Prayer: The Depth of Your Love

depth-of-love

Divine One, you know us and call us by name.
You search for us, drawing us to your breast when we are strangers and aliens.

We are each and all your beloved.
You name us friend. You name us family.
We wonder and marvel to have as our Lover the Creator and Master of all that exists.

Our Beloved is Love itself.

You know us so well, and love us all the more.
Every longing, every breath, the number of hairs on our head.
We run into your embrace, overwhelmed by your intimacy and grace.

May all know the depth of your love.

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Prayer – The Depth of Your Love © 2017 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.

Sermon Recording- Jacob’s Dream and God’s Great Grace (Genesis 28)

Jacob Sermon Series

Sermon Series – Jacob, Punk to Patriarch
Jacob’s journey to faith and accepting his place in God’s plan is full of schemes, betrayal, and family dysfunction. Yet, in the midst of the mess, God remains steadfast- offering relationship, provision, purpose, and new life. In Jacob’s story, we see our own mess and God’s saving grace for us as well.

Message: Jacob’s Dream and God’s Great Grace
Scriptures: Genesis 28:10-22
Offered 9/11/16 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida

Your dreams are both powerful and rebellious. They are not bound by your fears, inertia, pain, or what your grandmother said about you. They don’t have to fit your cramped idea of who you think you are. They don’t have to be reasonable, nor do they have to please your parents, your boss, or the church. They are free to take you to interior places you can’t imagine and challenge the way you run your life—and the way your life runs you.
They can be outrageous, daring, playful, zany, sexy. They speak truth as they point to your particular needs for growth. They highlight the changes you are now strong enough to make. Your dreams are full of parts of you that you have denied, disguised in your own easily decipherable dreamcode. Best of all, your dreams are a venue in which God’s presence can be discerned. Your dreams are free to express your natural human spirituality even if you are turned off to organized religion.
– Tilda Norberg, The Chocolate-Covered Umbrella

The translation used in this message comes from The Five Books of Moses by Everett Fox

The prayer following the message is Turn and Return by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
We Fall away
Slip away
Turn away
Hide away
Run away
Push away
Go our way
Lose our way

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your Presence?
You Pursue

Woman sweeping
Spirit drawing
Hound dog tracking
Lover calling
Brood Hen gathering
Shepherd searching
Racer enduring
Father waiting… praying… hoping… looking… running… embracing
Our turning and returning

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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.

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

Prodigal Son, Prodigal Father, Prodigal God

honore-daumier-the-prodigal-son

Study for The Prodigal Son by Honore Daumier

Day after day, week after week, I’m blessed by the wisdom and beauty of God passed along by Steve Garnaas Holmes on his blog Unfolding Light. Consider subscribing to the goodness.

Steve most often bases his posts on his walks through the beauty of Colorado or on the week’s Gospel reading from the Revised Common Lectionary. As such, this week Steve’s been writing on themes from Luke 15:11-32, most commonly known as the parable of the prodigal son.

These writings have been extraordinary, so I’ve gathered them here with Steve’s permission. May they challenge you and inspire you to more and more embody the wasteful, reckless, extravagant love of our God in Jesus. – Lisa <><

Click here for the Younger Son’s Prayer (2016)
Click here for the Older Son’s Prayer (2016)
Click here for the Prodigal Father’s Prayer (2016)

The word “prodigal” does not mean “wayward,” as many believe (based on our tendency to join the brothers in making judgments). It means wastefully or recklessly extravagant, extraordinarily generous, giving “prodigiously.” The term was meant to refer to the younger son’s lavish living—but it’s really the father who’s prodigal, isn’t it? The father extends generous grace and love to both sons when neither of them “deserve” it.
Steve Garnass-Holmes, Prodigal Father (2013)

Excerpt from Prodigal People by Steve Garnaas Holmes (2013)
The prodigal father extends love and blessing to both his sons. No demands, no qualifications, no judgments, no favoritism. He sets aside any judgment of either son, simply wanting to be in relationship with them. He loves them both, offers himself to them both, and invites both of them to share his joy.

If our Prodigal God is this generous, forgiving and inclusive, how can we be otherwise? If God declines to judge and punish, how can we? Jesus embodies God, giving himself for the sake of the poor, welcoming the outcast, taking his place among the condemned, offering nothing but love and life. And we seek to follow him, to be godlike in the same way.

A Prodigal People’s Prayer by Steve Garnaas Holmes (2016)
O Prodigal God, wastefully loving,
recklessly extravagant with grace,
excessively generous with forgiveness,
liberal with tender mercy and compassion,
lavish with hope and delight:
you shower us with love
that we are not prepared to receive.
You know the hurt beneath our fleeing,
the fear enclosed in our anger
and our clutching of what is deserved.
You embrace us freely and passionately,
free from our past, knowing and healing our pain,
in the present moment, celebrating.

You have recklessly given us your love:
may we spread it wantonly, give it all away,
spend it on the unlovely, waste it on the unworthy.
May we set aside our pride and practice delight.
May we claim again the siblings we have spurned,
and gladly celebrate those we have excluded.
May we offer hospitality to the unlovely,
forgive where it is unwarranted,
and love when it is unreasonable.

In your love may we love lavishly,
without exception or measurement.
Yes, it will break our hearts;
we shall be taken advantage of, and worse—
we shall be crucified, and only your love will remain.
And then for us, who have died and are alive again
you will give a great feast.
By your grace may this life be a reunion,
a celebration, a resurrection,
that in prodigal love we may know your joy,
your giving, dancing, feasting, running, embracing joy.

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Steve Garnaas Holmes retains the copyrights to his work referenced and posted here. Contact him directly for posting and publishing considerations.

Sermon Recording: God’s Grace, Seeking and Meeting

grace sermon series logo

Message: God’s Grace, Seeking and Meeting (message 1 of 3)
Scriptures: Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; Luke 15:4-10; Romans 5:8
Offered 1/24/16, at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Click for information on Revive Florida and it’s sponsoring organization, Time to Revive.

time to revive bracelet 800x

Romans 3:23
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Luke 15:4-10
Parable of the Lost Sheep
4 Jesus said, “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

The Parable of the Lost Coin
8 “Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Romans 5:8
God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

Christ Who Sees the Little and the Lost
from The Awkward Season: Prayers for Lent by Pamela C. Hawkins

O Christ who sees the little and the lost:
the child,
the lamb,
the lost coin.
Widen my eyes with your compassion;
clear my vision with your justice;
soften my gaze with your tears for all who need my prayers today.
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.

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

Prayer: Hold Fast (Psalm 139:5-10)

hand-shoulderPsalm 139:5-10 NRSV
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.
Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.

You, Mighty One, reach out your hand
Words spill from your mouth and worlds and all their wonders are created,
but for us you touch
You form
You choose the grit and slip of mud

Your hand is the tender hand of blessing
the confident hand of the artist
the calloused hand of the laborer
the open hand of welcome
the nail pierced hand of sacrifice
and grace

Your hand is the hand that guides me
I, the little child holding hands with One who knows the way
The hand on my shoulder,
strong and assuring when I am far from it
Holding me fast when I stumble into the darkness
The grip of grace when I careen towards the abyss
Holding me fast
Pulling me back from the pit
of despair
even death

You lay your hand upon me
Holding me fast on the far side of the sea
Holding me fast on the wings of the morning
Holding me fast no matter where I find myself
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me

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Hold Fast © 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.

Contemporary Worship Resource: Lift Up Our Face

look upThe instrumental portion of Lift Up Your Face by Third Day is perfect for inserting a scripture or prayer when used in the midst of worship. Here are a couple of ideas…

OPTION ONE: SCRIPTURE
ALL SINGING:
Lift Up Your Face as recorded by Third Day
CCLI Song #5880485
© 2010 Songs From The Quarry
chorus, verse 1, chorus, verse 2, chorus

Instrumental music continues during the scripture reading

ONE or ALL: Psalm 25:1-7 NRSV
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
Do not let me be put to shame;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord
Teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
For you are the God of my salvation
For you I wait all day long.
Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord,
and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!

ALL SINGING:
Lift Up Your Face as recorded by Third Day
CCLI Song #5880485
© 2010 Songs From The Quarry
Bridge, chorus multiple times, ending

OPTION TWO: PRAYER
ALL SINGING:
Lift Up Your Face as recorded by Third Day
CCLI Song #5880485
© 2010 Songs From The Quarry
chorus, verse 1, chorus, verse 2, chorus

Instrumental music continues during the prayer

ONE or ALL: King of Glory, Lift Up Our Face
King of Glory, lift up our face
You, our Provider and Parent
You, the Maker of All Things New

King of Glory, lift up our face
Bowed low beneath the weight of fear
and worry
and falsehood
So much is out of our control
So much we have brought upon ourselves

King of Glory
Lift up our face
How can we seek your face with our eyes on the dust?

King of Glory
Lift up our face
How can you save us if we keep trying to save ourselves?

King of Glory
Lift up our face
Enter in with Your blessing
Your healing
Your strength
Your salvation
Your glory

ALL SINGING:
Lift Up Your Face as recorded by Third Day
CCLI Song #5880485
© 2010 Songs From The Quarry
Bridge, chorus multiple times, ending

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King of Glory, Lift Up Our Face © 2014 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Adapted from King of Glory, Lift Up Our Heads based on Psalm 24
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: You Love Me (Deuteronomy 7:7-8)

Ocean Surface Wave, photo by Jon Sullivan via Wikimedia Commons, adapted

Ocean Surface Wave, photo by Jon Sullivan via Wikimedia Commons, adapted

Deuteronomy 7:7-8 NLT
The LORD did not choose you and lavish his love on you because you were larger or greater than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! It was simply because the LORD loves you, and because he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the LORD rescued you with such amazing power from your slavery under Pharaoh in Egypt.

You love me
not because I am mighty
or beautiful
or talented

not because of what I’ve achieved
or acquired

or because of who I am
or who I know
or who knows me

You love me
because that is your way
that is you

You love me

Your love opens me up
raises me up
from every shadow which works to enslave me
every lesser love

How Great is your Love!
How Power-full
Beauty-full
Faith-full
Hope-full
Grace-full

Fill me full
full of your love
so it splashes and spills
and pours and fills
and seeps and saves
our world awash and alive in your love

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You Love Me © 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.