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getting out the WORD - the third sunday in lent
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 14:17

the PRAYER...
Merciful God, the fountain of living water, you quench our thirst and wash away our sin. Give us this water always. Bring us to drink from the well that flows with the beauty of your truth through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
[Jesus] came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph... .

John 4:5-42

the DEVOTION...
I'd just finished a black-and-white print! Eleven by fourteen! Old school! Darkroom, negative, enlarger, all the rest! And when I could, I took it out into the light to get a closer look! First thing I did was get it as close to my face as I could, looking at every detail! The grain that made up the film! The focus! The dust spots! And all the while, my dad stood there watching. After a bit, he came over, took the picture, walked across the room, leaned it against something on a shelf, came back beside me, and smiled. "Now, that's how you look at a picture!"

Unfortunately, more often than not, that's how we end up looking at the bible, as well. Not from a distance, but up close and personal! We stick our nose right into every page! Examining each tittle and jot; inspecting it letter by letter, word for word. Details, that's what we're after! Specifics! Particulars! But luckily, every now and then, we run into a passage - like the gospel for the week - just too big to take in at a glance! One that forces us to step back to see it all. And it's at times like that I hear my dad's voice, all over again. "Now, that's how you look at a picture!" Look at a picture or read a story!

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
getting out the WORD - the second sunday in lent
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 14:59

the PRAYER...
O God, our leader and guide, in the waters of baptism you bring us to new birth to live as your children. Strengthen our faith in your promises, that by your Spirit we may lift up your life to all the world through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
Jesus answered [Nicodemus], "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above."

John 3:1-17

the DEVOTION...
The Youth Gathering, that year, was in Atlanta. We wanted to get there in the worst way... so we road a bus! All thousand miles of it! But once we got there, it was worth the trip! Forty thousand kids between the ages of 14 and 17! In the Georgia Dome! There was one speaker, in particular...

I hadn't thought about him in years. Not until I read the verse. "Belly buttons," he began! "That's the one thing we have in common! Belly buttons! We all have one! It remind us we didn't get here by ourselves! It took someone else! At least two someone '!"

Being born again - even born from above - is a lot like that. It's not our choice! Whether or not to be born! Who our parents are or aren't! Whether we'll be male or female; black or white; rich or poor; even what century, what country, in which we'd live! All we do is live the life we're given! Play the hand we've been dealt! That's the way it works... in the world, as well as in the kingdom! We're born not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of god! You see, it's a gift! It's all a gift! No questions asked!

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
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Today's Bible Reading

  • Psalm 6

    ​O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger,
    or discipline me in your wrath.
    Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing;
    O LORD, heal me, for my bones are shaking with...

Verse of the Day

  • Psalm 6

    ​My soul also is struck with terror, while you, O LORD — how long? Turn, O LORD, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who can give you praise?

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