Friday, 27 January 2012

First Retreat

Welcome to the Prairie Retreat blog.  It is great to have you drop in!

This is a blog about life as a Prairie Presbyterian.  I am a Presbyterian
who lives on the Prairies (yahoo Manitoba).  I write Devotionals,  Bible Studies,  create
give-away Quilts,  and volunteer with an awesome Military Museum (shameless plug
for 26 Field Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery - XII Manitoba Dragoons Museum,
Brandon Armoury,  Brandon MB). 

As a Prairie Presbyterian, life is amusing.   I frequently have to remember which tote
bag goes with me to which adventure.  It really is disconcerting to open up my tote
bag thinking I've grabbed the Bible Study tote only to find Museum ammunition.  Oops.

Presbyterians used to be known as "the disciplined people of the Bible".   So, each blog will include a portion of Devotional... and perhaps when I get really good at understanding the inner works of "blog"  I'll post photos of quilts... or ammo :)

Prayer:   Omnipotent God,  we bow humbly before You this day.   The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them.  God delivers us from all our troubles.  LORD,  You are close to the brokenhearted and You save those who are crushed in spirit.  In You we take refuge.  Amen.

Read:  St. Matthew 5: 3 – 5
Jesus begins teaching the disciples with ten central understandings of Christianity.  Jesus begins each teaching with the word “Blessed”.... those who are happy in God’s sight.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit”. This first Beatitude comes out of the Old Testament understanding of ‘the poor’.  In the Old Testament, the  poor, were people who realized their own frailness and who looked to God for safety.    God’s concern for the poor, the humble, the contrite of spirit is recorded in Isaiah 57:15, Psalm 34:18, Proverbs 16:19,  and Proverbs 29: 23.  The poor in spirit are those who bow humbly before God in total trust, who are willing to await everything at God’s hand. 
 “Blessed are those who mourn.”  Jesus speaks of a sorrow that is piercing, a sorrow that can been seen on the faces and attitudes of people.  The mourners include those who mourn over the power of evil in the world as well as those who mourn over sin in their own lives.  Jesus promises comfort and strength from God.   
“Blessed are the meek” comes from Psalm 37:11.  The meek are not soft like we understand that word today... the meek as understood in the Jewish understanding meant those who are considerate, unassuming, and peaceable towards God and humans.    The meek never grow resentful nor bitter about anything which life may bring to them. 
To inherit meant to enter into possession of something which was promised and foretold by God.  Oh the happiness of all who are so committed to God that they are entirely God focussed, for such a person will be right with God and will be right with self and will be right with others... and will enter into that life which God has promised and which God alone can give.  

Prayer:   Great God,  may we be still before You and wait patiently for You.  Help us to refrain from anger and turn from the insults put upon us by other people.  We know, O LORD,  that You provide us with great joy and great peace.  Amen.

Thanks for stopping in and may God continue to bless you this day!

Many blessings,

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