Send Us Forth, a prayer based on Mark 6.6-13

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Based on Mark 6:6-13 NRSV

Jesus,
In the midst of our changing times
In the midst of our brokenness
Our division
Our violence
Our prejudice
Draw us again to your side
Call us and send us in your name

Give us the courage to travel light
To divest and downsize
And embrace the freedom that it brings

Give us the blessing of being fully present
Of trusting you for provision for ourselves
And your saving work
In the moment it is needed

Give us the wisdom to know our role
To move on from failure and rejection
To move on from accomplishment and welcome
The authority you give us does not dictate response
Nor is our faithfulness measured by the response

Ours is to go and to offer
To proclaim your deliverance and offer healing for body and soul
To proclaim your welcome and offer blessing no matter the location
To proclaim your repentance and offer your salvation and hope

We bow, humbly, before the honor of you choosing us
Grant us the authority and grace and strength we need
Send us forth to do your bidding

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Send us Forth © 2018 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

You are welcome to use this prayer in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please leave a comment to contact me directly for publishing and posting consideration.

Sermon Recording- Follow the Yellow Brick Road (Colossians 1; 2 Corinthians 4)

finding-god-in-oz

Sermon Series – Finding God in Oz
The Wizard of Oz is a powerful allegory for so many of our foundational Christian beliefs. Walk with us as we Find God in Oz.

Message: We’re Off to See the Wizard, a Message on Perseverance  
Scriptures: Colossians 1:9-14; 2 Corinthians 4:7-11
Offered 10/23/16 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida

Sermon Notes
Wizard of Oz is a classic quest, a journey to an ultimate goal. Dorothy sets her face to Oz as a means to go home. Along the way she picks up companions – a bystander (Scarecrow), someone in obvious need (Tin Man), and someone trying to hide his need, an enemy who becomes an ally (Lion). The companions have very different strengths and needs, yet find common ground and commit to helping one another reach their destination. Along the way they encounter setbacks (the angry orchard at first appears a blessing but really isn’t), almost derailments (the poppy field, a not so subtle reminder how addictions can derail us), and evil (the witch and the wizard are equally dangerous), yet persevere. Sounds like our journey of faith

What is perseverance?
steadfastness, intentionality, tenacity
a continuing effort in a course of action/purpose/goal
movement towards a goal despite difficulty, delay, failure, or opposition

Jesus perseveres, it’s why we trust him
We persevere, it’s a gift and grace of God

What does perseverance look like for those who follow Jesus?
From Colossians 1:10
* leading lives worthy of the Lord
* desiring to fully please God
* bearing fruit in every good work
* growing in the knowledge of God

How do I persevere in faith? (Colossians 1:9-14)
1. Prayer- Unceasing prayer for myself and asking others to pray for me
* Prayers to be filled with God’s will, wisdom, and understanding
* Prayers for God’s strength, endurance, and patience

2. Giving Thanks
* naming who God is
* claiming God’s promises
* recalling God’s mercy, provision, and healing work in the past

This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness,
not health but healing,
not being but becoming,
not rest but exercise.
We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it.
The process is not finished but it is going on.
This is not the end but it is the road. – Martin Luther

Prayer- Bring a Saving Work
ONE:
Jesus, Holy One, bring a saving work

ALL:
a peace that passes understanding
a strength that binds up the brokenhearted
a humility that destroys dividing walls
a love that dispels all hate and fear
a persevering rooted in your promises
a hope anchored in your resurrection

ONE:
Jesus, Holy One, bring a saving work
a healing and wholeness
far beyond all we can ask or imagine

ALL:
All for your glory
All for your glory
All for your glory
Amen!

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I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon 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 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

sermon and prayer © 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Prayer: God, my strength (Psalm 59:17)

Psalm 59_17Psalm 59:17
O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
For you, O God, are my Fortress,
The God who shows me steadfast love.

Holy One, you are my strength.

Your love for me and your grace toward me never wavers,
even when my faith and my obedience do
Forgive me my many failures to trust you

Teach me to rely on you
to seek you
to listen for you and follow through

Grow in me great truth
great grace
great hope
that I may share what has found me

In the sharing bring a great harvest of repentance and deliverance
In the sharing bring salvation and your kingdom come
In the sharing bring honor and praise to your name alone
Father… Son… Spirit…
Amen

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God, my Strength by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia © 2016
You are welcome to use this in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa directly for publishing and posting consideration.

The 2016 TED Talk Experiment- Week 13

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The Magic Ingredient That Brings Pixar Movies to Life
Danielle Feinberg
TED Talks Live New York City, November 2015
Science and art working together. “We use science to create something wonderful. We use story and artistic touch to get us to a place of wonder.” 

Try Something New for 30 Days 
Matt Cutts
TED2011 Long Beach California, March 2011
Delightful. Encouraging. Big ideas- 1. You can build courage 30 days at a time. 2) Small, sustainable changes stick.

Success, failure and the drive to keep creating
Elizabeth Gilbert
TED2014 Vancouver BC, March 2014
Watch this talk! It took 6 years of failure before Elizabeth Gilbert was finally published. Why did she continue to put herself through that pain? “I loved writing more than I hated failing at writing. Which is to say I loved writing more than I loved my own ego. Which is ultimately to say I loved writing more than myself.” Writing is her home. She returns to it again and again in failure or success. “I will always be safe from the random hurricanes of outcome as long as I never forget where I rightfully live.” What is your home? 

Wisdom From Great Writers on Every Year of Life
Joshua Prager
TEDActive 2015 Whistler BC, March 2015
Interesting project. “Like art and like color, literature helps us to remember what we have experienced.”

TED’s Secret to Great Public Speaking
Chris Anderson
TEDStudio New York City, March 2016
“Ideas are the most powerful force shaping human culture.” Ideas shape us and change us now. We carry this change into future attitudes and behaviors. 

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I’m trying an experiment in 2016. Maybe you’d like to try it with me.

Here’s where I am
I’m tired of the spin. I’m tired of ideas, news, and entertainment really being one long sales pitch for profit or power.

I’m longing for creativity, curiosity, and inspiration. I’m in search of passionate people willing to speak to the truth and complexity of living with a heart of hope. I want to hear from authentic humans who are in the trenches working for the greater good.

I think I’ve found them in the TED community.

“TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. On TED.com, we’re building a clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers — and a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other, both online and at TED and TEDx events around the world, all year long.”

TED’s been around for 30 years. I’ve heard about them and even watched a couple of talks, but I’ve never spent any concentrated time mining the good stuff. So….

Here’s the plan
Watch 5 enthusiastic, inspiring TED Talk presenters a week for a year.
Apply and share the goodness.

Photo Quote: Fear of Failure

afraid failing bob goff
Psalm 31:3 NRSV
You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me

John 20:21 NRSV
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

Be sure to check out Bob Goff’s wonderful book, Love Does

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 <><

Photo by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Success and Failure


Psalm 118:25 (NIV)
O LORD, save us;
O LORD, grant us success.

Success & failure.
We think of them as opposites, but they’re really… companions – the hero and the sidekick. ~Laurence Shames

I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I am more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.
– Bob Goff, Love Does

Jesus’ life didn’t go well. He didn’t reach his earning potential. He didn’t have the respect of his colleagues. His friends weren’t loyal. His life wasn’t long. He didn’t meet his soul mate. And he wasn’t understood by his mother. Yet I think I deserve all those things because I am spiritual. – Hugh Prather, quoted in Secrets of a Good Life

Usually, without growth being forced on us, few of us go willingly on the spiritual journey. Why would we? The rug has to be pulled out from beneath our game, so we redefine what balance really is. More than anything else, this falling/rising cycle is what moves us into the second half of our own lives. There is a necessary suffering to human life, and if we avoid its cycles we remain immature forever. It can take the form of failed relationships, facing our own shadow self, conflicts and contradictions, disappointments, moral lapses, or depression in any number of forms.
– Richard Rohr

Anyone who doesn’t make mistakes isn’t trying hard enough. -Wess Roberts

No matter how significant or life-changing your greatest hit or miss might be,
neither even begins to define who you are. – Colin Powell

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
-Winston Churchill

We err when we think that we can have a “sliding scale” of accomplishment in the rest of our lives, but must have a “perfect score” when it comes to discernment. Instead, we must understand that finding and following God’s will inevitably brings us to moments when we realize we have failed to “get it right.” It’s in that moment we must understand that discernment is not about complete accuracy, but rather about complete devotion.
– Steve Harper, Ministry Musings: What if I Get it Wrong

While Adam and Eve had done something wrong, what they felt wasn’t guilt. Guilt didn’t make them hide their nakedness…it was shame. And here’s why that’s a significant distinction, because guilt is about what we have done – but shame is about who we are. We should feel guilty for the wrong we do. That is healthy and leads us to the foot of the cross where we receive grace upon grace for the forgiveness of sins. Shame on the other hand…that’s different. Shame keeps us afraid of God. As I said earlier, this is an origin story and here’s something we learn from Adam and Eve: shame has an origin… and it’s not God. – Nadia Bolz Weber, Sermon: A re-telling of Adam and Eve and that Damned Snake

Genesis 24:42 (NIV)
When I came to the spring today, I said, “O LORD, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come.”

The beginnings of Jesus’ ministry required after his baptism that he immediately enter the desert, where he was tempted. The basic temptations were the three “Ps” — power, prestige, and possessions. … Here we reach the depth of the gospel’s foolishness. In our society, these three “Ps” are not temptations at all. Instead they are the basic promises advertised all around us as the rewards for living society’s values. There is no escaping the seriousness of Christianity. Either it is a stumbling block to the people in our society, or the values of modern society are foolishness to the serious Christian. It cannot be both ways. – W. Paul Jones, The Upper Room Disciplines 2003

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.
– Maya Angelou

All the greatest things you have done,
with those of all the masters,
are little purple berries
on the end of bare branches
that songbirds come and eat
and then migrate far,
strong and beautiful.

All the mistakes you ever made
fall like leaves and rot
in God’s good dark earth
until, after time and regret
and a winter of letting go,
it all becomes rich, black soil.

Reckoning by Steve Garnaas-Holmes

If your success is defined as being well adjusted to injustice and well adapted to indifference then we don’t want successful leaders. We want great leaders – who love the people enough and respect the people enough to be unsought, unbound, unafraid and unintimidated to tell the truth. – Cornel West

We 21st-century types want our lives to be full of successes and significance. We want our children to be impressive to the world around us. Jesus calls on us to have more patience with and respect for failure, hiddenness, and insignificance.
Alyce M. McKenzie, Reflections on the Seed Parables in Mark 4:26-34

Mark 10:42-45 (NRSV)
So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nehemiah 1:11 (NIV)
“O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.

The plain fact is that the world does not need more successful people, but it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as our culture has defined it. – David Orr

A Servant’s Prayer
Divine Master, we are your servants;
Bearers of the cup of salvation from you, our King, to a thirsty world.
Forgive us, for we often twist and waste your gifts and empowerment.
Set our hearts and minds aright,
that we may rise above falsehood and selfishness.
Open our eyes and hands,
that we may share every ounce of your blessing with joy and thankfulness.
Renew us and send us forth again,
that we may live courageous and faithful lives,
for the honor and glory of you alone. Amen.

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A Servant’s Prayer © 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Contact Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

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

John Day 33: Peter Denies Jesus

The Denial of St. Peter by Gerrit van Honthorst

Gospel of John Reading Plan
Day 33 Reading:
John 18:1-27

Bringing the Word to Life
Claim Christ in a public way today. Share your testimony with someone or wear something that clearly identifies you as a Christ-follower.

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Scripture
Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.
– John 18:27 (NRSV)

Observation
After the meal, Jesus leads the disciples from the upper room to the olive grove. Judas leads a band of temple soldiers to the same place. Jesus puts up no struggle as they arrest him. Peter draws a sword, ready for battle, and injures a servant. Jesus stops him and heals the servant. Jesus is questioned by the Jewish leaders Annas and Caiaphas. Peter follows to see what happens, is identified as a disciple of Jesus, and denies it three times just as Jesus said he would.

Application
Jesus seems fully at peace with what he must do, give his life. Peter is willing to deny Jesus in order to preserve his life. Oh the things we will do in the name of self preservation.

Prayer
For the many times
we have failed you
we have hidden our faith
we have stayed silent
we have chosen our own way
we have chased things that do not last
we have lashed out in hate and fear

Lord have mercy

For the many times
we have not loved as you love
we have not cared as you care
we have not healed as you heal
we have not provided as you provide
we have not forgiven as you forgive
we have not given our life as you gave yours

Lord have mercy

Lord have mercy
Help us to bury our sin sick ways
And to rise with you
And to rise like you

Amen

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For more information on the Gospel of John Reading Plan, click here

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