Refrigerator Prayers

In my house, we post all manner of things on the kitchen refrigerator. From pictures to word games to grocery lists, you can find just about anything on there…if you look hard enough!

Most of the items on our refrigerator are reminders of happy things or mundane things; but refrigerators are also a good place to put prayers. Just like we need reminders for everyday things, sometimes we need reminders of everyday prayers – and there is no place more handy and accessible for daily life than the refrigerator!

This April, we are going to explore some of my favorite prayers – prayers that remind me of God’s presence in challenging times, prayers that remind me of the good news of the gospel, prayers that remind me of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus – these are prayers that I like to keep near me at all times, so I can find them whenever I need them. They are also prayers that Jesus might have found helpful, if he had posted them on his refrigerator during his ministry here. As we celebrate the resurrection this Easter, let’s also create ways to remind us of our new life in Christ in the midst of our everyday lives, while we offer up Refrigerator Prayers.

Center Your Life around Prayer…

Bible Readings
Week 1 Matthew 27:11-54 The Passion of Christ
Week 2 John 20:1-18 The Resurrection of Jesus
Week 3 John 20:19-31 Doubting Thomas
Week 4 Luke 24:13-35 The Walk to Emmaus

Each week I will send out a prayer by email in the Maize News (be sure to subscribe), and on Facebook (find me at www.facebook.com/ryan.grace.3344), so everyone can print, write, or make a crafty design of the prayer to post on their refrigerators!

#PRAYwithoutCEASING
Pray in times of temptation, sorrow, and joy.

The Faces of Jesus

There is a famous painting that always comes to my mind when I imagine the face of Jesus. In the painting, Jesus has long, flowing hair falling over his shoulders. His white robe is simple and elegant. And he is gazing up to the heavens, with a serene look on his face.

For some reason, the serene gaze from that painting is how I usually picture Jesus. But, in reality, Jesus made more than one face. Throughout the gospels, he exhibits the full range of human emotions. Sometimes he is serene. At other times, he is compassionate. Occasionally, he is stern. Often, he is excitable. And, every now and then, he is anguished. When the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us in Christ, there were many faces that he made.

This March, we are going to start our yearly journey of walking with Jesus to the cross. We will follow his ministry from its beginning in the wilderness to the agony of the crucifixion. We will watch Christ’s face change from story to story, as he perseveres, saves, forgives, fulfills, and sets people free from sin and death. All the while, we will reflect on what it means to model our lives after Christ, while we meditate on The Faces of Jesus.

One Month to Love

Center Your Life around the Law of Love…

Bible Readings

Week 1 Matthew 4:1-11 Endurance
Week 2 John 3:1-17 Reunion
Week 3 John 4:5-42 Forgiveness
Week 4 John 9:1-41 Fulfillment
Week 5 John 11-1-45 Liberation

#WIDENtheCIRCLE

Learn to love God, your neighbors and yourself.

The American Spirit: Walls

This past spring, I was standing on the bridge to Mexico when I realized I did not have my passport! For just a moment, I felt this sense of rising panic… But then I remembered I was in fact a U.S. citizen, and I was standing on the bridge with a border patrol agent who was escorting me while I filmed our country’s Southern border. Then I wondered to myself, “How did I ever find myself here?” 

The answer began four years ago, when my wife and I set out on a journey to explore the American Spirit. We began by returning to our own Appalachian roots. Then we examined native cultures and black history. Through these trips, we have discovered how many different groups of people have helped shaped the American Spirit, and how the American Spirit has helped shaped their lives. 

In 2019, we took a journey into our nation’s Hispanic heritage. We traveled to San Antonio to learn about Spanish Texas. From there, we headed south to Laredo to experience the southern border. After Customs and Border Patrol allowed me to re-enter the country, we came back to Hamilton Ohio to see a Midwestern Hispanic community. Along the way, we learned about our country’s Hispanic ancestors. We also learned the word “Hispanic” does not really do justice to the variety of cultures with Spanish histories. 

This February, we are going to tell the story of our trip. As we do, we will consider the many walls – both spiritual and physical – that have been built between groups of people across America, and reflect on biblical laws regarding how to treat people who are different from us. So come with us on our journey to explore The American Spirit: Walls

February Worship: History Month Center Your Life around History 

● Bible Readings 

○ February 2: Psalm 137:1-6 (8-9) Catholic Conquest 

○ February 9 : Leviticus 19:33-34 Manifest Destiny 

○ February 16: Matthew 10:40-42 The Land of Our Ancestors 

○ February 23: Hebrews 13:1-3 The Making of Walls 

● Faith & Life: #BREAKtheWALLS 

○ Cross the lines of color in your home, church and community. 

● Documentary Screening Sunday: February 23 

○ 9:30 a.m.: The Making of Walls 

○ 11:00 a.m.: Screening Walls 

○ NOON: Panel Discussion on Walls