"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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"Seven Times a Day I Praise You" - 24 July 2016
[This prayer goes along with, and flows out of the sermon for today from Jeremiah 15.16: Critical Crossroads]
Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart
stands in awe of your words. There are places in
our world, O Lord, where injustice, immorality, illegality and inhumaneness sit
enthroned and empowered, violently and viciously crushing people and seeking to
harm your chosen ones. Lift up the downtrodden and demoralized, show strength
with your arm; scatter the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; and bring
down the mighty from their thrones (Luke 1.51-52). We especially ask for you to
defend, direct, and deliver your Church in all places, and more pointedly, in Qatar;
Romania; Russia; Rwanda, Turkey, and the Republic of South Sudan.
I rejoice at your word like one who finds great
spoil. Eternal God, look upon these United
States of America that there may again be great joy at your word, like the joy of
those who have found a priceless treasure. Many who are in office claim to be
disciples of Jesus, and fellow believers. Especially for them we beg you to
shape their desires, direct their actions, protect their families, and build
them up to pursue God-defined justice, equity, and the common good for all in
this land – the free born, foreign born and unborn.
and abhor falsehood, but I love your law. Seven times a day I
praise you for your righteous rules. Great God,
faithful God, God of truth and fidelity; we implore you to bring honesty and
integrity to the forefront of our land, our own relationships, our families, in
our jobs, throughout our schools and colleges, into civil office, and out to
our international affairs. Rouse your people in this country to reclaim the
importance of your word, and to return to committed, prayer-full connection
with you, and resilient in pursuing what is right.
peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. We
have loved ones and friends, Father, who seem to be tottering between heaven
and hell, perdition and redemption…May they come to the peace your law
promotes, the peace that can be found only in your Son, Jesus Christ, and by
the fullness of your Spirit, that they may become steady and not stumble.
for your salvation, O LORD, and I do your commandments. My soul keeps your
testimonies; I love them exceedingly. I keep your precepts and testimonies, for
all my ways are before you. Hear us cry out for
those we know who have never known your great salvation: family, friends,
neighbors, those kids and parents we interacted with in VBS…. Bring them into
your family that they may know they’re forgiven in Jesus Christ, and bear the
fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, meekness and self-control. / And please grant recovery, refreshment, and
restoration for those in tight places, difficult spaces, and hard races...; through
our great High Priest, Jesus the Son of God, we offer these prayers. Amen.
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…
"When evil looms and darkness falls And tragedy is breaking When all that's good seems overturned By God I'm not forsaken For though I fall or wander far I'm not too far for saving And when my Shepherd seeks and finds How can I keep from singing" (229)?
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…