The University of Minnesota announced it is plunging into an “accelerated recruiting athletic race.” Our football and basketball teams need to be ranked nationally in the sports polls. The University plans to construct more practice facilities, develop a more conducive atmosphere for the athletics and pay the coaches more money. Sadly, it is never made clear what this orgy of spending has to do with “higher education.”
“Are you sure you want to do this?” This can be a helpful question to ask. The question cuts to the heart of our motives. Why am I doing this? What do I hope to accomplish? This is a forgotten question today as in the rush toward the allurement of personal advantage and fleeting self- preservation.
The prosperity gospel is making a strong come back in our country. If you find success, God blesses you. I’m all for developing our God given gifts but “at what price to one’s soul?” “Where does my neighbor enter my life”?
The prosperity gospel is making a strong come back in our country. If you find success, God blesses you. If you follow gurus of self-improvement by reading books or watching their television programs, you are on the path to privilege. I’m all for developing our God given gifts but “at what price to one’s soul?” “Where does my neighbor enter my life”?
There are no iron clad guarantees when we make decisions. I believe our faith asks us “what do you want to do and why?” When you are true to the “best” as a child of God, I can say with confidence - one does not win door prizes. What gives one deepest satisfaction as a disciple of Jesus is to say: “I was true to the gifts God has given me.”
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.” Psalm 51: 10-11
Let the Scriptures Speak
Buy An Understandable Bible Translation: Speak to Pastors Eliot and Lawrence for recommendations.
Church Year: Epiphany means “to show”, “to make known”, “to reveal” the church’s service to the wider world. This season runs till Ash Wednesday, March 1 – beginning of Lent. Colors are gold and white.
Daily Scripture Reading: *Choose time of day *Choose a quiet place *Light a candle (symbol of God’s presence) *Begin with a prayer (Open my heart to your Word, O God.” *Close with a prayer (May your presence be with me today.”
In Conversation with Scripture: The Bible is filled with a variety of writings. A few examples – poetry (Psalms); history (Joshua and judges); prophets (Joel, Isaiah, Micah); Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John); the early Christian Church (Paul’s Letters) and end times (Revelation). It is helpful to know what type of writings you are reading. Again, check background information in your Bible.
Spiritual Practice: *When you read scripture, what word/thought comes to your attention)? *What do these words say to you? *What do you hear God saying to you?
Bible Readings For The Week: Sunday January 29 John 7:14–31; Monday January 30 Mark 7:32-37; Tuesday January 31 Mark 8:1-10; February 1 Wednesday Mark 8:11-26; Thursday February 2 Mark 8:27 – 9:1; Friday February 3 Mark 9:2-13; Saturday February 4 Mark 9:14-29
Pray your own prayers.
Dan Schmiechen is a retired minister and member of Linden Hills United Church of Christ.