Friday, January 26, 2007


TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: Mark 1:35 and Matthew 6:5-8

Very early, in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. -- Mark 1:35

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. -- Matthew 6:5-8


When you are in a room and someone else answers the phone, you only hear one side of the conversation. If the person answering the phone says, “Yes.” “No.” “Okay.” you have no idea what is going on.

If the conversation goes like this – “No I haven’t started supper yet.” “Pizza sounds good.” “Meet you in 20 minutes.” – you know you are having pizza for supper.

My husband answered the phone one evening and this is what I heard –

“Hi Noah.” (Our grandson, Noah, was two-year-old at the time.)

“You fell in the pond.”

“You went clear under.”

“Daddy pulled you out.”

“Let me talk to your mommy.”

Believe me; I knew exactly what had happened and quickly said an “Amen” that Noah was okay.

This made me ponder what someone would think if they heard me praying. Would they know that I believe and thank God for this world and all the wonders put here for us? Would they know that I trust God with my fears? Would they know that I pray for others, not just my own needs? Would they know that I could also quietly listen to God? Would they know that I have regular conversations with God, not just pleas for help when I get in over my head? Would they hear me worship ? Would they ………..This list could go on and on and on.


How do you pray? Do you send up quick “Thank you prayers?” Do you say long, long prayers? Do you fall asleep as you pray at bedtime? How does your prayer life need to improve?


Are you listening Lord? Sometimes I wonder how you hear so many praying at once. To my ears, it would be a jumble of noise. But you know every hair on my head and every thought I have. You know my needs before I do. Let my prayers be prayers of worship and praise. Let my prayers be conversations with you. Let my prayers ………………………………… Amen

Friday, January 19, 2007


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE -- Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, and I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


Ever have one of those nights when you just cannot get to sleep?

Sometimes, not often, just as you are ready to slip into that void called slumber, your mind takes a strange turn. It goes from today, to yesterday, to tomorrow, until they melt into one. You think, "Am I, was I, or am I to be?" It is that time when sleep will not come and dreams wait.

There is no reality and you are alone, even when there is someone beside you. The rest of the world sleeps -- only you are awake. The quiet is very loud and ideas come and go so quickly they are hard to hold onto. Beautiful poems are written in an instant and just as quickly forgotten. Problems are solved, but the solutions seem to melt as new questions form. The challenges of tomorrow invade the peaceful memory of a sunset.

As breathing is controlled and dreams are invited in, the moment is used to question yesterday and to fear tomorrow.

You are glad you do not do battle with sleep often. Is it your inner soul dealing with reality or just those peanut butter crackers you ate before going to bed?


Everyone hates it when sleep does not come quickly. That is when our mind goes nuts. What do you do when that happens to you? Do you get up and watch TV? Do you just wait for sleep to come? Do you pray?


Dear giver of rest, You have taken my burdens. You have taken my cares. Please still my heart and mind when I am anxious or worried or cannot sleep. Give me rest when ………………………………… Amen

Friday, January 12, 2007



Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

At one time, we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.


Now my grandson, Joshua, just makes me smile. He has a way of looking at you with his head tilted down, eyes looking up and his mouth in a sheepish grin that makes him seem innocent of all charges. Usually this is not the case. Being the second in a family of four boys, he causes his share of trouble. But there was that one time, when I was taking care of the boys so their parents could have a few days away, that he really was good.

I had to get after Matthew and Matthew said, “Boy, she is tough!”

Noah got in trouble and wanted me to count to seven instead of the usual three.

For Timothy I needed a recording saying, “No. No. Get Down. Get back in here.”

Joshua just behaved. He helped get Timothy down the steps. He helped set the table for supper. He took his bath. He got dressed for school -- the first time I asked. He put his Game Boy down when I told him he had played with it enough. He went to bed on time. He didn’t start any fights with his brothers. For three days, he was good!

Now to be honest, this probably was a record. But here again, a lesson on life.

Some days it is easy to be good. Sometimes even a whole week. A month is a stretch. And forget about a whole year. No matter how hard we try, we slip up. We do things we know are wrong. We say things we know we shouldn’t. We ignore those different from us. We open our doors and hearts to only certain people.

The great thing is that we are not alone in our struggle to be good. God is beside us.


How long can you be good? What do you need to change to make being good last for more than a day or a week? How can you help other people be good? Is being good, good enough?


Dear God, I do try to be good, but I know that is not good enough. Each day I need to be renewed by the Holy Spirit. I need to reflect your grace and your mercy. With your help, I can learn to have patience, with others and myself. With your help, I can be more understanding. With your help, guided by the Holy Spirit, I can………………………………… Amen

Friday, January 05, 2007



Praise the Lord. I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate. He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. He has shown his people the power of his works, giving them the lands of other nations. They works of his hand are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. They are steadfast for ever and ever, done in faithfulness and uprightness. He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever -- holy and awesome is his name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.

Psalm 111


To start with --
** the way it feels to squish mud between your toes and how it feels to lie in the grass and watch clouds become dogs or cats or elephants or ice cream cones,
** how a child's hand feels in yours when they are trusting you to get them to the other side of the street,
** the carefree joy of feeling the wind in your hair when you are driving along on a beautiful summer day,
** the inner calm that comes from walking the beach and watching the waves come and go as the tide carries your troubles away and brings back a peaceful spirit,
** the taste of cheesecake,
** the look in the eyes of a dog when you begin to play their favorite fetch game,
** and the sizzling, popping and cracking sounds the wood in a fireplace makes.

Of course, no list would be complete without --
> swinging,
> talking to children,
> hearing stories about our parents,
> unwrapping a package,
> and the words "please" and "thank you.”

Also, not to be forgotten are --
= sitting quietly in church,
= hearing a favorite hymn,
= receiving forgiveness,
= feeling the joy of the Lord,
= and knowing that God is always beside you.


What do you want to remember?


Dear God, You have given me so many joys. Let me never forget them. Let me always remember how a gentle breeze feels as it brushes my cheek. Let me never get to old to celebrate the wonders around me. These little things awaken my senses and remind me of the joy of living. Thank you God, for ………………………………… Amen