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SPIRITUAL CONNECTION -Jan. 11

Silence and Centering     – Pause for Silence

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

Confession:

Dear Heavenly Father, We confess that we have not sat quietly with You and listened for Your voice Through the hustle of Christmastime and navigating our world, we have given up the quiet space allocated for You. Forgive us for filling that space with things not of You. Thank you for desiring to meet with us in the stillness of Your creation. As Your humble servants, we thank You for Your forgiveness. Amen.

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
3:15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah,

3:16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

3:17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened,

3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

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.

December 25, 2020: Merry Christmas!


Pause: Before beginning your retreat, pause for a few moments and focus your attention on your breathing. Take several deep breaths. Be aware of God’s loving presence within you.

Scripture Reading: Matthew 11:4-5
Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.”

Insights: The disciples of John the Baptist are given a message. They are to tell him what
they’ve seen and heard Jesus do. Pure and simple. Or was it? How do you begin to put into words the miracles of healing, of feeding the multitudes, or raising the dead? What do you say about someone who eats with sinners and seeks out the poor and needy? This was no easy task the disciples were charged with. Yet they return to John the Baptist with ample evidence that the Messiah was now in their midst and lived among them. Can you feel the excitement and enthusiasm?

Reflection: If Jesus told you to tell a friend what you’ve heard and seen him do, what would you say? When have you felt excited about something Jesus has done?

Prayer: Jesus, you walk among us. Help me to speak clearly and boldly about what I see and
hear you do.

Restore – December 24th

How do we as individuals personally care for our soul in the season in which we live? I want to invite you to a TLCC personal soul care formation that you can do daily to.

Restore: A personal invitation daily to take a short pause during the day to pray, meditate and reflect. This Practice can be 3-8 minutes in length.

Restore: To bring back to a state of health, soundness, or vigor.

December 24, 2020:
Pause: Before you begin sit quietly and open your heart to God’s message for you. Invite God
into your silence.

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:9
This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Insights: Prayer is about putting all else aside, even for a minute, and turning the spotlight away from ourselves and onto God. It’s harder than it sounds. Jesus wanted his disciples to practice this kind of prayer. The Our Father is Jesus’ response to his disciples’ request to teach them how to pray. Prayer begins by acknowledging the presence of God. All else flows from that. When we are aware of God’s presence in the daily moments of life, our life is in balance.

Reflection: How do I begin my prayer? Who is the focus of my attention? When I feel as if I
don’t know how to pray, how comfortable am I asking Jesus to teach me?
Prayer: End your retreat by praying reflectively the words that Jesus taught us. (Matt 6:9)

Sacred Space – 12/15/20

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)

Scripture Reading & Devotional:

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. – Philippians 2:3-5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The world is looking for Jesus. The truth is that people love what Jesus stood for and how He lived His life. It is the way we, the church, live that turns them away from Christianity. Paul knew this. It was the love and grace of Jesus that consumed him, so he knew if we were going to make an impact in the world at all, if anyone around us were going to come to Jesus, then it would have to be through an accurate portrayal of the person we name our self after. If we are Christians, Paul says that we “must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” And what was this attitude? It was an attitude of love and selflessness. Paul said it this way, “Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Today, let us humble ourselves and live as Jesus would. Might He live in and through us so much that people would have to take a second look, mistaking our love for the Lord Himself.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord Jesus, help me to live the way You would. Help me have the same attitude that You do. Help me live for You so much that those around me will be compelled to know You as I do.
AMEN

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

Prayer:  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.

Encounter God- Dec. 12, 2020

Scripture Reading/Lectura bíblica: Matthew 21:28-32/Mateo 21:28-32

28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

28 »¿Qué les parece? —continuó Jesús—. Había un hombre que tenía dos hijos. Se dirigió al primero y le pidió: “Hijo, ve a trabajar hoy en el viñedo”. 29 “No quiero”, contestó, pero después se arrepintió y fue. 30 Luego el padre se dirigió al otro hijo y le pidió lo mismo. Este contestó: “Sí, señor”; pero no fue. 31 ¿Cuál de los dos hizo lo que su padre quería?»

—El primero —contestaron ellos.

Jesús les dijo:

—Les aseguro que los recaudadores de impuestos y las prostitutas van delante de ustedes hacia el reino de Dios. 32 Porque Juan fue enviado a ustedes a señalarles el camino de la justicia, y no le creyeron, pero los recaudadores de impuestos y las prostitutas sí le creyeron. E incluso después de ver esto, ustedes no se arrepintieron para creerle.

Confession/Confesión:

Heavenly Father, when we have forgotten what Advent is about, forgive us. When we focus on making the list and checking it twice, forgive us. When we look to our own selfish comforts, rather than caring for our brothers and sisters, forgive us. By Your grace, remove the blinders of our consumer mindset so that we may see and truly celebrate the arrival of our salvation through Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. Amen.

Padre Celestial, cuando hayamos olvidado de qué se trata el Adviento, perdónanos. Cuando nos concentramos en hacer la lista y revisarla dos veces, perdónanos. Cuando buscamos nuestras propias comodidades egoístas, en lugar de preocuparnos por nuestros hermanos y hermanas, perdónanos. Por Tu gracia, quita las anteojeras de nuestra mentalidad de consumidor para que podamos ver y celebrar verdaderamente la llegada de nuestra salvación a través de Jesús, Emmanuel, Dios con nosotros. Amén.

Pause for 2 Minutes of Silence/ Pausa por 2 minutos de silencio

Pause for 1 Minute of Silence/ Pausa por 1 minuto de silencio

The Our Father (slowly pray this)/El Padre Nuestro (reza lentamente esto)

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.

Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos, santificado sea tu nombre. Venga tu reino, Hágase tu voluntad en la tierra, como en el cielo. Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día. Y perdona nuestras ofensas, como perdonamos a los que nos ofenden. Y no nos dejes caer en la tentación, sino líbranos del maligno. Para ti es el reino, el poder y la gloria para siempre, Amén.

Daily Prayer – Dec. 9, 2020

+ Behold, our savior will come; you need no longer fear

Reading #1 –  Malachi 2:10-3:1;

Reading #2 – Luke 1:5-17

Reflection:

Luke is the only Gospel to tell the story of John the Baptiser’s birth. The writer obviously knew about the prophecies that spoke of Elijah coming before the Messiah, and he wanted to show that John fulfilled these predictions. But John is not the point. From the beginning John’s purpose was to point beyond himself to the Messiah. He was to be the bridge between the Old Testament prophets and the New order which Jesus established. His ministry showed that Jesus’ work was a continuation of the work that God had begun in God’s people in the Old Testament, but also that, in Jesus, God was doing something completely new. John was not called to an easy life.

He was a change agent, and a person who would confront and challenge the forces that divide people from one another and from God. Yet, as we know, he did this job faithfully and prepared the hearts of the people for Jesus’ coming. When we read about angels visiting John’s parents and promising that he would be filled with God’s Spirit from birth, it is easy to feel that his task was unique. In one sense it was. The coming of Christ was a unique moment in history and John’s job was uniquely related to it. But, in another sense, John was a very ordinary person who had done nothing more than respond to God’s call. We are called to prepare our hearts and the hearts of those around for Christ. We are called to challenge the forces that divide us from one another. And we are all called to receive the power of God’s Spirit to be faithful witnesses to Christ. How is God calling you to witness to Jesus today? How can you receive a new infilling of God’s Spirit to empower you?

DO: We are all witnesses to something. Our lives speak whether we want them to or not. The only question is what our lives say. If we are to witness to Jesus, we need the Spirit to empower us to be gracious, loving, humble and serving. Today, invite God’s Spirit to fill you, guide you and empower you again.

PRAY: Come, Holy Spirit, fill me and make my life a witness to Jesus.

PRAY: As I listen for your voice, O God, so I become more alert to the signs of your coming.:

Faithful God Hear our Prayer.

For all who suffer, that they may find comfort through their faith, we pray.

For all those who minister to the sick, that they be signs of God’s love we pray.

For doctors, nurses and caregivers, that their actions be done with love we pray.

For Ourselves, that we always believe that God holds us gently we pray.

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.

Look with favor, O God.

On all our needs

And hear our pleas when we cry out to you.

Grant to us, the faith of the centurion,

That we might give you glory

For the mercy and compassion

That lifts us up with your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, for ever and ever Amen!

Daily Prayer – Dec.7th

+ Behold, our savior will come; you need no longer fear

Reading #1 –  Acts 2:37-42

Reading #2 – Psalm 27;

REFLECT:
The writer of today’s Psalm knows what it is to be in conflict, to be picked
on and persecuted, to have enemies who wait for him to fail, and to feel
abandoned by God. These experiences of pain and struggle are common
to every single person, to a greater or lesser degree. Yet, in the midst of this
pain, the writer also knows a sense of confidence, security, joy, and
intimacy with God.

These experiences of strength, courage and being supported by a power beyond ourselves are also common to every person. The gift of this Psalm, though, is not just the comfort it offers in knowing that our experience of life is normal, but also the hints it gives for how best
to navigate the ups and downs that come our way.

The reason for the writer’s confidence is that he has found God – not
armies, or wealth, or his own intelligence – to be his fortress. He knows that
life requires a source of strength and inspiration that is beyond us, and he
has found a way to tap into God’s presence. He has learned that God is
always calling us into intimate conversation and communion, and he has
learned how to respond to the whisper of God’s Spirit. This means that he
has confidence that, even when he feels abandoned, God will never leave
him. And, as he seeks direction for his life, he knows he can trust God to
teach him how to live. This is why the final words of the Psalm call us to
wait patiently for God. It is this waiting that connects us with God’s
presence, and the wisdom, peace, and security of union with God.
How can you wait for God today, and allow the Spirit to guide and
strengthen you?

DO:
When we feel overwhelmed by the roller-coaster of life, we may be tempted
to rush into our activities in the hopes that our busyness will make things
more manageable. But this usually just makes us feel even more
overwhelmed. When we make time for stillness, we are able to slow our
minds down and gain new perspective, and we often find new approaches
to our challenges that bring a greater sense of peace. Today, take some
time out to be still and allow God’s Spirit to speak and guide you.

PRAY:
When I feel overwhelmed, O God, I find peace by becoming still in your
presence.

PRAY: As I listen for your voice, O God, so I become more alert to the signs of your coming.:

Faithful God Hear our Prayer.

For all who suffer, that they may find comfort through their faith, we pray.

For all those who minister to the sick, that they be signs of God’s love we pray.

For doctors, nurses and caregivers, that their actions be done with love we pray.

For Ourselves, that we always believe that God holds us gently we pray.

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.

Look with favor, O God.

On all our needs

And hear our pleas when we cry out to you.

Grant to us, the faith of the centurion,

That we might give you glory

For the mercy and compassion

That lifts us up with your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, for ever and ever Amen!

Daily Prayer – Dec.5 , 2020

+ Behold, our savior will come; you need no longer fear

Reading #1 –  Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13;

Reading #2 –  Ezekiel 36:24-28; 

REFLECT:
So many people in today’s world long to change things about themselves.
Some want to change their appearance, others the amount of money in
their bank accounts, and still others their relationships. Millions of dollars
are spent every year by people who long to find the secret to making the
changes they want. But, while it is never a bad thing to work to become
healthier, more deeply connected with others, and more financially
responsible, we usually need a power beyond us for real transformation to
happen. This is why spiritual experiences in which we encounter God in
deep and profound ways can have such a strong impact on the course of
our lives.

After centuries of warnings by prophet after prophet, God’s people had
finally had to face the consequences of their injustice, corruption, and
destructiveness. They had been conquered and the leaders had been
carried off into exile. The warnings had not been enough to change the
people and bring them into alignment with God’s ways. But, in today’s
reading Ezekiel promises the exiles that a time will come when God’s
people will experience true transformation. They won’t do it themselves – it
will be the work of God’s Spirit. They will be made clean, they will receive
new hearts, and God’s Spirit will live within them. Of course, this prophecy
was fulfilled in Jesus, and now this transformation is available to all.
Where do you long for transformation in your life? How can you receive
God’s promise and allow God’s Spirit to transform you a little more today?

DO:
For us to receive God’s transformation, we need to be willing to receive the
presence and power of God’s Spirit. That’s why our worship needs to
include moments of invocation when we invite the Spirit to work in us.
Today, carry a prayer of invocation on your lips, and allow God’s Spirit to
do God’s transforming work in your heart.

PRAY:
Come, Holy Spirit, create a new heart within me and lead me in God’s
ways.

PRAY: As I listen for your voice, O God, so I become more alert to the signs of your coming.:

Faithful God Hear our Prayer.

For all who suffer, that they may find comfort through their faith, we pray.

For all those who minister to the sick, that they be signs of God’s love we pray.

For doctors, nurses and caregivers, that their actions be done with love we pray.

For Ourselves, that we always believe that God holds us gently we pray.

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.

Look with favor, O God.

On all our needs

And hear our pleas when we cry out to you.

Grant to us, the faith of the centurion,

That we might give you glory

For the mercy and compassion

That lifts us up with your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, for ever and ever Amen!

Daily Prayer Dec. 4, 2020

+ Behold, our savior will come; you need no longer fear

Reading #1 –  Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; 

Reading #2 – Jeremiah 1:4-10;

REFLECT: Jeremiah’s ministry was one of the longest and hardest of all the prophets. That’s why he is sometimes called “the weeping prophet.” Yet, in the description of his call-in today’s reading, God reassured the young man that God would give him the words and would be with him through it all. Though God promised protection, Jeremiah suffered great persecution, imprisonment and conflict. Nevertheless, Jeremiah’s experience of being called was that it was not an afterthought by God, but was planned from before the prophet’s birth. And the words he spoke were not his own, but were those of God. Some of his words would be comforting and uplifting and some would be confrontational and even destructive. This was because God’s Reign always confronts injustice and hatred, while nurturing love and the common good. Centuries later, John the Baptist proclaimed a similar message – so much so that some of his hearers thought he was Jeremiah reincarnated. Then, when Jesus came along with the same message again, people thought perhaps he was Jeremiah returned. But there was no need for a specific prophet to come back from the dead. God’s message has been essentially the same throughout the ages: those who align themselves with the compassion, generosity, servanthood, and humility of God’s Reign are comforted and nurtured. But those who oppose love and justice find themselves in opposition to God. God never stops appointing messengers to carry his call and his challenge into the world. Jeremiah and John were just ordinary people, but their lives proclaimed God’s word. How is God calling you to be a Jeremiah to your world today?

DO: God’s prophets were masters at using their words to proclaim God’s message. But their words would have meant nothing if their lives had not proclaimed the same message. In the same way, as we seek to share the message of God’s grace in Christ, it is not just our words but our lives that matter. Today let your life, and your words, proclaim the grace, love and justice of God.

PRAY: In all I say and all I do, O God, may my life proclaim your word.

PRAY: As I listen for your voice, O God, so I become more alert to the signs of your coming.:

Faithful God Hear our Prayer.

For all who suffer, that they may find comfort through their faith, we pray.

For all those who minister to the sick, that they be signs of God’s love we pray.

For doctors, nurses and caregivers, that their actions be done with love we pray.

For Ourselves, that we always believe that God holds us gently we pray.

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.

Look with favor, O God.

On all our needs

And hear our pleas when we cry out to you.

Grant to us, the faith of the centurion,

That we might give you glory

For the mercy and compassion

That lifts us up with your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, for ever and ever Amen!