Renewal Leave Announcement, plus some great quotes

Lisa headshot selfie 2020 10 21Today I start six weeks of renewal leave. There’s no emergency. It’s a common practice for pastors after many years of service. It’s a welcome gift, a gift far too many do not have.

I’ll be back Ash Wednesday. The blog will be quiet while I’m away.

My last post for a while is my 2020 quote collection. I write down one or two a month to carry with me for the month. They catch my attention because they speak a truth I need to hear in that season. Many of them come to me via Instagram (IG). Consider following these fine folks if you use that platform.   

Happy Epiphany dear ones.
May this be a season of awakinging and deep worship for you. – Lisa <>< 

Things that bring growth by Dr. Nicole LePera (@the.holistic.phychologist on IG)
1. uncomfortable, difficult conversations
2. doing something you’re terrible at, until you become good at it
3. getting past the stories your ego creates
4. viewing the behavior you’re ashamed of as the scared child inside of you asking for healing
5. Placing your won happiness at the top of your priority list, unapologetically

There are ideas, truth, concepts, books, and creations waiting to be birthed into the world.
Stay open to receiving them.
– Rebecca Campbell

From St. Benedict’s Prayer Book
Grant, O Lord, that none may love You less this day because of me;
that never a word or act of mine may turn one soul from You;
and, ever daring, yet one more grace would I implore,
that many souls this day, because of me, may love You more. Amen.

May I spend less time worrying about the things I “have to deal with”
and more time dealing with those things.
Fear is almost always worse than the work itself
or the pain that comes with it.
– Justin McRoberts (@justinmcroberts on IG)

It’s always enough to do the part your know how to do.
To be faithful to what you know you were given.
The voices in your life that tell you “that’s not enough” are lying to you.
Ignore them. Do your work.

– Justin McRoberts

2 Corinthians 3:12, 17-18
Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness… Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.

Loving yourself is a practice. Just like yoga.
Nobody ever got good at yoga by believing in it.
You have to do it. Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.
– Emily McDowell

Prayer For Before Journaling by Terry Stokes (@prayersfromterry on IG)
O Christ the Word, sent and made known to us, help us to put our thoughts down on the page. Make this a release valve for the buildup of our deepest feelings, and channel this into a flow which carries us toward connections, breakthroughs, and self-awareness. Help us to concretize thoughts that can otherwise remain too abstract or unmoored to be helpful. Deliver unto us the value of being able to go back and see what we were thinking in the past, an ultimately direct our mindfulness toward the One who is always mindful of us- our Father, who reigns with Thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

We are not hamsters on a wheel, waiting to fall into the cedar shavings at the bottom of the cage. We are seekers of light and life, bearers of shadows and burdens. We are struggling to journey together toward moral fulfillment. We are learning to embrace the unfathomable darkness where God dwells with enthusiasm that equals our love of light. Physics and cosmology have metaphors and languages to help us awaken to these and other possibilities. . . . We are not just citizens of one nation or another, but of the human and cosmic community.
– Richard Rohr (cacradicalgrace on IG)

Awareness is the moment when we rise with eyes crusted from self-induced dreams of control, domination, victimization, and self-hatred to catch a glimpse of the divine in the face of “the other.” Then God’s self-identification, “I am that I am / I will be who I will be” (Exodus 3:14) becomes a liberating example of awareness, mutuality, and self-revelation.
– Dr. Barbara A. Holmes

Quote from Freedom: Medicine Words for your Brave Revolution by Jayla John
Your boundaries need not be an angry electric fence that shocks those who touch it. It can be a consistent light around you that announces: I will be treated sacredly.

The inner work helps you decide whether your gut instinct is based on truth or trauma.
– Ryan Blair

Quote from Emily McDowell (@emilyonlife on IG)
When spending your life working towards “living the dream”, make sure it’s really your dream, and not just a definition of success you’ve been programmed to desire. Remember the importance of distinguishing between what you want, and what others want for you and from you. And remember that choosing to change course or let go of a once-held dream doesn’t mean you’re giving up or failing. It means you’re paying attention. It means you’re evolving.

During the week, your whole self will strain toward the Sabbath with thoughts like I know I can make it because the Sabbath is coming. You will emerge from Sabbath with renewed energy and hope, thinking I can face my life now because I have rested.
– Ruth Haley Barton

Sabbath is not dependent upon our readiness to stop. We do not stop when we are finished. We do not stop when we complete our phone calls, finish our projects, get through this stack of messages, or get out this report that is due tomorrow. We stop because it is time to stop.
– Wayne Muller

Midweek Devotion- John 20

Scripture: John 20:19-23
Breath Prayers Based on Breathe on Me, Breath of God

You’re encouraged to use the following process as you read scripture.
We use this process together on Wednesdays at 8:00AM EST.
https://www.facebook.com/TrinityUMCSarasota/

STILLNESS: Spend 5-20 minutes in silence looking to God and listening for God.

ATTENTION: Read or listen to the Scripture. What word, phrase, or verse captures your attention? Underline it or copy it onto a piece of paper.

CONNECTION: What connections do you see to other scriptures? To your own experience or current situation? Or, to the character or promises of God?

ACTION: What is God inviting you to trust, say, or do? How will your life be different because of this scripture?

PRAY: Talk to God about what you just experienced or anything else on your heart.

Rev. Lisa Degrenia
Trinity Sarasota
http://www.itrinity.org
941-924-7756
trinity@iTrinity.org

Recorded 8/5/2020

Bind Us Together
CCLI Song # 1228
Bob Gillman © 1977
Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
CCLI License # 686715

PUBLIC DOMAIN SONG:
Breathe on Me, Breath of God
Text: Edwin Hatch
Music: Robert Jackson

_______________________________________
Midweek Devotion- John 20 © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Prayer: Holy Spirit, Come Again

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Consider the Biblical stories of God as Fire. Here are a few:

  • Moses and the burning bush (Exodus 3)
  • The pillar of fire leading God’s people through the darkness and across the wilderness to the promised land (Exodus 13-14)
  • God consuming the offering in the battle between Elijah and the false prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18)
  • God companioning and rescuing Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace (Daniel 3)
  • God described as a Refiner’s Fire (Malachi 3)
  • John the Baptist’s prophecy that the Messiah would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3, Luke 3)
  • Jesus promises the Father would send the Holy Spirit (John 14-16)
  • The story of Pentecost in Acts 2

Consider our need to be filled continually with the power of the Holy Spirit.

May your life be set ablaze with the strength and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. – Lisa <><

We can be certain of one thing: transformation into God’s image and God’s purpose requires that we pass through God’s refining fire. Being made holy is not a one-time deal; it is an ongoing process that continues until we are fully reconciled with Christ at his second coming. During our lives, we experience intense trials that we can use to refine our spirits. The key idea to remember is that we pass “through” and do not remain in the fire. – Enuma Okoro, Silence and Other Invitations of Advent

God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. And so, if we feel in our hearts coldness, which is from the devil– for the devil is cold– then let us call upon the Lord and he will come and warm our hearts with perfect love not only for him but for our neighbor as well. And from the presence of warmth, the coldness of the hater of good will be driven away. – Seraphim of Sarov

Prayer: Holy Spirit, Come Again
Plain text is for one voice. Italics text is for all voices.

Holy Spirit, come again as cleansing fire,
Burn away all that is false and fruitless
Come Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, come again as guiding fire,
Light the way through our wilderness
Come Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, come again as refining fire,
Purifying our words, our ways, and our hearts
Come Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, come again as prophetic fire,
Rouse us to courage and action
Come Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, come again as unifying fire,
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Come Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, come again as empowering fire,
Dance atop all your people, no matter the label
Inspire your gifts in us
Send us to bless and change the world.
Come Holy Spirit

We ask all this in the name of Jesus,
the One who promised to send you,
and who taught us to pray,

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
Amen.

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Prayer: Holy Spirit, Come Again © 2011, 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, revlisad.com
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Be sure to also check out Purify Us by Steve Garnaas Holmes.

Cast Your Net Again (John 21)

cast your net again daniel bonnell

Cast Your Net Again by Daniel Bonnell

John 21:6
Jesus said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish.

Sermon/Poem
This poem was inspired by Matthew 13:47-50, John 21:1-14, John 12:31-32, Psalms 40:1-3, and the painting Cast Your Net Again by Daniel Bonnell. It could be voiced with one or two speakers.

Cast Your Net Again
It’s been a long night of fishing
We smell of bait and salt-
salt from the sea
salt from the sweat
salt from the tears
It’s a strange combination of perspiration and desperation

The sun is coming up
But our hearts remain in the deep
Not so much because we haven’t caught anything,
But because everything’s changed
He’s gone
our leader
our teacher
our friend
our future
We’re missing Jesus

He called us from our nets years before,
Come, follow me…
And that’s what we did
We gave up everything we knew
our homes
our world
our lives
“Fishers of men,” he said…

Now he’s gone and all that’s left is the nets…

empty nets…

Children, you have no fish, have you?
                                                                     No, no fish
Cast your net again and you will find some

Cast your net again,
We know this familiar foolishness
So we cast it…
we cast it wide, drag it deep, sweep it around the sea
Suddenly! So many fish!

The cry goes up with our hope
It is the Lord! It is Jesus!

He sank down to the bottom
Down to the mud and the darkness
Down to the pain and the brokenness
Down to our level

Until he was lifted up- lifted up on a cross
Up went the fists
Up went the mocks
Up went the stares
Up went the sign
King of the Jews

Down came the hammer
Down came the tears
Down came the blood
Down came the love
Down to our level
buried beneath waves of fear and injustice and sin
Buried beneath earth

He did as he promised
Now is the judgment of this world;
now the ruler of this world will be driven out
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw all people to myself

It is the Lord! It is Jesus!
He is lifted up from the earth!
Up from the grave
Up goes the shout
Up goes the sun with the Son

Cast your net again, my Jesus
Cast it wide, drag it deep, sweep it around the sea
Draw us up from the bottom with you
Draw us up from the mud and the darkness
Draw us up from the pain and the brokenness
Draw us up from the selfishness and the loneliness
Draw us up from the fear and the hate and the sin and the death
Draw us up from the bottom with you

Draw us up, Draw us all, my Jesus
Fisher of men and women,
sober and addicted,
poor and prosperous,
infant and aged

Draw us up, Draw us all, my Jesus
Healthy and ill,
free and imprisoned,
questioning and confident

Draw us up, Draw us all
Fisher of nations and galaxies

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

Cast your net again into the sea of humanity
Cast it wide, drag it deep, sweep it around the sea
Draw us up
Draw us in
We are caught in your saving embrace

Jesus says, “Now follow me.”
“Come, cast the net
Cast the net again and again and again and we will find some more
Cast it wide, drag it deep, sweep it around the sea
So many, so different, so beautiful
Use all your strength to bring them in
Have no fear, the net will not break.”

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© 2009, revised 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please, leave a comment for information/permission to publish this work in any form.

Prayer: Strive (Luke 12.29-32)

StriveFather, you know how I strive
Strive to please
Strive to keep up appearances
Strive to finish the to-do list
Strive to accomplish

I strive even in prayer

There’s a hustle within me to prove my worth
Lord, heal me

Show me the difference between
striving and mission and focus and ambition
They’re all bound up together

I see the passionate faithful
and the apathetic
and those that are clear and still and fruitful

What should I be?
How should I be?
Show me how
Show me how to live
How to trust
How to strive for your Kingdom
Your Kin-dom
that good gift you delight in giving

Luke 12:29-32
Jesus said, “Do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

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Prayer: Strive © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
by Lisa Degrenia (www.revlisad.com)
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.