March 29


Matthew 28:11 (New Living Translation)
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

My father was devoted in his prayer life. As a little girl, I remember looking through the crack in his bedroom door and could see my father kneeling by his bed, hands folded in prayer.  The vision of my father praying to God each night remains with me always. God wants you to come to him with your prayer needs. I have found myself benefiting from the practice of kneeling to God in prayer. The desire to kneel is not just needed at bedtime. I find myself kneeling in prayer before leaving for work, in anticipation of news or a decision, before traveling on a trip, before a special event or celebration, and many other times.  Kneeling with folded hands and sharing your prayers demonstrates your respect and honor for God.

Come. Kneel before God. Fold your hands. Look upward. Share your heart and mind. Feel the presence of God. Maybe others will be watching.


March 27

As spring returns I marvel at the increased sound of Canadian geese traveling back to the watershed area near our home. The calls overhead from large groups of Canada Geese flying in V-shaped formation signal the transition into a new season.

As a young child, my mother was enamored by the view of geese flying high in the sky and always directed my attention to the honking and V-shaped unity. My mother and I took time to watch and marvel as members of the flock took turns helping with the lead position.

I compare the flight of geese to our brothers and sisters in faith. Are you connected in a V-shaped community? Is there someone who needs your strength and perhaps you to take the lead?

Dear God, today direct my prayers to someone who needs my strength and support. Make it clear how my actions can offer what is needed. Place this person on my heart and thoughts this day. Help me take the lead and reach out to one of the flock.


March 25

We are important to God!

I was reading over the story of the parable of the lost son the other day, and it reminded me that God holds no grudges against those who have not remained loyal to him throughout their lives. It also reminded me that the son was very successful in apologizing to his father, stating that he had sinned against his father, and was no longer worthy to be called his son. His father did what any good Christian should do, and celebrated the return of his son. This shows how important sinners are to God every day.


March 23

Do I have a goal as a Christian?

If so, what is it?

What would God want it to be?

What if my goal as a Christian is, simply, to love well – with every breath, with every thought, with every word, with every action, with every encounter, with every day?

What difference could I make?

 Jesus said, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list.  But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs;  everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” Matthew 22:37-40.  The Message.


March 21

Backing Down the Driveway

It is easy to drive forward on a driveway. You have the advantage of the entire windshield of the car to help you estimate how far to turn the wheel to line up with the side of the pavement. You can see where you are going and know if there are any dangers on the pavement, like a pothole, or a parked bicycle, or a bouncing ball that is likely to be chased by a child running into your path. It is much easier to avoid these pitfalls when you drive forward.

But how about BACKING down a driveway? That is a different proposition. You have to twist your head to see where you are going. If there is a curve, you have to turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction, to get the back of the car to go where you want it to go. Usually the rear window is much smaller than the front windshield, and your view is often obscured by high backed seats or the trunk of the car. At night, the backup lights at the rear are nowhere near as bright as the headlights. If you depend on the side view mirrors, you have to remember that “OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR”.

When you are going forward, it is a good day, and you can thank the Lord for all of your good fortune. When you are going backward, you must depend on Faith, and you need to ask the Lord for Strength and Guidance to get you where you want to go!


March 19

Spring is here! I know that because, instead of another day of snow, it is rained. I never thought I would be thanking God for rain on top of several inches of snow, but that is exactly what I have been doing. Many times our blessing come in unexpected packages and today is one of those times.

Dearest Lord and Savior,
Thank you for the seasons that bring all kinds of surprises. The bright colors of the fall, the crisp air of early winter followed by the sparkling snowflakes, the rain that promises spring, and the first time we get to relax in the sun in the summer. Help me to take time out to remember that it is by Your hand that these gifts of change come to us.

I realize that sometimes the changes that You bring are not always what we expect.  Whether or not we are ready, you have plans for us. Help me to accept those circumstances with the same wonder and excitement that seizes me as the seasons change.  
Open my eyes to possibilities!


March 17

Luck of the Irish

I have an Irish ancestry and have always been able to easily find four leaf clovers, but I don't really believe that such a thing as luck exists.  I believe that we respond to our circumstances, and how we respond is more important than the circumstances themselves to our well being and witness.  It can seem that some people have an easier time in life than other people.  I have known persons who often struggle, not because of anything they did or didn't do, but just because of their circumstances.  Some of those struggling become angry or bitter or depressed and shut out the people around who could help.  Some of those struggling become temporarily angry or depressed, but reach out to others  and to God for support and strength.  The grace that everyone gives and receives in difficult times can make the difference between a "lucky" or an "unlucky" life.

Gracious Lord, you know all things and are present in all circumstances.  Please help us to rest confidently in the sure knowledge that your plans are for goodness and peace, and that no circumstances can hinder your plan from joyful fulfillment.  In the name of our loving savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.


March 13

"The Lord will guide you continually and provide for you, even in parched places. You will be like a watered garden, like a spring of water that won't run dry." Isaiah 58:11

When we see a fountain, one of the first things that we notice is that the water is always gushing up, always moving like a "spring whose waters never run dry." 

In the 4th chapter of the Gospel of John, we find the story of the woman at the well. Jesus asks her for a drink. When she questions him about this rather unusual request given the circumstances, he replies that if she had known who he is, she would have asked him for the drink and he would have given no ordinary drink but living water.  He goes on to explain that everyone who drinks of the water he gives will never be thirsty – because it will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.

Thunder showers, soft steady rain, and melting snow provide the parched ground with moisture needed for growth. God provides the nourishment needed for that spring garden. And just like that water supplies the needs of the physical life, so Jesus'  "living water" provides for our spiritual needs.

Dear Lord,
Please help us live our  lives much like this living water fountain – gushing up to joy and kindness and splashing all over those we meet. Amen


March 11

“I say to the young people, ‘What are we doing with the life God gave us?’”

          This was a front page headline last week.  A question raised by a cousin of a murder victim.  But I read it as a question all of us need to answer, especially in this period of Lent.

Gracious Father, Giver of all Life, speak to me, help me listen for opportunities to do Your work in this world.  Open my eyes, my ears, my heart to the needs of lives around me.  Let this be my response to all Your bountiful gifts.



March 9

During this season of Lent, I want to become closer to God.  I know that looking at my prayer life is a good place to begin.  At times there are days when I wake up and rush through my morning, and nothing seems to go right.  When I finally take the time to think about the way my day is going, I realize that I did not take time to pray. I began my morning thinking only about the schedule that I had planned.  When I focus on God at the beginning of my day, I can feel His presence with me throughout the day.  

I know prayer should be a two-way communication, but sometimes I tend to do all the talking.  It can be difficult to be still and just listen.  Repeating the verse, “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10 helps me slow down and listen.

It is possible to be in prayer throughout the day also.  If we ask God to guide us when we are making decisions throughout the day, we will make better decisions.  Prayer helps me to focus on God. Placing prayer at the top of my schedule each day will help me deepen my commitment to God.  I know I can only grow closer to God, if I spend time with Him.

The Lord says “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8


March 7

Expel Worry

Matthew 6 : 25 - 34 --  "I tell you therefore, do not worry about your life ....Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will worry about itself..."

Heavenly Father, 
In the early morning moments of today, help me to set out a positive course of obedience and power.  As my day unfolds, strengthen me to worry less and trust you more.  Create in me the joy which can fill anxious moments.  Help me not to be discouraged, but to concentrate on doing your will.  May I live this day as it comes, knowing that you are in charge, and that your care which is given to the birds and flowers extends lovingly to me.  I pray this in the name of your uplifting Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.


March 5


Listening to the radio recently, I heard a pre-recorded interview with Rabbi David Hartman, an American-born-Israeli living and working in Jerusalem.  Rabbi Hartman is the author of several books; he died February 10, 2013.  The Rabbi was concerned that people are not spending time seeking God.  He said that discussing what we have learned and heard from books and noteworthy teachers is a good way to continue our journey of seeking God.  He said the process of SEEKING GOD is a life-long journey.

Rabbi Hartman referred to this old Hasidic story:  Rabbi Barukh’s grandson Yehiel was once playing hide-and-seek with other children.  He hid himself well and waited for one of his friends to find him.  When after a long time this did not happen, he emerged from his hiding place and to his great disappointment he discovered that the boys had given up looking for him and gone home.  In tears he came home to his grandfather and told him what had transpired.  Rabbi Hartman ended this old Hasidic story by saying, “Now you know how God feels when we stop seeking Him.”

He referred to Psalm 70:4 – But let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you.  In SEEKING God you will find JOY.

Dear Lord, help me to realize that seeking you is an action that continues throughout my life – the process of seeking You is where I will find joy.  Help me to open my eyes.  I know you really aren’t hiding from me, it’s just that sometimes I stop looking.

This version of the Hasidic Hide-and-Seek story was found in Jewish Mysticism, An Introduction, by J. H. Laenen.


March 3


I hate it when things don't go the way I think they should.  Sometimes, that is my own fault, sometimes it is someone else's fault, but most of the time, it is no one's fault.  I want to blame someone; I guess I feel that way because I want to vent my frustration.  I am so grateful that God understands how weak I am and will listen to my prayer even when I am acting like a toddler.

Lord God, gracious and loving, you look on me with gentle humor and forgive my rants and grumbling.  Help me to see beyond my petty frustrations to recognize the beauty of your world and the acts of love you have set before me.  Help me to treat others the way you treat me: with love and understanding.  In the name of Jesus our Savior. Amen.


March 1


The last prayer Jesus offered before going to his cross was for his followers.  His prayer was that his followers would be one.  He prayed in John 17:21 - 23:  
       I ask on behalf of those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.  As you, Father, are in me and I in you, may they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. .. I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.  

     What does it mean to “be one”?  Certainly we value our individual identities, our unique gifts, talents and the skills we have gained.  Diverse backgrounds and experiences helped make us who we are.  We have developed at least partially as products of our families of origin and of the many relationships which have touched us.

     Yet Jesus’ prayer is still that we “be one”.  He refers to being one because he is “in us” and we are “in him”.  I believe the “one” he refers to is love.  We are one in his love and his love makes us one with each other. When we are one with someone, it means we share a common goal and perspective motivated by love.  Love connects us with words and deeds and leads beyond them. 

     Isn’t it a happy surprise to discover a connection with someone that you did not know existed before?  We are meant to discover that we are not as different as we might think under the surface.  So if love is our common bond, then we are to intend love with those we know and those who we have not known before.  It is amazing what we discover when we come from our “oneness” in love and not our separateness. 

     God, you bind us together, unified in love.  Give us the grace and the courage to shift the direction of our intentions from being overly protective and separate to embrace the oneness which is given us.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.