SABBATH WORSHIP- 10/15/21

Silence and Centering – Pause for 5 minutes of Silence    

“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:10

Confession:

Almighty God, you love us, but we do not love you fully. You call, but we do not always listen. We often walk away from neighbors in need, wrapped in our own concerns. We often condone evil, hatred, warfare, and greed. God of grace, help us to admit our sin, so that as you move toward us in mercy, we may repent, turn to you, and receive forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.

FIRST READING:

Isaiah 53:4-12
53:4 Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.

53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.

53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

53:8 By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people.

53:9 They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

53:10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the LORD shall prosper.

53:11 Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

53:12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

SECOND READING:

Mark 10:35-45
10:35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”

10:36 And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?”

10:37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”

10:38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

10:39 They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;

10:40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

10:41 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John.

10:42 So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them.

10:43 But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant,

10:44 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.

10:45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Reflection:  

Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left. (Mark 10:37)

James and John didn’t quite get it, but then again neither did the other apostles! To their credit, James and John did believe that Jesus would reign in glory. They had heard him predict his passion (Mark 10:32-34), and seemed to believe that some kind of glory would follow whatever suffering Jesus had foretold. And they wanted to be part of it. They wanted to have seats of honor right next to Jesus’ throne.

Maybe these two saw Jesus’ passion and death as just one step in the process—a sad but necessary step toward their own glory. They seemed to miss the fact that giving himself up for us defined the mission of Jesus, and it characterized his kingdom. Jesus came to serve, not to be served (Mark 10:45). He wanted James and John—and all his followers—to understand that his glory was at its height when he emptied himself. His followers would be counted as great to the extent that they imitated his attitude, humbling themselves and becoming the servants of all (10:43-44).

So what will it look like when Jesus comes in glory? The Book of Revelation describes a heavenly throne room with Jesus looking like a lamb that had been slain (5:6). In heaven, he still bears the marks of his sacrifice, and the angels and saints praise him for the beauty of his humble self-gift. The lofty throne James and John were imagining was actually more like an altar of sacrifice than a seat of government.

As you come to Mass today, know that the glorious Lord, the Lamb of God, is offering himself to you once again in the sacrifice of the Eucharist. There is glory in this sacrifice, in his life poured out for you. Let it inspire you to go and pour yourself out for others.

“Lord, let me see your glory today!”

Prayers:

In peace, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For the Church, that she may proclaim our Lord Jesus Christ boldly, with whom all things are possible and by whose death and resurrection the kingdom has been opened, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For the servants of Christ’s Church, that they would be spared from love of wealth and fear of their difficult task and be steeled to set aside every comfort for Christ’s sake and for the Gospel, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For our homes, that every household would find eternal rest in Jesus and His Word; and for fathers and mothers, that they would be diligent in teaching their children and be preserved from hardness of heart, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For our nation and its leaders, that in true wisdom they would promote honest labor, temporal protection and fitting enjoyment under the sun; that all Christians would serve Christ in their citizenship and callings; and that our hearts would be occupied not with the vanity of riches that perish, but with the true joy of Christ, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For the brokenhearted, the crushed in spirit, the sick and those in need, [especially ________________,] that God would hear the cry of His righteous and deliver them out of all their troubles, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For all who draw near to God’s throne of grace, especially those who eat and drink the blessed Sacrament this day, that holding fast to our High Priest and His confession, we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

COMMUNION:

Communion is much more than just eating a piece of bread and taking a sip of wine or juice. It is to…

  • Remember Christ our Savior dying on the cross for the sin of humankind
  • Proclaim his death 
  • Give thanks
  • Examine our hearts
  • Commune with God and fellow believers
  • Acknowledge our covenant with him
  • Anticipate his return

What a beautiful experience we are able to share in this side of the cross!

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matt 26:26-28).”

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

podcast pastor – Ep #34 – Mercy

Mercy- Episode #34 The Podcast Pastor

You know… the game where you hold hands with someone, try to bend each other’s wrists backwards until one of you can’t stand it anymore – and then, in defeat, one of you yells, “MERCY!!!” Sounds like fun, right? 🙂 In real life, extending mercy to someone who has hurt you can be just as painful. But, here’s the thing… at some point, God decided to do exactly that in each of our lives. Join us as Pastor Ryan speaks on Mercy!
  1. Mercy- Episode #34
  2. Coffee & Scripture – Episode #33
  3. Wisdom- God's Guarantee- Episode #32
  4. Prayer Encounter – Episode #31
  5. Topic: Using the Model Prayer for A Prayer Request- Episode #30

Sabbath worship – 10/1/21

Silence and Centering – Pause for 5 minutes of Silence    

“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:10

Confession:

Heavenly Father, our lifelong tendency is to continually strive

to make ourselves righteous in our own eyes through our own merit. 

We foolishly try to keep the law through our own good works,

attempting to keep the commandments in our own strength.

We confess this as the sin and pride that it is.  Have mercy upon us, Lord.

We know that there is nothing we can do to make ourselves

pleasing in Your sight, except to abide in the life of Christ. 

Therefore, help us to live instead in total dependence upon You.

Thank You that in Jesus we are completely justified, redeemed and clothed in His righteousness.

All glory goes to God. Amen.   

FIRST READING:  Job 7:1-21

SECOND READING: Mark 10:2-16

Reflection:  

From the beginning of creation . . . (Mark 10:6)

“Is it lawful?” some Pharisees quizzed Jesus, hoping to trip him up (Mark 10:2). Everyone knew Moses had allowed divorce; it was fairly commonplace in Jewish society at the time. But Jesus didn’t take their bait. Instead, he redirected them to the Garden of Eden, to a time before Moses, a time before sin entered the world. “From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. . . . And the two shall become one flesh” (Mark 10:6, 8; see Genesis 1:27). By focusing on what was lawful, these Pharisees were asking the wrong question. The real question was What did God have in mind?

It’s natural to think small and want specifics: what’s allowed and what isn’t, who’s right and who’s wrong. But Jesus wanted his opponents to think bigger, to see God’s huge, glorious plan—and he wants to do the same thing for us.

God’s intention for marriage is so much greater than doing right and avoiding wrong.

It’s about creative, faithful, self-giving love. It’s about God knitting together a man and woman who are both in need of grace. It’s about reflecting the image of God: revealing his perfect love through the everyday, imperfect love of a husband and wife. And it’s a beautiful window into the loving, faithful relationship that God desires to have with every one of his children.

Jesus wants to lift our eyes to the greatness of God’s plan from the beginning. Our experiences of family love will fall short of this ideal because we are all sinners. But our families can still be beautiful and glorify God. Even troubled marriages and fractured families can still be windows into God’s love. As through stained glass, God’s love can still shine through us and point toward the one who made us. Because “all things are possible for God” (Mark 10:27).

“Jesus, teach me to love.”

PRAYERS:

In peace, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

In thanksgiving for Jesus Christ, David’s Son and Lord, on whose love hangs all the Law and the Prophets and in whose discipline we also make our beginning in love, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For the Church, that her preachers may be proven faithful, and that all Christians would be glad to enter into the house of the Lord, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For our congregation, that young and old may be enriched with the testimony about Christ, grow in every spiritual gift, and endure in Christ’s fellowship until the day of His revealing, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For the fatherless, for widows, for sojourners and refugees, and for all who suffer instability, that they may find a solid rock in Christ Jesus and a family in the communion of the Holy Christian Church, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For our republic with its lawmakers and executives, that the common good would be served, and that its justice would accord with our God’s good order and command, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For the needy, the troubled, the joyful and the expectant, [especially _____________,] that they may look confidently to Christ, seated at the Father’s right hand and subjecting every enemy under His feet, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

For all who commune, that strengthened by the forgiveness of our sins delivered in the body and blood of Christ, we may grow in the fear, love and service of God, who is our praise, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.

Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

podcast pastor – episode #31

Mercy- Episode #34 The Podcast Pastor

You know… the game where you hold hands with someone, try to bend each other’s wrists backwards until one of you can’t stand it anymore – and then, in defeat, one of you yells, “MERCY!!!” Sounds like fun, right? 🙂 In real life, extending mercy to someone who has hurt you can be just as painful. But, here’s the thing… at some point, God decided to do exactly that in each of our lives. Join us as Pastor Ryan speaks on Mercy!
  1. Mercy- Episode #34
  2. Coffee & Scripture – Episode #33
  3. Wisdom- God's Guarantee- Episode #32
  4. Prayer Encounter – Episode #31
  5. Topic: Using the Model Prayer for A Prayer Request- Episode #30

spiritual renewal -9/28/21

Spiritual Renewal Clipart (#1367252) - PinClipart

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)

Scripture Reading

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness, for you have so exalted your solemn decree that it surpasses your fame. Psalm 138:1–2, NIV

Prayer:

Dear Father in heaven, we thank you for your mercy and for your great goodness and power, revealed to us through the ages and in the present time. We live by your revelation, Lord God Almighty, for you perform wonders on earth and you reign in heaven so that heaven can bless and help us on our earthly pilgrimage. Grant that your loving-kindness and your justice may be revealed through all the world. Come, O Lord our God, bring the light for us who believe in you, and be the light for the whole world. Glory to your name, for you are indeed our Father in heaven and on earth, and you give certainty for our life in time and in eternity. Amen.

Daily Affirmation

Devotional: GOSPEL READING: Luke 9:46-50

46 And an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47 But when Jesus perceived the thought of their hearts, he took a child and put him by his side, 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great.” 49 John answered, “Master, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him; for he that is not against you is for you.”

Meditation: Are you surprised to see the disciples of Jesus arguing about who is the greatest among them? Don’t we do the same thing? The appetite for glory and greatness seems to be inbred in us. Who doesn’t cherish the ambition to be “somebody” whom others admire rather than a “nobody”? Even the psalms speak about the glory God has destined for us. “You have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:5). Jesus made a dramatic gesture by placing a child next to himself to show his disciples who really is the greatest in the kingdom of God.

What can a little child possibly teach us about greatness? Children in the ancient world had no rights, position, or privileges of their own. They were socially at the “bottom of the rung” and at the service of their parents, much like the household staff and domestic servants. What is the significance of Jesus’ gesture? Jesus elevated a little child in the presence of his disciples by placing the child in a privileged position of honor at his right side. It is customary, even today, to seat the guest of honor at the right side of the host. Who is the greatest in God’s kingdom? The one who is humble and lowly of heart – who instead of asserting their rights willingly empty themselves of pride and self-seeking glory by taking the lowly position of a servant or child.

Jesus, himself, is our model. He came not to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28). Paul the Apostles states that Jesus “emptied himself and took the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:7). Jesus lowered himself (he whose place is at the right hand of God the Father) and took on our lowly nature that he might raise us up and clothe us in his divine nature. “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). If we want to be filled with God’s life and power, then we need to empty ourselves of everything which stands in the way – pride, envy, self-seeking glory, vanity, and possessiveness. God wants empty vessels so he can fill them with his own glory, power, and love (2 Corinthians 4:7). Are you ready to humble yourself and to serve as Jesus did?

Lord Jesus, your grace knows no bounds. You give freely to the humble of heart and you grant us freedom to love and serve others selflessly. May my love for you express itself in an eagerness to do good for others.

Question to consider: Which word or phrase stands out to you. What might God be saying to you?)

Conclude with Silence (5 Minutes)

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Podcast pastor Ep#29

Mercy- Episode #34 The Podcast Pastor

You know… the game where you hold hands with someone, try to bend each other’s wrists backwards until one of you can’t stand it anymore – and then, in defeat, one of you yells, “MERCY!!!” Sounds like fun, right? 🙂 In real life, extending mercy to someone who has hurt you can be just as painful. But, here’s the thing… at some point, God decided to do exactly that in each of our lives. Join us as Pastor Ryan speaks on Mercy!
  1. Mercy- Episode #34
  2. Coffee & Scripture – Episode #33
  3. Wisdom- God's Guarantee- Episode #32
  4. Prayer Encounter – Episode #31
  5. Topic: Using the Model Prayer for A Prayer Request- Episode #30

Sabbath worship – 9/25/21

Silence and Centering – Pause for 5 minutes of Silence    

“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:10

Confession:

Eternal God, your good news to us in Jesus Christ Changes our lives forever. Yet we confess to You That we are reluctant to live as changed people. We are enslaved to our old ways. We are angry, judgmental, and devious. We are hypocritical, prideful, and faithless. We do not love You, nor do we love our neighbors as ourselves. Forgive us, O Lord. Restore to us a love of Your Son, Jesus. Renew in us the strength of Your Holy Spirit. Return us to a life that lives in Your grace as we have been saved by Your grace. Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

FIRST READING: Mark 9:38-43

SECOND READING:  NUMBERS 11:25-29

Reflection:  NUMBERS 11:25-29

Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets! (Numbers 11:29)

It wasn’t about him. Moses was very clear about that fact. When Eldad and Medad received God’s spirit and prophesied, even though they were not gathered with him at the tent of meeting, Moses was not diminished in any way.

Why not? Because the initiative and the spirit came from God, not from Moses. It was not Moses who would be glorified by the spiritual gifts poured out on the elders; it was the Lord. As he himself said, he’d be happy if all God’s people were prophets! He would be delighted if they all knew the Lord as intimately as he did and spoke his word as freely. Like Joshua, though, we sometimes want to make a script for how God can work in people’s lives. Moses teaches us to be open when the Lord works in unexpected ways.

Jesus had a similar response to his disciples in today’s Gospel. When they complained that someone who didn’t follow them was casting out demons in his name, Jesus told them not to worry. God was working through that person too. Again, like the disciples, we might think that things should be done a certain way. Then we feel threatened when people don’t follow our “script.” But as Jesus said, “Whoever is not against us is for us” (Mark 9:40). He was trying to broaden the disciples’ view so that they could be free to recognize and follow the working of his Spirit in the future. That attitude became extremely important when Gentiles started believing in Jesus.

God sometimes looks at things differently than we do. We might be weighed down by a reluctance to change or a dislike of the unexpected. But God wants to work in the lives of his people, and he is so eager to pour out his Spirit that he won’t always follow our script. He challenges our narrow viewpoint. And that can be a really good thing!

“Lord, broaden my expectations of how you might work today.”

Prayers:

Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.

Almighty Father, unite Your Church in the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace. Lead Christians who are at odds with one another to seek reconciliation in Christ and, as brothers, to bear with each other in love. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Preserve and give success to the preaching of Your Holy Word. Through pastors, missionaries, church workers and the priesthood of all believers, send forth Your Son’s gracious invitation to repent and believe and cause it to be received with joyful faith. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Holy Lord, You have given Your gift of holy marriage, and You preserve this estate against the forces of sin and Satan. Bless all married couples. Keep them faithful to each other in their vows and ready to welcome Your gift of children in their union, according to Your will. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Blessed Father, strengthen fathers to devote their households to Your Word and prayer, to bring their children faithfully to Christ’s font, and faithfully to instruct their children in regular attendance at the Divine Service. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Almighty God, uphold Joseph, our president; ____________, our governor; and all our leaders. Direct their work toward the common good of all people, which is found in God’s Law written on our hearts and in Your righteous decrees — especially for the protection of the unborn and those who cannot speak for themselves. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Merciful Father, spare those who are ill, suffering or in sorrow [especially ____________]. Comfort them with Your promise of constant care and mercy. Show compassion also to the bereaved. Comfort them with Your promise of a joyful reunion with Christ and their loved ones who have died in the faith. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Bless all who will receive the Lord’s Supper today to eat and drink in repentance and faith. Strengthen all believers through the forgiveness of sins promised in the Holy Scriptures, until at last we are welcomed together at Your eternal marriage feast. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Communion

1 CORINTHIANS 11:23-26NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Podcast pastor ep#28

Mercy- Episode #34 The Podcast Pastor

You know… the game where you hold hands with someone, try to bend each other’s wrists backwards until one of you can’t stand it anymore – and then, in defeat, one of you yells, “MERCY!!!” Sounds like fun, right? 🙂 In real life, extending mercy to someone who has hurt you can be just as painful. But, here’s the thing… at some point, God decided to do exactly that in each of our lives. Join us as Pastor Ryan speaks on Mercy!
  1. Mercy- Episode #34
  2. Coffee & Scripture – Episode #33
  3. Wisdom- God's Guarantee- Episode #32
  4. Prayer Encounter – Episode #31
  5. Topic: Using the Model Prayer for A Prayer Request- Episode #30

Spiritual Connection -9/23/21

Silence and Centering – Pause for 5 minutes of Silence    

“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:10

Confession:

Salvation-Giving God, we know you have broken the chains that bind us to the systems of sin and death. Yet we confess that we often fall back into old patterns, follow old idols, and avoid the freedom you graciously extend. Shatter our chains once again, Lord, so we may walk boldly in Your Kingdom as we love and serve those around us.

Scripture Reading: Luke 9:7-9

Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. But Herod said, “I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?” And he tried to see him.

Prayer of the Day:

Our dear Father in heaven, we thank you that you have given us the Lord Jesus on high and that we are allowed to be with him and find joy even while still surrounded by all that must fade and perish. For in Jesus Christ, you hold us by the hand through anxiety, need, and death. Grant that he may be with us as we continue our pilgrimage. Grant us your Spirit, for we are poor in spirit and in soul. Give us your Holy Spirit from on high. Just in our weakness we come to know what strength and victory you bring through the Lord Jesus, our Savior. The Lord Jesus is our Savior for body, soul, and spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

Reflection:

He was greatly perplexed. (Luke 9:7)

Jesus had opened blind eyes, unstopped deaf ears, and mended lame legs. By doing all of this, he had fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy about the coming Messiah (35:4-6). Herod, a Jew, would probably have known that prophecy. But Herod’s thoughts were tangled up in guilt, fear, and self-interest. He had ordered the beheading of John the Baptist, he was living with his brother’s wife, and he would do just about anything to satisfy his self-interest. And that tangle of thoughts prevented him from recognizing the truth of who Jesus was.

It’s natural to criticize Herod’s actions because we know that he would eventually reject Jesus and send him to his death. But here we see Herod in the middle—the perplexing middle—of his story. We see him still intrigued by Jesus and his message.

We all experience some degree of perplexity about the Lord. Perhaps guilt or shame causes you to doubt that he would welcome you. Maybe you’re disappointed that a loved one for whom you had prayed earnestly has slipped away into eternity. Or perhaps you’re worried about your spouse or a child who has turned away from the faith. Thought and emotion become tangled, and perplexity gains the upper hand.

You don’t have to stay like this! You can always turn to the Lord and let the truth of God’s presence and love speak to the perplexity within you. Let God remind you that his love is greater than all uncertainty, that the freedom flowing from repentance is worth any awkwardness, and that Jesus is both able and willing to strengthen anyone. Even you. Then focus your thoughts on the truth that you know: Jesus will never abandon you, your loved ones, or anyone, for that matter.

Herod let perplexity keep him from seeing the truth. You have the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, to guide you to all truth and to help you choose it (John 16:13). He will lead you in the way forward. He will help you find peace, even in the midst of perplexity.

“Holy Spirit, help me to choose truth today, and lead me in your peace.”

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Podcast Pastor- Ep#27

Mercy- Episode #34 The Podcast Pastor

You know… the game where you hold hands with someone, try to bend each other’s wrists backwards until one of you can’t stand it anymore – and then, in defeat, one of you yells, “MERCY!!!” Sounds like fun, right? 🙂 In real life, extending mercy to someone who has hurt you can be just as painful. But, here’s the thing… at some point, God decided to do exactly that in each of our lives. Join us as Pastor Ryan speaks on Mercy!
  1. Mercy- Episode #34
  2. Coffee & Scripture – Episode #33
  3. Wisdom- God's Guarantee- Episode #32
  4. Prayer Encounter – Episode #31
  5. Topic: Using the Model Prayer for A Prayer Request- Episode #30