Looking deeper

8/20 We thank thee, our God, for the happenings of life: For mistakes that have helped us to look deeper into our lives. For new responsibilities that enable us to grow. For the tolerance of others who accept our shortcomings; And for the sense of your presence that can keep us going. Amen

When was the last time I thanked God for mistakes that helped (or forced) me to look deeper? I know I have come through things and been grateful for what I learned…but have I ever been thankful, as in, “gee, that was a great mistake, soooo happy it happened?” Uh, heck no. Somehow, I know I am deficit if I never get to the point of wrapping my arms around a big stinky old mistake and giving it a hug of gratitude.

But, like the Psalmist, where the first half is a lament…Your presence keeps me going.

And as Scarlett said, “tomorrow is another day.”

The story continues.

Remind us to remember

8/19 Our Father, we thank you again for the opportunity of prayer – to stand and join together giving Thanks for this day and the blessings that are ours. Remind us to remember and pray for those who need your Grace and support and our encouragement as they cope with illness, grief, hunger and loneliness. Amen

Remind me to remember…that there are many who need God’s grace and support, and many who need my encouragement. Remind me, I have a job to so, also. Remind me of the bigger mission and Your tactical plans that I play a meager part in.

Dad never talked directly with me about being lonely after Mom died, but when I read prayers like this, it fits, on a deep level.

Hopefully, he and mom trained me well enough to share encouragement, even if it was back to them.

Speaking out and up

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

– PASTOR MARTIN NIEMOLLER

Download the poem First They Came

Struggling to look at life without bias or prejudice

8/17/04. We pray still again, our God, for your blessing on this fellowship – we are grateful for your Grace and forgiveness. Bear with us as we struggle to look at life without bias or prejudice – to see and accept others with patience and understanding and to be genuinely worthy of Your trust. Amen

Another, scratch my head prayer. Dad, how are we supposed to be genuinely worthy of God’s trust? Does God “trust” me?

The verses I hear echoing in my head are:

  • 2 Timothy 1:7 YLT — for God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind; and
  • James 2:23 YLT — and fulfilled was the Writing that is saying, ‘And Abraham did believe God, and it was reckoned to him — to righteousness;’ and, ‘Friend of God’ he was called.

Whose friend am I?

No peace without change

Our Father in Heaven, we stand again and offer our thanks for this day – for prayers answered – for the joy that was ours on Aug. 14th, 1945.

And in our remembrance, remind us that there can be no peace without change and that often it is we ourselves who need to be more willing to change. Amen

As Dad would say, “Enough said.” Or even, ” ‘Nuff!”

Aug. 14th, 1945

Working at Solutions

Our heavenly Father, we come again grateful for this day & for the freedoms we too often fail to remember. Remind us to be more grateful more often – to focus on the needs of others – to be open to change and to work at ‘solutions’ as opposed to ‘problems’. Amen

Seems fitting to cover the onslaught of media with a prayer. A prayer for learning to work at solutions, not dwell on problems, of which there are many.

Cover the media today with a prayer.

Entrusting those matters that (we) cannot solve

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8/13 Church prayer

8/13 Our Father,  we pause again to include You and to ask for your blessing on our fellowship. We are grateful for this day and the opportunities life gives each of us. Sustain us in these days in which we find so much to worry about – remind us of the positives and to entrust to you those matters that cannot solve without your help.  Amen 

Two things, ok, maybe 3.

  1. We won’t “find” things to worry about if we aren’t looking.
  2. These “matters” we worry about are not alive, notice my dad didn’t write, “solve themselves
  3. Maybe I shouldn’t have assumed it was a typo and added the parenthetical “we”.

Entrusting means believing that the matters, animate and inanimate, that I leave in God’s hands are safe. They will be watched over and monitored. They will be kept out of harm’s way. If I don’t entrust someone, I don’t leave anything of value with them. Are there degrees of trust? I will trust you with a $20 dollar bill, but not a $50? I will trust you watching my house but not my car? I will trust you babysitting my house and kids, but you can’t use my smartphone?

Do I put conditions on the matters I entrust to God, also? Probably. Kind of stupid, huh?