Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day 15

My head is full of lenten hymns from my childhood: good Lutheran hymns with three parts of harmoniy supporting the melody and perfectly-placed accidentals and picardy thirds... not like the camp-fire songs they call 'hymns' nowadays.

Lord, help me to be aware of my speech: what comes out of my mouth, that other of your children hear. 

Thank You


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Day 14

Lord, strengthen Your Church, that we would be more determined to resist the devil and twice as determined to serve you wholly. Change our hearts of stone, that the world would see You in each of us, and wonder...
You are holy, holy, holy
You are holy, holy, holy
Your laws are right and perfect, Your love is undeniable.
We sing of Your glory, we rest in Your mercy, we fight the good fight in Your Name.
We lay ourselves aside, that You may shine.

And I am the moon with no light of my own
Still you have made me to shine
And as I glow in this cold dark night
I know I can?t be a light unless I turn my face to you

~ by Sara Groves

Monday, February 25, 2013

Day 13

your commandment of love is so simple
and yet  so challenging.
Help me to let go of my pride,
to be humble in my penance.
I want only to live the way you ask me to love,
to love the way you ask me to live.
Please break through the thickness and dense-ness that is my protection; peel away my callous like an onion. Bare me, that all would see You.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Day 12

Loving God,
there is so much darkness in my life

and I hide from you.
Take my hand
and lead me out of the shadows of my fear.
Help me to change my heart.
Bring me to your truth
and help me to respond to your generous love.
Let me recognize the fullness of your love
which will fill my life.
Free me from the darkness in my heart.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Day 11

To-day's Gospel, from Matthew 5, tells me to love my enemy.

So easy to say, so hard to consistently do.

We also read from Deuteronomy: 'Moses spoke to the people, saying:
“This day the LORD, your God,
commands you to observe these statutes and decrees.
Be careful, then,
to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
Today you are making this agreement with the LORD:
he is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways
and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees,
and to hearken to his voice.'

And from Psalms 119: Blessed are they who follow the law of the LORD.

And now this law says to love my enemy.

If I asked Jesus what He means by 'enemy', I know what He'd say.

LORD, I believe You have given me the grace to do this, yet I ask for more, yes more.
I believe You have equipped me but I still fail and fall and choose not to love, so I ask for mercy in Your judgment.
I believe You lead me so that I have opportunities to love an enemy at different times in my day; give me a renewed portion of Your good Spirit, along with an enthusiastic desire to follow your decrees. Forgive my lack of trust, and my lack of faith.
Because love does not coexist with fear. They are mutually exclusive, like disjoint sets A and B.
More of You, Jesus, more of You.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Day 10

O Holy One, I call to You, naming You as eternal, ever-present, and boundless in love. And there are times when I fail to recognize You in the dailyness and busyness of my life. Sometimes shame clenches tightly around my heart, I and hide my true feelings. Sometimes fear makes me small, and I miss the chance to speak from my strength. Sometimes doubt invades my hopefulness, and I degrade my own wisdom. 
Holy God, in the daily round from sunrise to sunset, remind me again of Your holy presence always near me and in me. Free me from shame and self-doubt. Help me to see You in the moment-by-moment possibilities to live honestly, to act courageously, to speak from wisdom, and to temper all with love.

~from our Protestant evangelical friends

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Day 9

~St Patrick's Breastplate~

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God's strength to pilot me,
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day 8


Traditional Lenten spiritual disciplines; good for me, good for my relationship with God and my neighbor...

LORD, forgive my selfishness. Strengthen me that I might seek You always first in all I endevour. 
Forgive my fearfulness. Strengthen me that I might boldly proclaim You as King of kings.
Forgive my apathy. Strengthen me that I might care, and then act upon this caring.

You are all good, all holy; the ONLY God.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 7

A quote from Mother Teresa:

The fullness of our heart is expressed in our eyes, in our touch, in what we write, in what we say, in the way we walk, the way we receive, the way we need.

Good and Loving God~
I confess my sin to you, the sin which i have done and that which i have left undone. I know pride and selfishness all too well, they have been my companions for far too long. Cleave that bond, Father, that i might think always of the eternal consequences of my thoughts, words, and deeds, rather than the temporal. I ask this through Jesus Christ Your Son, in the unity and fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Amen


Monday, February 18, 2013

Day 6

Into Your hands we commit our marriage, our finances, our families, our future.
We thank you for always providing and meeting our every need.
Please, a special blessing on beautiful Joslin Mia this day.
Thank you, LORD!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Day 5

Lord, As You were tempted after a forty day fast in the desert and still did not yield, so keep us, who are attempting to follow You in this lifetime, strong; that we might stay the course and finish the race. To You belong all glory and honor, power and majesty; You alone we praise!
Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Day 4

Praise God, because He sends the snow in due season!
His love endures forever
His mercy never ends

Praise Christ, for He endured temptation and suffering, and bore it patiently
His love endures forever
His mercy never ends

Praise the Holy Spirit, for He is the anointing of Christ, and of us!
His love endures forever
His mercy never ends

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Day 3

There are times when I am reminded of some event that occurred in my life long ago; sometimes triggered by a recent event, often triggered by a smell, or a song, or even a dream.
I wonder if in Heaven we will have memories.

I think we will not need them, nor will we even know that we ever had them: God will outshine all!
So we will meet on the corner of Gold Street and Gold Avenue and our mouths will not cease praising Him, praising Him, praising Him.

When we've been there
Ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We've no less days 
To sing God's praise
Then when we'd first begun.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Day 2

Lord, i still fear doing without. But I remember past habits that are now long forgotten but were, at one time, strongholds. I remember thinking 'not without Your help can i do this'. 
And You, Your love, Your strength prevailed. I have the victory in Jesus!
So as I enter into this holy fast, I think again 'not without Your help', and I rejoice in Your goodness.
Please continue to bless our marriage, give us each an unselfishness that surpasses the other.
Be with our parents, our brothers and sisters and their families, our friends - meet their needs and draw them closer to you.
Be with the leaders in our Nation and those in authority, that the decisions they make that affect so many people would be pleasing to you.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Thank you for our fathers and for our Fathers.

And we love You, too.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday

Day 1 of this contemplative journey I am undertaking.

I fear fasting, I confess.
I fear abstaining, I confess.
I fear almsgiving, I confess.

Lord Jesus, make these three so much a part of me that I begin to welcome such opportunities; and forgive me for my selfishness. Be my sufficiency during this 40 days of Lent and beyond.
I praise you for your goodness.
Also, Father - I pray
For the men of Livingston County, that we would all turn to You with our whole heart;
For Pope Benedict XVI, his healing, and his successor;
For the Church, that YOU would continue to lead Her, guide Her, protect Her;
For our Protestant brothers and sisters, that You would open their hearts and minds to Your truth, and take away their bitterness and anger;
For those hurting, lonely, afraid to-day, that You would protect and comfort, and bring hope.

Thank You for Your Love, thank You for Your Son, thank you for Your plan.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

So God Made a Farmer

Paul Harvey's voice brings shivers to my skin, his voice and cadence so distinct. I happened upon this while playing a Youtube Supertones song; it was the Ad that i can skip in 5-4-3... but after it began i didn't want to skip it. I even made my wife listen to it.

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer.
"I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife's done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon -- and mean it." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from 'tractor back,' put in another seventy-two hours." So God made a farmer.
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week's work with a five-mile drive to church.
"Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life 'doing what dad does.'" So God made a farmer.

Be well. God loves you and so do I.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Recipe #9

This is a guacamole dish I tried to-day for the first time and we both love it with Kroger 100% white corn restaurant style tortilla chips.

2 avocados
1 brick of cream cheese
2 large tablespoons of sour cream
about a cup of Kroger Private Selection Mellow Black Bean and Corn Mild Salsa
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

Let the cheese soften, then mix with other ingredients in a small bowl. Whip it real good. Try it with some chips then put it in a Pyrex for tomorrow; it's better the next day.

Glorious sunny Saturday morning! Chilly cold and lots of frost on the windows so we're going to get us some wood!

Well we didn't get any wood, but we did save $5 at Dollar General in Pinckney! Got dog food, cat litter, tp, 4 litres of diet dew, and something else that i can't remember...

Bo Ryan is now 10-0 against the University of Michigan basketball team, hehehe. Great ending in overtime. I'm a Trey Burke fan all out because of his sportsmanship and cool like the other side of the pillow.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Word of the Lord; Thanks be to God!

Brothers and sisters:
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.
But I shall show you a still more excellent way.

If I speak in human and angelic tongues,
but do not have love,
I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy,
and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
if I have all faith so as to move mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own,
and if I hand my body over so that I may boast,
but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
It is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.
If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing;
if tongues, they will cease;
if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
For we know partially and we prophesy partially,
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child,
think as a child, reason as a child;
when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,
but then face to face.
At present I know partially;
then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

Lord, let this passage hold special value to us as believers, let our hearts never forget St Paul's description of Love; let us always live out our calling: to love.