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    Daily Devotionals

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    WedWednesdayMarMarch29th2017 Wednesday, March 29
    byGrant Palma Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment


    The Way Home

    Scripture: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32


    Most sermons I hear (and preach!) on this passage focus on the other brother, the righteous son who did everything right. In many ways, this story is more about him than the actual Prodigal Son. We discuss this character so much because we need to be reminded that we are missing the point if we follow all the rules and do everything “right” but do not genuinely care for our sisters and brothers who struggle in life. The parable of the Prodigal Son makes it clear the older brother does not have more intrinsic value than his wayward sibling, and Jesus modeled the core teaching of this story by sharing his life with the outcasts of society. How are we called to view those around us? Let us pray for God to open our eyes and our hearts for those in need.

     

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    TueTuesdayMarMarch28th2017 Tuesday, March 28
    byGrant Palma Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment


    The Way Home

    Scripture: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32.


    The father in the story clearly represents the grace of God that is calling us all and welcoming us home. When we put ourselves in this story each of us is the Prodigal Son, but sometimes we are the other characters in the narrative. When faced with the lost ones in our lives it is tempting to be the brother who never left home and never squandered his inheritance. However, we need to follow the example of the loving father who ran out to greet his son. He was not judgmental or passive aggressive, just loving. Who do we need to run to greet in our families or in society? Who is journeying home who needs a warm welcome into our lives?

     

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    MonMondayMarMarch27th2017 Monday, March 27
    byGrant Palma Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment


    The Way Home

    Scripture: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32.


    The story of the Prodigal Son focuses on the grace and redemption of the main character after he returns home from wasting his inheritance, but what happens next to the young man? Obviously he is redeemed, but what about his story and life experience? At some point or another, we are all the Prodigal Son, wasting our gifts and eating pig slop. God can redeem those experiences in the form of wisdom and life experience. I like to think the Prodigal Son grew into a wise man who reflected on his life and shared what he learned on his journey with those he met. How can God use your life experiences? How is God calling you to tell your story to someone who needs to hear it? 

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    SunSundayMarMarch26th2017 Lent Week Four
    byJenn Pick Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment


    The Way Home

    Scripture: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

    Prayer: God of second chances, we are prone to wander. We struggle to go on our own path, not realizing that you walk with us wherever we go. Help us to understand what true confession is: acknowledging that we stumble as we try to live the life you call us to live. Lead us through the rocky wilderness of our hearts into your open arms offering new life. God of new beginnings, allow us to receive and give forgiveness as we come to you today as lost sons and daughters. Pick us up, O God. Clean our hearts. Clear our sight. Remind us that broken, we are made whole; lost, we are brought home; empty, we are filled with songs of gladness. Amen.

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    SatSaturdayMarMarch25th2017 Saturday, March 25
    byGrant Palma Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment


    The Way Down

    Scripture: Jonah 1:17-2:10


    Father Mapple, the priest in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, describes Jonah’s mistake as “willful disobedience.” He describes God as commanding instead of persuading because what God wants of us is sometimes in direct opposition to the comfort we seek for ourselves. To follow God means to turn from ourselves and our selfishness. We must “disobey ourselves” in order to accept the challenge of following God. As the book of Johah and the aforementioned novel illustrate, following our own will instead of God leads to troubled waters.

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    FriFridayMarMarch24th2017 Friday, March 24
    byGrant Palma Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment


    The Way Down

    Scripture: Jonah 1:17-2:10


    The thrust of the story of Jonah focuses on the fate of one city, but what about the other people the prophet met on his journey? What happened to the men on the boat who were terrified from the storm? Did Jonah interact with anyone else on his trip through a foreign land? We meet all kinds of people on our journey through life. We get focused on the big projects and the “important” things we have to do, often at the expense of the random encounter. Let us pray that God opens our eyes to how we can be a blessing in the lives of those we encounter while on our way to someplace else. 

     

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    ThuThursdayMarMarch23rd2017 Thursday, March 23
    byGrant Palma Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment


    The Way Down

    Scripture: Jonah 1:17-2:10


    Sometimes I wonder about the fish in this story and what it means. When we tell the story of Jonah to kids we focus on the entertainment quality of the giant fish that swallowed the reluctant prophet, but we move away from that element as we get older. If we discuss the fish we often dismiss it as impossible or even silly storytelling. Personally, I wish it could happen today. I wish God would send a big fish to swallow me up and point me in the right direction when I get sidetracked by my own silliness. How is God directing us on our journey to face the challenges we want to dismiss?

     

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    WedWednesdayMarMarch22nd2017 Wednesday, March 22
    byGrant Palma Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment


    The Way Down

    Scripture: Jonah 1:17-2:10


    Chapter 4 of Jonah describes an exchange between God and the prophet over a shrub, which was a continuation of the conversation about Nineveh. God asks Jonah if his anger is good and justified. Although God does not deny Jonah his anger, he is called to have pity for the people of the city. Jonah’s anger clearly got the best of him, but is anger sometimes helpful and good? When is anger justified?

     

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    TueTuesdayMarMarch21st2017 Tuesday, March 21
    byGrant Palma Tagged No tags 1 comments Add comment


    The Way Down

    Scripture: Jonah 1:17-2:10


    It’s easy to read this story and see the Ninevites as innocent bystanders in this cosmic showdown between Jehovah and Jonah, but they were not. The people of Nineveh are Assyrians, one of the most violent and oppressive empire of the ancient world. Their foreign policy consisted of mass murder and exile; they not only conquered their enemies, they erased every trace of their existence. Although Jonah’s attitude toward the Ninevites is despicable, it is also understandable. However, God called Jonah to love and care for them. God does not call us to ignore or forget the evils we encounter on our journeys, but we are called to love the unlovable and care for those we would rather hate.

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    MonMondayMarMarch20th2017 Monday, March 20
    byGrant Palma Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment


    The Way Down

    Scripture: Jonah 1:17-2:10


    Of all the journey stories in the Bible, the book of Jonah is unique. While many characters of the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, are less than ideal examples of upstanding behavior, Jonah’s actions might be some of the most offensive to the cultural sensitives of our time. Simply put, he’s a racist, yet he has a book of the Bible named after him. However, Jonah’s shortcomings make this story relevant to us because he is a normal person with prejudices and faults. Jonah was called to face his own mistakes, to grow, and to get out of his comfort zone. We too are called by God to journey to new places and reach people, sometimes when we don’t want to. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to see the world as God sees it and to call us on new exciting and challenging journeys.

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    Daily DevotionalsRead Scripture for 15 minutes. Pray for 15 minutes. Every day.by Read Scripture for 15 minutes. Pray for 15 minutes. Every day. These daily readings are chosen by the pastor to relate to the sermon that was preached the previous Sunday.
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