Sunday, October 31, 2010

Prayer on Reformation Sunday

Dear Lord,
On this Reformation Sunday, we thank you for those persons you have poured your spirit into that then set about reforming your church. We thank you that you are still at work in the life of the church reforming us reshaping us, and remaking us into your image.

One of the ways we reflect your image Lord is how we care for one another with love,care and prayer. We pray for those who are in the hospitals today. We pray for those at home with illnesses, pains and recovering from treatments and/or surgeries. We pray for those in nursing homes and those who are home bound. We pray for their families during these times. We pray for those who are facing death. We pray for those who have died and for those who are grieving. We pray for their Doctors, nurses, health care workers and care takers.Lord may we reflect your image in our love, care and prayer that we put to action for these your children.

We reflect your image in how we love, care and pray for the world. We pray for those around the world who as Christians face imprisonment and martyrdom. We pray for those who countries torn by civil war. We pray for those living in poverty. We pray for those who live in starvation. We pray for those who are being used in slave labor, child labor and sex labor. We pray for those who have been effected by disasters such as those in Indonesia because of the earthquakes and Tsunamis. We pray for those in disaster areas who face outbreak of diseases such as Haiti with the cholera outbreak. We pray for our country as this Tuesday we vote for new leadership. Lord, may we put into action our love, care and prayers for the world.

Lord, we pray for your church that we be a beacon of hope, grace, love and light in this world. May our open doors reflect your open arms to all. May our arms and hands reaching out to those in need reflect your love for all. May our forgiveness of one another reflect your forgiveness for all.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Prayer for Proper 25C / Ordinary 30C / Pentecost +22

God of hope,
We thank you for this wonderful fall weather that brings forth the beautiful colors.
We thank you for you many gifts and graces you bring us in our life.
God of hope,
We pray for those who may be feeling hopeless these days that they may experience hope from you.
God of hope,
We pray for those who are dealing with illnesses, bring forth your healing for their lives.
God of hope,
We pray for those who are grieving, bring hope to them in the midst of their grieving.
God of hope,
We pray for those who have lost their jobs and need work, open the doors for work.
God of hope,
We pray for those dealing with addictions that they may be set free.
God of hope,
We pray for those whose marriages and families need healing, set forth in motion the forgiveness and reconciliation that is needed.
God of hope,
We pray for hope in our lives where we may need it.
God we thank you for your hope in all our lives.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Prayer for P 24C / O 29C / P +21

Your son taught us to pray and to never lose heart.
But frankly God there are times that wear us down and we feel fainthearted.
We feel weary and close to giving up.
There are times Lord we lose hope and give up.

It is times like these that we need to hold each other up in prayer.
It is times like these that we need to encourage each other.
It is times like these that we need to be there for one another.
It is times like these that we need to cry out to God for those in need.

But God it is not just for those in need, it is also for justice that we cry out.
We plea for those who can not speak up for themselves.
We stand up for those who rights have been violated.
We seek peace with justice for those who need both.
We pray for justice for those who are the weakest.

We thank you for your justice at work in this world.
We thank you for hearing our prayers and answering them.
We thank you for your showing concern and protection.
We thank you for your mercy that you pour out with your justice.

In all of this may we be found faithful

crossposted at revgalblogpals and a place to pray
Image found at Christ Church Nanton

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Prayer for P23C / O 28C / P20

Just as you healed the lepers,
Heal us of our leprosy, heal us of our negativity, our judging others, our bad attitudes toward others.
Just as you healed the lepers, heal those that need healing today.
And Jesus, just as the one came back rejoicing and giving thanks to you, may we too come back giving thanks to you.
Lord, we pray for those who have experienced or are experiencing bullying in school and life just for being different.
And we pray for those who bully others.
Help us to be the ones who take a stand against bullying, who find ways to stop the behavior and who bring healing into their lives.
Jesus, we want to express our thanks and gratitude for the rescue workers being able to reach the trapped miners in Chile.
We pray for those who were affected by toxic sludge in Hungary.
Lord, there are many more in this world whose impoverished lives have been made worse by natural disasters; we pray for the necessary recourses be made available, the people who can bring help go forth to serve.
Lord may we be your agents of healing in this world today.

cross posted at revgalblogpals and a place to pray

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Prayer for World Communion Sunday

God we come to you during this special day of worship when we share communion our brothers and sisters in Christ from all around the world. And yet we realize we are not in communion with those in Christ in the world. Lord may this moment of shared communion bring us closer to each other and closer to you.

Lord we pray for those around the world suffering in so many different ways, whether it is violence, war, terrorism, huger, displacement, or homelessness. We ask for these things to end and be replaced by your great mercy new everyday.

Lord we are reminded that this is breast cancer awareness month. We are reminded that it mainly affects women but it does affect men too. And so we pray for those who have breast cancer, and those who have lost loved ones to it.

We are also reminded that this domestic violence month. There are so many effected by domestic violence not just at the hand of abuse, but also those who have been killed. We prayer for families that have been ripped apart by domestic violence, and we pray for those who have died due to it.

Lord it is also Clergy appreciation month, may we take time to appreciate our clergy that we have now and those before. It is sad that the stress of the job of clergy is having such an effect on them; that they are unhealthy, depressed and discouraged so much so that they often quit. Lord we take time to pray for them, encourage them, support them and appreciate them.
cross posted at revgalblogpals

Sunday, August 29, 2010

prayer for Proper 17C / Ordinary 22C / Pentecost +14

Gracious God,
You are a God of hospitality; there is none like you that invites all to come to you.
You have invited all to your home, to your table, and to your arms.
Lord, would that all would hear and receive this good news.
Lord, help us to remember that no one is better than anyone else in your Kingdom.
Help us to then treat each other the way you treat people.
Generous God,
Because you treat us with your tender love,
We take time to pray for our friends, family members and others who need you more than ever.
Pour out your healing on all who need it.
Be generous with your transforming love for those who needs it in their lives.
Bring forth your reconciliation in families, and in places where it is needed.
Gifting God,
You give us the gifts of the spirit to use to further your Kingdom
and to be the Body of Christ in the world.
We take time to remember the people devastated by Hurricane Katrina
and to thank you for the restoration that has already taken place.
Empower us to continue to be your hands and feet
to continue the work that needs to be done there and in so many other places.
There is none like you God in your love, your generosity, your gifting and your hospitality.
And we thank you that you are in our lives, working in us and through us to let people know your kingdom is open to all.
In the name of your son, who opened the doors for all and broke down barriers that kept people from you, amen.

cross posted at revgalblogpals

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Prayer for P 16C / O 21C / P +13

Listening God,
Hear our prayers as we come before you.
Hear the ones who are crying with pain in their heart.
Hear the ones who are weeping with grief long into the night.
Hear the ones who are sobbing in their loneliness.

Loving God,
Heal their pain.
Restore their lives
Mend their broken hearts.

Leading God,
Lead us through the dark valleys.
Lead us through troublesome times.
Lead us to our home with you.

Teach us to listen to your voice,
That we may hear the cry of the needy and respond.
Teach us to love that
We may offer care that brings others to you for healing.
Teach us to lead,
With your vision so that we not lead others blindly through life.

Through your son who taught us to pray:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Prayer for P15C / O20C / P+12

O God,
Thank you for the rain here in the South where it has been so needed.
Thank you for the sunshine where it has been needed.
Thank you for the rain of grace in our lives where we have needed it.
Thank you for the sunshine of your Son where we have needed him.

O God,
We continue to pray for those in Russia where the fires and high temperatures have caused a higher number of deaths.
We cry for the lives lost in the flooding in China and Pakistan.
We pray for Mexico with escalated drug wars.
We pray for our own country’s continued recession with continued job losses.

O God,
We pray for faith to live our lives as faithful as the Israelites when they passed through the Red Sea.
We pray for faith to be as courageous as Rahab was.
We pray for faith to finish the race as all those who were before us did, who now stand cheering for us.
We pray for faith to keep our eyes on Jesus who started this race and leads us to the very end.


cross posted at revgalblogpals

Sunday, August 08, 2010

prayer for P14C / O19C / P11

God of mercy and love,
we come to you with our prayers for ourselves, our families, our friends, our coworkers, our brothers and sisters in the world.
Lord hear our prayers
for our children who start school tomorrow or within a short period of time, may their minds be readied.
We pray for their teachers may their minds, hearts and hands be readied as well.

God of hope and peace,
We pray for those who are sick, in the hospital or facing some kind of physical problem. May their strength be renewed. May they receive the kind of healing in their lives they need. We pray for those who are heart sick may their hearts be refreshed. We pray for those who are grieving, may their tears be felt.

God of justice
We pray for the families and friends of the medical team who were killed in Afghanistan. We pray for those that they were bringing medical treatment to. And we pray for those who killed them. We continue to pray for the Gulf of Mexico and for its restoration. We pray for those who are struggling with job loss and job search. Open the doors or jobs for them Lord. We pray for those in Pakistan whose lives have been devastated by the floods. We pray for those in Russia trying to catch their breath in the midst of the smoke caused by major fires. We pray for all effected by this heat wave.
We pray for the healing of our world.

God of wisdom,
Teach us to learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, and plead for the widow.
Teach us to have faith in you when we are fearful and unsure.

Oh Lord we thank you for hearing and answering all our prayers. In the name of the one who taught us to pray,
…….. Amen

Sunday, August 01, 2010

prayer for Sunday P13C / O18C / P+10

God of enduring love
When our steps in life our unsure,
When the way to go is unclear,
Guide our path

God of enduring love
When life throws us curveballs,
When things look bleak,
Strengthen us.

God of enduring love
When we find ourselves surrounded by too much stuff,
When we want more and more to satisfy us,
Draw our hearts to you.

God of enduring love
When we lost our hope,
When we grieved and grieved some more,
Hold us in your arms.

God of enduring love
When we are drowning in a sea of debt,
When we are overwhelmed by the tasks of work and life,
Lift us up into your bands of love.

cross posted at revgalblogpals

Saturday, June 26, 2010

prayer for Proper 8C / Ordinary 13C / Pentecost +5

Here we are Lord,
on our knees,
Crying mercy;
Mercy for our souls,
Mercy for one another,
Mercy for our churches,
Mercy for our nation,
mercy for our world.

Here we are again
Standing in your presence
in awe of you your holiness,
your otherness,
your mystery,
and your incarnation

We stand bringing the needs of our friends, family, church, community, nation and world to lay at your feet.
We cry out in pain for the struggles of the world.
We cry out for those who are in pain, sick, in the hospital, rehab, homebound, nursing homes and those on their death bead.
We cry out for the divisions and conflict that seems to be in our lives, our families, our churches, our communities, our nation and our world.
We cry out for those who live in poverty, those who are starving, those who are in prisons, and those who live under oppression.
We cry out for those affected by the gulf oil spill for the marsh and salt lands, for the sea creatures, for the living ocean.

Lord pour out your mercy
Like healing comforting rain.

cross posted at revgalblogpals

Saturday, June 19, 2010

prayer for Father's Day


We today pray for Fathers near and far.
We pray for Fathers alive and Fathers who are dead.
We pray for Fathers who were present with their children and those who were absent.
We pray for new Fathers and old Fathers.
We pray for those who loved well and those who did not love as well.

We pray for Fathers who play(ed) with their children and those who don’t.
We pray for those who take their fathering seriously and those who don’t.
We pray for biological dads and dads who raised us.
We pray for those who don’t get to be dads at all.

We pray for Fathers who were let down by their dads,
We pray for Fathers who were not loved by their fathers.
We pray for Fathers who missed out on the presence of fathers.
We pray for fathers whose fathers did not play with them.

We pray for Fathers who may be caught up in this recession and lost their jobs.
We pray for Fathers who serve in the military in far away places and lands.
We pray for Fathers who may be trapped by addictions.
We pray for Fathers who are serving in prison away from their children.
We pray for Fathers who are all wrapped up in their work too busy for their children.

We pray for our fathers.
We pray for them to have strength, wisdom and courage.
We pray for them to raise their children in the way that they should go.
We pray for them to love, laugh, play and live.
We pray for forgiveness for our fathers, for their shortcomings, their weaknesses, and their abuses.

And God we pray that we may then be able to pray to you Abba Daddy.

cross posted at revgalblogpals

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday prayer for Proper 6C / Ordinary 11C / Pentecost +3

Lord of love and light, shine into our lives and bring your love into our souls.
Remind us of the amazing ways you have loved us even when we turned our backs on you.
Open our hearts to receive your loving spirit.
Open our minds to receive your wisdom.
Open our hands to show others your loving compassion.

Lord of love and light, we hold in our hearts those around us who feel unloved.
We bring them to you for you to shine your love into their lives.
We hold in our minds those who overwhelmed by their needs and difficulties.
We hold in our hands your loving compassion to give them.

Lord of love and light, there are people and places that are dark and in the dark about your love.
Shine forth your light and love in their lives and in those places.
There are people and places that have closed their minds to you, to others, to new and fresh ideas.
Shine forth your light and love to open their minds to you, to others, to new and fresh ideas.
There are people and places that need our hands reaching out to them with your loving compassion.
May our reaching out to them with your love and compassion, shine forth your light and love. Amen.

cross posted at revgalblogpals

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Prayer for Sunday Proper 5C / Ordinary 10C / Pentecost +2

We find ourselves living in vulnerable unsure times, what with a major oil spill, recall of vehicles from companies once with spotless records, a slow economy, jobs still not returning, and anger in our nation.
We cry out to you for help Lord,
help to lead,
help to discern,
help to heal.

We look around and realize it is not only our economy that is in peril, but the economies of other countries are as well. We see anger, fighting, rioting and terrorism in countries near such as Mexico and Jamaica; and far such as Thailand, and Pakistan. And we find ourselves confused and disheartened by the news of the attack of Israel on an aid ship, and at the same time the continued attacks from Palestinians.
Lord to you we cry for your graciousness,
Your forgiveness,
Your healing.

And Lord we see the destruction and continued long term effects from hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and earthquakes. And We cry out that our weeping would not last for ever and that your joy be returned to us. And we pray that we can be your hands and feet to the hurting people of the world, that by doing so we may bring you glory and that your light would shine in the darkness of people’s lives.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Contemporary Worship services?

Northpoint in Atlanta made a video parody that has been making its way around the internet and is on vimeo. It's called "Sunday's Coming". I couldn't believe how much it sounded and looked like some contemporary worship services I have seen. It was interesting to me that there were no women on stage, all men. Does that say something? And what about "Christotainment Sunday morning services"? Is that what they have become? How about contemporvant? What is that? And what about Growtivation? Are we guilty of that. Any hoo, how much does your contemporary worship look like this? And how many times have you gone to a workshop where there was worship like this and thought, man if only we looked and sounded like that in our contemporary worship? Well don't.

Where ever you start your contemporary/alternative/whatever you call it worship service, make it indigenous. Make it what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. Make it one that worships God and not just entertains. Make it meaningful. Make it real and not just bait and switch.

Here is the video

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Are you a woman of the Kingdom?

In the Next-Wave April issue, Felicity Dale has written an article titled Women of the Kingdom. In it she discusses her experience as a minister and being an author.
She is a minsiter with her husband of House2House Ministries She has authored some good books on House churches; An Army of Ordinary People, Getting Started:A Practical Guide to Church Planting and co-author of The Rabbit and the Elephant,and Simply Church. She blogs at Simply Church . She writes about her experience as a woman in ministry, how she has been treated and things said to her. Here are some of the things said to her: • A woman can lead—she just does it through her husband.
• A woman is equal to a man. It’s just that her role is different and, by implication, not as important. Kind of like George Orwell’s “All animals are created equal but some animals are more equal than others" (Animal Farm).
• God will use a woman—but only when there is no man available to do the job (my personal favorite!)

I have had a few other choice words said to me in my ministry as some others have had also.

She says that the body of Christ is actually The Hemiplegic Body. She goes on to explain that Hemiplegia is a medical term used to describe a paralysis of one side of the body, as for example, after a stroke. The voice of the female half of the army has been silenced. Obviously there are notable exceptions to this, but in general women are not allowed to develop to their full potential within the church.

But she goes on to say historically that it has not always been that way going back to the women at work in the early church.

Her final question causes me to stop and think; What could happen if women took their rightful place co-laboring alongside men in the Kingdom? How would you answer her? Can you imagine the body of Christ that is not a hemiplegic body? Can imagine?

Take a look at her whole article.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Six Subtle Moves That Hold Woman Back From Success

Lisa Johnson Mandell over at Dime crunch has written an article about the Six Subtle Moves that Hold Women Back from Success.. Here is the opening paragraph; "It's not that women are supposed to act, dress and sound like men to get ahead in the workplace, but there are a number of gestures women commonly use that denote vulnerability and fragility, rather than power and authority. In a blog post called "7 Behaviors that Keep Women from Getting Ahead," Dan Erwin cites an article by Mary Ellen Drummond many years ago, which still applies to many women today."

She does say that most of these behaviors are learned and can be unlearned.

And here are the Six: 1. Nodding your head a lot when listening. Apparently, men don't do this unless they are nodding in approval whereas women nod to encourage and denote that we are listening. We end up looking like a bobble-head doll and thus look like we have no authority. Try practicing only nodding if we approve.

2. Not taking up enough physical space. Here, women apparently acquiesce space, men spread out. By this we mean stand firm and tall, shoulders out, head up. When sitting at a table or desk, spread out -- your papers, you laptop, your pad and pens. Let everyone know you're there -- don't try to blend in. Take ownership of as much space as possible; that sends a powerful message.

3. "Up talking." Men end their statements on a down note, women go up on the end of their statements. Men sound sure whereas women sound questioning and unsure. Most women are not aware that they do this, and it's a particular habit with the young -- students and the freshly graduated. Speak with authority and periods, not with tentativeness and question marks.

4. Fidgeting. When women enter a room, they make 27 movements. Men make 12. These extra movements make women appear less confident because we are often fidgeting with our clothes, hair, or appearance. When you appear calm and contained, you appear powerful. Fidgeting implies nervousness.

5. Tilting your head. We think we are showing we are listening, it appears as if you're distracted or trying to deflect the message.If looking directly into some one's eyes is disconcerting, look just below their eyes at their cheeks or nose. But look directly at them and don't tilt your head. This, again, is something most women don't even realize they're doing

6. Introducing yourself too quickly. It's common for a woman to say, "Hi, I'm Jane Smith," right off the bat. But studies have shown that people seldom remember anything that's said in the first 5-7 seconds because they're too busy checking each other out, and visually processing whoever is in front of them. When meeting someone new, wait a few seconds before introducing yourself. Instead make a comment about the environment, event, etc. first, then introduce yourself.

Here is the 7th according to Drummond: 7. Women let men finish sentences for them. Fading out at the end of a sentence is more common for women than men, so is being interrupted. You need to complete your sentences and your ideas. So, keep talking, a bit louder and hold up your finger to signal you're not finished. Never, never, never let men get away with interrupting you. On occasion, you can also interrupt right back to make your point. And keep talking. As Drummond says, stick to your guns and your sentences.

You can laugh at these or say; I don't want to act like a man or that's just me. It does remind me of the book I read when first starting out; How to Dress for Success. But the thing is; I hear more women, especially clergy women complain that they can't get any higher, they can't succeed, or break through the glass ceiling. Maybe there is something from this article we can learn to improve ourselves while not giving up our selves. I read some of these as well in a book on preaching and I can't remember what book or what author. I have tried to work on the up talking, and it is a real challenge for me. I am going to try to pay attention to the rest.

She also lists More Telling Features with links to the articles:
■Body Language
What other features would you add? What are some of your thoughts? What are some of your ideas?

Monday, May 03, 2010

My Heart Breaks for the Gulf Coast

My heart breaks for the Gulf Coast. I have loved the Gulf coast from my childhood. I have spent time on the Southern Florida Gulf coast as a child. I grew up on its nature coast. As an adult I learned to love the Panhandle of the Gulf Coast. My heart breaks with this oil spill, because of the devastation it has already caused and that it will cause for generations to come.

I read an article today about long term effects from the oil spill of the Valdez in Alaska. One of the heart rendering aspects of the article was what happened in the town of Cordova; Jones' group commissioned studies to see how the spill affected people in small communities where fishing gives people their identity. Cordova was probably the most painful example because its fishing industry was hurt so much by the spill.

"The community exhibited every kind of social stress you can imagine," Jones said. "Alcoholism went up. Suicide went up. Family violence went up. Divorces went up. Of course, bankruptcies and various kinds of financial failures went up with the attendant stress on families."

I want to run down there and fix it. I want BP to fix it. I want somebody to fix it. And if Alaska since has a whole manual written on how to handle a disaster like this and whole team on standby, why don't they call in those people to be involved.
It looks like it will be a long time coming and it may never be fixed, so I thought I would write a prayer.

Oh God,
For those who died on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig,
receive them into your care, comfort and protect their families.

For the sea where oil has already poured forth,
protect it's creatures, it's ocean floor, it's very life.

For the fishermen who make their living by the sea,
watch over them as they anxiously await what is to come.

For families whose lively hood and well being is in its path,
provide the needs and sustain them.

For your very creation bring forth your breath of life
and your creation's powers to heal and restore.

For those trying to stop the oil and clean it up;
Give them the wisdom, the strength and the resources they will need.

For those who are responsible hold them accountable and inspire them to do
everything within their power to do what is right.

And for those of us who can't live without oil,
once again you speak to us; may we now listen, see and learn
to change our ways to live.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Would I have helped?

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Read the article about this on Sunday. It made me stop and ask myself the question, Would I have stopped and helped? I don't live in a big city, so I don't know? But there are situations that happen around me everyday, that well to be honest, I just pass on by. There are times I have stopped to help and I have not regretted it. There are times, I have picked up my cell phone and called the police as soon as I saw it. But this? I do not know how to answer. It appalls me, it causes me to stop and think about the nation, the people we have become.

It brings to mind the parable Jesus told of the good samaritan Gospel of Luke (10:25-37). From the time in my childhood on that I first heard the poem, I wanted to be the good samaritan. I have also, looked at all the people in the parable and been aware that I have been one of those people at one time or another.

Friday, I became the one in the ditch by my own doing, I left my wallet in the taxi cab in Miami after I got out at the airport. And guess what at everyturn I met good samaritans that didn't know me from Adam. The agent checking me in at US Airways went out of his way to help me try to track down the taxi driver, and he helped me calm down. The worker who came up to the desk just to talk to the agent also was helpful and reassuring. The TSA agent who checked my tickets and passport as I started to enter security offered to pray for me and reassured me. The TSA person at the end of security offered consolation too.

But the good samaritan of all was the Taxicab driver, who finding my phone number contacted my husband by phone to let him know he found my wallet and was sending it to me. Now that is a good samaritan. Thank you whoever you are for finding and sending it back. There still are good samaritans in this world and one lives in Miami, Florida driving people from all over the world to where they need to go in Miami, Florida.

I know, it was just a wallet with all my credit cards, all my id's in it, it wasn't my life. But I bet this guy would have stopped for the homeless guy. Would I? Will I?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Prayer for Easter 4

We who live in a world of cities, tall buildings, one way streets, suburbs, and gated communities don’t necessarily know what sheep are like or what sheepherding entails. Sometimes we do feel like sheep in our world being herded by the dos and don’ts, oughts and ought naughts, media, voices we don’t even recognize. Sometimes the den of the voices gets so loud we can’t even recognize our own voice. Calm and quieten our hearts, our minds and our souls to that one small voice; yours. And in hearing your voice we hear our own voices that we sing your song of grace to one another. Amen. Abi

Cross posted at revgalblogpals

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Prayer for Easter 3

Lord, we sing your praises loud and clear for all you have done for us.
We thank you for being with us in our times of grief.
We thank you for hearing our cries in the night.
We thank you for bringing your joy to joyless lives
We thank you for seeing us through the messes in our lives.
We thank you for friends and family whom we love and who love us.
We thank you for your great mercy and faithfulness.

Lord we take time now to pray for all those who are grieving.
For those who suffer from illnesses.
For those among us who are in the hospital.
For those who are struggling financially.
For those who are in a troubled relationship.
Lord we pray for you resurrection power in their lives.

Lord we pray for those who are hurting in our world.
We pray the country of Poland who has suffered a traumatic loss of their President
and so many of their country’s leaders.
We pray for those who are suffering from Iceland’s volcano,
which has caused flight delays and other problems.
We pray for those who lost loved ones in the many recent earthquakes, especially those in China.
We pray for those who are starving in the world today.

Lord we pray for revgalblogpals who are traveling to their retreat this weekend,
keep them safe and restore and nourish them.
We pray for those revgalblogpals who were unable to go this time,
may they experience the power of your resurrection in their lives.

cross posted at revgalblogpals

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Prayer for Easter 2

We find ourselves in the locked doors of ourselves just as the disciples were behind closed doors. We too are afraid, perhaps for a different reason than theirs. But we too need the breath of the Holy Spirit to take away our fears so that we can come out from behind these locked doors.

Lord, we are like Thomas with our questions and our doubts. We sometimes need to see in order to believe, we need you in order to have faith.

Lord, we too need the peace you bring because our world is fraught with violence, and unrest.

Lord, just as Thomas confessed you are his Lord and his God, we boldly claim for our lives.

Lord we thank you for the blessing you have given us, the ones who believe without seeing.

Lord, may the doors of our churches be open to all and that doubters be welcomed here.

crossposted at revgalblogpals

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Easter Sunday Morning Prayer

On this Easter morn we welcome you Jesus into our lives.
We welcome your resurrection for it is
life changing, life giving and life sustaining.
We welcome the hope it brings to our world.
We welcome the joy it brings to our darkness.
We welcome the empty tomb for we know that it means you are on the loose.

Lord, may your resurrection give life to those who feel lifeless,
those who are just going through the motions,
and those who have had the death of a loved one.

Lord, may your resurrection give hope to those who are mired in despair,
who feel hopeless,
and who have given up all hope.

Lord, may your resurrection give joy to those who feel no joy,
lost their joy or have had their joy snuffed out.

Lord, may you be on the loose in this world as the risen one..
cross posted at revgalblog pals
painting of the Risen Christ by HeQui

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Break

It is spring break and we are off to the mountains of North Carolina. There is still snow or man made snow on some of the ski slopes and we may be able to ski, sled or tube. No Snow Boarding, I have already told Zach, the boy. You all have a great week. Hopefully we will come back refreshed and with no broke bones.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Can a Female Pastor's Voice be heard?

A Woman's Voice Gifted for Leadership A Community of Christian Women Leaders

At Gifted for Leadership, Suanne Camfield who is a writer, speaker and Bible study leader, writes an interesting article about "A Woman's Voice". She asks the following and then proceeds to write down her thoughts on the matter; "Is it possible to listen well despite our gender differences? And is it more difficult for a man to listen well to a woman?" What do you think? Is it possible and is it more difficult for a man to listen well to a woman? In my mind you would need to also ask is it more difficult for a woman to listen well to a man?She sees that there is a cultural influence on the congregation that makes it harder for them to listen to a woman. But I wonder what the effect of generations of the voices of Women Preachers has had to change that?

She goes on further to say: When I’ve questioned my male counterparts on the subject, a few have dismissed it as a non-issue, but several—men full of godly character and integrity—have admitted their difficulty with hearing the feminine voice. In one conversation, a pastor actually blurted out, “I mean, come on. What man can really listen to a woman?” The first thing I think when I hear that is I wondered what his wife, his daughter, him mom, or any of the other women in his life say about him? The other thing I start thinking is, has he dismissed the femine voice of God, or what some call the feminine side, the Holy Spirit.

Here are some of the reasons they gave:

Tone: They literally hear a woman’s voice differently. High-pitched, sing-songy, whiny, shrill and forced are adjectives used to describe it. Sounds like a matter of transference to me. And how many of us transfer onto male voices while listening to male preachers?

Words: The stories women share and the words we use to share them are not as universal. Women emote. Women connect. Women cry. Women feminize. Well surprise surprise, we connect, We emote, we cry, we feminize. Sounds a little like Jesus to me. Oh you mean we don't tell football and other sports stories or hunting stories that leave out half of the congregation. Sorry. However, I do try to use universal stories in my preaching. I ask myself will this connect will this fit the theme the sermon? If it doesn't I don't use it. And sorry guys, I have had several male pastors who cried in the pulpit and who emoted.

Authority: The women’s movement has devalued male leadership, leaving them to feel emasculated (a phenomenon John Eldridge and others have well documented). Men instinctually respond by shutting out the feminine voice. Huh? I'd say a lot of that happened more back in their families of origen and got blamed on the women's movement. I have at the same time known some women who emasculate men. I have tried to pay attention to how I treat men in my life. However, I will admit there was a time I hated men; but that hate didn't have anything to do with women's liberation, but more how I was treated in my family growing of up. More women and even men I know try to lift everyone up and try to let everyone's voices heard.

What makes it difficult for you to listen to a Preacher whether that preacher is a male or female or if they are a different gender? What do you do to try to overcome that difficulty so you can listen? Or do you choose to not listen or go elsewhere or leave the church? This subject seems to address the adults listeners in the congregation, what about the youth or the children? What do they hear when they listen?

I do think as a female Preacher I need to think about who all I am preaching to and try to connect with as many as possible, realizing not everyone will like what I have to say or how I say it. I don't think one can take and change how femine or masculine one's voice is, but perhaps they can take some speech lessons, voice lessons to improve their presentation of the sermon. But I also think male preachers need to be aware of their congregation also. I am not saying don't use sporting or hunting illustrations, but think about how that is going to connect and then if you are going to use it; think about how you would make sure the other half hears it or the point you are trying to illustrate. And don't leave out the youth and children, they need to hear the sermon also. I am going to think about the questions Susan Camfield has raised, and I am going to think about my preaching some more and what I need to improve on and how.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Code word:Social Justice

In March 2nd show, Glenn Beck set out to convince his audience that "social justice," the term many Christian churches use to describe their efforts to address poverty and human rights, is a "code word" for communism and Nazism. Beck urged Christians to discuss the term with their priests and to leave their churches if leaders would not reconsider their emphasis on social justice.
"I'm begging you, your right to religion and freedom to exercise religion and read all of the passages of the Bible as you want to read them and as your church wants to preach them . . . are going to come under the ropes in the next year. If it lasts that long it will be the next year. I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!"
"Communists are on the left, and the Nazis are on the right," said Beck. "But they both subscribe to one philosophy, and they flew one banner... But on each banner, read the words, here in America: 'social justice.' They talked about economic justice, rights of the workers, redistribution of wealth, and surprisingly, democracy."

Most of the world's major, monotheistic faith traditions embrace "social justice" as a fundamental pillar. Beck just encouraged a whole lot of people to abandon a whole lot of houses of worship.
This is especially true of Roman Catholics. Indeed, the very phrase "social justice" is believed to have been coined by a 19th-century Jesuit, and later popularized by Father Charles Coughlin.

Even the United Methodist has had a long history of concern for Social Justice with our Social Principles. John Wesley, our founder was someone who valued Social Justice in his time.
He once declared, “There is no holiness but social holiness!”

I think the term Social justice has become a misunderstood term that has been seen as something only the liberal believe in and do. With the Talk show hosts spouting things like this, you wonder what effect it has on people? How threatened do they now feel to leave the church, that perhaps they dearly love? How threatened do they now feel if they are someone who does care about Social issues, Justice issues? And at the same time we see young people very concerned with an involved in not just helping or missions but Social Justice.

So either we will see a bigger drop in the Methodist church membership numbers because of what Beck has said or we will see people staying and being more fervent in their work for justice.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

communciation, connecting, communion

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect is the title of John Maxwell's latest book. It is one of his leadership book in which he takes readers through the Five Connecting Principles and the Five Connecting Practices of top-notch achievers. He believes that a person's ability to create change and results in an organization - be it a company, church, nonprofit, or even a family - is directly tied to the ability to connect.

One thing I would say is this, everbody does not communicate and thus not everybody connects. So many are busy talking that they don't listen, really listen, nor do they try to connect with others. Communication involves two people or more talking and listening. I sometimes have the same problem; I will be talking or thinking of the next thing I want to say, or try to think of way I can get my point across; and then I have not listened and I have not connected with the others. It takes work to do this. Even if you are considered a "people" person or an extrovert, you may miss the person or the communication.

And don't we do this with God, we are so busy getting our laundry list across we forget to connect with God or even really communicate with God, listen to God. What would it look like if we did connect with God? What would it take on our part to do so? I know I am trying to spend at least 10 minutes three times a week being quite and listening to God. It is hard to still my mind, and be quiet for just those ten minutes. And it makes it hard to listen to God.

I wonder if in communion, there is an act of communication that takes place that connects us with God. We receive, we open ourselves to God's grace. God's Holy Spirit is called upon and at work in the bread and wine, and in us. No wonder John Wesley like to take regular communion.

Perhaps as we learn to connect with God, we learn to connect with ourselves and others as well.

Monday, March 08, 2010

International Women's Day

I didn't know it was International Women's Day until I was reading my daily devotional from Sojourner's Verse and Voice. They had an excellent post for this day and a good article by Julie Clawson. So today I celebrate all international women. I celebrate the women who have gone before me. I celebrate the women in my life. I celebrate how far women have come in their lives of how they are treated. And I pray for my sisiters in other parts of the word who don't have that fair of treatment yet. I celebrate women who are leaders. I pray for women who are silenced.
I celebrate where women feel safe and can walk about freely. I pray for the women, who do not feel safe and most of all can not walk around freely. I celebrate women who have been able to get an education, acheieve emplyment and work in the area they have a passion for. I pray for those who cannot get the education they need, have to work slave labor, menial laboor or no labor at all, and have their dreams and hopes dampened. I celebrate where women have affordable health care, and research is done on diseases affecting women. I prayer for those who have no health care, cannot afford it, and where there is little or no health care for women. I celebrate where women can worship and lead worship freely. I pray for those who cannot lead worship, much less participate in worship.

Lord I pray for all us to do our part until there is a new heaven and a new earth for all your people.

Prayer for third Sunday in Lent

This was the prayer I wrote for the third Sunday in Lent, but didn't get posted yesterday. Sorry, I got mixed up about my turn to post.

Lord ,
Here we are on this third Sunday in Lent.
Here we are hungering and thirsting for you.
Here we are overwhelmed by all that is going on in the US and in the world.
Tonight there will be those dressed to the nines receiving awards for making movies and making exorbitant amounts of money; while in other places in the world, there will be those who have little or no money, little or no clothes, little or no food, little or no shelter.
Lord forgive us, but we like to watch and see who won, and we want to know who is with who, how they are dressed and what they have to say.
At the same time, we are aware that our lives are not like theirs, nor is our lives like those who have less or nothing.
And so Lord we hunger and thirst for you in our lives so that we can live as you showed and taught us how to live.
Keep us centered and focused on you Lord, and on serving you.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Prayer for the Second Sunday of Lent

Lord on this second Sunday of lent we come lifting our hearts in praise of adoration to you.
And we also come to you as your children seeking a word for our lives.
We come thirsty for your grace.

Lord many of us come with our burdens desiring to have our burdens lifted.
Many of us come with broken hearts looking to have our hearts mended.
Many of us come not just sick in our bodies, but sick in our souls, seeking a healing from you.

But Lord we don’t just come for ourselves, we come with prayers for all people everywhere.
We know that just as you wept over Jerusalem you weep for your world.
And you long to take your people up in your arms of love just as a mother hen would.
And you long for your justice and will to be done.
And Lord we too long for your will and justice to be done
for our hearts beak too for the many injustices in this world.

O Lord, shelter us here and in Haiti, Chile, Pakistan, Jerusalem and in every part of the world.
cross posted at revgalblogpals

Monday, February 22, 2010

Thinking about Lent

This old girl grew up knowing nothing about the season of Lent. It wasn't until I was living in Louisville, where you have as many Catholics as Baptist that I began to learn about Lent. But really it wasn't until I became Methodist and worshiping churches that were liturgical and went by the lectionary that I really began to learn about Lent. But I can't say I really got into the Lent practices of fasting. Slowly I began to practice fasting or giving up something for Lent. I am like most people and have given up chocolate, being the chocoholic that I am. But I haven't really understood what I was giving it up for?

This year it seems like Lent snuck up on me before I knew it. I wasn't ready for it, hadn't planned my fast or what I was going to give up. So after Ash Wednesday I started praying about it, meditating, and listening to God. Wouldn't you know it that in the middle of the night I heard God speak to me about what I was to give up. The word that came to me was stress. I was going to give up stress for Lent. I knew it within my being that that was true. Why stress? Because it is something I easily fall into, it is my default mode, and it keeps me from God. How am I going to do it? I don't really know yet, and I am still trying to discern that. I do know that we have made some changes in worship that means I am preaching less and thus less stress on me of sermon preparation along with my other responsibilities. What will this mean? I am not really sure. I hope it means more openess between God and I.

Both Saturday and Sunday for the first time in a long time felt less stressful. I had more time for my kids and hubby. We went for walks and bike rides. Of course it helped that the weather cooperated. I really enjoyed it.

What about you, what are doing this Lent? How is it going for you?
image taken from

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Prayer for the first Sunday in Lent

Lord on this first Sunday in Lent
we come praying to you from the deserts of our lives.
For some of us it is a painful wilderness.
For some it is a wild and creative place,
For some it is a silent beauty.
Lord we pray for your guidance,
presence and shelter

as we journey this days of Lent.
Help us to deal with temptation,
Keep us from falling into our old traps,
And deliver us from the evil one.

Lord we lift up to you those with illnesses,
those with unmet needs,
those with financial problems,
t hose with brokenness in their lives.
May your tender loving mercy be poured into their lives
into the places it is most needed like warm soothing salve.

Lord we pray our communities where hardship is present,
where there are the homeless,
where there is traumatic violence,
where there are job losses and fear.
Pour your tender mercy into our communities
so that they may have justice that rolls down like water.

Lord we pray for our country with the divisions,
financial problems abound,
pour your tender loving mercy into our nation
healing and redeeming us.

Lord we pray for our world where there is starvation,
poverty, ongoing war,
slavery and abuse of power,
pour your tender loving mercy into our world
so that your Kingdom may come and your will be done.

painting by Duccio di Buoninsegna, The Temptation of Christ (1308-10)

cross posted at revgalblogpals

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Prayer for Transfiguration Sunday

Oh Lord,
You call us to go to the mountain top with you
And we follow, not quite sure of what is to happen,
but we like mountain tops,
we like the view from up here,
we like mountain top experiences.
Lord some times we need mountain top experiences with you
when our days are dark and dreary,
when our hearts, are heavy,
when the valleys seem more depressing then ever.
Lord, may this mountain top experience
fill our hearts with your light,
may we be filled with your love,
may we be filled with hope.
Lord, we are aware,
that just as Moses and your disciples were changed by their experiences
that we too are changed and transformed into the image of Christ by your mercy.
Lord, may we have unveiled faces that reflect your love, your hope, and your light.

And Lord we add to this prayer;
These prayers for those in our communities affected by the heavy snows, power outages, loss of work, loss of lives, and illnesses.
We continue to pray for the recovery work in Haiti.

This Icon is by the hand of Nicholas Papas. It is from St. Philip's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Souderton, PA.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Prayer for Epiphany 5C

We are yours and you have called us in the midst of daily lives to follow you, to serve you,
to spread your good news.
We want to do so, but Lord we often feel unworthy, we feel like we are the chief of sinners, we feel unclean, and not holy at all. Your holiness, your love, your presence scares us.
Calm our fears, dry our tears, that we may know deep within ourselves your love, grace and forgiveness.
Empower us to follow you, to serve you, and to tell others the good news.

O Lord along with this prayer, we also pray for the people of Haiti, the rescue workers, the Doctors and nurses who are providing aid and healing to a devastated people.
O Lord we pray for those around us who may be living their own devastated lives.
Provide the resources, the aid, and the human touch they need for restoration.
In the name of your son, who c,

cross posted at revgalbogpals

Friday, January 01, 2010

Friday Five-Fresh Starts and Covenants

Over at revgalblogpals, Sally has a perfect Friday Five for the New Year.
She begins with the covenant prayer from the Methodist Annual Covenant service;

I am no longer my own but yours,
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you,
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you,
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now glorious and blessed God,
Father , Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.
May it be so forever.
Let this covenant now made on earth
be fulfilled in heaven. AMEN

With this prayer in mind I bring you this Friday Five:

I'll start be saying, I love that prayer, and have used it in the churches I have served at the beginning of the New Year.

1. What will you gladly leave behind in 2009?

Some stress, some weight, some depression

2. What is the biggest challenge of 2010 for you?

My work will be changing. I won't be preaching as often. But I will have an added task of assimilating new members and tracking them. Also, I will be helping members identify their gifts and helping them use them in ministry.

3. Is there anything that you simply need to hand to God and say "all will be well, for you are with me"?

I need to hand my son's ADHD to God. And I need to hand the above to God.

4. If you could only achieve one thing in 2010 what would it be?

Sanity.I mean Serenity.

5. Post a picture, poem or song that sums up your prayer for the year ahead....