life experience

Pieces of Comfort

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Empathy.  Comfort.  Care.  Concern.  All human beings need understanding.  Oftentimes, listening is the best gift you can offer.

Prayer with another is also comforting.  The words aren’t important, just sit together, pray silently, read an inspirational poem or scripture, have some tea and cookies.

Solitude makes depression and worry so much worse for people.  Email and a card in the mail do when you aren’t close in distance, but if you are – stop by with a bouquet of yellow flowers, a book your friend might enjoy, but DO stop by.

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life experience

Pieces of Friendship

Jesus was friends with many people and in our quest to be more like Him, we share our life with friends also.

There are many variations of the bible; versions such as King James or the Living Bible, Good News, etc., but until today I had never heard of The Message.  I love how it breaks down these verses in Job 29:3-5

Job now resumed his response: “Oh, how I long for the good old days, when God took such very good care of me. He always held a lamp before me and I walked through the dark by its light. Oh, how I miss those golden years when God’s friendship graced my home, When the Mighty One was still by my side and my children were all around me, When everything was going my way, and nothing seemed too difficult.

What a beautiful definition of friendship with God. 

Today I spoke with a friend who is a snowbird in Texas.  We try and talk  once a week now, but oftentimes it’s less often.  I miss seeing her whenever I want, but I know she is just a call away.

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Maybe we feel that way sometimes with God.  We haven’t been studying His word, or spending time in prayer, worship or in solitude.  He too, is just a call away, He is always here, we just have to ask, cry out or pray.  Sometimes all three!

May you be blessed this week, finding time with a good friend and with the best friend; Jesus.

life experience

Pieces of Prayerful Habits

I pray a lot in my personal life, but rarely at meals.  This was a not-open-for-discussion subject when I was a child.  We said “grace” at every meal.  As I grew up; solo and married, it was a forgotten importance.

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A friend of mine prays at every meal, just like when I was a kid.  When we (she and I) go out to eat, or gather at one or the others’ homes, we pray.  Oftentimes she “makes” me pray.  I’ve gotten now – where I either have a prayer ready; or take her hand and start the prayer.  It’s amazing how habits can drop and start again.

Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, let these gifts to us be blessed. (Traditional prayer before a meal in my childhood home).

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What prayerful habits need to be restarted in your life?  Pray on it!  God is always listening!

 

 

 

 

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Pieces of Discord

Our world is a suffering place right now.  Political opinions are causing rifts with friends and family members.  “Their way” is the right way.

It is not a “Christian” thing; it is a PEOPLE thing.  Praying, calling your political leaders, signing petitions, this is how to make change.

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How NOT to make change is belittling or bullying those who think differently or remain silent.

Jesus turned the other cheek on a daily basis, and yet – change came.  Centuries later there is still deep unrest in the Middle East, wars continue to kill people of all ages, terrorist attacks and school shootings are the modern version of strife during the Roman empire.

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Genesis 13:8
So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren.
Prayer from Gregory Coles, Penn State University
Bring an end to violence and hatred and discord. Steady the feet that rush into war and the finger poised on the trigger. Bring justice to the downtrodden, restoration to the marginalized and abused, hope to the hopeless. Guide all those in positions of power—whether that power is political or physical or social—and give them wisdom to use their power wisely. Give them, and all of us, the grace to admit when we are wrong and to seek forgiveness. Give us the grace to forgive.
Help us see your face in the faces of the people around us. Give us courage to love one another even when love seems like a risk. Give us compassion for those who are unlike us. Teach us to listen to those we disagree with, to hear stories that make us uncomfortable. Heal the hatred in the world around us by healing our own hearts first.
Give us peace by making us agents of peace.

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2014 Pieces

I found my first “Pieces Journal,” dated January 22, 2014.  It seems so long ago, but it also shows me the walk I’ve taken along Jesus; is just a moment a time, and my faith has continued to grow; year after year.  I’d like to share with you some of the earlier “scraps of paper, devotions and musings” from my journal.  May you find your own special “pieces.”

It’s in the act of faith that courage becomes reality and the Lord’s grace rushes in to supply divine power.

Dear God, I want to be gracious and lovely in Your sight.  Open to receiving.  Take me away from the things that waste my time and rob me of meditative time with You.

I am encouraged by the mighty works of God.  “Prayer” has become a powerful word in my vocabulary, and one that gives meaning to my life.  I pray for HOPE, what a beautiful gift; and, it is free!!!  He walks with me in the garden of my life.  We talk, I learn, I am blessed to know Him as my Father, and Friend.

Keep your defense strong, trust in God.  Pray when anxiety seeps in.

Take it to God.  When you are low or upset, even when it feels contrary to do so; tell Him, share your heart.

I see so many parallels in my past and current life; except now I am grateful for all of it – the hard, hurtful times along with the peaceful.  I believe it’s more than ‘equal parts,’ rather how Jesus wants to live in me; “Grateful for all of the pieces.”  In this way, everything is a subject for witnessing.

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Impossible situations are opportunities for the Lord to teach us valuable lessons that we’d never learn any other way.

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When we get stuck

Have you felt “stuck” in your prayer life?   Sometimes we forget the more we lean on Christ, the less stuck we become, and the softer the place is to land.  But it’s hard “getting there” sometimes.  I was recently hospitalized.  I actually could not pull a decent prayer together in my head, I couldn’t express to God what I needed from Him, what I was grateful for or even my love for Him.  I was stuck.

My minister stopped in to visit, his prayer upon leaving was like a prayer on wings.

Sometimes we need intercessory prayer.  We all know that one person who is a “prayer warrior.”  Send them a text or make a quick call, let them know you need prayer on your behalf.   That’s all you have to say, no details necessary.

May you be deeply blessed in prayer this week.

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Agape Love

Webster defines “agape” as being in a state of wonder.  I often felt the meaning was to “love as Jesus loved,” it also involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character. Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 

A friend of mine, Unitarian minister, theologian and scholar and I, agree completely in this type of love.  It has little to do with “Christianity, the Christian church, a specific religion or belief,” and everything to do with loving as in caring for others without judgement.  WITHOUT JUDGMENT.  Can we do that?  What are the bylaws of our various religions?  Some say; well not the gay people, or not the terrorists, not the people that are different from us.  I say ALL PEOPLE.  We need to love and care for ALL PEOPLE.

Hebrews 10:24
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds….
1 John 2:10
Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.
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