I believe

PrayerNow faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

I believe. I believe despite anything that tries to erode my belief. Life happens, not always in the way I want it to. Humans build elaborate castles of expectation and dream impossible dreams, but in the end we do not know what will happen or how we will react. As a woman of faith, I build upon the foundation of God’s love so when things go sour – and in the world they will and do – I am grounded on the sure promise of God’s presence. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV Joshua 1:9) God knows the road ahead; I do not. Whether I ride on a wave of success, or am in the throes of distress, I have the certainty of this: God is with me through everything.


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The Prayer

cropped-Christ-Child.jpg

In a chaotic world this song – so beautifully rendered by these talented young men – reassures and uplifts. Merry Christmas. I’ve posted it before and will probably post it again.

 


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Courage

Sundown

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” 1 Peter 3:13-14

Sometimes courage shows
when we do the right thing;
when we stay quiet
in the cacophony of raised voices;
when gossip is being spread about.
Perhaps it is speaking faith
by your actions
when others say, “There is no God.”
Could it be prayer raised
on behalf of someone who is not like you
or who has treated you badly?
Don’t fear what other people think;
be true to who God made you to be,
that is the step-by-step journey
called courage.


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Photo: pexels.com

One day at a time

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. Philippians 3:13 NIV

Peace

Not there yet in your journey?
Fallen off your horse a time or two along the way?
That’s the past.
Today and tomorrow are waiting for you.
Show up. Listen.
Be ready to come off the blocks in service to the Lord
through service to others.
Don’t put stock in mistakes of yesterday,
except to carry its lessons into what happens next.
Avoid poor choices and self-serving addictions.
Look for ways to be successful.
The reward of service is getting something back
you never imagined would or could come your way.
Peace. Joy. Renewal.
Embrace possibility.
God has a plan.
Be ready for it.



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A creation story

Blanket Flower

 

God created people in his own image.
What an amazing thought.
The Spirit that permeates every molecule of creation
is in us as much as it is in
the nurturing soil that brings forth food,
the flowing streams that give life to all,
the neighbor who looks different
but who is of and from God, too.
We and they, are part of a woven blanket,
each thread laid in a pattern we cannot know or see,
which touches us as we touch the other threads.
Our actions
become part of the blanket,
the Spirit that covers us all.

Inspired by Genesis 1:27

Tree of Peace

Our minister played this during worship today. I thought it was so beautiful I wanted to share it. The song was adapted from a Quaker poem, “Oh Brother Man.” The rendition  below was adapted by Gwyneth Walker. Read more about Walker here.

O Brother Man

by John Greenleaf Whittier

O Brother man! fold to thy heart thy brother;
Where pity dwells, the peace of God is there;
To worship rightly is to love each other,
Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer.

Follow with reverent steps the great example
Of Him whose holy work was ” doing good ” ;
So shall the wide earth seem our Father’s temple,
Each loving life a psalm of gratitude.

Then shall all shackles fall; the stormy clangor
Of wild war music o’er the earth shall cease;
Love shall tread out the baleful fire of anger,
And in its ashes plant the tree of peace!

 

 

Rats!

Throw all your anxiety onto him, because he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7 (The Daily Life Bible)

AnxietyWhat makes you anxious? Try to concentrate on the thing that’s eating you up over which you have some degree of control. Forget the world condition; as angst-ridden as it may be, you probably can’t do anything to affect decisions made outside your direct influence.

Think instead about the thing, person or situation that has your heart racing or your head pounding. Right now, today – for me – it’s a dead rat just outside the garage. My husband killed it and tried to convince me the droppings I’d found in the garage were lizard leavings, but I knew better.

I have a rat and mouse phobia. It nearly renders me catatonic. I want and need to scour the garage and make sure no taint of that rat is still there, but I’m afraid I’ll stir up a rat cousin.

This is the anxiety I’m having a tough time overcoming right this minute. It helps me breathe to write about it, but it’s still there, a vise at the back on my head squeezing out rational thought.

So, I call on the God of all things, large and small, to relieve my anxiety and help me put this in perspective. I have two choices: believe this rat was the only one and go on with my day, or think there may be others but somehow overcome my fears and get on with my day. The washer and dryer are in the garage and its laundry day. I have no choice but to suck it up.

Thank you, Lord of all, for courage to overcome something that in the greater scheme of life is nothing. And, please, keep the critters in the great outdoors where they belong!


Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Peace like a river

A new day

God made the earth by his might, it is said,
he shaped the world by his wisdom,
crafted the skies by his knowledge.

God made all there is, was, or ever will be.
Be sure of his love and presence, guidance and mercy.
He knew, and knows us.
A confusing concept to our way of thinking,
God knowing the outcome of our lives before they’ve begun.
Am I – are you – predestined to be good or bad?
Does it matter?
We are given this day.
What will we do with it?
How will we treat others?
Those are the questions we answer
by the choices we make every day.

Lord, help me make good and right choices.

Whatever you do, whether in speech or action,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus;
give thanks to God the Father through him.

Will this thing I’m doing please God?
Will my life choices make God smile?
Anger, fear, frustration, greed–
none of these emotions serve God or human kind.
Are we held captive by the actions
of ego-driven manipulators?
God is in charge, our great hope, believe it;
out of madness God brings courage.
Posing and posturing will not bring resolution;
banding together for peace will turn the tide.

Pray for our world and its leaders.

And whenever you stand up to pray, if you have something against anyone, forgive so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your wrongdoings.

To be forgiven, you must first forgive.
God is a loving God. He is ready to forgive.
Am I?
Can I drop the bag of rocks that is resentment, discontent, and anger
by forgiving my enemy?
Can I untether myself from yesterday?
I can.
I must.
Forgiveness is the gift of grace.

Thank God for His amazing grace and forgiveness.

NOTE: Reflections on Jeremiah 10:12, Colossians 3:17, and Mark 11:25 from (The Daily Life Bible


 

The right words

A person finds joy in giving an apt reply – and how good is a timely word! Proverbs 15:23 (NIV)

sunset beach people sunrise
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Simple and direct, that’s the best way. When you say thank you, I love you, good job, keep the faith, you’re beautiful, you’re smarter than you think you are, I’m sorry, I forgive you… these are simple phrases that go a long way toward healing, restoration, joy, laughter and smiles. It doesn’t take a tome to express heartfelt words; it merely takes the right words at the right time.

 

Everything in its time

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven… Ecclesiastes 3:1

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I await Your timing, Lord,
but in the waiting, let me share,
gift by gift, day by day
so others know Your love and care.

In the labyrinth of my days
this moment is all I know,
Everything in its time
shapes my life’s ebb and flow.

Must I wait for You
to plant the garden now?
Must I wait for You
to show me how?

Everything will come to be
in Your time and by Your will
as I live each moment
my purpose to fulfill.

Lord, grant that every day,
I let You define the pace
for how I use my gifts
to make this world a better place.


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