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Scottish Blessing

Scottish Blessing

May the blessing of light be on you – light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire,
so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it.
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you,
like a candle set in the window of a house,
bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you,
may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.
And may the blessing of the earth be on you,
soft under your feet as you pass along the roads,
soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day;
and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it.
May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly. Amen.

 

(Sources given where known – copyright not known)

Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting with a Loving God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church

Click on book image to order.

Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting with a Loving God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church
by Carol Howard Merritt

An effective plan to help those suffering from wounds inflicted by the church find spiritual healing and a renewed sense of faith.

Raised as a conservative Christian, minister and author Carol Howard Merritt discovered that the traditional institutions she grew up in inflicted great pain and suffering on others. Though she loved the spirituality the church provided, she knew that, because of sexism, homophobia, and manipulative religious politics, established religious institutions weren’t always holy or safe. Instead of offering refuge, these institutions have betrayed people’s hearts and souls. “People have suffered religious abuse,” she writes, “which can be different from physical injury or psychological trauma.”

Though participation and affiliation in traditional religious institutions is waning, many people still believe in God. Merritt contends that many leave the church because they have lost trust in the institution, not in God. Healing Spiritual Wounds addresses the church’s dichotomous image—as a safe space and as a dangerous place—and provides a way to restore personal faith and connection to God for those who have been hurt or betrayed by established institutions of faith. Merritt lays out a multistage plan for moving from pain to spiritual rebirth, from recovering theological and emotional shards to recovering communal wholeness.

Merritt does not sugarcoat the wrongs institutions long seen as trustworthy have inflicted on many innocent victims. Sympathetic, understanding, and deeply positive, she offers hope and a way to help them heal and reclaim the spiritual joy that can make them whole again.

Carol Howard Merritt was the, Wednesday, June 21, 2018, keynote at the IMN Annual Conference in St. Louis Missouri. 

Reviews:

“An amazing resource… emotionally intense, beautifully written, and courageously honest, and the exercises are just what you need. Healing Spiritual Wounds helped me.” (Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration)

Healing Spiritual Wounds provides validation and comfort for anyone feeling alone within or abandoned by the church. In this much-needed book, Merritt offers practical ways to explore the sources of our brokenness. A generous guide to reconnecting with a loving God.” (Meredith Gould, author of Desperately Seeking Spirituality: A Field Guide to Practice (Liturgical Press))

January 31

January 31

(with inclusive language)

God called forth a people
and we responded to God’s call,
‘Rebuild this ancient ruin,
restore My city walls.’

As we built, brick by brick
we discovered the cornerstone
and as we let God mould and fashion us,
God built us up in love.

Now we have seen,
and we have heard,
that our God is great
for a wilderness has been transformed
into God’s holy place.

-Celtic Daily Prayer 2002
Prayer and Readings from the Northumbria community

Nuggets of Wisdom

Nuggets of Wisdom

Devotion based on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

Crack. You open the fortune cookie and pull out the little paper. You read aloud: “A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.” Thought-provoking, maybe. But profound? Useful? A truly helpful nugget of wisdom? Hardly.

The apostle Paul wrote short, concise sayings too. But he offered far better wisdom and help than anything found in a fortune cookie. “Rejoice always.” “Pray continually.” “Give thanks in all circumstances.” Short. But profound. And helpful!

“Rejoice always.” Joy is a fruit of faith in Jesus. When we belong to Christ Jesus, God wants us to reflect how blessed it is to have forgiveness and eternal life in heaven. It’s deeper than being in a happy mood all the time. Joy is a deep-down blessedness, a quiet, lifelong celebrating that we belong to Christ.

“Pray continually.” All day, every day, we get to talk to God. And even though we are sinners who should be shut out, God listens. Because of Jesus, he listens! He listens to our prayers, whether they are out loud or silent, thought out or spontaneous, from a prayer book or in our own words. He listens to our thanksgiving, as Paul says: “Give thanks in all circumstances.” So much to give thanks for. So many blessings from our gracious God. Though we too often complain or fall into self-pity or a sense of entitlement, our gracious God loves us and forgives us. He gave his own dear Son Jesus to earn full forgiveness for us by his death on the cross. And on top of that, God blesses us with every spiritual blessing in Christ, for time and for eternity.

Short. Concise. But nothing fluffy about these little sayings. They are God’s wisdom. They give his encouragement and daily help. They carry God’s own blessing: “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”

These little sayings don’t belong in fortune cookies. They belong in our hearts and lives.

See series: Devotions

Prayer:
Dear Father, feed me with your divine wisdom. Give me daily joy. Hear my constant prayers to you in Christ. Lead me in thankful living in all circumstances. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Power in Words

Power of Words

The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.  Proverbs 15:4 NIV

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

What a lie! The words we speak for better or worse will come to pass. Words elevate or destroy. Almost everything in life is contingent on words. Words are as useful as an oasis in the middle of a desert when used properly.

If a friend loses a loved one, our words may be the only consolation for their broken spirit. The lonely elderly man who doesn’t have any loved ones would give the world to hear loving words. Words can instill hope, encouragement, and order in ways that otherwise would be impossible.

Solomon frequently sought out “good and acceptable” words (Ecclesiastes 12:10).

Words can also destroy if misused. Belittling, gossip, slander, lying, and complaining are ways death is produced by words. When we use our words in these ways, we not only hurt people’s feelings, we also speak those horrible words into existence.

The creation is an example of how powerful words are. The detailed seven-day account explains how God created a different aspect of life on a daily basis through the power of His words.

Through words the contents of the heart are revealed. “A good person brings forth out of his mouth that which is good, and the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil” (Luke 6:45).

Many will deny the Lord and be doomed to an eternity in hell over words. “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Mathew 12:36). This includes fussing, cussing, gossip, lies, false accusations, complaining, and every other useless word.

There is power in words. Use yours for good, not evil.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

DEVOTION BY  POSTED 10/18/2017 12:00:01 AM ON Proverbs 15:4 NIV POSTED TO THE Spirit & Mind Devotion

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