We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
God of grace,
I am looking for just the right balance. I am content, but I don’t want to be complacent. I am fully satisfied, but I know things can get better. I am so very grateful for my life and the world just as it is, but that nagging sense of “not good enough,” and a desire to push for better continues to plague me. How do I know which attitude to claim in which moment? My prayer is that of Reinhold Niebuhr:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as he did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that he will make all things right
if I surrender to his will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with him
forever in the next.
God, take away any anxiety I have that I will not have enough, and awaken in me the confidence that I can do all things through your son, who strengthens me.
In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK:
I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13 (CEB) Read the whole text for the week here: Philippians 4:8-9. Lots of us are reading all of Philippians 4 every morning during this season. It will only take 3 minutes. Give it a try.
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION:
Is it easier to be content in plenty or poverty, or does it make a difference? What would Paul say to someone who reads verse 13 and thinks, “That means I can do anything I want”? Who in your life is very good at being content and what can you learn from them?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
On September 11, Dr. Chap Clark will be preaching at our traditional and Encounter services on the Westheimer campus, delivering our Shamblin lectures. He will also lead an event on Sunday evening, entitled Sticky Faith: Raising Young People for Lifelong Faith. I hope every parents of a student in grades 4 through 9 will attend. However, we are also encouraging other adults who support and encourage teenagers as they grow in faith to attend as well. You can sign up online at StLukesMethodist.org.
Dr. Clark is on the faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary, and will speak to us about how we might develop “sticky faith” in our youth and children. Here is what is most surprising: it is not through a great youth program. Instead, it is through a great church, where people of all ages shape one another in faith. Dr. Clark will kickoff a four-week sermon series entitled Yours Mine and Ours. There is also a curriculum written that will go with it as well. If you know a family who might be looking for ways to facilitate development of faith in children and youth, I encourage you to invite them, and to join a small group that will be studying these materials.
Men’s Life for Fall, 2016 begins on Wednesday morning, September 14, at 6:30 a.m.! Our topic this fall is Becoming Christian Repairmen, and in our time together, we will talk about how we might be about the business of healing broken relationships. We conclude each week no later than 7:45 a.m. There are ten weekly sessions, with the last session on Wednesday, November 16. The group will be use a book by Kirk Blackard and John Sage entitled Restoring Peace, based on the Bridges to Life experience of men who are incarcerated, and how they found healing. To register contact Kathy Neely at 713-402-5139.
Our team has returned from Baton Rouge where they assisted with flood relief. Now the rest of us have an opportunity to help. On September 10 at 9:30 a.m. we will meet in the Fellowship Hall to assemble “flood buckets” which contain supplies to clean-up damaged homes. We hope you can join us, if not, you can shop on our SLUMC Amazon wish list and contribute supplies for the event.
Make sure and put Sunday morning, October 16, on your calendar, as we celebrate the Grand Opening of all of our new facilities. It is going to a wonderful day!
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
God of abundance, you know my needs and you provide for me in amazing ways. Yet, the world tells me that I do not have enough. Today I will not listen to the world’s voice. Today I will rely on you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5
Eternal God, you teach the story about the man who built his house on the rock. He still had to go through the storms of life, but in the end, his house stood strong. Help me to make you the foundation of everything I do. Storms will come my way, but with you, I too can stand strong. Amen.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6
God of power and might, you made the heavens and the earth, and there is nothing you cannot do. I believe in your power, your love, and your faithfulness. Amen.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7
Lord, you are the light of the universe. With it, I see where I am going armed with my faith, and I see behind me armed with the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Thank you for your mercy and grace. Amen. -Prayer by Pat Hendon
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8
Our Father, thank you for the gifts of food, shelter, health, and safety. Because you love me, I pray for the opportunity today to love the hungry, the homeless, the sick and the weak. Amen.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
Father in Heaven, as I finish my workweek, help me to remember that your work is not yet finished. Give me the strength and energy to show your love to the world so they may want to come to know you also. Amen.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10
Holy God, thank you for a day off from my work routine. I pray that you would bless my time today. Help me to work for your purpose today, and help me to prepare my heart and mind for worship tomorrow. Amen.