G.I.F.T. 8-14-16

 Growing In Faith Together  

 August 14, 2016


 Today’s Texts:
 Jeremiah 23:23-29 
 Psalm 82
 Hebrews 11:29-12:2
  Luke 12:49-56



GATHERED BY GRACE 
In Hebrews 11, the church recites the roster of biblical heroes, examples of trust in God that enabled them to face the trials of life faithfully. In addition to this “cloud of witnesses,” we have Jesus, the perfect model of faithful endurance. The way of the cross often leads followers to encounter hostility and rejection, even from those they love.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* Have you had to wait for something to happen, or save money for something? What is it like to wait? To be patient and disciplined?
* Jesus delineates divisions: to what extent do they sound like a bad soap opera? To what extent do they describe the world we live in? 
* What do you think is the best way to overcome divisions? 
* Who encourages you in your faith? How can you be an encourager of other Christians?

DAILY BIBLE READINGS
These readings are related to the Sunday readings. M-W reflect upon the past Sunday’s readings and Th-Sa prepare for the next Sunday.  Try to take time each day to read the assigned Bible passage.
Sunday Luke 12:49-56
Monday Psalm 32
Tuesday Jeremiah 25:15-29
Wednesday Luke 19:45-48
Thursday Psalm 103:1-8
Friday Acts 17:1-9
Saturday Luke 6:1-5
Sunday Luke 12:49-56

NEXT SUNDAY: Isaiah 58:9b-14; Psalm 103:1-8; Hebrews 12:18-29; Luke 13:10-17

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK

For the Week:  Help me run with perseverance.

Throughout the Day: Keep my eyes fixed on you.

A Blessing to Share:  May you may live deep within your heart.

For mealtime say responsively: 
My word is like fire, says the Lord: Like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces.

Summer Mealtime Prayer:   
Lord, we gather by your grace.
Forgiven much, we seek your face.
Fed with these gifts of yours so kind 
Lead us to love all whom we find. Amen.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  

Devotional Practice:  
Division, misunderstanding, and even breakdown of relationships are part of every human life. Ponder on some divisions that have occurred in your life. What has been their cause? Misunderstanding? Selfishness? Or perhaps a parting of the ways due to differences in commitment? Has your commitment to Gospel value ever been a cause? Bring the pain of such a breakdown to Jesus and ask for his healing wisdom. Rest in the love of God.

Summer Ritual: 
Summer is a glorious time to celebrate the goodness of God and the sacredness of life. Take some quiet time alone each week this summer. Become aware of what is around you (mindfulness is a popular word for this). Pay attention to the flowers. Delight in the colors.  Run water over your hand. Enjoy the coolness. Appreciate the miracle of the human body, the joy of laughter and friends, the freedom of a bird in flight, or the precious smile of a child. Give thanks to God the Creator of all things for this world and all that is in it.

SCATTERED FOR SERVICE 
Remember our food cart for the food bank is out every Sunday – even during construction! Give generously to help others in our community!

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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