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Good morning God,

I have my coffee, I have ten minutes before I must go prepare to take Susan to shop for her wedding dress and I am honored that she has chosen me.  I’m so excited!  I tell you again that only you, Lord, could have sent such a dear woman with such compatibility to me to be my friend & sister in Christ.  Amazing!

Lord whose light overcomes all darkness,

I pray today for a gentle and happy temperament.  I pray you will keep me from anger, disrespect, sloth.  You know how annoyed I can be over my employer and colleagues, and at poor Steve.  But it’s Saturday and there should (should!) be enough time and good things happening to keep me light hearted today.  Remind me to pray to be the Micah 6 woman and the I Peter 3:8 woman and the I Peter 3:15-17 woman.

I pray again for the families of Susan and Matt.  Thank you for Diane’s response about Sarah; Diane is an amazing blessing!  Chip away at the hardness of heart that Kelly & Aaron have.  Show all who love Susan that Matt is a wonderful, Godly man.  Show all who love Matt that Susan is a wonderful, Godly woman.  Give them love and gentle righteousness to help bring your kingdom to earth.

I pray today for Thea.  Her healing is miraculous to me, Lord.  Please, keep her free from recurrence of cancer for more years so that we can enjoy her and she can continue to do your work.

I pray for Steve as he tries to quit smoking.  He has done this for more than 50 years, Lord, and I praise you for sending others who are also quitting.  The support among these men for one another is clearly the work of your hand.  Surround them with your serenity; keep them from stress.  Help them to laugh and breathe oxygen deeply when they want to breathe tobacco smoke.  I beg of you, Lord, let him quit and stay with me for years to come.

Spirit of song,

Thank you for gentle wakings on Saturday mornings.  Thank you for music to keep our spirits high and light, like an eagle soaring in the sun.  Thank you for last Sunday and the time to teach the 3rd & 4th graders about eagles and Isa. 40.  It brought joy to my heart, Lord.  I love you so much!

In Jesus’ most holy name I pray,

Amen!

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

Five or so years ago, my prayer partners and I prayed for the life of one of a set of twins.  Ellie was born, it seemed, very prematurely.  Her sister Mollie, though, was quite ready.  Ellie lives and is a blessing to those who have her in their lives.  God’s purpose if always amazing to me.

Glorious God,

Only you could have kept Ellie alive.  Only you know the depths of our hearts and souls.  Only you fully understand our best and our worst, our most beautiful and our ugliest thoughts and emotions.  Amazing!

Lord of Light,

I bring Thea to you this morning.  Thank you for her healing to date.  We are thrilled that she is doing so well.  I pray for her continued health, Lord.  If you would keep the cancer out of her body for at least a few more years, I’d be very grateful.  Of course, you’re in charge, so I’ll go with whatever happens.I bring Susan, to you this morning.  And her daughter, Sarah, and her son, Aaron.  I bring also Matt, Susan’s fiancé, and his daughter, Kelly (ie?), and his son, whose name I don’t know.  I know you can heal the anger, the sadness, the sense of hopelessness in each of them, Lord.  I pray you will hit Aaron & Kelly with your heavenly 2×4 to knock a bit of sense into them.  Show them their anger

hate to lovehas no good purpose.  Help them to know that with you, they have the ability to get over it.  Show them the reason to replace the anger with happiness that Matt & Susan love one another.  Over time, give them the tools and reasons to become one large family, filled with love and happiness.  And a job for Sarah would be a tremendous thing, too.  Give her the energy to try.  Surround her with people who bring your love.  Thank you for the inspiration to contact our CCoB “Colorado Chapter”.  Today, I will send a note to Diane and Paula to ask them to pray for Sarah and see if they have any thoughts.

God Almighty,

You’re amazing.  As I sit here praying, you give me that inspiration and I know it’s from  you! I am gleeful.  I am grateful.  Thank you, Lord. I just love you so much!

In Jesus’ name,

Amen!

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

 

“Don’t know what to do?  Ask God for help.  Got no words of your own?  Use the Psalmist’s; that’s what they’re for.  Paralyzed by the situation and don’t know how to start?  Pray.”

~ Rev. Quinn Caldwell, “Filler” UCC StillSpeaking Devotional dated January 23, 2013

Speechless__by_sharniii

Great God Almighty,

It’s me again.  I’ve just finished reading today’s StillSpeaking Devotional and Quinn Caldwell’s words have again touched my heart.  I don’t know what to do, and I trust that you know what I should do.  I fear paralysis by the situation and so I pray.  For you, Oh God, are my hope.  You alone are my guide.  You alone are worthy of my worship.  Every moment that I think of you, I praise you and give you thanks.  (If you made my mind better, Lord, I’d sing your praises more often…  just a thought.)

Lord of Light,

I hand over my life to you.  I surrender my will to yours.  I pray only Lord, that you will make clear my path and my purpose.

I pray also Lord, for my friend Susan and her betrothed Matt.  I am grateful that you’ve sent them to one another.  I pray that you will bless their relationship and let them be a blessing to one another.  You know, Lord, how important Susan is to me.  You know how she is such a blessing in my life and you know how very much I love her.  Please, Lord, let them delight in one another.  Let them always remember the way they feel about one another right now.  Let each of them always feel the thrill of seeing one another, as they do right now.

Today, Lord, I also bring Steve’s and my financial situation to you.  We need BIG help, Lord, You know the situation better than I Lord.  I thank you for all you are doing to show us the way.

Generous Giver,

Thank you for Nancy, who reminded me this morning to be grateful for running water, even if it’s cold.  Thank you for my car, even at its age.  Thank you for enough money to buy gas to come to work.  Thank you for the new opportunity with IHAP.  Thank you for my life.  Lord, I love you so much!

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

“It’s just unfair,” Lovelady’s brother, Mike Lovelady, said Tuesday. “My brother didn’t deserve to die.” reads the quote that struck me at  CNN’s website.

“Didn’t deserve to die?”  I thought.  I know this may sound callous to you but, did Mike Lovelady think his brother would live forever?  We all will die.  We are like grass (it reads in the 40th chapter of Isaiah, in the Jewish Bible, Prime Testament and Old Testament).  It’s a given, we’re not going to get out of this life alive.  I mean no offense.  It’s merely a true fact.

ht_algerian_hostages_02_jef_130122_wg

Continuous Creator,

Only you could have made this galaxy, this earth, this land, this man.  Only you have the power, the knowledge, the plan.  While humanity has learned how to fertilize a human egg with a human sperm, we simply could not make human life out of nothing.  Yours is the power; yours is the glory.

Eternal Energy,

We grieve at the loss of life; you created us that way.  We don’t want loved ones to die.

Loving Lord,

I pray that you will gather those who mourn in your loving embrace.  Remind them of the joy brought to their lives; help them to feel that joy again as they share their memories. Help them to lean on your perfect strength.  Remind them they are not alone, you will never abandon us. Help them to be kind, respectful, and gentle with one another.

Generous Giver,

Our lives, our loved ones, that which we eat, that where we sleep, everything, Lord, comes from you.  Thank you.  I am grateful. Lord, I just love you so much!

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

In the month since the massacre at Sandy Hook, I have been trying to determine how to ‘wage peace’ instead of waging war.  Nature abhors a vacuum. As a Christian, I know that I can’t eliminate a sinful or unwanted behavior by meditating on “don’t ___”; I need to meditate on what God would want me to do instead.  

I teach our Sunday Schoolers with a balloon.  When we inhale, our lungs are like balloons being filled.  When we exhale, our lungs are emptied.  As we think we’re breathing in, I know God is filling us with with inspiration; God is breathing positive, loving energies for our good and the good of the world.  As we think we’re exhaling, God is removing negative and harmful things, even used up residuals of the inspiration that are no longer helpful.  As we allow God’s good to come into us, we think about what good we can do.  In my meditation, I hold the breath in for a count of four, getting maximum use from the oxygen and other good things in the air.  I hold God’s goodness and develop a plan to “wage peace”.  As I exhale, I expel doubts, negativity and sin.  I replace “bad habits” by finding a good habit to practice instead.  (The Sunday Schoolers love having a balloon to take with them for later!)

crayola bomb

Inscrutable Imagineer,

You are beyond my ability to understand.  You are all good and worthy of all my love and praise.  Your plan for the universe is a peaceable kingdom, an enormous symbiosis, where we live together in mutual benefit.  I woke early this morning to sing your praises.  Let these fall from my tongue until I fall into my bed tonight.

hicks-peaceable-kingdom-122012

Lord of Light and Love,

I bring to you today the need to move beyond violence.  Lord, help me and all of your creation find ways to discuss differences.  Remind us to find ways to practice peace.  Give us the inspiration needed to develop a new curriculum for our children, from their youngest.  Show us how to lead children to get along.  Show us how to raise children who love peace.  Give us ideas on how to help pre-schoolers, children, youth, adolescents and adults as all need ways to get what they need while being mindful of the needs of others.  Remind us to respect one another as your creations.  Remind us that ‘people are not for hitting’ and lives are meant to be lived without violent intervention or violent ends.

Lord, I love your creation; all of your people and animals, vegetables and minerals. Give me the ideas, the conviction, and the stamina, I pray of thee, to help be the change we so need to see in your world.

be-the-change-you-want-to-see-in-the-world-mahatma-gandhi

Continuing Creator,

You have made so many things for my use.  I have a warm home in this winter, a working computer, light when the sun is not yet shining on my part of the world, electricity and energy to power everything that keeps us going in this post-modern age.  I am grateful.  I pledge to use these tools well.  Lord, I just love you so much!

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

Incredible Imagineer,

I long to be more like you; great and marvelous are your works and you have limitless energy. Just and true are your ways, my Lord and health is never an issue for you.

But Good God,

I have caught the virus that’s going around and I feel like doing nothing more than lounging around. I am annoyed at myself.  Seriously, Lord, how long does it take to pray? You and I both know how few minutes. I don’t know which comes first, the virus or the attitude, but they make one obnoxious team! We have much work to do, Lord; so much to accomplish in this world of yours.  So much love that should be shared.  So much justice and mercy to seek.

I cry out to you, you who created me.  I pray you will make me healthy and upbeat again.  I pray you will remind me to care for this body you’ve given me: to put good things into it, let it rest as needed, and make the good effort to bring your kingdom to this earth.

Build me up, Lord, I pray of thee; in body and soul.  Help me to be the best Melissa, who you want me to be.

Generous Giver,

I have so much, and yet, I weep and moan.  You’ve given me a house with heat.  You’ve given me food to build my reserves.  You’ve given me dogs for company and a job with a manager who understands when I take sick time. There are many who have none of these.  Thank you.  I love you so much!

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

Again, I’m posting something many have seen previously.   I believe there are some things that can be proven; they are factual.  I believe there are some things that cannot be proven and some that are perhaps known not to be factual; however, they are still true.  The explanation of the attribution to Mother Teresa (below) is one of those things that doesn’t matter to me.  I don’t care whether or not Mother Teresa had them on the wall of her bedroom.  The words seem as if they could have been hers.  To me, they are certainly true.

I hadn’t come across the Kent Keith version before I received this today. I love to savor differences.  I’m a word junky.  And by the way, this was sent to me by a man named Jonathan, which translates as “gift from God”.  I know this because I gave the name to my son  for that precise reason.

 Mother Teresa: “Do It Anyway”

The verses below reportedly were written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India, and are widely attributed to her.

Some sources say that the words below were written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s own room.  In any case, their association with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity has made them popular worldwide, expressing as they do, the spirit in which they lived their lives.

They seem to be based on a composition originally by Kent Keith, but much of the second half has been re-written in a more spiritual way.  Both versions are shown below.

___________________________________________

1. The version found written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

____________________________

2. The Original Version:

The Paradoxical Commandments

by Dr. Kent M. Keith

  1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
    Love them anyway.
  2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
    Do good anyway.
  3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
    Succeed anyway.
  4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
    Do good anyway.
  5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
    Be honest and frank anyway.
  6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
    Think big anyway.
  7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
    Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
  8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
    Build anyway.
  9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
    Help people anyway.
  10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
    Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

“The Paradoxical Commandments” were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders

Spirit of Sayings,

You send inspiration from strange places.  I’ve been having a very hard time and the above comes to my email.  Amazing!

Lord of Life and Love,

I feel a bit like people claim Teresa felt in Calcutta.  I’m adrift in a stormy sea and can’t find you.  In my head, I know you’re out there.  In my heart, I’ve been feeling alone and abandoned.

Generous Giving God,

Thank you for bits of inspiration.  Thank you for my life.  Thank you for reminding me that you will never leave me orphaned; you will always be with me. I love you so much!

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

You may have already read this.  When I do, I think of my pets as an incredible gift.  I didn’t write the story.  I don’t know if it’s factual, but it certainly is true.

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa , and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

wolfhound n boy

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience. The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.” Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live. He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued,  ”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right. Think good thoughts for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

Have a great life.

Generous Giver,

Thank you for this day.  Thank you for dogs.  Thank you for the moments to take a breath. Thank you for my life. I am grateful.  I love you so much!

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

Incredible Imagineer,

You have  created a universe in which you baffle me.  You think you’re funny.  I do too.  In the midst of my confusion and ‘flurrious’ activity, I needed a laugh; you knew it before I did.  Humans are imperfect, flawed, unknowing. You know everything.  We are merely your creatures.  You are the creator.  Amazing!

god-sits-in-his-throne-and-plays-fetch-with-his-dog-who-has-just-brought-Mick-Stevens

“God sits on a throne and plays fetch with a dog who has brought the world” ~ Mick Stevens for the New Yorker

Loving Lord,

Today I ask that you will continue to amaze and delight me, yet keep me in line.  I ask that you will remind me to move only as quickly as my mind can think.  Help me to be careful.  Yet, help me to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with you.  Remind me that I can help to make your kingdom come on earth.  Help me remember to be agreeable, sympathetic, loving, & compassionate.  Let me be a blessing to those I meet.

Glorious God,

Your ways are perfect.  Your goal is peace, justice, and love.  You have blessed me abundantly and given to me wastefully, so much more than I need.  Thank you for water.  Thank you for coffee.  Thank you for healing and feelings.  I am grateful.  Lord, I love you so much!

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen.

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

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