Sunday, April 22, 2018

Richard Rohr Meditation: "Feminine and Masculine Principles" The Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States for Sunday, 22 April 2018

Richard Rohr Meditation: "Feminine and Masculine Principles" The Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States for Sunday, 22 April 2018
Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
From the Center for Action and Contemplation
Week Seventeen: "Gender and Sexuality"
"Feminine and Masculine Principles"
Sunday, April 22, 2018
God is beyond gender, of course. Yet Genesis says that both male and female are included in “the image of God” (1:27). Throughout the Bible, both feminine and masculine images are used to illustrate the divine, although we must admit that the masculine ones dominate. [1] It is important that all people are able to recognize themselves in the picture we paint of God. When we over-emphasize masculine traits, many women, transgender, and intersex persons feel less-than, that their voices and bodies don’t matter as much as men’s, that God’s image is not in them.
As we saw last week, gender roles are fluid and somewhat arbitrary. But we can learn from the archetypal patterns called “feminine” and “masculine.” Let’s explore the unique gifts of feminine and masculine soul principles (regardless of one’s gender identification), recognizing how these characteristics are evident in the divine. I do know that I am entering a mine field here, and many do not like calling things masculine or feminine. Trust me, this is only a starting point.
In most mythologies and archetypal psychology, the feminine principle has greater interest in the inner, the soul, the formless, intuition, connection, harmony, beauty, and relationality in general; it is more identified with lunar subtlety than the over-differentiating light of the masculine sun god or the literalism and linearity of the left brain. Not all women fully identify with the feminine principle, and some men do, but these descriptors give you a sense of where I am coming from—and moving beyond, too. Many of the Prophets, the Wisdom literature, and of course Jesus himself illustrate these feminine qualities. Jesus is by no definition a classic patriarch. The Divine is often called “Sophia” or Holy Wisdom in the Hebrew Scriptures; and God is variously described as a compassionate mother, a hen protecting her chicks, and even “The Breasted One” or El Shaddai (Genesis 17:1, Exodus 6:2).
The masculine principle, as I experience it and have observed it, is more interested in the outer, the mental, exterior form, idea, the movement or action of things, the naming and differentiation of things one from another; solar clarity of individual things, as it were, as opposed to the relationship of one thing to another. It prefers the ascent of mind to the descent of soul. It often moves toward “agency” and action before relationship or intimacy. Just watch little boys play, and watch how men love to fix, build, and also demolish. It is often a more “focused consciousness” than the “diffuse awareness” of the feminine principle, as Carl Jung noted. We see examples of these characteristics in Moses, the Hebrew judges, the practical, eager disciples, and in many images of God as lion and king.
The dance of gender seems to be a foundational opposition in the human mind, which is why many languages (but not English) call even inanimate objects masculine or feminine. Our deep preoccupation with gender also helps explain why dualistic gender taboos are often the very last and hardest to be resolved, even among people who consider themselves quite open-minded, educated, and progressive. Gender seems to be a very deep archetype in the psyche. As long as we read reality in a non-contemplative, dualistic way, any gender identity that doesn’t follow our binary “norm” will invariably be challenging and usually resisted. Binary divisions seem to give the psyche both simplicity and some kind of comfort.
Gateway to Presence: If you want to go deeper with today’s meditation, take note of what word or phrase stands out to you. Come back to that word or phrase throughout the day, being present to its impact and invitation.
[1] See Richard Rohr and Marcus Borg,
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi(Franciscan Media: 2014), 120-122.
Image credit: Study of a Boy Turning His Head (detail), Jacopo Pontormo, c. 1529, Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.
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"Image and Likeness"
2018 Daily Meditations Theme
God said, “Let us make humans in our image, according to our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26)
Richard Rohr explores places in which God’s presence has often been ignored or assumed absent. God’s “image” is our inherent identity in and union with God, an eternal essence that cannot be destroyed. “Likeness” is our personal embodiment of that inner divine image that we have the freedom to develop—or not—throughout our lives. Though we differ in likeness, the imago Dei persists and shines through all created things.
Over the course of this year’s Daily Meditations, discover opportunities to incarnate love in your unique context by unveiling the Image and Likeness of God in all that you see and do.
Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time! Click the video to learn more about the theme and to find meditations you may have missed.
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Inspiration for this week's banner image: If Jesus shows us what the completed human being looks like in male form, Mary Magdalene models it for us in its female version; together they become the Christosophia, the androgynous archetype of human wholeness. (Cynthia Bourgeault)
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The Reflecting God – Embrace Holy Living - The Global Church of the Nazarene's Foundry Publishing House in Kansas City, Missouri, United States - "Christ Is the Ultimate Mediator" by Grant Christy - Hebrews 9:1-15

The Reflecting God – Embrace Holy Living - The Global Church of the Nazarene's Foundry Publishing House in Kansas City, Missouri, United States - "Christ Is the Ultimate Mediator" by Grant Christy - Hebrews 9:1-15
"Christ Is the Ultimate Mediator" by Grant Christy - Hebrews 9:
 Now the first covenant had both regulations for worship and a Holy Place here on earth. 2 A tent was set up, the outer one, which was called the Holy Place; in it were the menorah, the table and the Bread of the Presence. 3 Behind the second parokhet was a tent called the Holiest Place, 4 which had the golden altar for burning incense and the Ark of the Covenant, entirely covered with gold. In the Ark were the gold jar containing the man, Aharon’s rod that sprouted and the stone Tablets of the Covenant; 5 and above it were the k’ruvim representing the Sh’khinah, casting their shadow on the lid of the Ark — but now is not the time to discuss these things in detail.

6 With things so arranged, the cohanim go into the outer tent all the time to discharge their duties; 7 but only the cohen hagadol enters the inner one; and he goes in only once a year, and he must always bring blood, which he offers both for himself and for the sins committed in ignorance by the people. 8 By this arrangement, the Ruach HaKodesh showed that so long as the first Tent had standing, the way into the Holiest Place was still closed. 9 This symbolizes the present age and indicates that the conscience of the person performing the service cannot be brought to the goal by the gifts and sacrifices he offers. 10 For they involve only food and drink and various ceremonial washings — regulations concerning the outward life, imposed until the time for God to reshape the whole structure.

11 But when the Messiah appeared as cohen gadol of the good things that are happening already, then, through the greater and more perfect Tent which is not man-made (that is, it is not of this created world), 12 he entered the Holiest Place once and for all.

And he entered not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of his own blood, thus setting people free forever. 13 For if sprinkling ceremonially unclean persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer restores their outward purity; 14 then how much more the blood of the Messiah, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself to God as a sacrifice without blemish, will purify our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God!

15 It is because of this death that he is mediator of a new covenant [or will].[Hebrews 9:15 Jeremiah 31:30(31)] Because a death has occurred which sets people free from the transgressions committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.(Complete Jewish Bible(.
Most often mediators stand in the middle of conflict. This is not in order to keep the conflicting sides apart, but to reconcile and bring them together. Mediators are skilled at finding solutions that remove the animosity that separates the two sides.
No greater separation exists in this world than between the holy Creator and His fallen creation. While the sacrificial system established by God for Israel was able to keep the Creator and His creation in covenant relationship, the work of the high priest could do nothing to permanently remove the animosity that separated Creator and creation. The work of the High Priest, year after year, kept God and humanity at the negotiating table. But the high priest was helpless to find a solution that would ultimately reconcile and bring the two sides together.
“But when Christ came as a high priest,” everything changed. Christ did not just come with a solution to the conflict that existed between God and humanity. Christ was the solution, standing between God and humanity, removing the animosity that separated us, in order to reconcile and bring Creator and creation together, once and for all time.
Hymn for Today: "Praise Him! Praise Him! by Fanny J. Crosby.
1. O praise ye the Lord! 
Praise him in the height; 
rejoice in his word, 
ye angels of light; 
ye heavens, adore him 
by whom ye were made, 
and worship before him, 
in brightness arrayed.
2. O praise ye the Lord! 
Praise him upon earth, 
in tuneful accord, 
ye sons of new birth; 
praise him who hath brought you 
his grace from above, 
praise him who hath taught you 
to sing of his love.
3. O praise ye the Lord! 
All things that give sound; 
each jubilant chord 
reecho around; 
loud organs, his glory 
forth tell in deep tone, 
and sweet harp, the story 
of what he hath done.
4. O praise ye the Lord! 
Thanksgiving and song 
to him be outpoured 
all ages along! 
For love in creation, 
for heaven restored, 
for grace of salvation, 
O praise ye the Lord!
Thought for Today: Trust in Adonai, and do good;
settle in the land, and feed on faithfulness. (Psalm 37:3).
Please pray: for those in Asia-Pacifc showint the JESUS film and for those doing follow-up work.
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The Upper Room Daily Reflections: daily words of wisdom and faith in Nashville, Tennessee, United States "Trust That God Is at Work in Your Family" Sunday, 22 April 2018

Link to Upper Room Daily ReflectionsThe Upper Room Daily Reflections: daily words of wisdom and faith in Nashville, Tennessee, United States "Trust That God Is at Work in Your Family" Sunday, 22 April 2018
Today’s Reflection:

OUR GOD is a God of relationship, who invites us into God’s family. When our families get along, we see a beautiful reflection of God’s love – family members who serve, listen, communicate clearly, and set healthy boundaries; who bear with one another and forgive as God forgives them (Colossians 3:13). When family members don’t get along, we may try to be a peacemaker, but sometimes the fights in our families are bigger than we can fix on our own.
Even with God’s help, we can’t make our relatives get along. We can be responsible only for our own thoughts, words, and behavior. We can forgive and let people know when they have hurt us. We can try not to hurt our family and ask for forgiveness when we do. But we can’t fix the problems between our family members. We can’t save them from addiction abuse, or other issues that often trigger arguments. Watching family members fight can be painful, but we believe in a God of never-ending love who invites us into a family of love.
God never gives up on us or on our families. God fights for us even while our family members are fighting. That is good news! (Katie Mason Daley [Saint Paul, Minnesota], (devozine, March/April 2018)
From page 7 of devozine, the devotional lifestyle magazine for teens, March/April 2018. Copyright © 2018 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Learn more about or purchase this book.
Today’s Question:
 Where do you see your faith at work within your family and relationships?
Today’s Scripture: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11, NRSV)
This Week: pray for your neighbor.
Did You Know?
Help the middle schoolers in your church experience God’s love, empower your high schoolers in leadership, and engage every generation in youth ministry. Learn more at
This week we remember: Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (April 17).
Sor Juana Ines de la CruzSor Juana Ines de la Cruz
April 17

Juana Inés Ramírez was born in Mexico in 1648. Raised by her maternal grandparents, Juana learned to read at age three and was soon known as a prodigy. As a teenager, she went to the Mexico City court as a maid-in-waiting; Juana continued her life of scholarship and wrote poetry and sonnets.
In 1668 she entered the Convent of the Order of St. Jerome where she spent the rest of her life as Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. She was a teacher, but also continued to engage in her own intellectual scholarship, studying Latin, theology, natural science. She soon collected enough books to have the largest library in North America. Her cell functioned as a salon for Mexican intellectuals. She wrote poetry and plays, but when she wrote a theological criticism of a priest's work, the current Archbishop launched an attack on her. Sor Juana countered, writing of wome's right to theological education. The Archbishop demanded she renounce her life of scholarship. She was forced to sell her 4,000 books and other possessions.
Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz died on April 17, 1695 at the age of forty-six during a plague epidemic.
If Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz had taken the Spiritual Types Test, she probably would have been a Sage. Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz is remembered on April 17.
The Lectionary Readings for Sunday, 22 April 2018
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Acts 4:5-12
Psalm 23
1 John 3:16-24
John 10:11-18

Acts 4:5 The next day, the people’s rulers, elders and Torah-teachers assembled in Yerushalayim, 6 along with ‘Anan the cohen hagadol, Kayafa, Yochanan, Alexander and the other men from the family of the cohen hagadol. 7 They had the emissaries stand before them and asked, “By what power or in what name did you do this?”
8 Then Kefa, filled with the Ruach HaKodesh, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being examined today about a good deed done for a disabled person, if you want to know how he was restored to health, 10 then let it be known to you and to all the people of Isra’el that it is in the name of the Messiah, Yeshua from Natzeret, whom you had executed on a stake as a criminal but whom God has raised from the dead, that this man stands before you perfectly healed.
11 “This Yeshua is the stone rejected by you builders which has become the cornerstone.[Acts 4:11 Psalm 118:22] 12 There is salvation in no one else! For there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by whom we must be saved!”
Psalm 23:1 (0) A psalm of David:
(1) Adonai is my shepherd; I lack nothing.
2 He has me lie down in grassy pastures,
he leads me by quiet water,
3 he restores my inner person.
He guides me in right paths
for the sake of his own name.
4 Even if I pass through death-dark ravines,
I will fear no disaster; for you are with me;
your rod and staff reassure me.
5 You prepare a table for me,
even as my enemies watch;
you anoint my head with oil
from an overflowing cup.
6 Goodness and grace will pursue me
every day of my life;
and I will live in the house of Adonai
for years and years to come.
1 John 3:16 The way that we have come to know love is through his having laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers! 17 If someone has worldly possessions and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how can he be loving God? 18 Children, let us love not with words and talk, but with actions and in reality!
19 Here is how we will know that we are from the truth and will set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 if our hearts know something against us, God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts know nothing against us, we have confidence in approaching God; 22 then, whatever we ask for, we receive from him; because we are obeying his commands and doing the things that please him.
23 This is his command: that we are to trust in the person and power of his Son Yeshua the Messiah and to keep loving one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands remain united with him and he with them.
Here is how we know that he remains united with us: by the Spirit whom he gave us.
John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand, since he isn’t a shepherd and the sheep aren’t his own, sees the wolf coming, abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf drags them off and scatters them. 13 The hired worker behaves like this because that’s all he is, a hired worker; so it doesn’t matter to him what happens to the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; I know my own, and my own know me — 15 just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father — and I lay down my life on behalf of the sheep. 16 Also I have other sheep which are not from this pen; I need to bring them, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
17 “This is why the Father loves me: because I lay down my life — in order to take it up again! 18 No one takes it away from me; on the contrary, I lay it down of my own free will. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it up again. This is what my Father commanded me to do.”(Complete Jewish Bible).
Acts 4:5-12
Verse 5
[5] And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,
Rulers, and elders, and scribes — Who were eminent for power, for wisdom, and for learning.
Verse 6
[6] And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
Annas, who had been the high priest, and Caiaphas, who was so then.
Verse 7
[7] And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
By what name — By what authority, have ye done this? - They seem to speak ambiguously on purpose.
Verse 8
[8] Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost — That moment. God moves his instruments, not when they please, but just when he sees it needful.
Ye rulers — He gives them the honour due to their office.
Verse 10
[10] Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Be it known to you all — Probably the herald of God proclaimed this with a loud voice.
Whom God hath raised from the dead — They knew in their own consciences that it was so. And though they had hired the soldiers to tell a most senseless and incredible tale to the contrary, Matthew 28:12,15, yet it is observable, they did not, so far as we can learn, dare to plead it before Peter and John.
Verse 11
[11] This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Psalms 118:22.
Verse 12
[12] Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
There is no other name whereby we must he saved — The apostle uses a beautiful gradation, from the temporal deliverance which had been wrought for the poor cripple, by the power of Christ, to that of a much nobler and more important kind, which is wrought by Christ for impotent and sinful souls. He therein follows the admirable custom of his great Lord and Master, who continually took occasion from earthly to speak of spiritual things.
Psalm 23
Verse 2
[2] He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Lie down — To repose myself at noon, as the manner was in those hot countries.
Green — Where there is both delight and plenty of provisions.
Verse 3
[3] He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Restoreth — Heb. He bringeth it back; from its errors and wandering.
For — Not for any worth in me, but for the glory of his justice, and faithfulness, and goodness.
Verse 4
[4] Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thy rod and thy staff — Two words denoting the same thing, and both designing God's pastoral care over him.
Verse 5
[5] Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
A table — Thou furnishest me with plenty of provisions and comforts.
Oil — With aromatic ointments, which were then used at great feasts; thy comforts delight my soul.
Runneth over — Thou hast given me a plentiful portions, signified by the cup, given to the guests by the master of the feast.
1 John 3:16-24
Verse 16
[16] Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
The word God is not in the original. It was omitted by the apostle just as the particular name is omitted by Mary, when she says to the gardener, "Sir, if thou hast borne him hence;" and by the church, when she says, "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth," Song of Solomon 1:2; in both which places there is a language, a very emphatical language, even in silence. It declares how totally the thoughts were possessed by the blessed and glorious subject. It expresses also the superlative dignity and amiableness of the person meant, as though He, and He alone, was, or deserved to be, both known and admired by all.
Because he laid down his life — Not merely for sinners, but for us in particular. From this truth believed, from this blessing enjoyed, the love of our brethren takes its rise, which may very justly be admitted as an evidence that our faith is no delusion.
Verse 17
[17] But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
But whoso hath this world's good — Worldly substance, far less valuable than life.
And seeth his brother have need — The very sight of want knocks at the door of the spectator's heart.
And shutteth up — Whether asked or not.
His bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him — Certainly not at all, however he may talk, 1 John 3:18, of loving God.
Verse 18
[18] My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Not in word — Only.
But in deed — In action: not in tongue by empty professions, but in truth.
Verse 19
[19] And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
And hereby we know — We have a farther proof by this real, operative love.
That we are of the truth — That we have true faith, that we are true children of God.
And shall assure our hearts before him — Shall enjoy the assurance of his favour, and the "testimony of a good conscience toward God." The heart, in St. John's language, is the conscience. The word conscience is not found in his writings.
Verse 20
[20] For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
For if we have not this testimony, if in anything our heart, our own conscience, condemn us, much more does God, who is greater than our heart - An infinitely holier and a more impartial Judge.
And knoweth all things — So that there is no hope of hiding it from him.
Verse 21
[21] Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
If our heart condemn us not — If our conscience, duly enlightened by the word and Spirit of God, and comparing all our thoughts, words, and works with that word, pronounce that they agree therewith.
Then have we confidence toward God — Not only our consciousness of his favour continues and increases, but we have a full persuasion, that whatsoever we ask we shall receive of him.
Verse 23
[23] And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
And this is his commandment — All his commandments in one word.
That we should believe and love — in the manner and degree which he hath taught. This is the greatest and most important command that ever issued from the throne of glory. If this be neglected, no other can be kept: if this be observed, all others are easy.
Verse 24
[24] And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
And he that keepeth his commandments — That thus believes and loves.
Abideth in him, and God in him: and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us — Which witnesses with our spirits that we are his children, and brings forth his fruits of peace, love, holiness. This is the transition to the treating of the Holy Spirit which immediately follows.
John 10:11-18
Verse 12
[12] But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
But the hireling — It is not the bare receiving hire, which denominates a man a hireling: (for the labourer is worthy of his hire; Jesus Christ himself being the Judge: yea, and the Lord hath ordained, that they who preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel:) but the loving hire: the loving the hire more than the work: the working for the sake of the hire. He is a hireling, who would not work, were it not for the hire; to whom this is the great (if not only) motive of working. O God! If a man who works only for hire is such a wretch, a mere thief and a robber, what is he who continually takes the hire, and yet does not work at all? The wolf - signifies any enemy who, by force or fraud, attacks the Christian's faith, liberty, or life.
So the wolf seizeth and scattereth the flock — He seizeth some, and scattereth the rest; the two ways of hurting the flock of Christ.
Verse 13
[13] The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
The hireling fleeth because he is a hireling — Because he loves the hire, not the sheep.
Verse 14
[14] I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
I know my sheep — With a tender regard and special care: and am known of mine - With a holy confidence and affection.
Verse 15
[15] As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father — With such a knowledge as implies an inexpressible union: and I lay down my life - Speaking of the present time. For his whole life was only a going unto death.
Verse 16
[16] And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
I have also other sheep — Which he foreknew; which are not of this fold - Not of the Jewish Church or nation, but Gentiles.
I must bring them likewise — Into my Church, the general assembly of those whose names are written in heaven.
And there shall be one flock — (Not one fold, a plain false print) no corrupt or divided flocks remaining.
And one shepherd — Who laid down his life for the sheep, and will leave no hireling among them. The unity both of the flock and the shepherd shall he completed in its season. The shepherd shall bring all into one flock: and the whole flock shall hear the one shepherd.
Verse 17
[17] Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
I lay down my life that I may take it again — I cheerfully die to expiate the sins of men, to the end I may rise again for their justification.
Verse 18
[18] No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
I lay it down of myself — By my own free act and deed.
I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again — I have an original power and right of myself, both to lay it down as a ransom, and to take it again, after full satisfaction is made, for the sins of the whole world.
This commission have I received of my Father — Which I readily execute. He chiefly spoke of the Father, before his suffering: of his own glory, after it. Our Lord's receiving this commission as mediator is not to be considered as the ground of his power to lay down and resume his life. For this he had in him self, as having an original right to dispose thereof, antecedent to the Father's commission. But this commission was the reason why he thus used his power in laying down his life. He did it in obedience to his Father.
(John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes)
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The Daily Devotional for Sunday, 22 April 2018 from The First United Methodist Church 2111 Camino del Rio South in San Diego, California, 92108 United States (619) 297-4366 from Monday, 16 April 2018 through Sunday, 22 April 2018 Sermon Theme: "Deep & Wide" Text to read: Romans 6:1-14

The Daily Devotional for Sunday, 22 April 2018 from The First United Methodist Church 2111 Camino del Rio South in San Diego, California, 92108 United States (619) 297-4366 from Monday, 16 April 2018 through Sunday, 22 April 2018 Sermon Theme: "Deep & Wide" Text to read: Romans 6:1-14
Romans 6:1 So then, are we to say, “Let’s keep on sinning, so that there can be more grace”? 2 Heaven forbid! How can we, who have died to sin, still live in it? 3 Don’t you know that those of us who have been immersed into the Messiah Yeshua have been immersed into his death? 4 Through immersion into his death we were buried with him; so that just as, through the glory of the Father, the Messiah was raised from the dead, likewise we too might live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was put to death on the execution-stake with him, so that the entire body of our sinful propensities might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For someone who has died has been cleared from sin. 8 Now since we died with the Messiah, we trust that we will also live with him. 9 We know that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, never to die again; death has no authority over him. 10 For his death was a unique event that need not be repeated; but his life, he keeps on living for God. 11 In the same way, consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God, by your union with the Messiah Yeshua.
12 Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal bodies, so that it makes you obey its desires; 13 and do not offer any part of yourselves to sin as an instrument for wickedness. On the contrary, offer yourselves to God as people alive from the dead, and your various parts to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will not have authority over you; because you are not under legalism but under grace.(Complete Jewish Bible).
Romans 6:1-14
Verse 1
[1] What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
The apostle here sets himself more fully to vindicate his doctrine from the consequence above suggested, Romans 3:7,8. He had then only in strong terms denied and renounced it: here he removes the very foundation thereof.
Verse 2
[2] God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Dead to sin — Freed both from the guilt and from the power of it.
Verse 3
[3] Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
As many as have been baptized into Jesus Christ have been baptized into his death — In baptism we, through faith, are ingrafted into Christ; and we draw new spiritual life from this new root, through his Spirit, who fashions us like unto him, and particularly with regard to his death and resurrection.
Verse 4
[4] Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
We are buried with him — Alluding to the ancient manner of baptizing by immersion.
That as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory — Glorious power. Of the Father, so we also, by the same power, should rise again; and as he lives a new life in heaven, so we should walk in newness of life. This, says the apostle, our very baptism represents to us.
Verse 5
[5] For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
For — Surely these two must go together; so that if we are indeed made conformable to his death, we shall also know the power of his resurrection.
Verse 6
[6] Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Our old man — Coeval with our being, and as old as the fall; our evil nature; a strong and beautiful expression for that entire depravity and corruption which by nature spreads itself over the whole man, leaving no part uninfected. This in a believer is crucified with Christ, mortified, gradually killed, by virtue of our union with him.
That the body of sin — All evil tempers, words, and actions, which are the "members" of the "old man," Colossians 3:5, might be destroyed.
Verse 7
[7] For he that is dead is freed from sin.
For he that is dead — With Christ. Is freed from the guilt of past, and from the power of present, sin, as dead men from the commands of their former masters.
Verse 8
[8] Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
Dead with Christ — Conformed to his death, by dying to sin.
Verse 10
[10] For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
He died to sin — To atone for and abolish it.
He liveth unto God — A glorious eternal life, such as we shall live also.
Verse 12
[12] Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Let not sin reign even in your mortal body — It must be subject to death, but it need not be subject to sin.
Verse 13
[13] Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Neither present your members to sin — To corrupt nature, a mere tyrant.
But to God — Your lawful King.
Verse 14
[14] For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Sin shall not have dominion over you — It has neither right nor power.
For ye are not under the law — A dispensation of terror and bondage, which only shows sin, without enabling you to conquer it.
But under grace — Under the merciful dispensation of the gospel, which brings complete victory over it to every one who is under the powerful influences of the Spirit of Christ.
(John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes).
Daily Devotional
Sunday, April 22, 2018
Sermon Theme: "Deep & Wide"
Text to read: Romans 6:1-14

  • Pray for those caught in desperate cycles of guilt and shame


The God Pause Daily Devotional for Sunday, 22 April 2018 The Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States "Guide Me Ever, Great Redeemer," ELW 618

The God Pause Daily Devotional for Sunday, 22 April 2018 The Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States "Guide Me Ever, Great Redeemer," ELW 618
Guide me ever, great Redeemer,
pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but you are mighty;
hold me with your pow'rful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me now and evermore,
feed me now and evermore.
2. Open now the crystal fountain
where the healing waters flow;
let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through.
Strong deliv'rer, strong deliv'rer,
shield me with your mighty arm,
shield me with your mighty arm.
3. When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside;
death of death and hell's destruction,
land me safe on Canaan's side.
Songs and praises, songs and praises,
I will raise forevermore,
I will raise forevermore.
Fear plays a strong role in our lives and in our world. However, this experience is nothing new. The scriptures are full of the stories of God's people choosing to act out of fear instead of acting out of trust in God's promises. As the words of this hymn remind us, our faith often calls us to go into places that are unfamiliar and unknown, trusting that the Holy Spirit will guide us--even through places that cause us to feel uncomfortable and afraid. Even though they can be harrowing, journeys into new territory, whether literal or metaphorical, also give us opportunities to grow in our relationship with God. We sing, asking for our fears to be put aside, so that songs of praise might give us the strength to take risks and boldly follow where God is leading us, trusting that we will land safely in the promises of God's love.
Guiding God, we pray for ourselves and all those who struggle with feelings of loneliness and fear. Help us to grow beyond our fears so that we might live lives of service, rooted in your saving promises. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Sarah Sumner-Eisenbraun, '07
Pastor, St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, San Diego, Calif.
The Luther Seminary

Saturday, April 21, 2018

"True Shepherd Victories for the Kingdom!" True Shepherd Ministries In Carlsbad, California, United States for Saturday, 21 April 2018

"True Shepherd Victories for the Kingdom!" True Shepherd Ministries In Carlsbad, California, United States for Saturday, 21 April 2018 
Incredible Progress in NW Haiti.
The mission in north west Haiti has been a huge success with our sheep program extending now to eight churches with over one hundred sheep gifted to those in most need across the district. Twelve churches have had our mobile clinic come visit with a trained nurse, supplies and medication. Many hundreds have benefited from care in some of the most remote areas of the district. We have been able to start three church shops with two more being planned in the next few months bringing much needed income for some of most impoverished church communities in Haiti.
Sheep Program
Lachange ChurchWatch the video below of our visit to the remote hilltop community of Lachange. We traveled six hours up a winding road to bring the blessing of fourteen sheep that were gifted to fourteen families. During our visit we held a clinic, where our nurses helped many from the community with their medical needs. It is hard to over state what a blessing it is to receive sheep, especially for those who struggle to provide the basic needs for their families. Sheep are seen as the king of animals, if you are fortunate enough to have sheep, it is seen as a great blessing from God.
Shop Program
Sustainable FundingSimple business solutions can provide funding for a family or church community. Churches struggle to pay their pastors and school teachers. A shop can provide a simple, consistent income. The day to day running and finances of the shop are overseen by the church board and they make the decisions on how the funds are spent. We have found it to be a effective way to provide help without hurting the community.
Social Media
Help Us Share the StoryThere are many ways you can help us share the story of True Shepherd. You can follow us on Facebook or Instagram, share our videos on Vimeo or give a gift to the mission.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.
Copyright © 2018 True Shepherd Ministries, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
True Shepherd Ministries
PO Box 2322
Carlsbad California 02018, United States

"Need Wisdom? Ask." for Saturday, 21 April 2018 - goTandem

"Need Wisdom? Ask." for Saturday, 21 April 2018 - goTandem
"Need Wisdom? Ask."
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. (James 1:5)
Are you afraid to ask God for anything? Why?