Please come this Sunday, September 16, to our Fall Gathering: Catch the Vision event in the Fellowship Hall at 6:30 p.m. The Get Connected Fair will be held just before and after, beginning and 5:30 p.m. We will be looking together at St. Luke’s dreams and goals for 2019, praying together about God’s purpose for us and considering ways we can join in the work together. Please come!
A PERSONAL PRAYER
The alarm went off this morning and I was excited to get out of bed. I knew there was work to do. I felt an urgency, a calling, a sense of purpose. But it isn’t always that way, O God. Sometimes, I get out of bed and don’t feel your call on my life. But no matter… it isn’t all about what I feel, whether I am motivated or unmotivated, the fickle ups and downs of my emotional state. No, it is about your purpose, your desire that your creation would be put right. So whether I feel it or not, I pray that you might put me work.
So today, I pray that your mission might be fully accomplished, that your kingdom would come on earth as it is in heaven. When you walked among us, you demonstrated the signs of that Kingdom.
The blind could see.
The sick were healed.
The lame could walk.
The oppressed were set free.
The poor were lifted up.
The hungry were fed.
The marginalized were included.
The lonely were visited.
The sad were comforted.
The unloved were loved.
The stuck were mobilized.
The ignorant were enlightened.
The estranged were reconciled.
The sinners were forgiven.
God, I pray that you would bring your kingdom into its fullest realization. And let me join you in that work. Let me put my shoulder to the plow, my mind to the problem, my feet to the pavement, my heart to the challenges, my resources to the work. Lead me to do the work, because that is the work that you are doing, and in doing it, I get to be with you. Show me how to give my life away for your purposes, that I might discover that only in doing so do I find the life that truly is life.
In the name of Christ, who gave his life away for me, I pray.
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
When Hurricane Harvey hit, Broadmoor UMC in Baton Rouge showed up and taught us how to respond to a flood disaster. So many other churches and people also went above and beyond to help. We are anxious to pay it forward now, as Hurricane Florence bears down on the East Coast. St. Luke’s is partnering with Myers Park UMC in Charlotte, NC. They are using the disaster guide manual developed by St. Luke’s and an Amazon wish list has been set up so that we can support their recovery efforts to hardest hit areas. And don’t forget to pray for the people of the Carolinas. More information: MyersParkUMC.org/mission/disasterrelief.
Scripture+Shared is here! I have been studying the letters of James and 1 and 2 Peter this summer, and am anxious to teach it to you in our eight session study this fall. Groups will begin meeting the week of September 23, and I will begin a sermon series on September 30 covering the letter of James. There are daily Bible readings, commentary and explanation, and reflection and discussion questions on the Scripture+Shared app or St. Luke’s website. The video curriculum (also on the app or website) includes conversational lessons in which I visit with other St. Luke’s pastors and staff about the letters. Find a group and learn how to download the app at stlukesmethodist.org/bible.
The Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church Core Leadership Team invites you to attend Heart & Mind Listening Sessions. These listening sessions, approved by the body of the 2018 Annual Conference, are presented to help you to discern the issues before our February 2019 General Conference dealing with matters of human sexuality. These sessions invite you to engage in “Holy Conferencing” with guided discussions about the various plans before the General Conference. The session for our area will be held on Sunday, September 23, from 4:00-6:00 pm at First UMC-Westchase, 3663 Westcenter Dr, Houston, 77042.
Sunday, September 16
God, thank you for the gift of your written word to guide us. Cultivate in us a habit of reading Scripture daily so that we may grow closer to you and follow the ways you have shown us. Move us forward on our journey of faith. Amen.
Monday, September 17
Loving Father, we face many challenges in this world, and we ask that you would guide us through the storms of life. Give us strength when we are weak, give us rest when we are weary, give us perseverance when we are tempted to quit, and give us hope when we can’t see a way forward. Amen.
Tuesday, September 18
Lord, in the busyness of this world, we oftentimes miss opportunities to see you and to serve you. Help us to slow down and focus on you so that we are fully present in the moment, ready to join you in serving others. Amen.
Wednesday, September 19
God, we ask that you would help us to step out in faith and find new ways to serve you. Open our minds and clear our schedules so that we may use our gifts and talents to make the world a better place. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thursday, September 20
Heavenly Father, my hope is in you. I thank you that you are almighty and that you love me unconditionally. I take comfort in knowing that there is nothing that you cannot handle for me. Amen.
Friday, September 21
Heavenly Father, give me an opportunity today to share the Good News of Jesus with someone who needs to know him. Give me the courage to bear witness of your love. Let my words be pleasing to you. Amen.
Saturday, September 22
Heavenly Father, today I lift up to you my most fervent prayer. You know my heart and how this burdens me. I pray, God, for your Divine intervention in this situation, and I trust that you will provide for me in amazing ways. Amen.