Lord, let me not be ashamed for having called upon you

Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

Our 🎶🎶 for today is the hymn “Be Still My Soul” by Kathrina von Schlegel in 1752.

Readings for today…Psalms 31, 35, Joshua 4:19-5:1, 10-15, Romans 12:9-21, Matthew 26:17-25

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Artwork by Paulo Medina

he strengthens those in whose way he delights

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Our 🎶🎶 for today is “Endless Ocean” by Jonathan David Helser.

Readings for today…Psalm 37, Joshua 3:14-4:7, Romans 12:1-8, Matthew 26:1-16

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Artwork by Paulo Medina

For from him and through him and to him are all things

Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.

Is there anyone around who can explain God?
Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?
Anyone who has done him such a huge favor
that God has to ask his advice?
Everything comes from him;
Everything happens through him;
Everything ends up in him.
Always glory! Always praise!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

Our 🎶🎶 for today is “Redemption Rain” by Melissa Helser.

Readings for today…Psalms 38, 119:25-48, Joshua 3:1-13, Romans 11:25-36, Matthew 25:31-46

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Artwork by Paulo Medina

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

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.