Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012


The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.
Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully.
They will receive blessing from the LORD, and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Such is the company of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah
Psalm 24

Invitation & Prayer:  As you read, today's passage, allow it to saturate your mind.  

Try to sit as still and as quietly as possible.  When your mind attempts to deviate from this moment, take a deep cleansing breathe, inhaling and then exhaling.  

Repeat the cleansing breaths several times and then reattempt the stillness.  

Now allow yourself to be drawn into God's presence.  Take several more cleansing breaths. Inhale....  Exhale.... 
As you inhale a keener awareness of God's presence, allow yourself to seek God more intently.  

Seek God's face...  

As you allow yourself to surrender to this curiosity, relinquish yourself to God in this moment.  

He is the Lord...He is the King of Glory...  

In the midst of the stillness give him complete reverence.  Amen. (Repeat as needed)

The Reverend Tiffney Marley

Friday, July 13, 2012

FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012


ScriptureAs the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.--2 Samuel 6:16

The ark of the Lord has arrived safely in its tabernacle and David and the children of Israel are worshiping with all of their might.  Indeed this is a joyful occasion for David and for the people of God.  All eyes are on David as he praises God and surrenders himself.  

As Israel stands in awe and appreciation of God, they also stand in awe and appreciation of their king.  David possesses a magnetic public persona; however, the reality is that he did not possess the same appeal at home.  At the same moment in which the entire nation bestowed honor and maybe even a kind of reverence towards David, his wife despised him in her heart.   

Personally, I am grateful to the biblical writers for preserving this episode in David's history.  In one of the most climatic, jubilant moments in David's life, his public display did not match his domestic reality.  Things were going really well for David; however, his life was not perfect.  As a matter of fact, he was not perfect and his spouse was in a very painful state.  This exposé of David and Michal's vulnerabilities, affirms the reality of my own brokenness, it also affirms our brokenness as humanity.   

The editors and most of the readers of this text succumb to the interpretation that Michal got it all wrong by feeling the way she did about her husband in this highest moment.  However, for the sake of today's reflection, I would like to invite us to resist the temptation to take sides.  The reality is we all have experienced loss as a result of a loved one's inability to understand and appreciate who we are and therefore appreciate our accomplishments.  On the flip side, maybe we have also experienced loss as a result of neglect by loved ones whom have allowed themselves to be consumed by their latest acclaim.   

The reality is our journey with God coupled with our "dance" with one another is like walking the tight rope in stiletto heels while juggling.  It is certainly one of the most exhilarating experiences of a lifetime, yet at the same time, it is risky business--even for the best of us.

PrayerLord, as we worship you with an attitude of surrender, we offer the complexities of our relationships to you.  Teach us how to love one another.  Also, teach us how to affirm one another as we strive to live into our Divine purpose, especially in those moments when we don't completely understand.  Amen. 

The Reverend Tiffney Marley

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Open the Door!

ScriptureSo David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.--2 Samuel 6:15

Can you hear the music?  The trumpets, the strings, the drums ring harmoniously as Israel sings,
"The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers. Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah--Psalm 24:1-2, 7-10"

Can you hear these lyrics as gates of the city of David are being propelled upward?  The ark of the Lord has finally arrived.  David is the king of Israel; however, Yahweh is the King of kings!  Everything that exists in the world belongs to God, he created everything including the seas, he is also the king of glory!  Can you hear the music, can you hear the chorus, "Who is the King of glory?  The Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory!"  The entire nation of Israel is singing, dancing and rejoicing before the Lord with David at the helm.  The Divine presence is now in their midst and the blessed presence is saturating them like a down pour of rain at the dusk of a hot summer's day.  The people are refreshed, Yahweh's arrival consummates their new beginning as a people and his partnership with their appointed leader.

Invitation:  As you take a step closer to full surrender today, begin to rejoice.  The prayer is that as we draw closer that God's wonderful consuming presence will begin to inhabit all that we are and all that we do.  Tell those secret doors within your consciousness that have been closed to open, so that the King of Glory might enter.  It is safe to invite God into every area of our lives.  He is the one who made us and his desire is for us to prosper!

PrayerKing of Glory, we worship you.  We praise you this day.  We honor you.  We welcome you into every aspect of our being.  May our lives serve as tributes to your love and your faithfulness.  Thank you for new beginnings and new mercies.  Amen.

The Reverend Tiffney Marley

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Careful Abandonment
ScriptureSo David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing; and when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. David danced before the LORD with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod.--2 Samuel 6:12b-14

The moment has now come.  David is at a point of no return.  The ark of the Lord is now on its way to the city of David.  David is now in full surrender to the presence and power of Yahweh.  What a triumphant moment in his life and his career.  As a leader, he engages in a very delicate pursuit.  At the same moment in which he engages in total praise and worship, he is also very watchful and meticulous regarding the ark.  Also, this time as the ark approaches the city, David engages in a sacrificial offering for every six steps taken by the ark in an effort to protect its human transporters.  How labor intensive.   

David is truly ready for this moment, he is ready to reign over Israel.  He is ready for God's presence to fully inhabit the city, he is ready for God's presence to inhabit his household, he is ready for God's presence to inhabit his decisions as the King of Israel.  In the process, he begins to dance before the Lord with all his might.  Symbolic of his abandonment into the will of God, David dances as though he is a leaf being blown by the winds of fall.  David begins to worship as though no one is watching...

Invitation:  David's journey towards complete surrender to God was somewhat scary, rather meticulous, yet triumphant.  May his testimony serve as encouragement for us today.  What is ONE thing that we can do today as a step towards full surrender to God's Spirit?   God is such a loving and patient God...

PrayerGod of David, we worship you.  We too rejoice in your goodness and your blessings.  As we worship you, may we also be careful in our pursuit to live in complete surrender to you.  Amen.

The Reverend Tiffney Marley

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Will Take It!

ScriptureThe ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.  Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing.--2 Samuel 6:11-12

"You don't want it, I'll take it."  My sister and I often engage in this "dance" with one another.  One or the other of us will disregard an article of clothing, and the response for the other sibling is "You don't want it, I'll take it."  This is when things would become interesting.  Weeks, months, sometimes years pass by as I grow attached to the discarded item, only for my sister to see my enthusiasm and the piece of clothing in a new light.  I can hear her now, "Are you wearing my shoes?  Did I give those to you?  Clearly, I wasn't thinking.  I want them back."  These were fighting words...

The plan was for the ark of the Lord to accompany David to Israel; however David's plans changed rather abruptly as a result of Uzzah's untimely death as he reached to prevent the ark from falling.  David's uncertainty yielded blessings for Obed-Edom and his household.  David declined to accommodate the ark (the presence of God). Obed-Edom said, "Yes", and made room for the presence of God. 

Prayer:  Lord, we say yes to you today.  Even when the situation seems uncertain, we trust you.  Pour out your blessings upon us so that others will long for you and embrace your presence completely.  Amen.

 The Reverend Tiffney Marley

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

ScriptureDavid was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.--II Samuel 6:9-10

David is anointed as the king of Israel; however, his coronation is not complete.  The ark of the covenant, the presence of God has not yet arrived in the city of David, the place of David's throne.  David experiences a lot with Yahweh throughout his transformation from shepherd to king, yet David is afraid of the Lord.  In his most triumphant, his most gratifying moment, David muses, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?”.  On the eve of the Divine consummation of his kingship, David hesitates.  Fear sets in and David detaches himself from the presence of God...

This incident resonates with me because I am often guilty of this behavior.  Like David, I come from humble beginnings and God has blessed me immeasurably.  The blessings have been both miraculous and overwhelming.  On many occasions, I have wondered, "Is God sure that he wants me to assume this responsibility?  What if I fail?  What if someone gets hurt in the process?  What if I get hurt in the process?  If I surrender myself fully to God's spirit, then I am not in control..."  Even at the cost of being estranged from God, I have sometimes allowed these emotions to consume me.

Invitation:  Acknowledge your fears and hesitations before God.  Discover what God does.

Prayer:  Lord I confess that I have not fully invited you into every aspect of my life.  You have blessed me in so many ways yet I have marginalized our relationship as a result of my insecurities.  Forgive me.  Amen.

 The Reverend Tiffney Marley

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Healing Power

Scripture:  Mark 6: 7-13

My heart is often heavy and my soul grieves for the communities in which we live where violence and sickness is so prevalent. Our children are dying and our elders are neglected. Our communities need healing.  Our families need healing.  The enemy is roaring and devouring whomever he can destroy. Let’s stop the enemy in his tracks.

Healing begins with prayer.  In 2 Chronicles 12:14 it says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

     Pray for healing today...  
     Pray for our children who are tormented by depression and peer pressure, particularly those who may be considering suicide.
     Pray for families who are being torn apart as they attempt to sustain their resources in this volatile economy.  
     Pray for all vulnerable persons who are in need of attention and care, especially elderly and disabled persons.  
     Pray for those who are sick, especially for those who are experiencing healthcare insecurity.

Prayer:  Father, we humbly submit to your will and ask you to forgive us for neglecting our brothers and sisters who are weak. We pray for healing and wholeness for all who are suffering.  We praise you in advance for your transformative power.  Amen.

The Reverend Antoinette Daye

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