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Nov 1

Good morning, Lord.
Thank you for the pleasant distractions yesterday, and thank you for the distance I have from anything and everything that COULD be affecting me this week. Thank you for peace, and for the thrill of learning and planning new things, and experimenting with new tools. Please guide me this day in how to best serve you, Shepherd. Give me courage and patience and help me share the abundance of Love I have with everyone around me. Amen.

Colossians 2:7-17 ERV

You must depend on Christ only, drawing life and strength from him. Just as you were taught the truth, continue to grow stronger in your understanding of it. And never stop giving thanks to God. 
Be sure you are not led away by the teaching of those who have nothing worth saying and only plan to deceive you. That teaching is not from Christ. It is only human tradition and comes from the powers that influence this world. 
I say this because all of God lives in Christ fully, even in his life on earth. 
And because you belong to Christ you are complete, having everything you need. Christ is ruler over every other power and authority. 
In Christ you had a different kind of circumcision, one that was not done by human hands. That is, you were made free from the power of your sinful self. That is the kind of circumcision Christ does. 
When you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and you were raised up with him because of your faith in God’s power. God’s power was shown when he raised Christ from death. 
You were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self. But God gave you new life together with Christ. He forgave all our sins. 
Because we broke God’s laws, we owed a debt—a debt that listed all the rules we failed to follow. But God forgave us of that debt. He took it away and nailed it to the cross. 
He defeated the rulers and powers of the spiritual world.
With the cross he won the victory over them and led them away, as defeated and powerless prisoners for the whole world to see. 
So don’t let anyone make rules for you about eating and drinking or about Jewish customs (festivals, New Moon celebrations, or Sabbath days). 
In the past these things were like a shadow that showed what was coming. But the new things that were coming are found in Christ. 

Lord, today I pray a special prayer for all those of us who have been hurt or misled by HUMAN TRADITIONS — both the ancient ones and the more modern ones. Please help us to forgive and give it all to you. Help us to grow past the chains that bind us, seeing how FREE you desire your sheep to be! Make us wise and courageous enough to allow you to touch us in our most sensitive places, allowing you to heal us and make us more like you every day. Help us to remember that we are FREE because of what YOU have ALREADY done, Jesus. Help us to remember that we need do absolutely nothing besides actively BELIEVE in you, being WILLING to follow you wherever you lead us — even if we mess up sometimes, as we always will. Help us to not be so upset with ourselves or others that we cling to the poison of regret instead of accepting the freedom of peace and forgiveness you offer us. Help us to exchange our gloomy cloaks of guilt and greed for your white, wooly sheepskins of joy and freedom, living for our faithful Shepherd. Amen.


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