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Pursue Life! Week SIX  (scripture from The Message or CEB) 

Scoll down to find Friday, Saturday and Sunday's Lenten thoughts. Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 18, Luke 17:33

Whoever tries to preserve their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life will preserve it.

Image result for oxymoron

 

A holy oxymoron!

Isn’t that the crazy way the kingdom of God works?

The first shall be last.

Improbable, insignificant people living amazing lives,

doing great works all because of the love of God.

Remind me of this, Lord, when I’m feeling insignificant.

I can do something!

 

Friday, April 19, John 10:10 (CEB) 

I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.

 Image result for living fully

Jesus came so that life would be worth living fully.

Today I need to focus on good life choices.

A kind word. A gossipy comment left unspoken.

An apple, not a piece of pie.

What good life choices will you begin to focus on today?

 

 

Saturday, April 20 1 Peter 3:8-12

 Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth.

 Image result for be a blessing 

 Powerful words.

Life giving words.

Words to memorize so they fill my soul...

snub evil, cultivate good; run after peace

...You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Amen.

 


4/21, Easter Sunday, A time of rebirth! Matthew 4:17 CEB

From that time on Jesus began to announce, “Change your hearts and lives!”

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The time is now.

To change my heart and life.

It’s Easter. Love lives and never dies.

Help me to continue to live a love-filled life.

Be with me Lord, help me to feel your love around me.

Help me to live the full life you want for me. Amen.


Wednesday, April 17 1 Timothy 6:6

A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God.

Image result for simplicity be yourself

Being myself, before God...and before myself.

Let me see myself as God sees me, imperfections and all.

And know that I am an instrument of God’s love.

My imperfections make me, ME.

And God makes everything work to the good of all.

 

Tuesday, April 16, Romans 6:22-23

But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way!

 My goal is to seek to discover the delight of listening to God. If I want a whole, put-together-life, I need to make some time for silence, for listening, for waiting so I can discover the joy of listening to God. Help me slow down my pace, Lord, so i have time to listen for your voice.

 

 

Monday April 15, Matthew 23:8-10

You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates. Don’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let God tell you what to do. And don’t let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them—Christ. Image result for classroom

I am here to live MY life. I will not give my POWER to other people. I also will not delude myself into telling people that I know what’s best for them. Jesus shows me how to live my life. I can encourage others to listen for God in their life.

Sunday, April 14 Luke 11:33-36

“No one lights a lamp, then hides it in a drawer. It’s put on a lamp stand so those entering the room have light to see where they’re going. Your eye is a lamp, lighting up your whole body. If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. Keep your eyes open, your lamp burning, so you don’t get musty and murky. Keep your life as well-lighted as your best-lighted room.”

Image result for bright lamp

 

The way I live, the things I think about,

make sure they’re the good things.

Love. Trust. Service. Kindness.

Fuel for my soul and light for my life.

 

Saturday, April 13, Romans 6:20-21

As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end.

Buffer Stop, End Of Track, Rails, Track

 Life IS better when I

practice loving, not

judging. Embracing

gratitude and not

greed. Focusing on

helping others to

get outside of

my own head and put

my life into perspective.

 

Friday April 12, Luke 6:43-45

“You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.

Image result for apple tree

 

 

My true self will come out

in all those times

when I act,

without thinking;

talk, without measuring my words.

Who I am

will always come out,

so I must continually

be working on the inner me.

 

 

Thursday, April 11 John 1:4 (CEB)

What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people.

Image result for love light

The way of Jesus brings me light and life.

The way of Jesus is a way of love,

a way of living love, putting love into action;

All powerful, consuming, and wondrous.

God loves me, I’m to love others

...so we all can live in the light.

 


Wednesday, April 10 John 15:11-13

“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends."

Image result for love one another

A mature love is

to love one another.

To be loving towards

people who

are doing what I hate.

Who believe in the

“wrong” things. We are each

“wonderfully made” by God.

Each of us has value.

Each of us

deserves to be loved.

This certainly calls for a mature love.

Help me, Lord, this is hard.


 Tuesday, April 9 Matthew 8:22

Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life.”

Image result for pursue Life Love

 Love the Lord my God,

and Love my neighbo

r as much as I do myself.

These two principles will keep

                                   me focused on living, giving, loving.

                          To make me live life as it is meant to be.

 

Monday, April 8, Luke 6:27-30

“To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst... If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. 

Let my enemies bring out the best in me. Challenge me to respond with my BEST self, and notthe first thing that bubbles up.

Image result for servant life loveLive

generously.

Living the

servant life

is going

to take a

whole lot

of practice!

 

 

 

Sunday, April 7 Romans 6:12-14

That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time...Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.

Image result for freedom of god

I am focused

on God’s way

of doing things.

I won’t engage in

gossip. I will focus on

what is needed

to bring joy, comfort,

hope to others...

and hopefully,

to my self.


Saturday, April 6 Mark 1:14-15 (CEB)

After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee announcing God’s good news, saying, “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!”

Image result for small flower garden

God’s Kingdom

is here, it’s my job

to weed and water

my garden. To 

nurture grace and

sow love. To make

the changes that

will better the

kingdom, and my

little patch in it.

 

Friday, April 5, Romans 14:13 (CEB)

So stop judging each other. Instead, this is what you should decide: never put a stumbling block or obstacle in the way of your brother or sister. 

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It’s hard, Lord.

I think I know what’s best for some people.

But I don’t need to offer my opinion--

unless I’m asked--

and then I need to be sure

my words don’t make a situation

more difficult.


Thursday, April 4 Matthew 7:26-27

“But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”

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Yep. You gotta practice love, grace, forgiving. Thank you Lord for the annoying co-worker, neighbor, the driver that cut me off--twice. Remember, practice makes perfect. And there’s plenty of practice time!


Wednesday, April 3 Luke 5:31-32

Jesus heard about it and spoke up, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting outsiders, not insiders—an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out.”

Image result for changed life

I could sure use some changes in my life,

especially inside. It’s hard to practice love,

and show kindness without judgment creeping in.

I need to make sure I make time

to talk with Jesus.

And more important, make time to listen.


Tuesday, April 2 John 4:17-18Related image

 God is love. When we take up permanent residence

in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us.

This way, love has the run of the house,

becomes at home and mature in us

...There is no room in love for fear.

Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is

crippling, a fearful life—fear of death,

fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.

I am a worrier, worry is based in fear.

I just read that worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.

I need to focus on strengthening my love, deepening it, so love’s roots crowd out worry.


Monday, April 1 Matthew 19:17

Jesus said, “Why do you question me about what’s good? God is the One who is good. If you want to enter the life of God, just do what God tells you.”

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Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And love your neighbor. This is what God tells us to do. These are the hard truths.


Sunday, March 31 1 Corinthians 14:1-3

 Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does.

Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you.  

 Image result for patience kindness love

Peace.

Patience.

Kindness.

Love.

Gentleness.

Faith.

Hope.

These gifts

and more God gives me everyday. I

need to work at giving these gifts

away in my life.


 

 

Saturday, March 30 Luke 6: 30

“Don’t pick on people, jump on

their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the

same treatment. Don’t condemnthose who are down; that hardness

can boomerang. Be easy on people;you’ll find life a lot easier.



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Another way to say treat others the way you want to be treated. Love one another. The Bible sure has many ways to say the same thing. And I still need to hear it, and remember it, so I practice it!

Friday, March 29 Matthew 3:11-12

“I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. The real action comes next:

Image result for love in action

“The real action comes next”.

I’ve made the commitment,

now comes the follow through.

The hard part, putting Jesus’ teachings

into my life and actions. “Love one another.”

There are alwaysopportunities to practice love and

grace! What can I do today to further the kingdom? To bring God’s love to my part of town?

 

Thursday, March 28 John 2:4-6

If someone claims, “I know him well!” but doesn’t keep his commandments, they’re obviously a liar. Their life doesn’t match their words. But the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love. This is the only way to be sure we’re in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.  

Image result for living love

Lord, please help me work

on the 2 great commandments,

to love you; and to love my neighbor.

Help me when I miss the mark.

Send others to show me, guide me,

call me out when I’m not acting in love.

Give me strength of this journey,

Lord. I need it.


Wednesday, March 27 Luke 6:38

Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”

Image result for generosity

Like Karma.

What I put forth will come back to me,

generously.

The good and the bad.

Let me be generous

with the good stuff of life.

 

 

Tuesday, March 26 Romans 5:20-21

All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.

Image result for grace

 

That “aggressive

forgiveness we call

grace.” By the grace

of God I woke up this

morning. By God’s

grace I can continue

to try living a kinder,

gentler life. I will do

my best to emulate

God’s grace. I will fail

sometimes, but God’s

grace will continue to inspire me to keep trying to live a “God filled life.”


Monday, March 25 Matthew 23:11-12

“Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.

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We are all

wonderfully made.

Created in God’s

image. We are

beloved in God’s

sight. Let us treat

ourselves, and

each other,

gently; knowing

we are cherished.

Our lives are

sacred. God made

you, you.

And me, me. We’re perfect,just the way we are.

 

Pursue Life!  Week Three  (scripture from The Message or CEB) 

Sunday. March 24 Mark 11:22

Jesus was matter-of-fact:“Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. 


Image result for embrace life

  This should be my nightly prayer:

No worry.

To live love as best as I can.

To follow in the steps of Jesus.

Amen


Saturday, March 23 John 13:12-17

Image result for footwashing imagesThen he said, “Do you understand

what I have done to you? You

address me as ‘Teacher’ and

‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what

I am. So if I, the Master and

Teacher, washed your feet, you

must now wash each other’s feet.

I’ve laid down a pattern for you.

What I’ve done, you do. I’m only

pointing out the obvious. A servant

is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you

understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.

Live a blessed life, a servant life. Serve others. Focus on the good, kind and loving. Be like the Boss, who was a servant.

 

Friday, March 22, Matthew 11:28-30

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

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Well said, Jesus. Well said. I will pray, study, and follow you. And work to recover my life.


Thusday March 21 1 Peter 4:12-13

Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.

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Life is a refining process.

When things get hard, it’s exercise for my faith.

It makes my faith stronger.

Be with me during the process.

Remind me I’m becoming stronger. More like Jesus.


Wednesday, March 20, Romans 14:12

So tend to your knitting. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.

Image result for knitting

I should put “Tend to your knitting” on my glasses lenses so I would always have this in front of me. I have enough to do just trying to walk in the path of love. I don’t need to waste energy looking for the faults of others.

 

Tuesday, March 19 Luke 12:15

Speaking to the people, he went on, “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.”

Image result for simple life

Look at all those famous people.

They have so much.

But so few seem so happy.

Things, and greed for more things,

doesn’t bring me happiness.

Help me focus on the happy simple things

that will bring me joy, and share it with others too.


Monday, March 18 John 6:47

“I’m telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life. I am the Bread of Life. The bread of life is love, kindness, grace. These will never die. Jesus showed us the pillars of eternal life.

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  Jesus is

the bread of life.

  “The bread of life

is love,

kindness, grace. ”

Pleaselet this

simple passage

attach itself

to my soul,

so that I can

live real life.

Amen.


Sunday, March 17 Matthew 7:13-14 

“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with sure fire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.

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Reading . Studying. Praying. Discussing. Supporting. Practicing. Reviewing. Changing. It takes time. It takes commitment. It takes attention. Carve out a chunk of time for God. It’s a start.

 

Saturday March 16 Romans 12:9-10

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.

 

Be a good friend, let others shine,

speak the truth in love, and not gossip,

or not focus on status, or the getting of stuff.

Love from my center, real love, not faking it.

Today I will find the good, the joy,and appreciate it and notice it. Embrace it.

And maybe some of that joy will trickle down to mycenter and help love grow.


Friday March 15 Matthew 7:13-14

Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Image result for don't worry images

 

Don’t worry.

Two of the hardest words

for me to ignore.

The God-reality is

if I’m focused on

loving and living,

I’ll have no time

or energy for worry.


Thurs. March 14 Luke 6:35-38  

“I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.  

 

                                                             Focus on others,

                                                            work on being kind.

                                                            Try to be as much like

                                                             Jesus as I can be.

                                                            What a huge task!

                                                                Baby steps.

                                                              I can start by

                                                            simply being kind!

 

Wed. March 13 1 Peter 1:18

Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God.

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If I can develop a

deep consciousness of God,

I will be truly blessed.

Reading the Bible, meditating on how

to be more like Jesus

and praying to be always

conscious of the God within me

are things I can do to nurture

a deep consciousness of God.

Lord, I’m gonna need lots of help doing this.


Tues. March 12 Galatians 5:22-23

But what happens when we live God’s way? God brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

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Living God’s way...God’s life sounds wonderful! I just need

to work on my affection for others, dedication, compassion

and the knowledge that holiness is all around me. God

, may you keep those things in the forefront of my

mind today! And help me practice at least one of them.


Mon. March 11 Matthew 21:21

 But Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Yes—and if you embrace this kingdom life and don’t doubt God, you’ll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. 

Image result for triumph over life images

 

How many times have things amazingly (miraculously?) worked out

in my life? If I’m open, and trusting, I can overcome anything life

throws at me.

 

 


Sun. March 10 Matthew 3:1-2

 While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called “the Baptizer,” was preaching in the desert country of Judea. His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.”

 Image result for desert images I don’t have to go looking

very far to make changes. I

can start with myself.

I’ll lookinto the dessert

parts of my life.

What needs to be

changed? What needs

to be nurtured? I can

work on healing my

dessert places, and then

offering my “whole”

self to others.

 


Sat. March 9 John 1:4-5 

 Everything was created through God; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without God. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.

Image result for light images

      That God energy, “The life was Light to live by.”

        In someway today, I will banish darkness.

        My thoughts will use the God light to eradicate worry,

        second guessing, and soul shaming; in my words

        I will use the God light to speak kindly, or perhaps...

        to refrain from saying anything. (Hardest for me!)

 

Fri. March 8 Matthew 5:38-42 Luke 6:27-30

“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

I could put all my energy in making the world blind and toothless. Or I can use my energy to strengthen my spirit and show the world there is a different way to live. The servant life, serving one another in love. Living generously.

 

Thurs. March 7              Luke 19:26

 “He said, ‘That’s what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag.”

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I need to take more chances to speak out against the

little meanness that can creep into conversations. To

call people out on hurtful comments. To defend those

different. And do this is a humble, kind way; so that my

words are heard.

 

 

 

 

Wed. March 6 Ash Wednesday Leviticus 20:7-8

 “Set yourselves apart for a holy life. Live a holy life, because I am God, your God. Do what I tell you; live the way I tell you. I am the God who makes you holy.

Lent is a time to reflect. At the end of Lent we celebrate the renewal of life; and this year, spring will be in full swing. To prepare us for renewal, let’s take some time for Bible reading and contemplation. Let’s take time to prepare to live a holy life, to live in the way of God.