you give them drink from the river of your delights

I scrub my hands with purest soap,
then join hands with the others in the great circle,
dancing around your altar, God,
Singing God-songs at the top of my lungs,
telling God-stories.

Our 🎶🎶 for today is “In the Morning” by Chris Miller of the Cageless Birds.

Readings for today…Psalms 26, 28, 36, 39, Joshua 2:15-24, Romans 11:13-24, Matthew 25:14-30

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Artwork by Paulo Medina

Whoever speaks the truth from his heart

God, who gets invited
to dinner at your place?
How do we get on your guest list?

“Walk straight,
act right,
tell the truth.

“Don’t hurt your friend,
don’t blame your neighbor;
despise the despicable.

“Keep your word even when it costs you,
make an honest living,
never take a bribe.

“You’ll never get
blacklisted
if you live like this.”

Our 🎶🎶 for today is an original song of mine called “I Need You Lord.”

Readings for today…Psalms 25, 9, 15, Joshua 2:1-14, Romans 11:1-12, Matthew 25:1-13

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Artwork by Paulo Medina

The Google Search for God

Long read but well worth it.  A couple of passages to whet your appetite:

What is God? It is only a subject that has inspired some of the finest writing in the history of Western civilization—and yet the first two pages of Google results for the question are comprised almost entirely of Sweet’N Low evangelical proselytizing to the unconverted. (The first link the Google algorithm served me was from the Texas ministry, Life, Hope & Truth.) The Google search for God gets nowhere near Augustine, Maimonides, Spinoza, Luther, Russell, or Dawkins. Billy Graham is the closest that Google can manage to an important theologian or philosopher. For all its power and influence, it seems that Google can’t really be bothered to care about the quality of knowledge it dispenses. It is our primary portal to the world, but has no opinion about what it offers, even when that knowledge it offers is aggressively, offensively vapid.

And this ending…

And when an adolescent asks us about God? We can at least answer in the negative, by holding up our phones and saying, “It’s not this.”

Keep me as the apple of your eye

It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!”

Our 🎶🎶 for today is an original song of mine called “You Love Me.”

Readings for today…Psalm 16, 17, 22, Deuteronomy 31:7-13, 24-32:4, Romans 10:1-13, Matthew 24:15-31

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Artwork by Charles Wilbert White.

he delighted in me

Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved. All during this time, the good news—the Message of the kingdom—will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.

Our 🎶🎶 for today is the hymn “How Can I Keep From Singing” by Robert Lowery.

Readings for today…Psalm 18, Deuteronomy 3:18-28, Romans 9:19-33, Matthew 24:1-14

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Artwork by Frank van der Hoeven.

I treasure your promise in my heart

“Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Murderer of prophets! Killer of the ones who brought you God’s news! How often I’ve ached to embrace your children, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you wouldn’t let me. And now you’re so desolate, nothing but a ghost town. What is there left to say? Only this: I’m out of here soon. The next time you see me you’ll say, ‘Oh, God has blessed him! He’s come, bringing God’s rule!’”

Our 🎶🎶 for today is “The Passion” by Hillsong.

Readings for today…Psalms 119:1-24, 12, 13, 14, Deuteronomy 1:1-18, Romans 9:1-18, Matthew 23:27-39

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Artwork by Jacob Lawrence.