Saturday, January 20, 2018

Day #1481

January 20, 2018

It never ceases to amaze me that the right words come at the right time. Thank you, God, for being present with us in all aspects of our life. It is surely good to know of your love and care. 

And the prayer for the third day in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:
By your heavenly grace, O God, restore us in mind and body, create in us a clean heart and pure mind that we may give glory to your Name. May the churches attain unity of purpose for the sanctification of your people, through Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen. 

Day #1480

January 19, 2018

One simple thought: when your heart breaks for someone, you pray. 

The prayer for the second day in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:
Gracious God, draw near to those who are victims of human trafficking, assuring them that you see their plight and hear their cry. May your Church be united in compassion and courage to work for that day when no one will be exploited and all will be free to live lives of dignity and peace. This we pray in the name of the Triune God who can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. Amen.

Day #1479

January 18, 2018

As the current make-up of council met for its final time, I gave thanks for the dedication and commitment of these folks. About a third have more years of service and I look forward to continuing our work together. I also look forward to welcoming new folks toward the end of the month. Well done good and faithful servants - and thank you for the celebratory root beer floats! 

Today also begins the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This is the prayer for day #1 as reprinted from the materials developed for 2018 under the theme, “Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power.”: 
Eternal God, You belong to no culture and land but are Lord of all, you call us to welcome the stranger in our midst. Help us by your Spirit, to live as brothers and sisters, welcoming all in your name, and living in the justice of your kingdom. This we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen. 
Each year from January 18-25, a week is set aside for this important seeking of unity among the Christian church. Join with me in the prayers each day and for more information, see these resources.


Day #1478

January 17, 2018 

Perhaps the timing was the thing that struck me most. Or maybe it was to where the woman came. Or it might have been the message. Either way, when the woman came to the door of the congregation during Bible study (just when we were studying the Gospel of Mark, chapter 1, about Jesus calling the first disciples to become fishers of people) with a message about the Word of God from another faith community, I had to smile. I must admit I was amazed by her courage to come to the door of a congregation to give a message about the truth of the Bible, but I also realize God uses all faiths and all people to help us learn. And sometimes be challenged - would I be so bold to speak for God? 

God bless your journey, woman of faith and courage. 


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Day #1477

January 16, 2018

I think it is perfectly normal to see someone on the sidewalk, in short sleeves in the middle of January, dancing away to music only they can hear. Perfectly normal - especially when it is 45 degrees outside! Oh, but how I loved to see the joy reflected as they enjoyed their moment in the sun!


Day #1476

January 15, 2018 

A prayer for this Monday, that also happens to be Martin Luther  King, Jr. Day:
Almighty God, thank you for your servants who cannot be silent in the face of inequality and injustice. Thank you for the voice you give to those who trust you to help them speak out. May the voices of all those who work for mercy and truth, justice and equality, be heard. And may you grant protection for them as, with courage, they speak out. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen. 
Truly an inspiring man, Martin Luther King, Jr. The inscription on this monument in Washington, DC, is so appropriate: Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope. 


Day #1475

January 14, 2018 

You know what warms a pastor’s heart? Young adult camp counselors teaching and playing with youth: sharing their faith; sharing their love of others, both young and not so young; sharing their "connection-ability" with those who look up to them and want to learn. 

Yay for camp counselors! Yay, even more, for parents who make sacrifices so that their children can learn and grow in faith!


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Day #1474

January 13, 2018

So I have a confession to make. Today was finally the day - the Christmas tree is down. Yes, just now, almost halfway through January, it has finally been put away. 

Oh well, we certainly had ample opportunity to enjoy the lights. But now there seems to be a “hole” in the living room without it. Until next time, guess Boomer will just have more space in which to nap. :-)


Day #1473

January 12, 2018 

For a day off, it was just a little busy. But then a productive meeting and an opportunity for holy conversation makes it all worthwhile! Oh, and a little rest, as well. A good day!


Day #1472

January 11, 2018 

The monthly Ladies: Let’s Do Lunch was once again lots of fun - good food, good conversation, and good laughter. What more could one ask for?


Day #1471

January 10, 2018

It is Simon’s birthday - 7 years old this day. To celebrate, here are a couple of memories...

A picture of the first time I met him face-to-face:

The last time we were able to see him face-to-face:

And the latest - a happy face with his “cake” today:

What a sweet, loving, God-child you are, Simon, child of God! Happy 7!


Day #1470

January 9, 2018

The word for the day - laughter. With colleagues. With folks on committees. With wait staff. With my husband. I must say, a day with lots of hearty laughter is a good day. Yes, I love to laugh!


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Day #1469

January 8, 2018 

It’s Monday, and my prayer for today:

Almighty God, as we begin a new year and look ahead to its possibilities, we also bring forth reminders of the past, often moments of pain and regret. We struggle to understand what has happened or is happening. We search for clarity and seek peace. Please, dear God, grant us your peace. Grant us assurance and knowledge of your love and grace. And may your peace not only rest on us as individuals, but on this nation and those of the entire world. We fear the brink of war, dread the presence of anger and hatred, and need, desperately, your shining light of peace. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, we pray. Amen.


Day #1468

January 7, 2018 

Perhaps the most rewarding moments of intersections between faith and life are moments of growth, when someone “gets it” and experiences a life-changing, or at least life-enriching, event/epiphany. Someone shared such a moment with me today - a moment of realization that seemed to lift ten tons of burden from their shoulders. A moment of deeply recognizing that someone else can only have power over you if you let them. A moment that made their face brighten and their enthusiasm soar. 

These moments are well worth celebrating and giving thanks to God. And thanks to the person who felt I would not only celebrate with them, but who simply wanted to share it with me. I am grateful!


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Day #1467

January 6, 2018 

Happy Day of Epiphany!

With the help of FaithLens, a weekly study from the ELCA, this explanation of Epiphany:
January 6 was the Christian holy day Epiphany, which literally means a revealing, an unveiling, a manifestation. Epiphany (aka Three Kings Day) commemorates the visit of the Wise Men (aka Magi) to the infant Jesus (aka the Messiah). God revealed His Son to the Magi. A truth was unveiled as they knelt before the manifestation of God’s Self on earth.
A revealing of God’s Son, God’s own Self, on earth. That concept is too big for this brain to wrap around, but somehow it is trusted through faith (also from God). And on this day of Epiphany, I am also thinking about how God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit is revealed to us now. It’s part of why this blog exists (into year 5, by the way!). A way to think/catalog not only how God is revealed, made known, celebrated each day, but also about the gifts God gives - friends, family, fun, grateful moments, etc. 

How is Jesus revealed to you today? How is God’s presence made real to you today? Through a smile, a word, a thought, a prayer, in the quiet? Just look around - I really don’t think you will be disappointed.