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Living in the Rhythm of God's Kingdom.

Posts from the ‘Prayer’ Category

Holy Discontent

February 16th, 2018

Rhythm Team

It is easy to become complacent spiritually. We get content and comfortable with God, faith, and Christianity. Be talk about previous experiences with God, but resist pressing into what the Spirit is inviting us into next.

C.S. Lewis described our tendency to be spiritually complacent in his book The Weight of Glory:

If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. 

Jesus invites us to live lives of holy discontent – a life that consistently seeks after more of God and remains unsatisfied with our current experience of him. A lifestyle of on-going hunger, desire, and persistence in seeking and discovering God.

In this six-week sermon series, we will dive deep into the nature and character of God that we discover in the Lord’s Prayer. We are meant to pursue God passionately, finding him to be more beautiful the longer we pursue him. A growing life of prayer and intimacy with God is the birthright for every follower of Jesus. Make sure to download the 2018 Lent devotional and Personalizing the Lord’s Prayer guide to use on your own.

Journeying with Jesus

February 7th, 2018

Rhythm Team

We invite you to journey with us during the season of Lent. Beginning in the fourth century, the church began observing Lent as a forty-day period of reflection and preparation for the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is a time of repentance, of considering Christ’s sufferings, and rethinking how we are called to take up our own crosses and follow Jesus.

We also encourage you to download this Lent Devotional Guide that our community is using this Lenten season. Each day has its own Psalm to use for prayer and a scripture passage to meditate on. Take a few minutes each day to spend time with Jesus during this season, opening up your heart to his presence as he journey’s to the cross.

 

2017 Advent Devotional

November 27th, 2017

Rhythm Team

During the four weeks preceding Christmas, our church will be making a spiritual journey – a pilgrimage to the birth of Jesus. Join us at worship on Sunday mornings as we embark on this journey through worship and word together.

We encourage you to download this Advent Devotional Guide that our community is using. Each day has a Psalm, its own scripture passage, and then time to pray for others. We’ve written a few questions at the end of the guide to help us reflect on the daily passage and how we’re experiencing God during this season. Take a few minutes to work through these questions, and if journaling is helpful for you, write your answers down.

Prayer After the Storm

September 18th, 2017

Rhythm Team

A LITANY FOLLOWING HURRICANE IRMA

Lord, we stand in your presence today, a people, a city, a state struggling to return to normal.  Not alone, but together.  Beyond color and class, nationality and ideology.  Beyond any and all dividing lines.  In the uncertainty and upheaval of this week;  we stand united.  We ask you to join us in this time, Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for all those affected by Hurricane Irma as it swept through our region.  Especially those displaced or whose belongings and memories have been ravaged by wind and water.  For those in the direct path of the storm, in the Keys, the West Coast and the Caribbean; for those in river-flooded areas across North Florida; for those waiting to return to their residences;  for those who have lost their livelihood;  for those most vulnerable, the poor, the undocumented, the elderly, the homeless and the newly homeless — Lord God, to all those most greatly impacted, grant the comfort and strength needed to lift their heads in hope, trusting your peace and provision to meet them in the days and weeks to come.

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.

We pray in gratitude for all those who have and continue to come to the aid of our city, our state and its people, to restore power, clear the streets, deliver necessities and tirelessly provide critical services.  Grant them energy and focus, guide their minds and their hands to work swiftly and safely. Bless the homes that have opened their doors. May they all be instruments of your greater work in our midst.

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.

Lord, we pray for your Church.  In your grace and power, embolden your people Lord, to be the hands and feet of Christ as our state rebuilds.  Work within us, around us, and through us; that signs of your love and goodness would spread for miles in every direction. 

Lord, hear our prayer.

You have been our shelter through the storm.  Pour down your Spirit upon your people like a healing ray of sun.  Renew us all in faith as the clouds part, and your blue sky looks down upon our city once again.

As we work together, may enemies become neighbors, neighbors become friends, friends become family.  And may it be to your glory.  Lord, hear our prayer.  Amen.

Tools for Every Season of the Soul

June 19th, 2017

Rhythm Team

The Psalms are some of the most beloved parts of the Jewish and Christian scriptures. The Psalms capture the vast array of human emotions, desires, and passions – thankfulness, joy, sorrow, grief, doubt, anger, and love. For thousands of years, people have experienced the raw, authentic presence of God in the vulnerability of the Psalms. These ancient writings teach us something about who we are and what it means to relate to God in a raw way.

Eugene Peterson describes the Psalms as tools for being and becoming.

Every distinctive human behavior requires tools: farming, loving, cooking, learning, building, believing. Some tools are made of wood, some of metal, some of words. A tool that is made of words is no less a tool than one made of steel. Prayer is a tool that is made, mostly, of words.

Prayers are tools, but with this clarification: prayers are not tools for doing or getting, but for being and becoming. In our largely externalized culture, we are urgently presented with tools that enable us to do things (a machine, for instance, to clean the carpet), and to get things (a computer, for instance to get information. We are not so readily offered tools that enable our being and becoming human.

For the tool-making, tool-using creatures who venture into the ocean depths of being and journey into the wilderness frontiers of becoming, making and being made into eternal habitations, the Psalms are the requisite toolbox. (Peterson, “Answering God”)

Join us this summer as we experience the beauty of these ancient prayers and allow them to form our lives. If you want to go deeper in this series on the Psalms, download our Going Deeper Guide for suggestions on how to learn and experiment with the material.

Living Into Lent

March 1st, 2017

Rhythm Team

We invite you to journey with us during the season of Lent. Beginning in the fourth century, the church began observing Lent as a forty-day period of reflection and preparation for the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is a time of repentance, of considering Christ’s sufferings, and rethinking how we are called to take up our own crosses and follow Jesus.

We also encourage you to download this Lent Devotional Guide that our community is using this Lenten season. Each day has its own Psalm to use for prayer and a scripture passage to meditate on. Take a few minutes each day to spend time with Jesus during this season, opening up your heart to his presence as he journey’s to the cross.

January 2nd, 2017

Rhythm Team

To start off 2017, Rhythm is talking about what it means to a church that Loves God and Loves Miami. We live in one of the most vibrant and interesting cities in the world. Miami is known for its diversity, creativity, and beauty. But it’s also known for its seductiveness and shallowness. We’re doing a sermon series about the unique opportunities and challenges of living the faith in Miami. God loves this city and we want to participate in his healing mission here!

Along with the sermons, our liturgy in worship will be centered around following Jesus here in this place and time. We’ll also hear stories from different people in our community – some born here, others new here – about how they’re striving to see more of God’s kingdom come to our city.

Join us on Sunday mornings at 10:30 am for the next four weeks!

We’re encouraging everyone to participate in this sermon series in 3 ways:

  1. Use the Miami Prayer Map to pray for the city. Put it somewhere that you’ll see it everyday and grow your heart for Miami.
  2. Participate in the social healing of God’s kingdom by inviting someone to connect with Rhythm on a Sunday morning or with your Community Group. Invite others to experience God’s community.
  3. Take a picture of you in your “parish” (work, neighborhood, or school) and post it on Facebook or Instagram with #lovegodlovemiami. To learn more about a “parish” listen to this sermon.

Beauty & Brokenness

September 27th, 2016

Rhythm Team

Life is incredibly messy. There’s no getting around it. At times we see unbelievable beauty in our world and lives, but there’s also a tremendous amount of brokenness and pain. Somehow both the beauty and the brokenness gets intermingled into the stuff of everyday life. And somehow God is present in all of it.

David’s story is one of the most exuberant and robust stories ever told. He was a complicated man, father, husband, shepherd, musician, poet, and king. His passion and pursuit of God has encouraged and inspired people for thousands of years. Yet David had a thick brokenness to his life – a dark shadow side that haunted him.

Join us for a new sermon series that examines 7 stories from David’s life. In a time when we desperately need to rediscover what it means to be whole human beings, David’s story gives a fresh perspective about living a full, robust life that embraces both the beauty and brokenness that is within each of us.

 

Story of Wonder

May 6th, 2016

Rhythm Team

We learn in 1 Chronicles 16 that telling stories of God’s goodness and giving thanks was at the center of Hebrew worship. The Israelites set aside time to practice gratitude within their worship by speaking of God’s mighty deeds and remembering his blessings, wonderful works, and faithfulness.

We ask folks in our community to share their Stories of Wonder at our public worship. These are stories of God working in our midst, speaking, leading, and providing for his people. This gives us an opportunity to recognize and rejoice in God’s powerful deeds, and it also trains us to pay attention to how God might be at work in our own lives. This one is from Tony.

For over three years now I’ve been living by the Park West Metro-mover station in Downtown Miami. The nights are long, at times cold (yes, even here in Miami!), and it can be pretty lonely. I am what many refer to as homeless.

You hear a lot of stories out on the streets of Miami. Stories of brokenness, stories of addiction, stories of great loss. But my story is a little different.

You see, back in the 70’s I made a promise to my mom and dad that I would one day get a degree and graduate from college. It has taken me some time, a bit of back and forth, and Lord knows a lot of whining and complaining along the way…

But by the grace of God this weekend I received my diploma for a four-year Business Degree in supervision and management.

At times, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. But there’s this church down in South Miami (Rhythm), friends on the street and in different places, all who never gave up on me. So why should I give up? From Daniel buying me bus passes, to Francine getting me textbooks, to Gabby and Orlando’s constant care on Tuesday nights, and Walter even giving me a little work, I’ve come to realize something – I never was and never am alone. It’s the grace of God. The grace of God.

I used to ask myself – what do they want with me? I’m homeless, I’m broke, I have no money. But I came to understand they just want me to succeed. And they never asked me for anything in return, except to feed me more!

So I am so grateful for God’s protection and care over me and the incredible blessing of being able to earn my degree and keep the promise I made to my parents many years ago. If you really look at my life, really look closely, you’ll see God. And then you can decide what you believe. But if my story can influence just one person… my job is done.

Lupita Nyong'o Dresses

Child dedication

April 4th, 2016

Rhythm Team

Dedicating a young child to God is a very special and important moment in the life of child and their family. In Rhythm’s worship service, we take time to introduce each child and their parents, affirm the parents commitment to raising the child in a Christian home, and pray over each child.

As a church community we support each family in our church and want to encourage parents to create a safe and healthy environment in their home where a child can learn about God and grow in a relationship with him. All parents who want to participate in child dedication are asked to participate in a short orientation.

If you are interested in having your baby or young child dedicated on November 20, please email Julie Heath for more information.