Do not cause anyone to stumble – An offering from Rev. Lil Smith

March 12, 2018
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1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1 (NIV)

31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 11 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

I find some of the most compelling images are the selfless acts of competitive athletes: helping a competitor cross the finish line, stopping mid-race to render aid, carrying an injured player on the other team around the bases because she hit the ball out of the park and earned the run.

I find these acts so compelling not just because of the good that is being shared with the other, but because of the selfless act of giving up the dream of winning to be in service to another.

For it is in these moments my earthly dream is overshadowed by the kingdom-come dream God has for all of God’s children:  following the way of Christ.

May we be your followers today and help others who stumble.

(c) 2018 Rev. Lil Smith
Spiritual Director and Supervisor
Retreat House Spirituality Center

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Focus on Our Faith – An Offering from Diane Clay

March 7, 2018
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Armies may surround me,
   but I won’t be afraid;
war may break out,
   but I will trust You.
I ask only one thing, LORD:
Let me live in Your house
   every day of my life
to see how wonderful You are
   and to pray in your temple.
        Psalm 27:3-4 CEV
 
An image of Jesus “setting his face toward Jerusalem” came to me while meditating on these verses.  Jesus knew what awaited him upon his arrival, yet he resolutely continued the journey.  Just as many of us have verses of Scripture that strengthen us and give us hope in difficult times, surely Jesus recalled God’s love and promises as he neared certain death in Jerusalem.  Like Jesus, our focus should not center on our fears, but rather on our faith that God loves us, abides with us, and will never leave or fail us.
 
(c) 2018 Diane Clay
Spiritual Director
Contemplative
Grandmother Extraordinaire
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Invite freedom and healing – An offering from Rev. Lil Smith

February 20, 2018
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Psalm 146:3-4

Do not put your trust in princes,
    in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
    on that very day their plans perish.

I retreat from a world in which leaders are disconnected from the body of their people.

I retreat from a world that anesthetizes pain and suffering.

I retreat to a place that I can befriend my pain and suffering.

I invite freedom and healing.

In this space, judgment of the world has no power over me.

In this space, I can find a deeper breath.

In this space, I feel more authentically the person God created me to be.

In this space, I praise you.

Oh God, lead us to the healing life of your Breath.  Free us from the plans of the world to place our hope and trust in you.  AMEN

(c) 2018 Rev. Lil Smith
Spiritual Director and Supervisor
Retreat House Spirituality Center

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An offering from Rosemary: I am the bread of life

March 18, 2015
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John 6:27-40

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger…..”

“The Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread and when he gave thanks he broke it and said, “Take eat, this is my body, which is broken for you…..”
emmaus bread of life

Jesus says as I come to him I shall not hunger….he says Take and eat, this is my body broken for you…for me!!

When I spend time with Him in the quiet of the morning or the peace of a late afternoon, my heart lifts in gratitude with a steady security knowing he is beside me, in and around me with the sustenance of his presence. As I begin the day and I go about the business of living, I look up and notice with thanksgiving the beauty of the day in nature or in the people around me knowing it is The Bread of Life reminding me of His good gifts and to give thanks.

As continue into Lent preparing for that final week remembering his words I find His loving-kindness surrounding me with His loyal, steadfast, faithful love in the gift of his broken body…broken for me!!

I am led to wonder….Could I, would I be broken for Him?

(c) 2015 Rosemary Conoley

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An offering from Regina: Confident Complaint

February 20, 2015
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Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

When we are hurting these words can spring forth from our lips, find their way into the air and we wonder if they go any farther than our own ears.

While sitting wForlorn treeith a friend who is experiencing the lowest point in her life, these words came into our conversation in the form of “why me?” a question that she has never asked in previous battles.  This one is different – harder, deeper and more life-altering than all the others combined. Yet, as she poured out her story and her feelings she was able to give thanks for the good times and the healing that God brought to her life in past troubles. In true lament form, she cried out to God, made her complaint and then offered thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness in the past and her confidence that God would, indeed, continue to be steadfast in supporting her through this time of trial.

Lament is a passionate conversation with God expressing our deepest feelings and placing them where they can be used for healing – in the hands of a compassionate and loving God who also wants that healing above all else.

(c) 2015 Regina Hunt

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