Growing in Resilience: Help Me Home, based on Isaiah 63.19

Man-walking-on-bridge bw

Photo by John G at

Growing in Resilience
Day 24, Read Isaiah 63
Reflection: Help Me Home, based on Isaiah 63.19, The Voice

We’ve become like strangers to You,
Like people You never ruled,
Like those never associated with Your name.

My life looks the same as others
the same failures
the same unhealthy appetites
the same shame and loneliness
the same pain
the same sin

I live like I never enthroned you in my heart
Like I never claimed you claiming me

There was a time we were close
We’ve become strangers

I walked away
Small choices
Sliding slowly

I turned my back
Gave my heart to other gods, false and failing
I didn’t remember

Lord have mercy

I have swept away your wrongdoing, as wind sweeps a cloud from the sky: I have cleared you of your sins, as the sun clears the morning mist. I have rescued you; come back to Me.- Isaiah 44:22, The Voice

Lord have mercy
Help me home

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. 

Help Me Home © 2018 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Sermon Recording- Today you will be with me in Paradise

thief on cross remember me paradise

Sermon Series: Final Words from the Cross
The Scriptures record Jesus speaking 7 phrases as he hung upon the cross- important and powerful final reminders of who he was and what it means to follow him.

Message: Today you will be with me in Paradise
Scripture: Luke 23:32-43; Luke 4:18-19
Offered 2/28/16 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

SCRIPTURE: Luke 23:32-43
ALL SINGING: Jesus, Remember Me
By Jacques Bethier and the Community of Taizé
United Methodist Hymnal #488

Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with Jesus. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing.

ALL SINGING: Jesus, Remember Me
By Jacques Bethier and the Community of Taizé
United Methodist Hymnal #488

The people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.

ALL SINGING: Jesus, Remember Me
By Jacques Bethier and the Community of Taizé
United Methodist Hymnal #488

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

ALL SINGING: Jesus, Remember Me
By Jacques Bethier and the Community of Taizé
United Methodist Hymnal #488

Three Crosses- Which thief will you be?
The first thief- a cross of Rage, Rejection, Refusal
The second thief- a cross of Reflection, Response
Jesus Christ- a cross of Release, Recovery, Rescue, Regard, Relationship

Resources for this sermon
Final Words From the Cross by Adam Hamilton
Listening at Golgotha by Peter Storey

Extended quote by Bishop Peter Storey in Listening at Golgotha
We know what they were doing! They were busy with things only too familiar to our world:
The greed that sells a friend for money
The fear that denies one’s leader for survival
The cynicism that smears an innocent for political gain
The cruelty that tortures a prisoner for entertainment
The expediency that washes its hand of more decision making
The mob spirit that exults in a victim’s suffering
The stupidity that calls good evil and evil good
That’s what they were doing. If they didn’t know it, we do. We know about this stuff.

Be sure to also check out Paradise Now, a beautiful reflection on this passage by Steve Garnaas Holmes.

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.

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

Advent Photo-A-Day: Day 22, Sign

Signs collageThe thought behind the photo:
God gives the grace and free will to stop, turn, and walk in a new direction.
Are our choices:
bringing us closer to God or leading us further away
bringing healing or continuing cycles of destruction
bringing death or bringing life or bringing both

SCRIPTURE: Ezekiel 33:13-16, The Message
It’s true that I tell good people, “Live! Be alive!” But if they trust in their good deeds and turn to evil, that good life won’t amount to a hill of beans. They’ll die for their evil life. On the other hand, if I tell a wicked person, “You’ll die for your wicked life,” and he repents of his sin and starts living a righteous and just life – being generous to the down-and-out, restoring what he had stolen, cultivating life-nourishing ways that don’t hurt others – he’ll live. He won’t die. None of his sins will be kept on the books. He’s doing what’s right, living a good life. He’ll live.

SCRIPTURE: Romans 6:1-4 NRSV
What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

The December 22, 2013 devotion from 
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 7:10-16, The Message
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: “Ask a sign from the Lord your God. Make it as deep as the grave or as high as heaven.” But Ahaz said, “I won’t ask; I won’t test the Lord.” Then Isaiah said, “Listen, house of David! Isn’t it enough for you to be tiresome for people that you are also tiresome before my God? Therefore, the Lord will give you a sign. The young woman is pregnant and is about to give birth to a son, and she will name him Immanuel. He will eat butter and honey, and learn to reject evil and choose good. Before the boy learns to reject evil and choose good, the land of the two kings you dread will be abandoned.”

Signs. Do you believe in them? Would we recognize a sign from God if we saw it? If God offered one to us as God did with King Ahaz?

Can you think of a time when you encountered the living God?

What are those signs of God’s faithfulness that we can point to in our lives? In our churches? In our neighborhoods?

Where is God breaking into the world?

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 <><