Sep 09

Forgiven

Begin by taking some deep breaths. As you breath you begin to clear your mind.

  • Breath in by saying or thinking “I am”
  • Breath out by saying or thinking “Forgiven”

-continue this breathing exercise until you feel you are ready to continue.

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
    so far he removes our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion for his children,
    so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.

Psalm 103:8-13

As I walk on the sand at the beach I am amazed at how the wind and water erase all traces of activity. The wind blows over the foot prints whether they are human, bird, dog, deer, vehicle or something else. All that is left are ripples in the sand. In the same way the water rises, and washes away all trace of what was on the sand before it. This reminds me of the working of the Spirit in our lives. (Jesus compared the Spirit of God to the wind in John chapter 3 verse 8.) The wind blowing away all traces of what has gone before is a reminder for me of God removing my sin, mistakes, and transgressions. They have been removed like the wind blowing over the sand.

There are some mistakes that I tend to dwell on. They are the ones I cannot forget or even at times forgive. Walking on the beach and watching the waves, helps me remember these mistakes, sins, and transgressions are forgiven. I practice watching the wind and waves just to remind myself how forgiven I am.

-please take a moment to do one of the things listed below.-

  • Try taking a walk in the sand or by water.
  • Visualize your sins, mistakes, or transgressions being washed out to sea.
  • Visualize your sins, mistakes, or transgressions being blown away with the wind.

Take some deep breaths.

  • Breath in: “I am”
  • Breath out: “Forgiven”

Forgiving God, we are so blessed to have your forgiveness. Help us to receive your forgiveness when we have trouble receiving your free gift of forgiveness. Remind us that you are with us throughout our lives, and walk alongside us in our journey. Amen

Sep 05

God’s Work Our Hands

Join us on Sunday, September 13th.

God’s Work Our Hands (GWOH) Sunday will start September 13th. While September 13th is the Sunday set for GWOH, these are activities that can be done on an ongoing basis. The team has chosen 5 activities that can be done while social distancing.

Please fill out the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6C8BRWC. This will help us to know how many are participating, and to get you the information needed to participate in your chosen activity. The choices are:

Write letters to Living Stones: Your participation is always welcome! We invite you to write a short (about 100 words is great, but no more than 350 words, please) letter – a paragraph with just a few sentences is fine.  Maybe share a Bible verse that gives you hope in these days or tell where you have seen God in this time or write a prayer or reflect about a song you have heard the praise band sing. Poems and artwork are also appreciated. All contributions are welcome. You can sign your note with your first name or just put “brother/sister in Christ.” Feel free to write more than once – since we’re doing this on a weekly basis, lots of letters are needed!  Please email Sandi (LivingStonesAssistant@outlook.com) your letter(s) as you are able. Your gift will be deeply appreciated.

Make Masks: If you chose this option, you will make face masks in your home.

Yard Work: A team will be doing yard work at Rose’s house.

Housing Advocacy: Housing Advocacy is an activity that will be done from home.  Peninsula Poverty Response is a member of the Low Income Housing Alliance of Washington state which runs an effective housing advocacy program for its members. Cecelia Nunn Haack coordinates the housing advocacy efforts of PPR and has agreed to share the current housing advocacy opportunities with our team.  She’s doing this especially for our kick-off on God’s Work Our Hands Sunday, September 13, but is willing to feed us opportunities on an ongoing basis.  We’d like to form a team that is willing to advocate by responding to these opportunities as individual team members feel comfortable doing so.  

If you commit to participating on Sunday September 13, you are not necessarily making an ongoing commitment at this time.  You will receive links to sites which you can review to get the background information on the issue and advice on who to contact and how best to contact them. Often there is suggested wording included for your message.  These advocacy groups do their best to make the process painless for you.  The groups that PPR uses are vetted so as to not be partisan and to be focused on the issue of housing.

Writing letters: If you chose this option, you will be given the name of one or two people who could use a letter of encouragement during this time of isolation.

If you are looking for other ways to participate, check out the ELCA’s Service In the Time of COVID-19 Flyer for even more options.

Sep 02

Teach me O Lord

Begin by taking some deep breaths. As you breath begin to clear your mind.

  • Breath in by saying or thinking “Teach me”
  • Breath out by saying or thinking “O Lord”

-continue this breathing exercise until you feel you are ready to continue.

Psalm 119:33

Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes,
    and I will observe it to the end.
Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
    and observe it with my whole heart.
Lead me in the path of your commandments,
    for I delight in it.
Turn my heart to your decrees,
    and not to selfish gain.
Turn my eyes from looking at vanities;
    give me life in your ways.
Confirm to your servant your promise,
    which is for those who fear you.
Turn away the disgrace that I dread,
    for your ordinances are good.
See, I have longed for your precepts;
    in your righteousness give me life.

Psalm 119:33-40

Psalm 119 is the longest psalm in the longest book in the bible. This psalm is an acrostic. Each stanza is dedicated to a letter in the Hebrew alphabet, and every line in the stanza begins with this letter. This stanza that we read today is dedicated to ה He. The psalm is dedicated to the law of God or the Torah. Every line has a references to the Torah in one way or another. In many ways it is a love poem to the Torah.

The portion of the psalm we read today is asking God to teach us God’s laws. The law of God is not just the “Ten Commandments”, but about how to live in harmony with God, humanity and nature. Asking God to teach us God’s statutes, commandments, and decrees is something that will help us throughout our lives. We never stop learning the ways of God.

Teach me O Lord can be a dangerous prayer as well. It can be like praying for patience. The end result of the prayer is not instantaneous understanding, but life experiences that help us better understand who God is and the best ways to act with God and one another. God’s law is based on God’s character, and learning more about who God is helps us to live out the law of God.

-please take a moment to think about one of these questions. You might want to write your answers down.-

  • What is God teaching you?
  • What is one experience you have learned from?
  • Are you open to learning more about who God is?

Take some deep breaths.

  • Breath in: “Teach me”
  • Breath out: “O Lord”

God my teacher and guide, thank you for being with me throughout my life, and teaching me more about who you are. You are a good teacher and guide; I pray that you help me to continue to understand your ways better and better. Please help me to be a good learner of your laws and character. Amen.

Aug 26

Jesus Goes Before Us

Begin by taking some deep breaths. As you breath you can begin to clear your mind.

  • Breath in by saying or thinking “Jesus”
  • Breath out by saying or thinking “Is with me”

-continue this breathing exercise until you feel you are ready to continue.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”

Matthew 16:24-26

In Roman times, when Jesus was on the Earth, the cross was not something a person would willingly carry. It was forced on them. The soldiers would make someone carry their own cross, and that person knew at the end of the road they would be nailed to that cross to die. They were forced to bring what was going to kill them to the place of their death.

Jesus told them to be his disciples they must be willing to “take up their cross and follow him (me).” Jesus did not ask them to take up their cross and go to their death without him. Jesus was going before them into the unknown. Jesus was not like a Roman soldier who forced the prisoner to carry their cross. Jesus gave them a choice, and showed them the path to follow.

Like the Roman prisoners, our burden is forced upon us at times. It can be health issues, relationship problems, concern for someone we love, or much more. Jesus promises that he has went before us. Jesus does not ask us to carry a cross that he has not already bore. What a wonderful promise!!

There are other times our burden is something God is asking of us. It could be to give something up, to take on a new challenge, or something different. God does ask us to do things that are hard for us to imagine, but we know it is what God has called us to do.

  • What is God calling you to do?
  • What cross is forced upon you?
  • Envision Jesus walking before you. Leading the way.

-Pick one of the options above. You might want to journal a response, or just sit and soak in the presence of God-

– Take some deep breaths-

  • Breath in: “Jesus lead me”
  • Breath out: “I will follow”

Jesus, thank you for going before us into the unknown. There is uncertainty all around us, and we are glad you are with us through it all. Continue to lead us on the path that you would have us to take. Amen

Aug 19

Meditation on Romans 12

Begin by taking some deep breaths. As you breath you can begin to calm your mind.

  • Breath in by saying or thinking “I surrender all
  • Breath out by saying or thinking “All to Jesus I surrender

-continue this breathing exercise until you feel you are ready to continue.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2

Presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice can be hard. There are times we are not even sure what God is calling us to sacrifice. There are times in our lives that we make great sacrifices, and times where we do not feel we are sacrificing as much. Times that our sacrifice does not seem as great because we love what we are doing, while others might think we are making a great sacrifice.

During this time of COVID-19 I have struggled with the sacrifice of not being able to meet with friends and family as much, and the sacrifice of not being as active in the community as I would like to be. I see this as a sacrifice to God because we are isolating ourselves out of concern for the health of others and our personal health.

During this time, when not as much is going on around me, I have been able to take more time reading the Bible and some of the books that have been on my bookshelves for some time. There have also been more times of meditation, walks in the neighborhood and setting on the beach. While this time of isolation because of COVID-19 has been a sacrifice, I have been able to use the time to listen more closely to God.

  • What is God calling you to sacrifice?
  • What are you doing to maintain your physical, emotional, or spiritual health?
  • Does it seem like the sacrifice you are call to right now is too much for you?

-please take a moment to think about one of these questions. You might want to write your answers down.-

Take some deep breaths.

  • Breath in: “I surrender all”
  • Breath out: “All to Jesus I surrender”

God of life, you have called each of us to this moment in time, and have given us gifts that can be used. Help us to continue sacrificing our lives for you, and learning the lessons we need to know for the future. Amen

Mar 21

Sunday Services

Join us here at 9:30 am on Sundays for our new Video Sunday Service.

Aug 29

Test Post

https://safeYouTube.net/w/uRFW

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