Saint Michael and All the Angels


Prayer of the Church
St. Michael and All Angels
The following prayers were written by a friend, Pastor Michael Zarling, for use on Sunday September 25.
Almighty God, in the beginning you made the earth and created mankind upon it. With your own hands you stretched out the heavens. You marshaled their starry hosts. You created humanity to have dominion upon the earth. You created the angels to guard the crown of your creation in all their ways.
For the works of your creation and our salvation, we join with the archangels, the cherubim, and seraphim in praising you, Lord. We gather around your throne to sing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord almighty. Heaven and earth is full of your glory.” We thank you that you send the angels as your servants to do you will. Your angels were present at the conception, birth, temptation, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus. We join with the angels in worshiping you for the work of your Son in winning salvation for the world and we sing with them, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to those on whom his favor rests.” We rejoice with the angels in heaven over every sinner who repents. We are grateful for the angels you send to carry the souls of your departed saints to Abraham’s side in heaven. We await the trumpet call on the Last when you will send your angels to gather your elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
Prayers of intercession.
Gracious God and Father, we thank you for the gifts of forgiveness in Absolution, of cleansing from sin in Baptism, of Christ’s body and blood in Holy Communion, and of a peace that surpasses all understanding in the Benediction. We thank you for the message of the angels that announced Christ’s arrival, who proclaimed Christ’s resurrection, testified to Christ’s ascension and will trumpet Christ’s second coming. We are grateful for the holy angels you send to minister to us as they ministered to Christ in the wilderness. For all this, we thank you. And we ask that you hear our humble prayers, so that we might praise your holy name with one voice with the cherubim and seraphim, the apostles and prophets, the martyrs and your Holy Church, all through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Thank you Pastor Zarling for sharing.

The Truth


The Truth
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. – John 8:32 

Jesus is full of truth,
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  – John 1:14

Jesus is the truth, 
He said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6 
 
The truth came through Jesus,
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. – John 1:17 
We are guided in the truth,
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. – John 16:13 
But sinful man does not know what truth is,
“What is truth?” retorted Pilate.  – John 18:38a 
Now I have told you; 
The truth will set you free,
Jesus is full of truth,
Jesus is the truth,
Truth comes through Jesus,
We are guided by truth.
So now, knowing this, rejoice in the truth,
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. – 1 Corinthians 13:6
And be free!

We Could Be Royals


There are people in this world who will pick on you for your faith, your beliefs, even your particular church’s doctrines.    Don’t believe me, just try to share your faith using your own words through social media then prepare for the onslaught.  Sadly, this usually comes from fellow Christians!  But the heart…

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:10

When I am weak, I am really strong!  So trample on me and lob bombs at my church’s doctrines.  At least for today I will see and feel God’s strength in my apparent weaknesses.  Tomorrow I might crawl into a spiritual shell and not share anything, but right now I am strong.  The truth is that when we are weak we rely most on God.  Yes, then we are strong.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. – Genesis 50:20

You do realize that if we are God’s children, and if God is a King, then that makes us princes and princesses doesn’t it?  No wonder we are considered to be a royal priesthood of believers.  Royal and strong.  Not bad at all.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. – 1 Peter 2:9

So how does it feel to be strong, royal, and basking in His wonderful light?  For me, I can hardly contain myself.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  – Matthew 5:11-12

 

 

Jars of Clay


clay-jarsI am Like a Jar of Clay

I have my treasure in jars of clay to show that my all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
Interesting, I am fragile, but inside I have this all surpassing power from God. It is my treasure.

I have been hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
I have been perplexed, but not in despair;
I have been persecuted, but not abandoned;
I have been struck down, but not destroyed.
– 2 Corinthians 4:7-9

Said differently, you can break my body but not my soul.

The Wasserkirche Butterfly


There is a church in Zurich Switzerland called the Wasserkirche.  Even if you don’t speak German, you can probably guess that this translates to “Water Church.”  It is an interesting name to an equally interesting place.

This church started construction in the 10th century but was not completed until 1486.  At some point in it’s spotted history it actually was a place for cult gatherings.  In fact, during the Reformation it was seen as a “house of idolatry.”  In 1634 it was converted into a public library.  Finally in 1940 it was renovated and converted back into a place for Christian worship; back to it’s roots.

Today, an enormous butterfly hangs from it’s rafters.  What an odd item to adorn a church sanctuary.  Or is it?

Several years ago I wrote a poem called “The Butterfly” because to me it symbolized transformation.  The metamorphosis that occurs when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly is nothing short of miraculous.  It shows God’s amazing power to transform.  So this church has been totally transformed.   It has gone full circle from a place of worship, to a place of idolatry, to a place of learning and finally back to a place of Christian worship.  The butterfly is a symbol of this amazing transformation that only a great God can bring.

He Is Changing Us


We are Christians
We bear His likeness
He is changing us day by day…

God cares …
… for the careless, 
making them careful.  
Care destroys carelessness.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

God gives hope …
… hope for the hopeless, 
making His children hopeful.
Hope destroys hopelessness.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. – Psalm 62:5

God gives us rest …
… for the restless, 
allowing us to be restful.
Rest destroys restlessness.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28

God gives power …
… to the powerless, 
making them powerful.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. – Ephesians 1:18-21

God shows Mercy …
.. for the merciless, making them merciful.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. – Matthew 5:7

And He gives grace …
… to the graceless, making them graceful.
Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, – Ephesians 3:2

He minds …
… the mindless, making them mindful.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2

He helps …
… the helpless, making then helpful.
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. – Psalm 121:2

You Look Different


Hi there!

You, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.
 
Let that thought sink in for a moment. The Spirit of God lives in you and you are not in the realm of the flesh.

If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 

All believers, including you, have this Spirit inside, a Spirit of Christ.

If Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 

Christ is in you, the Spirit of God is in you, can you feel it?

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you.

You just read Romans 8:9-11 as it relates to you. You are a work in progress continuously being transformed into God’s image.

God sees you with His big beautiful redemptive eyes.
God looks real good on and inside you.
You do look different today.
Feel good about yourself.
Take heart.

Jesus is Lord


Jesus is Lord!  There, I proclaimed it.  

Let’s be clear, I didn’t just write it, read it or say it, I proclaimed it. Monstrous difference.

This proclamation that Jesus is Lord means more than we often give it credit for.

  • It means that I’m not in charge of running my life anymore 
  • It’s a proclamation that there is a sovereign, all powerful, all knowing King over me
  • It’s a proclamation that I’m not the owner of my life 
  • There is One who sustains life who is bigger than me
  • It’s a proclamation that I need someone to run my life 
  • I need someone to surrender my life to
  • I need someone to bow before and worship
  • I need someone to acknowledge as Lord
  • I need someone to guide my life.
  • I need someone to look up to.

Proclaim it with me.
“Jesus is Lord.”

Indeed.

Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

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