July 1

“I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you, and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable.  One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.” –Psalm 145: 1-5 (NRSV)

I know of 6 different families this summer that are gaining a baby to their household, including two staff members at our church.  Needless to say, it is an exciting time of year.  Not only are families growing but if you look around you will see that the trees and flowers have all come to bloom.  New life is everywhere! 

God is a great creator and a majestic painter.  We sometimes forget to give the glory to the one responsible for the acts.  Take a few minutes today to celebrate the beautiful creations around us and give praise to God for it all.

Holy Lord, thank you for the beauty that is found around us.  Thank you for the smiles and laughter of little children and the grandeur of all created things. AMEN!


June 29

I just got back from a vacation with my daughter and her family. What a special time! We were with many other families experiencing the magic of a Disney Cruise. There were too many people, too much to do, sometimes it was too loud, but we enjoyed every minute!

I tried to be in the present and just soak up all the sights and sounds.  Maybe I should do that more often when I am taking time to be with God. Perhaps soaking up the messages of the Bible and soaking up the signs of God’s grace in my life will allow me to more fully appreciate every minute.

Dearest Savior,
While I am going through my day, remind me to take time to soak up your love. Help me to be present and not distracted by everyday business that takes me away from you. Amen


June 27

Prayer Time

a room with a view
time away; worth the upgrade
no reservation

Dear God,

            Thank you for always providing the available time to listen to my prayers. It is a comfort to know there is always vacancy for your time and no reservation is needed. Let me use this prayer time to appreciate ‘the view’ as I communicate and listen to your voice.   Amen.


June 25

I saw a news story recently about kids and free time.  Apparently, people who had more unstructured time when children were more successful later in life.  Those who only had structured recreation were less likely to be creative or show initiative.  The need to create their own "fun" seemed to translate into abilities useful in the work place.

I do often seem to be trapped by agendas and calendars and schedules.  I NEED time to simply be with God, no agenda and no list and no goal except to spend time with the Lord.  I'm more successful in my life when I spend free time with God.

We put our hope in the Lord.  He is our help and our shield.  Our heart rejoices in God because we trust in his holy name.  Lord, let your faithful love surround us, because we wait for you."
-Psalm 33: 20-22


June 23

When we were planning to be married, a dear friend offered to stitch a Bible verse in needlepoint for our new home. Such a lovely idea. But, which verse would best capture my friend’s hope for our young family?
She turned to Paul’s writings to the church at Ephesus. This was her blessing to us. Now, this is my hope for you.

I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:14-19, New American Standard Bible


June 21

Thank you, Lord, for the cool breeze blowing in my window. Thank you for the early morning bird song.  Thank you for the rabbit in the yard. Thank you for the coffee in my cup.  Thank you for the family members sleeping in the house.  Thank you, Lord, for all these blessings and more.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.


June 19

"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.  For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free- and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."  1 Corinthians 12; 12-13

Many years ago, I heard someone described as a "sand paper" person.  I asked what that meant and was told that a person who rubs us like sand paper, which may be a bit painful, is actually making us more beautiful.  That person helps to smooth our rough edges and bring out pieces of us that may have been hidden.  Of course, it isn't pleasant to have that kind of friction in our lives, but we grow more lovely (and loving) as a result.

Gracious Lord, you have put us all together to complete your will.  Help us to learn from one another.  Help us to be humble.  Help us to lift one another up so that we can become more together than any of us could be alone.  In the precious name of Jesus, we pray.  Amen.


June 17

Learning new things is always such a struggle.  Sometimes, I forget how difficult it can be to master a new behavior or skill.  I am reminded when I teach someone else.  Could I really have been that slow to learn, I think?  Yes, I was, and probably more so!  I am reminded of the tremendous patience God shows to me as I learn every day what it means to become more and more like Jesus.

Thank you, God, for allowing me the time I need to learn and grow.  Thank you for your amazing patience as I slowly learn to be the person you created me to be.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.


June 15

Happy Father’s Day! I became a father for the first time in 1997 and then again in 2000 – both times I was, as most young fathers are (if they would admit to it), stunned and more than a little frightened that God would entrust me with these precious lives. How was I to be a father? Did I have the skills and faith to be the parent they needed? As I grew into fatherhood some things come naturally – that funny little hip, sway bouncing move that soothes children but hurts your back oh so much or the willingness to make funny little noises (planes, dump trucks, fire trucks) or whatever it takes to get that spoonful of sweet potatoes in (and who knew pureed sweet potatoes were SO messy) some other things, came later and came suddenly. I remember the first time one of my children had an asthma attack that demanded a trip to the emergency room in the wee hours of the morning.  Then I learned, or perhaps re-learned, how to pray with a level of intensity that I think I had forgotten until I became a father.

Today I pray regularly for the wisdom and strength to be a good father. Sometimes I get there, other times, not so much, but my faith has shown me that the effort to be a better father is worth it. I have, all fathers have, been blessed with a chance to mirror for our children, in a small way, God’s great love for us…I can only pray that I am up to it. 

Dear God, thank you for the amazing blessing of fatherhood. Help me; help all fathers, and those in our lives who fill that role, to be the parents that our children and our communities need. Help us to model your love and faith in us as we seek to create a Christian environment for our families. Amen.


June 13

So- today is Friday the 13th and a full moon.  I know that some people are freaked out by that.  Some people are quite superstitious, not only about Fridays on the 13th, but about many things.  My grandmother believed and taught us: killing spiders makes it rain, opening an umbrella inside or hanging a horse shoe the wrong way round brings bad luck, taking a knife from another person's hand means you will fight, an empty rocking chair rocking is a sign of death, and many other superstitions.  I think my grandmother was a wise woman in various parts of her life, but I also think these superstitions are silly.  No human being has that kind of control over the universe!  God is in control, but doesn't operate in the "magical" way that superstitions do. We don't have to use the "right" words or have a certain prayer ritual for God to hear us and care about us.  God's plans for the universe will be fulfilled regardless of what we do or don't do.  God loves each of us and has plans for our well being.

God of wisdom and power, you are the almighty ruler of all things.  Help us to put our trust in you, and not in the things we do or don't do, say or don't say.  Help us to rest confidently in your love and help us to discern and follow your plan for our lives.  In Jesus' name, Amen.


June 11

Sometimes when I think of our family trips when I was a child, I think of the bickering in the back seat between my brother and me.  When my father had endured all he could take he would say, “Don’t make me stop this car!”  That was enough to settle the two of us down with nothing more than a glare back and forth.
            I often wonder how the wayward and all too often evil behavior of humankind make the Heavenly Father want to respond.  In reading the Prophet Isaiah, I found a reassuring answer.

Scripture:  Isaiah 54:  8-10
            “I turned away angry for only a moment, but I will show you my love forever.”  …..”The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end; I will keep forever my promise of peace.”   So says the Lord who loves you.

            Heavenly Father, we know that You love us undeservedly.  There seems to be so much evil in this world and we feel so helpless to stop it.  We also know that we often do things that anger You - unkindness to others, straying from the path you would have us follow.  Open our hearts to Your guidance and help us to work for peace that begins within our own hearts and actions.  Amen.


June 9

When we experience difficult times in our lives like an serious illness
or death of a loved one, are we tempted to ask "God, why is this happening to me"? That may be our immediate thought. We know that God has a plan for us, but we still question why terrible things happen to us. We can learn to trust God during these times. He is a loving, caring God, and He will provide strength in difficult times. If we open our hearts, we will be able to see God's hand at work during these difficult times. Often we see his love and strength shining through in the actions of our family and friends. I have come to realize that during difficult times in my life, I have grown closer to God.

Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him,
and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I
praise him. (NIV)


June 5

The last few days have been cool in the morning, but building in warmth through the day.  By late afternoon, thunderstorms roar through and leave the evenings cool.  Most of that weather, I observe through my window as I sit before my computer.  All the tension, violence, and peace of the day happen at a distance.  I pray that I don't live this way with my fellow human beings.  I pray that as they experience beauty or ugliness, kindness or cruelty, I am not distancing myself from them.  I don't want to be a spectator of life; I want to be a loving presence of the living Christ.  I want to be an instrument for God.

Loving Lord, you choose to reach out to us in love.  Help me to be a way to reach out to someone today.  Amen.


June 3

My dog was sick over the weekend.  It was hard to see him feeling miserable and not be able to soothe him the way I would soothe a sick child.  There was no way for me to talk to him and make him understand why we were withholding food or taking him to the scary vet.  He is all better now and I praise God that we have our active, happy dog back.  It made me think of all those animals who don't have someone who loves them and cares for them, or who might not have the means to care for them.  We are the stewards of this earth, including the animals, but we certainly don't always act that way.

Gracious God, you created all things and called them good.  Please hold your creation gently.  Please especially be with those animals who are abused and neglected by we humans, who are given the task to love and nurture.  Please forgive us for the times we fail to fulfill your will.  Help us to love all of your creation and to care for each part as you would have us do.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.


June 1


  We come from two families who like to have their backs scratched.  In Carol’s family, it was her grandmother who used to scratch hard but good.  In my family, it was my father who was the number one back-scratcher.  We used to say that Gramps was the best “scratch-backer” around.  All of the children and grandchildren looked forward to sitting on his lap and having their back scratched. There was no debate about who was best.  We all enjoyed telling the story almost as much as having our back scratched.  Sitting on his lap and having his attention on us was invigorating and peaceful - and a wonderful way to feel close to him.

     Prayer is like sitting on God’s lap and having God’s loving attention fall on us.  I wonder what some of father’s fondest memories of his times with the children and grandchildren were?   Now that I have the perspective of being a granddfather myself, and enjoy the unique pleasure of having our granddaughter sit on my lap and nuzzle her face into my chest, I can understand that my father took as much pleasure in scratching our backs as we did.

     The same is true for God.  God’s greatest delight in loving us is when we, in child-like dependence and faith, climb into the Divine lap in prayer and simply spend time together.  When we stop racing around and rest our thoughts on God, knowing that God is there to love us deeply, God receives as much pleasure as we do.  So take some precious moments today to sit on God’s lap and allow God’s strength and peace to fill you and know that you are giving God great joy as well. 

    God, remind me that you have the best lap around and that I can come to you anytime and together we will find rest.  Amen.