Hear how Eugene Peterson writes Matthew 11:28-30
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?” asks Jesus. “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Eugene Peterson has a unique way of interpreting Scripture, which often helps us to hear from God in fresh ways.
Read this passage slowly and let the call of Jesus to come and rest with him be a welcome invitation for you today and through the weekend.peace and joyPastor Wendy
How often do you find yourself looking forward in anticipation of a better time, rather than sitting in the present? I catch myself doing that a lot. I have recently tried to catch myself when I do this, and purposefully bring my attention back to the present so I do not miss what God is doing right now.
Perhaps you have heard of Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) who invited people into the Spiritual Practice of Examen – which is the invitation to reflect on each day in search for the movements of God.
A couple of questions to ask yourself today might be –
What is bringing you joy TODAY?
What is bringing you a sense of burden TODAY?
How or where is Jesus calling you to come and rest …peace and joyPastor Wendy
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Longing for God and His Help in Distress
1 As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
the face of God?
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me continually,
“Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng,[a]
and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
a multitude keeping festival.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help 6 and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
at the thunder of your cataracts;
all your waves and your billows
have gone over me.
8 By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
We tend to skip over Scripture that laments to God or complains to God.
Even in life, we sometimes try to hide our complaints and laments from God, worrying that God will think less of us if we do so. But some of the most beautiful Scripture passages are people pouring their hearts out to God. Always, God listens.
God can handle our feelings.
Jesus understands …
As you offer your prayer today – Rejoice in your blessings, but also share with God your laments. Ask God to bring grace into your soul.peace and joyPastor Wendy
The first verse of Psalm 42 is one of my favorites. There is a song from the 70s based on this psalm …. As the deer longs for the springs of water; so my soul thirsts for you…
What David is describing in Spiritual Dehydration. His soul has become dehydrated.
Did you know that the human body is made of 50% - 65% water? Upsetting that balance actually upsets the balance of your blood – and can lead to major health problems. We know that drinking water is important! Yet, hospital rooms are filled with people with various symptoms/results of dehydration. And most of these patients are older adults.
This shows that even though we KNOW what is good for us, we do not necessarily DO what is good for us.
As you drink a glass of water today (or coffee, tea, juice, etc.) be mindful of how it is good for you to do so – and turn your attention to God while drinking.
How does God want to fill you and nurture your soul today?peace and joyPastor Wendy
In his book, Soul Reset, Dr. Dotson says “The practice of prayer simply means to spend time with God. Sometimes we talk; sometimes we listen; sometimes we seek; sometimes we rest. All are actions of prayer”
Throughout the Scriptures, we have examples of varying forms of prayer:
Abram is stargazing with God. I love this form of prayer!
Remember God telling Abram to look up at the sky and try to count the stars?
Is there anything more beautiful than a silent, dark, clear, star-filled sky?
Then we have Mary, whose prayer comes in song.
Whether you are listening to music or making your own music, you can feel your heart relax and your breathing become deeper.
How will you spend time in prayer with your God today?peace and joyPastor Wendy