Monday, February 15, 2016

Life is a Tabernacle! Isaiah 55:3

This series, the Isaiah 55 series of blog posts was written as an ongoing prayer for my church; but it's a prayer for all churches, for all people.

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Isaiah 55:3
Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.  I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.

David dancing before the Ark of the Covenant
Google image.

People say that the model used to establish our "Shore House of Prayer" is based on David’s tabernacle.  And I think that’s a very good thing!

But God didn’t love David because of the tabernacle, the tabernacle was a demonstration of David’s profound love for God.  And that love created a party; a 24/7/365 celebration of mutual affection.  

That’s something Shore Vineyard seems to be be very good at, living a life of mutual affection.  Loving God should be a party!

God is faithful!  His love, for me, for us, is everlasting!  It never runs out and it’s never withheld.

The culture of Shore Vineyard focuses on developing, fostering and practicing communication with our loving Father.

Lord, it seems as if everything should rest on this foundation of the understanding of mutual love and communication.  That’s my prayer prayer for Shore Vineyard; that they would continue to grow in loving you, understanding your insane love for us and how you communicate that to us.  You tell us, over and over, in so many ways, how you cherish us, approve of us, revel in us!  Help us to always hear you and respond well.

Thank you for being crazy about us!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Satisfaction: Isaiah 55:2

Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?  Listen, listen to me and eat what is good and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Isaiah 55:2

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Lives wandering in wrong directions are spent in futility; “spent”.  “Why spend money on what is not bread?”   Why labor for things that don’t satisfy? 

What is bread?  Bread is life!  Who is the Bread of Life?  Christ!

Shalom - peace, love, safety.  Safety.  If we don’t feel safe, how can we be satisfied? There is no satisfaction in fear.  No one can be satisfied with fear.  It is impossible.

Unsatisfaction, dissatisfaction, leads to bitterness, anger, fear.

Lord, everyday, help me to abandon fear, more and more!  I crave your shalom!  I want to invest myself wholly in the labor that brings satisfaction.

This is my cry for Shore Vineyard!  That each member of the body would crave your shalom and throw over fear.

That is power!  That is strength to overcome!  That is peace!  That is the face of Christ!  That is what we are commanded to take to the nations.  There is no need of fear when we walk in Christ, who has redeemed us!  Make us bold, Lord, to go out, to present your face.

Artwork by James Nesbit

Monday, February 1, 2016

Milk and Wine

My sister in Christ asked me to join her in praying Isaiah 55 over our church.  I thought it was a wonderful idea!  So, I sat with my bible, each day, read a verse and then journaled what I heard the Lord saying to me.

For the next 13 weeks I'll be sharing the insights I was blessed with.

Maybe they're for your church too.

I hope they bless you.

Isaiah 55:1
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the water; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

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Lord, we, as a church are situated in a place surrounded by poverty.  Not just poverty of goods but also poverty of Spirit. We open our doors on Food Pantry morning and hundreds of people are fed.  But it’s not just food they receive.  They come and are bathed in kindness.  Joy, Brenda, now Dara Lee, Jack, Eddie, Don, so many others, make sure that the people who come see you.  Your shalom flows out of them to embrace each person.  So, it’s not just bread and water.  It’s not just mac and cheese and beans.  They begin to see that there are riches at Shore Vineyard that are available to them.

You want for them the milk and wine, the best of the land.  They come and some see that so much more is available!

Your peace and safety reside in each one of us.  They surround us like a protective bubble.  But we can expand that bubble to capture others.

Thank you for the privilege of serving others.  Thank you for the knowledge that we can offer the shalom you have given us to others.