Godspace is Moving

Sahara bus - Frans Lemmens

In the next few weeks we expect to move this blog to a new site. Maybe it won’t look quite like this but we are moving. Definitely time to get rid of those ads I have no control over and to expand our capacity to add video, apps and who knows what else.

The name of the blog remains the same – unless you think it should change and have a creative idea for a new name, but we do need to choose a new url. Not surprising godspace.net; .com ; .us and all other possibilities are all taken – in some cases not being used but grabbed by someone who hopes we will come and buy it from them. Anyhow that is another issue. So what should our new url be?

We have thought of:

godspace-light.com (or net or who knows what)

godspace-MSA.com to link it to our existing MSA site of which this is a part.

Do you have other suggestions? And do you think the name of the site should change? If so let us know your suggestions.

 

 

 

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Stations for Praying in Response to Boston marathon – Lilly Lewin

I don’t usually blog on Sundays but was chatting to Lilly Lewin at Inhabit this weekend where I learned about this wonderfully creative Stations that she produced in response to the Boston marathon. I wanted to share it for those who might like to use it for their Sunday observances. Check out the entire post and her blog: Praying in Response to Boston marathon and Global Violence

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shoe-station-300x225

PRAYING IN RESPONSE TO BOSTON MARATHON and GLOBAL VIOLENCE

Stations created April 16, 2013 in response to the bombings at the Boston Marathon and as a prayerful way to responds to violence in our everyday world.

Use all of these stations created and set up together as a prayer experience for your small group, youth group or your whole church, or just pick one or two to do as a corporate prayer response during worship. Or just use the run/walk prayer yourself this week as a part of your personal prayer /devotion time.

Feel free to use these stations to inspire you to create your own prayer stations. I would love to hear about how you used them in your community.

Praying for peace and healing for us all!

Lilly

Read the entire post: Praying in Response to Boston marathon and Global Violence

Eight Ways of Looking at Water By Kimberlee Conway Ireton

Kimberlee Conway Ireton has embarked on a Year of Prayer. To help hold her accountable to this commitment to live more prayerfully, she promised herself (and her blog readers) that she’d write about (some of) her prayer experiences.

This reflection was written in response to “blessing the water” prayer experiment in Return to Our Senses: Reimagining How We Pray.  A free study guide is also available and there is still time to form a group to use this as a study guide during Lent. 

Water3

 

1. Come, everyone who thirsts,

come to the waters.

2.”When Paul says, ‘If then you have been raised with Christ,'” the preacher quotes from Colossians 3, “he is referring to baptism. In the ancient world, water was viewed as a place of chaos, a symbol of death.” I understand. I am afraid of water, too, the vast expanses that blanket the earth, hiding only God knows what beneath their opaque, undulating surface.

Water2

 

3. Icy morning. Frost paints the housetops white. My breath hangs in the air when I step onto the porch. Back inside, I run water from the tap into the kettle, pour near-boiling water over tea leaves and wait for them to steep. I sip too soon; the hot liquid scalds my throat.

4. Driving up the hill to church, I enter the fog. Low, white swirls of water settle among the gravestones as I pass the cemetery. I think of Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones and am grateful I live in so lush a place as this, where water is plentiful and our bones are never dry.

Water1

5. Stomach flu. I sleep fitfully, mouth dry, throat parched. A cup of water sits on the nightstand. I do not drink it. I am afraid I will throw up yet again, and my body aches from the violence of retching. Much as I long for water, I let the cup sit, unsipped.

6. After nearly a day without eating or drinking, I am a dry and weary land. I am the deer longing for the water-brooks. I sit at the dining room table and marvel at the beauty of clear water in clear glass. I sip, and the water soothes my parched throat. I imagine it filling my belly, my body, sending its healing power into every cell, rehydrating my dry skin, my dry eyes, my dry self.

7. Lynne takes the baby in her arms. He is wearing a long, white gown, over 100 years old, she tells us. She dips her fingers in the font and marks his forehead in the sign of a cross, once, twice, three times, baptizing him in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. “You are one of Christ’s own,” she tells him, “forever.”

8. On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If any of you thirsts, come to me! And those who believe in me—drink!” 


Post and photos by Kimberlee Conway Ireton, urban outsider, mother of four, and author of The Circle of Seasons: Meeting God in the Church Year.

Prayers for the Journey

This week’s summing up of Facebook prayers is written from Sydney Australia where I am currently visiting my Mum. I have found myself sitting quietly each morning enjoying the bird sound and reflecting on the prayers that others have written and reflecting on Mary De Jong’s post on Ordinary Blessings. I  hope that you enjoy them too.

Labyrinth Bonnie Harr

Labyrinth Bonnie Harr – In His Footsteps

New Dawn

O Lord,
At each new dawn
You draw back the veil of the heavens
writing messages to all, and some see.

What do you require?

To do justice ~
To love mercy ~
To walk humbly ~
To walk with You. . .

Teach us that fairness is not justice;
mercy is not kindness, alone;
humility is not self-negation;
walking with You is everything.
Amen. B.D. Harr © 2012

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prayer for Justice

prayer for Justice

God help us to dream impossible dreams,
Not for ourselves but for your kingdom coming.
Help us to pray, not for tasks within our power,
But for your power to equip us for tasks beyond our imaginings.
Help us to risk all that we have to follow you.

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God may your new world be born afresh in us,
May it take root and flourish in our lives,
So that we can grow more like Christ in every way,
And bear the fruit of justice, mercy and love.

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Keep us close, we pray.
Be the one to whom we turn
when faced with fear,
uncertainty,
and questioning.
Be the rock upon which we stand,
the truth we hold to,
certainty
to which we cling.
Be the Father in whose arms
we gladly fall,
security
in our journeying.
Keep us close, we pray.

(www.faithandworship.com)

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Christ Have mercy - A prayer for Light for the Journey

Christ Have mercy – A prayer for Light for the Journey

May the blessing of light be on you,
light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine upon you and warm your heart.

May the light shine out of your eyes,
like a candle set in the window of a house,
bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.

May the blessing of the earth be upon you, the great round earth;
may you ever have a kindly greeting for people as you’re going along the roads.
And may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly.

-Common Prayer For The World from www.waymarkers.com

Open Our Eyes Lord

Open Our Eyes Lord

Prayers for the Journey

Speak to me

Speak to me – Bonnie Harr

The beauty of the prayers that continue to be posted on the Light for the Journey site enrich and stir my faith. I hope that they will yours as well.

Let us walk into this day,

God’s love to give us hope,

Christ’s life to give us guidance,

The Spirit’s power to transform us.

Let us walk with joy,

Let us walk with purpose,

Let us walk each step towards God’s new world.

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May we put our hope in God’s unfailing love,

And trust in God’s eternal faithfulness.

May it lead us into paths of justice,

And guide us towards God’s righteousness,

Where we give ourselves to feed the hungry,

And commit ourselves to share God’s healing.

May we always live towards God’s new reality,

A new community with wholeness, peace and abundance for all.

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Let us pray for justice

Let us pray for justice faithandworship.com

God give us this day your hearts desire,

May we love as you love with justice and mercy,

May we live as Christ lived with compassion and generosity,

May we become what the spirit intends filled with peace and joy,

May we this take new steps to be transformed into the image of God.

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Pray for justice

Pray for justice – Christine Sine

Lord, we bring to you those ‘almost’ moments.

When the opportunity arose to bring your name

into a conversation and we almost did.

When we were challenged to give to those

who are in need, and we almost did.

When we heard of an injustice and, tempted

to reach for our pen, we almost did.

When challenged by the whisper of your voice

to go where you would send, we almost did.

Forgive our timidity, our reluctance

to live the life that we proclaim.

Fill us with your Spirit of love and power

that by our words and actions

your name might be glorified,

and our ‘almost’ become ‘always’!

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May our ears be attuned

May our ears be attuned – faithandworship.com

In you, O Lord, do we trust,

in your love we delight,

for there is no other

to whom we can turn

who knows our needs

before we ask,

reads our hearts

and answers our requests.

In you, O Lord, do we trust,

in your peace we depend,

for there is no other

to whom we can turn

who calms our souls,

brings release,

and in whose

arms we would rest.

 

(www.faithandworship.com)

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God let us not hold onto what we should release,

Let us not embrace what does not satisfy,

Let us not commit to what is not your will.

May we give up all to follow,

Twighlight burning

Twighlight burning – Bonnie Harr

Creating A Missional Culture – Jamie Arpin Ricci Interviews J.R. Woodward

This morning’s post is the first of two that come from an interview Jamie Arpin Ricci did on JR Woodward’s new book Creating A Missional Culture. I had planned to review the book but felt that this interview articulated what the book is about far better than I ever could. It was first published on Jamie’s blog as Creating A Missional Culture.

I had the privilege of asking a few questions of my friend and fellow InterVarsity Press author, JR Woodward, about his new book “Creating A Missional Culture: Equipping the Church for the Sake of the World”. His answers are so great, I thought I would split them into two posts. Without further ado, here it goes:

Jamie Arpin-Ricci: When the Christian book market seems to be flooded with books on what it means to be “missional”, why did you think your book needed to be written? How does it stand apart?

JR Woodward: One of the reasons why I felt the need to write this book is that we too often fail to understand the power of the culture of the congregation in forming us. So I take some time helping people understanding what missional culture is, and why it is important. If we want to develop missional disciples, we need to move beyond an individualistic approach, understanding that we create culture and culture in turn recreates us. I address the five kinds of environments needed to create a missional culture – a learning, healing, welcoming, liberating and thriving environment.

In addition I make that case that not only do leaders create culture, but also our very approach to leadership creates culture. A hierarchical leadership paradigm lends itself to an individualized approach to spiritual formation and often perpetuates adolescence in the congregation. While a polycentric leadership paradigm lends itself to a communal approach to spiritual formation mature disciples.

Here are some of the unique contributions that this book seeks to make, and questions that it seeks to address:

  • Understand what missional culture is and why it is important
  • Discover the five environments that unleash the missional imagination of God’s people
  • Learn how to assess the culture of the congregation you serve through the cultural web
  • Understand how the culture of the congregation will help or hinder the maturity of the church
  • Learn how to identify, cultivate and multiply the five equippers (apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers) in the congregation you serve
  • Learn why polycentric leadership makes more sense than hierarchical leadership or flat leadership
  • Discover the power of stories, liturgies, rituals and rhythms in developing a discipleship culture that reshapes peoples desire for God and his kingdom
  • Get practical tools that will enhance your ability to lead as a team of cultural architects, cultivating environments where good things run wild

My hope is that this book adds to the rich conversation about the missional church, for the missional church is not the latest fad; it has been in the making over the last century. My overview of Van Gelder’s book, The Missional Church in Perspective reveals the need for more missional books to be informed by history.

JAR: The subtitle of the book is “Equipping the Church for the Sake of the World”. How does the book equip the church? Does it have anything to do with the 5 symbols on the cover?

JRW: This book equips the church to cultivate a missional culture through a polycentric approach to leadership that releases the five-fold typology that Paul gives us in Ephesians 4. It goes beyond theory to practice.

As you well know, the cover design typically comes late in the making of the book, and so in many ways I was unable to tie the five symbols on the cover directly to the contents, thought they are certainly indirectly linked in many ways. But as you might know, the website reveals the meaning of the five symbols.

The five icons symbolize the five equippers mentioned in Ephesians four, the apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers. We are told in this passage that Christ has given these people (who are the gifts) to the church that they might equip and awaken the entire body to live out their calling and build up the body until we reach the full stature of Christ.

What blows me away is how Paul ties these five people-gifts to the maturity of the church. So if we have any hope of having the character of Christ and reflecting his ministry, we need to understand the nature of each of these people-gifts and consider how to nourish every person according to their calling. Because Christ was the archetypical apostle, prophet, evangelists, pastor and teacher, we need to nurture and release each of these people-gifts to live out their calling.

I’m with Hirsch, Catchim and others in believing that the best way to read Ephesians 4 is three dimensionally. In other words, every one fits into this five-fold typology in the sense of their calling. That is the first dimension. The second dimension is that all the other gifts mentioned in scripture (Rom. 12, I Cor. 12 and I Peter 4) are gifts that are given to help us live out our calling. In other words, each of these typologies represents a stream of ministry in the church. And finally, some will live out lives apostolically or prophetically or evangelistically, or pastorally, or as a teach in such a way that Christ gives them the capacity to equip others as an elder/leader in the congregation. So we can look at these five people-gifts as a calling for all, with a view to the different ways to minister, and from a leadership perspective.

Stay tuned for Part 2…

Be sure to visit JR’s site for some great resources & material.

Can We Wait As Children Wait?

Let us Wait as Children Wait

Let us Wait as Children Wait

Advent is coming. The end of the liturgical year is only a few weeks away and many of us are already preparing. I know because it is time for me to work on my annual Advent mediation video.

And just as Advent is a time of preparation for Christmas, so, at least in the northern hemisphere, is this season of storing food (both physically and spiritually), slowing down and rethinking our focus. It is a time for storing up the resources we know we need to see us through a season in which our hearts ache for the coming of God’s light. Tom and I go away for one of our quarterly retreats at the end of the week and we are both already anticipating this important pause in our routines. We want to make sure that we are very ready for the upcoming season.

Part of my preparation is getting ready for the blog series that I host during Advent. This year’s theme is Let Us Wait As Children Wait.  I am very excited about this, and by the number of posts I have already received can see that others are too. I hope that out of this series will not only come some thought provoking reflections (and possibly another Advent devotional book) on how we as adults wait for the coming of Christ, but also some good resources to help us focus our children on the real meaning of Christmas. As I mentioned before, one of my most popular posts during Advent is this one on Celebrating Advent With Kids. People are looking for resources – and I think not just to celebrate with their kids but because many of us want to find again that childlike enthusiasm and excitement we once experienced in our faith.

So once again this is your invitation to join in. Do you know of resources that should be added to the list for celebrating with kids? If so we would love to hear about them. Or would you like to contribute your thoughts to this series. There is still time to participate. Please email me for more details. Or, like Tom and I you may just want to spend more time reflecting on how you wait for the coming of Christ. Is it with excitement, impatience and barely contained longing or is it with worn out indifference? What are some steps you could take to change that?