Monthly Archives: November 2012

“A Morning Prayer”


My heart’s desire is to be used up for you, to be poured out in a life of love for others.

Yet, I find there is another desire working in me.  I know it to be misguided, I know that it is not Christian. It is a desire to have people love me, for them to acknowledge my wonderfulness and be impressed with me.  I cry out for my needs to be met. “Give to me,” I say to the world and the people around me.

And yet, I know of another way in Christ.  A way that calls me to “Give away” my life; a way that calls me to love God and others and not just self. It is a way that says giving and thanksgiving is a better path.

O Lord, Heavenly Father, give grace to your child this day; grant mercy and strength and all that is needed to live a life with and for you, so that I might be a grace to another.


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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


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“Speak Lord or Let Me Rest in You”

Lord, I live in a noisy world,

Voices speak, voices shout of the answers and the right plans that work.

Yet, the voices often leave me empty, confused, depressed.

Speak Lord–or let me rest in You.

I run to a time of solitude.

I run from the world, I run to You.

Yet, my questions remain, my quest is the same.

So, Speak Lord–or let me rest in You.

Even as you meet and dine with me, refreshing my life, whole and whole,

the nagging anxiety emerges again,

I want answers, direction, and now!

So pressed, so desperate to do what is right, to know from You what is real;

Yet, acknowledging I cannot control.

Speak Lord–or let me rest in You.

Perhaps in this time, alone with You

It is not answers I so desperately need, it is not answers I need you to speak–

But only your word, “Child, rest in me”

“Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest” – Matthew 11:28

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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Contemporary Prayers on Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want

I want! Lord, I want! 

I want happiness in my life. I want freedom from fatigue and tiredness.

I want a job that fulfills my life.

I want to feel good.

I want stuff: A keyboard, with 88 weighted keys, and a thousand voices, and a nice amp.  A video camera, fancy software, and all the stuff to make movies.    I want clothes, and cars, and food, and toys, and stuff.

I want to be a good pastor and shepherd.

I want people to like me and think well of me.

I want to be a good husband and father, all the time, everyday.

I want to be free from sin, evil thoughts, temptations, and the like.

I want to be free from drivenness, from perfection that tells me everything has to be just right.

I want to be free to be me.

 I want Lord! I want!

Yet, because You are my shepherd, I release all my want to You, letting go to You, trusting in You. I have everything; I have all that I need.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters,

O Lord, make me lie down, lead me to still waters.

For I am up and around; like Martha who would serve instead of sit.I am doing things, doing this and that for You Lord; don’t You see. And yet there is no rest, for the service is never done, and in the midst of it all…I begin to wonder if I serve You at all. 

Make me to lie down, over there Lord; in green pastures,

the ones that you have grown, the ones that don’t require my work.

Lead me, beside still waters, for my days have been like a rushing river, after the clouds opened up on the earth.

The pace has been swift and endless, life has been whitewaters.

So lead me beside still waters.  Peaceful waters.

He restores my soul

Restore Lord.  Yes! Restore!

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name sake.

Guide me O Lord, in paths of righteousness.

For living in a world of unrighteousness tempts me and calls me to unrighteous living:  in thought, in motive, in plan, in action, in desire, in reality. 

I am not righteous…I cannot stay on the path without Your grace.

Lord, be my guide.  Lord, be my righteousness. Lead me in Your way, for the glory of Your name.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.

The shadow of death? Lord, most certainly I have not been there myself. O yes, I have been there with others at death. I have been to many funerals. I have seen my own mother dying and dead.

Perhaps I should be aware of just how petty are most of my complaints, for I have life and have yet to walk through that great valley. 

And yet Lord, I cry out for Your presence, for Your comfort, for I fear much:

I fear my life will have no significance in the end.

I fear I will not be all I was meant to be.

I fear to do the things that will help me to become.

I fear the displeasure of the people under my care.

I fear I will mess up bad.

I fear I will be seen as evil rather than good, by the very ones I try so hard to touch with your care.

I fear I will fail as husband, father, pastor, man.

I fear so much.

Only Your presence can cast away the evil. Only Your presence can help me to walk in the valleys that are dark. Only Your presence can sustain me. Comfort me now O my Lord and Shepherd. Restore my soul!

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. 

In the midst of it all O Lord, all of life, all of joy, all of sorrow, all of struggle, all of pastoral work, all of discouragement and sadness, all of hurt and burnout.

You, O Lord, prepare a table.

May your goodness and grace cause me to sit and eat at the table you have prepared.

O for the time at your table…let me not be lost to it. Let me not lose sight of it. Let me linger long at Your table. Let’s eat together.  A full set of courses. Let us eat and drink together in joy. May Your presence make each bite taste delicious, each sip be sweeter than the one before.

Let the meal be long.  Long and wonderful. And I shall lick my fingers in joy and delight. For it is the table You have prepared.

Yes Lord, You restore my soul!

Surely goodness and love shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

All praise to You my Lord, my Shepherd:

For You restore my soul.

When I come to the end and think that all is in ruins, all has lost rhyme and reason, I discover truly, Your Presence changes me, changes my mind, my heart, my life. You restore my soul.

For all of my days are in Your hands, embraced by your goodness and love. In You I have a future, forever.


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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


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“Cleaning house” – Mark 11:15-17 & Isaiah 56:1-8

“Lord God of hosts, invade our cluttered churches, clogged with religious baggage, and do a good house cleaning among us so that there is room for the one thing needful, for prayer.  Amen”

Isaiah 56:1-8

The Lord says to his people, “Do what is just and right, for soon I will save you. I will bless those who always observe the Sabbath and do not misuse it. I will bless those who do nothing evil.” A foreigner who has joined the Lord’s people should not say, “The Lord will not let me worship with his people.”  A man who has been castrated should never think that because he cannot have children, he can never be part of God’s people. The Lord says to such a man, “If you honor me by observing the Sabbath and if you do what pleases me and faithfully keep my covenant, then your name will be remembered in my Temple and among my people longer than if you had sons and daughters. You will never be forgotten.”

And the Lord says to those foreigners who become part of his people, who love him and serve him, who observe the Sabbath and faithfully keep his covenant: “I will bring you to Zion, my sacred hill, give you joy in my house of prayer, and accept the sacrifices you offer on my altar. My Temple will be called a house of prayer for the people of all nations.”The Sovereign Lord, who has brought his people Israel home from exile, has promised that he will bring still other people to join them.

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Posted by on November 24, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Isaiah 35:1-10

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father; you have saved us with a great salvation, you have been merciful to us and not dealt with us as our sins deserve, you have graciously blessed us and through Jesus Christ your son have called us your children. You have poured out your Spirit upon us to guide, comfort, empower, and aid us on our journey till the end.  You have poured out your Spirit upon us to strengthen us to serve you in this world.

Yet, there are times Lord, when we feel like we are in the desert just like the prophet Isaiah alludes to.  We grow tired and our strength fails us for we are really weak.  Some of us are discouraged this morning; all kinds of things discourage us. Some of us come with burdens too heavy to bear, for there are all kinds of weights that burden us.  Some of us come with problems, with illnesses, with heartbreak, for this world is not always generous, nor fair.  Some of us come with sin and guilt; our hearts tell us that we are not right with you and our neighbors. Some of us come looking for your mercy and forgiveness.

We know Lord it is not just us individually in need today.  The whole world needs you.  Peoples from every tribe and nation and language stand in need of you today.  Asia needs you.  Africa needs you.  Europe needs you.  South America needs you.  Australia needs you.  All the nations all over the earth need you, for you are the Creator and Lord of the earth

And so Lord, hear our prayers for all those who are needy this day, both great and small.  Hear our prayers for others and hear our prayers for ourselves.

Let there be rejoicing in the wilderness, joyful singing in the desert land of life.  Display your glory and splendor once again and let us see you.  Strengthen our hands, encourage our legs.  Take away our fears and make us strong in faith. Save us, Lord Jesus!

Let the blind see and the lame walk, lead us on your Highway to Holiness that we may truly live for you.  Hear our prayers today.  Let us come and worship you.  Let sorrow and mourning flee away and everlasting joy and gladness be with your people through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


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“Seek and you shall find”

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, “’Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’”   – Luke 15:8-9

“Where did I put that?”

“It was just here.”

“I know that must be around here somewhere.”

“Seek and ye shall find!” Wait!  A scratch at the door, the dog has to go out.

Opening the refrigerator wide, the children’s lunches need to be made and I’ll need to clean up the spilled milk from yesterday’s life.

“Where did I put that?”

“It was just here.”

This would be so much easier with triangulation, if I could just call the thing and hear it speak.

“Seek and ye shall find!” Wait!  The garbage cans need to be brought in.  I must shower and get off to the work of the day.

“Where did I put that?”

Has someone picked it up and walked off with it?  Is it lost for good?

“Am I lost without it?”

“Seek and ye shall find!” Wait!  Life goes on and no one cares.  What’s lost is lost, never to be seen again.

Wait! Could it be amidst all the distraction the lost might finally be found, the seeker found by a greater search that drives the universe?

Tri-angled-unity, with GPS, has brought the lost back home.

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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Uncategorized


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“Change our hearts, O God”

God of Grace and God of Greatness, You bless us this morning with Your presence.  We are humbled as we consider our place before You.  God of Love and God of Mercy, You bless us this morning with Your Presence.   We are thankful as we consider how You have lavished us with your everlasting love.  Thank You Father, Thank You Jesus, Thank You Holy Spirit.

Change.  Lord that is a word we do not like.  Change.  It brings out our deepest fears, plays on our insecurities, leaves us nothing to fall back on but You.  And perhaps that is why life never stays the same, that it is constantly changing; so that we might learn in simple faith to fall in your arms of love and power.

And so we pray this day O Lord, as your people.  Change us. Change our hearts.

Change our fear into faith, our weakness into strength.

Change our sinfulness to faithfulness, our despair into hope.

Change our pride to humility, our loss to gain.

Change our desires that we may desire only You.

Change our minds where we have thought wrongly.

Change our actions, where we have behaved wrongly toward You and toward others.

Change our hearts, where we have labored to hold on to grudges, bitterness, and anger;

Change our hearts to forgive as you have forgiven, to love as your have loved us.

Change our cowardice to boldness in our witness to You.

Change our priorities, to care about that which you care about: people, lives, love.

Change our worship, that we may honor You more than pleasing ourselves.

Change us.  Yet not just us O Lord.

Change our church, change Your church!  Change our nation, our leaders, those who influence our society.

Change the world, bring peace where there is war; help where there are needy, good where there is evil, love where there is hate.

Change our hearts O God.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen

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Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


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“Help, O God!” (Prayers from Psalm 121)

O God, help us.  Help!  We all need help in our lives Lord.  There is not one of us who does not need your help.  Yet often in our pride and arrogance, sometimes in our confusion or doubt, sometimes in ignorance or sinful desire, we seek help from others; other places, other people, other things.

O God, we will lift up our eyes to our money and possessions, to people in powerful positions, to those who have all the answers, to physical strength and military might.  No, not to these, for where does our help come from?  Our help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Forgive us for the times we turn to other things to give us courage, to give us hope, to give us freedom, to meet our needs.  Teach us O Lord, again and again to turn to You, for only in you do we find true and satisfying help.

You promise O Lord you will watch over us. Us as a people, we as individuals.  You promise you will watch over us and never sleep.

You promise your will guard us from harm.  Us as a people, we as individuals. Both night and day you will keep us.

You promise to watch over us.  Us as a people, we as individuals.  You promise to watch over our lives in all our comings and goings.

We pray this morning, heavenly Father, that you will watch and keep us as you promise.  That in all of our need for help, no matter what it, you will cause us to turn to You – our helper.

Hear our prayers this morning for our own personal needs Lord.  For ____________ and __________ and __________…

We pray this morning, heavenly Father, not just for ourselves but for our family, friends, for Christians throughout this world serving you, for those yet to know you as Lord and Savior; for these hear our prayers this morning.

And now, O Lord, may we be ever reminded that our help comes from You, the Maker of Heaven and earth.  And may we ever turn to you, who has said to us “Come unto me…and I will give you rest”.


May all glory and honor be to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in whom we trust our lives.  Amen

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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in Uncategorized


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“The Spirit of the Lord is upon us” (Luke 4:16-21)

Almighty and Loving God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, together in your loving initiative and purposes in this world.

Give us the grace and power of the risen Christ to believe that through the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of the Lord is upon us.  Lift our hearts and minds beyond our selfish preoccupations to see the need of people throughout this world, both near and far away.

We claim your grace and your call upon our lives:

that you have anointed us, to follow Jesus, to proclaim good news to the poor,

that you have sent us to proclaim freedom to people in all kinds of prisons and bondages,

that you have sent us to proclaim recovery of sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed and the year of the Lord’s favor and goodness to all.

Grant, most gracious God, that we will open our eyes to see the plight of the poor and oppressed, to open our hearts and hands to their need, to open our minds to be transformed in our living lives that reflect your love toward them and all people. We pray that we might not be simply proclaiming in word, but that today, and every day, the scriptures will be fulfilled as we live the risen life of Christ and reflect his glory in the world.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Uncategorized


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