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A Prayer for our Nation

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O God, you made us in your own image

and redeemed us through Jesus your Son.

Look with compassion on the whole human family,

take away the arrogance and hatred that infect our hearts,

break down the walls that separate us,

unite us in bonds of love,

and, through our struggle and confusion,

work to accomplish your purposes on earth;

that, in your good time,

all nations and races may serve you in harmony

through Jesus Christ our Lord.     Amen

Book of Common Worship

A Prayer for Your Week

Prayer for your week

As you cause the sun to rise, O God,

bring the light of Christ to dawn in our souls

and dispel all darkness.

Give us grace to reflect Christ’s glory;

and let his love show in our deeds,

his peace shine in our words,

and his healing in our touch,

that all may give him praise, now and forever.

Amen.

Keep Your Heart Open

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What dream gives joy to your living?

Time to Stop Talking & Take Action!

Matthew 9:36

 

Harassed & helpless! Boy, do I know that feeling! I watch the news & read the paper & begin to wonder if there IS any hope. I read the posts on Facebook from other moms, other women & I know I’m not alone. So many women seem frightened, hopeless, helpless. We all begin to wonder if there is ANYTHING we can do to make things better.

I guess all this came to a head for me when I was watching the national news last night. Charlie Rose shared a staggering statistic. Yesterday was the 204th day of the year & so far in 2015, there have been 204 mass murders in the United States. A mass murder is one in which FOUR or more people are killed. While there hasn’t been a mass murder every day of the year, there have been as many mass murders this year as there have been days.

I’m not here to discuss political issues or constitutional rights. I believe this goes deeper than any of that. No, I’m want to look at this from my expert perspective. And my area of expertise is Theology. When I was a kid, people said, “Everyone always talks about the weather but no one ever does anything about it!” Well, there isn’t much we can do about the weather. And while many of us TALK about conditions in our nation, our cities, our neighborhoods, there IS something we can do about it.

In the verse above from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus felt compassion for the people because there were lost & afraid “like sheep without a shepherd.” We act like frighten sheep. However, we HAVE a Shepherd. Jesus is watching over us, protecting us whether we realize it or not. So the first thing we can do it put our faith in Him.

The second thing we can do is find strength, hope & comfort in Scripture. When life seems overwhelming, when we are unable to find answers, I know we can ALWAYS find the answers we need in the Bible.

The third thing we can do is PRAY! There is power in prayer. I also believe there is incredible power when WOMEN pray.

In light of these three things, I came to the realization there is even more we can do. For a very long time now, I have felt God filling me with a vision that I’m not going to share with you right now. However, I will share this. Along with the vision, God has been calling me to create a ministry for women. A ministry made up of small groups of women, meeting in homes across the country, sharing faith, studying Scripture, praying, strengthening & supporting one another & having fun! The problem I had was how to do this?

It’s funny how an innocent event can lead to a major breakthrough! More about that tomorrow!

For now, pray. God is calling a small group of women to be the first small group leaders in this ministry. I’m not naming any names. That’s not for me to decide. I’m not saying anyone should do anything right now. Just pray. If you are one of the women God has chosen, He’ll let you know. All I ask is that you open your heart, mind & spirit to His leading!

 

 

Manna! Is That the Best You Can Do? I mean, Thank You!

Exodus 16:4

It’s funny how you can read  a Scripture verse a dozen or more times & it has no personal meaning for you. Then suddenly, one day WHAM! The full impact of a verse hits you right between the eyes. That was me yesterday when the full mean of this verse hit me hard.

The verse above comes from Exodus, like it says. Israel has been freed from bondage & is wandering in the desert where the is no food for them. The people complain about the harsh conditions, as if God would free them only to let them die in the wilderness! God hears their cries & provides food for them, manna, a bread like substance that appears on the ground every day. The manna keeps them full but the people get tired of it after awhile & begin complaining. What a bunch of ingrates, I always thought! God is taking care of them, providing freedom & food & all they can do is complain. WOW! At least, that’s what I used to think until I found myself doing the exact same thing yesterday.

My husband, the infamous Mr. D. has been out of work for a year. He had been working the same job for over 20 years. Suddenly, this time last year, he found himself not only out of work but out of work at an age that was making it harder to get anyone to hire him. Month after month, he worked at finding a job. Month after month, God provided us in a way that is nothing short of miraculous. You see, Mr. D. had worked at a church & churches are not required to provide unemployment insurance. We knew what was going to happen so we prepared but it was still a struggle most months. And every month for a year, God has provided.

Then, the other day the call came. Mr. D had been hired. Our prayers were answered! I couldn’t WAIT to tell everyone! Or could I? You see, Mr. D. did get a job in audio, like he had before. No high paying position. Nothing like that. Mr. D. is going to be doing overnight stock work at WALMART! Frankly, I was embarrassed to tell anyone at first. As I had told the women in my Bible study when Mr. D. was first interviewed, “My husband was made for better things than that!” But I also admitted to them that I was praying God’s will. If this was what He wanted, then I would go along. And I went along, right up until the moment he was hired!

Of course, I was pleased that we would have a regular paycheck coming in. We would still need God’s help to supplement his pay but the stress wouldn’t be as great. But Walmart! What would people think? I am ashamed to admit I was too embarrassed to go on Facebook & share the good news. I didn’t want anyone thinking less of my husband, that THIS was the best he could do. And that’s when this verse hit me right between the eyes!

I realized I was being as ungrateful as the Israelites! They were hungry & God provided food, manna, each & every day. The manna wasn’t going to be on the menu forever. It was just to tide them over until they reached God’s promise. And that’s what this is for us. God isn’t saying Mr. D. will be at Walmart forever but just until God fulfills His promise to us for our ministry. And the job is perfect. Mr. D. can continue doing the work he enjoys at home during the day, then sleeping before he goes to work at night. The job isn’t so glamorous that he will get comfortable. It’s just uncomfortable enough to keep pushing us forward in our ministry. And, most important, this move has motivated me even more to get busy doing the work God has put on my heart. God has given me a vision & I have been slow to respond. Not anymore! While Walmart provides us with resources to begin fulfilling the vision, it is not enough to bring the vision into full fruition.

So, for awhile, I spend my nights alone, reminding myself that this time is simply manna & the time of milk & honey are not far away!