My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his command!
Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
Wild animals and all cattle,
creeping things and flying birds!
Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and women alike,
old and young together!
When the God of all creation is encountered, there is nothing that we can do, but praise the Lord. That praise rises up from everything that senses behold. It’s in the midst of nature that we begin to recognize the awesome creative abilities of God. We see God in the ocean depths, the weather currents, the hills, the trees and every living creature. Suddenly we notice that all together, creation is singing a song of praise to God on high. It’s starting afresh with an awareness of God’s holy presence in everything. The result is that even the powers created by humanity bow before God.
We are walking into a new year, one whose story has not yet been written. Last year is finished and in the books. For some it was a great chapter in their lives, for others it was lacking. No matter, we can’t live in 2017, but move into 2018 with trepidation, or with great awe and wonder at the work of God. It is an opportunity to start afresh.
The last few weeks I’ve been privileged to spend some time in quiet and solitude. With all the busyness of life, it’s a challenge to find time to just be quiet, and yet, when you disconnect from all the noise, you discover beauty and creation and see the hand of God at work.
The BBC has put out a beautiful series called “Blue Planet.” In the second series we are taken to amazing sights far below the ocean surface. There we discover creatures that we didn’t know existed an an underworld of beauty that is simply breathtaking. The intricacy of that creation, miles and miles below the surface is stunning. Why create something so beautiful that no one sees? It could have been simply black and white, but instead it’s filled with vibrant and beautiful colors, creatures and coral that take your breath away. It all shouts, “Let’s praise the creator of this gorgeous living canvas.” It’s as if creation is calling us to pay attention and to start afresh with our understanding and embrace of a holy and lovingly creative God.
From BBC “Blue Planet 2” (https://www.penguin.co.uk/content/dam/catalogue/pim/editions/62/9781849909679/cover.jpg)
The new year is a time when people make all kinds of resolutions and promises about the future. Maybe it’s a time to reconnect with God. It’s an opportunity to start afresh. We don’t have to allow the past to hold us down, or keep us from moving forward with God. If you’re struggling in your relationship to God and wondering what is real, stop and take a look around you. Be still, and soak in the beauty of creation, listening for the voice of God. You’ll hear the invitation loud and clear to come on, and start afresh.
Lord, the profound and simple ways in which you speak move me. My heart is filled with gratitude. Amen.
Scripture: 1Tim. 5:22 Do not ordain anyone hastily, and do not participate in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. Observation: Timothy may have been a very compassionate and sympathetic individual, but that could have led to problems in the church. There are two ways to see this passage of scripture. One has to do with the selection of leaders who are a part of the church. To avoid scandals, those who are to be in positions of leadership are to be well examined. There should be a process and a period of time in which the life and character of the individual is examined. Ordination is never a right, but it is a covenant of grace bestowed upon an individual by the church. Those who lay hands on an individual to be ordained bear responsibility for the future actions of those who are receiving ordination. This is why the ones who do the ordination must carefully examine and prepare those to be ordained. This is also where the second concern may have occurred, and that relates to individua…
1 Timothy 5:1-2
Do not speak harshly to an older man, but speak to him as to a father, to younger men as brothers, to older women as mothers, to younger women as sisters—with absolute purity. Observation:
Timothy was being instructed as the spiritual leader in the way in which he was to have conversations with people in his congregation. Obviously, there would be those who would not always agree with him. Therefore, he was to show respect for his elders. The older men may have been a minister, or an overseer.
Timothy may have struggled with things that he was being told by those who were his supervisors. Even if he didn’t agree with them, he was to speak and respect these individuals as if he were speaking to his father.
Younger people within the life of the church were also to be shown respect. Just imagine that these were your brothers, for this is the family of God. Older women were to be treated as mothers, and younger women, as if they were sisters. The final statement,…
Scripture: Luke 4:31 He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the sabbath. 32 They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Let us alone! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” When the demon had thrown him down before them, he came out of him without having done him any harm. 36 They were all amazed and kept saying to one another, “What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!” 37 And a report about him began to reach every place in the region. Observation:
The passage begins with Jesus teaching by great authority. Next he encounters a man who has an unclean demon who begins to cry out, seemingly to announ…