September 29

That first cup of coffee can be vital to the start of the day, not only for me, but also for many people.  What would the world be like if a time of prayer and a passage of scripture were just as vital to the start of the day for just as many people as that cup of coffee?

Holy Lord, thank you for coffee and the wonderful drink that starts so many days.  Thank you for giving us those days.  Help us to find you and time spent with you even more essential than that cup of coffee.  Amen.


September 27

It has been 10 years since my father passed away. It is reasonable to think over time, the loss would be easier to handle, but there are many days I miss his presence and wish he was on the other end of the phone. Dealing with the loss of someone dear to us is a difficult experience.

The first year my father died, I discussed with my brothers we consider doing something our father would enjoy. It did not take long for us to agree attending a Red Sox baseball game would definitely be Dad's idea of a good time. Dad followed the Boston Red Sox all his life and was a diehard fan. As children, my two brothers and I grew up loving the game of baseball.

The first summer after my Dad passed the three of us, and our spouses selected an Oriole vs. Red Sox game to attend.  This year we celebrated our tenth annual baseball game and the group has grown to 22. Extended family, friends, and grandchildren all enjoy our tradition. The annual game is about baseball and our Dad. My brother gets to the game early to watch batting practice; my other brother gets a hotdog at my Dad's favorite place.  I smile at how my father would have enjoyed the event and been proud of the way we chose to honor his memory. Over time the tears have been replaced by smiles and laughter.

If you have lost a loved one, or know of someone who is grieving a loss, select something to do they loved. Enjoying their favorite activity will hold your loved ones close.

Weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

                                          Psalm 30:5b (NIV)


September 25

One of the hardest things I am doing right now is not nagging.  The person whose responsibility it is to complete a goal knows that it needs to be done.  I can't help them do it.  I almost wish that I could take over and do it myself, but that would not be the most helpful way to handle the situation for the other person- even though it would get the job done.  I wonder if God feels that way about me, maybe a lot!

Gracious God, thank you for helping me to grow.  Thank you for granting me wisdom and strength so that I may do what you ask me to do.  Thank you for granting me grace when I fail to do that which you ask me to do.  Thank you for loving me.  In Jesus' name, Amen.


September 23

Dear Father,
I come to you today overwhelmed by the responsibilities and stresses of life. I want so badly to ask you to remove them so that I may find comfort and peace.
Scripture says you love me. So, why do you let me hurt like this?
As I read more of your word, I realize there is another prayer I might offer instead.  It would go something like this:

Dear Father,
I come to you overwhelmed by the responsibilities and stresses of life. Please strengthen me and teach me so that I may, in turn, strengthen others who are struggling with similar issues. By seeking strength in you and reaching out to help others, may I find the comfort and peace only you can provide.

May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! He is the compassionate Father and God of all comfort. He’s the one who comforts us in all our trouble so that we can comfort other people who are in every kind of trouble. We offer the same comfort that we ourselves received from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4. CEB


September 21

I used to fight sleep.  Even as an infant, I preferred to see what was happening around me and I fought going to sleep.  When I had my own children, I discovered the benefits of napping!  I used to wonder why God created us with a need for sleep. What a waste of time, I would think.  Surely, God could have created another way for us to get the same benefits we get from sleep.  Well, I'm sure that God could have created an alternative to sleep, but now I appreciate those hours away- completely away from all the world presses upon me.  Yet another lesson which God has chosen to teach me through children!

Precious Lord, you are so wise and so loving.  Thank you for creating us with the need for sleep.  Thank you for the joy of holding a sleeping baby and watching a child sleep.  Thank you for the dark and quiet hours of renewal.  In Jesus' name, Amen.


September 19

            When you were in school, did you ever notice that simply because you weren’t allowed to laugh, it made the laughing that much better? That there was something about trying to hold it in that made you laugh even harder? And it wasn’t just in school; church was the same way. In fact, any social situation that required total seriousness often became the theatre of suppressed laughter.
            Laughter is a great release. I mean, we’ve all heard the phrase, “Laughter is the best medicine,” but how often do we hear of laughter in relation to God? In the Old Testament, a good bit of what we read about God boils down to wrath, vengeance, and judgment – not exactly “ha-ha” topics. Yet we also read of laughter in the Old Testament. Sarah laughs at the absurd notion that she will give birth at an age that everybody would consider physically impossible at which to give birth.
            I also imagine King David laughing merrily while he is dancing in his underclothes, and in the very beginning, I can also imagine God laughing with delight as He basked in the glow of creation and saw that it was very good, indeed.
            The Bible also tells us – in one of the most famous passages in probably one of the least-read books of the Bible, Ecclesiastes – that among the many things that there is a time for, there is a time to laugh. The trick is knowing when.
            I actually am thankful that God has a sense of humor, although I must confess that I think that sense of humor is sometimes a little on the weird side. Personally, I cannot fathom why we would want to make God a cold, emotionless, uncaring deity. I would far rather serve a God who laughs when we laugh and weeps when we weep than a God who sits back and does nothing, whether we laugh or cry.
            In other words, I would want to serve a God who cares deeply for us.

Lord, you have given us this wonderful gift of laughter. Grant us the wisdom to use it when we can use it to enrich lives and not tear them down. Amen.


September 17

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your heart quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus."
(Phil. 4:6-7)

What a powerful thing PRAYER can be. We should not take for granted that amazing one on one conversation with God. How often do we try to balance our lives ourselves?

Instead of saying, I can't, ask for God's help. The love of God is only a prayer away. How are you engaging in a personal prayer life with God ? Are you able to find a time to sit in silence and listen to the Lord's voice? Begin today and have PRAYER be a part of your life.


September 15

The weather has been cooler and so it feels more like Fall.  I usually adore Fall, the crisper weather, and the geared up activities.  This year, somehow, I don't want to let go of summer.  Maybe it is because I have a senior and this will be the last year of high school.  Letting go can be hard: letting go of the way things used to be, letting go of expectations, letting go of stuff we could do but no longer can do, letting go of plans that aren't working out, letting go of ... .

Merciful Lord, help me to let go of those things which I need to let go.  Help me to grieve those losses and accept those changes.  Help me to remember that you do not change and you are my solid rock.  Thank you for being the foundation of my life.  In Jesus' name, Amen.


September 11

I confess that I forget sometimes, in the midst of life's busy-ness, that today is 9-11 with a history of violence and death and heroism. My grandmother never forgot "holidays" that I forgot, like flag day, the actual days of presidents' birthdays and the "real" Memorial Day, and D-Day.  When I was a teen, I even thought she was being a bit silly to care.  I feel bad that I can get so caught up in the little stuff of life that I can lose sight of events that are significantly meaningful for so many.

Merciful Lord, you are wise and good.  Please help me to remember that people are more important than stuff and my agenda.  Help me to be open to what is important to the people around me, even if what is important to them is not important to me.  In Jesus' name, Amen.


September 9

Are you a person who constantly worries about what is going on in your
life or what may happen? You may be feeling overwhelmed about problems
concerning your health, finances, or a difficult relationship or situation.
Do these worries keep you awake at night? God doesn't want us to worry.
God wants us to pray about all things and hand over these worries to him.
I have found when I do so, I am more likely find answers or gain a different
perspective. Also I do experience a sense of peace that I know only God can
give me in dealing with these problems.

Father, help me to bring all things to you in prayer. Amen

Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need,
and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace,
which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will
guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:6-7


September 7

Gracious and glorious Lord,  decisions are hard.  What is the right thing?  What is the wrong thing?  Is there a right or wrong?  What is best?  Sometimes, I wish that you would tell me in a way that I could not possibly miss!  Help me, Lord, to trust you, in all circumstances.  Help me to be more discerning of your will and your voice.  In Christ's name, I pray, Amen.


September 5

I've spent time, Lord, among your people today, walking through their streets and noticing how they live.  Some are doing okay, others are struggling.  I passed a house that was very quiet.  The car in the driveway had a for sale sign on it.  And along side the for sale sign was a handmade sign that read, "This isn't the life I ordered."  All I could think of, Lord, was they weren't looking in the right places and considering other paths that You may have placed before them and they were more interested in their ideas.  I wonder, Lord, what life they had ordered.  Another house had an eviction notice taped on the front door, Lord.  I know there must have been lots of pain and sorrow inside this house.  The sign read that it was from the mortgage company.  I wondered, Lord, if the head of household had lost her/his job.

Lord, I am tired.  The day has been long.  Please watch over these people whose homes I passed, the people reading this, and me, Lord.  Hold us in Your arms, give us comfort.  I pray we can sense and feel your love.  Amen ... Good night.


September 3

          Recently my son, who is now 54 years old, surprised me when, during a casual conversation, he mentioned remembering several decisions I made when he was about middle school age.  They were decisions important to me at the time and not inappropriate to discuss in the presence of children, but which I considered  not to be of much interest to a young person of ten or twelve years of age.  But he obviously had noted them, and remembered them deeply enough that they were recalled many years later and had had a positive influence on his value system.

          I should not have been surprised. As I reflected, I thought of things my parents had made decisions about that I recalled in a positive way and that they probably had not considered very important to me.

          All of this gives new depth to Jesus’ words, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15)  Jesus not only revealed God’s love and grace, and compassion in his life, but by his life set for us an example for the value system and life styles we develop.  The power of Jesus’ life gets passed along that way and changes the world that way.

          What a gift we have in the life of Jesus and what a charge we have from him to let the power of that life fashion ours so as to reflect his example!  Thank you God.  Help me to so live that someone may say in thinking on us---“I remember that.”  Amen