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

healing hand light

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

*****
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.

Three Worship Resources- Answering the Call

ANSWERING-THE-CALL 1500Call to Worship
ONE:
Faithful One, calling in the night

ALL:
Speak, we’re listening

ONE:
Still Small Voice, calling in the silence

ALL:
Speak, we’re listening

Moment of silence

Opening Prayer
Praise the One, True Living God
Liberating Flame, burning away our chains
Empowering Flame, burning away our excuses

Praise the Great I AM
Forever and for always bringing
answers out of questions
preparation out of hesitation
yes out of no

Praise our Deliverer
Who saves and summons
Calling us to new life
Calling us to new life

Benediction
May the call of Jesus, be ever in your ears
The hope of Jesus, ever on your lips
The peace of Jesus, ever in your touch
The strength of Jesus, ever in your step
Amen

**********
Worship Resources, Answering the Call © 2015 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.

The 2016 TED Talk Experiment- Week 8

TED talk blog graphic 2
Back from vacation and back to TED.

10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation
Celeste Headlee
TEDx Creative Coast, April 2015
1. Be present. 2. Enter every conversation assuming you have something to learn. Be prepared to be amazed. 3. Ask open ended questions 4. Let ideas come and go in order to stay listening 5. Think of the conversation as “on the record”- be precise with what you claim 6. It’s not about you- do not self promote, do not presume your similar experience is their experience 7. Try not to repeat yourself 8. Forget the details, go for the big idea or emotion 9. Listen, listen, listen – if your mouth is open, you’re not learning 10. Be brief- be interested in other people

A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit
Judson Brewer
TEDMED 2015 Palm Springs California, November 2015
Being mindful (curiously aware) helps us step out of our fear based habit patterns as we step into being. Mindfulness leads to disenchantment with the hurtful behavior which can lead to a transformation of the trigger, behavior, reward cycle.

Dive Into an Ocean Photographer’s World
Thomas Peschak
Mission Blue II Solomon Islands, October 2015
“The best way for me to effect change is to sell love.” Conservation Photographer Thomas Peschak fell in love with the beauty and importance of our oceans at a young age. Through his photographs, he encourages us to do the same. “You can’t love something and become a champion for it if you don’t know it exists.”

The Doubt Essential to Faith
Lesley Hazleton
TED Global 2013 Edinburgh Scotland, June 2013
Fascinating retelling of Mohamed’s reactions to receiving his first revelation of the Koran- doubt, fear, despair. “Abolish all doubt and what is left is not faith but absolute, heartless conviction…. Absolutism is the opposite of faith.”

Everyday Leadership
Drew Dudley
TEDx Toronto 2010, September 2010
“We need to get over our fear of how extraordinarily powerful we can be in each other’s lives. We need to get over it so we can move beyond it.” Leadership isn’t about changing the world, it’s about changing a person’s perception of what they’re capable of, how much they are loved, how valuable they are, how much influence they have for the greater good.

******************
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.

Prayer: Seeking Christ, The Word of God (John 1:1-18)

listening ear2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas
Day 18 Reading: John 1:1-18
Jesus, The Word of God

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
– John 1:1

Prayer: Seeking Christ, the Word of God
Hear the Word of the Lord:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. – John 1:1-4 (NRSV)

Speak Lord, your servant is listening.
I long for your words of light and life.

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.
– Hebrews 1:1-3a (NRSV)

Speak Lord, your servant is listening
I want to know you
I need your word to sustain me

Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. – Colossians 1:15-18

Speak Lord, your servant is listening.
Hold me together
Have first place in me
in everything

Time of silence

***********
This post is part of the 2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas. Click here for more information, including a list of all the readings.

Prayer: Seeking Christ the Word of God © 2010 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.

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

Prepare the Way of the Lord (Luke 3, Isaiah 40)

The Path of Light by outeq (aka Juuso K) via DeviantArt

The Path of Light by outeq (aka Juuso K) via DeviantArt

Malachi 3:1 NRSV
See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.

Luke 3:1-6 NRSV
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'” (Isaiah 40)

Deprivation is neither the focus nor the final word of the wilderness. As the honey-eating John knew, the desert offers its own delights. What the wilderness gives us is a path that helps us perceive where our true treasure lies. And does not merely give us a path: empties us enough so that a path is made within us. Through us. Of us. A road for the holy to enter the world. A way for the Christ who comes.
Jan L. Richardson, Through the Advent Door: Entering a Contemplative Christmas

For a beautiful poem entited Prepare by Jan L. Richardson, click here

In this Advent season we prepare outwardly for Christmas: we hang lights and put up decorations, we bake goodies and wrap gifts. How will you prepare inwardly? The coming of Christ means that God will be incarnate: embodied, lovingly present, in the flesh in your life. Christ is coming into your life, into your heart, in a new way. Advent is a time to prepare a way for that to happen. God enters our lives without our planning or arranging; yet there are ways we can open the doors, and as the carol says of Jesus, “prepare him room.” – Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Prepare the Way

Prepare Your Way in Me by Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Prepare your way in me, Lord,
prepare your way in me, my Lord.

Make my rough places smooth,
the crooked make straight, my Lord.

Lay your hand at my root,
that I may bear fruit, my Lord.

Come and empty my heart
of all things but you, my Lord.

Guide my feet in your way,
fill me with your peace, my Lord.

Prepare your way in me, Lord,
prepare your way in me, my Lord.

We’ve turned Christmas into a sentimental feeling-fest. We get warm and fuzzy loving each other and feeling touched at the midnight candles and the pretty music. But listen to the scriptures and it’s actually all about God’s profound and even traumatic incursion against the unjust systems in this world, to create a new order. The mountains and valleys of wealth and power will be leveled. The rough places of exploitation and dehumanization will be smoothed. No wonder there’ll be “signs in the heavens and distress among the nations.” – Steve Garnaas-Holmes, A Way in the Wilderness

Click here for Comfort Ye by Steve Garnaas Holmes, a word of encouragement to those experiencing horror and abuse and those striving to bring justice and healing.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.
– Isaac Watts

In muted whispers we articulate our hope;
Restore us again, O God of our salvation.
With mounting anticipation we prepare for your coming;
Revive us again, that we may rejoice in you.
Amidst rising hopes we turn to you, O God;
Show us your steadfast love.
Lord, let us hear now your words to us;
Speak peace to your people.
Faithful One, prepare our hearts to receive your joy;
the joyful kiss of righteousness and peace.
– Bill Treadway

************
For more information on the use of this post in other settings, please leave a comment.

#LukeActs2014 Reading Plan

Luke ActsBishop Ken Carter of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church invites us to join him in reading Luke and Acts in 2014. Focusing on one chapter per week gives us the opportunity to live with the text for a while-

  • reading it several times
  • reading it in different translations
  • reading commentaries related to the chapter
  • discussing what we’ve read with others
  • keeping a journal of what we’ve discovered or how the chapter has prompted us to pray
  • creating art based on the reading (visual, music, poetry, etc.)
  • choosing a verse or two from the reading to memorize each week

Here’s a handy bookmark to help you keep track of what chapter to read on what week. Luke Acts Reading Plan Bookmark

Click here to read Bishop Carter’s entire post.

Join the conversation on Twitter at #LukeActs2014

Click here for a post on other New Testament Reading Plans and how to get the most out of reading the Bible.

What’s your plan for reading God’s Word this new year?

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 http://umrethinkchurch.tumblr.com 
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 <><