Monday, September 30, 2013

Luke 11:33

Unknown Flower, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, September 2013

No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar, but on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light
Luke 11:33

There is only one life, not the sacred and the secular, the life we live for a few hours Sunday morning and the the rest. During that life, show others the grace of God embodied in works of love, your love of God lived out in your love for others, so that they may see the light in you and there encounter the God who seeks them. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Romans 13:11-12

White Peacock Butterfly, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, September 2013

Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Psalm 56:10-11

Golden Orb Weaver spider, Parsonage Butterfly Garden, September 2013

In God, whose word I praise,
in the LORD, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I am not afraid.
What can a mere mortal do to me?
Psalm 56:10-11

We live in the the tension of trust and fear.
Our hearts know the choice that comforts our souls,
yet we struggle with some strange desire that takes root
 and grows and grows: embracing the nothingness of fear, 
rather than the hope of God.

Proverbs 11:28

Mexican Firecracker, Parsonage Butterfly Garden, September 2013

Those who trust in their riches will wither, 
but the righteous will flourish like green leaves.
Proverbs 11:28

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Psalm 10:17

Skipper Butterfly on Purple Porterweed, Parsonage Butterfly Garden, September 2013

O LORD, you will hear the desire of the meek;
you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear
Psalm 10:17

If the Lord is listening to the meek of the earth;
if the Lord hears their cries, their concerns;
if their heart is close to the Lord's own heart,
then where in us is meekness to be found?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Matthew 20:22

Zebra Longwing on Firebush, Trinity Lutheran Butterfly Garden, September 2013

But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?" They said to him, "We are able."
Matthew 20:22

Hosea 12:6

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly, Parsonage Butterfly Garden, September 2013

But as for you, return to your God,
hold fast to love and justice,
and wait continually for your God.
Hosea 12:6

When we sift the continuous stream of news that leaves us often unmoved, it becoming mere background noise in the here andthere of our life, let us filter and let us judge with love and justice; the vote to unfund food for millions of children and the working poor weighing heavy on our hearts this morning.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Psalm 63:1a, 7-8

White Peacock Butterfly, Snake Warrior Natural Area, Miramar, Florida, September 2013

O God, you are my God, I seek you....
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:1a,7-8

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Matthew 5:16

Pickerelweed, Snake Warrior Island Natural Area, Miramar, Florida, September 2013

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. 
Matthew 5:16

Humility, servanthood, welcome, acceptance, unconditional love, simple acts of grace, forgiveness, a life that embodies both God's justice and generous acts of does your life leave people glorifying God? Does it surprise you that from the moment that you were claimed and redeemed by God in Holy Baptism that became your opportunity and promise? 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Psalm 145:15-16

Snake Warrior Island Natural Area, Miramar, Florida September 2013

The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand,
satisfying the desire of every living thing
Psalm 145:15-16

As I turn every increasingly towards 50,
I am beginning to learn what it means,
that God satisfies all of our desires,
that therein contentment may be found,
hunger of a like unsatisfied for so many years 
being sated. 
I struggle still, and on,
yet peace is setting up shop upon that ground
of want and the season will inevitably turn.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Luke 9:57

White Peacock Butterfly, Snake Warrior Natural Area, Miramar, Florida, September 2013

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
Luke 9:57

If the biblical witness speaks a word to flesh out
the fullness of what the Lord means here, then 
we will need to suspend our own judgment,
prepare to be discomforted, 
set aside our own pre-conceived notions of things,
even what the scriptures say,
as we bring ourselves and our prejudices to them; 
for to follow the Lord is to go 
into places of brokenness, not of logic;
of pain and pathos,
places of a truth that we have denied to ourselves
that the Lord desires for us to hear and perhaps 
embody hope.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Matthew 18:20

Railroad Vine, Snake Warrior Island Natural Area, Miramar, Florida, September 2013

For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.
Matthew 18:20

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Isaiah 32:15-17

Pickerelweed, Snake Warrior Natural Area, Miramar, Florida, September 2013

...until a spirit from on high is poured out on us,
and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.
Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.
The effect of righteousness will be peace,
and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
Isaiah 32:15-17

That Spirit has been poured out,
and we have been called as co-workers with Christ 
for the work of peace;
each one of us in ways small and great,
called to the blessed task of peacemaking.
This often means that we will be a people against the grain of public sentiment, against the tide of governments, and subject to pubic scrutiny for taking a stand for faith instead of fear.

Colossians 1:16-17

Trinity Butterfly Garden, September 2013

..for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers — all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:16-17

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Romans 8:26

Angel, Trinity Butterfly Garden, September 2013

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 
Romans 8:26

Prayer can be an intimidating thing for some - 
what to say? The right words, 
Talking to God,
Should we ask,
for ourselves, for others,
how much, how great a thing;
what is the line we should not cross?
Will God answer?
Always? Often? When?
The Spirit comes to our aid in this,
our worries, our fears, our hesitation
unburdened, we to place all care and trust
in one who knows the heart of God, indeed!
And we to just pray, simply and honestly.
It is enough, always enough.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Psalm 85:10-11

Phaon Crescent Butterfly, Snake Warrior Island Natural Area, Miramar, Florida, September 2013

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
Psalm 85:10-11

When a song of lament fills our lives 
from suffering or unrealized dreams;
disappointment with life, with God;
the love of God for us becomes our hope:
it will not leave us or forsake us.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Luke 10:23-24

Passionflower, Trinity Butterfly Garden, September 2013

Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it."
Luke 10:23-24

I stand up at the altar and wonder if people see what I see: the woman who stays after communion at the rail praying in earnest, with quiet tears. The couple who are holding hands, hardships being faced with strength and dignity. The child who looks up at me, bread in hand and says "AMEN!" with gusto. By communion I have seen Jesus a lot and before the service ends it is not unusual for me to choke up and my voice becomes raspy. I see Jesus everywhere and it leaves me with such a sense of awe and wonder that I, too, and often moved to tears. It wasn't always that way and I am grateful for the Lord giving me new and better eyes to see. Where have you seen Jesus today?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Psalm 108:4-5

White Peacock Butterfly, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, August 2013

For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens,
and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
and let your glory be over all the earth.
Psalm 108:4-5

Do you expect that our daily experience of God's love should be this transcendent? And if so and if this isn't our reality, what is getting in the way? Holding us back? Clouding our vision? Robbing us of such an experience of God as this?

Luke 5:26

Bumblebee on Buttonbush, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, August 2013

Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, "We have seen strange things today."
Luke 5:26

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Psalm 145:15-16

Great Blue Heron, Shark Valley Visitors Area, Everglades National Park, August 2013

The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand,
satisfying the desire of every living thing
Psalm 145:15-16. 

For what are we grateful this morning?
Let us strive with eyes that look from the heart to be more aware of the blessings in our lives. Often these come in simplicity, too often lost in a world and lives made ever more complicated in trying to compete, or even survive.  But if we choose not to just throw up our hands and declare ourselves too busy to uncover a deeper simplicity and responding in kind with lives of more abiding gratitude, then we have choices to make to move us ever forward in living into such a reality. What will choose towards a greater simplicity then today?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Philippians 1:8

Viceroy Butterfly, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, August, 2013

For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:8

Many things may define relationships: love, power, convenience, peace, grace, friendship, harmony, abuse, compassion, and so on; the list is long and varied, full of the good and bad, the healthy and unhealthy. The Apostle Paul sees compassion as one of Jesus' defining attributes and one that Christians should embody deeply and employ constantly. Christians could do much to witness to Christ by living lives with less judgment and more compassion. Turn off and turn away from the sources in your life that witness to you of heartlessness and judgment and fill your days with such things as will renew you ability to foster compassion in a world that thirsts  for it. See what life more closely and lovingly following Christ can be! 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Psalm 119:147-148

Anhinga, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, August 2013 

I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I put my hope in your words.
My eyes are awake before each watch of the night,
that I may meditate on your promise.
Psalm 119: 147-148

Whoever thinks Christians know peace so deeply 
that every moment breathes it,
that they sleep soundly, awake in joy,
live life as it is meant to be lived
free of all annoyance, fear or dread, 
might be surprised to find
that this is hardly ever true.
We know Christ and live with the tension
of unbelief and faith, 
modeling our own brokenness
before the world by the bold living of it.
What gets us through the day
is knowing, clinging,
even blindly,
that our cries will not go unanswered.