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Bible study

on the altar

(x = space)

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on the altar

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lord

what shall we give

but everything

and what is everything?

if i offer myself upon an altar

then will you send an angel

to stay my hand?

if i offer up my part in relationships

will you have an angel

tell me

not so much

before i am alone?

if it’s my wardrobe or accounts

or the corporation or the army

(like saint francis)

or plans

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earthly luxury

or earthly victory

will you send a hallelujah chorus

to tell me, no, not that much?

or will you tell me to keep

going:

my body to begin with

as a living sacrifice,

my mind turning only as you turn it,

the sadness of

living against the world

for the renewing of my mind

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my body as a sacrifice

in worship

without sacrificing animals

or the worldly counterparts

but sacrificing me

the only thing to set apart,

holy for you

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could you ask that much

or do you ask that much all the time

while i do not hear?

then i should listen with the

hearing that you gave me

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c l couch

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romans 12:1-2

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photo by ricardo gomez angel on unsplash

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believe when things are bad

(x = space)

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believe when things are bad

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it’s a naïve message,

I suppose

I thought about it during

Bible study,

which was

about assurance

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an assurance

that things will go bad

even as

a season entered,

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but God is there

and we should be as well

(we should

show up)

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believing is a practice

a practice of

a presence,

Brother Lawrence

might say

in church,

the pastor showed

a picture of

Where’s Waldo?

and I thought

we were

supposed to wonder

where God is

in that;

x

but I understand that

God is there,

all over

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and the question is,

Where are we?

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good agnostication

sharp skepticism

I hope

that we have more

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along with

our petitions in the

practice

of the season

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c l couch

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Psalm 121, a psalm of assurance

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Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

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Rainy Water

Photo by sanjiv nayak on Unsplash x

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The Topic Is Admonishment

(x = space)

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The Topic Is Admonishment

(Sunday morning sermon and discussion)

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Well, let’s see

God admonished Moses

And admonished worse the rest of

The Israelites

The donkey admonished Balaam

Elijah admonished Jezebel

Ananias and Sapphira were not given

Time to be admonished

But were killed for lack of generosity

And lying about it

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Admonishment seems to be

A touchy theme

How are we to do it

Without getting killed?

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Well, we are,

I guess,

To do it

Though I think it has to be

In an absolutely constructive

Fashion

In which we ask each other first

Who we are

And how we are

And why, in love, this is necessary

And then we go ahead

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Knowing we might lose

The relationship

And lose in other ways

Stones on the path

That God does not remove

Before we strike them

And now

We must do something

Even though

But knowing

That the path continues

On the other side

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C L Couch

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This is my response and some (little) summation of the sermon and groups talking about admonishment at Covenant Evangelical Presbyterian Church, West Lafayette, Indiana, on 25 July 2021.

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3 Colossians 16

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

(New International Version)

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1 Colossians 28
We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.

(Berean Study Bible)

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Blurry Yellow Taxi Cab

Photo by Scott Umstattd on Unsplash

New York, United States

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