February 24

            One morning not long ago, I was staring out the window at church, and I saw some very tall evergreen trees swaying to the rhythm of the wind. I don’t know if you’ve had the chance to watch the wind gently blow through some trees for a long period of time, but it has rather a hypnotic effect. Upon looking at these trees that were moving to the whims of the passing breeze, I was suddenly struck by the image of arms being upraised to heaven, in worship of the Creator. I like to think of those giant trees silently praising God just by moving whichever way the wind is blowing.
            The wind is a fickle thing. It can be gentle, as I’ve just described, or it can be fierce and terrifying. If you’ve ever lived through a hurricane, you will know what I’m talking about. Jesus and the disciples knew what a fierce wind was like when they were caught in a major storm on the Sea of Galilee. They were in an open boat and being lashed by heavy rain, howling wind, and giant waves. The disciples, bluntly, were freaking out. They were unsure whether they were going to live or die. But Jesus, unconcerned about the storm, stood up and commanded the storm to stop. And it did. Just like that.

            Perhaps this is a lesson we can take away from these rhythms in the wind. Just like those trees, we are going to be buffeted all our lives by winds. Sometimes the wind will be gentle, but other times, it will be gale force winds. At those times, we may feel like the disciples, unsure what the aftermath of the storm will be. But Jesus will come to calm the storm, if we but call upon His name. And He will also be with us when the wind is gentle. Whether the wind is beating a soothing tempo or doing the rumba in our lives, the important thing to remember is that Jesus is still the Conductor.

February 17

I often pray for wisdom when I have a difficult decision to make.
Also I have prayed for a physician to have wisdom when taking care of a family member.
Many of us pray for wisdom for the leaders of our country. 

What is wisdom?
Wisdom is difficult from intelligence or skills.
Many people who are brilliant are not wise.
As we get older, we may or may not become wiser.
When we learn what is true and right,
and we make good judgments based on this and act accordingly,
we demonstrate wisdom.

Wisdom is related to the ways of God.
God’s ways are given to all of us in the scriptures.
The purpose of the book of Proverbs is to teach us about wisdom.
Following God’s path leads to living wisely.
Wise living leads to a happier life.

Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will know how to find the right course of action every time. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you.     

                                                                                                                                                    Proverbs 2:9-10


February 13

We all seem to have trouble with prayer. Are we praying “right”? I can get hung up sometimes asking myself, is my prayer good enough for God? One of the things that helps me sometimes is to sing my prayer using  familiar hymns or songs. It can be powerful just to sing the same words or verse over and over again sort of like of a mantra. 

St Augustine suggested that hymn singing is praying twice. Singing causes us to breathe deeper and stretch to reach the high and low notes. The important thing is that we are communicating with God, and singing is one way to do that, so we are indeed praying to God. God doesn’t care what kind of voice we have, just that we are singing to Him!

Consider the second verse of the hymn “Breathe on me Breath of God”:
Breathe on me breath of God
Until my heart is pure
Until with Thee, I will one will
To do and to endure

Is it not a pleading prayer? If you don’t want to sing it, then consider saying it aloud as a prayer.

Sing to the Lord a new song, sing to the Lord, all the Earth. Psalm 96:1

Gracious and Loving Father,
Help us not to be afraid to pray the wrong way, but just simply take the time to talk or sing to You. Amen.


February 1

I grew up in a rural area and was able to see the Milky Way. Now, I live in a more urban area and never see the Milky Way. I remember looking up and seeing that bright swath in the sky. Now, I can pick out a few of the brighter stars on a clear night. The night sky hasn't changed. My perspective has changed.

Lord, please keep my eyes open to see you. Fill me with your Spirit so that my perspective always focuses on you. You never change; your love remains the same; your mercy is unceasing. May my heart and my mind stay set upon love and mercy. In Jesus' Name, Amen.