Author: Martin Doering

Pentecost Power

The Pentecost Power 

The Pentecost power – not just for one day –

It’s the power to the people – it’s the power for the way.

The Spirit gives the power to believe the Word

That the Father sent us Jesus as our King and Lord.

It’s a life-giving Spirit, we are now born again;

It’s the truth-telling Spirt: we are now God’s friends.

It’s a power-filling Spirit: miracles, and healing, too –

The healing of forgiveness, and the miracle of you!

 

We believe that we cannot, by our reason or our strength,

Even come to the Lord, no matter what the length.

Through the Gospel comes the Spirit to enunciate the call;

Spirit gather and enlightens and protects us from the fall.

To the Body we are joined through the life-giving water:

We are dead to sin, but we live as God’s daughters

And sons.

 

The Spirit was sent by the Father and Son,

Co-eternal, co-equal, our God Three-in-One.

 

The Spirit’s like the wind, answers blowing in the breezes,

Gives us will and direction to do what God pleases.

It removes a heart made of rock and rolls

In its place in our lives a living soul.

The Spirit, Jesus said, would be our Paraclete:

Never leaving or forsaking, giving comfort sweet,

Giving words to the mouth, giving basis for the stand,

It will never, never, ever let us out of God’s hand.

So the Spirit’s in the water, and the Spirit’s in the Word,

And the Spirit’s in the preaching and the teaching we’ve heard.

We are blessed for the journey, we are powered for the way;

We’re forgiven by the Spirit, and the Spirit helps us pray.

If it wasn’t for the Spirit, we would have no faith at all,

So give glory to the Spirit; the Spirit gives us all

We are.

 

The Spirit is sent by the Father and Son

Co-eternal, co-equal, our God Three-in-One.

 

Singing praises to the Father, living praises to the Son,

Rapping praises to the Spirit, we praise the Three-in-One.

The Pentecost power – not just for one day:

The Spirit lives inside us, helping us to say

Amen!

Words (and beats in your head) provided by Pastor Martin Doering

Re:Words

The Gospel-writer John put it this way: The Word became flesh and dwelled among us.

In college classes, I struggled with the concept of a word becoming flesh. How could sound or ideas walk around? Then the light dawned: our lives are defined by words. Words are our tools for learning and expression. Words are our predominate means of conversation.

Jesus, the Word made flesh, lives out our words in his life, ministry and resurrection. Parables are word-pictures. Sermons are word maps in understanding ourselves and understanding God. Words from our Lord have power to heal, to affect weather, to calm troubled hearts, to raise the dead, and to change lives.

Yes, the Lord has also given us the ability to communicate in actions and music and art. You are reading a digital text delivered to you electronically. We need and desire physical touch. Like our creator G0d, we communicate, we transmit information, we share and shape ideas. My word!

A psalmist wrote these words: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our Strength and Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14).  The apostle James warns us that our tongue is a difficult organ to control. (James 3) Sticks and stones can break our bones, and words can crush our spirits.

Consider these words for your life this week:

RE-FORMATION    RE-NEWAL    RE-VISION    RE-PRODUCE    RE-COVER

 

Lord, let your Word dwell richly in me, that I may be transformed by the power of your Holy Spirit. Shape and fashion me, so that my words and my actions, my sounds and my silences, bring glory to You and life and healing to others. I pray in your name, Jesus Incarnate. Amen.

 

Please take the time to locate, read and pray about Psalm 119:89-96; Romans 10:9-15; John 6:66-69.

 

Confused? The WAY of life

Migratory birds are known to fly thousands of miles to find places for feeding, mating and nesting. Sea creatures can navigate through vast oceans in their life cycles. Ants cooperate in excavating nests, building food reserves and enlarging their colonies.

Why are we humans so confused about our lives and our plans?

The apostle Paul wrote of the internal struggle in each of us: “I do not understand what I do! For whaqt I want to do — I do not do. But what I hate, I do!” (Romans 7:15 NIV) Not only do we hear competing voices and viewpoints around us, but we also conduct inner conversations between wisdom and folly, conscience and desire.

The proverbial writer put it like this: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12 NIV) Because our nature has been distorted and warped by sinfulness, our intellect and our desires are not always trustworthy. There are times when we choose to do forbidden things, deadly games, destructive activities or malicious gossip. We follow the temptation; we devise our own sabotage; we wallow in selfishness.

Different thoughts, differing desires, and disparate goals are the ingredients for the confusion in which we stew. Our Lord knows this about us, and provides our rescuer, our redeemer, our restorer. Jesus of Nazareth made what seems to be an audacious claim: “I am the way, and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6 NIV) Instead of confusion, Jesus grants us correction and cohesion. Our Lord guides as a shepherd guides sheep; our Lord teaches the way of mercy, peace, forgiveness and life; our Lord becomes our saving light and our driving force.

Can you hear the voice calling out into your confusion? Do you see the light shining through your darkness? Do you sense the Spirit seeking your soul? Is there someone knocking on the door of your heart?

God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world, through him, might be saved. (John 3:17 NIV)

Lord Jesus Christ, show me the way of wisdom and understanding, of healing and hope, of love and life.

 

Please take the effort to read and pray about John 14 and Romans 8.

 

Weary? Here is RESToration!

The motor finally consumed the last drops of fuel. A final puff of smoke came out of the pipes. It was exhausted!

Puns aside, when my motor runs out of fuel, when I am exhausted, my soul is weary. Having neither the desire to complete the task, nor the energy to proceed, my momentum comes to a halt. What has happened?

Perhaps I could focus on the amount or the composition of the fuels I’ve been using. Have I eaten too much, or too little? Did I swallow drinks that contained toxins that rapidly depleted my strength?

Maybe the reality is that I’ve not been taking care of my “machine.” Despite my dreams of being superhuman, I live with a body that needs exercise and sleep, movement and recuperation. The stages of life and exercise change with the activities and the years.

Like a moth drawn to a flame, I have an appetite for staying awake to watch flickering images on a screen or backlit digital displays. Thank God for the people who provide us electricity and lights and computers! But sometimes my hunger for more images and sounds keeps me awake and away from sleep.

Jesus of Nazareth, speaking in another time and a different country, spoke an invitation that seems directed to worn-out and wearied folks like me.  “Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28  NIV)

Those words are directly in line with what David wrote in Psalm 23: our Shepherd Lord restores the soul. Moses had received the promise directly from the Lord: “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14  NIV)

The Lord invites us, especially when we are weary, to find rest and restoration in His presence and power and promises. St. Augustine is reported to have written: my soul knows no rest until it finds its rest in the Lord.

Let us pray:

Lord Jesus Christ, living Word of God, speak to my heart of your mercy and grace.                                     Lord Jesus Christ, living bread from heaven, fill me with strength and revive this weary body of mine. Lord Jesus Christ, the Resurrection and the Life, revive me again; grant me a new heart and a new spirit. Lord Jesus Christ, you are my peace, my rest and my energy. Amen.

Please take the time to listen to Psalm 62.

Help! More than we can imagine

John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the words for generations: “Help me, if you can, I’m feeling down — help me get my feet back on the ground.”  Another of their hits celebrated: “We get by with a little help from our friends.”

A Facebook meme observes that some of us have reached the wonder years — I wonder where my glasses are; I wonder where I parked the car; I wonder what I was supposed to remember!

Every computer software, game, hardware and device come with a HELP button or page.

And yet I still insist on being independent and doing things MY WAY. My own sinful nature gets me into trouble, sabotages my success, and separates me from those who could love me most. Going it alone, however, is my preferred method.

The One who died and rose again for our salvation has promised never to leave us alone and forsaken. Jesus endured those horrors while he was dying. He did it so that no one else should ever have to  face that terror.

The Gospel writer Luke recorded these words of Jesus: “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13 NIV)

The Father who sent his Son to die and rise again for us is ready with help far greater than we can imagine. God is ready to provide help when we finally admit that we need it.

Jesus’ words used familiar images: fish, snake, egg, scorpion. You have learned already that the early Christian church started using the sign of a fish as a mark for Jesus.  You also remember that the Scriptures often show Satan as a snake. We just passed the holiday when children search for colored eggs. Perhaps you have already learned that scorpions can be deadly.

Trying to get through life on our own — that’s about as wise as fooling around with snakes and scorpions. Asking for help, especially from the One who promises to give good gifts to those who ask, is our first step on our journey of recovery from mistakes, from bad decisions, from addictions, from guilt and shame.

These are some other words from Jesus of Nazareth: “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10  NIV)

When we trust our Lord’s invitation to ask for help, we begin to understand that our Father is always around us, blessing, helping, guiding and directing our lives,

Let’s pray:  Lord, have mercy upon me. Lift me from my depression. Fill me with your Spirit, Work in me the resurrection life, helping me to live and love abundantly. I pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Take some time to read these bits of Scripture. Psalm 130; Jonah 2; and Luke 11:1-13

Fear? Forget about it!

The Lord is with you.

Jesus asked his friends this question: “Why do you worry about tomorrow?” Well, most of us would respond, we have good reason to worry. The world around us is full of evil and sinful people; our planet is rocked with earthquakes and buffeted by storms of all kinds; and even in the most prosperous nations, people are hungry and malnourished.  The value of currency changes without reason; our governmental leaders can’t  get along; racism and anger rule our conversations. You see, we might answer, there are thousands of reasons for worry!

The disciples were worried as they struggled to stay afloat during a storm. They woke Jesus and begged him to do something. He did, of course — Jesus always answers our prayers and cries. Then he used the teachable moment with his disciples. “Why are you worried, oh you of little faith?”

The faith that the Holy Spirit gives us through the Word is a living relationship, a connection with the God of all creation. God has chosen to be connected with us! Our Lord has made a covenant with us: “I will be your God; you will be my people.” Because we have this connection relationship with God, we also have the promise of God’s name: I AM with you.

The apostle Paul asked: “If God is with us, whom shall we fear?” Fear focuses our attention on all the dangers and troubles that might arise. Faith has the confidence that our Lord is always with us, guarding and leading us, strengthening us for our struggles, and reminding us that we have a purpose for living and dying.

A political leader once uttered: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!” Rather than cowering from supposed threats or hiding from imagined woes, we live as the Lord’s sheepish people, rejoicing that we have a Good Shepherd.

Faith forms our foundation to fight and forget about fear.

Lord, let me cast all my cares upon You, for You care for me.  Amen!

 

Take some time to read these passages:  Leviticus 26:11-13; Matthew 6:25-34; Matthew 8:23-26; Romans 8:31-34.