A Journey of Faith and Calling

My journey to ministry.

Seeking stories

I’m looking for people who have had those “aha” moments in life that led to a new awakening of their spirituality and belief in God.  If you have a story to share, please let me know.  RevWMac@gmail.com

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September 21, 2009 Posted by | Christianity | Leave a comment

09-13-09 Lectionary

    Sunday 13 September 2009

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    1 Kings 19:8-21

He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God. At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there.

Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He answered, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.’

He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He answered, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.’

So he set out from there, and found Elisha son of Shaphat, who was ploughing. There were twelve yoke of oxen ahead of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle over him. He left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, ‘Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.’ Then Elijah said to him, ‘Go back again; for what have I done to you?’ He returned from following him, took the yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them; using the equipment from the oxen, he boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out and followed Elijah, and became his servant.

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    Acts 5:34-42

But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. Then he said to them, ‘Fellow-Israelites, consider carefully what you propose to do to these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and disappeared. After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. So in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found fighting against God!’

They were convinced by him, and when they had called in the apostles, they had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. As they left the council, they rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonour for the sake of the name. And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah.

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    John 11:45-47

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, ‘What are we to do? This man is performing many signs.

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    Morning Psalms: Psalm 24, 29
    Psalm 24

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas,
and established it on the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
and do not swear deceitfully.
They will receive blessing from the Lord,
and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Such is the company of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Selah

Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory.
Selah

    Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
worship the Lord in holy splendour.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl,
and strips the forest bare;
and in his temple all say, ‘Glory!’
the Lord sits enthroned as king for ever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!

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    Evening Psalms: Psalm 8, 84
    Psalm 8

O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honour.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

    Psalm 84

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.

Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise.
Selah

Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.

They go from strength to strength;
the God of gods will be seen in Zion.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob!
Selah

Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed.

For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than live in the tents of wickedness.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
he bestows favour and honour.
No good thing does the Lord withhold
from those who walk uprightly.

O Lord of hosts,
happy is everyone who trusts in you.

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September 13, 2009 Posted by | Christianity, Cleric, Lectionary, Ministry, Non-denominational, Pastor, Religion, Religious, Theology | Leave a comment

Hello world!

This is a new blog dedicated to exploring my faith and tracking my journey to finding a pulpit and making a difference in the world.  At times, to some, this may seem “light” at others “heavy.”  But each is given to understand God the way God means to be understood, right then, right there, for that person and that person alone. 

Too often I read about men of faith who preach one thing, do another, and yet maintain (or try to maintain) their “nearness of perfection.”  Well in my own rather gritty way I call “BS on that!”  I am far from perfect, but I try to be better every day.  If I were perfect then it would be Waynianity not Christianity and that’s a lot of pressure…  There was only one perfect being to date, and that was Jesus the son of God. 

Yes I have a past.  No I’m not particularly proud of everything in that past, however God and that past DID make me the man I am today.  And frankly, I am quite comfortable in my own skin right now, as well as being comfortable in knowing that God’s work on, in, and through me has not ceased but will continue on and on and on… After all with baptism comes rebirth and forgiveness.  And when our sins are forgiven, we’re not just an “improved” version of our old self–we’re a completely new person! We’re no longer bound to any of the guilt or shame that previously bound us; we are, spiritually speaking, a new creation. 

2 Corinthians 5:17

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;

the old has gone, the new has come!

 I am also working on a BS/MS in Clinical Pastoral Counseling and seeking a pulpit in which to practice my faith and spread the message I feel God is calling me to do.  That message is not to buy me a mercedes, jaguar or cadillac; not to buy me a multi-million dollar home; that message is to get back to basics taught by Jesus of tolerance and love.  Love for one’s neighbor being one of God’s two greatest commandments per the words of Jesus:

Matthew 22:37-40

37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Notice He didn’t say “like” your neighbor, He said “love your neighbor as yourself.”  This means you can disagree and/or even avoid socializing with your neighbor, but you’re supposed to love them the way you love yourself.  Stand up for those who cannot do so for themselves, assist those in need, tolerate differing opinions, but do not hate nor do harm unto those as you would not hate nor do harm unto yourself.  Recent economic events should have at least taught some that many of us are only a paycheck or less away from needing someone to reach out and help us regain our self-sufficiency.

 

 

So with all of that in mind take a moment today to reflect and mourn the loss of those who died in the attacks of 9/11 and those who have died in the war since then. And when I say “those who died” I mean both sides, for those who carried out the attacks are no less deserving of our prayers. Think on that, had they not followed “false teachers” who perverted the words of their prophet, turning those words and teachings into manifestos of hate and intolerance, then possibly the events of 9/11 would not have occurred. Think also on that fact as you hear those so called leaders of Christianity espousing words of hate and intolerance, and dwell on the fact that the Jesus said in John 3:16 16″For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And recall as well that the Old Testament contains many laws and rules, the most famous being the Ten Commandments. But Jesus said that all of those rules boiled down to two things: love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. (see Matthew 22:36-40 – 36″Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[a] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'[b] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”) The “Golden Rule,” remember it from your childhood Sunday School classes? Well that “Golden Rule” has its basis here, in Jesus’ command that we are to love others as we would like to be loved in turn.

If our adherence to rules or commandments isn’t producing these two things, we’ve missed the entire point.

September 11, 2009 Posted by | Christianity, Faith, Journey, Ministry, Non-denominational, Pastor, Philosophy, Religion, Religious, Seminarian, Seminary, Theology, Uncategorized | 1 Comment