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Instead of Worrying

“Worry pretends to be necessary,” wrote Eckart Tolle.

“Instead of worrying, pray,” wrote our old friend St. Paul in Philippians 4:6.

He went on to say, “Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.” Sounds like a call to transparency in our prayers.

He further points out, “Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.” Anybody else just feel that internal sigh of an ahhhhhhhhhhhh?

Paul concludes, ” It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Why settle for less than that?

Today, let’s practice this: “Instead of worrying, pray.”



New Serenity Prayer

Moldy Bread Tastes Bad

Stacy Hord-Hulm is a friend who lives in Missouri and works at a college and writes stuff like what you’re about to enjoy and has graciously given me permission to share with you —

Have you ever held on to a loaf of bread for weeks, only to find out that when you finally want to make a sandwich, the bread is moldy?

Sometimes we hold to on attitudes and circumstances in our lives for WAY too long. We idealize the past; “I had more fun when I was single” “Our workplace was better when we had a different manager,” “Church was more enjoyable when they played different music.”

You know how it is.

What is it in your life right now that has changed and you wish for the way it used to be?

Well, let me tell you something: that old way was getting stale and while you weren’t even realizing it, mold was starting to form.

You had stopped growing.

There was no more freshness to you.

So God was done with that era in your life and moved you to this new situation to grow you and give you fresh insight!

If God says that time is over, then that time is OVER and it’s time to take hold of the NEW bread God has for you!

There are so many new flavors that you haven’t even tasted yet! Trust him, throw out that old moldy attitude and be open to the new things God has in store for you!

— Amen, Stacy, and thank you!

An Early Morning Walk

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day,” wrote Henry David Thoreau.

Our Conference’s health and fitness app used that quote recently.

In some circles of Christ-followers, they ask the classic early Methodist question, “How is it with your soul?” with the words, “How’s your walk today?”

That second question has nothing to do with one’s medial dorsal gait (see me trying to use Physical Therapy talk and one again failing miserably) but everything to do with the health of one’s soul and faith.

Which takes us back to Mr. Thoreau and our spiritual exercises. “An early morning [time of Scripture, reflection, and prayer] is a blessing for the whole day.”

Jesus gave us this example: In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. (— Mark 1:35)

From there our “walk” continues throughout the day in the same direction. The Old Testament prophet Micah told us years ago, God has made it clear to you what is good and what the LORD is requiring from you— to act with justice, to treasure the LORD’s gracious love, and to walk humbly in the company of your God.

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day,” wrote Henry David Thoreau.

I hope to see you back here tomorrow, whether it’s in the morning or not.

You Need Them & They Need You

Some of us are “40% more likely than workers to suffer from clinical depression, and the reason boils down to feeling isolated.”

More from the source of that line in a moment, but first this:

Remember to keep getting 

together regularly

with other followers of Christ

Hebrews 10:25, RDSV

— Okay now, the source of that opening quote:

And the big question: with whom, and where, and when are you getting
together regularly with other followers of Christ this week?

You need them, and they need you.

Sabbath. Simple, Right? part 2.

Quick Review:

How are you observing Sabbath lately?

Jesus observed the Sabbath, according to Luke 4:16 — He came to Nazareth where he had been raised. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to synagogue. 


Jesus said that keeping Sabbath was not a duty that people owed to God. He spun it around and taught that God made the Sabbath as a day of rest for humanity’s benefit — The Sabbath was made to serve us; we weren’t made to serve the Sabbath. (Mark 2:17)

Simple, right?

See you back here next Sunday.

Singing and Praying

The rest of the story from yesterday here: About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening.

They weren’t showing off. Not stunting. Not playing to the crowd.

They were praying and singing hymns of praise to God. 

See me right now avoid any all temptation to compare them and their singing to those early Methodists who were criticized for singing both too much and too loudly.

Instead, see the focus of their singing. They were praying and singing hymns of praise to God.

A great line, variously attributed, is “The person who sings prays twice.”

Paul and Silas were in prison doing both: praying and singing hymns of praise to God. 

Sing to the LORD, all the earth, says Psalm 96:1. That includes you and me. All of us.

As Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “God is the audience.”

Keeping that great line its original context —

God is the audience.

God’s watching.

The congregation,

they are the actors in this drama.

Worship is their show.

And the minister is

just reminding the people

of their forgotten lines.

— May it be so of us.

And the others around us? As Acts 16:25 says, About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

But they were praying and singing hymns to God. 

May we do the same.