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Showing posts from April 21, 2012


Lord, renew me by Your Spirit as I offer these prayers to You:
May I love the Lord my God, obey His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is my life and the length of my days. (Deuteronomy 30:20)
May I be holy to You, for You the Lord are holy, and You have set me apart to be Your own. (Leviticus 20:26)
I have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God. Therefore, may I put away all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. (1 Peter 1:23; 2:1)
Since I call on the Father who judges each man’s work impartially, may I conduct myself in fear during the time of my sojourn on earth. (1 Peter 1:17)
Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Kenneth Boa, Handbook to Prayer : Praying Scripture Back to God (Atlanta: Trinity House, 1997).

Ever since seeing the movie “Jaws” when I was a kid, I’ve been afraid to go into the bathtub, much less the ocean. You can tell me all you want that it was only a movie, and there is a greater chance of being struck by lightning than being attacked by a shark, as the experts say. I still say, there is no reason to tempt fate.

I mean, I wouldn’t dance on a tin roofed building during a lightning storm, and I have no desire to swim with the sharks. My position my be extreme, but you’d think that even people that aren’t terrified of sharks would be careful when they are in their waters.

Anyway, with the recent headlines about people being maimed or killed by shark attack, you’d think people would exercise great care in waters that are known to harbor sharks, but recently, in Australia, a group of sightseers petted the snouts of sharks during a feeding frenzy on a whale carcass.

One of the daredevil tourists was even holding a baby with one hand while touching the sharks with the othe…
April 21

John of Damascus, early 8th century
English translation by John M. Neale, 1818–1866
  Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:14 KJV)
This hymn from the early eighth century is one of the oldest expressions found in most hymnals. Its origin is rooted in the liturgy of the Greek Orthodox Church. It was written by one of the famous monks of that church, John of Damascus, c. 676–c. 780.
The celebration of Easter has always been a spectacle of ecclesiastical pomp in the Greek Orthodox Church. Even today, as a vital part of the ceremony, the worshipers bury a cross under the high altar on Good Friday and dramatically resurrect it with shouts of “Christos egerthe” (“Christ is risen”) on Easter Sunday. With this announcement begins a time of joyous celebration. Torches are lit, bells and trumpets peel, and salvos of cannons fill the air. The following account describes such a scene:
  Everywhere men clasped each o…