Growing in Resilience: Nothing Can Contain You, Isaiah 66.1-2

listening-by-meganne-forbesGrowing in Resilience
Day 27, Read Isaiah 66
Reflection: Nothing Can Contain You, based on Isaiah Isaiah 66:1-2, The Message

God’s Message: “Heaven’s my throne, earth is my footstool. What sort of house could you build for me? What holiday spot reserve for me? I made all this! I own all this!”

God’s Decree: “But there is something I’m looking for: a person simple and plain, reverently responsive to what I say.”

Eternal One
Magnificent and Mighty
Transcendent and Glorious
Nothing can contain You
No heart
No house
No sanctuary
No fortress
No people or plan or strategy or decree

Nothing can contain You
You need nothing
You made all that is seen and unseen
All is yours

Nothing can contain You
You are Whole
Complete

Yet, You desire something
You are looking for something
For someone
Someone real, plain, humble
Someone faith-full, hope-full
Trembling with awe and anticipation
Reverent and ready

Speak Lord, your beloved, your servant, is listening

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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. 

Nothing Can Contain You © 2018 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Growing in Resilience: You Call, based on Isaiah 55.3-5

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Growing in Resilience
Based on Isaiah 55
Bonus Reflection: You Call, based on Isaiah 55:1-2, NRSV

Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.

Holy One of Israel
of all
Your love is unfailing
Steadfast
Sure

You call

You call
Your mouth opens wide
Your hand opens wide
Your storehouse opens wide
Your heart opens wide

You call, “Come, children open your ears”
“Listen, receive the promises like food for they are life”

Come, Listen, Receive the Holy One
Receive the promises
Receive life
Receive the call

Come, Listen, Receive
Let the Holy One make you glorious
Alive

Come, Listen, Receive, and Join the Call
Call to those you know
Call to those unknown
Call to family, friends, strangers
Call, “Come!” so they may come
and listen and receive
and be glorious
Alive

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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. 

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

Jesus, heal us- a prayer of confession based on Matthew 13.10-17

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Based on Matthew 13:10-17

Jesus, heal us for we are hard of hearing
We do not listen, nor seek to understand
We work for our kingdom, not yours

Jesus, heal us for we have shut our eyes
We see, but we do not perceive
We look to our kingdom, not yours

Jesus, heal us for our hearts have grown dull
Blunted by apathy and distraction
We long for our kingdom, not yours

Jesus, you speak again that we might be saved
Weave your stories into the fabric of our souls
Unstop us with sacred truth
Awaken us to greater grace
Sharpen us with your light and love
that we may be fully yours and fully alive
to your kingdom, to your glory, to your mercy,
to you and your holy will. Amen

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Jesus, Heal Us © 2017 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Really Listening to Others

listening-by-meganne-forbes

Listening by Meganne Forbes

James 1:19-21 (NRSV)
You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

Proverbs 17:27-28 (NRSV)
One who spares words is knowledgeable; one who is cool in spirit has understanding. Even fools who keep silent are considered wise; when they close their lips, they are deemed intelligent.

When you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it. -Jiddu Krishnamurti

Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning,
that without listening speaking no longer heals,
that without distance closeness cannot cure.
– Henri Nouwen

One thing I cannot stand is when people say, “Hi, how are you?” and they don’t wait to hear how I am. They’re just going through the motions. I say to people: “Keep it human. Keep it alive. Don’t turn into a robot.” You have to hear what the other person is saying clearly. You have to listen, and really care, because we’re all the same under the skin.
– Judith Jamison, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

There are people who, instead of listening to what is being said to them, are already listening to what they are going to say themselves. — Albert Guinon

To listen is to continually give up all expectation and to give our attention, completely and freshly, to what is before us, not really knowing what we will hear or what that will mean. In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear. – Mark Nepo

If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.
— Turkish Proverb

Mark 4:9 (NRSV)
And Jesus said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

Sirach 5:11-12
Be quick to hear, and be deliberate in answering. If you have understanding, answer your neighbor; but if not, put your hand on your mouth.

The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood.
The best way to understand people is to listen to them. — Ralph Nichols

The first duty of love is to listen.- Paul Tillich

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. — Karl Menninger

To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. You listen not only to the ‘music,’ but to the essence of the person speaking. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower than the speed of light the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow our mind’s hearing to your ears’ natural speed, and hear beneath the words to their meaning.
Peter Senge

I discovered—working with my students and working with them working each other—that there is an actual spiritual discipline, and work, of listening to another person, particularly when they disagree with us. And that requires that we step back from our own ego, from our own opinions, and let the other person in. Not to agree or disagree, but simply to let their thought into my own mind. And when I step back from myself in that way, I begin to be a much more moral person. There’s a relation that establishes with another human being. – Jacob Needleman, professor of philosophy at San Francisco State University

Extended quote by Steve Harper entitled Covering Our Ears
Stephen was stoned because the angry crowd covered their ears (Acts 7:57). It was all over after that. It still is.

When we stop listening, we stop relating. When we stop listening, we cease learning. When we stop listening, we lose perspective. When we stop listening, we define reality solely on our terms. And once we have done things like this, we can convince ourselves to do anything necessary to “defend the cause” and “maintain righteousness.”

In Stephen’s case, it meant the crowd felt justified in taking matters into their own hands. And that made it all right to drag him out of the city with their hands, pick up stones with their hands, and throw them with their hands–until he was dead.

Stephen’s greatest vision became grounds for his execution. People who had said “thou shalt not murder” many times in the synagogue, now cried, “kill him” in the street. And that’s what happens when we cover our ears.

For an excellent article by Dr. Gail Brenner entitled Master the Art of Listening and Watch All Your Relationships Thrive, click here

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