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A Prayer for Veterans Day

Today we remember all of our veterans past and present. We ask for the healing of those who have been wounded in body and soul, wounds both visible and invisible. We pray for those who have returned and those who are returning and live with injured bodies and traumatized spirits to receive your solace and healing.

We ask that those who are unable to pray for themselves will receive the blessings of our prayers offered on their behalf. Bring peace to those places where our women and men have fought. Bless those who served in non-combatant roles. May their service continue in their lives and may that service be positive for all of us.

Give us the vision to see a world in which all grow weary with war and fighting, and turn their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. These things we ask in the name of the Prince of Peace. Amen.

––Rt. Rev. James “Jay” Magness, Episcopal Bishop of the Armed Forces

 

Why Bother with Doing Good?

In a recent conversation, a friend who doesn’t want to be named dropped a gem on me.

“Good works aren’t the roots of our salvation,” was the beginning.

It ended with, “Good works are the fruits of our salvation.”

Too good not to share with you!

As I’ve said for years in a way that’s not at all catchy, we don’t do good works so THAT we’re saved…we do them because we ARE saved.

My friend said it better: “Good works aren’t the roots of our salvation; good works are the fruits of our salvation.”

 

Re-Read, Again?

Ed had some favorite Bible passages.

He could quote them and describe their settings in great detail.

And Ed lived them.

He would have agreed with what Jeff Masamori said: “You can photograph the same setting a million times and never get the same result twice. There will always be factors beyond your control. But for me, shooting and revisiting a scene over and over is the best way to get to know a place.”

[NOTE: This is PART FOUR, picking up where we stopped yesterday. If “Wait, Read That Again” doesn’t sound familiar, scroll down and read the past three days’ blogs and come on back.]

Ed was in his eighties when I knew him.

He was full of surprises, and they were always good ones.

In the middle of a Bible Study on whatever-it-was-at-the-time, Ed would raise one hand, extend an arthritic index finger, and begin with “You know what, Pastor? Here’s something I’ve never seen before.”

And he’d smile.

Those moments were at least twenty years ago.

I wish now I’d written down at least some of what all Ed said.

He lived into God’s Word, giving breath to the master photographer’s observation that “shooting and revisiting a scene over and over is the best way to get to know a place.”

Reading and re-reading Scripture over and over is the best way to get to know your Bible.

And even better: to know the God of the Bible.

But best of all: to know the grace and love and forgiveness of God that’s splashed across the Bible.

POP QUIZ (“Another one, Joe?”) (“Indeed.”) —

What’s your current Bible Reading Plan?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read That AGAIN?

“There will always be factors beyond your control” is only a reminder, not a punishment.

[NOTE: This is PART THREE, picking up where we stopped yesterday. If “Wait, Read That Again” doesn’t sound familiar, scroll down and read the past two days’ blogs and come on back.]

A classic prayer attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr puts it,

“God, grant me

the serenity

to accept the things

I cannot change.”

What’s the most annoying thing you can’t change today?

Know that you’re in my prayers; I’m asking our Lord to grant you profound serenity about that.

And please keep me in your prayers as well; same request.

Yup.

 

 

No, Really: Read That Again

“There will always be factors beyond your control.”

— Jeff Masamori

[NOTE: This is PART TWO, picking up where we stopped yesterday. If “Wait, Read That Again” doesn’t sound familiar, scroll down and read yesterday’s blog and come on back.]

Weather.

Your favorite team losing.

Politics.

Your favorite team losing a great player.

A traffic jam.

Your favorite team losing a great player who was your favorite.

As Jeff Masamori reminds us, “There will always be factors beyond your control.”

What’s at the top of your list today that’s “beyond your control”?

Take a moment. Be honest. Look at it and name it.

And I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

 

 

Wait, Read That Again

“You can photograph the same setting a million times and never get the same result twice,” says Jeff Masamori. He’s the Art Director for Huckberry, and is quoted in their Winter 2019 edition.

“There will always be factors beyond your control.

“But for me, shooting and revisiting a scene over and over is the best way to get to know a place.”

Long before Masamori picked up his first camera, someone else said,

“Because of the Lord’s great love

we are not consumed,

for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning.”

(Lamentations 3:22,23)

You and I can return to the same Scripture passage a million times and while it’s the same, we are not.

Our perspectives and our perceptions change.

Our needs and our desires shift.

We are simply different. Each time.

IF I COULD ASSIGN HOMEWORK: what’s your favorite Psalm, or what’s your favorite parable Christ Jesus told, or what’s your favorite piece of advice in Scripture? Read it again today,

Re-read it, very carefully.

See what’s there.

Notice what’s not there that you thought was there.

As was famously said by Mortimer J. Adler, “One cannot read…one can only re-read.”

SO NOW: what favorite part of the Bible will you re-read today, and what’s fresh about it today?

As always, I’d love to hear from you in any of the usual ways, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

 

RMBNS

Since you asked yesterday:

Yes, it really has all five names, and its shape is as close as we could get to an artist’s palette (she was an Art Teacher, remember)—-

—- Thanks for asking!

See you back here tomorrow when we’ll get back to our more typical content.