EChurch@Wartburg – 2.5.17

Welcome to Our Gathering of EChurch@Wartburg

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=23868&picture=the-louvre-pyramidGlass Pyramid at the Louvre, Paris, France

Here is our Order of Worship

A Prayer of Dietrich Bonhoeffer link

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you:
I cannot do this alone.
In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me…
Restore me to liberty,
And enable me to live now
That I may answer before you and before me.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.
Amen

Prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi link

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
where there is injury, pardon
where there is doubt, faith
where there is despair, hope
where there is darkness, light
and where there is sadness, joy

O, Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
to be loved as to love
for it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life
Amen

Scripture Reading:  Luke 14:7-11 (NASB Bible Gateway)

Parable of the Guests

And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

A Prayer by Martin Luther link

Behold, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it.
I am weak in the faith; strengthen me.
I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent, that my love may go out to my neighbor.
I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust you altogether.
O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in you.
In you I have sealed the treasure of all I have.
I am poor; you are rich and came to be merciful to the poor.
I am a sinner; you are upright.
With me, there is an abundance of sin; in you is the fullness of righteousness.
Therefore I will will remain with you, of whom I can receive, but to whom I may not give.
Amen.

Go and Serve! link

You are the God who calls us to be
a chosen people, a living sacrifice, a holy nation.
You are the God who calls us to be
a light in this world, a faithful people, a people of praise.
You are the God who forgives and restores us,
You are the God we serve.
Amen


Comments

EChurch@Wartburg – 2.5.17 — 22 Comments

  1. I am also posting Shauna and Billy’s needs (her son) in Texas. Dee previously wrote about Billy’s being abused at the hands of a church member.

    Shauna currently has a part-time job at a grocery store and she has immediate needs as well for help paying rent and bills for her and Billy.

    Thank you.

    ______________
    Shauna on Mon Jan 30, 2017 at 11:47 AM said:
    In desperate need $500 rent, 156.00 utilities, 87.00 car insurance, phone will be shut off. My hours are not covering this months bills. Trying to get more hours more work still need food and gas to get to work. About 200.00 I don’t expect anything just putting the need out there. Pray that I can get full time. Im trying to do what I can for billy and support us…
    https://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk
    Shauna and billys gofundme

  2. Hello, I’ve listened to the sermon and am a bit puzzled about something. I get the idea of not seeking self-promotion, as the world does. No question there. There are stories in my life too I can think of, and I know the difference between entitlement/self-exaltation on one side, and coming to God, realizing my need, on the other. I was puzzled about what you said about humility being described as not being bothered when people say untrue things about you. If that is the mark of a Christian, then God forgive me, I’m lost (though I trust in Christ and think I know His grace). I understand there are times when you can feel that there’s no point in answering an accusation. But is it always so? Isn’t more nuance necessary here? How about all the abused people here, who were given a place and a voice to set some things right and to counter some of the lies told about them – was that pride and they should have taken it all in silence? Didn’t Paul at some point defend himself? Of course, I am no apostle, but again, aren’t things more nuanced, and isn’t it a matter of being led by God, to know when it is necessary to defend yourself and when it is best to let things go? If you love truth, don’t you hate lying? If lies told about another bother me – and I believe they should – is it so wrong and prideful if lies told about me in order to hurt me bother me too? I understand God will eventually judge everything, so I’m not talking about getting revenged, but not being even bothered when someone says horrible things about you?

  3. Monica wrote:

    I was puzzled about what you said about humility being described as not being bothered when people say untrue things about you. If that is the mark of a Christian, then God forgive me, I’m lost (though I trust in Christ and think I know His grace). I understand there are times when you can feel that there’s no point in answering an accusation. But is it always so? Isn’t more nuance necessary here? How about all the abused people here, who were given a place and a voice to set some things right and to counter some of the lies told about them – was that pride and they should have taken it all in silence? Didn’t Paul at some point defend himself?

    returning blessing for curse ….

    there is something in the Peace of Christ that enables Christians to respond ‘differently’ to others. The Peace of Christ changes everything. Returning blessing for curse stops the ‘negative’ in progress and reroutes it to something far from destructive …. the Christian is ENABLED to step back from the ‘attack’ and view the ‘attacker’ in a different way, and instead of responding in the same manner, offer some of the calm that is carried within the Christian’s being in the form of Christ’s Peace …’shalom’ … healing … something of blessing 🙂

    my best friends daughter once wrote these words:
    “Let me stop being that thing against which anything, everything can break.” She writes about being enabled to embrace all broken things with tenderness. And she is Jewish.

    So, we ‘shame’ the attacker by ‘turning our cheek’….. we kill with kindness …. or ‘heap coals on the heads of those who are attacking by the return of good for evil’ ….

    ON THE OTHER HAND:
    when bullies attack OTHERS, we must come and stand in the gap and defend the innocent from those bullies …. we must NOT ‘look away’ but stand up for those under attack by others, even if it costs us to do this

    it’s a selfless way of life, this Christian life …. laying ‘self’ aside and intervening in a different way to ‘calm the storm’ 🙂

  4. @Christiane
    Thank you for your answer, but it really doesn’t answer my question. I wasn’t talking about revenge or returning a curse for a curse. Showing kindness, having a redeeming attitude – I get that. That’s not what I was asking about…

  5. Monica,

    I agree with what Christiane has said.

    I would add that King David was falsely accused by the servant Shemei of being “a bloody man,” by wrongly accusing King David of murdering King Saul. Abishai, David’s servant said, “Let me go cut that dead dog’s head for you.” David said, “Leave him alone. God has bidden him to speak.” (see II Samuel 6:5-13). King David didn’t “correct” Shemei. King David didn’t defend himself against false accusations. King David went on with his life trusting that God had a purpose for even false accusations. Also, Jesus remained “silent” before Pontius Pilate. I find that those who see themselves as “more than conquerors in Christ” don’t feel the need to defend themselves. Just my observation, and not asking for agreement. Appreciate the comments.

  6. @ Wade Burleson:
    we appreciate all that you do for people who have been abused, WADE

    am praying that your trip (and I understand my dear friend Rex Ray is going with you) to the Holy Land will be all blessing and no danger …. travel these days … well, it’s good to pray for safety and to be under the wing of God’s care, yes

    I hope you share about the trip.

  7. I agree with Christiane too, only didn’t find her comment answered my question. Yes, I know about Shimei and about Jesus remaining silent (I always understood that it was a sign of judgement that He refused to speak anymore… He had already taught people enough for them to know what they needed to know about Him). On the other hand, as I mentioned, Paul did defend himself. I can understand that at times one could find it appropriate and necessary to answer an accusation, and at times feel led not to. To make a blanket statement that a Christian doesn’t *feel* bothered, doesn’t care when vicious lies are told about him (whether he chooses to defend himself or not), or else he must be proud – I find that very painful… Lies damage someone’s good name, who may he honest and have integrity. The Bible has something to say about how precious one’s good name is. Lies also can have consequences… I can’t wrap my mind around the idea that if I am a Christian at all I shouldn’t mind. (I *do* understand that as a Christian I should respond in love and return good for evil – that is not what my question was about.) And I still don’t get how that blanket statement fits the way abused people are treated here – encouraged to tell the truth, to expose the lies (should they not mind at all when likes are told about them, really?)…

  8. Monica wrote:

    If lies told about another bother me – and I believe they should – is it so wrong and prideful if lies told about me in order to hurt me bother me too? I understand God will eventually judge everything, so I’m not talking about getting revenged, but not being even bothered when someone says horrible things about you?

    Hi Monica,

    I believe I get what your point of confusion is about not being bothered. I’ve heard Wade express this “don’t let it bother you” principle before and I felt the same confusion at the time. I commented that it seemed to me (and still does) that we cannot nor should not deny our emotions as they are part of our humanity. Jesus expressed sorrow, anger, exhaustion, loneliness, etc.

    I could be wrong about your confusion, but I agree with Wade that we should be able to rise above insults and rumors but in my opinion there is a time factor involved in the process.

    Hope this helps some.

  9. Thank you, Victorious!! Yes, that was it. I fully agree about returning good for evil (and I’ve been trying to do that), but I have some personal stories in mind and, believe me, no matter how much time has passed, I cannot fathom not being bothered or not caring. Yes, if the people involved were to ask forgiveness, I would forgive them. I don’t wish them ill even now. I can pray for them. I do not obsess about it. But I do care. The only way it could not bother me at all were if I were a machine, a robot, trying to stifle everything human (not worldly)… I don’t think it’s right to read pride into that (not claiming to have attained total humility – that would be ridiculous and a sure sign of pride; but I don’t think pride should necessarily be read into this particular thing)… I’m not trying to split hairs here, but frankly I’m sitting here crying as I type. I don’t think we should be accusing people of being proud if they feel hurt by lies.

  10. Monica wrote:

    But I do care. The only way it could not bother me at all were if I were a machine, a robot, trying to stifle everything human (not worldly)… I don’t think it’s right to read pride into that (not claiming to have attained total humility – that would be ridiculous and a sure sign of pride; but I don’t think pride should necessarily be read into this particular thing)… I’m not trying to split hairs here, but frankly I’m sitting here crying as I type. I don’t think we should be accusing people of being proud if they feel hurt by lies.

    Thank you, Monica. I know exactly what you mean.

    I was ordered to be excommunicated and shunned at my former 9 Marxist church, Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley located in California. The pastors/elders lied about me to hundreds of church members and cost me my friendships with people of 8 years. It was ALL LIES. The pastors/elders lied about our law enforcement agencies, two police departments (one where the church secretary’s husband works and the other where a church deacon works) saying that they too said I was a bad person, even mentally unstable, and “harassing.” I had done NO such thing. (The pastors/elders threatened me for discovering a Megan’s List sex offender/child pornographer at church who was their friend. They gave him access to everything and children, and told no one. They said he was ‘coming off Megan’s List’ because he ‘said so’. He served prison time and is a liar. The California Attorney General’s Office and the Sheriff’s sex offender’s task force called my pastors/stories “all lies” and “total lies” I was threatened for not using hate speech against gays, which two women church members know the pastors/elders use and for not “being friends” with them. OK, I can get fired from my California job for that speech, I am REQUIRED to uphold anti-discrimination laws and to be professional in the workplace, I have a gay supervisor and colleagues, and my unlawful conduct could get my employer sued. We are required at my workplace to do our jobs and to respect others for doing their jobs, irrespective of what they do in their personal time. I was blamed in Nouthetic Counseling sessions by the pastors/elders (my ex-pastor has FAKE advanced degrees from a diploma mill in Missouri according to the U.S. Department of Education, including a fake Ph.D. and another fake degree that he bought) for the problems of woman alcoholic (she should have been referred to medical care for alcoholism), the problems of Dyslexic with a genetically inherited brain disorder and memory problems who refuses all medical care and support groups. I was blamed for these womens’ problems as my sin problems. And finally I was blamed for the verbal abuse of a third older woman who hates gays and church attenders and church members and all sane members stayed out of her way and avoided her.)

    Prior to lying about me, the Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley pastors/elders lied about a godly doctor in his 70’s and kicked him out of church. He’s been a faithful husband for 50 years.

    Prior to that, the pastors/elders lied about a godly middle-aged woman who wanted to leave this abusive church for a saner church. They said she wasn’t “submissive” to her husband. She is a dear Christian who volunteers with mentally ill adults who live in group homes and with the elderly in convalescent homes. A finer Christian has never walked into that church than that dear woman. And yet, the pastors/elders destroyed her reputation.

    I take comfort in reading the stories of blacks from the Deep South who used Bible verses like if you dig a ditch for someone, you are bound to fall into it yourself.

    And a more more recent saying: Lying is like a boomerang. About the time you think ‘all is well’, it hits you in the back of the head!

    Like you, I have shed tears too. It was all so wrong.

  11. @ Monica

    Besides all this, God cares about justice and righteousness. So I don’t believe it is wrong for us to care about it as well. We can care about it in a way that pleases God. That might mean different actions, at different times, based on circumstances. It is not a black and white issue of either you have a response we or you don’t.

  12. Monica wrote:

    aren’t things more nuanced, and isn’t it a matter of being led by God, to know when it is necessary to defend yourself and when it is best to let things go? If you love truth, don’t you hate lying? If lies told about another bother me – and I believe they should – is it so wrong and prideful if lies told about me in order to hurt me bother me too? I understand God will eventually judge everything, so I’m not talking about getting revenged, but not being even bothered when someone says horrible things about you?

    I totally agree with you Monica. Every situation is different and there is no “right”, one size fits all, Christian response. I do not believe that it is always a sign of pride when we are bothered about lies being told about us. It is very comforting to know that God knows the truth, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hate lies and be bothered by them.
    Also, it is always surprising to me when the Shemei incident is cited as an example of David being one who was humble in the face of lies being told about him. He certainly was bothered by it because he remembered it to the end of his life and on his deathbed instructed Solomon to make sure Shemei met a bloody end! (1 Kings 2 vs 9).

  13. Thank you, Velour! (Sorry I don’t know how to get this tag thing right!) I’m very sorry for what you went through (and the two other people you described), it must have been terribly hard… Churches like that sure have a lot to answer for!

    Bridget wrote:

    Besides all this, God cares about justice and righteousness. So I don’t believe it is wrong for us to care about it as well. We can care about it in a way that pleases God. That might mean different actions, at different times, based on circumstances. It is not a black and white issue of either you have a response we or you don’t.

    That’s exactly what I was thinking. Thank you very much, Bridget!

  14. I’m reading a really good book on prayer (A Praying Life, Paul E. Miller) and last night I ran into these two passages (there are some other paragraphs in between):

    “Greek Stoics prided themselves on their ability to be unruffled by life; Socrates calmly took the cup of poison given him by his executioners. Neoplatonism seeped into the church, equating spirituality with a suppression of desire and emotion. That’s why Jesus comes across in so many films as a bit strange and effeminate. He walks slowly, talks slowly, and moves slowly. You want to put a pin in him.

    “Jesus could not be more different. Read the Gospels and you’ll discover a passionate, feeling man. Thank God we have a Savior who is in touch with the real world, who prays that he will not drink the cup of his Father’s wrath, who cries out on a rough wooden cross, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me’ (Matthew 27:46). Jesus neither suppresses his feelings nor lets them master him. He is real.”

  15. Thank you, Mpho! I hadn’t seen your comment when I thanked everyone else.

    Mpho wrote:

    Also, it is always surprising to me when the Shemei incident is cited as an example of David being one who was humble in the face of lies being told about him. He certainly was bothered by it because he remembered it to the end of his life and on his deathbed instructed Solomon to make sure Shemei met a bloody end! (1 Kings 2 vs 9).

    Exactly!

  16. Thank you Monica. You have expressed my thoughts on hearing the sermon. I am so glad you wrote as you did.

  17. Prayer for Brian who is weary and troubled.

    “Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give Your Angels and Saints charge over those who sleep. Tend Your sick ones, O Lord Christ. Rest Your weary ones, Bless Your dying ones, Soothe Your suffering ones, pity Your afflicted ones, Shield Your joyous ones, And all for Your love’s sake.”
    Amen.

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