Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Daily Readings for TUESDAY, August 15, 2017 - Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin, mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Saint Mary the Virgin, mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Opening Sentence
Behold, the dwelling of God is with mankind. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them, and be their God. Revelation 21:3

Morning Prayer

Let me to-day do something that shall take
A little sadness from the world’s vast store,
And may I be so favoured as to make
Of joy’s too scanty sum a little more.

Let me not hurt, by any selfish deed
Or thoughtless word, the heart of foe or friend;
Nor would I pass, unseeing, worthy need,
Or sin by silence when I should defend.

However meagre be my worldly wealth,
Let me give something that shall aid my kind –
A word of courage, or a thought of health,
Dropped as I pass for troubled hearts to find.

Let me to-night look back across the span
‘Twixt dawn and dark, and to my conscience say –
Because of some good act to beast or man –
“The world is better that I lived today.”

~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Confession and Forgiveness
Almighty God, who does freely pardon all who repent and turn to Him, now fulfill in every contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all our sins, and cleansing us from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
~ The Book of Common Worship, 1946

Today's Readings

The First Reading is taken from Isaiah 61:10-11
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

Psalm 34 Benedicam Dominum
1   I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
2   I will glory in the LORD; let the humble hear and rejoice.
3   Proclaim with me the greatness of the LORD; let us exalt his Name together.
4   I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me out of all my terror.
5   Look upon him and be radiant, and let not your faces be ashamed.
6   I called in my affliction and the LORD heard me and saved me from all my troubles.
7   The angel of the LORD encompasses those who fear him, and he will deliver them.
8   Taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are they who trust in him!
9   Fear the LORD, you that are his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
10   The young lions lack and suffer hunger, but those who seek the LORD lack nothing that is good.
11   Come, children, and listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12   Who among you loves life and desires long life to enjoy prosperity?
13   Keep your tongue from evil-speaking and your lips from lying words.
14   Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
15   The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.
16   The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.
17   The righteous cry, and the LORD hears them and delivers them from all their troubles.
18   The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and will save those whose spirits are crushed.
19   Many are the troubles of the righteous, but the LORD will deliver him out of them all.
20   He will keep safe all his bones; not one of them shall be broken.
21   Evil shall slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
22   The LORD ransoms the life of his servants, and none will be punished who trust in him.

The Second Reading is taken from Galatians 4:4-7
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 1:46-55
And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever."

The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Prayer of the Day
O God, you have taken to yourself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of your incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Prayer For Those Who Are Struggling
Heavenly Father, I pray for all my Christian brothers and sisters and for each and every family member in their households. I pray for peace to come in their hearts; I pray for love and joy to abound in their homes; I pray that they might enjoy good health, that they are not in debt, and that all their needs are met.

I pray that every eye that reads this knows there is no problem, circumstance, or situation greater than you, Mighty God. Every battle is in your hands for you to fight, Lord. I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees them and every mouth that confesses them. In Christ’s name, Amen.

A Prayer for Mission
Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

Zion & Babylon
by Josh Garrels

Alleluia! Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!

Closing Prayer
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:13

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.

Saint Mary the Virgin, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Today the church remembers Saint Mary the Virgin, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Mother of Our Lord is certainly the most remembered and most important of the saints, considering her very special relationship to Jesus. Early in Christian history, when some people denied that Jesus Christ was truly a man, Christians pointed to the fact that he was born of a woman and inserted the phrase "born of the Virgin Mary" into the creed to emphasize Jesus' humanity. Later, when others denied that Jesus was God the Son, Greek Christians began calling Mary Theotokos, the "Bearer of God," to emphasize Jesus' true Godship. One's understanding of Christ governs one's understanding of Mary and vice versa.

Mary is often seen as representative of the church, the special vehicle or bearer of God to humankind. She is seen as the ideal mother who patiently cared for her little son and quietly accepted the highly unusual circumstances of his birth, life, death, and resurrection. In the Daily Offices, the church continually remembers her in The Magnificat, the canticle attributed to her by Luke. She is particularly honored on five special feasts in the Christian year.* Perhaps her cousin, Elizabeth, best summed up the feeling of the faithful toward Mary when she said, "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

Almighty God, we give you thanks for the life and work of Mary the Godbearer. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

O God, you have taken to yourself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of your incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer of the Day for TUESDAY, August 15, 2017 - Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin, mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ

O God, you have taken to yourself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of your incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Verse of the Day for TUESDAY, August 15, 2017

Romans 14:8 (NIV) If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Read all of Romans 14

Listen to Romans 14

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - As I Clean The Floors

“Then I pray to you, O Lord, I say, You are my place of refuge, You are all I really want in life.”
~ Psalm 142:5 (NLT)

Herbert Lockyer wrote a story about an older gentleman who was a minister. The story went like this: The minister asked a prayerful servant girl about her understanding of Paul's counsel regarding continuously praying. The minister asked her how she could pray all the time when she had so many things to do.

The servant girl replied: “...the more I have to do, the more I pray. When I awake in the morning, I pray, Lord, open the eyes of my understanding. While I am dressing, I pray that I may be clothed with the robe of righteousness. When I have washed, I ask, for the cleansing of the blood. As I begin my work, I pray for strength equal for my day. As I sweep the floors, I pray God to sweep all dirt from my heart with His besom (a broom of twigs). Then, as I prepare the meals, I ask God to feed with His manna and the sincere milk of the Word. When busy caring for the little children in the house, I ask my heavenly Father to carry me as His child. And so, on through the day, Sir, everything I do furnishes me with a thought for prayer.”

The older minister was astounded and said: “Well, Mary, you have certainly learned how to pray without ceasing.”

Praying is our way of communicating with God, and that is exactly what Mary was doing all day long as she plugged away working. Praying came naturally to her, and it focused her mind and heart away from her work and onto Him. As she prayed she drew close to the Lord, and that is where she found her greatest blessings. She found the hidden power of God.

The Book of Psalms are full of examples of the authors communicating with God. They were written between 1440 B.C. - 586 B.C. Some researchers describe them as a group of “song-prayers”. Throughout the Psalms they frequently express a person's feeling and emotions, and also bring them into God's presence. They are an illustration to God's people of how they can converse with Him in prayer. A few examples in them are: praising God; being thankful to God; expressing sorrow; confession; and asking for God's help/guidance in times of trouble.

St. Augustine expressed the hope that when Jesus Christ appeared for his translation He would find him either praying or preaching. May it be so for all of God's people.
Lord, accept our prayers as incense offered to you, and our upraised hands as an offering. Amen.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

Seeking God?
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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation®, NLT® copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
A minister asked a prayerful servant girl how she could pray all the time when she had so many things to do.

Un Dia a la Vez - Recojamos los estragos (tercera parte)

Tú, Señor, eres bueno y perdonador; grande es tu amor por todos los que te invocan.
~ Salmo 86:5 (NVI)

Hemos visto que Dios es un Dios perdonador. Aunque le hemos fallado, nos mira con amor y misericordia. No nos abandona. Por el contrario, cuando ve nuestro arrepentimiento, nos perdona y nos restaura.

Hoy deseo que reflexionemos sobre ese acto de amor tan hermoso del Señor. A menudo, aparece nuestra humanidad y nuestra tendencia es a olvidar cuando ya estamos bien otra vez. Es como si nos diera amnesia y caemos de nuevo en los mismos errores del pasado o aun peores.

¿Cuántas veces Dios nos ha levantado y le hemos vuelto a fallar? Muchas, ¿verdad?

Por eso nosotros debemos pedirle que nos ayude a ser fuertes y valientes. A que tomemos decisiones radicales para no volver atrás. Sin embargo, eso sí va a depender de cada uno de nosotros. Él nos da la oportunidad de cambiar de una vez y para siempre.

Ahora bien, ¿la tomamos o la dejamos?

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - SELFLESSNESS

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Brother Andrew loves to tell this parable from the Middle East:

A certain man had two sons. One was rich and the other was poor. The rich son had no children while the poor son was blessed with many sons and many daughters. In time, the father fell ill. He was sure he would not live through the week, so on Saturday he called his sons to his side and gave each of them half of his land for their inheritance. Then he died. Before sundown the sons buried their father with respect.

That night the rich son could not sleep. He said to himself, “What my father did was not just. I am rich and my brother is poor. I have plenty of bread while my brother’s children eat one day and trust God for the next. I must move the landmark which our father has set in the middle of the land so that my brother will have the greater share. Ah – but he must not see me; if he sees me, he will be shamed. I must arise early in the morning before it is dawn and move the landmark!” With this he fell asleep and his sleep was secure and peaceful.

Meanwhile, the poor brother could not sleep. As he lay restless on his bed, he said to himself, “What my father did was not just. Here I am surrounded by the joy of many sons and daughters while my brother daily faces the shame of having no sons to carry on his name and no daughters to comfort him in his old age. He should have the land of our fathers. Perhaps this will in part compensate him for his indescribable poverty. Ah – but if I give it to him, he will be shamed. I must awake early in the morning before it is dawn and move the landmark which our father has set!” With this he went to sleep and his sleep was secure and peaceful.

On the first day of the week – very early in the morning, a long time before it was day, the two brothers met at the ancient land marker.

They fell with tears into each other’s arms. And on that spot was built the New Jerusalem.

RESPONSE: Today I will focus on the needs and interests of others rather than on my own.

PRAYER: Pray that this biblical attitude of love, humility and selflessness will pervade the church of Jesus Christ in the Middle East today and around the world.

Girlfriends in God - August 15, 2017

It’s all About Perspective

Today’s Truth

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!”
~ Psalm 118:24 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

It was just a quick check-up at the doctor’s office…or at least that’s what it was supposed to be. My “to-do-list” resembled a mile-long scroll and several deadlines loomed like thunder clouds ready to burst. But, the appointment would take just a few minutes. Just enough time to catch my breath.

“Good morning Mrs. Jaynes,” the cheery receptionist greeted. “May I see your insurance card please?”

We went through the regular check-in procedure and then I settled in a comfy chair with a magazine that I would not have normally read. I knew I wouldn’t have time to read a full-length article…since this was just a quick visit. My, oh my, the trouble those Hollywood folks get into.

Ten minutes turned into fifteen turned into twenty turned into thirty. My to-do list began growing heavier and heavier in my mind.

“Excuse me,” I interrupted the receptionist. “My appointment was thirty minutes ago. Did they forget me?”

“I’m so sorry,” she reassured me. “I’ll check on it right away.”

In just a few moments, a nurse appeared at the door. “Mrs. Jaynes, come right this way.”

My second stop was into a stark treatment room with more magazines. “Oh well, let’s see what Brittany did last year,” I mumbled to myself. At least I was in the room. That was good.

The clock continued ticking. With each passing minute my frustration grew. “I’m glad he’s not checking my blood pressure,” I grumbled to no one in particular.

Fifty minutes after I had walked into the office for my quick 5-minute check-up, the doctor walked into my room. My to-do list was magnified in my mind. My time was important too, you know. I didn’t have time to sit around and read out-dated gossip magazines!

The doctor was actually a friend of mine, but I was feeling less than friendly. Ice Queen is a description that comes to mind when I think of my probable appearance.

“Hi Sharon,” he began. “I’m sorry you have had to wait so long. I have been with a patient and had to tell her that she has terminal cancer. It took longer than I thought.”

Suddenly, my icy countenance began to melt into a puddle on the shiny tile floor and tears pooled in my eyes. I was upset about not checking insignificant frivolous errands off my to-do list, and the woman in the next room was pondering how she was going to spend her last days on earth. I envisioned her walking to her car and coming up with a brand new to-do list for her day.

#1 Live well
#2 Love well

Yes, I did have a check-up that day. God was the doctor and He looked into my heart to see that my perspective on life needed surgery. What’s really important? My silly list of errands? No. What should be at the top of my to-do list today and every day is:

#1 Live well.
#2 Love well.

Celebrate each day as an incredible gift from God. How will you do that today?

Let’s Pray

Dear God, Thank You for another day of life. Sometimes I can get so caught up in my silly little lists that I lose perspective of the true meaning of life. Help me to live my days glorifying You with every breath I take and step I make.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

What is at the top of your to do list today?

Consider making a new to do list and including what you think God would have you do today.

Wouldn’t it be fun to see what your sisters are scheduled to do today? Log onto my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sharonjaynes and tell me the first 5 items on your list. Be honest…not that you wouldn’t beJ I’m not looking for overly spiritual, I’m looking for real girlfriend stuff!

More from the Girlfriends

One of the things that is at the top of my to-do list for today is to love my husband the way he longs to be loved…the way God would have me love him. If you would like to learn more about keeping your marriage in the top 5 of your to-do list, check out my book, Becoming the Woman of His Dreams- seven qualities every man longs for.

Seeking God?
Click HERE to find out more about how to have a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725, Matthews, NC 28106

LHM Daily Devotion - August 15, 2017 "A Right Faith"

Faith is a strange thing.

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

"A Right Faith"

August 15, 2017

For there is one God, and there is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
~ 1 Timothy 2:5 (ESV)

Faith is a strange thing.

Indeed, I am always amazed at the things people find in which they are willing to place their trust. A case in point comes from Minnesota. The story began when Deputy Mark Vai, who works for the Dakota County Sheriff's Office, pulled a man over in a normal traffic stop. It didn't take too long before the deputy found the man had to be arrested on a controlled-substance warrant.

Now, when an officer has to tell a person he is going to be arrested, all kinds of things can happen, and one of them are very good. For example, the perpetrator might turn violent, or become incredibly uncooperative, or attempt to get away. At the very least, the person who is going to be arrested has a worried look on his face.

Amazingly, none of those ideas applied to the man whom Vai arrested.

The most noticeable facial feature shown by the man was a smirk, a smirk which stretched across the fellow's face. It took but a second for the smirker to explain why he was so cool. He asked Deputy Vai to reach into his front shirt pocket. That, too, is a dangerous thing for an officer to do since pockets can easily hide infected hypodermic needles.

To Deputy Vai's surprise, all that was in the pocket was a card: a card taken from the Parker Brothers' board game: Monopoly. The card read "Get out of Jail Free."

When the curious deputy asked his prisoner to explain the card, the man said, "I've been carrying it on me ever since I found out there was a warrant, just in case." Deputy Vai took a picture of the Monopoly card, gave the card back to the man, and then the deputy hauled the fellow in to the hoosegow. It goes without saying: the man had put his faith in the wrong thing.

I'm afraid that mistake of believing in the wrong thing is pretty commonplace.

* This is especially when it comes to faith. In the last months I've met people who put their faith in themselves and their own ability to confront anything or anyone that might come their way.

* There are those who put their faith in their intellect and have rationalized away any concept of a final judgment.

* Of course, there are those who procrastinate and put their faith in themselves and their belief they will be able to take any necessary steps when the Lord returns, that is, if He returns.

My friends, I give thanks that you already know there is only one way to get out of the "jail" of hell. That one way is Jesus Christ. Only Jesus has the perfect credentials to free us. Only Jesus did all that was necessary to win forgiveness for all who are brought to faith. Only Jesus is telling the truth when 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 PRAYER: Dear Lord, I know what Jesus has done to win my salvation. Now may I do all I can to make Him and His blood-bought message of salvation available to those who are still in ignorance and darkness. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM). 

CPTLN Devocional de 15 de Agosto de 2017

Alimento Diario

Como una madre

15 de Agosto 2017

Yo los consolaré a ustedes como consuela una madre a sus hijos, y en Jerusalén hallarán consuelo.
~ Isaías 66:13 (RVC)

El periódico Washington Post publicó la historia de Fanta Lingani, una madre que vive en Burkina Faso, África.

La historia contaba cómo Fanta se había levantado a las 4 de la mañana y había caminado dos horas para ganar $1.20 barriendo veredas. Con ese dinero había comprado alimentos, y luego había pasado otras dos horas preparando una comida de puré de maíz condimentado con hojas de árboles, pescado seco, y cenizas de madera.

Cuando la comida estuvo pronta, Fanta Lingani le dio un plato a su esposo, luego a sus hijos, y finalmente se sirvió ella misma; pero luego de comer dos bocados, les dio el resto a sus hijos, que todavía tenían hambre.

Lo más probable es que haya dicho que no tenía hambre, pero no era cierto. El precio de los alimentos se había duplicado, pero lo que ganaban seguía siendo lo mismo, por lo que esos dos bocados de comida serían el único alimento hasta el día siguiente.

Fanta Lingiani es madre. Una madre que hace lo que necesita hacer por el bienestar, la salud, y el sustento de sus hijos.

Una vez, el profeta Isaías describió a Dios diciendo que Él consuela como una madre. El texto para esta devoción dice: "Yo los consolaré a ustedes como consuela una madre a sus hijos".

Como una madre, el Señor vio el mal que nuestro pecado iba a hacernos. Al igual que Fanta Lingani, Dios hizo lo que era necesario hacer para que nosotros, sus hijos, podamos vivir.

Esa es la razón por la cual Jesús nació en Belén, dedicó su vida a obedecer la voluntad del Padre, y permitió que lo arrestaran, golpearan, juzgaran, y crucificaran. Jesús resucitó de la muerte y se mostró a un mundo perdido y hambriento para asegurarnos que nosotros también vamos a vivir para siempre.

Gracias al amor de Jesús, todos los que creen en él como Salvador, son salvos.

ORACIÓN: Querido Señor, te doy gracias por haber hecho todo lo que era necesario para salvarme de la condenación y muerte eternas. Haz que mi vida sea un canto constante de agradecimiento y que refleje tu presencia a quienes me rodean. En el nombre de tu Hijo. Amén.

© Copyright 2017 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. ¡Utilice estas devociones en sus boletines! Usado con permiso. Todos los derechos reservados por la Int'l LLL.