Sunday, August 27, 2006

Acts 2:1-4, 14-21 Prayer

Oh mighty and gracious God, stir within us that sweet, sweet Spirit, Whom You have so lovingly and freely given to those who have called upon Your Name.

Lead us, oh Lord, in the way You would have us to go
Give us Your visions.
Lord, give us Your dreams.
Use our hands and feet.
Arouse our conscience and soothe our Spirits.
Don’t let us turn our backs
or grow weary in well doing.
Don’t let us become complacent
or calloused.

Keep us ever mindful of prophecies fulfilled,
and prophecies yet to be realized.
And, may we draw upon Your precious Word
to renew our strength
restore the penitent
and to set at ease
those who are oppressed.

In Jesus’ precious Name - Amen.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Be an encourager

The phone rang that morning about 8:00 and the thought that went through my mind in that split-second, no, that nanosecond of time was the image of my Mother’s face and the words, “I haven’t talked…” and then, “no, I can’t…”

My Mother’s been dead for 2 ½ years now, but many, many times, I still think of her. There’s still a catch in my throat, not when I go to the cemetery, but when I’m eating that first homegrown tomato; or canning beans; or when I see someone leaning over an elderly woman in a wheelchair – oh God, I did that so many times… and how I miss her.

I’m often told how much like her I am. What an honor! She was a Godly woman. What I miss most is talking to her. We talked everyday – sometimes several times a day. As I was growing up she always had time to listen – as we washed dishes, as we folded clothes, as we made the beds. She was a great encourager, and I hope, above all, that that is what I’ve learned from her.

I’ve always had a good relationship with our boys. We’ve talked about everything! Sunday afternoon, our youngest came and plopped across the bed where I was reading. He’s getting ready to go back to college and our “talk time” is getting short.

He shared with me things that are going on in his life – his fears, his concerns, his hopes. We talked about people he knows, and their lifestyles – some were Godly, and some not. We talked about how their parents must feel, and how they must hurt. He commented on how he was raised, and yes, we did (and do) have a “rule” – as long as we are financially responsible for them, they WILL be in church, but I also reminded him that even in the most devout homes, some still stray. And yes, how their parents cry for the children… I wanted him to understand the pure grace of God.

It’s a fact. Good kids come from bad homes, and bad kids come from good homes. But parents, that doesn’t excuse us from being our kids’ staunchest supporters – not in terms of giving them everything they want, but in giving them what they need.

Tell your child that you love them. I don’t care how old they are. Tell them every day! Mother and I did. Man, how I miss that…


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Communion Prayer

Almighty God, giver of breath and sustainer of all life, we come into this place of worship this morning with gladness and thanksgiving. We also come in our need and our hunger, longing to be filled. We come seeking food - we come… seeking bread.

Through all of Holy Scripture, bread is the very essence of life. From Adam’s need to produce bread by the sweat of his brow, to Abraham’s sharing of bread with strangers; from the unleavened bread of the Exodus, to the manna from heaven; from the shewbread on the altar to the breaking of bread in the Upper Room - bread is synonymous with life.

As we come in our hunger Lord God, as we come in search of sustenance, may our eyes and hearts be opened to seek the True Bread - The Bread of Life - Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

May we eat of the Bread of Life and be filled. May we drink of the Living Water and be satisfied.

In the name of the One who was, and is, and evermore shall be, that Bread and that Water, Amen.