Daily Devotions

July 13th, 2020

Dear St Mark Family and Friends,

Todays verse if Is. 40:15-17,21-23, 28-31

The video link is again a cutting from Chariots of fire. See Saturday's devotion for further explanation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjF59VB0h6g


 
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Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Jay 

July 11th, 2020

Hi St. Mark Fam and Friends,

Here is the verse for the day.
Hebrews12:1

- This cutting is from Chariots of Fire. Best picture of 1981. Eric Little was an Olympic runner for England.
He was required to run on the Sabbath, and so he decided not to run.
He ran another race, and he won the gold. He later became a missionary to China .
Your brother in Christ,
P Jay

July 10th, 2020

Dear St. Mark Family and Friends,
Here are the verses  Bishop Yahiel Curry will be preaching on on Sunday. Hope you can make it.
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23


Just for fun��

Your brother in Christ,
 Pastor Jay

July 9th, 2020

Dear St mark Family and Friends
Verse for the day  is Psalm  46

This link is to a song written by PJ, our former intern.



 

Your brother n Christ,
 Pastor Jay

July 7th, 2020

Good morning St Mark Family and Friends,
 And the verse for today is.... Psalm 25:1- 7

For yucks.  And where is Waldo?
 
webassets/waldo.jpg 
 
Your brother in Christ,

 Pastor Jay  

July 6th, 2020

Good morning St Mark  Familly and Friends,
Here is the verse for the day:Psalm 46:1-7
This is the psalm that Martin Luther used to base his classic hymn

 
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July 4th, 2020

Dear St. Mark Family and Friends,
Here is the red letter verse for this red letter day.
II Chronicles 7:14

July 3rd, 2020

Dear St. Mark Family and Friends, 

July 2nd, 2020

Greetings St Mark Family and Friends,

Here is the verse for the day  

"(God) I will sing of your might,
I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been a fortress for me and a refuge in the day of my trouble.
O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you , O God, are my sure defence.
You are a God who shows me steadfast love.!"

Psalm 59:16,17

This is a 3 minute clip of Brenan Manning Definitely worth watching!


Me: Hello God.

God: Hello...

Me: I'm falling apart. Can you put me back together?

God: I'd rather not.

Me: Why?

God: Because you're not a puzzle.

Me: What about all the pieces of my life that fall to the ground?

God: Leave them there for a while. They fell for a reason. Let them be there for a while and then decide if you need to take any of those pieces back.

Me: You don't understand! I'm breaking!

God: No, you don't understand. You're transcending, evolving.

What you feel are growing pains. You're getting rid of the things and people in your life that are holding you back. The pieces are not falling down. The pieces are being put in place. Relax. Take a deep breath and let those things you no longer need fall down. Stop clinging to pieces that are no longer for you. Let them fall. Let them go.

Me: Once I start doing that, what will I have left?

God: Only the best pieces of yourself.

Me: I'm afraid to change.

God: I keep telling you: YOU'RE NOT CHANGING! YOU'RE BECOMING!

Me: Becoming, Who?

God: Becoming who I created you to be! A person of light, love, charity, hope, courage, joy, mercy, grace and compassion. I made you for so much more than those shallow pieces you decided to adorn yourself with and that you cling to with so much greed and fear. Let those things fall off you. I love you! Don't change! Become! Don't change! Become! Become who I want you to be, who I created. I'm gonna keep telling you this until you remember.

Me: There goes another piece.

God: Yes. Let it be like this.

Me: So... I'm not broken?

God: No, but you're breaking the darkness, like dawn. It's a new day. Become!! Become who you really are!!"


Your brother in Christ,

P Jay

July 1st, 2020

Good morning St Mark Family and Friends,
The reading for today, and my very favorite kBible verse is Eph. 2:8and 9

Below are two links. The first is a song written by Rich Mullins a few years before he died in a plane crash.   It is sung by Big Daddy Weave and includes the lyrics for you to read.
The second is Rich singing his own song and  his commentary on the song.  I recommend both if you have time. It is one of my favorite songs.
 


Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Jay

June 30th, 2020

Dear St Mark Friends and Family,

Isn't it good to know that unlike happiness, there is a joy which is accessible to us as believers even in our suffering..
Check out the Gospel of John  15:11-13

June 29th, 2020

Hi St. Mark Family, 

Here is the verse for today:
Luke 10;41,42

Your brother in Christ,
P. Jay

June 27th, 2020

Hi St. Mark Family and Friends, 

Check out Zechariah (not to be confused with Zephaniah).

Zechariah 9:12

This is a promise God gave me 40 some years ago when I had forgotten about God and he has delivered on his promise again and again.

Your brother in Christ,
P. Jay
 

June 25th, 2020

Hi St. Mark family,
Here is the verse for today.
Luke 10;41,42

Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Jay

June 24th, 2020

Dear St Mark Family and Friends,

The reading for today is Matt 6:31-34.


Your Brother in Christ,
Pastor Jay

June 22nd, 2020

Greeetings from the sunshine state.

Our reading for today is Hebrews 11:1-3, and 6.


See you Sunday.
your brother in Christ,
PastorJay

June 20th, 2020

Reading dujour    1 John 3:1-3

The video link below is for people who didn't have a father growing up, or had one who didn't pass on some of the essential tasks of manhood.  (How to die a tie, how to use different kinds of wrenches, how to change a tire etc.)  I think you will enjot it.

June 19th, 2020

Good morning St. Mark Family and Friends,

Here is the verse for today. 
I John 3:11, 16-18

The second part of this reading is a tough verse and one I have struggled with over the years.

webassets/juneteenth.jpg
--
Today is Juneteenth, the aniversary of when 1862: Slavery is outlawed in the U.S. territories

Congress enacted legislation that banned slavery in all current and future U.S. territories. The law stated: 'Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That from and after the passage of this act there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the Territories of the United States now existing, or which may at any time hereafter be formed or acquired by the United States, otherwise than in punishment of crimes whereof   the party shall have been duly convicted.'


Check this link out. It is very interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K5fbQ1-zps&_hsmi=89826718&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9UNO6xdpuSP4pfmWWyvF1a6ySIyhDbhrPw9nqiJhW--Su1EXXxzVu0XC4gTrBcKvvXVBwU_ZRyV4WaYuWMnMHWqtfllg

Your brother in Christ,

 Pastor Jay

June 18th, 2020

Here are  the verses for today.
Lamentations 3:21-27

June 17th, 2020

The reading for today is Rev. 21:1-5

June 15th, 2020

The verse for today may be an old favorite for you, I know it is for me.
John  3:16,17

June 13th, 2020

Dear St Mark family and friends,

The time to love somebody...
Here is the verse for the day.

June 11th, 2020

Reading for the day:  Psalm 13

June 8th, 2020

Verse for the day : Psalm 40

-- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZH7t9_mXuh4

For those of you who are music fans, here is  link my daughter Julia sent to me today that has all the contemporary Christians songs she and other worship leaders sing at their congregation in Prague.


Just For Laughs
Someone sent me a link to this site.  The first time I read an article I wondered, "Could this really be true?"  But, then the more stories I read I realized this is all a spoof on our times, and is just for laughs. The stories are often a satire of our times, so if it's not your cup of tea, just delete.


Your brother in Christ,
 Pastor Jay

June 6th, 2020

Dear St. Mark Family and Friends,

Bible Verse for today is  II Chronicles 32:7-8

This video is a sermon given by our National Presiding Bishop.

Your brother in Christ,

Pastor Jay

June 5th, 2020

Dear St. Mark Family and Friends,

Bible Verse for today is  II Chronicles 32:7-8

- Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Jay

June 3rd, 2020

Bible reading for today. Galatians 3:27-29
 
 
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June 2nd, 2020

Bible Verse for the day

Psalm 14:1


Atheists Don't Have No Songs
--
Lyrics
Atheists Don't Have No Songs (AKA The Atheist Hymnal)
Christians have their hymns and pages,
Hava Nagila's for the Jews,
Baptists have the rock of ages,
Atheists just sing the blues.
Romantics play Claire de Lune,
Born agains sing "He is risen, "
But no one ever wrote a tune,
For godless existentialism.
For Atheists there's no good news. They'll never sing a song of faith.
In their songs they have a rule: the "he" is always lowercase.
The "he" is always lowercase.
Some folks sing a Bach cantata,
Lutherans get Christmas trees,
Atheist songs add up to nada,
But they do have Sundays free.
Pentecostals sing to heaven,
Coptics have the books of scrolls,
Numerologists can count to seven,
Atheists have rock and roll.
For Atheists there's no good news. They'll never sing a song of faith.
In their songs they have a rule: the "he" is always lowercase.
The "he" is always lowercase.
Atheists don't have no songs.
Christians have their hymns and pages,
Hava Nagila's for the Jews,
Baptists have the rock of ages,
Atheists just sing the blues.
Catholics dress up for Mass,
And listen to, Gregorian chants.
Atheists just take a pass, Watch football in their underpants.
Watch football in their underpants.

Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Jay

June 1st, 2020

Bible verse for today is  Micah 6:8.



Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Jay

May 30th, 2020

Dear St. Mark friends and family,

The reading for today anticipates the Pentecost reading for tomorrow.

Check out Acts 2: 1-21.

 It would also be interesting to compare it with Genesis 11:1-9

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFByOX8Fb0M

Remember tomorrow is Pentecost Sunday, the third most festive day on the churches calendar. Wear red clothes (or pajamas��) or drive a red car is you have that option. Red streamers will be available to you before each service, which you may tie to your rear view mirror, aerial, or hang out your window. 

Your sibling,

Pastor Jay

May 28th, 2020

Dear Saint Mark Family and Friends,


Verse for the day.  Phil. 4:6,7

webassets/driveinserviceseat.jpg

Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Jay

May 27th, 2020

Dear St Mark Family and Friends,

Here is the reading for today and a musical version of the same reading.
Is. 43:1-5

Your brother in Christ
Pastor Jay

May 26th, 2020

Good morning St. Mark Family and Friends,

Thank you to  those who prayed for my mother, Anna May Larsen  who contracted the virus.  She passed into the kingdom of heaven yesterday.

The Bible verse for today is:

webassets/052620devotion.jpg 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSbJPZLNIuc 

Your brother in Christ,

Pastor Jay

May 25th, 2020

Good morning St Mark family and friends,

Here is the verse for the day.   In fact it is a good verse for the entire millennium as well.

 2 Chronicles 7:14


(the above link is to Celtic Woman singing this song that was written shortly after 9/11
It sounds as if it  is a song sung to America by God.)Here are the lyrics.

O, America you're calling,
I can hear you calling me,
You are calling me to be true to thee,
True to thee I will be.
O, America no weeping,
Let me heal your wounded heart.
I will keep you in my keeping,
Till there be, a new start.
And I will answer you, and I will take your hand,
And lead you to the sun
And I will stand by you, do all that I can do,
And we will be as one.
O, America I hear you,
From your prairies to the sea,
From your mountains grand, and all through this land,
You are beautiful to me.
And, O, America you're calling,
I can hear you calling me,
You are…
And, O, America you're calling,
I can hear you calling me,
You are calling me to be true to thee,
True to thee, I will be.
And I will answer you, and I will take your hand,
And lead you, to the sun
And I will stand by you, do all that I can do,
And we will be, as one

--

Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Jay

May 23rd, 2020

John  17: 9-11, and 20-23 (These are the Gospel reading for tomorrow.)

 

Plagues and Triumph:
Pandemics and the Growth of Christianity by the Church Doctor

 Years ago, I read Rodney Starks’ The Triumph of Christianity. As Christ-followers, we can learn a lot from the two plagues that hit the Roman Empire in the second century AD.

The Romans who were wealthy were experts in social distancing! When the plagues arrived, they fled to the remote countryside. They left the masses of poor people behind to suffer and to die.

The Christians had a different worldview:

  • Life is sacred.
  • Mercy is the way of life.
  • Sacrifice is the platform for mercy.


This is what believers do. This is who Christians are.

So, as the wealthy fled for the hills, the Roman masses suffered from disease. Christians, with a resurrection mindset and eternal perspective, stayed behind to care for those who were sick.

Calamity Clarifies

It’s so easy for comfortable humans to ignore their Creator, much easier to ignore their Redeemer—and even easier to take no notice of His followers—and their churches.

When the Roman plagues ended, the wealthy people returned to the cities. They were astonished to discover what was undeniable: The Christians had stayed and prayed, cared and comforted, blessed the sick, and buried the dead. Like the popular contemporary song says, "You’re the God who stays…when the whole world walks away" (
The God Who Stays by Matthew West).

The result? The wealthy, influential Romans discovered that Christians are heroes. Many discovered the real Hero, the One who beat death once and for all. The Christian Movement was greatly advanced throughout the Roman Empire.

Persecution

Does it feel like a form of 
persecution that you cannot physically gather with friends at church for worship? Is that your focus, your worldview? Look, it’s easy for all of us to drift into the "‘poor me’ spiritual consumer mode." I get that. It’s a real temptation.

Consider this: In Acts 8:1, there is a news report about some bad times for the followers of Jesus. "There was a 
great persecution of the church in Jerusalem."

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think persecution is "great" at all! Yeah, I know, "great" means huge, right? Hold on: it was really "great"—awesome—as well.

Read on in Acts 8. What was the result? "The believers were all scattered." Does that sound like your life, your church, today? What is great about that?

Yet, look at what Scripture adds: "The believers were all scattered, preaching the Word."

 

Spiritual Worldview

1.     If your church is streaming worship on the Internet, are you inviting your unchurched friends to tune in?  

2.     If you have invited friends to   join you for church, (eithr on line  or in the parking lot)are you following up, providing them the opportunity to discuss the message with you? Are you following up by texts, email, or phone?

3.     Are you focused on the scattered opportunity to reach unchurched friends who have never felt comfortable entering a church building? Right now, you are looking through that window of opportunity! Can you just say, "I’m praying for you?"

4.     As unbelievers in your social network watch the same news reports about the unbelievable number of deaths, has it led you to connect virtually with those who show no signs of faith—to talk about life, death, and eternity?

5.     Are you simply a Christian consumer in this perfect storm to share your faith? Are you taking Jesus’ invitation, "You will be my witnesses…"?

6.     As you deal with the plague, are you focused on the spiritual doughnut, or the hole? For each of us, Jesus might be challenging us: "problem or opportunity?"

 

Your brother in Christ,

Pastor Jay

May 21st, 2020


The reading for today in Psalm 107.

Sabrina Wurmbrand was imprisoned in a Romanian  slave labor camp. Years later she went back to that prison to try and encourage the women prisoners. She writes "It was very hard.
Many women in tears said, "If ever I will be free again, never will I complain that it is too hard. I will never speak with my husband or my children the way I did."  There were so many tears of repentance. ...

Among us was a young Christian girl who was richer than all the rest because she had gathered God's word in her heart.
Her little group asked God, "How can we  stand it? We are in hell. What should we do?"
The young woman said, "We have a program for all Christians no matter where they are. Psalm 107.
When many tears are on our faces do we say, How can I solve this problem?
It is then that we see how small and weak we are. You could never solve it in your strength. Instead, as the psalms begins, "Give thanks to the Lord,  for his mercy endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!.
Look at his kindness. You are his, and He is yours. He will not throw you away.
Sometimes it is like we are in hell. We suffer. We forget who we are. We belong to Him, we are His. HIS NAME IS WRITTEN ON OUR FOREHEADS. 'May God bless you and shine his glory over you, in order that His name should be easily read by those around you."

May 16th, 2020


Verse of the day, Romans 10:9-13

This is my daughter Julie and some of her co-workers at Faith Community Church in Prague. And yes we are very proud of her.

May 15th, 2020


Dear St. Mark Family and friends,

The verse for the day is Gospel of John 6:35, 48-58.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeDoUE4_D2U 

May 14th, 2020


Dear St. Mark Family and friends,

The verse for the day is from the Gospel of Luke.

 Some Christians take a verse in John 14 out of context  

Jesus says, “Whatever you ask in my name I will give to you.”  They misinterpret it to mean I can ask for whatever I   want, and if I tack on the  phrase “In Jesus name amen” God is legally  obligated to give me whatever my heart desires. Some of them even call it the “Prayer of Faith.” That is not the prayer of faith!

 Luke 22:41-2 is the prayer of faith.  I encourage you, let this be the prayer of your heart today.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj62hX119vs

 webassets/prayerofabandonment.jpg

May 11th, 2020

Dear St. Mark family and friends,
 
The verse for today is Romans 4:8.
I came across this picture the other day. I think the council that goes with it offers some pretty good advice.
 
Your brother in Christ
 
Pastor Jay
 
 webassets/27003336456376.jpegwebassets/27003336465732.jpeg 

May 8th, 2020

-The verse for today is  Hebrews10:23-25


The  song for today is one my daughter Anika who wrote down 8 years ago. 
She put it in a letter and then lost the letter.  We just received it this week , so I share it with you now, 8 years later. Maybe that's God timing?�� 


Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Jay
 
webassets/devotion050820.jpg 

May 7th, 2020

Dear St Mark family and friends,
 
In honor (belatedly) of St. Hilarius day, here is the verse for the day. Enjoy!
 
Your brother in Christ, Pastor Jay

Proverbs 17:22
--

Click here for funny cartoons.

May 6th, 2020

Dear St. Mark family,

 Verse for the day is the gospel of John 14:27.

Someone shared this press release with me the other day. It sounds very promising.  I sent it to Snopes to try and verify but haven’t heard back yet.

 The Migal Research Institute, based in northern Israel, held a press conference to reveal that they have developed a coronavirus vaccine. "It's totally game-changing," Migal CEO David Zigdon told From The Grapevine  mostly focuses its research on agriculture and animals. And it was that specialty which gave it a leg up in the race to find this new vaccine. For the past four years, they have been working on developing a vaccine for coronavirus in chickens. When the human outbreak of the disease accelerated a few months ago, they soon realized there was only a few genetic tweaks needed to have the poultry version work in humans as well. "It was an issue of timing that we were already working on this project. We were here at the right time." Zigdon told us that Migal will now repeat the pre-clinical trial. "Hopefully, in a few months we'll have the final version that we can go to humans." The vaccine will then have to go through several regulatory approvals which might be fast-tracked because of the outbreak  Migal is not alone in this race to find a cure. Other groups are also frantically working on a vaccine. U.S.-based Gilead Sciences, for example, announced this week that it is launching two Phase III clinical trials for a drug to treat covid-19,  s for the new vaccine, And hopefully, no one will use it because the disease will pass. This would be the best thing." Source: From the Grapevine

Here is the last segment of the musical we did a few yars ago called “Rebound for Glory.” Hope you enjoy.

https://vimeo.com/82748085

                                                          Your brother in Christ,

                                                                   Pastor Jay

11007 S. 76th Avenue, Worth, IL 60482  (708) 448-6555

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