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I apologize. I actually posted this on New Year’s Day, but hadn’t realized that the site address had changed somehow! So a little bit late, here it is.
Happy 2018 to all of you!!! I offer to you “A Prayer for the New Year,” which I wrote around 20 years ago. It still speaks to me. I pray that some of you may find blessing within its words.
As we have been blessed in each year past,
O God of beginnings and of endings,
We trust in you as we begin this new year.
Grant that we may have the vision to see
the blessings in our joy
in our sorrow
in our triumphs
in our failures
in our struggles along the way.
Grant that we may know your abiding presence in all
that we do
that we are
that we see
that we hear.
Grant that we may know your love
in every cell of our beings
in every new life
in every death
in resurrection.
Grant that we may share in our abundant blessings
of possessions
of faith
of hope
of opportunities to minister with love in your name.
May all of this be true in this new year, O God of grace,
for your glory
from the power of your love
for the joy of real life
for all peoples
according to your great mercy.
May we live the life our Papa God gave us
in the name of Jesus, our brother, friend, example, and redeemer
in the power of the Holy Spirit, our guardian and guide, our
comfort and strength.
Amen.

I finally have a reason to appreciate spam! I changed web hosts late last year and didn’t notice that my blog had somehow moved from wordpress.com to wordpress.org, and changed the url!!! I updated some pages and posted a couple of blog posts, which of course didn’t show up where I expected them to but I didn’t notice because I didn’t go there.

Yesterday, I got email notification that my admin email was overflowing–I don’t normally even check it. When I got there, I found not only lots of spam, but comments on posts! This is how I figured out what was going on. This morning, I figured out how to fix it. You can expect to see some updates and posts in the next few days. Thank you, Tammy, for posting comments so that I’d be pointed in the right direction!

Part 54, July 18, 2016

God wants us to be honest in expressing ourselves. Reflecting just a little bit on the bits of psalms that I’ve read lately as part of my morning devotions made me finally realize that. The psalms seem to be a real mix between giving God glory and honor and praise, and complaining about the horridness that life can be sometimes.

It seems that many folks think–and I carried this thought, as well–that God wants to be glorified, God wants our praise, and God will listen to our complaints. My morning revelation is that God doesn’t need all of that. WE need all of that. We give glory and thanks and praise to God, for OUR OWN good, not to build up God’s ego! We give our complaints to God not because God doesn’t already know, but because WE need to know and to express it freely and honestly, and know that we are still beloved!

It is for our good that we search our hearts and look for the good things in life, and tell of them to our families, our friends, and the world. It is for the cleansing of our souls that we lament our losses and ask for help. God is always watching and listening, and fully aware of our circumstances. Love grows as our transparency grows. When we can be honest with ourselves and with God, then we become more of who we are, and that is always a good thing.

Part 53, July 15, 2016

Love.

You KNEW we’d get back to that, didn’t you?

For some reason, the song “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” by Meatloaf popped into my head today. What would you do for Love? What wouldn’t you do? Have you listened to this song lately, or ever? I mean really listened? I’m amazed over and over by how many old rock songs were about faith, though some not framed so clearly as others.

Part 52, July 13, 2016

Hope.

When I think of hope, the first scripture that comes to my mind is 1 Corinthians 13:13:

“And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” (NRSV)

It’s not the focus of the chapter, or even of the verse, but the fact that it’s there at all makes it seem important. Faith, hope, and love abide. Abide. Live with us. Stick around. Stay with us always. Hope chases us down along with its buddies, faith and love. Even when we’re feeling hopeless, it waits beside us, looking for a chink to wiggle through to remind us that this, too, shall pass–but faith, hope, and love abide!

Hope is a looking forward and a waiting with patience, I think. It’s trusting in a good future that’s already present, though possibly beyond our senses’ ability to notice. It prompts us to notice the little things that are going right and continue to do so. Just as we have hope in the sunrise of morning and in the sunset of evening, we have hope in eternal life, which we’re already participating in–since “eternal” is outside of time, without beginning or end.

I’m thankful for the hope which abides. How about you?

Part 51, July 12, 2016

Faith. According to Hebrews 11:1, faith is:

“… the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (NRSV)

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living.” (The Message)

… therefore, faith means living in assurance. Standing on something that’s solid, even though we can’t see it. Knowing the truth without having physical evidence. Is this so surprising, really? We humans have a tendency to believe what we can see, smell, touch, taste, or hear–the information which our physical senses communicate to our minds–and to attribute to imagination anything which doesn’t enter our minds through our senses.

Honestly, how much sense does that make? When you think about it, we do most of our living inside our own heads and seem to have a lot of trouble sorting out what’s real from what’s not. As children, many of us were told to quit daydreaming–but were (are) those daydreams any less real to us than the evidence of our senses? Our bodies will respond to events in our inner life as though they were real. We seem to have greater power over what happens in our inner life than we do over what happens in the physical world, though that’s not always so.

How much better can life be if we choose to live in faith in God’s love and goodness, and to shape our inner worlds AND our physical world to fit that conviction?

Part 50, July 11, 2016

Healing is still on my mind today–for myself and for others. We read about healings in the Bible and occasionally throughout history ever since, but we don’t tend to see it much. I wonder why?

Jesus said that anything he did, we can do. In fact, we’re supposed to be dispensing healing as God’s gift and will regularly and often! But it hasn’t been happening much. I wonder why?

I believe that God is able and willing and even wants to heal our ills and our injuries. I believe that abundant life is God’s will for us. Despite that, most of us suffer from ill health more and more these days, or so it seems. I wonder why?

Are we clinging so tightly to human understanding that we’re unwilling or even unable to accept God’s help? Have we forgotten how to pray? Is life too easy? How is it that we can accept the evil in the world more readily than we can accept the good that God offers freely? How is it that we sometimes even attribute the evil to God’s will, which clearly is incorrect? How can we offer God’s blessings more effectively? How can we open ourselves to accepting God’s blessings each day?

I told you that I’m good at questions! Know, today, that God IS love and abides in YOU and loves you infinitely and wills for your abundance of life at all times!

Part 49, July 10, 2016

Healing is on my mind today. We found out yesterday that Glenn is fighting cancer. He and his wife, Terrie, are very special people, as are their sons. This family has a way of making a person feel special–or at least, I’ve always felt that way around them. They’ve treated me with kindness always, and taken the extra steps to be helpful. Love wrapped up in a body is their way of life. I’ve been pretty much homebound for a while, so haven’t seen them lately, but they’re often on my mind and always in my heart. I’m praying healing.

My friend Jennifer is fighting alcohol addiction. That’s a tough fight, too, and for so many folks, alcohol wins over and over. I’m praying that Jennifer grabs onto the strength that God’s love gives us, to take back her life and LIVE.

You, my reader, whoever you may be, are fighting something, as well–something that limits your life and causes you pain. All of us are, for that’s what life is. It’s a struggle from one day to the next. I pray that YOU know God’s love and mine, all the way through your body and soul, and claim your life as lived for and through and with Love triumphant, every moment!

Part 48, July 9, 2016

Do you ever wonder why you’re even here? I do. While I’m convinced that the main purpose all of us serve in this life is to love, it also seems to me that each of us is created to be a unique human being with our own mission–or our own unique way of sharing and spreading love.

For some folks, it appears, at least from the outside, that their way is and has always been simple and clear. I doubt that anyone’s life journey is truly as easy as it may seem to others, but for other folks, it’s clearly NOT so simple.

When a person’s early life is more difficult than most and they suffer for a lack of love or abandonment, or when a person feels that they’ve outlived their usefulness, the path ahead and the task at hand may seem unclear or even invisible. What then?

Part 47, July 8, 2016

Love wrapped up in a body … so rarely visible when we look at our neighbors, our friends, our enemies, ourselves … so easy to see in rare individuals … is the problem in our eyes? In our spirits? In them?

I don’t have any answers. I do know that we each carry that spark of Life within us. I do know that we are told to SEE Christ in everyone we meet, and to treat one another as though they were Christ. I also know that we mostly don’t do it.

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