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This morning’s Stillspeaking Devotional made me think.  In fact, I believe its purpose was to make us all stop and think… and say ‘yes’.  I try so hard to say “yes” and I sometimes feel thwarted at every effort.  There are days when I feel as if my helium-like positivity is being weighed down by other people’s worries or negative demeanors.  What am I to do, God?

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And even those who I thought would embrace change and transformation are grasping at my ankles when I only want to rise and be with you.

If we are supposed to bring your kingdom to come on earth, why are so many so convinced that we cannot rock the boat?

I choose not to quit, but it’s hard to go on when suggestions are met with ‘no’ or the softer but equally blocking ‘however’.  Lord, I need you to show through me.  I alone do not have what it takes to convince others to follow you, but I know that you do.

Give me the courage to stand strong and loving.  Give me the patience to stay balanced and filled with my convictions.

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Soften the hearts of the stodgy.  Help them to see that if they will only let you take charge, that all will be well.  Lord, I love you so much.

May your “yes” override our doubts about you and overwhelm us with gratitude and joy.

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!

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(In the US, we celebrate Memorial Day on the 4th Monday in May.  It commemorates those who have gone before us and our memories of them.  This isn’t those who went before, but it’s a memory).

Eleven (11) yrs ago this week-end, I worked this three (3) day week-end because it gave time for a cutover to a major upgrade of Windows NT Network Operating System.  I needed to look up something technical on the (relatively new to us) internet, & up popped Yahoo personals – a new invention.  I went on with my work and a few weeks later, after breaking off a 7 yr relationship, I had time/inclination to check into that stuff. 

On 7/17/2002, I met Steve Hitchens.  On 5/11/2003, we married!  Cool, huh? 

Moral o’ the story:  Never be afraid of work…  good things come from it!

Good God,

I don’t know how you  figured that one out, but you sure got it right!   Pairing people who will be compatible has never been easy; in fact some make a living at doing this…  but they are human and you are the creative energy in the universe, perfection, brilliant, indescribable!  Amazing!  I worship you.

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Lord of Love,

I lift Steve up to you, eleven years later and forty pounds heavier and eleven years older (and deeper in debt!), we’re married.  We love each other and we have moments when we don’t even like each other.  We are committed to staying together and making this work!  I think that’s good.

Maker of Misery and Merriment,

I lift Steve up to you today.  I put him and our marriage in your hands.  I surrender it to you.  I ask that you make the way for him to be more comfortable; his knees hurt almost all the time; let him be willing to take treatment for the arthritis –  whichever is best.  I pray that you would soften his heart whenever it starts to harden from current/past hurts.  I pray that you would make us both less desirous of control.  I pray that you will help me to remember to be kind to him, to think of his reaction to situations and to work toward good solutions.

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Remind me any way that’s effective to relax and enjoy having this wonderful man in my life!

Generous Giver,

Thank you for Steve.  Thank you for memories.  Thank you for love.  Thank you for free will and brains to make good choices and hearts that want.  Thank you.  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!

The 5/22 Stillspeaking Daily Devotional from the UCC was written by Rev./Prof. Mary Luti.  As I finished reading it, I was in tears.  It took me 18 minutes to stop while praying the following.  If you haven’t read it, click the link above.  It’s among the most beautiful!

God of Wind and Quietude,

I don’t understand how you can be both, but I trust you are.

Moore, Oklahoma Tornado on Ground

God of Chaos and Order,

I can’t fathom where I would begin in a catastrophe like Oklahoma’s, but I trust you do.

God of Creation and Destruction,

I can’t imagine the purpose of this horrific situation, but I know you’re there, and I trust that my task is to begin anew and every moment I need it, to rest in your arms – crying, planning, lauding, thanking.

God of Faith, Hope and Love,

I remember the words of the TV ad from the 1960’s, “Where there’s life, there’s hope.”

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Ever-present Energy,

I bring this mess in Moore, Oklahoma to you and I place it at your feet. I don’t have the power alone to resolve it. Indeed Lord, no human nor group of humans have the power alone.  I praise you, Lord, because you do.

Remind me to pray without ceasing today.  Remind me to cling to you, for I will be better off with your loving arm around my shoulder than anywhere without you.  Remind me to hope today, because up until now, bad has always gotten better when I prayed and planned and practiced patience, then put my shoulder to the load as I put on the yoke with you.  Remind me today to love, for there’s really no other reason for me to be here.

Generous Grace,

It may not feel like much sometimes, but as long as we still are living, we have an incredible gift from you.  I’m grateful.  The house may be gone, but if someone survived and someone else can hold that person, cling to that person, take and offer support, each has an incredible gift from you.  If clean water, a change of underwear, a cell phone, a nourishing meal is brought in by “the helpers” (as Fred Rogers’ mother would say), all will be well again eventually.

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That was a POWERFUL wind.  And no, I don’t think you were angry at ANYONE nor sent tornadoes to punish ANYONE.  I think bad things happen and it’s up to you and me to pull up our bootstraps or our ‘big-girl panties” and get to work to bring your kingdom, to end evil, to create a world filled with love that can overcome anything, even death.  So, God of all Good Things, thank you.  Thank you for my life.  Thank you for a few extra dollars to send to the non-profits that will help.  Thank you for FEMA, even though I can’t fix it all by itself.  Thank you for the calm, beyond the  storm.  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!

Oh my Lord,

this one hurts!  You waited so long before bringing Marsha to Mike.  They love each other.  And now he gets a diagnosis of Bulbar ALS!  How frightening this must be for both of them!  I know currently we know of no cure for ALS. I know there are many medications needing clinical trials. If it be your will, Lord, please inspire chemical engineers with the proper combination to halt the degeneration. I also know that you can do all things.

Majestic Maker,

I pray that you will shower Mike and Marsha with your grace.  Remind them that they do have time left together.  Let them spend time memorizing each other’s faces, especially their smiles.  Grant them peace. Grant them happiness.  Grant them many good days in this time Mike has left.  Help them to remember that time spent focused on loss and sadness takes time away from the overall time they have together and therefore really isn’t helpful.

Help them to consider the lilies of the field, knowing that you take care of these lovely flowers.  Remind them that they also are your creations and you will care for them, too.  Grant them Christ’s peace, which surpasses all understanding.  Keep their hearts and minds on you and on each other.

I pray in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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!

My co-worker, Dee, became a widow through the tragic and unexpected death of her husband about five years ago.  Since then, life has been precarious for Dee.  She spent much of these last years angry with God.  Her grief over her husband was palpable.  

Bit by bit, over time Dee crept back toward a relationship with God.  She found Joyce Meyer on TV and something in Ms. Meyer’s theology rings true for Dee.  

Last week, Dee mentioned she had a job interview.  I prayed most of what follows for her that day and sent my prayer to Dee and to my partners in prayer, inviting them to join me.  As they responded, I sent their notes to Dee.  This morning I received one from a friend who is in Italy right now.  When I sent it to Dee, she asked if we’d pray for a different matter.  

I always feel privileged to know the hearts’ desires of others, because it means I can pray for them.  I’m always honored when asked to pray.

Glorious God,

I rise in the morning to sing praise of you, for you are the only God.  You are the creative energy in the universe.  You cause all change.  You were present before the beginning, whether it was a ‘big bang’ or a week or calling things into being.  Your energy is a loving energy, seeking to make all thing new and good.  Amazing!

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Loving Lord,

Jeremiah heard you say “for I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare and not your destruction.”  God, I claim this verse for my co-worker, Dee.  She has struggled long and hard and needs a way to have financial stability.  Lord, I pray you will remind her that you have made her with everything she needs.  She has wonderful intelligence and organization. She is amazingly responsible.  Dee is hard working and never shirks what must be done.  She seeks to live as your servant and yet the worries have continued to creep in.  Lord, soften the hearts of Dee’s creditors and let them accept her offer of settlement.  She has done her best, and run the long race.  Give her rest from this and grant her peace to plan for her future with your inspiration.

Remind Dee that you love her beyond her wildest imagination.  Help her to remember that she is exactly as you want her to be, that the skills and experiences are from you.  Remind Dee that she is a strong, courageous and very intelligent woman.  Help her to remember that with you at the center of her being, she can do all things.  Grant her confidence.  Grant her peace.  Remind her that with every breath she takes, she is taking in your precious oxygen and as she exhales, she is letting out spent air, having taken what she needs from it.  Let her know from the tips of her toes to the end of the last hair on her head, she has everything she needs to show the people she meets that she is filled with your grace.

Help Dee to remember that you are in charge of her work life and her financial life and that she can relax, knowing that all will work together for her good.  And if this job she’s discussed is best for her, let the employer offer it to her at a salary that will ease her financial load.

Extravagant Everpresence,

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You know your plans for Dee and we trust in you.  Remind us to lean on your strength and rest safely in your arms.  You have given us this world to provide our every need.  We have water to drink and replenish our bodies.  We have food to fuel our movements and our thoughts.  We have people in our lives who remind us how you are – loving, kind, and peaceful.  We have cars to get to where we need to go and clocks to know when to be there.  All comes from you and we are grateful.  Lord, I love you so much!

Through Jesus Christ, 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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