God has place this wonderful creation in our hands. As U2 sings, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away." We have this one life to live on this beautiful planet so enjoy these reflections on God, faith, life, and music. "After the flood all of the colors came out. It's a beautiful day."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Call to Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark a Prayer Journey, Week 10

Week 10

We have reached the final week of our journey with Mark. This week we see the person we love, the person we follow, put on trial and condemned to death. He challenged the powers that be and they fought back. The religious authorities, plotting with the local political authorities will take this Holy One of God and condemn him. They will rename his ministry as blasphemy and will use the empire to publically execute him. And we are there with him during his betrayal by companions and his desertion by friends. We are there with him through the end when everyone has run away afraid. This week invited you to make a choice. To choose Jesus, to choose the Beloved, the Holy One of God. Have you decided to follow Jesus? Have you decided to write the next chapter in the Gospel sharing your journey along the way?





Naked and Afraid, Day 64

Your Darkness, Day 65

Discipleship in the Pain, Day 66

Discipleship at the End, Day 67

What Will You Choose? Day 68

God Is Still Speaking, Day 69

Reflection  Day
       Think back over your week of prayer and study. Reread your favorite scripture.  Review any notes of insights you had from the week. Then answer:

1. What was the most important things I've learned, discovered, remembered, this week?

2. Which of the words sticks out to you this week - Pain, Execution, Darkness, Choice, Galillee, God is Still Speaking?

3. Where will you go next? 

Prayer:
Jesus, the Holy One of Israel, we have been on this journey with you and now here at the end and the beginning we pray that you will show us the way forwarded. We ask you to guide us as we travel down paths that lead us through the darkness on this earth where people are executed for being the wrong color, the wrong ethnicity we know you are and will always be with them for you are one of them. Be with us as we seek your light and truth to guide us as we turn back toward God and follow you. Amen.


More Light by Christopher Grundy

Here is a list of Books about the Gospel of Mark that have influenced my thought.

A READING LIST FOR THE GOSPEL OF MARK

  • Hooker, Morna D. The Gospel according to Saint Mark. Black’s New Testament Commentaries. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1991.
  • Horsley, Richard A. Hearing the Whole Story: The Politics of Plot in Mark’s Gospel (Louisville, KY: Westminster/ John Knox, 2001).
  • Juel, Donald H. The Gospel of Mark. Interpreting Biblical Texts. Nashville: Abingdon, 1999
  • Minor, Mitzi L. The Power of Mark’s Story. St. Louis: Chalice, 2001
  • Minor, Mitzi. The Spirituality of Mark: Responding to God (Aug 1, 1996)
  • Myers, Ched, Karen Lattea, et al, Say to This Mountain: Mark's Story of Dsicipleship, Orbis Books, 1996.
  • Myers, Ched. Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus. 20th Anniversary Edition. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2008.
  • Rhoads, David M. Mark as Story: An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel (revised edition) with Joanna Dewey and Donald Michie. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1999.
  • Rhoads, David M. Reading Mark, Engaging the Gospel. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2004.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Call to Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark a Prayer Journey, Weeks 7-9

In these next three  weeks we learn about how hard it is to follow Jesus. We start of with good intentions but then we are filled with doubt, experience rejection, get too caught up in our own ego and we forget why we started walking the way in the first place. We were invited to turn around, to turn back to God and believe. But in these next week we struggle with this we ask questions about divorce, marriage, power, money, taxes.  In this period of doubt and questions, in this time of neglect and rejection, take time to remind yourself about the Jesus you fell in love with, the Jesus who changed your heart and mind and invited you to join him on the Way. 

Week 7

Help My Unbelief, Day 43

Who is the Greatest? Day 44

Stumbling Blocks, Day 45

Divorce and Discipleship, Day 46

Welcome the Child, Day 47

Money and Discipleship, Day 48

To Serve, Day 49

Reflection  Day
       Think back over your week of prayer and study. Reread your favorite scripture.  Review any notes of insights you had from the week. Then answer:

1. What was the most important things I've learned, discovered, remembered, this week?

2.  Which of the words sticks out to you this week - smallness, greatness, servant, welcome, unbelief?

Prayer: 
Compassionate Healer, the weariness of the journey is beginning to set in on me.  I started following you excited and passionate about serving you, but then I faltered. I get ripped up by my own needs and wants. In those moments where I fail, where I fall down, where I miss the mark, help my unbelief?  Pick me up and show me the way forward. They way toward you and God.  Amen.

Week 8

Kingdom Sight, Day 50

Parades and the Kingdom, Day 51

Prayer and Money, Day 52

How to Answer a Question? Day 53

Who Owns the Earth? Day 54

Taxes and Discipleship, Day 55

Marriage and Discipleship, Day 56
Reflection  Day
       Think back over your week of prayer and study. Reread your favorite scripture.  Review any notes of insights you had from the week. Then answer:

1. What was the most important things I've learned, discovered, remembered, this week?

2.  Which of the words sticks out to you this week - Money, Taxes, Marriage, Ownership, Questions and Celebration?

Prayer:
Blessed are you who come in the name of the Lord. Jesus after worship on Sunday I was so excited, I was singing your praises and ready to dance in the streets. But then on Monday I am at my job and the bills are piling up and I wonder how I will pay for everything. God how do I live in this world where the demands of money, taxes, ownership seem to pull me away from your presence?  Help me negotiate being in the world and yet following you. You know where I struggle and fail sometimes, help me to remember that you have shown us a different way to live and be. Amen.

Week 9








Reflection  Day
       Think back over your week of prayer and study. Reread your favorite scripture.  Review any notes of insights you had from the week. Then answer:

1. What was the most important things I've learned, discovered, remembered, this week?

2.  Which of the words sticks out to you this week - Betrayal, Rejection, Criminal Justice, Take and Eat, Love?

Prayer:
Holy One, you spent time this week showing me how important love is. I get lost sometimes and forget you while leading my life even though you asked me to love you with everything that I am and can be. Remind me that you love me, that you created me to be your beloved child. When I remember your love show me how I can love my neighbors and you. Amen.

I have Decided to Follow Jesus




Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Call to Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark a Prayer Journey, Weeks 4-6

Week 4

Sowing the Kingdom, Day 22

The Beauty of Smallness, Day 23

Why Are You Afraid? Day 24

What Has the Lord Done for You? Day 25

Spirit Interruptions, Day 26

Do Not Fear, Day 27

Questions, Day 28

Reflection  Day
       Think back over your week of prayer and study. Reread your favorite scripture.  Review any notes of insights you had from the week. Then answer:

1. What was the most important things I've learned, discovered, remembered, this week?

2.  Which of the words sticks out to you this week - Good Seed, Parable, Fear, Faith, Spirit Interruptions, God's Presence?

Prayer:
O God we have are yearning to believe that you sow your word extravagantly hoping that everyone near and far will come to experience the Kingdom of God.  But sometimes God we are afraid.  Our doubts and our worries, our struggles and fears keep us from embracing your word.  God make us the Good soil asking our questions, expresses our doubts and still you let the word take root and grow in our hearts and our lives.  Amen.  


Week 5








Reflection  Day
       Think back over your week of prayer and study. Reread your favorite scripture.  Review any notes of insights you had from the week. Then answer:

1. What was the most important things I've learned, discovered, remembered, this week?

2.  Which of the words sticks out to you this week - Doubts, Hard Hearts, Thorny Ground, Compassion?

Prayer:
God, its been a rough week.  We have stumbled in our journey.  We thought once we believed, once we heard your word, it would be easy, following you would be easy, but it is harder than we expected.  God use my doubts, my worries to create in my heart space for those I want to keep out.  Create in my heart room to push through my doubts and rejection of you.  Amen.

Week 6

Be Opened, Day 36

Feed Them, Day 37

They Just Don't Get It, Day 38

Opening Our Eyes, Day 39

Who Is Jesus? Day 40

Listen to Jesus, Day 41

Suffering and Following, Day 42

Reflection  Day
       Think back over your week of prayer and study. Reread your favorite scripture.  Review any notes of insights you had from the week. Then answer:

1. What was the most important things I've learned, discovered, remembered, this week?

2.  Which of the words sticks out to you this week - hearing, seeing, suffering, understanding, listening?

Prayer:
Compassionate One, I am not perfect, I often fall down, I fail spectacularly even when I want to follow you faithfully. Please open my ears that I may hear you. Open my eyes that I might see the world that you see.  Open our mouths that we may speak about your work in the world and your presence in my life.  Open me up God to hear and see your truth.  Amen.  

Were I the Perfect Child of God

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Call to Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark a Prayer Journey, Week 1-3

       This is the beginning of your own journey with God through the gospel of Mark. Mark's gospel was written as an invitation to discipleship. It was mean to be an altar call at the end of hearing the whole story you were being invited to take up your cross and follow Jesus. You are invited to begin writing your own part of the story on your relationship with God and work to bring the God's Kingdom one step closer. 
       Each day for 10 weeks you are invited to spend time in prayer and study of the Gospel of Mark. I invite you to to gather a group of fellow travelers to help you deepen this experience by giving you someone to speak with about what you have learned on this journey. So set aside time each day to read through the passage and reflection and write down the questions and challenges you have experienced.  This journey through Mark is meant to help you develop a relationship with God and help move you into a life of service, of ministry, of discipleship.  


Week 1


The Beginning, Day 1

Preparing the Way, Day 2

Beloved, Day 3

Repent and Believe, Day 4

Follow Me, Day 5

Evil in the Church, Day 6

Serving Others, Day 7

Reflection  Day
       Think back over your week of prayer and study. Reread your favorite scripture.  Review any notes of insights you had from the week. Then answer:

1. What was the most important things I've learned, discovered, remembered, this week?

2.  Which of the words sticks out to you this week - follow, repent, good news, beloved?

Prayer:
Jesus, I have heard you calling this week inviting me to repent and believe the Good News. Help me to be open to the movement of your spirit in and through me this week.  Amen.

Week 2








Reflection  Day
       Think back over your week of prayer and study. Reread your favorite scripture.  Review any notes of insights you had from the week. Then answer:

1. What was the most important things I've learned, discovered, remembered, this week?

2.  Which of the words sticks out to you this week - Anxiety, Choosing, eating, fasting, Sabbath?

Prayer:
God this week we have thought a lot about what it means to choose you, to choose church, and to be chosen by you.  Help us hear God that God does choose us.  Help us to release our anxiety and accept your forgiveness so that we can be open to those neighbors we are wating to eat with.  Help us find that moment to rest in you and be restored.  Amen.



Week 3

Save a Life, Day 15

The Good News Can't Be Stopped, Day 16

The Revolutionary Moment, Day 17

When They Call you Crazy, Day 18

Knowing God's Will, Day 19

Listen, Day 20

Hearing and Understanding, Day 21

Reflection  Day
       Think back over your week of prayer and study. Reread your favorite scripture.  Review any notes of insights you had from the week. Then answer:

1. What was the most important things I've learned, discovered, remembered, this week?

2.  Which of the words sticks out to you this week - Will, Revolution, Good News, Saving A Life, Listen, Understand, Hear?

Prayer:
God this week have been invited to seek your will, to listen for your voice and presence.  We have stopped and tried to understand and hear clearly.  Please continue to open our ears to listen and our minds to understand.  Amen.


Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore