Thursday, December 31, 2009

saying goodbye, hello

It is that time again to say goodbye to the old year and hello to the new year. I have done resolutions and I am done with them. I have done nothing, and well then I did nothing. I haven't quite decided how I will do it this year other then saying goodbye and hello. I read yesterday at the Compassion International's blog a post about "Using one word to fight poverty in 2010". I find myself intrigued by this idea of "asking the Holy Spirit what He has in store for you in 2010. Ask Him to give you a one-word theme for the upcoming year. Not a phrase, not a statement, just a single word." I don't think I have ever boiled anything down to one word. I find that even writing a brief vision statement difficult. Its an idea a thought. But if it helps fight poverty, I am all for it. So what one word would the Holy Spirit have for you for this year? What one word would it be to fight poverty in 2010?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

trying to not want a new car

The new car ads proliferate the tvs, magazines, radio and web this time of year. Have you noticed that? Without realizing it, I found myself starting to pay attention to them and then slowly this desire for a new car started creeping in. And then I found myself comparing my old car to the new ones; looks, fuel efficiency, navigation system, sattelite radio or mp3 players, or green. I started salivating. But I did not want a new car before this started, I was satisfied with my car, and it was paid for. No it does not have some of the new technology in it, but that was not an issue for me. But ooh the ads were like sirens calling me. I have been fighting them off. So what if my car has paint chipping, dings in it, spills from the kids, and marks from them too. It was paid for. Ha. Can a new car say that? I don't think so, ooh but they are so pretty, sexy, and get better gas mileage and are green. It has big time mileage on it, but the dealer says there is no reason it should go for even higher mileage, why, because we take care of the engine. Whoopee. Help me not want a new car, tie me to the mast, put ear plugs in my ears, whatever it takes. I will not buy a new car.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winter Break with kids

I am not on Winter Break, I am actually oncall since Friday. The kids are on winter break. Kids should not be let out of school or structured enviroment for as long as winter break lasts. Kids tend to get testy with the limits and household rules, well really testy. Even though they have new toys and things to keep them busy along with their older toys and things, they get bored quickly or at least that is what they tell us. Its been a little too cold to go outside for long lengths of time, and well there is no snow to play in. Parents start to get anxious, frustrated and unsure of their parenting skills. And they even have books they got from Santa to read and enjoy, but they want to read mine. Maybe I should let them. But it makes for my not being able to do any reading. If I were on winter break we would be in florida visiting family or at some resort somewhere. But since I am not we are here trying to be parents during winter break.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Post Christmas Let Down

Waiting for the post Christmas let down to come. I can't remember a post Christmas that it didn't come. Sometimes it was worse than others. But it hasn't come. And you know what I don't think it is going to come. I have feeling I am in a different place in my life. And if it does come I think because I am in a different place I can deal with it.

Sometimes for me it was because I didn't get what I wanted. Sometimes it was I had to work through Christmas or was away from family. Sometimes it was because I wasn't married and was lonely or worse I thought there was something wrong with me. Sometimes it was because I had worked so hard I was stressed out by the time it was all over. I have such perfectionistic attitudes that get me in trouble if I don't let God's grace rule in my heart. Sometimes I have such high expectations that nothing can make me happy. Sometimes I was looking for something that just wasn't there. Sometimes it was because of disappointment in myself or my family. Sometimes it was because of the brokeness in my relationships. Sometimes it was because of my not being close to God. Sometimes it was because I was in the midst of a depressive episode.

What brings your post Christmas let down?
What have you done to deal with it?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Prayer for First Sunday in Advent

To you Lord, we lift up our heads, hearts and hands in prayer.
We put our trust in you, believing that your word is true.
We lift up to you our longing for hope in a despairing world.
We lift up to you our need for hope in a time of deep hopelessness in our world.
We lift up to you our deep desire for hope in a bleak and sometimes depressing world.

You promised hope to Israelites and you kept your promise.
You promised hope in the coming of your son and he was hope for the world.
You promised hope to the early church and that hope was not denied.
You promise hope to us and we pray for your continued faithfulness.

Lord, we pray for strength when our faith falters.
We pray for you to pour on your love so it fills our lives
and splashes over on everyone around you.
Fill us with confidence in your presence in our lives.
Fill us with your joy and peace as we go through this busy time of year.

Keep our minds focused on you, our hearts filled with you and ours outstretched for you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

prayer for Christ the King Sunday

Oh Jesus,
You are the King of Glory,
You are the Lord of Lords, and King of Kings.
And we pray that your Kingdom will reign forever in our hearts and in this world.

Lord, we pray for your Kingdom to come here now,
bringing a kingdom of justice, righteousness, hope, love,
peace, mercy and grace for all.
Lord, we ask that you rule in our hearts,
lead in this world and govern over your kingdom.

But Lord honestly,
We often have our own plans and agendas
And we want to be rulers of our world.
Forgive us for those times.
And Lord we live in a time that would rather idolize the King of Pop
Than worship you.
Help us to know how to live as your Kingdom People in these times.
And Lord there are a lot of Kings in this world who terrorize, over tax, humiliate,
Over exploit, and abuse those they are to lead.
Help us to spread the good news of the different kind of King you are.

Lord, thank you for being a different kind of King.
Thank you for your goodness and kindness in our lives.
Thank you for your generosity.
Thank you for loving us.
Thank you for your Kingdom that is unlike any
Kingdom in this world.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

prayer for Proper 28B/Ordinary 33B/Pentecost 24

We long for your simple gifts for our lives.
We long for your peace.
We long for your joy.
We long for your hope.
We long for your love.
We long for your touch.
We long for your grace.
We long for your healing.
We long for your touch.
O Lord, open a spring in our lives that daily refreshes us with your simple gifts.

cross posted at revgalsblogpals and preaching to the choir

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Prayer for Sunday Pentecost 23

Lord of us all,
Who loves with an everlasting love,
We bring our prayers to you now for
The concerns and needs of those near and those from afar.

First Lord, we pray for the shooting victims at Ford Hood and Orlando.
We pray for their families and loved ones who grieve and those who await their recovery.
We pray for the shooters who were tormented in some way to choose to take the lives of their fellow humans.
We pray for these communities and ourselves that there not be blame placed on those of another belief system.
We pray for healing, understanding, and also safety.
We pray for those who may feel the heat of rage and/or harmful thoughts that they would seek help and support for themselves that no more shootings like these will occur again.
And we praise you Lord for those who bravely stopped the shooting and for those who are counseling and leading the people now.

We pray for those among us who are the widows and widowers,
We pray for those who live lonely lives with families who live far away.
We pray for those whose incomes have stagnated or depleted to put them in difficult financial situations.
We pray for those whose health has faded with age.
We praise you for those whose love for you and faithfulness to you and the church has remained strong.

Lord we pray for those whose countries and lives already have so little have been devastated by the recent typhoons, tropical storms, tsunamis and earthquakes.
We pray for those whose countries have been torn by war and acts of terrorism.
We pray for those whose countries and lives are in the midst of poverty, and famine.
We praise you Lord for those who have helped make changes for the better in these situations, and for those who have continued to give and donate to help in the midst of these crisis.

Lord, we pray for our friends and families who may be suffering from acute, chronic, or terminal illnesses.
We pray for those who have may lost jobs, lost income, lost savings, lost their homes, lost their families in the recession and financial crisis.
We pray for those who have been searching for jobs and have had trouble finding one.
We praise you Lord for those who have taken time to help these in their need, who have been advocates for, supporters of and stood by them.

Lord, all these needs and more sometimes overwhelm us and we often feel helpless, and powerless to help.
We don’t think we have enough to give.
Lord remind us that you took the widow’s mite and saw it as something good.
Lord remind us that when we all give together we can do so much more.
Lord remind us that we have not just money to give.
And Lord remind us that you are the God of all the resources and there is much in your storehouse to be used for good in the world.
Lord remind us that in our giving we are witnesses to your great generosity and love for all.

cross posted at preaching to the choir and revgalblogpals.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Prayer for All Saints Sunday

Almighty God,
we thank you for those who have gone on before us,
pioneers in faith and ministry, thought, word and deed.
We thank you for their example of living a Christ like life
We know that they were no more perfect than you and I,
but we all are your children.

Help us to remember when we are running the race of life,
that all these people stand by us, cheering us on, praying for us, and loving us.

Also, Lord in your compassion,
comfort those who are grieving the loss of their saint(s).
Comfort the churches.
Comfort the Pastors.
Comfort your people.

(Forgive me, for not doing this this morning, I substituted for the Senior Pastor who is ill with the flu.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A gated community

We live in a gated community. Seriously tongue in cheek. Last night as I went from room to room to say goodnight to my children, I became aware of the pet gates we had put up in the doorways. I began joking with them about our gated communities. We had to do it, because the new young dog, Skipper was going into their rooms, taking their toys and destroying them. Poor Skipper, now can't get in. The cats like it because they can go in the kids rooms and sleep in peace. They don't like being herded by Skipper. He really means well. It got me thinking about the gated communities in our city and how it is impossible to get in unless you have been invited, or the know you are coming. Not much room for spreading the good news there. I understand in a way wanting to live in one after dealing with Skipper. But it made me think further about our churches. How have we become like gated communites? What does that mean for the 21st century and beyond? What does that mean for the least and the lost? Just thinking out loud.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday prayer Salty edition

Come be the salt in our life that we then can be the salt in other’s lives.
Lord, Teach us how to not be stumbling blocks in the little one’s lives.
Lord, teach us to accept each other even though we are different in our practices and our form of worship and church government.
Lord, Teach us to be the salt that this world needs.
Lord, help us in our walk to be your disciples.
Lord remind us it is for such a time as this that you have called us to be your disciples, to spread the salt of your grace and love in this world.
Lord remind us to spread your hope in a world that sometimes feels hopeless.

crossposted at revgalblogpals.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Welcoming the children

Sunday morning I preached on the lectionary passage from Mark 9:30-37. Its about Jesus telling the disciples that in order to be the greatest they had to be last and servant of all. He then took a child in his arms, embracing the child and told them that 37“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

By that afternoon we were hosting over 20 adopted children from China at the church who were learning some Chinese dances. These included our three. These children remind me of the child that Jesus welcomed in that they were throw away children just as the children Jesus spoke of. Next Saturday is the New Moon Festival where they will dance and get to be with other adopted children and their families from China. So many times Zachary has been the only boy in the group. Today there was another adopted boy there. The two really hooked up and got along. I think it was good for him and we plan to get them together more often.

On Sunday evening, we had children's choirs and Faith Finders with over 87 children. I got to serve them their meals that evening, while Bob was a children's helper. I had the best time getting them their meals, and helping the little ones clean up afterwards. You know I figure if I am going to preach something I hope I can find a way of living it out in my life. And what better way than welcoming the children, being a servant and last of all.

Looking forward to being with the kids again soon. And looking forward to the New Moon Festival.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Prayer for Proper 20B

God ,
When we are hurting you welcome us as the hurting child.
When we are sad, you welcome us as the sad child.
When we are lonely, you welcome us as the lonely child.
When we have done wrong you welcome us as a forgiving God.

Lord you ask us to welcome the hurting, the sad, the lonely
and those who have done wrong just as you have welcomed us.
And so Lord teach us how to be welcoming as you are.
Teach us to love as you love.
Teach us to serve as you serve.
Lord we live in a world that demands greatnesses, demands perfection,
and demands being number one.
What a radical way of being you ask from us.
What a radical way of living you yourself lived.
And yet Lord you knew that this would change the world change people’s lives for the better.
Lord, keep changing our lives for the better.

cross posted at rev gal blog pals

Saturday, September 12, 2009

prayer for Proper19B/Ordinary 24B/Pentecost 15

Lord, what a powerful time we have been going through recently.
It has been 8 years since 9/11 and we cannot forget.
We have watched the political goings on surrounding the Health Care bill.
We have listened to people express expressed hate and frustrations in ways that have crossed lines of civility.
We are overwhelmed by the increase of the jobless, the homeless,
and those living in poverty.
We are concerend about the increase of swine flu cases.
Lord sometimes it feels like it is too much.

Lord, we pray for the healing of our land
For the healing of the hearts broken from 9/11
For the healing of the divide in our country
For the healing of those filled with hate that overcomes them
For the healing of those who have lost jobs, lost their homes and now live in poverty
for the healing of the sick and those infected by swine flu
For the healing of our own hearts.

Lord, bring your healing down for all.
Lord use us to bring your healing to this land
That all may know that you are the Messiah. Amen

cross posted at revgalblogpals.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Prayer for P 18B/O 23B/P 14/Labor day weekend

Lord of compassion, mercy and justice,
Many have come to you seeking compassion and you have graciously shown it to them.
We too come seeking your compassion
For our needs, our pains, our illnesses,
For our friends, families, and coworkers,
For our neighbors, our communities, and our world.
Lord we all need you to shower us with your compassion.

Lord many have sought you to receive mercy and you given them a multitude of mercies.
We too come seeking to receive your mercy
For our guilt, our shame, our sins,
For our family members, our neighbors,
For our churches, our communities and our world.
Lord we need you to renew us with your mercy.

Lord many is the person who has come asking for justice and you have generously provided justice in their lives.
We too come asking for your justice
For ourselves when we have we been treated unjustly.
For those who have been treated with injustices.
For those whose countries show no justice.
Lord we need you to roll down your justice for all.

Lord, let us also remember the laborers of the world on this Labor Day weekend.
Let us remember those who retired well and those who retired poorly.
Let us remember those who labor in blue collar jobs, white collar jobs and no collar jobs.
Let us remember those who labor in jobs worthwhile, and those whose jobs have no meaning at all.
Let us remember those who labor in the fields, the factories, the government, the service industry, education, health-care and all manner of labor.
Lord let us remember those who labor in free enterprise and those who work in slave labor.
Let us not forget that your son’s labor in this world was not in vain, for he brought compassion, mercy and justice to the world. Amen

cross posted at revgalblogpals

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Prayer for the eighth Sunday of Pentecost

Prayer for Sunday

Merciful God we praise you for your unfailing love.
We praise you for feeding our hunger for bread and for “the bread of life.”
We praise you for taking our little basket of fish and barley loaves and using it to feed others.

Lord we ask you for your care and healing touch for those who are sick.
We ask for your compassion on those who are suffering in our world.
We ask for you comfort for those who are grieving.

We thank you for your daily tender mercies.
We thank you for your daily love.
We thank you for your daily grace.

We call upon you Lord to empower us as we declare who are to a world who needs you.
We call upon you Lord to inspire us as we seek to inspire others.
We call upon you Lord to strengthen us in our own weakness.

We ask all this in your son’s name,

cross posted at revgalblogpals and preaching to the choir

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

VBS with Kindergartners

Priceless. I am a crewleader for kindergartners in VBS this year. For some reason we did not get enough adult volunteers. I offered to help, but while I was away on vacation got made a crew leader. Fortunately, it is a week I can do it. There are also an adult team leader, and two teen helpers.

We are doing Group's Crocodile Dock. Its pretty cool and Group does a good VBS. One of the focuses is God sightings. During the class time we were talking about God sghtings. The kids didn't quite get it at first, but then did and started sharing when they saw God. It was neat. We are in one of the adult class rooms, because we had more kids than our children's rooms could hold. On the wall were pictures of Jesus including a crucifixion of Jesus. One kid asked who was the guy on the wall, and I told him. Then he grabbed my arm and pulled me over to the picture of the crucifixion. And then the questions insued about Jesus and the crucifixion. Try telling a five year old about Jesus's crucifixion in their language. But the other kids who knew and had heard the story were able to help. It was priceless time of telling the old story of Jesus and his love.

I love VBS and kids. Can't wait to learn and share today with them about Jesus.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It took you this long Jimmy Carter?

Jimmy Carter Leaves Church Over Treatment of Women

After more than 60 years together, Jimmy Carter has announced himself at odds with the Southern Baptist Church -- and he's decided it's time they go their separate ways. Via Feministing, the former president called the decision "unavoidable" after church leaders prohibited women from being ordained and insisted women be "subservient to their husbands." Said Carter in an essay in The Age:

In 1984, the Southern Baptist denomination first voted to not ordain women. Since then they have continued to take this stance. They have continued to take the stance that women are to be subservient to men.

So why so long Jimmy? Its been 25 years. Perhaps for Jimmy its been all the years of his work in couuntries that subjucation meant slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. Perhaps he awoke to what it meant for his wife and daughter. I don't know and I do applaud him for leaving them now. But really what took so long?

After I left the Southern Baptist Church, it wasn't long that my dad left because of their stance toward women. Sadly my mom has remained in the Southern Baptist Church, which I still don't understand to this day. May more men and women wake up to what this stance toward women means and what it means about them, and what it means about being Christlike.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Prayer for Proper 11B/Ordinary 16B/Pentecost 7

Compassionate God,
You have compassion enough for all.
Lord in your mercy,
Have compassion for us.

Jesus, out of your compassion for us,
you invite us to come away with you
to a place of rest and quiet.
Help us to say yes and then
to be able to come away with you.
Lord in your mercy,
Have compassion for us.

Lord, out of your compassion you care for
Those who are harassed, helpless, and
Lost. Sometimes we feel that way ourselves
Lord in your mercy,
Have compassion for us.

Lord in your compassion teach us to follow you,
to trust you, to love you and to love as you love.
Lord in your compassion feed us who are hungry;
Physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Lord in your compassion heal us in the places we need healed.
Lord in your mercy,
Have compassion for us.

And Lord in your having compassion for us
Teach us to have compassion for others as you do.
Help us to show compassion in action the way you did.
And remind us when it is time to come away with you
for quiet and rest.
Lord in your mercy,
Have compassion for us.

cross posted at revgalblogpals and preaching to the choir

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Prayer for Proper 10B/Ordinary 15B/Pentecost 6

Dear God,
Thank you for this new fresh day.
We thank you for the rest from the night before.
We thank you for this day of Sabbath you have given us;
A day of rest in you,
A day of relaxation in you, and
A day of recreation in you.

We need this time with you Lord,
In the hustle and bustle of our lives.
We need this respite with you Lord,
In the tiredness of our lives.
We need this repose with you Lord,
from the tenseness of our days.
We need this leisure with you Lord,
from our overworked jobs.

So Lord,
Thank you for the Sabbath that quietens our souls
So that we may hear you.
Thank you for the Sabbath that rests us
So that we can draw near to you.
Thank you for the Sabbath that relaxes us to be able to
Open ourselves to your grace.
Thank you for your Sabbath that recreates
us in a time of play with you.

cross posted at revgalblogpals and Preaching to the Choir

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Sunday Prayer Prophet edition

God of all,
We know you sent us out to do your work, to face rejection, to spread the good news of the Kingdom of God, to have people turn their backs on us, to be your prophets, to be laughed at, to heal the sick, to be dismissed, to travel light, sometimes broke and sometimes penniless, and sometimes rich and wealthy.

We are reminded to shake the dust off of our shoes when we are not welcome and not listened to. We are reminded that in our weakness you are strong. We are reminded that in all of this Jesus too was rejected and a scandal to many.

Lord today some of us today some of step into pulpits as your prophets in places where we have been treated less than kind, and sometimes out right rejected. Lord, pour your healing salve into the wounds we carry.

Today, some of us are so wounded from the attacks that it is hard to lift our feet to shake the dust off our shoes, pour your healing grace over us that makes Christ power perfect in our weakness.

Today, some of us feel like total failures and like giving up, pour your steadfast love into us that we may see ourselves as you see us, and not give up as you yourself did not give up. Amen

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

fear and father's day

This Sunday's Gospel addresses the Disciples' fear while in a raging storm while the Savior is asleep. This Sunday is designated as father's day as well. In one hand I hold the Sunday Gospel in the other hand I hold Father's day. I start throwing them up in the air hoping they will melt together some how or another for Sunday's sermon. I know that it will be hard, and actually I may even be juggling them on Sunday Morning while delivering the sermon.

But in my life fear and father go together. My father believed you were to drive the fear of him into my life and he did a really good job of it. I am sure he isn't the only dad that did that. My dad has been dead over 10 years now, and I miss him. I am not so afraid of him anymore. Nope, after a lot of years of therapy I came to know him and love him. I hope I am not making my kids afraid of me in the same way.

Sometimes, I think Dads have gone to the other extreme, that kids have no respect for their dads. And sometimes Dads are absent dads or they are long gone. Boy all this leads to mixed up feelings toward God the father and Jesus. We wonder in life is Jesus is asleep instead of being awake and calming the storms of our lives.

Just thinking out loud as we head toward Father's day.

Monday, June 08, 2009

the kids at Annual Conference

Pictures of the kids at conference for those that want to know: The picture with the bright shiny person is the bishop getting ready to serve communion. Katy is facing us in that picture. The kids all came in singing and playing instruments. They then laid on the altar backbacks filled with items for kids in Africa at the in Zimbabwe at the Ishe Anesu Project. The kids helped serve communion with an adult by their side. People were of course oohing and aahing over the kids. Our friends who were sitting behind us were commenting, like "look at him leading the group, isn't he cute" "She is concentrating so seriously on the cup making sure she doesn't spill it," and "we have to take communion from her." It made me proud. Bob couldn't seem to move, and he was blocking the aisle. I kept telling him get up and get some pictures, but he couldn't move. Finally I crawled over him, ran down to the front and made a fool of myself trying to find them and take pictures. Kate and Kara served, Zach said he was too shy to do that. They all made some good friends, learned about Jesus and had a good time. They want to come back.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Family Picnic at annual Conference

We are recovering from our loss of our doggie. Everybody has been wonderful in their support and care, including you all.
For the first time my hubby and kids have come along to Annual conference. And for the first time they had a family picnic this afternoon for all the families. You had to preorder your meal, but other than that it wasn't that difficult. Chick-Filet provided the lunch. They had blow up bouncies for the kids, miniature golf, basketball, face painting, popcorn and children's music. I helped face paint and got my face painted by my kids. Got to see several of my peers and their families as well. Ran into the Bishop and his wife walking around. Saw one of my best friends who got hired away from our conference to work for Jurisdictional VIM. That was really neat. Tomorrow when everything gets started, there will be no time for socializing and fellowshipping. It will be all business and voting on the amendments. So today was special.
We got the hotel, and got settled. We then went out to dinner. We then came back and went swimming. Somehow or another, Kate cut both her big toes. She was pretty upset about it. they are going to check out the pool to see if there is anything around that she could have cut her toes on. We sure didn't see anything. Instead of going to the memorial service and to the clergywomen's gathering, I stayed with the family. It will be an early and long day tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Lily Bear's Demise

Lily was a sweet heart of a heinz 57 with a little wolf in her, little chow, little German Shepherd and God only knows what else. She was found out on a busy highway in a box as a puppy with her little brother. The finder God bless the friend, thought she would be perfect for Kate whom we had just adopted from China. So here comes the friend with this mess of a puppy and puts her in Kate's lap. Well, how do you get rid of a puppy that your little child has fallen in love with and is the right size for her to hold and cuddle with? I couldn't. Bob wanted to but we didn't. We already had two other dogs, and three cats while living in a small parsonage. But she stayed as Kate's puppy. She was a mess as a puppy, aggressive, ate all the stuffed animals we had or she could find, and barked at everyone. But she still stayed. Then one day it was really bad weather; Lily stood at the window looking out, agitated and making funny noises. Bob went to check out what was bothering her, and there was a tornado just a block away. The dog stayed, and was never to be discusses of removing her again.

Lily was very protective of her kids our children, and loved them. She loved having her back rubbed. She loved going for walks. She also like to run. The minute the gate or a door was left open she was on the loose. The first couple of times we would try to chase her down with no luck of finding her, so we just learned to wait on her return.

After we moved to Florence we noticed she started to have seizures so we took her to the vet. He wasn't sure if she had a brain tumor or epilepsy. He treated her for epilepsy and told us a small tumor wouldn't show up on xray, but would show up when it got big. That was about three years ago, I guess it got big.

One other time in Florence, Lily had gotten agitated and was trying to get our attention about something. We followed her outside and the airconditioner was on fire. Another time she was agitated and wanted us to pay attention and there was another tornado passing by.

When we got back from the vacation we noticed that she was losing big clumps of hair, was cowering, unhapppy and crying in the night. We decided it was time to take her to the vet.
He agreed it was time to put her down.

This morning we had the kids say good bye to her before they left. Katy just hugged and kissed her all over and didn't want to say goodbye. Kara hugged her. Zachary drew a picture of her and wrote her a letter. He then held her for a long time. I talked to her and told her how much I loved her and how much she meant to me and how much I was going to miss her. Bob took her to the vet, held her as she went to sleep and cried and cried.

Bob and I had lunch together and cried about her and told stories about her. Bob told me when he went home, Koda, our other dog was really sad already. Koda and Lily had become best buddies after the other two dogs had died during our time in Wadley.

Thank you God for this little abandoned puppy who grew into a big dog, who loved us and protected us. We will really miss her. Watch over her and watch over us in our grief. Amen.

I don't have pictures of her on this computer, I'll post them later from my home computer.

Thank you all for your love, prayers and support.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Prayer for Pentecost Sunday

Holy Spirit,
you poured yourself out on the people of the early church, pour yourself out on us now.
Holy Spirit you set their tongues on fire with languages so as to speak to one another in ways that could be understood.
Set our tongues on fire to speak in different languages and ways so others may hear the good news about Jesus.

you said you had to go away so that the Holy Spirit, the advocate, the counselor would come and it was so.
Come once again Holy Spirit as the advocate that we all need, as the counselor we all need, and as the helper we all need.

Come Holy Spirit, fan your flames of love and empowerment, set us on fire for you once again. Bring life to each of our dry bones.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sunday prayer

just as you prayed for your disciples so long ago
Pray for us,
Pray for our wellbeing,
Pray for our protection.
Pray for your joy to be made complete in us.
Pray for our spiritual growth.
Pray for your truth to be made complete in us.

we often do not know how to pray,
So pray for us,
Pray with us,
That we may be one with you,
One with each other, and
One in ministry to the world.

Pray for your weak ones,
Your strong ones,
You ones who are have illnesses,
Your ones near death,
Your ones who breeze through life,
Your ones who struggle in life.

Pray for those who have lost loved ones,
Those who have especially loved ones in past wars.
Those who have lost ones in the present wars.
Those who fear theirs may die in these wars.

We join you in these prayers for all your people,

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Prayer for Easter 6B

Loving God,
We come before you humbly thanking you for your love,
We pray for those in this world who don’t know your love who have not experienced your love, who are in loveless relationships, loveless families, loveless jobs, and loveless lives.

We thank you for your joy, we also pray for those who live joyless lives, whose joy has been taken from them, and who long for a just a little bit of joy in their lives.

We thank you for your friendship, we pray for those who lost their friends or are in need of a friend, or who don’t know how to be friendly.

Lord you put your song in our lives of love, joy and friendship may we sing that song to those in this world who have forgotten the song and how to sing it. Lord may your song fill all our lives, all our communities, all our churches, and our entire world so that the entire universe resounds with your song. Amen

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Zach is turning 7

Psst don't tell Zach, but we are having a big birthday party at Pump It Up tonight. (It's less expensive on week nights than weekend.) He is so excited he can't stand it. Mom on the other hand is taking her ear plugs along to withstand the noise.

See ya'll later. Yea Zach.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Prayer for Easter 5B/Mother's day

Oh God you are so like a mothering hen to us,
You cry over us, protect us, and care for us;
God we thank you for mothering us
And we thank you for the mothers of the world.

Oh God you are the Vine dresser,
you make sure the vine is healthy,
and strong,
we thank you for making sure
we are healthy, and strong.

Oh God you are like a loving mother,
You nourish us with your love and grace every day. Oh God we thank you loving us like a mother.

Lord, we pray now for those
who need your healing, and caring touch.
We pray for those who are the ones among us
whose mothers have died or are dying.
We pray for those who children have died
We pray for those who have had the disappointment
of not being a mother or
who are going through some kind of infertility treatment
or looking to adopt.

Lord in your mercy put your arms around each one
and hold them in thy tender embrace of love.

O God we thank you for tending to us,
We thank you for your wise counsel,
We thank you for pruning those things
that suck the very life out of us
and keep us from abiding in you.


cross posted at revgalprayerpals.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Sunday prayer for Easter 4B/ Good Shepherd Sunday

O Lord, our Shepherding God,
come close to us now
Come near us in our time of need.

Shepherding God,
we need you in our time of anxiety.
We need you in our time of economic uncertainty.
We need you in a time of a globe trotting disease.
We need you to bind our wounds, pour your healing ointment on our heads .
We need the briars, and brambles, and burrs pulled out of our fleece and skin.

Shepherding God.
you guide us with your voice,
Help us to listen and follow no matter where your voice leads.
Help us to trust you.

Shepherding God,
protect us from the hired hands, that do not really care for us and have in the past neglected or abused us

Shepherding God,
thank you for your son who did lay down his life for hose who follow him and for those who are not in the fold yet..
Lord we pray for those who don’t know the shepherd, whose life circumstances kept them from knowing the good shepherd. We pray that by our actions, our behavior, and our reaching out into the community, they may come to know you

Shepherding God,
Renew us, Guide us with your love and renew us with your peace. Amen

Friday, May 01, 2009

Prayer about the Swine Flu/H1N1

Almighty God, who cares for his children like a mother hen.
Care for the ones who already have contracted H1N1 and their family members.
Care for you little ones who are so vulnerable to this flu virus.
Care for your elderly, those already sick and weak who then are more vulnerable as well.
Care for the medical workers who are working day and night to treat those who already are sick, to keep this in check and stop the spread of this disease.
Care for our world leaders who are working together to halt the progress of this disease.
Care for those who have become stricken with fear because of it.
Help us to use wisdom to care for ourselves and one another, and to use regular hygiene.
God forgive those of us who may have used this to point fingers, call names or cause phobia of other people because of where the swine flu was first identified.
Help us as your followers to be servants in this hurting frightened world.

You won't find many prayers out there just yet. So I thought I would write one.
You will find a couple at the Church of England website for General prayers for the developing situation regarding swine flu, for those who have contracted the virus and for the people of Mexico. Bravo for the Church of England.

Here also are the Prayer Points from the Presidental Prayer team:

Pray for God's help and wisdom for President Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Sibelius and CDC Acting Director Richard Besser.
Pray that the illness will be contained quickly.
Pray that citizens will be responsible in taking precautions including hand washing and covering sneezes.
Pray for parents who will need care plans for their children if their schools are temporarily closed.
Pray that those who suspect they are infected will avoid going to work and public places.
Pray for no further loss of life.
Pray for supplies of flu medication to reach those most in need.
Pray that those infected who enter our country will be successfully quarantined.
Pray for medical workers who risk their own health as they care for others.
Pray for those in Mexico who have lost loved ones to be comforted.

An Idea for Sunday Worship

We are still having Sunday School and worship Sunday. And we are still doing our Mission Sunday this Sunday. They have closed the schools in our county due to three cases of H1N1 in one of the schools. They are suggesting you don't go out in big crowds right now. I noticed yesterday at Wal Mart it was not as crowded as usual. I found this article and thought it helpful for Sunday Worship. I'll be breathing peace, not germs.
I think it is so appropriate that Sunday's sermon is on the Good Shepherd, how much we need him right now.

Swine flu panic? Pastor: 'Breathe peace, not germs'

Everyone's worried about the outbreak of swine flu. Some folks are even considering hunkering down in their homes and staying away from all kinds of gatherings, including church. But at least one United Methodist pastor is offering some common-sense counsel in the midst of pandemic panic.
The Rev. Diana Holbert, pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in East Dallas, sent an email Wednesday to members and supporters of the church. In it, Rev. Holbert offered the following advice on church attendance:
"1. If you are coughing or sneezing, it's probably a good idea to stay home. Let us know and we'll send you a cassette tape of the service if you like!" says the pastor.
"2. If you are well, I encourage you to come together to worship and to pray for those who are sick or panicked."
Rev. Holbert adds that Grace UMC will continue its sanitary practice of washing hands and using hand sanitizer before serving the bread and grape juice of Holy Communion. These practices have become common at many churches that receive bread from a common loaf, which is a Christian symbol for the unity of the body of Christ, the church.
Grace UMC's pastor says in her email that she won't withhold the personal touch of fellowship: "I will continue to shake hands and offer hugs to those who desire it. For those who want to keep a distance, just smile and give a wave."

Rev. Holbert invites Grace UMC members and guests to attend worship this coming Sunday, May 3. "Let's take a deeper look at what Psalm 23 has to say to us today. It may just be what the Doctor ordered," she writes.

The pastor closes with the encouragement: "Breathe peace, not germs."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Alabama Outdoors

Ya'll, I am sitting outside on my porch meditating. It is a beautiful day with a nice cool breeze. The flowers are beautiful My backdoor neighbor must be a master gardner.

Last night we had fun playing soccer with the kids outside and cleaning up the back yard so they could play.

Sunday is called the Good Shepherd Sunday. I am meditating on the Psalm for Sunday which is Psalm 23. Today I am meditating on Psalm 23 as I sit outdoors on myporch. I don't really know about sheep, sheepherding or Shepherds, but that doesn't seem to be the point does it. I do know the Shepherd and I want to know him more, and that seems to be the point.

There are a lot of different versions that have been written of Psalm 23 from the Sailor’s Prayer to the Indian’s version to the newest version. Psalm 23 is often described as the most popular Psalm, and most well known. If it is read at funerals, people can recite it with the reader. And even though we no longer in an agrarian society we are still touched by the opening words, The Lord is my shepherd.

If you want to know more, go read my thoughts on my Preaching blog.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

For Bob's Birhday

Bob's birthday was the Monday after Easter. We celebrated it with an ice cream cake from Baskin and Robbins made with his favorite flavor. Can you guess which? You would be right pralines and cream, yum, yum. Oh and it had a chocolate Easter bunny on top. Perfect.
He got some nice gifts from the kids and me. We treated him like a King. And then I gave him a different kind of gift. I gave him a sponsorship of a child from Compassion International. I have to say it was hard to choose which kid, but I chose a little boy close to Zach's age. I figured since we can't have any more children and are now too old to adopt anymore, we can sponsor a child Bob liked it and the kids really liked it. However, they didn't quite like the idea of sponsoring as opposed to adopting. They wanted us to go get him right away. We had to explain it to them, and they were okay with that after the explanation. So Happy Birthday Bob!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Have you hugged your earth today?
In honor of it being Earth Day, I have posted the daily devotional I sent out for today;
Thought for the day
I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up to the heavens and say there is no God.-Abraham Lincoln

Scripture for the day Psalm 8 (New Living Translation)
1 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
Your glory is higher than the heavens.
2 You have taught children and infants
to tell of your strength,[b]
silencing your enemies
and all who oppose you.
3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?[c]
5 Yet you made them only a little lower than God[d]
and crowned them[e] with glory and honor.
6 You gave them charge of everything you made,
putting all things under their authority—
7 the flocks and the herds
and all the wild animals,
8 the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
and everything that swims the ocean currents.
9 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!

Prayer for the day
Based on Psalm 8
Wonderful Creator God,
the whole earth declares your greatness.
Your glory glows in the heavens and is seen in the
moon and the stars which you have set in place.
What are we that you care for us?
Yet you have made us only a little lower than yourself
and crowned us with glory and honor.
You have given us responsibility to care for the sheep and cattle,
for wild things, for all creatures that swim and fly.
Forgive us for destroying rather than restoring
and for polluting rather than nurturing.
Help us to declare your glory and the glory of your world.
from The Micah Challenge

Blessing for the day
The path I walk,

Christ walks;
The land I am in,
let it not be blighted.
This is the first stanza of a poem attributed to Colum Cille, edited by James Carney in "Three Old Irish accentual poems" in √Čriu, xxii (1971).

A visual meditation on Psalm 8

Ben Parr has listed Five Inspirational Earth Day Videos worth viewing.

1. Learn about Earth Day

2. Picturing Excess

3. How to Regrow a Rainforest

4. Corneille Ewango: A Hero of the Congo Forest

5. Trailer: Earth

Check them out at this link

Monday, April 20, 2009

An almost Baptismal drowning, I mean immersion

Sunday, I had the privilege of Baptising by immersion one of our young confimands.
We went over the mountain to one of our newest Methodist Churches, the Cove who has a Baptismal, to do it at. We could have done it out in the rain though it was raining cats and dogs.
I used the Methodist liturgy, had prayer, and led the young man down in the baptismal. The water inside the baptismal was cold and so we took our time going in. I explained to him how I was going to do it and the element of trust. Well, he did alright until the very moment of getting his head all the way under. He just could not do it, and so I had to um force his head under, well he fought but we got the head under all the way. He came up gasping and crying. Then I felt like a heel, and held him and talke to him calmly until he calmed down. The Youth Pastor later said that he knew we were going to have problems when he saw the tuft of hair still sticking out of the water. The parents were okay as were the church members. I asked him if he was okay and he said he was. I have never had it happen before to me. But I guess there is always a first time. I did tell him that when I was baptised, my feet couldn't touch the bottom, and I floated. He and everybody else laughed with me. Afterwords two of the young girls there told me they wanted to be baptised by immersion too. So I told them and their parents have them call us and we would set that up.

I was cautious around the baptismal because they had a microphone wire near by and other musical wiring around. I left another way, cause I was soaking wet. I just have a thing about electricity and water.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Sunday at Trinity

This is a skit that was done for Easter Sunday in our contemporary worship. It is a look at the Resurrection of Jesus from the Performed on Easter Sunday 2009, this was the reaction to the Resurrection from the other side of the fence - the Romans. Written by R. Scott McCauley and Shane Kennedy ©2009 CodeName Productions called He Came Back

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday after Easter Sunday

"And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him. For He departed, and behold, He is here."-- St. Augustine

This quote of St. Augustine's makes me think about how has Jesus' death and resurrection made it possible for us to return to our hearts? How had we left our hearts in the first place? But I love that in our return we find Jesus there. Jesus is here in our hearts. I believe that is one of the wonders that we are struck with on Easter Sunday that Jesus is here in our hearts to return too.

I looked out over the 11 o'clock crowd that attended the traditional service as I stood at the lecturn. I realized at that moment, that most of the regulars had come to early service and the C and C service. I started praying then for those in the worship, that somehow someway they would experience Jesus this Easter Morning. Perhaps unconsciously those that we call the C and E only attenders keep coming back for those Sundays to find a way back if ever so briefly to that place in their own heart where Jesus is. Perhaps even we regular attenders are there for the same reason.

I must admit I started the Sunday in a ho hum mood, and didn't quite feel any spark in the early service. I wasn't up front leading worship or preaching, I was sitting back in the back as an attendee. I couldn't really see anything being as short as I am. But listening to Joe one of the other associates talk to the kids about God's love, started a warmth within me that grew as the morning went on.

I am exhausted today, yet happy. I enjoyed my own kids enjoying Easter. I enjoyed celebrating my husband's birthday with Easter. And I enjoyed having returned to Jesus in my heart.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

This is my first Holy Week at Trinity, and it has been a busy one. I am tired but loving it.
I preached in C & C(contemporary worship) last Sunday for Palm Sunday. But it ended with more of Passion Sunday using a skit and the scripture reading.

Last night was the Maundy Thursday service. No foot washing. We did have the stripping of the altar. Very traditional, liturgical and dramatic. I did the Great Thanksgiving.

Tonight we are doing a tennebrae service in the New Room with a mixture of contemporary and traditional. We use the readings and extinguishing the candles. We will see how it goes.

I did have a great day off yesterday. It was good weather for once and we went for a hike on Green Mountain. Then we came home and worked in the yard. After the kids came home they were out playing and we were watching them.

I found this sms text for Good Friday on Sms ‘n’ Shayari.

I am da witness
2 his fearless death.
I am a token of his
last promise -4giveness
I am da CROSS
Blessings on Good Friday bysmsBabu

Put that in your Iphone and text it to others.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

prayer for Fifth Sunday of Lent

Merciful God,
Have mercy on our souls,
according to your unwavering love;
according to your abundant mercy
wipe away our sins and the guilt we have carried for so long.

Instead write on our hearts your love
Your boundaries for our lives
Your salvation that sets us free from our sins.
To live the abundant life you have for each of us.

Lord we would see Jesus,
We would love Jesus,
We would follow Jesus
We would serve Jesus.

Create in us clean hearts,
Renew your spirit within us.
Do not turn us away from your presence,
do not take your holy spirit from us.
Restore to us the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in us a willing spirit.
Write on our hearts, your love O God,

cross posted at revgalblogpals and preaching to the choir

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Prayer for the Fourth Sunday of Lent

Gracious and Compassionate God,
As we journey through our time of Lent
Our time in deserts and low places
Our time on the mountains and high places
We continue to seek you.

We need you more than ever
in our busyness
our loneliness
our sadness
our depression
our anger
our happiness
our joy
our excitement

We need
your presence
your compassion
your grace
your comfort
your renewal
your healing
your peace
your joy
your love
your salvation

Lord we are
reminded that
all this is embodied
in your son Jesus
in his life
his death
and his resurrection

and that all
this was freely given
that we may have
abundant life
eternal life
fullness of life
freed lives
loved lives
loving lives
grace giving lives

Come Lord
pour your mercy and grace and love and salvation over us
And for these gifts from you we are grateful. Amen

cross posted at revgalblogpals and preaching to the choir

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Prayer for Third Sunday of lent

Creator God, we listen as the heavens declare your glory,
We seek to likewise sing of you r glory.

And yet sometimes our word s fall short.
Our very actions cause us to fall on our face.

Lord even if we appear foolish to the world
Let us proclaim Christ crucified.

May we burn with zeal for you,
That we let nothing get in our way of telling others out Jesus

Lord let your presence be in us, around us
breathing new life into us,
so that we may do this work you have called us to

Now let the words of our mouths
and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to you,
O LORD, our rock and our redeemer.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Prayer for Second Sunday in Lent

Oh, God of love, power and faithfulness,
We journey with your son,
ever closer to Jerusalem,
to his cross his true destiny.

We hear his words
“Take up your cross and follow me,”
but we aren’t sure if it’s the crosses of this life,
or the actual cross of death.

We hear his words,
“deny your self,”
and wonder which self it is;
the self we put on for others,
or the self centered self
that wants it all for ourselves?

Whichever it is,
it seems like Jesus
sure is asking a lot of us
and we aren’t sure we can do this.

God we will need your holy spirit
to be able to do this.
God we will need your grace and mercy
to be able to do this.

We remember
that you empowered your disciples,
the early Christians
and others who decided to follow you,
we believe that you will do likewise for us. Amen.

cross posted at revgalblogpals and preaching to the choir

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Prayer for the First Sunday in Lent

As we take this journey
That draws us ever closer to you
Walk with us
Sustain us,
Nurture us.

God, as we go through
The wilderness of lent and of our lives,
Send your manna to us,
give us wisdom to turn from temptation
And your grace to turn to.

God, as we walk through the pot holes of life,
The valleys, the pits of life,
Guide us with your hand
Keep our feet steady,
And our vision on you.

God, whether we choose to give up something for lent
Or do something positive,
Let us not do it out of obligation
Or the tyranny of oughtness,
But out of love for you.

Keep us in your paths of love, mercy and grace.
Lord help us to remember we are not alone
but that we are walking with our fellow/sister travelers . Amen

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Five: Fork in the Road

Singing Owl is at a life-changing juncture. I do not know which way I will go, but I have been thinking about the times, people and events that changed my life (for good or ill) in significant ways. For today's Friday Five, share with us five "fork-in-the-road" events, or persons, or choices. And how did life change after these forks in the road?

What a question Singing Owl you have asked and a great picture to go with it.

My Forks in the Road

Being a Methodist Pastor means I move when appointed by the Bishop and the Cabinet to serve at a different church. Each church I have served has been different. I just moved in June and am in transition in a large church from serving small churches for the last seven years. It is challenging, exciting, demanding and fun. It has providing lots of opportunities for new ministries, working with people of all ages, creativity, synergy, learning, and a deepening in my spiritual life. The last appointment was a difficult one and so this is refreshing. But even the last appointment grew me as a minister as I allowed God to work in me. I enjoyed the small churches for who they were, the intimacy, the quite times and slower pace.

ThThey too were willing to do new things as God called them into new vision for being the body of Christ. I had moved to these small churches from what in the Methodist Church is considered a large church but compared to this church is medium size. I loved serving there because it was growing, lots of families, young people, the energy, their missional nature, the contemporary church, and the opportunities.

2. Adoption We have adopted three kids. Each child we have adopted has led to fork in the road, whether to adopt this child or not. We had tried for years to get pregnant, quit, and became content with being childless. With the move to Huntsville, we found out about adoptions from China and that the age limits did not effect us. We could have stopped with our first who was a baby at that time, but we adopted the next two. However we chose to adopt older children who had “special needs”, because we felt led to and wanted to. Having adopted older kids who had cleft lip and cleft palettes, meant taking paths of spending time in hospitals, Doctor’s offices, speech therapies, and with teachers. Being adopted when they were older meant they came with emotional and behavioral needs which meant lots of work on our part, lots of love, patience, therapies, medication, time with teachers and counselors, reading books, learning how to deal with their needs.

3. There have been other forks, but the above seem to make more than five. I’ll just say getting married was a big fork. Going to college and then Seminary were forks in the road for me. Doing Clinical Pastoral Education and training for Pastoral Counseling/Marriage and Family Therapy were forks in the roads of my life. All along the way there have been people who were there for such a time to be part of my life, to be a sign post, help me on my journey, way in the balances which way to go, encourage me, or walk with me.

So what about you, what forks in the road have you taken?