Growing in Resilience: We Will Rise, based on Isaiah 58.11-12

sunrise hold sunGrowing in Resilience
Based on Isaiah 58
Bonus Reflection: We Will Rise
based on Isaiah 58:11-12, NRSV

The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.

We will rise
From the destruction
From the ruins
From the sin and isolation

We will rise
Building strong foundations
Bridging the breach
Making a way, a highway to our God

We will rise in our ceasing
A holy fast of God’s desiring and design

Fasting from injustice
Letting loose the bonds
Breaking every yoke of oppression and affliction

Fasting from food and space and clothing
Simplicity and sacrifice so others may have enough

Fasting from busyness
Reclaim the good gifts of relationship and sabbath

Fasting from evil speech
Blaming, gossiping, demonizing, lying
Truth will be on our tongue
Life will be on our lips

We will rise for this is the way of the Risen One
The bones of the Body will be strong
The branches of the Vine will be well watered
The ruins will be rebuilt with living stones
We will rise!

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Click Here for more on the Growing in Resilience Reading Plan sponsored by Bishop Ken Carter and the Cabinet of the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. 

We will rise © 2018 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Sermon Recording- Living Stones Built Into a Spiritual House (1 Peter 2.4-10)

Sermon Series Website What is Church
Sermon Series: What is Church?
Message 1 of 6: Living Stones Built into a Spiritual House
Scriptures: 1 Peter 2:4-10
This message was offered Sunday, 4/22/18 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida.

In this metaphor from 1 Peter, Jesus is the Cornerstone, at first rejected but later recognized as The Foundation for our salvation and the salvation of the world.

This message includes an extended discussion of the marble used by Michelangelo to carve his David. It was rejected multiple times before it became a masterpiece in the master’s hands. Michelangelo David bust detail

As Jesus’ followers, his Church, we are living stones built into a spiritual house.

  • We become the meeting place with God, individually and especially together.
  • We take on our true identity and calling as Jesus’ chosen, royal, holy priesthood. make sacrifices worship and pray and serve proclaim/testify
  • We recognize and testify that we are God’s children and that we’ve received the mercy of God. What we receive we can offer to others.

Look what God can do

  • the rejected are now wanted
  • the abandoned are now chosen
  • those who have been named too flawed become a masterpiece
  • those who are lost and wandering in inky darkness come into the marvelous, shimmering light of Jesus

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I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Sean and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9:00 am or 10:30 am, or join us live on our Facebook page at 9:00 am Sundays or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

sermon © 2018 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Advent Photo-A-Day: Day 2, Bound

02 boundThe thought behind the photo:
I come from a long line of women who work with their hands- sewing, needlepoint, embroidery, quilting, crocheting. They create by binding together thread and cloth. Their labors cover the walls of my home and wrap me in warmth as I relax on the couch. I wore their confidence in numerous baton competitions as a child and wore their love on my wedding day when I was grown.

One of my favorite pieces is a bear made from an old quilt which belonged to my great grandmother. It’s clothed with a double portion of love. I imagine her piecing together the scraps of cloth by hand, those same hands she folded in prayer for me long before I knew Jesus. I remember my mother fashioning the quilt into a new blessing rather than tossing it because it was worn and tattered, just as Jesus fashions my brokenness into blessing and new life.

I am bound to these women by their words, their gifts, their blood.
The same is true of my Savior.

SCRIPTURE: Colossians 3:12-15 NRSV
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.

The December 2, 2013 devotion from http://umrethinkchurch.tumblr.com 
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 122:3 NRSV
Jerusalem built as a city that is bound firmly together.

Other translations of this verse use the word joined or compact instead of bound. What experiences have bound you to something or someone? What people and places have built you into the person you are today? What memories do you join together to keep you going?

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Thank you Rethink Church for a great way to make preparing for Christmas more meaningful. Join me and thousands more in setting aside time to reflect, focus, and literally picture the deep themes of Jesus’ birth.

Click here for more information on Advent Photo-A-Day from Rethink Church.

Click here for a master list of links to my submissions. Lisa <><

Photo Quote: The Secret of Change

secret of change - socrates

Philippians 3:10-14 NRSV
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 9:16-17 NRSV
Jesus said, “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 NRSV
God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

This piece was created using PicMonkey, a free, online picture editor. It’s super easy to use and has lots of great fonts, filters and other editing goodies. Someone with limited artistic abilities (like me) can feel very accomplished very quickly. – Lisa <><

God Builds a House


Psalm 127:1a NRSV
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain

This morning I had the great blessing of volunteering at my first Habitat for Humanity build. It was thrilling. The weather was glorious as was the smell of new lumber, the music of the nails, and the smiles of the many, many volunteers. I cannot encourage you enough to give this a try. There are plenty of ways to help, even if you are like me and have no construction skills.

This is the 12th house the good people St. Ann’s Catholic Church have built in our community. The Community UMC family was thrilled to be invited to partner with them on this home. Their generosity and hospitality reflect Christ beautifully. We look forward to many more community projects with them.

The goodness of this day reminded me of a hymn text I wrote many years ago. It was originally written for a celebration worship service reconsecrating a renovated church sanctuary. The themes ring true for the building of this home and other occasions where God’s people come together to build community. – Lisa <><

To view our Habitat for Humanity photo gallery, click here

Community is first and foremost a gift of the Holy Spirit, not build upon mutual compatibility, shared affection, or common interests, but upon having received the same divine breath, having been given a heart set aflame by the same divine fire and having been embraced by the same divine love. – Henri Nouwen, Behold the Beauty of the Lord

For a community to be whole and healthy, it must be based on people’s love and concern for each other.Millard Fuller

Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words. Often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi but the author is actually unknown.

1 Peter 2:4-5
Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

God Builds a House
based on 1 Peter 2:4-5, Ephesians 2:11-22
Meter 88.88 (LM)
Suggested tunes: DUKE STREET (UMH #101) or TRURO (UMH #213)

God builds a house with living stone,
with mortar made of sweat and prayer.
It’s beams of faith are nailed to Love
and sealed with blood that will not wear.

Come bless the building of Your house
around Your hearth of living bread;
through sacred meal and Word proclaimed
so hearts and souls and minds are fed.

Come gift the building of Your house
with healing ways for life and land;
through water bath and oil outpoured
for prayer and laying on of hands

Come free the building of Your house
from all that binds Your holy work.
Lay waste our walls that now divide
so all may live their sacred worth

All praise the Master Carpenter.
Creation’s God now glorify,
who makes a house from old, dry bones;
from us once dead, but now alive!

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God Builds a House © 01/2000 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.
Lisa is especially interested in collaborating with someone to set this text to original music.

For more information on the use of the quotes, scripture translation,and this resource in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.