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2017 Daily Devotions

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

by
Teddy Mowrey
Cathedral of Hope Altar Minister


Scripture

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24

A Word of Hope

In the wake of this Easter season, during this Season of Pentecost, many friends have shared that this year’s Easter seemed especially holy to them.

The Good Friday service brought to seed-point a new Easter experience that is deeply rooting in my soul.

We find Christ and his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane. He asks them to pray with him, and then kneels in seclusion. He later checks on his disciples and finds them asleep, from fatigue. He rouses them and encourages them to stay awake and pray, emphasizing he’s about to be turned over to the authorities, and needs their support. He returns to find them asleep again, and though he’s saddened, he’s not angry.

He looks compassionately on them and acknowledges, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

It’s evident no one will stand with him and he petitions God, “…if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

In this context, one wonders if the ‘cup’ is that he must suffer his Passion alone.

A cross is placed in our hearts, as our sins resonate in the shouts of the crowd, “Crucify him!”

His disciples once asked him how they should pray. He gave them The Lord’s Prayer, which contains not one, ‘I, me, or mine,’ rather, ‘we, us and our.’

He leads us to be active in the collective welfare of ‘us’ in our thinking, feeling and actions. To step away from self-serving desires and say The Lord’s Prayer filled with Christ-like love for all humanity.

Meditation
So long as, alone, you feel the pain that I am spared, the Christ unrecognized is working in the world.   For weak is the Spirit, while each is only capable of suffering through their own body.   Rudolf Steiner

Daily Devotion Monday, June 26, 2017

by
Weber Baker
Order of Saint Francis and Saint Clare

Scriptures

Mark 1.4:
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the
forgiveness of sins.

Ecclesiasticus 18.20:

Before judgement comes, examine yourself;
and at the time of scrutiny you will find forgiveness.

Acts of the Apostles 13.38:
Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers,
that through this man
forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you;

                                                             

A Word of Hope

Today is “Forgiveness Day”. In looking around to find out the origin of this day I discovered there seem to be several forgiveness days. Along with June 26, there is an International Forgiveness Day, a National Forgiveness Day, An Email Debt Forgiveness Day, and even a Misdemeanor Warrant Forgiveness Day. And there are others.

The Bible passages above speak of forgiveness. And there are others.

But there is one aspect of forgiveness, hinted at in the Ecclesiasticus passage and which I think goes well with Mark 12:30-31:

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’

How can we love our neighbors if we do not love ourselves? How can we love ourselves if we do not forgive ourselves?

I think it is safe to say we all have something we need to forgive of ourselves. It may be an action, an attitude, a sin of omission, something we perceive as a failing which we need to come to grips with and forgive. It may be big; it may be small. It may be even be something over which we did not have control but felt we should have.
A squirrel ran out from the curb this week and despite a swerve and braking I hit it. It wasn't my fault and I could have done nothing more to prevent it. But I felt guilty. I know there are folks who are not crazy about squirrels who might think I had done humanity a good turn. Not I, I was sad through half the day. I had to forgive myself even though it was not something I had done purposefully or even through negligence.

Now all that may seem trivial. But until I gave myself the freedom of forgiveness I could not forgive the folks who cut me off or took the parking space I wanted (I mean had parked in the space long before I arrived). I truly lived others as I loved myself, which at that point was not much.

That is what forgiveness is about; forgiving yourself, loving yourself so you can forgive and love others.

Prayer

Creator God through Your love, help me to love myself enough to forgive myself so that I can love and forgive others.

 

Daily Devotion Friday, June 16, 2017

by
Patricia R. “Patsy” Bjorling, M.Div.

Scripture

Psalm 86: 1-15 The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm

86 1-7 Bend an ear, God; answer me.
    I’m one miserable wretch!
Keep me safe—haven’t I lived a good life?
    Help your servant—I’m depending on you!
You’re my God; have mercy on me.
    I count on you from morning to night.
Give your servant a happy life;
    I put myself in your hands!
You’re well-known as good and forgiving,
    bighearted to all who ask for help.
Pay attention, God, to my prayer;
    bend down and listen to my cry for help.
Every time I’m in trouble I call on you,
    confident that you’ll answer.

8-15 There’s no one quite like you among the gods, O Lord,
    and nothing to compare with your works.
All the nations you made are on their way,
    ready to give honor to you, O Lord,
Ready to put your beauty on display,
    parading your greatness,
And the great things you do—
    God, you’re the one, there’s no one but you!

Train me, God, to walk straight;
    then I’ll follow your true path.
Put me together, one heart and mind;
    then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear.
From the bottom of my heart I thank you, dear Lord;
    I’ve never kept secret what you’re up to.
You’ve always been great toward me—what love!
    You snatched me from the brink of disaster!
God, these bullies have reared their heads!
    A gang of thugs is after me—
    and they don’t care a thing about you.
But you, O God, are both tender and kind,
    not easily angered, immense in love,
    and you never, never quit.                                                                    

A Word of Hope:  Take It to Our God in Prayer

I am quite certain each of us has felt threatened by enemies in one way or another during our lives. Perhaps it is happening right now. It might not be physical pursuit, but there may be emotional battering, psychological trauma, unjust power situations, and so forth. We’ve all been there, and while in those moments life can seem unbearable.

Certainly, there are many ways to look for relief from such challenges, but one source of help we should always seek is God’s. Whether we pray on our knees or standing up, with eyes open or closed, prayer should be like an involuntary response for God’s people. Pray for yourself, and ask others to pray for you; that’s why we gather in Christian community. We are meant to support one another.

I’ve always liked Psalm 86. It’s always felt a little bit good, when I have been feeling low, to read this Psalm written by someone who clearly knew what feeling lousy was all about.

The Psalmist, David cries out to God for help and relief from his enemies. He begins with a familiar pattern found in biblical petitions for God’s intervention, followed by words praising God, before directly asking for deliverance from those who are against him, then finally giving thanks to God in advance of God even answering his prayer (so confident is he that God in his goodness will grant his request!).

For me the most significant line is verse 15: “But you, O God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit.” (Other translations: “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”) This verse is taken from Exodus 34:6, where God, speaking to Moses, reveals that “I AM” is a God who loves mercy over anger.

Based on verse 15, we know then, that when David hopes for favor from God in Psalm 86, it is not a superficial, blind hope—the kind you might have if you said, “I hope I win the lottery.” Instead, it is a hope that is derived from God’s own words and God’s very nature. God has promised to be there for God’s People because we are loved; God loves us, therefore, God has promised. We can be confident whenever we request God’s help, because God keeps God’s promises.

What we learn from this important Psalm is that when we pray and call upon God for help, we can do so with without any uncertainty about the results. We can be sure our just and compassionate God hears us and will not let us down. There is no issue too terrible or seemingly trivial, God will listen.

Prayer
Holy One, I ask your help today in overcoming my enemies and the fears in my heart. Bring me solutions that will be life-preserving, life-redeeming, and life-affirming for all who are affected. Please give me a sense of your real presence, so that I may comforted by the assurance that you have heard me. I also ask, Gracious God, that you help me to silence the noise that my problems so often create, so that I can hear your voice as you seek to guide me, as well as helping me to hear guidance you may bring to me through others. Give me peace today, and help me to remember always the joy of being your beloved child. Amen.

 

Daily Devotion Thursday, June 22, 2017

by
Charlie Rose

Scripture
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and God will establish your plans. Proverbs 16.3                                                                          

A Word of Hope

In my latest life adventure, I've been given an opportunity to reinvent myself, yet once again. My friend and business partner and I have always had the good fortune of following our bliss, or following our blessings, to be more specific. There have been many, for which I am most grateful. Sometimes, they’ve been blessings in disguise. After all, in the world of art and TV, one branch of the business may totally dry up. Yet, what some might consider misfortune can provide an opportunity to be more creative than ever. Call it a miracle, but something else always seems to present itself as the next right thing to do.

One of those times came when our world changed through a little job we were doing a few years ago. A local film company needed some dinosaur drawings for a video documentary. It was an opportunity to change a rather slow December into a busier time than usual. We did some test drawings, and one day, out of boredom with the project, my business partner took one of the dinosaurs and turned it into a dragon, adding wings and fins to make it much more exotic. This turned out to be the beginning of a little story we would write about dragons.

The story’s setting evolved from having met a young man named Lucian from Romania through the church social media. God has a way of bringing the right people together, you know. Lucian’s posts about fables and customs of his culture led to a lot of other dinosaur test sketches becoming dragons. The central plot started to come through. Our benevolent dragons were now inclusive and progressive thinkers with a drive to heal the ecology. I knew we were on to something, but just didn't know what it was or where it would lead us.

Fast forward a couple of years; the story was flushed out into a full book with over 60 variations of dragons from cultures all over the world, plus a significant number of new, original dragons, who found their way into our story. Our Romanian friend had no idea the amount he would participate with us in reinventing ourselves. We even wrote him into the book as one of the dragons’ human associates. A fire within seemed to fuel our drive, without our realizing the exact direction of the new path we were now walking.

God’s unexpected blessings continued to flow. A publisher found us, again through friends associated with this church. Now, it’s safe for me to say we have our work cut out for us. Dragons of Romania has become an Amazon best seller, and five more books are in the works. It seems rather obvious that we are participating in a greater plan. Who knew? I think we all know the answer to that!

Prayer
Spirit of radical transformation, kindle in us the fire of your love and justice. “Let us hold fast to our hope without wavering, for He who has promised is faithful…”(Hebrews 10:23)

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Worship Information

Childcare is provided at all Sunday and Wednesday services.

Sundays
9 & 11 a.m. – Sunday Worship
9 & 11 a.m. – Children’s Church
11 a.m. – Youth Groups
1 p.m. – Sunday Worship in Spanish

Wednesdays
7:15 p.m. – PULSE Service

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5910 Cedar Springs Road | Dallas, TX  75235 (map)
Local: 214-351-1901 | Toll Free: 800-501-HOPE (4673)



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