CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

February 12, 2011

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter W

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE ALPHABET: THE LETTER W

Monte Holland

Several persons have expressed an interest in having my husband, the Rev. Monte W. Holland, post an online series of devotions. Through their encouragement, Monte will post a weekly devotion on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS. To read the introduction click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction. Click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter V to read the previous post on the letter V.

Return to this site each Saturday to read his devotions.  Carolyn C. Holland

ALPHABET OF THE BIBLE – THE LETTER W

     Walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)

     You may have heard the statement, He is so religious and spiritual that he is no earthly good.  In our minds there often is a divide between being a “spiritual” person and being someone who is a “productive member of society.”

     We walk by the Spirit, not as people separated from the world, but as people (more…)

January 28, 2011

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter U

26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE ALPHABET:

THE LETTER  U

Monte Holland

Several persons have expressed an interest in having my husband, the Rev. Monte W. Holland, post an online series of devotions. Through their encouragement, Monte will post a weekly devotion on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS. To read the introduction click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction. Click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter T to read the previous post on the letter T.

Return to this site each Saturday to read his devotions.  Carolyn C. Holland

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 ALPHABET OF THE BIBLE – THE LETTER U

     Use hospitality to one another without grudging. (1 Peter 4:9)

     Why would anybody want to come into our house to stay? Our outside yard is never fully manicured. Our house is cluttered and too full of things. We often are busy with other activities that keep us from being the “perfect  hosts.”

     And yet I married a hospitable woman. She’s always been ready to open her door to those with special needs.

     As I look back there were many that came and stayed for a while. There was the woman who was so lonely and distraught that she considered suicide.  She stayed for a few weeks.

     There was the man who was reluctant to enter a church because “It might fall down.” He came for a little time to “dry out.” He stayed a couple of weeks.

     There was the homeless woman who stopped by from time to time to get a meal, to clean up and get a good night’s sleep.  The odor she left behind reminded us of how difficult it is to be homeless.

     There was the woman who stole from our church and (more…)

January 1, 2011

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter Q

26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE ALPHABET:

THE LETTER  Q

Monte Holland

Several persons have expressed an interest in having my husband, the Rev. Monte W. Holland, post an online series of devotions. Through their encouragement, Monte will post a weekly devotion on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS. To read the introduction click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction. Click on https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/12/25/26-devotions-based-on-the-alphabet-the-letter-p/ (26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter P) to read the previous post on the letter P.

Return to this site each Saturday to read his devotions.  Carolyn C. Holland

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 ALPHABET OF THE BIBLE – THE LETTER Q

     Quench not the Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:19)

     New Year’s Day is here! We have this day to look forward to a whole year ahead. The last year has passed into history. The new slate is temporarily clean. Our “spirits” should be alive with anticipation, hoping for the best, that the “happy new year” greetings take on substance.

     I can’t think of a better day to meditate on the verse, “Quench not the Spirit.” Quench not the capital s “Spirit,” God’s Spirit, which is continually with us, prompting us in our living. Paul wrote to the church at Rome: The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. (Romans 8:16) I need to be reminded that I am a child of God, and that I carry responsibility to live my best for God. Each day I try to listen to the Spirit prompting me.

     Today is a special day in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Penguins (more…)

December 25, 2010

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter P

26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE ALPHABET:

THE LETTER  P

Monte Holland

Several persons have expressed an interest in having my husband, the Rev. Monte W. Holland, post an online series of devotions. Through their encouragement, Monte will post a weekly devotion on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS. To read the introduction click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction. Click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter O to read the previous post on the letter O.

Return to this site each Saturday to read his devotions.  Carolyn C. Holland

ALPHABET OF THE BIBLE – THE LETTER P

     Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. (Matthew 9:38)

     As we begin, let us look at the scripture passage:

    35And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

    36But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were faint and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

    37Then said He unto His disciples, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few.

    38Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38 (KJ21))

     Today is Christmas Day. We are in the season of giving and receiving while celebrating the birth of Jesus. We gather together with friends and family. May each of you have a Merry Christmas!

     What an appropriate time for this verse and the accompanying passage. I am sure most of you have shown compassion in one or more ways during this season. Jesus was moved with compassion for the multitudes. As followers of Christ, we have a similar challenge to compassion.

     I joined eighteen other people in Rector (PA) earlier this month, standing outside on a snowy day, distributing Westmoreland Food Bank’s “Fresh Express” items to needy persons. Others ring bells for the Salvation Army. The list of good things that we do in this season (and other seasons) goes on and on.

     Jesus says in this passage that the people need more—they need to be part of  (more…)

October 29, 2010

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter H

26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE ALPHABET:

THE LETTER  H

Monte Holland

Several persons have expressed an interest in having my husband, the Rev. Monte W. Holland, post an online series of devotions. Through their encouragement, Monte will post a weekly devotion on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS. To read the introduction click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction. Click on  26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter G to read the previous post on the letter G.

Return to this site each Saturday to read his devotions.  Carolyn C. Holland

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 ALPHABET OF THE BIBLE – THE LETTER H

Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you. (Exodus 20:12)

     A central tenet of the Christian faith is the Great Commandment : love God, neighbor and self with heart, soul, mind and strength. In a sense the faith is a three-dimensional relationship—God, others, and yourself.

     The current day practice of the faith often strongly tilts toward a two-dimensional relationship—between God and self. Self-fulfillment, every person for themselves, and freedom from the constraints and expectations of family, government, and society in general, seem to permeate religious practice inside and outside the church structure.

     Our H verse serves to remind us that relating to God can never be separated from good relationships with others. God has used our parents as a conduit to our entry and growth in this world. God has used us to be the conduits for our children. In our case, one of our children is adopted. God still uses us as a conduit for our daughter’s growth. God expects us to honor our parents. This is honoring God as Creator. This verse starts a process of thankfulness for all of God’s creation—our lives, the lives of those around us, and the whole created order.

     The term embedded became part of our vocabulary with the term embedded reporters, used in the Iraq War. The reporter in the midst of conflict was expected to fully experience the war and share that experience with others.

     God has embedded each of us in this world. Thankfully, our parents introduced us to this world and set our direction toward the future. No matter how well or poorly our parents performed the task, they got us started. It is up to us to acknowledge our start through our parents, and to ultimately recognize God’s grace. It is up to us to build on this and find our purpose in the world we live in. Jesus helped us by claiming the centrality of the Great Commandment.

     Do we seek that our days be long in this world? It all begins with honor and thanksgiving to our parents and to God for the start of our life. Then it is up to us to continually honor our parents for the start they gave us by living as responsible persons in this world—using our gifts to make a unique contribution back to God by upholding and enriching the lives of others and by respecting the rest of God’s Creation.

     Is this all part of honoring father and mother? I think so. After all, who we become will contribute in part to how our parents are remembered.

To read 26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE ALPHABET: THE LETTER I, click on: 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter I

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ADDITIONAL READING:

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction

Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath

A Father-Daughter reunion after 30 years

Two Photographers Named Cornell

KEEPING PEACE IN SOUTH AFRICA Part 1

October 22, 2010

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter G

26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE ALPHABET:

THE LETTER  G

Monte Holland

Several persons have expressed an interest in having my husband, the Rev. Monte W. Holland, post an online series of devotions. Through their encouragement, Monte will post a weekly devotion on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS. To read the introduction click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction. Click on  26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter F    to read the previous post on the letter F.

Return to this site each Saturday to read his devotions.  Carolyn C. Holland

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 ALPHABET OF THE BIBLE – THE LETTER G

      Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back. (Luke 6:38)

     This series of alphabet of Bible verses is intended to cover the gamut of physical and spiritual expressions of our faith. In preceding verses we dealt with acknowledging our sinfulness (Romans 3:23), showing concern for others (Galatians 6:2), sharing our burdens with God (1 Peter 5:7), establishing a stronger relationship with God (James 4:8), praising God (Psalm 100:4), and dealing with fear (2 Timothy 1:7).

     Our G verse moves us in another challenging direction.

     We hear the preceding six verses and at least nod our heads, even if we aren’t ready to live them to the fullest. Stewardship is another matter. Perhaps we handle stewardship of words and time, but stewardship (more…)

October 15, 2010

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter F

26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE ALPHABET:

THE LETTER  F

Monte Holland

Several persons have expressed an interest in having my husband, the Rev. Monte W. Holland, post an online series of devotions. Through their encouragement, Monte will post a weekly devotion on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS. To read the introduction click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction. Click on      to read the previous post on the letter E.

Return to this site each Saturday to read his devotions.  Carolyn C. Holland

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 ALPHABET OF THE BIBLE – THE LETTER F

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV)

     What do you expect of God?

     Certainly we don’t expect an all-powerful God to shroud us in fear. I like the way the Contemporary English Version of this verse says it: God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control. We anticipate God’s Spirit to be present and to empower us, to fill us with love, and to help us live respecting and honoring our God.

     Large segments of our society wallow in fear. Businesses flourish by convincing us that their product will save us from some hazard that we should fear. Television ads use scare tactics.

     The award-winning movie, Bowling for Columbine, did a masterful job of painting a picture of fear at work in our society.

     This F verse is important in our Bible verse arsenal because of (more…)

September 17, 2010

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter B

26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE ALPHABET:

THE LETTER B

Monte Holland

Several persons have expressed an interest in having my husband, the Rev. Monte W. Holland, post an online series of devotions. Through their encouragement, Monte will post a weekly devotion on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS. To read the introduction click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction. Click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter A to read the previous post on the letter A.

Return to this site each Saturday to read his devotions.  Carolyn C. Holland

ALPHABET OF THE BIBLE – THE LETTER B

     Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

     Today is the second in a series of weekly devotionals I’m writing based on twenty-six verses in the Bible, one for each letter of the alphabet. I am using a list of verses I received from an old friend, Bill Sollinger, many years ago.

          Galatians 6:1-10        Bear One Another’s Burdens1Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.3For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.4But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.5For each will have to bear his own load. 6One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. 7Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.9And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.10So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (English Standard Version)

     According to many persons who watch the world scene, we tend to approach faith in one of two ways:

  • It’s all about our personal salvation and our relationship with God, or
  • Faith calls us to love of God, neighbor and self.

     Both ways are appropriate faith actions, but the first tends to be less concerned with issues of social justice. The second approach leads to saying that we are all in this life together and that anything I do that hurts, or disadvantages, my neighbor diminishes who I am.

     What does it mean to “bear one another’s burdens”? We need to (more…)

September 10, 2010

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter A

26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE APLHABET:

THE LETTER A

Monte Holland

Several persons have expressed an interest in having my husband, the Rev. Monte W. Holland, post an online series of devotions. Through their encouragement, Monte will post a weekly devotion on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS. To read the introduction click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction. Return to this site each Saturday to read his devotions.  Carolyn C. Holland

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 ALPHABET OF THE BIBLE – THE LETTER A

All  of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

     Today is the beginning of a series of weekly devotionals I’m writing based on twenty-six verses in the Bible, one for each letter of the alphabet. I am using a list of verses I received from an old friend, Bill Sollinger, many years ago.

     This verse is totally obvious. Do we know anyone who has never sinned? Clearly not! The problem is not that we have sinned—that is part of the human condition. The problem comes when (more…)

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