If two spouses each say, ‘I’m going to treat my self-centeredness as the main problem in the marriage,’ you have the prospect of a truly great marriage.
Lord God, our home is among the most precious gifts we receive in this life.
We realize this all the more as we remember our Lord Jesus. He set aside home and family. Having no place to lay His head throughout His ministry, He chose to sojourn among those He came to save. We prayerfully invite Him to dwell in our earthly abode even as He continually invites us by Word and Sacrament to dwell forever in our heavenly home, which He prepares for us.
Make us ever grateful for this shelter from life’s storms.
Keep this house always the home of comfort, joy, peace, and forgiveness.
According to Your will, protect this home from the spiritual assaults of Satan, but likewise make our home a fortress against the calamities of nature and the wickedness of sinful man.
Grant us the virtue of hospitality, the joy of harmonious living, and the blessing of gathering around Your Word and bringing our families’ prayers before You.
May all who dwell in our home be blessed by Your presence and Your peace,
and may all who go forth give thanks for the grace they receive from You, through us, Your dear children.
We receive Your loving kindness in our home as a reminder of the eternal home we inherit through Your Son, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray.
Amen.~Lutheran prayer book(found here)
|Yes, that IS a snake. :)|
14My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, 15this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. 16I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit--not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength--17that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, 18you'll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! 19Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. 20God can do anything, you know--far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Exodus 14:14--The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still (told to the Israelites as they were leaving Egypt.)
Deutoronomy 1:30,31--The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place."(Told to the Israelites as they were about to enter the promised land)
Deut. 3:22--Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you (moses told Joshua this as he was about to take possession of the promised land)
Father, I will give my attention to you in faithful worship, listening to your words of truth and guidance; and I will put aside the contentious scrabbling for my own way, which only adds to the years of wandering in the wilderness of my sins. In Jesus' name. Amen.
At critical moments in our lives it is necessary to ask God for guidance, but it should be unnecessary to be constantly saying, “Oh, Lord, direct me in this, and in that.” Of course He will, and in fact, He is doing it already! If our everyday decisions are not according to His will, He will press through them, bringing restraint to our spirit. Then we must be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.
And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!(AMP)
And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. (KJV)
Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him. (NKJV)
But GOD's not finished. He's waiting around to be gracious to you. He's gathering strength to show mercy to you. GOD takes the time to do everything right--everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones. (MSG)
If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also . . . . And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me . . . . So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple —Luke 14:26-27, 33
If the closest relationships of a disciple’s life conflict with the claims of Jesus Christ, then our Lord requires instant obedience to Himself. Discipleship means personal, passionate devotion to a Person— our Lord Jesus Christ. There is a vast difference between devotion to a person and devotion to principles or to a cause. Our Lord never proclaimed a cause— He proclaimed personal devotion to Himself. To be a disciple is to be a devoted bondservant motivated by love for the Lord Jesus. Many of us who call ourselves Christians are not truly devoted to Jesus Christ...
...a Christian must be consistent in his relationship to the life of the Son of God in him, not consistent to strict, unyielding doctrines. People pour themselves into their own doctrines, and God has to blast them out of their preconceived ideas before they can become devoted to Jesus Christ.
We do not have to "dress up," either inwardly or outwardly, when we come to God in prayer. We do not have to hide our anger, suppress our distress, or mask our irritability. It is alright to complain to God.
PRAYER: I am so used to hiding the feelings and thoughts that others might find unacceptable, O God, that I even try to do it with You. Keep me honest in my prayers. You know how to deal with such as me: I do not fear Your rejection, and I hope in your salvation, even in Jesus Christ. Amen.
When Jesus of Nazareth rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and his followers cried out, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord," the Pharisees went to Jesus and told him to put an end to their blasphemies, and Jesus said to them, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out."
This church. The church on the other side of town, the other side of the world. All churches everywhere. The day will come when they will lie in ruins, every last one of them. The day will come when all the voices that were ever raised in them, including our own, will be permanently stilled. But when that day comes, I believe that the tumbled stones will cry aloud of the great, deep hope that down through the centuries has been the one reason for having churches at all and is the one reason we have for coming to this one now: the hope that into the world the King does come. And in the name of the Lord. And is always coming, blessed be he. And will come afire with glory, at the end of time.
In the meantime, King Jesus, we offer all churches to you as you offer them to us. Make thyself known in them. Make thy will be done in them. Make our stone hearts cry out for thy kingship. Make us holy and human at last that we may do the work of thy love.
“Do you know what hurts so very much? It's love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill that love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.”
Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
In the name of Yeshua, Jesus Christ, I bless you with all the promises of God which are "Yes, and Amen." May the Holy Spirit make you healthy and strong in body, mind, and spirit, to move in faith and expectancy. May God's angels be with you to protect you and keep you.
Be blessed with supernatural strength to turn your eyes from foolish, worthless, and evil things, and to shut out the demeaning and the negative. May God bless your ears to hear the lovely, the uplifting, and the encouraging. May your mind be strong, disciplined, balanced, and faith-filled.
God's grace be upon your home, that it may be a sanctuary of rest and renewal, a haven of peace, where the sounds of joy and laughter grace its walls, and where love and unconditional acceptance of one another is the constant rule.
May God give you the spiritual strength to overcome the Evil One and avoid temptation. May God's grace be upon you to fulfill your dreams and your visions, may goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your life. May The Lord bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you, and may His favor be upon you.
Long ago I copied from a Life of the French sculptor, Rodin, a letter he addressed to his wife, Rose, dated 24 August, 1913. It occurs to me now that in it he says exactly what I should wish to say to my wife, Kitty, and there could be no better place for saying it than here. So, transposing the names:
My Dear Kitty,
This letter is just to tell you that my mind is full of the greatness of God's gift to me when He put you at my side. Keep this thought of mine in your generous heart.
The World’s way of responding to intimations of decay is to engage equally in idiot hopes and idiot despair…on the one hand, some new policy or discovery is confidently expected to put everything to rights: a new fuel, a new drug… world government. On the other hand, some disaster is as confidently expected to prove our undoing. Capitalism will break down, fuel will run out, plutonium will lay us low, atomic waste will kill us off, overpopulation will suffocate us, or alternatively, declining birth rate will put us at the mercy of our enemies.
In Christian terms, such hopes and fears are equally beside the point. For as Christians, we know that here we have no continuing city, and crowns roll in the dust; and every earthly kingdom must sometimes flounder. Whereas, we acknowledge a King men did not crown and cannot dethrone. As we are citizens of a city of God they did not build, and cannot destroy... It was in the breakdown of Rome that Christendom was born. Now in the breakdown of Christendom, there are the same requirements and the same possibilities, to eschew the fantasy of a disintegrating world, and to seek the reality of what is not seen and eternal—the reality of Christ.
The ritual washing of hands reminds us how the Priests washed in a basin before they could come into God's presence (Ex. 30:17-21). We believe this practice points to Jesus, who washes away our sins so that we can draw near to God. (Heb. 10:22)
Dipping of the parsley: the first dip refers to the tears shed by the Israelites while they were slaves in Egypt. The second dip refers to the drowning of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea and the miraculous deliverance God provided for Israel. In 1 Cor. 10:1-2, Paul compares the crossing of the Red Sea to baptism, which symbolizes redemption from sin.
Forgive me, most gracious Lord and Father, if this day I have done or said anything to increase the pain of the world. Pardon the unkind word, the impatient gesture, the hard and selfish deed, the failure to show sympathy and kindly help where I had the opportunity, but missed it; and enable me so to live that I may daily do something to lessen the tide of human sorrow, and add to the sum of human happiness.
Dear One, when God requires much, He'll do even more. God is faithful. You will never invest more in Him than He will in you. God's Word tells us that to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48), but I am also convinced that to whom much is required, much is surely given.Sooner or later.One way or another.A mansion for a mustard seed.A kingdom for a pauper.
The last two mornings, I've awakened with these Scriptures on my mind. One of the things I love about God's Word is that even though these verses have spoken to me before, they have been fresh and revitalizing to me as He reminded me of them the last couple of days...It always seems to surprise me when this happens, but I love Him for it. :)
We are surrounded by a dying and depraved world, mounting violence and threat of mass destruction, disease, plague, enticing false religion, and a surging fury of satanic assault and seduction. We are desperate for the wonder and miracles of God. We need Him to show His mighty arm and tell the world that He is alive, active, and very much with us. We are told churches are in terrible decline. Many pastors and leaders are depressed. Oppressed. Throngs of clueless people encircle us. We need more than the best programs and planning can accomplish. In fact, we need more than we have the courage or imagination to ask.
Oh, that the church would fall on its face and cry out the words the prophet Habakkuk cried: "Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day in our time make them known" (3:2).
When it pleased God . . . —Galatians 1:15
As servants of God, we must learn to make room for Him-to give God “elbow room.” We plan and figure and predict that this or that will happen, but we forget to make room for God to come in as He chooses. Would we be surprised if God came into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we had never expected Him to come? Do not look for God to come in a particular way, but do look for Him. The way to make room for Him is to expect Him to come, but not in a certain way. No matter how well we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that He may break in at any minute. We tend to overlook this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way. Suddenly—God meets our life “. . . when it pleased God . . . .”
Keep your life so constantly in touch with God that His surprising power can break through at any point. Live in a constant state of expectancy, and leave room for God to come in as He decides.
...I am utterly convinced that any no an earnestly seeking child of God receives from the Throne is for the sake of a greater yes, whether realized on earth or in heaven...sometimes, the greater miracle may be abundant life, redemption, ministry, and exceeding harvest after a no we felt we wouldn't survive. If you dare to believe and don't get your miracle, God has a greater one planned. Stay tuned. If what you desperately need or deeply desire is founded in the Word of God, don't let anyone tell you that God can't...or that He undoubtedly won't.