Growing in Resilience: Release, based on Isaiah 43.18-19

healing hand lightGrowing in Resilience
Day 4, Read Isaiah 43
Reflection: Lead On, based on Isaiah 43:18-19

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Jesus,
You open the door to all that is hidden and hurtful
That we might let go of
All that is false and destructive
All that we think will save us but will not
All the guilt and shame we needlessly carry
All the regret that suffocates our future

silent prayers of confession

Jesus,
We release it all to you
Trusting your power and promise
You are doing a new thing
You are making a way
It’s bursting forth in us and our world
Hallelujah!

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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. 

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

Sermon Series Recordings: New Year’s Revolution

New Year's Revolution LogoSermon Series: New Year’s Revolution
New Year, New Life, New You
Claiming the Transforming Power of the Holy Spirit

Message 1 of 4: Ask, Seek, Knock
Scriptures: Luke 11:1-13
Offered 1/18/15 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Message 2 of 4: Name That Demon
Scriptures: Mark 5:1-20
Offered 1/25/15 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Message 3 of 4: Starving or Feasting?
Scriptures: John 6:28-40
Offered 2/1/15 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Message 4 of 4: Running The Race, Keeping the Faith
Scriptures: 2 Timothy 4:7; Galatians 6:7-9; Philippians 1:6
This message was inspired by, and includes excerpts from,
the book Unstoppable by Christine Caine
Offered 2/8/15 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

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.

© 2015 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Poem: With You (Matthew 1:18-25)

walking with god2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas
Day 11 Reading: Matthew 1:18-25
God With Us

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel– which means, “God with us.”
– Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23

Jesus said, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
– Matthew 28:20

Poem: With You
With you there is safety
With you there is peace
With you I am never alone
With you there’s a light for the long journey home
With you there is healing and hope

With you I can slumber
With you I can stand
With you I can run and play
With you I can walk through the valley some day
With you there is healing and hope

With you I see sickness
With you I see need
With you I see souls to embrace
With you I can meet every wrong face to face
With you there is healing and hope

With you there is purpose
With you there is life
With you there is courage and truth
I’m finally me because I am with you
With you there is healing and hope

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Click here for an interesting post by Steve Garnaas Holmes where he explores why God chose to be incarnate human rather than another member of creation.

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

Poem: With You  © 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.

Prayer: Reworking the Fragments

knitting afghan
Healthy religion, as the very word re-ligio (“rebinding”) indicates, is the task of putting our divided realities back together again: human and divine, male and female, heaven and earth, sin and salvation, mistake and glory. – Richard Rohr

Holy One
You knit us together
And breathe us into being

When our lives remind us of our frailty
When they unravel
and rend
and fray
You gather us in again
Reworking the fragments
With grace upon grace
Until the beautiful new is born

Help us cling to this promise
This hope
Especially in the between time
Trusting the new is coming
Trusting You

Glory to you, our great Love.
Glory to you, our Resurrection.
Glory to you.

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Reworking the Fragments © 2014 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.

Photo Credit: Scrappy Knitting, Completely Couchy Blog

Prayer: Prince of Peace, Hear our Cry

Pāhoehoe lava meets Pacific. Photo by Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons.

Pāhoehoe lava meets Pacific. Photo by Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons.

A pastor friend wrote me asking for prayer. Her congregation is experiencing a season of tremendous change and loss due to circumstances far beyond their control. My imagination turned to swirling storms: the hurricanes we experience here in Florida, the shadowy swirl of chaos in the Creation story (Genesis 1:1-2), the overwhelming storms the disciples experienced on the Sea of Galilee. (Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25; Matthew 8:23-27)

Then I found this powerful picture of lava meeting the water by Brocken Inaglory. How does anything survive the crushing collision of boiling rock and endless waves of stinging, salty ocean? You cling to the hope of things made new. – Lisa <><

Prince of Peace, hear our cry
The winds of change are howling
Hurling us to and fro
We can’t get our footing
We can’t get our bearings
We’re drowning in loss

Prince of Peace, hear our cry
Pull us up for air
Hold us together
Anchor us in grace

Reveal what is real

For You are the Blessed Word
Creating new life from chaos
You are the Morning Star
Lighting a way bright with hope
You are the Prince of Peace
You hear our cry

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Prince of Peace, Hear Our Cry © 2014 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.

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?

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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 <><

Advent Photo-A-Day: Day 10, Holy

nativity setThe thought behind the photo:
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!
– Phillips Brooks

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 57:15 NRSV
For thus says the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.

The December 10, 2013 devotion from http://umrethinkchurch.tumblr.com 
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 11:6-10 NRSV
The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

Verses 6-10 are famously known as the “peaceable kingdom.” In this beautiful vision of harmony inaugurated by the Messiah, all of creation participates—people, animals and even the land. The place of peace will be the holy mountain of God, and the land will be filled with the knowledge of God.

But the way knowledge is spoken of in this passage isn’t in the way that we understand knowledge. In Hebrew, it is the full living into and experiencing of what is known. So the holy mountain; the earth, will be infused with the reality of God.

What would that look and feel like to enter into what is fully known?
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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 <><