April 7, 2019, Lectionary

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The only reason you and I are here, or our churches and other entities are here, is to spread God's praise, to say "Holy" and "Good" about God. All else is scrambling and deliverance to be able to do that. Isaiah 43:16-21

The tears and joy of Psalm 126 surely do remind me of three things in my life that were gained through struggle: my BA in Religion, my pastor opportunities, and my D.Min. All by God's grace.

Paul had one thing to do: pressing toward the finish line for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. That is, focus toward the goal he can see, and what he can't see will be given him, beyond his wildest dreams. Philippians 3:4-14

Judas' motivation for complaining is clearly given in the text. Jesus' motivation for accepting the gift is also given in the text. Mary's motivation is not voiced except in Jesus' words. Silent Mary. John 12:1-8

Thoughts about Listening

Evaluate: To which will you listen more readily, someone's account of the past, or someone's dreams for the future? Do you shut one down more often than the other? Isaiah 43:16-21

No real gain without some small pain. But the pain is easier and more effective for good if shared with a good listener. Psalm 126

To give the gift of listening, I have one focus for these minutes--the person in front of me. Philipppians 3:4-14

Sometimes it's the silent, wordless person who knows best what is going on. John 12:1-8

Bible Reading Group Study Guide

1.    Can you state what you do as one thing? Not to exclude or stop doing most things, but to know the overarching purpose for your life? The bottom-line, non-negotiable thing you must do?

2.    Read or listen to Isaiah 43:16-21. What is God’s purpose for us? His purpose for making us and doing new things in our lives? Discuss how well you like that purpose.

3.    Read or listen to Psalm 126. Name and describe several endeavors of your life that seemed a struggle but brought real joy.

4.    Read or listen to Philippians 3:4-14. On what one thing did Paul focus? The sentence sounds complex. Discuss it and try to understand just how this focus worked for Paul.

5.    Read or listen to Luke 10:38-42 and John 12:1-8. What one thing was the focus of Mary’s life? Who defends her and champions her? You can have similar defense and championship. Will you work at discovering and affirming your one purpose and focus today?


1.    ¿Puede decir lo que lo hace especial? ¿Sin excluir o dejar de hacer la mayoría de las cosas, sino conocer el propósito general de su vida? ¿Las cosas de fondo, que debe de hacer y no son negociables?

2.    Leer o escuchar Isaías 43: 16-21. ¿Cuál es el propósito de Dios para nosotros? ¿Su propósito para hacernos y hacer cosas nuevas en nuestras vidas? Discuta qué tanto le gusta ese propósito.

3.    Leer o escuchar el Salmo 126. Nombre y describa varios de los esfuerzos en su vida que parecían ser una lucha pero que trajeron  alegría verdadera .

4.    Leer o escuchar Filipenses 3: 4-14. ¿En qué cosa se enfocó Pablo? La frase suena compleja. Discútalo y trate de entender cómo funcionó para Pablo este enfoque.

5.    Leer o escuchar Lucas 10: 38-42 y Juan 12: 1-8. ¿En qué se centró la vida de María? ¿Quién la defiende y quién aboga por ella?  ¿Trabajará para descubrir y afirmar su único propósito y enfoque hoy?