Ordinary Time is Kingdom time. It is about being formed by the ordinary life and practices of God’s church to become mature followers of Christ.

What is Ordinary Time?

Ordinary Time is Kingdom time.  It is the longest season of the liturgical year that begins the Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday. In this season we seek to live what is the ordinary Kingdom life by being formed through the faith, life, and practices of the church. During this season, we train our spiritual muscles through the regular practice of the Spiritual disciplines, those practices that have proven over the centuries to produce mature, healthy, disciples of Jesus Christ.

 

Spiritual Disciplines

The life of a Christian, and the practices of being a Christian, should not only for spiritual giants, or those who are legalistic, but such a life is truly the ordinary life of the believer.

Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. ‭

1 Timothy‬ ‭4:7-8 ‭MSG‬‬

This summer we focused on nine spiritual disciplines: Prayer, Fasting, Meditation, Simplicity, Submission, Solitude, Celebration, Worship, and Confession. These disciplines can be put into three categories: inward, outward, and corporate.  Below are some practical ways to join us in practicing these spiritual disciplines this summer.

Spiritual Growth

Green is the liturgical color of Ordinary Time and reminds us of our focus on growth. This summer we will be focusing on different disciplines each month. Join us as we learn and grow to become healthy followers of Christ, living the ordinary christian life.

June: Meditation | Solitude | Worship

July: Prayer | Submission | Confession

August: Fasting | Simplicity | Celebration

September – November Readings

Readings for each week begin on Thursday. Thursday – Saturday readings prepare you for the Sunday reading. Monday – Wednesday readings help you reflect on the Sunday reading.

Trinity 12

Thursday – Ps. 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b, Exodus 2:23-24, Ephesians 5:1-6

Friday – Ps. 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b, Exodus 3:16-25, 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12

Saturday – Ps. 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b, Exodus 4:1-9, Matthew 8:14-17

Sunday – Sept. 3 – Exodus 3:1-15, Ps. 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b, Romans 12:9-21, Matthew 16:21-28

Monday – Psalm 83:1-4, 13-18, Exodus 4:10-31, Revelation 3:1-6

Tuesday – Psalm 83:1-4, 13-18, Exodus 5:1-6:13, Revelation 3:7-13

Wednesday – Psalm 83:1-4, 13-18, Exodus 7:14-25, Matthew 12:22-32


Trinity 13

Thursday – Psalm 149, Exodus 9:1-7, 2 Corinthians 12:11-2

Friday – Psalm 149, Exodus 10:21-29, Romans 10:15b-21

Saturday – Psalm 149, Exodus 11:1-10, Matthew 23:29-36

Sunday – Sept. 10 – Exodus 12:1-14, Psalm 149Romans 13:8-14, Matthew 18:15-20

Monday – Psalm 121, Exodus 12:14-28, 1 Peter 2:11-17

Tuesday – Psalm 121, Exodus 12:29-42, Romans 13:1-7

Wednesday – Psalm 121, Exodus 13:1-10, Matthew 21:18-22


Trinity 14

Thursday – Psalm 114, Exodus 13:17-22, 1 John 3:11-16

Friday – Psalm 114, Exodus 14:1-18, Acts 7:9-16

Saturday – Psalm 114, Exodus 15:19-21, Matthew 6:7-15

Sunday – Sept. 17 – Exodus 14:19-31, Psalm 114Romans 14:1-12, Matthew 18:21-35

Monday – Psalm 77, Joshua 3:1-17, Hebrews 11:23-29

Tuesday – Psalm 77, Nehemiah 9:9-15, Romans 14:13-15:2

Wednesday – Psalm 77, 2 Kings 2:1-18, Mark 11:20-25


Trinity 15

Thursday – Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45, Exodus 15:22-27, 2 Corinthians 13:1-4

Friday – Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45, Exodus 16:1-21, 2 Corinthians 13:5-10

Saturday – Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45, Exodus 16:22-30, Matthew 19:23-30

Sunday – Sept. 24 – Exodus 16:2-15, Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45, Philippians 1:21-30, Matthew 20:1-16

Monday – Psalm 119:97-104, Exodus 16:31-35, Romans 16:1-16

Tuesday – Psalm 119:97-104, Numbers 11:1-9, Romans 16:17-20

Wednesday – Psalm 119:97-104, Numbers 11:18-23, 31-32, Matthew 18:1-5


Trinity 16

Thursday – Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16, Isaiah 48:17-21, James 4:11-16

Friday – Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16, Numbers 20:1-13, Acts 13:32-41

Saturday – Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16, Numbers 27:12-14, Mark 11:27-33

Sunday – Oct. 1 – Exodus 17:1-7, Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16, Philippians 2:1-13, Matthew 21:23-32

Monday – Psalm 42, Exodus 18:1-12, Philippians 1:3-14

Tuesday – Psalm 42, Exodus 18:13-27, Philippians 1:15-21

Wednesday – Psalm 42, Exodus 19:9b-25, Matthew 9:2-8


Trinity 17

Thursday – Psalm 19, Exodus 23:1-9, Colossians 2:16-23

Friday – Psalm 19, Exodus 23:14-19, Phil. 2:14-18; 3:1-4a

Saturday – Psalm 19, Exodus 23:10-13, John 7:40-52

Sunday – Oct. 8 – Exodus 20:1-4,7-9,12-20, Psalm 19Philippians 3:4b-14Matthew 21:33-46

Monday – Psalm 119:49-56, Deuteronomy 5:1-21, 1 Peter 2:4-10

Tuesday – Psalm 119:49-56, Deuteronomy 5:22-6:32 Cor. 5:17-21

Wednesday – Psalm 119:49-56, Deuteronomy 6:10-25, John 11:45-57


Trinity 18

Thursday – Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23, Exodus 24:1-8, 1 Peter 5:1-5, 12-14

Friday – Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23, Exodus 24:9-11, James 4:4-10

Saturday – Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23, Exodus 24:12-18, Mark 2:18-22

Sunday – Oct. 15 – Exodus 32:1-14, Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23, Philippians 4:1-9, Matthew 22:1-14

Monday – Psalm 97, Exodus 32:15-35, Jude 17-25

Tuesday – Psalm 97, Exodus 33:1-6, Philippians 3:13—4:1

Wednesday – Psalm 97, 2 Kings 17:7-20, John 6:25-35


Trinity 19

Thursday – Psalm 99, Exodus 33:7-11, 3 John 9-12

Friday – Psalm 99, Exodus 31:1-11, 1 Peter 5:1-5

Saturday – Psalm 99, Exodus 39:32-43, Matthew 14:1-12

Sunday – Oct. 22 – Exodus 33:12-23, Psalm 991 Thessalonians 1:1-10, Matthew 22:15-22

Monday – Psalm 63:1-8, Exodus 40:34-38, Rev. 18:1-10, 19-20

Tuesday – Psalm 63:1-8, Numbers 12:1-9, Revelation 18:21-24

Wednesday – Psalm 63:1-8, Num. 13:1-2, 17-14:9, Matthew 17:22-27


Trinity 20

Thursday – Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17, Deuteronomy 31:14-22, Titus 1:5-16

Friday – Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17, Deuteronomy 32:1-14, 18, Titus 2:7-8, 11-15

Saturday – Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17, Deuteronomy 32:44-47, John 5:39-47

Sunday – Oct. 29 – Deuteronomy 34:1-12, Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Matthew 22:34-46

Monday – Psalm 119:41-48, Numbers 33:38-39, James 2:8-13

Tuesday – Psalm 119:41-48, Exodus 34:29-35, James 2:14-26

Wednesday – Nov. 1 – All Saints Day – Psalm 119:41-48, Deuteronomy 26:16-27:7, Matthew 19:16-22


Trinity 21

Thursday – Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37, Joshua 1:1-11, Romans 2:17-29

Friday – Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37, Joshua 2:1-14, 2 Peter 2:1-3

Saturday – Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37, Joshua 2:15-24, Matthew 23:13-28

Sunday – Nov. 5 – Joshua 3:7-17, Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37, 1 Thess. 2:9-13, Matthew 23:1-12

Monday – Psalm 128, Joshua 4:1-24, 1 Thess. 2:13-20

Tuesday – Psalm 128, Joshua 6:1-16, 20, Acts 13:1-12

Wednesday – Psalm 128, Joshua 10:12-14, Matthew 15:1-9


Trinity 22

Thursday – Psalm 78:1-7, Joshua 5:10-12, Revelation 8:6—9:12

Friday – Psalm 78:1-7, Joshua 8:30-35, Revelation 9:13-21

Saturday – Psalm 78:1-7, Joshua 20:1-9, Matthew 24:1-14

Sunday – Nov. 12 – Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25, Psalm 78:1-7, 1 Thess. 4:13-18, Matthew 25:1-13

Monday – Psalm 78, Joshua 24:25-33, 1 Corinthians 14:20-25

Tuesday – Psalm 78, Nehemiah 8:1-12, 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Wednesday – Psalm 78, Jeremiah 31:31-34, Matthew 24:29-35


Trinity 23

Thursday – Psalm 123, Judges 2:6-15, Revelation 16:1-7

Friday – Psalm 123, Judges 2:16-23, Revelation 16:8-21

Saturday – Psalm 123, Judges 5:1-12, Matthew 12:43-45

Sunday – Nov. 19 – Judges 4:1-7, Psalm 1231 Thess. 5:1-11, Matthew 25:14-30

Monday – Ps. 83:1-4,9-10,17-18, Judges 4:8-24, Romans 2:1-11

Tuesday – Ps. 83:1-4,9-10,17-18, Exodus 2:1-10, 1 Thess. 5:12-18

Wednesday – Ps. 83:1-4,9-10, 7-18, Esther 7:1-10, Matthew 24:45-51


Trinity 24

Thursday – Psalm 100, Genesis 48:15-22, Revelation 14:1-11

Friday – Psalm 100, Isaiah 40:1-11, Revelation 22:1-9

Saturday – Psalm 100, Ezekiel 34:25-31, Matthew 12:46-50

Sunday – Nov. 26 – Christ the King – Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24, Psalm 100Ephesians 1:15-23, Matthew 25:31-46

Monday – Psalm 28, Numbers 27:15-23, 2 Timothy 2:8-13

Tuesday – Psalm 28, Zechariah 11:4-17, Revelation 19:1-9

Wednesday – Psalm 28, Jeremiah 31:10-14, John 5:19-40

June Disciplines

INWARD - Meditation

TAKING GOD’S WORD DEEP INTO OUR HEARTS AND MINDS

PRACTICES:

Lectio Divina:

  1. Read/listen. Listen to the Scripture with the “ears of your heart.” Don’t be in a hurry and don’t try to intellectual unpack the passage. Simply listen and wait for the Spirit as you read.
  2. Reflect/meditate. Ruminate on what the Spirit may have brought to your attention. You can focus on a phrase or even just one word. Slowly repeat the phrase or word. Interacting with it so it informs your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and desires.
  3. Respond/pray. Offer whatever insights you have to God. Expressing to Him any feelings or longings. Confessing any sin, struggle, or hurt. Rejoice in Him by finding that God is embracing you with open arms.
  4. Rest/contemplate. End by quietly and without words resting in what God’s word has brought you. Simply sit inside Christ’s love, joy, and peace.

Ignatian Examen:

  1. Become aware of God’s presence by looking back over the day with the Holy Spirit, asking God to bring clarity and understanding from what may have seemed confusing or a blur.
  2. Walk through your day by the Spirit with gratitude, noting joys and delights. In your interactions, what did you give them and what did they provide for you? God is in the details so don’t overlook the small things such as what you ate, pleasures you saw, etc.
  3. Note your emotions. What feelings did you experience? Boredom? Elation? Resentment? Compassion? Anger? Confidence? Is God saying anything through these? Do any point to how you may have fallen short or point out any character flaws? Is God telling you to act on any of these emotions such as contacting a friend you are concerned about?
  4. Ask the Spirit to direct you to particular moments of your day whether seemingly insignificant or not. It could be a feeling, other people, or maybe an event that occurred. Choose one and pray from it. Prayerfully look at it with praise, repentance, gratitude, or intercession.
  5. Look forward by asking God to provide grace, guidance, help, understanding, and hope for tomorrow’s challenges, paying attention to any feelings that creep up to pray about.
OUTWARD - Silence/Solitude

WITHDRAWAL FROM THE WORLD TO REST IN GOD

PRACTICES:

Silence:

  1. Find a time where you don’t have to speak and are isolated from noises (nature noises excluded).
  2. Set a timer for 10 min. This keeps you from looking at your phone to see how much time is left.
  3. In your silence what do you hear? Voices, traffic, your breath, wind, your heart, distracting thoughts, etc. Try to let those noises go to be with God.
  4. After 10 min, reflect on what it was like to simply be still.

Practice silence amidst ordinary life:

  1. Be silent during any task you find yourself doing (i.e., dishes, driving, etc.)
  2. While being in the present, do your task with a listening heart.
  3. What was it like for you? What distracted you?

Solitude:

  1. Prepare. Make time and plan a place to mentally withdraw from the obligations in your life. Make sure its a place where you can escape your normal life and routine (i.e., not your house). Leave your electronics, using a journal to reflect on your thoughts and feelings.
  2. Contemplate. Begin with an Examen and then progress through a Lectio Divina,
  3. Pray. You can use a guided prayer such as the Lord’s Prayer. Reading through it four times but with a different focus: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication.
  4. Be silent. Prepare to go back into your normal routines and obligations by quieting your thoughts and resting in God’s love for who you are and not what you have done.
CORPORATE - Worship

PROCLAIMING THE GLORY AND WORTH OF GOD

PRACTICES:

  1. What are you good at? Offer your gifts and abilities as praise to God.
  2. What is your job? Whether you like your job or not, do it well with gratitude to God.
  3. Do you enjoy the arts? Use songs, poems, artwork to catapult you towards adoring God.
  4. What activities are you taking part in? Praise God for the joy those activities bring and the people you did them with.
  5. Pray the Psalms. While reading the Psalms, rephrase their worship in your own language.
June Readings

Readings for each week begin on Thursday. Thursday – Saturday readings prepare you for the Sunday reading. Monday – Wednesday readings help you reflect on the Sunday reading.

Trinity

Thursday – Psalm 8Job 38:1-112 Timothy 1:8-12a

Friday – Psalm 8Job 38:12-212 Timothy 1:12b-14

Saturday – Psalm 8Job 38:22-38John 14:15-17

Sunday – June 11 Trinity Sunday – Genesis 1:1—2:4aPsalm 82 Corinthians 13:11-13Matthew 28:16-20

Monday – Psalm 29Job 38:39—39:121 Corinthians 12:1-3

Tuesday – Psalm 29Job 39:13-251 Corinthians 12:4-13

Wednesday – Psalm 29Job 39:26—40:5John 14:25-26


Trinity 1

Thursday – Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19Genesis 21:1-7Hebrews 3:1-6

Friday – Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19Genesis 24:1-9Acts 7:35-43

Saturday – Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19Genesis 24:10-52Mark 7:1-13

Sunday – June 18 – Genesis 18:1-15Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19Romans 5:1-8Matthew 9:35—10:8

Monday – Psalm 126Genesis 23:1-191 Thessalonians 3:1-5

Tuesday – Psalm 126Genesis 25:7-112 Thessalonians 2:13—3:5

Wednesday – Psalm 126Nehemiah 9:1-8Luke 6:12-19


Trinity 2

Thursday – Psalm 86:1-10Exodus 12:43-49Hebrews 2:5-9

Friday – Psalm 86:1-10Genesis 35:1-4Acts 5:17-26

Saturday – Psalm 86:1-10Ezekiel 29:3-7Luke 11:53—12:3

Sunday – June 25 – Genesis 21:8-21Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17Romans 6:1b11Matthew 10:24-39

Monday – Psalm 86:11-17Genesis 16:1-15Revelation 2:1-7

Tuesday – Psalm 86:11-17Genesis 25:12-18Revelation 2:8-11

Wednesday – Psalm 86:11-17Jeremiah 42:18-22Matthew 10:5-23


 

July Disciplines

INWARD - Prayer

COMMUNICATION AND COMMUNION WITH GOD

PRACTICES:

Jesus Prayer:
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God:
Have mercy on me, a sinner”

 

Sign of the Cross:
With your thumb and forefinger…
  1. Trace a tiny cross on your forehead praying for your mind to be that of Christ
  2. Trace a tiny cross on your mouth praying for your speech to be that of Christ
  3. Trace a tiny cross on your chest praying for your heart to be that of Christ
  4. Touch your right and left shoulder as commitment to Christ’s cruciform life
Prayer to the Trinity:
“Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth: 
Set up your kingdom in our midst
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God:
Have mercy on me, a sinner
Holy Spirit, breath of the living God:
Renew me and all the world”

 

Prayers of Scripture:

Lord’s Prayer:
  1. Pray in it’s entirety
  2. Pray with a differing focus: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication
  3. Choose one section and meditate/pray on it alone
Psalms:
  1. Read a Psalm as a jumpstart, praying through the thoughts/feelings it brings
  2. Read a Psalm and rephrase it in your own words/context
  3. Read the Psalm from a differing perspective (e.g., imagine yourself as an Iraqi praying the Psalm. How does this change your heart and mind? Then pray from your newfound understanding and wisdom)
Prayers of the Church:
  1. The Book of Common Prayer
  2. Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
  3. Well known prayers such as St Francis and St Philaret
  4. Celtic prayers/blessings
OUTWARD - Submission

YIELDING OURSELVES TO GOD AND OTHERS

PRACTICES:

Submission requires us to use our contemplation skills. Are we putting others first in the following areas (questions are only examples):

  1. Family – What are the emotions at home? Do these (at least) partially stem from your wanting to have power, a need of control, or selfish interest? How can you let go of these needs? Do you simply need to be more present?
  2. Neighbors – What events of your day frustrated you? What interactions did you have that left you angry? Consider other emotions you may have had. What would submission and putting other before yourself look like in these situations?
  3. Oppressed/In Need – What needs are there in your community or in the world? In what ways can you act for their betterment? If you don’t know of any, what steps can you take to find out?
  4. Environment – Are you taking small steps to care for God’s creation or would you rather not because of convenience? What is one thing you can start doing?
  5. Church – What is your place in your church body? Are you doing it (or not) for your own sake or the body’s? Are you giving to the body or merely taking from it?
    Scripture – Are you following the Spirit’s convictions as you read?
  6. God – The Trinity is a continual dance of love with each (Father, Son, Spirit) continually revolving around the others. Does this dance describe you or are you more static wanting everyone else to revolve around you?
CORPORATE - Confession

LIVING A LIFE OF REPENTANCE

PRACTICES:

Some sins are apparent:
  1. Find a friend or spiritual elder to confess your sin. Let them hold you accountable, listening and weighing any advice they might have.
  2. Confess to God with your own prayer, a pre-written church confession prayer, or both.
Some sins like to hide:
  1. Take some time to contemplate in order to bring sins to the surface – Pray through a pre-written church confession. This may jolt thoughts as well as open yourself up to more to what sins you may find. Ask those close to you where your weaknesses might be. Don’t be defensive but listen with an open mind. Read though Scripture such as the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount keeping an open ear to teachings you might not be listening to.
  2. Keep in mind – Consider feelings, thoughts, words, acts, attitudes, habits, values, priorities, goals, direction and way of life. Don’t just think in terms of your personal religious life but also family relationships, social activities, job conduct, business dealings, political commitments, recreational pursuits, etc. Everything is spiritual and should be considered!
July Readings

Readings for each week begin on Thursday. Thursday – Saturday readings prepare you for the Sunday reading. Monday – Wednesday readings help you reflect on the Sunday reading.

Trinity 3

Thursday – Psalm 13Micah 7:18-20Galatians 5:2-6

Friday – Psalm 132 Chronicles 20:5-12Galatians 5:7-12

Saturday – Psalm 13Genesis 26:23-25Luke 17:1-4

Sunday – July 2 – Genesis 22:1-14Psalm 13Romans 6:12-23Matthew 10:40-42

Monday – Psalm 47Genesis 22:15-181 Thess. 4:9-12

Tuesday – Psalm 471 Kings 18:36-391 John 4:1-6

Wednesday – Psalm 47Isaiah 51:1-3Matthew 11:20-24


Trinity 4

Thursday – Psalm 45:10-17Genesis 25:19-27Romans 7:1-6

Friday – Psalm 45:10-17Genesis 27:1-17Romans 7:7-20

Saturday – Psalm 45:10-17Genesis 27:18-29Luke 10:21-24

Sunday – July 9 – Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67Psalm 45:10-17Romans 7:15-25Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Monday – Song of Solomon 2:8-13Genesis 27:30-46Romans 1:18-25

Tuesday – Song of Solomon 2:8-13Genesis 29:1-14Romans 3:1-8

Wednesday – Song of Solomon 2:8-13Genesis 29:31-35John 13:1-17


Trinity 5

Thursday – Psalm 119:105-112Exodus 3:1-6Romans 2:12-16

Friday – Psalm 119:105-112Deuteronomy 32:1-10Romans 15:14-21

Saturday – Psalm 119:105-112Isaiah 2:1-4John 12:44-50

Sunday – July 16 – Genesis 25:19-34Psalm 119:105-112Romans 8:1-11Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Monday – Psalm 142Micah 1:1-51 Thessalonians 4:1-8

Tuesday – Psalm 142Jeremiah 49:7-11Ephesians 4:17—5:2

Wednesday – Psalm 142Obadiah 15-21Matthew 13:10-17


Trinity 6

Thursday – Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24Isaiah 44:1-5Hebrews 2:1-9

Friday – Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24Ezekiel 39:21-29Hebrews 6:13-20

Saturday – Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24Exodus 14:9-25Matthew 7:15-20

Sunday – July 23 – Genesis 28:10-19Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24Romans 8:12-25Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Monday – Psalm 139:13-18Genesis 32:3-2Revelation 14:12-20

Tuesday – Psalm 139:13-18Genesis 33:1-17Galatians 4:21—5:1

Wednesday – Psalm 139:13-18Genesis 35:16-29Matthew 12:15-21


Trinity 7

Thursday – Psalm 105:1-11, 45bGenesis 29:1-81 Corinthians 4:14-20

Friday – Psalm 105:1-11, 45bGenesis 29:9-14Acts 7:44-53

Saturday – Psalm 105:1-11, 45bGenesis 29:31—30:24Matthew 12:38-42

Sunday – July 30 – Genesis 29:15-28Psalm 105:1-11, 45bRomans 8:26-39Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Monday – Psalm 65:8-13Genesis 30:25-36James 3:13-18

Tuesday – Psalm 65:8-13Genesis 30:37-43Ephesians 6:10-18

Wednesday – Psalm 65:8-13Genesis 46:2—47:12Mark 4:30-34

 

August Disciplines

INWARD - Fasting

 

Reasons to fast:

1) An urging, a prompting, from God that it is what we should do.

2) It reveals that which has a controlling influence on our lives.

3) It helps give us a more balanced life, to keep our priorities straight.

4) There is a need, an urgency.

Ways to fast:

1) Food – The material affects the spiritual, when we come face to face with hunger it increases our appetite and need for God.
2) People – Until we learn to be alone we will not be able to listen because we will be so caught up in who we are and in how we come across that we cannot be really present to another person.

3) Media – We need to learn how to say no to the demands and distractions of media so that we can concentrate on those people and activities which are at hand.

4) Phone – When we let go of our need to constantly answer and look at our phones we show the people around us that we actually love and care about them nor will we miss opportunities to engage in the present.

5) Conversation – If we find ourselves in groups of people, spend time being silent so that we can listen rather than try to control, manipulate, or make ourselves feel good through talking.

6) Billboards – When we are bombarded by advertisements that tell us “more, more, more”, may “less, less, less” enter our minds or perhaps when we see food advertisements, may we remember those that are starving all over the world and the amount of those that will die before we go to bed that night.

7) Consumer Culture – When we feel the need to consume, find ways to reverse that trajectory towards others around us as well as dwell upon the reasons why we feel the need to consume in the first place.

 

OUTWARD - Simplicity
Simplicity creates margins and spaces and openness in our lives. It honors resources of our small planet. It offers us the leisure of tasting the present moment. Simplicity asks us to let go of the tangle of wants so we can receive the simple gifts of life that cannot be taken away.
How might your life change in the following if you started practicing simplicity…
1) Relationship with God and with others (church family, community, world)?
2) Relationship to possessions?
3) Practice of giving?
4) Growing in awareness of values and aligning life to reflect them?
Things to consider…
1) Assessing and simplifying the things and activities that keep life convoluted, complicated, and confusing.
2) Setting priorities that flow from loving God above all else.
3) Downsizing possessions.
4) Cutting back on shopping and discretionary spending.
5) Eating simple foods.
6) Enjoying simple pleasures that require no expense.
7) Removing distractions and preoccupation with things.
Remember, simplicity might not be so simple. For example, if one of your gifts is cooking amazing food, perhaps practicing simplicity in that area is not the step to take. Honor and praise God with your love and joy for cooking and see if there are other areas where you can live more simply.
CORPORATE - Celebration

1) What birthdays, holidays, milestones, festivals, or traditions are coming up that you can celebrate?

2) When you or someone else accomplishes something, celebrate somehow.

2) Are there any meaningful traditions with your family or church that you should start?

3) Take pauses throughout your day to look back and celebrate interactions and blessings that you were involved in or witnessed.

4) Celebrate by using the gifts and abilities you have been blessed with.

5) Celebrate the diversity of others gifts and abilities.

6) Tell your friends and family how much you appreciate them.

7) What other ways can you think of to celebrate life, God, others, and creation?

August Readings

Readings for each week begin on Thursday. Thursday – Saturday readings prepare you for the Sunday reading. Monday – Wednesday readings help you reflect on the Sunday reading.

Trinity 8

Thursday – Psalm 17:1-7, 15, Isaiah 14:1-2, Philippians 4:10-15

Friday – Psalm 17:1-7, 15, Isaiah 41:8-10, Romans 9:6-13

Saturday – Psalm 17:1-7, 15, Genesis 31:1-21, Matthew 7:7-11

Sunday – Aug. 6 – Genesis 32:22-31, Psalm 17:1-7, 15, Romans 9:1-5, Matthew 14:13-21

Monday – Psalm 17:1-7, 15, Genesis 31:22-42, Romans 1:8-15

Tuesday – Psalm 17:1-7, 15, Genesis 32:3-21, Acts 2:37-47

Wednesday – Psalm 17:1-7, 15, Isaiah 43:1-7, Matthew 15:32-39


Trinity 9

Thursday – Ps. 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b, Genesis 35:22b-29, Acts 17:10-15

Friday – Ps. 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b, Genesis 36:1-8, Acts 18:24-28

Saturday – Ps. 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b, Genesis 37:5-11, Matthew 16:1-4

Sunday – Aug. 13 – Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28, Ps. 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b, Romans 10:5-15, Matthew 14:22-33

Monday – Psalm 28, Genesis 37:29-36, 2 Peter 2:4-10

Tuesday – Psalm 28, Genesis 39:1-23, Romans 9:14-29

Wednesday – Psalm 28, Genesis 40:1-23, Matthew 8:23-27


Trinity 10

Thursday – Psalm 133, Genesis 41:14-36, Revelation 15:1-4

Friday – Psalm 133, Genesis 41:37-57, Acts 14:19-28

Saturday – Psalm 133, Genesis 42:1-28, Matthew 14:34-36

Sunday – Aug. 20 – Transfiguration of our Lord – Genesis 45:1-15, Psalm 133Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32, Matthew 15:10-28

Monday – Psalm 130, Genesis 43:1-34, Acts 15:1-21

Tuesday – Psalm 130, Genesis 44:1-34, Romans 11:13-29

Wednesday – Psalm 130, Genesis 45:16-28, Matthew 8:1-13


Trinity 11

Thursday – Psalm 124, Genesis 49:1-33, 1 Corinthians 6:1-11

Friday – Psalm 124Genesis 49:29—50:142 Corinthians 10:12-18

Saturday – Psalm 124, Genesis 50:15-26, Matthew 16:5-12

Sunday – Aug. 27 – Exodus 1:8—2:10Psalm 124Romans 12:1-8, Matthew 16:13-20

Monday – Psalm 8, Exodus 1:1-7, Romans 2:1-11

Tuesday – Psalm 8, Exodus 2:11-15a, Romans 11:33-36

Wednesday – Psalm 8, Exodus 2:15b-22, Matthew 26:6-13

Additional Resources

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