Sunday, November 30, 2008

!st Sunday of Advent Prayer

Dear God,
Thank you for the time spent with families and friends over this holiday.
We begin today this journey of Advent with anticipation and hope.
We anticipate your coming today in our lives.
We anticipate the celebration of your birth.
We anticipate your coming again.
We hope for your presence in our lives today.
We hope for new beginnings.
We hope for healing in our lives.

Lord, our world cries out for hope and yet does not know where to look for that hope.
So Lord we cry out to you for the hopeless of the world.
We cry out to you for those who are in despair.
We cry out to you for those who are desperate.

Our hearts ache with yours Lord, when violence occurs and lives are lost.
We pray for those who mourn the loss of lives in Mumbai India.
We pray for the WalMart worker killed in the stampede of people on Friday.
We pray for those who find themselves in difficult financial circumstances.
And Lord as we observe World’s Aid Day, we pray for those who are still affected by Aids.

Lord we pray for your coming again that it may be soon for you are the hope of this world.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Short circuited

Wah! Last night the laptop's ac adaptor cord short circuited. This is the one I use at the church and it has my notes, sermon notes, church notes all on it. Wah. I was hoping to avoid getting out in the shopping traffic especially with the wet weather. But gulp, swallow, it looks like we will be joining the others out shopping also.

At least I don't preach tomorrow, but I do preach Sunday, do a healing service on Wednesday, and work on invitational and congregational ministries during the week.

I have looked up in the yellow pages where I might find one that fits and I have three possibilities. After that it is order online from Dell.

Meanwhile, Bob and the kids are decorating for Christmas.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day/Cyber Monday

Today is celebrated as Black Friday, the day with all the sales and bargains that start early in the day. Already a worker at WalMart has died because of people rushing through the door. Sad. And others were injured, all for what a few bargains? And Monday is considered Cyber Monday, the day for all the bargains online and everybody buying on line.

But I am not out there today shopping and don't plan to be. My Aunt in who lived in Jacksonville always was before her death. Anytime we spent Thanksgiving in Jacksonville, it meant getting up early and going shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

But this year we are even limiting what we are buying anyway. In fact we already bought it, but it is hid away. We might buy a few more small things for the kids, but we just aren't going to spend a lot of money.

Instead today, we went outside in our back yard. We cleaned it up while the kids played and helped. It was very nice. We are getting ready to go over to a friend's house for some more play time. What are you doing?

If you want to find out more about Buy Nothing Day or Buy Nothing Christmas, just click on the link.

Thanking God for you Friday Five

Phillipians 1:3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.

Singing Owl leads us in the Friday five from the revgalblogpals with the following; I'm musing about giving thanks for people today, partly because Americans celebrated our annual Thanksgiving holiday yesterday (I try not to just make this holiday "turkey day" even though its main feature seems to be eating till one is nearly comatose) and partly because I read the above verse this morning. It started me thinking about individuals in my life for whom I give thanks. For this post-Thanksgiving Day Friday Five, share with us "Five People For Whom You Give Thanks to God" and maybe tell us why they are significant.

1. My mom; well that says it all, she is my mom and God knew it sure would take her to raise a child like me.

2. My husband; he married me that is the significance, and God knew it would take him to be married to a woman like me.

3. 4. & 5. My three children; all of them are significant to me, and God knew it would take all three to raise a mom like me.

The bonus person; All the above are alive, but I am grateful for those who have long since died but who played a significant part in my becoming the person I have become.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Prayer for Christ the King Sunday

Merciful God, thank you for your son, who came to be our savior and Lord. We celebrate His Kingship; even though for some of us who have no King it is hard to understand what that means. God they nailed on Jesus cross the words calling him the King of the Jews. It was a joke. Lord let it not be a joke to us now. Your son, seems to be a different kind of King, he is the one who came to serve and not be served like so many earthly rulers. He still comes to us in faces, places, situations, and people that we would not recognize. And forgive us Lord because we do miss your son, and we don’t have eyes to see. Forgive us when we discount your children who are the least, the lost, the imprisoned, the sick, the stranger, the unclothed, the hungry, and the thirsty. Forgive us when we don’t serve them just as you serve us.
Lord we take time to remember the firefighters who are fighting the fires in Southern California, and those who have lost homes to the fires. We pray For world leaders who have come together to deal with the global financial crisis. We pray for all who are losing their jobs during this down turn. We pray for wisdom for our country leaders having to find ways to deal with the downturn. We pray for the continued problems in the Congo. We pray for the people of Zimbabwe who are faced with an outbreak of deaths brought on by cholera. We pray for the disease and unrest in the Mideast. We pray for peace. We pray for our President Elect as he prepares himself for taking office, brings on his cabinet and other government workers.

God today as we enter our places of worship to lead your children in worship speak the words through us that your children need to hear, including ourselves. Lord, pour your holy spirit into us that we will be servant of you with love and grace. Lord we worship and adore you. Amen.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Friday Five on Saturday

Well, with all the hospital visits and surgeries yesterday, I didn't get to do the Friday Five on Friday. So here I am playing on Saturday, since I don't have to be prepared for Sunday preaching. I do have a wedding later in the day to officiate at, but that won't be hard.

So without further adieu, here is the revgalblogpals Friday Five brought to you by Songbird;

In a minor domestic crisis, my food processor, or more precisely the part you use for almost everything for which I use a food processor, picked the eve of the festive season of the year to give up the ghost. A crack in the lid expanded such that a batch of squash soup had to be liberated via that column shaped thing that sticks up on top.Can you tell this is not my area of strength?Next week, I'm hosting Thanksgiving. I need your help.

Please answer the following kitchen-related questions:

1) Do you have a food processor? Can you recommend it? Which is to say, do you actually use it? Had it, no longer have it. Don't know if I lost it in the move or not. Used it infrquently.

2) And if so, do you use the fancy things on it? (Mine came with a mini-blender (used a lot and long ago broken) and these scary disks you used to julienne things (used once).) You know, I think I used it for chopping nuts, and some other stuff; but it was so long ago, I don't remember

3) Do you use a standing mixer? Or one of the hand-held varieties?(And isn't that color delightfully retro?) Yes, I have one of the hand-held ones in that delightful I am not sure what retro color it is, sort of a mustard color. But it works.

4) How about a blender? Do you have one? Use it much? Oh yes, you have got to have one of them.

5) Finally, what old-fashioned, non-electric kitchen tool do you enjoy using the most? Enjoy, does that go with cooking?

Bonus: Is there a kitchen appliance or utensil you ONLY use at Thanksgiving or some other holiday? If so, what is it? You have to use an appliance or utensil at Thanksgiving or holiday? You can't go out to eat or order the meal for take out? What kind of craziness is this? I don't cook these days. Bake on occasion yes, but not cook. I did buy a cookbook recently to teach the kids how to cook and we have been cooking out of it some.

Missing preaching regularly

Today is Saturday, I would be wrapping up a sermon for Sunday. But I don't preach tomorrow. I don't preach next week and I did not preach last week. Sigh. I know it sounds silly, but I am missing it, the regularity, the rhythm and rhyme of sermon writing. I preach the second week of Advent on the First Sunday in Dec. and again on the third week of Advent or the second week of Dec. And then I preach Christmas eve and then the first Sunday of the new year. Sigh. It is hard to get in the rhythm of writing, thinking, feeling and listening.

But frankly with all I do I don't have time to write weekly sermons. I enjoy what I do, and all the people I am working with. I like developing the congregational care ministries and the invitational ministries. I am really enjoying the young adults.

I just miss preaching regular.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday prayer

Merciful God, in the stillness of this morning, we come on bended knee, bended heart, and bended mind, yielding ourselves to you. We ask for your breath to be breathed on us as we prepare to go into your sanctuary to worship you.
We admit there are ways we sinned this week with word and deed and sometimes inaction, or carelessness. Forgive us we pray so that we can be freed from those chains to lift our hands in praise to you and to receive your grace and mercy.
God, we come before you not just for ourselves but for those of our congregations who are sick, suffering, home bound and in nursing homes. We pray for those carrying grief heavily around their hearts. We pray for those worried about their jobs, their homes, and their diminishing retirement income. We pray for our family members, and our friends.
We pray for our world that is at war, in starvation and in chaos. We pray for people of the Democratic Republic of Congo and others who are displaced by war. We pray for those who children died in the collapse of the schools in Haiti. We pray for all people that are in the midst of pain and struggle that you would be their salvation, their refuge and dwelling place. And we pray for the end to modern day slave trade. We also pray your wisdom for the world leaders who have come together to address the worldwide economic crisis.
Lord, today’s scripture reminds us that we have been given so much by you only to hide it, or squander it. Lord, help us to know how to put to use the resources that you have given us so that it yields greater value not for us, but for you. Help us to know how to lead our churches to not hide the resources you have given them either.
Thank you for Lord for your many gifts and resources you do give us. Thank you for your many blessings and for your tender mercies.
We pray all this and more through your son Jesus.

cross posted at revgalprayerpals and preaching to the choir(sermon blog)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Five: Rememberance

Earlier this week the U.S. celebrated Veterans' Day, known in many other countries as Remembrance Day. At this time last year I was commuting to a postdoc in Canada, and I was moved by the many red poppies that showed up there on people's lapels in honor of the observance. Unlike a flag lapel pin, which to me has political connotations and implies approval of our current war, the poppies simply honor the sacrifice and dedication of those who have followed their consciences by serving--sometimes dying--in the military.

This week's Friday Five invites reflection on the theme of remembrance, which is also present in the feasts of All Saints, celebrated in many liturgical churches on November 1, and All Souls--known in Latin@ cultures as the Day of the Dead--celebrated in some the following day.

1. Did your church have any special celebrations for All Saints/All Soul's Day? Yes, the choir did The Requiem by Mozart and it was magnificent. We did the naming of those who died this year with lighting a candle for each one and ringing a bell. We had a full service. Lots of people were there.

2. How about Veterans' Day? Nope.

3. Did you and your family have a holiday for Veterans' Day/Remembrance Day? If so, how did you take advantage of the break? Yes, we took a break and rested, spent time together and played. We somehow or another forgot about the parade and missed it.

4. Is there a veteran in your life, living or dead, whose dedication you remember and celebrate? Or perhaps a loved one presently serving in the armed forces? Oh boy, if you read my blog post on this, you would find out the answer. My grand dad was a WWI vet and made me very aware of the cost the WWI vets made. But my dad is a vet, my husband is a vet, my son is a vet. My nephews are presently serving in Iraq. One is a marine. The other is in the army and this is his second time over there.

5. Do you have any personal rituals which help you remember and connect with loved ones who have passed on? I don't, but my mind does. It will pop the memory tape in before I know what's happening. But you know now days it is a lot of pleasant memories.

The bonus question: Did you ever want to serve? I wanted to serve in the Army when I finished high school, but my parents put a halt to that. When I was in college I was recommended for officer training in the army, but at that time I had become a dove and refused to have any part of the military. It was Viet Nam days. At one point I felt led to become a Chaplain in the military, and even went through the interviews, physicals etc. The Navy was ready for me, but I couldn't get the endorsing agency to cooperate with me, so I didn't get in. After that I was too old, but still got invites to be a Chaplain. Sometimes I wish I had and most of the time I am glad I didn't. I wouldn't have been very good at this war stuff. And we went to war the year right after I was trying to get into the Navy Chaplaincy corp. God watches out for fools like me.

(pictures: The pictures of poppies in Flanders field. Pictures of crosses in Flanders Field.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A salute to veterans

I am child of a veteran and a granddaughter of veteran.

I have son who is a veteran.

I have nephews presently serving in Iraq;
one in the army and one in the marines.

I live with a veteran.

I serve a church full of veterans.

I live in a town full of veterans.

And sadly I live in a town that has homeless,
and jobless veterans. Cartoon by
Jimmy Margulies

To all the veterans I know and don't know, I salute you today and I thank you for our freedom.

I pray for more recent veterans who now suffer so much from these recent wars.

In honor of the veterans a cartoon by Jeff Koterba, Omaha World Herald, NE;

If you have a chance check out the political cartoons on Veteran's day

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Sunday prayer

Dear God, source of wisdom and truth. Grant us your wisdom to always be prepared for you coming today and everyday. We don’t know how or who or when that may be. But Lord, let us be ready, let us not be found unprepared and miss the joy of your presence. Lord we pray for ou President Elect and vice President elect, give them wisdom as well as they prepare to lead us during this financial crisis we are presently in.
We pray also Lord, for the continued fighting and strife in our world. We pray for the countries that have been affected by this hurricane and those that are in the path. We pray for other parts of our world that are in times of crisis and need.
We pray for wisdom as we gather in our various places of worship to worship you. We pray your spirit guides us who preach this Sunday, those who lead in worship, those who teach and those who greet. We pray that our minds, our hearts, and our souls be focused on you.
And Lord we pray that you would come Lord Jesus, come and that we welcome you with open arms.

cross posted at revgalblogpals

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Five-The Funny Ppaers!

I am up for this Friday Five. And Thank God it is a funny one, thanks to Presbyterian Gal at revgalblogpals! So lets get reading the educational section of the paper as my hubby calls it or the Funny Papers.

After an exhausting election here in the states it's time for some spirit lifting! Join me with a nice cup of tea or coffee or cocoa and let's sit back and read the Funny Papers!
1. What was your favorite comic strip as a child? I honestly don't remember, it was that long ago. I just remember that I would read all of them. My mom and dad would be yelling at me to get ready for church and I would keep reading. But if I had to choose, it would be I can't make a choice, please don't make me. Okay, I'll do it, but quit twistin my arm. I liked Peanuts.
2. Which comic strip today most consistently tickles your funny bone? Hi and Lois
3. Which Peanuts character is closest to being you? Peppermint Patty
4. Some say that comic strips have replaced philosophy as a paying job, so to speak. Does this ring true with you? Uh? But as I said, my hubby calls them the Educational Section of the Paper.
5. What do you think the appeal is for the really long running comic strips like Blondie, Family Circus, Dennis the Menace as some examples? Family life that you can relate to and the cartoonist bring out in; so we end up laughing with it and laughing ourselves.
Bonus question: Which discontinued comic strip would you like to see back in print? Calvin and Hobbs. I really miss it. And then the other would be Far Side. Now those two were the ones that were philosophers.

My bonus bonus question: what was your favorite when you were in college and young adult? Without a doubt it would be Doonsebury.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

All Saints Sunday prayer

We are living in anxious times made more tense by economic pressures, foreclosures, and uneasiness about the upcoming election.
Today Lord we pray for those who are being affected by economic hardships in these difficult times.
We pray that as we go to vote this Tuesday; that we preserve our dignity and those around us as we may wait in long lines, and may be anxious about casting our votes.
We pray that voters may be able to cast their vote freely and willingly.
And Lord we pray for those peoples in countries that voting is not such a freedom.
We pray for the end to the fighting in the DR Congo and in Afghanistan, Iraq and Gaza.
We pray for those living in extreme poverty and hunger in the Asian, African and Latin American countries.
Lord we pray for all the saints, famous, and unknown, we lift them now in prayer to you.
We remember that they served you in faithfulness and love.
We remember that they were imperfect human beings, only made perfect by your grace.
We remember those of our own families……
We remember those of our own friends…….
We remember those of our revgalblogpals……

Lord, help us to remember that we too are saints in the making
being made perfect by your grace.Lord help us remember that we are not alone in this journey of faith we are on.
We pray that all we say and do today be in worship of you , Lord.

cross posted at RevGalBlogPals