August 28

            It doesn’t take much to see that we are living in troubled times. It seems as though, in this country, half of the people want nothing to do with the other half. Our motto is no longer “E Pluribus Unum,” and that is not a sustainable way to live. We may be able to unfriend someone whose faith/politics/whatever we don’t like, but by doing so, we deprive ourselves of the chance to establish, or re-establish, a relationship with that person.
            A verse that I recently came across has stuck with me, though not for the reason the person who posted it originally intended. It is Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” The person who posted this verse on Facebook intended it as a warning against using swear words. I took that verse as a warning against using hateful and unkind speech – the kind of speech for which the use in this country seems to be increasing vigorously.

            No matter which side of the political spectrum we as individuals stand on, my hope is that people would start to think that whenever we use speech that denigrates others with whom we disagree, we lose the chance to establish relationships. When we look at a person as just some insignificant “other,” when we look at the world with an “us-and-them” mentality, we lose sight of the fact that there is no “us-and-them” – it’s just one big “us.” May we acquire the wisdom to realize that, now more than ever, what unites us is – or should be – more important than what divides us.


August 20

     Waiting is a fact of life. Everybody at some time in their life is waiting for something. Many of us anxiously wait to hear what the results are of medical tests. After a job interview, one waits for that phone call telling us whether we are hired or not. A pregnant women waits for her baby to be born. High school students wait to hear from colleges after sending their applications. We also wait in traffic and lines in the grocery stores.

Sometimes we have to wait for answers from God. Waiting is not easy for many of us. Some people become anxious, frustrated, or possibly discouraged during the time they have to wait. God can use this time of waiting to change us. We may become more patient, more appreciative, and even stronger. A time of waiting can draw us closer to God. We must not forget that while we are waiting, God is with us.


August 9

The Power of Music

I recently experienced a renewed sense of the power of music. I was at a crab feast and there was a live band. I went with my husband’s family and one of his in-laws has Alzheimers. I have seen him at several family functions over the past few months and he has been distant and sometimes angry and inappropriate. But today with the band playing, I saw him smiling, clapping his hands, singing and dancing with his wife.  I also recently got to hear a 90 year old mother play a duet of Silent Night on the piano with her daughter on the organ. They were both playing without written music in front of them. The mother said that she couldn't see the notes on the paper anymore , but her fingers remembered the notes on the piano. I have known the power of music since I was very young, but now I have seen it with fresh eyes. Both of these experiences were beautiful and made me cry and thank God for music. When I hear music, I have no doubt that it was created by God and is a gift to humankind. Perhaps that is why there is so much music in both the sacred and secular worlds. It is a universal form of communication. It can bring peace, reduce stress, soothe a baby’s cry, and reach far into someone’s mind who can’t remember their wife’s name, but can remember a tune and/or the words of a song. There are hymns that I sing now as an adult that I remember singing the 1st and last verse of as a young child in Sunday School and I embrace the comfort and familiarity .  There are many references to music throughout the Bible. Music can draw us closer to God. I have heard people say many times that a song or a hymn has brought them to tears.  Music touches us deep within our soul and I think that was exactly God’s intention. 

Music washes from the soul the dust of everyday life - Unknown

Sing songs to the tune of his glory, set glory to the rhythms of his praise. Psalm 66:2

Gracious Father, Thank You for Your gift of Music. Thank You that it touches our souls in ways that we cannot even put into words. Amen.


August 3

     My thirty-two year old son was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma in May. Our family immediately asked our friends to pray for my son. Social media, especially Facebook, was very helpful in reaching hundreds of people. Some of my son's family and friends texted him to tell him they were praying for him during his chemotherapy infusions which lifted his spirits. Many of our family and friends placed our son on their prayer lists at their churches. My son was amazed by the number of people praying for him. The power of prayer is amazing! He told me that the prayers made a difference. His attitude became more positive, and he became less fearful. His doctor was amazed at how well he did with his first round of chemotherapy. He continues to be positive as he starts his fourth round of chemotherapy. We know there will be difficult days, but my son knows that God is with him and will give him the strength and courage he needs to get through each day.

Dear God, Help us to remember that you are always there with us during these difficult times to give us courage, strength,
and comfort. Amen

As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength. Psalm 138:3