An Open Letter to the Other Side of the Aisle: a meditation on John 4

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“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. (John 4:19-22)

Dear Hymn-Singer on the Other Side of the Aisle, Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #251 — Nativity Shadow Dance

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Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 11.44.45 PMWe are nearing the end of our Create-A-Day 2015 posts. As we wind down, I want to leave you with a shadow dance to “O Magnum Mysterium” sung live for CHRISTmas Eve 2013 at Northland Church in Longwood, Florida. Such BEaUty!!

“O Magnum Mysterium” written & arranged by Morten Lauridsen

Original Text:
O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
meruerunt portare
Dominum Christum. Alleluia. Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #250 — Infinite Windows

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Infinite Windows

I trust you had a blessed CHRISTmas holiday as you celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Did you know in traditional Christian church tradition, CHRISTmas lasts through Epiphany on January 6th? As we wind down from the CHRISTmas holiday weekend, let us remember that Jesus came both to LIVE as God among us (Incarnation) and to DIE as the final atoning sacrifice (Salvation). He is both Lion and Lamb, Alpha and Omega, Healer and Savior, Infant Babe and Victorious King!

Today let me refer you to an October post on Infinite Windows, a blog with meditations on faith and art. This post describes a powerful encounter the writer recently had with a piece of artwork at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The painting was Caravaggio’s Christ Crowned with Thorns, and it depicts Roman soldiers forcing the crown of thorns upon Jesus’ head. I am often astonished by the power of art to bring us into life-changing encounters and memories of God’s redemptive power, grace and love. Continue reading

Create-A-Day #242: ADVENTure Prayer Walk 4 — Love & Joseph

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Advent BabyJesus strawADVENTure is a self-directed prayer walk pondering the true meaning of Christmas. You can read all about it here, as well as learn how you can do this as interactive prayer walk for your church or ministry.

This Sunday, December 20th is the fourth Sunday of Advent. As we consider the true meaning of CHRISTmas we light our fourth candle of the Advent Wreath; the Candle of LOVE and we think of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, the man who raised a child that wasn’t his.

Candle of Love: Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus

Read: Matthew 1:18-25

Meditation:

This passage tells us that Joseph was a righteous man. While he was probably disappointed when he first found out Mary was with child, God’s direction gave him reassurance. He walked in that reassurance and raised Jesus as his own son.

Now was Joseph simply obedient or did he grow to love Mary and her son Jesus? As a righteous man, a man of God, I believe he grew to love them both.

Matthew 13:35 tells us that Joseph was a carpenter. As Jesus’ earthly father, he would have taught his son his trade. They spent their days working side by side. Learning to build and hewn and nail.

Advent JosephChild

by Jose Ortega

Thirty years later, a cross would be hewn and built from wood and nails were used to secure the hands and feet of Christ to that cross. The carpenter’s son crucified. Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #241 — Hallelujah! a Son is Born!

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If you’ve not heard Cloverton’s CHRISTmas version of Hallelujah, I hope you find it as touching as I did the first time I heard it. Always loved the original music but these words, completely turn it into a wonderful song of worship. Be blessed!

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #235 — Pastors’ Day Off

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S x cookie famI’m going to jump up on a soapbox a bit today. As a preacher’s kid and having been involved in pastoral ministry myself, I want to speak to Sabbath rest and family time for your pastoral, ministerial and church staff at the holidays.

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