All posts by Cheryl Raine

Seeking Justice

“In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes: Whom are you like in your greatness.” [Ezekiel 31:1-2]

 Have you ever dared to speak truth to power?  Ezekiel was given that task by God and I am sure he would tell you it was not easy. It is difficult to confront the abuse and arrogance of power, of systems and structures that favor the elite over the many.  This past week our nation has unraveled Continue reading Seeking Justice

Course Corrections

Daily Devotional – Wednesday, June 3, 2020

“The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinned in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” [Psalm 1:4-6]

So, do you want to be like a fruitful tree planted by streams of water or like chaff that the wind drives away? This first psalm of the Psalter lays bare two distinct paths our lives can take. Yet, rarely are our lives purely one or the other. As we journey through life, Continue reading Course Corrections

How to Live

“Happy are those whose delight is in the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all they do, they prosper.” [Psalm 1:2-3]

The first verse of this psalm told us how not to live. So, the second verse now tells us how to live. We are to delight in the Lord.  The first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer sounds a bit like this verse, Continue reading How to Live

Do Not Live That Way

“Happy are those who do not follow the way of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers.” [Psalm 1:1]

The opening psalm of the Psalter sets the stage for how we are to live meaningfully abundant lives. I find it interesting though that the first line tells us how not to live. Don’t follow the way of the wicked. Don’t take the path that sinners tread. Don’t Continue reading Do Not Live That Way

Thirsty?

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of a believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” [John 7:37b-38]
 
What do you thirst for these days. I know many of us thirst for a hug or an opportunity to interact face to face without social distancing. We thirst for in-person worship and family gatherings. Our thirsts brought about during our stay-at-home orders have clarified what is most important to us. We now know how absolutely precious Continue reading Thirsty?

The Out Pouring

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh…’” [Acts 14-17a]

Peter is clear that those gathered are not drunk.  Something else is happening and with authority he declares that those present need to know about it. The Hebrew Scriptures are clear, for God said through the prophet Joel Continue reading The Out Pouring

The Miraculous

Friday, May 29, 2020

“Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each…All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.” [Acts 2:5-6, 12]

I remember hearing a sermon years ago by a pastor who admitted that she didn’t believe at first the miraculous healing of a parishioner, even though she had actually prayed for the healing to occur.  She confessed that when the parishioner shared her good news, she was bewildered and perplexed wondering to herself if the original diagnosis was factual.  When the miraculous happens, Continue reading The Miraculous

When the Spirit Moves

Thursday, May 28, 2020
 
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” [Acts 2:1-4]
 
As I read this passage today the phrase, “They were all together in one place,” jumped out at me. Oh, how I long for us to all gather together in one place. Yet, our love for each other is leading us to be cautious about gathering together and for that I am very thankful. We learned earlier in the week, Continue reading When the Spirit Moves

Sport In It

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

“O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. 25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great. 26 There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.” [Psalm 104:24-26]

In the shallow waters of the reef protected bay at Ke’e Beach on the Island of Kauai, I have snorkeled many  times. The diversity of sea life is always a delight, from eels to sea turtles, from butterfly fish to sea slugs. More than a couple of times I snorkeled towards the deep, where the reef ends and the water color changes dramatically as the floor of the ocean plummets. Reflecting on the times when I neared the edge, Continue reading Sport In It

Generously Pour Out

“Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!” 29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!” [Numbers 11:26-29]
 
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit,” said Harry Truman.  It sounds like he might have learned his wisdom from Moses! Joshua son of Nun was chosen. Maybe Joshua considered himself special, for he knew that only seventy men were picked to go Continue reading Generously Pour Out