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God Trusted
That your parents
And their parents
And your grandparents’ great, great grandparents
And those people
all the way back to those Cro-Magnon folks
. . .
God trusted them to make you.
. . .
Now, God was around before the beginning
And God will still be around after it all ends.
. . .
And I don’t know if God sat down and created a chart
that Gregor Mendel discovered;
. . .
I don’t know why you or one of your friends
was conceived through
violence,
or
wasn’t wanted
or
maybe even was wanted.
. . .
(There are many things I don’t know;
and that’s
why
I say “God only knows”
but maybe other people know and just I don’t.)
. . .
Here’s what I know:
. . .
God trusted your parents
and all those progenitors
to make you
One
Beloved
Child
of
God’s
. . .
And it doesn’t matter to me whether your parents wanted you or not.
I know that you are not an accident because
God trusted because
. . .
God wanted you.

Amen.

To God be the Glory!

 

© Melissa Pazen, 2017

Love always,

Melissa
Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL  60134

Cell:  773.405.3301

www.melissapazen.net

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!

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The Lord’s Prayer — Even for Your Enemies

The place to start in praying for our enemies is the prayer that the Lord taught us to pray. Whatever else you pray for your enemies, pray for them like this:

  • Father, grant that my enemy — my colleague who snubs me, my wife who belittles me, my child who disrespects me, the ISIS member who wants to kill me — grant that they would come to hallow your name. Grant that they would treasure you above all, and reverence you, and admire you more than anything.
  • Father, grant that my enemy would come under the saving, purifying sway of your kingly rule and that you would exert your kingly power to make my enemy your own loyal subject.
  • Grant, Father, that my enemy would love to do your will the way the angels do it in heaven with all their might, and without reservation, and with the purest motives, and with great joy.
  • Grant, Father, that my enemy would have all the physical resources of food and clothing and shelter and education and health-care and transportation that he needs to fulfill your calling on his life.
  • And forgive my enemy his sins, as you bring him to repentance, and make him a forgiving person, and protect him from overpowering temptations, and from the destructive power of the devil.

Source:  http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/pray-for-those-who-abuse-you

Today’s Stillspeaking Devotional, written by Donna Schaper, is called “Pointsettias”.  As I was reading, the phrase I’m using for the title jumped out at me and I hurried here to paste it and start my notes for my prayer.  And then, to have integrity, I read and reread the entire devotional. 

“Substituting details for depth” …is that when I buy so many Christmas presents for someone instead of spending time with him? …is that when I criticize the grammar and punctuation instead of lavishing in the thoughts behind the writing? …do I decorate for Christmas instead of contemplating the possibility of Jesus coming as a human and changing the world?

What does “prepare for the glory of the Lord by fixing the universe, despite itself” mean? I long to leave the world better than it was when I arrived, yet I have a bit of trouble realizing that sometimes I need to be ‘accepted the things I cannot change’, in Bonhoeffer’s words. I’m good at attempts to improve the large social ills and need to keep working on keeping my side of the street clean in my closest relationships.  Mindfulness, sometimes a difficult practice to keep in place.  

Quinn Caldwell’s All I Really Want has been a wonderful source of contemplation last advent and this. 

Unimaginable One,

I come to humble myself and to worship you, shouting your praises internally while be quiet externally. Your name should echo throughout the universe and I praise you, adore you. You are the almighty, the all mighty, and I am but one of your creations. Yet, you know me inside out. You know my name and speak to me individually through little bursts of inspiration. You are amazing!

Indescribable God

Loving Lord,

Today, I ask that you will heal Steve’s bruises from his fall. He’s feeling better yet plans to stay off the bruised leg today and that’s a little difficult for me to accept (even though I can’t change it). Thank you for the chance that he might work Saturday to make up the hours. 

I ask for the ability to relax my own aching neck and head today. I try to avoid pain medication for fear it will harm my kidneys and/or lose its effectiveness.

SONY DSC

Super-giving Source,

Thank you for advent meditation opportunities like the one I enjoyed last night. Thank you for Susan, who loves me dearly. Thank you for my faith community who are extensions of family for me. Thank you for a brain to think. I love you so much!

And I pray in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

To God be all glory!

Love always,

Melissa
Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL  60134

Cell:  773.405.3301

www.melissapazen.com

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!

I have a friend who keeps a gratitude journal and aims for 100 items each day. As I prepare for Thanksgiving, I start to list the people and things for which I’m thankful. Then I realize the list will be too long, oh Lord! If I were to read everything into a Thanksgiving blessing, the food would be dreadfully cold and my guests would be out of patience by the time I’m done.

Cornucopia

Unimaginable One,

I come to you this morning knowing that I am poor and helpless. Only through you and your loving creating energy can I even breath, much less stand and clean and cook and prepare to welcome my family and friends tomorrow! You called the heavens and the earth into being, so long ago that we can only try to reconstruct how and when it happened. I praise you endlessly. You are amazing!

Loving Lord,

I pray today for joy and energy and patience, patience with myself, Steve, Thea, Adrienne, the dogs. I so want this Thanksgiving to be evidence of your love for us all, through me. I pray that you will continue to bless us, as you already have – to such a marvelous extent that the cornucopias of our lives are overflowing. I pray that you will remove me from the bondage of self, so that I may give without reservation.

I pray for those who are traveling, including Kate and Will, Chris and Margaret, Peggy and her family. I pray for those who will be alone by choice, hoping that at the last moment, if they want companionship that you will provide. I pray for those who will be alone not be choice; point them to my house, Lord, and let me lavish them with food and your love. I pray there will be enough chairs and enough room at the tables.

Generous and Glorious Giver,

You have granted us such bounty, of food and belongings and friends and family. I have so much more than I could ever need. Bless it all to your purpose. Thank you for dogs. Thank you for heat. Thank you for the turkey. Thank you for sight and taste and smell and hearing and feeling. Thank you for intuition. Thank you for all the people and things that would make this prayer go on for pages and days. It is all from you, everything I have and everything I am. I am incredibly grateful.

Jesus promised that if I ask in his name, it will be granted. And so, I call on Jesus’ mighty name.

Amen.

To God be the glory!

Love always,

Melissa

Inspired Coaching, Melissa Pazen

39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL  60134

Cell:  773.405.3301

www.melissapazen.com

 

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently! 

… I sit quietly and look at this image:
jesus-reaching-in

And then I feel better.

positive-teens

I got a message from one of the Moms at our Church, saying she had a bizarre idea.  We missed each other by email and phone for more than a week and finally met for lunch two days ago.  Her idea is to host a group for young women who have been hospitalized for self-harming behavior, depression, suicide attempts.  These adolescents have psychiatrists, therapists, and medication, but they still feel isolated and lonely.  Their friend choices are frequently of others who might be 

Holy Cow, God,

Only you have the absolute right way to do things. You called the worlds into being and you call me to run an activity group for some troubled, local, adolescent girls who need more friends and need something to do. While I wouldn’t have thought of working with teens, I know your plan is perfect. You are amazing!

Glorious God,

I am very excited about this and I can only sing your praises from morning to night. Lord, I ask only that you’ll let me be a blessing to these young women. I know they will be a blessing in my life. I pray that you will whisper in my ear every time I’m with this group. And until I see them again, hold them close and remind them to lean on your perfect strength, since we can do nothing without you.

Perfect Parent,

affirmation1-1024x927The request that I run this group is an affirmation of my talent and skill.  It is an incredibl gift. I know this comes from you, who loves me more than life itself; you proved that in Jesus. You also showed us that your life and energy go on forever. That the mom who came to me wanted someone with a Christian perspective makes me delighted.  That this is an activity and coaching group, not therapy is freeing.

Lord, I need you to know I am grateful.  I thank you.  I love you so much!

And I pray in Jesus’ almighty name,

Amen.

To God be the glory!

© Melissa Pazen, 2014

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

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  

~ Phil. 4:8

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????My blood type is B positive.  I used to say this is why I’m such an optimist.  These days, however, I can be cranky for what seems like weeks on end.  That’s not fair to others and it’s not fair to me and it’s really not fair to God.

I noticed last night that I’m irritated about this extreme cold that keeps me indoors with my car garaged.  There have been warnings on the radio to avoid going out at almost any cost.  My office is closed and I know that’s good because my car would likely give trouble trying to start after sitting in the wind-blown parking lot.  But I’m tired of the things that normally occupy me.  Mind you, I could make a lengthy list of things that could occupy my time well.  And so, I must.  But first, I need to talk with God.

Will you pray with me, please?

Everpresent Energy,

I’m getting bored in the house. You have made a universe that allows for beauty in every hour, and I am on the verge of sin as I refuse to enjoy it. As I meditate on the possibilities for this day of potential solitude, I know that you would want me to focus on doing good. You are perfect, you are wisdom, and just the fact that you ARE makes you worthy of my praise and adoration.  You are more than I could ever conceive.  You are amazing!

Loving Lord,

I pray that you’ll help me to adjust my attitude. Help me to fix my thoughts on purely pleasing you. Lighten my mood and remind me of my purpose, to help others. There is much I could do and now I shall make a list of a few of those things so that I can sense achievement when all items are checked complete.  And if I need to make a second list, inspire it.

Bee PositiveAs I share my home with Steve and the dogs, let me keep my mind focused as you would have me do. Strengthen our relationship and bless it. Let us find happiness in one another – not annoyance or blaming our discomforts on the other. Be with me always; put your hand on my mouth, if necessary to stop me from speaking meanness.  Let your blessed fingers unfurrow my brow and make my face a light of your love.

I bring to you also, those who are forced to be outside in such dangerous conditions. Show them ways to get warm and safe. Ensure that all have good nutrition and hydration to stay healthy.

I think of those who struggle with illness and injury. Lord, I pray you will be present in healing each of them, and when healing is not possible I pray you will keep them from suffering.

Generous Grandother,

Be PositiveYou have given us so much. Let me remember to be grateful for the light and warming energy of the sun. Let me thank you for water and coffee.  Let me revel in the fact that you have granted those in my circumstances more than enough to survive, you have granted me all I need to thrive and Lord, I pray I can thank you by using all these gifts as your faithful steward.  I am grateful.  Lord, I love you so much.

And I pray in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

To God be the glory!

© Melissa Pazen, 2014

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

John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.”

John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success.  He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

~ John 3: 26 -30

This morning, Mary Luti knocked it out of the park with her Stillspeaking Devotional about John the Baptist.  I had been sitting at my desk getting weepy because people don’t realize I’m sensitive and hurt easily.  And whenever this happens, I try to remember again — it’s not about me.  

A while back, Colleen Gabel led a retreat for women of the Congregational Church of  Batavia called “Cracked Pots to Holy Vessels” (or something like that…  I know cracked pots WAS involved, because the pun was totally intended!)  Will you pray with me, please?

cracked pot

Parent and Potter,

You are the architect of the universe and the builder and the materials and the laborer.  You created the heavens and the earth and I suspect there was little ‘hard work’ done to create it — I think you can’t help but create.  I think your creative energy is love.  I know you are amazing!

Gracious God,

Help me to remember that my every move should be to increase you.  Grant me the humility I lack.  Keep me on my knees worshipping you, not mistakenly thinking it’s about me.  Make me a vessel, filled with you to overflowing.  Empty my mind of me by filling it with you.  Make me a blessing for others, Lord — nothing more.

vessel for God

Constant Creator,

You have given me this mind, these fingers, these thoughts.  Without you, I am nothing — I would not be. Thank you for my life. Lord, I love you so much.  I am grateful.

And I dare to pray claiming 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 waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

~ Ephesians 5:11-16 The Message

Darkness and light.  Interesting shadows.  Opacity and transparency.  Artificiality and authenticity.  

How interesting to realize that being authentic is not being reactive.  To be true to the ‘me’ who God created, I must be mindful and deliberate.  Else, the ‘id’ of impulse takes over and all I do is eat chocolate and sleep.

This musing comes after reading today’s StillSpeaking Devotional, written by the Rev. Jimmy R. Watson.  He uses the scripture above.  

IMG_4096Yesterday, I finished a glass-bubble privacy panel to go in the window next to the front door of my house.  The morning before that, I noticed light coming through the center of a stained glass piece I had made several years ago.  

IMG_4089I had heard a story many years ago about a boy who had been told that the stained glass windows in the church were saints.  When asked later for a definition of a saint, he said “Someone who the light shines through”.  Maybe that’s technically translucent, not transparent, but it matches what we think of when someone states that people and organizations should act transparently, authentically.  

And so as the coffee bubbles into the pot, God’s love bubbles into me.  Thoughts of God pervade my being.

Loving Leader,
You are my God. I worship you. I will do as you please. Only you have the perfect vision. Only you could find the perfect place for me on earth.  You have a plan for how I should live out my life; how I may take part in bringing your kingdom to come on earth.  You only want what’s best and you fill us with love until every cell is complete and still your love flows and overflows.

Processed by: Helicon Filter;
Gracious Grantor,
Clear my vision and help me to stay focused on your will. Heal those for whom we’re praying, salve the wounded, elevate the low. Remind us that you are the air we breathe. Keep our beings in proper perspective with your massive universe.  Let your love overflow and splash from me.
Perfect Parent, Generous Grandother,
You set gifts before us because you SO want to please us. Thank you for opening my eyes to seek them, and you.  Thank you for coffee.
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!

We need to strengthen such inner values as contentment, patience and tolerance, as well as compassion for others. Keeping in mind that it is expressions of affection rather than money and power that attract real friends, compassion is the key to ensuring our own well-being.

~ The Dalai Lama, Spiritual Leader of the Tibetan People

Tibetan monasteryThis morning I read this quote.  Gratitude has been primary in my values and my emotions lately.   Love equals Compassion; Compassion equals Love.  Just for today, try on the value of compassion/love. And let me know how it feels.  Loving is no emotion for wimps or those afraid to be vulnerable, who don’t know the benefits of being wide open to others.

 

Will you pray with me, please?

God of our Fathers/Mothers/Ancestors,

Only you could give us compassion. It is the expression of empathy and love.

Lover of Light,
Fill me, please, with compassion. Let me see where I’m needed and act. Let me lean on your perfect strength in order to do so.   Remind me, God, over and over that my purpose is to please you and to serve others.  Let this beam from me, please.  Let me be a blessing to others.

Generous Giver,
All is from you. ALL is from you. All is from YOU. I take what you offer and I am thankful.

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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