A Litany of Thanks during Lent 2019

Sunday, March 17, 2019
Dear God,
Glory to Your marvelous name!
Thank you for this glorious day among the living to magnify you in thought, word, and with good deeds!
Thank you for multiple chances.
Thank you for never giving up on us.
Thank you for opening doors that no human can shut.
Thank you for waking us up with our minds on you.
Thank you for blessing us to retain you in our thoughts.

Thank you for people of goodwill, they have existed in every time and every place.
Because of your Spirit, benevolent men and women are in every ethnic group; represent every religious tradition and every social class. They are as numerous as the sand.
Thank you, God!
Kind people make the world better, often at great personal sacrifice.
Their presence changes the culture, even if only superficially and temporarily.
Unwittingly, they inspire others to want to be better and to do good.
Once again, thank you for them!

Thank you for abolitionist, civil rights advocates, and Freedom Riders!
Many of them gave their lives and experienced significant personal loss to end slavery and institutional discrimination.
In most cases, they had everything to lose and little to gain by going against the powerful and ugly practice of institutionalized racism.

Thank you for those who work without fanfare to make wherever they are more just.
Help us all practice peace by living the Golden Rule – treat each person exactly as we want you to treat us. When we fail, forgive us and help us do better.

In the mighty name of Jesus, I pray!
Amen.

New Year’s Resolutions

1. “Stay in love with God. Do good and do no harm.” Reuben P. Job
2. Concentrate on virtuous things; they build good character, shape and color attitudes, and influence behavior.
3. Look for and graciously acknowledge the good in others.
4. Walk only the fence grounded in cement, and only to avoid the danger lurking on each side.
5. Do not befriend talebearers; they are not concerned with the common good.
6. When possible, be at peace with everyone.
7. Work hard, relish the comforts afforded, and rest often.
8. Forgive freely and always.
9. Accentuate and embrace the positive.
10. Keep faith in God.

Self-aggrandizement – The Antithesis of Godliness…

Self-aggrandizement  – The Antithesis of Godliness…
• creates discomfort, discord, and distance
• deliberately, but subtly, defames, discredits, and attempts to humiliate
• delights in having its way
• demands acknowledgment
• desires recognition and forces its presence
• disrupts peace
• insists on prominence
• plots to gain dominance
• Refuses to be dismissed or ignored
• Seeks confrontation and the spotlight!

7 -Ways to Participate Daily in God’s Life-giving, Redemptive Process

1. Practice the Golden Rule– “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12
2. Do not judge others – “Do not judge, or you will be judged. For with the same judgment you pronounce, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” Matthew 7: 1-2
3. Exercise love rigorously – “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” John 13: 34 – 35
4. Look for and focus on the positive – “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8
5. Shun evil – “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.” 1 Peter 3: 9
6. Be kind – “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
7. Let people know God cares about them – “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3: 15-17