Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Scripture:  And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.  And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted.  Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?"—I Kings 3:7-9

As a mother, it is fascinating to see my children evolve.  While they are still quite young, there are aspects of their personalities and character which are rather prevalent.  More and more I feel that the seeds of who are they are have already been established and it is simply my job to nurture my children as they develop into mature individuals.

I would venture to say that in Solomon’s case, even though he was a “child” when he was appointed to be king of Israel, the seeds of who he would become were already established within him also.  He was a natural leader and there was a kind of fortitude that he possessed, that I am sure his parents observed and nurtured from a young child.  While no one imagined him assuming the throne at such an early age, himself included, he had everything that he needed to reign in Jerusalem.  Maybe this is why Yahweh asked Solomon a question that he likely already knew the answer to.  Maybe this was God’s way of validating this young leader for the people.  God knew Solomon and had affirmed his appointment as the king; however, the people did not necessary make this choice.  There were even people in Solomon’s family who were not sure about him as the leader.  So God offers and invitation and Solomon accepts the invitation with a request for understanding and discernment so that he might lead God’s people effectively.  How wise of Solomon to answer God in this way…

Invitation:  Do you find yourself in any situation in which you are asking, “Why me”?  May you have a new opportunity which seems to be beyond your expectations.  Maybe you are experiencing some adversity in which you never imagined.  Surrender the situation and yourself to God.  Relinquish your sense of knowing and understanding and ask God for divine understanding and discernment regarding your situation.  Discover what happens.

Prayer:  Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, thank you for upholding us when we are overwhelmed by new opportunities.  We surrender ourselves to you and pray for wisdom as we tread the waters ahead.  Thank you for believing in us.  We absolutely believe in you.  Amen.

The Reverend Tiffney Marley

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Scripture:  At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, "Ask what I should give you." 1 Kings 3:5

Every year my Mom asks, “What would you like for Christmas,” and after careful deliberation, I tell her precisely what I want.  She in turn gives careful attention to buying the requested item.  Interestingly, she knows my needs, likes and dislikes quite well; however, she faithfully asks me the question anyway.

Similarly, Yahweh says, “Ask what I should give you,” even though he is aware of Solomon’s every need and every desire.  He needs to hear Solomon articulate his desire for himself.  Solomon’s need statement serves as a pivotal moment in his conversation with God.

Invitation:  What is it that you need from God that you have not yet formulated into words?  God indeed knows our every need and our every desire; however, something happens when we say it.  In your quiet space today, retrieve that deep yearning within your soul.  Now tell God.

Prayer:  Jehovah Jireh, indeed you provide our every need.  Thank you for your love and attentiveness.  Also, thank you for allowing safe space for us to articulate our deepest thoughts and needs to you.  You are such a patient and faithful God.  Amen.

The Reverend Tiffney Marley

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Scripture:  So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David; and his kingdom was firmly established. Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David; only, he sacrificed and offered incense at the high places. -- 1 Kings 2:12; 3:3

Are you sure I am your choice?  This comes as a real surprise.  I did not expect to be appointed to this position in a million years.  I am not a Ph.D.   Are you sure that I am the one?  These are the questions I raised when appointed to a position at a seminary several years ago.  Their response was, “Tiffney, you are young, you are a woman, you are single, you are innovative, and you love the church…when we look at you we see the future!” 

There were probably many reasons why Solomon would not be a suitable king, especially given that his father, David was one of the most notable kings in history.  Solomon had large shoes to fill; however, the very characteristics people used to disqualify him from being worthy of the appointment, God used as justification for why he was indeed the right one to succeed David.  The reality is that God’s succession plan was likely not even Solomon’s plan; however, when the moment arrived, Solomon said yes and fully embraced his new role as the king of Israel.

Invitation:  Is there an unimaginable possibility before you?   Grab hold of it and lay at the foot of the cross.  Discover what happens…

Prayer:  King of Kings, thank you for seeing us according to our full potential and calling us forth do things that we never imagined.  Even when we feel don’t feel qualified to serve, you sustain us and teach us to stretch beyond our potential.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Amen.  

The Reverend Tiffney Marley

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012


Scripture:  Then David slept with his ancestors, and was buried in the city of David.  The time that David reigned over Israel was forty years; he reigned seven years in Hebron, and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.-- 1 Kings 2:10-11

One of my dear colleagues and former professors went to sleep in Abraham’s bosom on last week.  She possessed a quiet warmth and keen discernment.  In life she often went unnoticed; however, her death is glaring and has left an expansive void.  She was a woman of small stature; however, she has massive shoes to fill.  Her voice was soft, yet her message was thundering and prolific.  Her gentleness and generosity were consuming.  She was truly a saint!  Those of us who knew and loved her are happy that she has transitioned into celestial existence; however, at the same time our hearts ache…

In contrast to my friend, David was a public figure—an international icon of his time.  I imagine when he died, Israel and the nations around her stopped.  Sack cloth and ashes were likely the attire of the entire kingdom.  Israel too felt a huge void.  What would life be like without David?  How would his shoes ever be filled?

Prayer:  Comforter, as we wrestle with death and reflect on our feelings of loss, please strengthen us.  We rejoice in the lives of those who have served you so faithfully and have touched our hearts so tenderly.  Amen.

The Reverend Tiffney Marley

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Praise on my Lips

Scripture: Psalm 34:1-8

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1

What is praise? How do you praise God? Often we relate praise to joyful songs and powerful testimonies. But what if praise is more than joyful songs and powerful testimonies but the act of calling out to God in all times and places?

Consider your week. Now make a list of praise. When and where can you name the Gentle Shepherd’s presence in your life? While it may be easier to recall the joyful moments and name our Creator’s presence in those times, I suspect you encountered God under the broom tree as well. Even in the hard times, especially in the hard times, our Savior is still with us; Emmanuel holds us close.

When we cry out to our Maker, we proclaim the Holy Trinity as one who cares, who hears, who responds even when we may doubt or get discouraged. Our continual seeking of the Prince of Peace reminds us and the world that God is here.

We feed on the Bread of Life as we cry out in pain and joy, in sorrow and thanksgiving. With the Bread of Life on our lips and in our stomachs, the Spirit nourishes us for the facing of each day. And for this we give thanks.

Prayer: Lamb of God, you walk with us in the valley and on the mountaintop. You hear us when we cry out with our voices and thoughts. May our entire lives be acts of praise which proclaim who you are to the world. Amen.  

Jennifer M. Manis

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