Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Daily Readings for SUNDAY, July 8, 2018 - Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Mark 6:1-6

The Daily Readings
SUNDAY, July 8, 2018 - Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
(Revised Common Lectionary Year B)

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer of the Day (Collect)
O God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbor: Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole heart, and united to one another with pure affection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Confession and Forgiveness

Trusting God's promise of forgiveness, let us confess our sins against God and one another.

Eternal God our creator, in you we live and move and have our being. Look upon us, your children, the work of your hands. Forgive us all our offenses, and cleanse us from proud thoughts and empty desires. By your grace draw us near to you, our refuge and our strength; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lessons

Old Testament
Ezekiel 2:1-5
The Vision of the Scroll
2:1 He said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. 2 And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. 3 He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day. 4 The descendants are impudent and stubborn. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord God.” 5 Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.

The Response
Psalm 123 Ad te levavi oculos meos
1 To you I lift up my eyes,
to you enthroned in the heavens.
2 As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
3 So our eyes look to the Lord our God,
until he show us his mercy.
4 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy,
for we have had more than enough of contempt,
5 Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich,
and of the derision of the proud.

The Epistle
2 Corinthians 12:2-10
12:2 I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. 3 And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows— 4 was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. 5 On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. 6 But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, 7 even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. 8 Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9 but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

The Gospel
Mark 6:1-13
The Rejection of Jesus at Nazareth
6:1 He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” 5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.
The Mission of the Twelve
Then he went about among the villages teaching. 7 He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10 He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13 They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today's Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Apostle's Creed
We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

We believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Closing Prayer
Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ ore Lord. Amen.

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission. The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.
“Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.”

The Morning Prayer for SUNDAY, July 8, 2018

My dear Father,

I pray that I will stay focused on You today even after this morning. You are more than enough to sustain me. I pray that You will constantly remind me to be satisfied with everything I have and every circumstance I am in. I pray that You fill me up with joy even if I am tired.

Teach me to be brought low and how to flourish. Teach me to learn the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. You are the only One who can satisfy my thirst and hunger when you open Your Hands. You give power to the faint. My soul clings to you as your right hand upholds me. I know that through my contentment, dear Lord, You will be glorified.

I want to honor You in all that I do. I believe I can do everything when You are with me, Lord. I praise your Holy Name.

Verse of the Day for SUNDAY, July 8, 2018

Psalm 138:2 (NIV) I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness, for you have so exalted your solemn decree that it surpasses your fame.

Read all of Psalm 138

Listen to Psalm 138

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

Un dia a la Vez - Semana de pacto con Dios: Nuestra boca

Semana de pacto con Dios: Nuestra boca

De la abundancia del corazón habla la boca.
~ Mateo 12:34 (NVI)

La boca, aparte de que sirve de entrada a la cavidad bucal, tiene varias funciones. Dios la creó para ingerir los alimentos, salivar, para tener sentido del gusto, pero quizá hablar sea lo más importante.

Dios la diseñó perfecta y muchos la usamos mal. Entonces, ¿has pensado en las cosas indebidas que se puede hacer con ella? Aunque se puede usar para fumar, drogarse, hablar mal y chismear, también se puede usar, en muchos casos, para bendecir y hablar cosas que agradan a Dios y a la familia.

¡Qué mal ejemplo les damos a nuestros hijos y compañeros de trabajo cuando somos malhablados! ¡Eso es terrible! Cuando conocemos una persona, nos puede dar una clara impresión al abrir su boca y expresarse.

Por eso hoy la idea es que podamos cortar todo lo malo que está saliendo de nuestra boca. ¿Eres de bendición o una persona grosera al expresarte?

La oportunidad para ti este día es que puedas reconocer y comprometerte con Dios de que dejarás atrás las groserías y las malas palabras, y que te comprometerás a guardar tu boca para honrarlo a Él.

Quiero que recuerdes algo de lo que dice la Biblia respecto a la boca y es que «de una misma boca salen bendición y maldición» (Santiago 3:10).

Señor, hoy me comprometo a guardar mi boca y honrarte con mis palabras.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
La boca, aparte de que sirve de entrada a la cavidad bucal, tiene varias funciones.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - OPEN AND CLOSED DOORS


“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
~ Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

The Bible has much to say about open doors but many times – even as Christians – we seem to face obstacles on our path and in our ministry. Blocked doors can be VERY frustrating. Yet God often uses closed doors to advance His cause.

Bible teachers like Max Lucado remind us that God closed the womb of a young Sarah so he could display His power to the elderly one. He shut the palace door on Moses the prince so he could open shackles through Moses the liberator. He marched Daniel out of Jerusalem so he could use Daniel in Babylon.

And even Jesus knew the challenge of a blocked door. When he requested a path that bypassed the cross, God said no. He said no to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane so He could say yes to us at the gates of heaven.

It’s not that our plans are bad but that God’s plans are better.

A prayer is circulating on the Internet that expresses it this way:

He asked for strength that he might achieve,

he was made weak that he might endure;

He asked for health to do larger things,

he was given infirmity that he might do better things;

He asked for power that he might impress men,

he was given weakness that he might seek God;

He asked for wealth that he might be free from care,

he was given poverty that he might be wiser than carefree.

He asked for all things that he might enjoy life,

he was given life that he might enjoy all things;

He received nothing he asked for.

He received more than he ever hoped for.

His prayer was answered!

Blessed man!

The shortest distance between a closed and open door is the distance between your knees and the floor. The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything.

RESPONSE: Today I will accept that my blocked door doesn’t mean God doesn’t love me. Quite the opposite. I’ll see it as proof that He does.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord that You know best and have even better plans for me and my service for You. Help me wait patiently for You to open the right door at the right time!

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

LHM Devotion - July 8, 2018 - Our Surest Guide

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Our Surest Guide"

July 8, 2018

The Jews answered Him, "Are we not right in saying that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?"
~ John 8:48 (ESV)

Amelia Milling is a 21-year-old hiker.

Last month Milling was hiking in Alaska's Chugach State Park. She was a couple of hours into her jaunt when her ski poles broke, and she took a tumble. Milling fell 300 feet. After 300 feet, her progress was slowed down when she bounced off a large rock. After the rock, Milling slid another 300 to 400 feet before she finally came to a rest.

When she was able to calm down, she took an inventory of the situation.

Amazingly, it appeared as if everything was okay. Sure, she had some aches and pains, some bruises and sore spots, but nothing appeared to be broken and everything was just as it should be ... except for the large wolf who was watching her every move.

To her credit, Milling didn't panic. She kept her head and studied the wolf who was studying her.

Her mind raced, as she tried to decide what she should do. The choices became easier when she saw the wolf was wearing a collar. That was interesting. As far as Milling knew, Alaskan wolves did not wear collars, but some big white Huskies do.

And this Husky seemed prepared to help. Now before I go further let me explain. The Husky's name is Nanook, and Nanook is a trail-guide dog. His job is to help lost folks return to their path.

Milling camped out that night, and Nanook stayed with her.

In the morning Nanook's eagerness got Milling going. Throughout her ordeal, the Husky did whatever was necessary. When she slipped in an ice-cold river, Nanook grabbed her and pulled her to safety.

Nanook stayed with Milling till she was rescued, and then he was returned to his owner Scott Swift. He was not totally surprised by what Nanook had done. After all, there was that time near Crow Pass Trail two years ago. Back then a six-year-old girl had fallen into the river, and Nanook came to the rescue.

A good many years ago, humanity wandered from the path the Creator had set for them.

Adam, Eve, and all who would live after them were lost. They were doomed; they were damned. Their only hope was found in the promise made by the Lord to send a Rescuer.

That Redeemer came 2,000 years ago in the Person of Jesus Christ. True Man and true God, He lived a perfect life, resisted all temptation, and reached out to sinners with His message of divine reconciliation.

The Rescuer's greatest problem was the people He was trying to save didn't recognize Him. Like Nanook, people assumed Him to be anything other than their Savior. Jesus was called many things, including being demon-possessed. Still, by the Spirit's power and with His third-day defeat of death those who looked closely could see that this was Jesus their Savior and Lord. By the Holy Spirit's power, they were returned to God's path.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, send the Holy Spirit and use me to show others that Jesus is their Savior, and nothing less. This I ask in His Name. Amen.

The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by ABC News on July 3, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written:

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Amelia Milling is a 21-year-old hiker.

Notre Pain Quotidien - Plusieurs dons, un seul but

Plusieurs dons, un seul but

La Bible en un an : Job 36 – 37 ; Actes 15.22-41

Car, comme le corps est un et a plusieurs membres, et comme tous les membres du corps, malgré leur nombre, ne forment qu’un seul corps, ainsi en est-il de Christ. (V. 12)

Le maïs est un aliment de base au Mexique, mon pays natal. Il en existe tant de sortes différentes ! On peut trouver des épis jaunes, bruns, rouges et noirs, même d’autres magnifiquement moirés. Les citadins n’ont toutefois pas pour habitude de manger ces derniers. Le restaurateur et chercheur Amado Ramírez explique qu’ils croient que l’uniformité est synonyme de qualité. Il n’en reste pas moins que les épis moirés ont bon goût et font d’excellentes tortillas.

Or, l’Église de Christ est beaucoup plus semblable à un épi de maïs moiré qu’à un épi monocolore. L’apôtre Paul a évoqué un corps pour illustrer l’Église, car même si nous formons tous un seul et même corps, et que nous avons tous le même Dieu, chacun de nous a reçu un don différent. Les propos de Paul l’attestent : « Il y a […] diversité de ministères, mais le même Seigneur ; diversité d’opérations, mais le même Dieu qui opère tout en tous » (1 CO 12.4‑6). La diversité avec laquelle nous nous entraidons illustre la générosité et la créativité de Dieu.

En accueillant notre diversité, puissions‑nous nous efforcer également de préserver notre unité par la foi et selon les desseins de Dieu. Il est vrai que nos aptitudes et nos antécédents sont différents. Nous parlons diverses langues et nous sommes originaires de divers pays. Par contre, nous avons tous le même Dieu merveilleux, le Créateur, qui se plaît à créer une si grande variété.

Nous avons besoin les uns des autres pour être comme Dieu nous veut.

© 2018 Ministères NPQ
Le maïs est un aliment de base au Mexique, mon pays natal.