April 29

I went to a Memorial service this morning for the husband of a fairly new friend. This gentleman was in his 80”s and had lived a wonderfully fulfilling and productive life. People spoke one after another about how he had influenced their lives personally and professionally.  A few mentioned that he had literally saved their lives though his work as a Doctor of psychiatry and head of a large psychiatric hospital for 30 years.

I have met this gentleman a few times, but didn’t know him as a practicing doctor. What I did know was that he always had a welcoming attitude, a sparkle in his eye, and entertaining stories to tell.
I came away with the thought that it is never too late to make a good impression and this man certainly did.

Dearest Lord,

As I travel through this day, help me to think about what it means to be kind and welcoming to each person I meet. I want to stop, look that person in the eye and connect in some positive way. Thank you for the strength to go out into the world and be your disciple.   Amen 


April 27

The hymn, Because He Lives, by Gloria and William Gathier provides comfort and reassurance as we face the future. Whatever you are facing; a new beginning, a medical situation, a career change, a decision, a move, a new relationship or a long-standing relationship - anything in your future, know that God holds each of us in his hands. We can face whatever comes because God lives! Keep the words of the chorus close to your heart as you face tomorrow.

The hymn is found in the United Methodist Hymnal, page 364.


April 25

Today is beautiful but chilly.  I look out the window and it appears sunny and warm. I go outside and shiver in the chill breeze.  What other things in my life are not what they appear to be?  Are there places in my community that appear pleasant but are not?  What attractive traps do we encounter every day?  I think not only about the person who seems sweet and is actually venomous, but also about the lulling comfort of ignoring pain and injustice.  I think about retail therapy.  I think about our assumption that we are in the right.  Where might we be deceiving ourselves about what is sinful and what is righteous?

Gracious God, please forgive our blindness to our own sin and our acceptance of societal sin.  We know that you are loving and will forgive us.  Help us to be as forgiving as you are.  Help us to let go of our self-righteousness.  Help us to see the sinfulness behind the pleasant exterior and to stand against it.  We thank you for granting us humility and courage.  In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.


April 23

What do you want Jesus to do for you?

Easter is over until next year.  The Hallelujah Chorus has been sung.  The chocolate bunnies have been eaten, the hidden eggs have been found, and the baskets are carefully stowed away.  Only the blades of bright green, plastic grass that keep showing up in the oddest places around the house still remind us of Easter. In fact, we are already making plans for the next holiday on our busy calendars.

But what if we lingered for awhile in Easter? Not the one of chocolate and eggs and plastic grass.  But the Easter of Jesus.

I close my eyes and imagine what it would be like to linger with Jesus.  I wonder what he would say to me. Would he speak in parables or ask me questions as he so often did with the disciples?  In the Bible, Jesus asks of James and John, What do you want Me to do for you? (Mark 10:35-36)  He asks the same question of the blind beggar, Bartimaeus, later in the chapter.

What do you want Me to do for you?

Now, close your eyes and imagine Jesus asking you this question.  How does it feel to be asked?  What do you think your response would be?

In this Easter season of celebration, rebirth and new beginnings, let’s linger with Jesus.  Let Him ask us, what do you want Me to do for you?  We can trust Him with our answers.

 Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus.  And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!”  And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.”  Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road. (Mark 10:50-52 NASB).


April 21

That was quite a storm on Friday! The sky turned black. The wind blew so hard. It was so noisy you could not hear anything else. And if you tried to talk to someone close by, they could not hear you. It felt like you were isolated. Just the storm and the wind and the dark, and a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness all mixed up together.

Saturday was not much better. The sun was out, but that was not enough to rid you of the dread of the storm on Friday. All thoughts were of the present. No dreams of the future, and no way to plan for anything except breathing and eating and drinking. Just the basics. Life was just grey and not very interesting.

But the next day was rightly named—Sunday was a Day of Sun! The storm was banished; the cold turned warm. It was good to be with other people, and to talk, and to sing, and to plan for the future. All feelings of doubt and fear were replaced by joy, and hope, and certitude that God is watching over us!

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge  the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.


April 19

Today is a day of darkness.  We remember that this day, Jesus was dead.  This is the day of despair for the first followers.  This is the day of fear.  This is the day of hiding.  For us now, this is a day of waiting.  This is a day of anticipation.  This day is filled with tense hope.  What a difference perspective makes!  God is beyond time and place.  God's perspective is always one of fulfillment, of completion.  God sees us as we are meant to be.  God sees us washed in Jesus's blood and free.  God sees all creation free and whole. While God mourns with us and weeps with our pain, God offers us a perspective of confident hope.

Gracious and eternal Lord, hold us in your embrace and help us to see the universe through your eyes.  Amen.


April 17

Today is Holy Thursday, a day to remember Jesus and his disciples sharing a final Passover meal during which Jesus characteristically turned their normal experience into a new and life changing one.  Jesus seemed to do this with many of their normal experiences.  Fishing became more fish than their nets could hold. Illness became opportunities for sins to be forgiven and healing to be granted.  Water became wine.  A conversation became a challenge to the status quo.  A walk became a life lesson.  A dinner party became a completely new future for those attending.  Death became life.  Jesus is a person of loving surprises!

Gracious Jesus, thank you for the life you offer us as we remember your last supper this day.  Thank you for the life you offer us every time we remember you in Holy Communion.  Fill our lives with your loving surprises this day and every day.  Amen.


April 15

This time of year is a lovely but in many ways a predictable season: flowers will, likely as not, bloom; bees will, likely as not, buzz, and taxes, will likely as not, be due.

While the Bible is filled with stories of taxes and tributes in both the Old and the New Testament the one that I suspect that stays with most readers is Jesus’ admonishment (as the Pharisees try to entrap him in sedition) to pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s [Matthew 22: 15-22].  In his response Jesus deftly avoids the simplistic trap set for him by not speaking to the “justness” of the tax but only to the obligation of the residents to pay the tax (and ideally with Roman coinage) and then turning the tables, as he so often did, and demanding of his audience to consider if they are really fulfilling their obligations to God.  I find Jesus’ response a worthy one to consider at this time of year; as my family is asked to fulfill our civic obligation I have to ask myself if I am fulfilling my spiritual obligations.  Am I a responsible and joyful giver?  I suspect that the same question lurked in the minds and lives of those who were there to hear Jesus that day.  How often were their prayers heartfelt rather than obligatory?   How often their gifts were given in joy rather than regret?  Did they, after hearing Jesus’ response to the Pharisees, go home that day and seek forgiveness and strength to do better for their God? Do we?

Dear Lord, thank you for the many, many gifts in our lives. Give me the courage to trust, to become a cheerful and faithful supporter of your church through my gifts of time, talents and tithe. Help me to do and to be who you would have me be. Amen."


April 13

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”    Proverbs 3:5-6

TRUST… In whom do you put your trust?
 Jesus was surrounded by family and friends during his ministry here on earth.  There were good times and bad, sad times and happy ones. Ever Peter one of His strongest disciples and supporter betrayed him. But Jesus put His trust in God His father.  Jesus was given a job while here on earth, and He trusted that God would be with him as he carried out that ministry.
Jesus wants us to put our trust in Him.  He wants us to rely on Him, and be in a relationship with Him. 

 Dear Lord,

I pray this day that I will put my TRUST in you.  Guide my steps as you make straight my path. Amen


April 11

After the parade . . . . lift high the Cross

            A few years ago on Palm Sunday the congregation at our church were given palms and invited to lay down those palms on the pathway leading up to the altar.  They were then given a cross made from a palm leaf to keep during Holy Week.  I still have that palm cross.  It is an empty cross - reminding me that our Lord is risen.  It is also a daily reminder that I need to raise that cross each day to share Christ’s sacrifice and love for all.  Are we sharing His love with all whom we meet?

Most Merciful Lord, open our senses and our hearts to all who need to feel your love.  Motivate and guide us in lifting high Your Cross, Your forgiveness, Your sacrificial love.



April 9


   When I begin the Lenten season, I reflect on how I can strengthen my faith.
Giving up control and acknowledging that God is in control is a necessary step.
Relinquishing this control is very difficult for some of us. We love to make our lists and schedules of what we plan on accomplishing each day. When we allow God to guide our plans, we begin to experience God’s power and love. Daily encounters that we did not plan, often allow us to see God’s hand at work in our lives. Have you ever been thinking about a friend, and you decide to give him or her a call, even though you thought you really didn’t have time? A few years ago, an older friend was in my thoughts, and I decided to call her. She said she wasn’t feeling well, so I went over to her apartment to check on her. She was having heart palpitations, so I took her to Patient Care to get checked. As soon as we arrived, she was sent to the hospital by ambulance. She was not my list of “things to do” that day, but she was on God’s list for me. Learning to trust God to guide our lives is an ongoing process.
             Begin each day by placing your life in God’s hands.


April 7

Calming the Storm

Matthew 8 : 23 - 27  " ....Then he stood up and rebuked the wind and waves, and the storm subsided and all was calm ....."

Beyond the story of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee in about AD 28 is a deeper meaning for us today. When the storms of this life wake us, shake us up, and weigh on our hearts, we have the promise of calm and comfort of the presence of God's Son.

Our Heavenly Father, 
We pray this day for the calm and comfort  found in your loving arms. Strengthen us to relieve the doubts and fears and worries of this day's troubles. Help us to be quiet and be open to the Spirit, filling us with peace. As the disciples asked that night " who is this ?", we pray for more understanding of the power of the risen Christ in our lives.  In His calming name we pray, Amen.


April 5

I am sorry…

… the three hardest words for people to say, so experts report.  I wonder why?  Why are we so afraid to admit we are wrong when we are?

Dear awesome Lord, thank you for the beauty you provide.  The colors of spring are so welcoming after going through a grey, cold winter.  I am anxious, Lord, to prepare the earth for your bounty.  And help me, Lord, to get through each day with a smile, to be considerate of others, and when I fail, to not be afraid to say, “I’m sorry.”


April 3

Everlasting Father,

Thank you for this wonderful Spring Day.

Help me to keep focused on you, with the words I say and the actions I do.

I ask for strength through this Lenten season that I may overcome any obstacle.

In Jesus' name I pray.  Amen.


April 1


    As I write this morning, the sun is blazing through the windows with such brightness that it almost hurts my eyes.  Coming out of a long and quite dark winter, the sun is particularly shocking and welcoming.  It almost appears to have an essence that you can touch.  In the spiritual realm, humanity began as light.  In the new Noah movie, Adam and Eve are portrayed as light in vaguely human forms.    This is true to one tradition which says that original sin is what led Adam and Eve from primarily light to primarily matter.  Which is to say that light is in our spiritual DNA and so also are the limits to that light.  The Gospel of John tells us that in Jesus, the second Adam, God's light came into the world for all to see and experience. There is light in all of us, because we are forever linked to God in Christ.   

     We need to claim that we are of light for God in Christ is with us and in us.  There is more to all of us than meets the eye.  But there is also much which refutes our humble awareness. We are continually confronted face to face with shadows and darkness and their claims to ultimate reality.  We are tempted to agree with the darkness because it appears to be concrete, real and compelling.  Yet it is ultimately a lie.  Someone said that life in Christ, life in the light, is more real than taxes.  Why are we sometimes more attracted to darkness than to light?  Why do we focus on the worst rather than the best of a situation or in a person?  Why are we afraid when we know God and love God? 

     God's light is shining and is beaming right here, right now, today. Nothing can force you to live in the darkness without your consent.  So friends, rise up and look up, out and in to God's light which is freeing, forgiving, healing and renewing.  See yourself as a bearer of light - for you are!  And know that God's light is there for you to receive at any time and any place.  

    Here is a prayer offered by Mother Teresa:

  Dear Jesus, help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go.  Flood my soul with Thy spirit and love. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine.  Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul.  Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus.  Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.   Amen.