According to the Chinese zodiac, 2011 is the “Year of the Rabbit.”  The Vietnamese zodiac says it’s the “Year of the Cat.”  If you could give a title to 2011 that corresponds to your best evaluation and/or hopes for what the coming year will bring, what would that title be?  Perhaps, 2011 will be “The Year of Transformation of My Vocation” if you’re presently exploring a career change, or “The Year of Coming Together” if you’ve been experiencing difficulties with family this year.  Perhaps it will be the “Year of Finding God” or the “Year of Prayer” if the spiritual path beckons to you.  What you set out as a prayerful intention often finds ways of coming to pass if you stay open and disciplined about your year-name (i.e., Don’t just make this the year of “wishful thinking”!).

This coming year will be our focus at Darkwood Brew on Sunday. Joining us will be our special Skype Guest, Tex Sample, from Phoenix, Arizona.  Tex is the author of so many books I’ve lost track of them all.  You can find many of them on  Tex will also stick around for our freewheeling post-Darkwood Brew discussion, which we call Backwoods Buzz.  So if you’ve got a question for Tex, this will be a great opportunity to ask it!

Finally, this Sunday also the Sunday before we launch our first public series at Darkwood Brew called, The Be@itudes: Nine Observations That Turn The World Upside Down.  Our Pneuma Divina passage this Sunday features ALL the material from Jesus’ public ministry before he preaches the Sermon on the Mount (which contains the famous Beatitudes – the “blessed are’s …”).   Read that material below and see if there’s one phrase in particular that sticks in your awareness.  We’ll be calling for those phrases on Sunday!

Pneuma Divina Scripture: Matthew 4:12-25

12 Now when Jesus* heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the lake, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
15 ‘Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali,
on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles–
16 the people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death
light has dawned.’
17From that time Jesus began to proclaim, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’

18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake–for they were fishermen. 19And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ 20Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. 22Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

23 Jesus* went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news* of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. 24So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. 25And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.

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