newly released dossier, written by Chuck DeGroat, professor of pastoral care and Christian spirituality at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, and senior fellow at Newbigin House of Studies in San Francisco, is a velvet covered brick. It is easily readable, and reasonably attainable. DeGroat exposes the varied ways narcissism shows up in a parish, whether in the leadership, families, or congregational culture; and how it can show up in the corporate culture of an ecclesiastical denomination, association or network. It arises from the "lack of capacity for self-awareness and self-evaluation, shunning humility for defensive self-protection" (15). Further, according to the author, a deep, underlying shame is the driving forc…