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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!

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!

Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power.
    God will rule with a powerful arm.
    See, God brings the reward as God comes.
God will feed God’s flock like a shepherd.
    God will carry the lambs in God’s arms,
holding them close to God’s heart.
    God will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.

~  Isa 40: 10-11

You must see these photos to see why I searched for the Isaiah verses about lambs and sheep.

lambsNutcracker

Lord,

I love the little lambs, and I am grateful that you hold them close to your heart. Only you could envision moments like this: visions that bring pure joy to the beholder. You are amazing.

Generous Giver,

That’s all; just a little moment with a great shared visual. Thank you for the moment. Thank you for my life.

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 prayer at the end of this devotional,  published today, reminds me of Stephen Ministry and my training for it.  The body of the devotional is exactly the kind of story that led me to a talk I gave a year ago in San Diego.

child-abuse-620x349

I doubt the Stephen Ministers are often privileged to have someone share such serious parental abuse, yet I pray that as each care giver stands in the mud with her/his care receivers (official or unofficial), we can lean on God’s strength to avoid slipping with them into the ‘slough of despair’.

Will you pray with me please?

Unimaginable One,

You call us out of the darkness.  You created the light and you invite us to come live in the light of your kingdom.  We are honored, humbled, privileged.  You are amazing!

Lord of Love,

I pray for all who suffer the abuse of power by another human.  I pray especially for the vulnerable who should be cherished and protected but who are harmed by those who they were told to trust.  I pray for those who are told they must be wrong or that they are liars when they tell another adult of the abuse.  Be the comfort.  Be the healing energy.  Enfold them in your loving embrace and let them again feel safe.  You are the love through all the world and beyond.  Only you can help them by empowering them and others to do well.

Child_abuse

I pray for those too weak or naïve to protect the vulnerable.  Lord, please open their eyes and let them lean on your strength.  Let them use your strength to create a safe place for the victims.  Let them help to keep the victims out of harm’s way.

child_sexual_abuse

Lord, I bring to you also the abusers.  They have been weak to these sins; they have not overcome the temptations.  Bring them, too, into the light, Lord.  Show them the path on which to put their feet.  Make their journey aim for your kingdom and straighten the path for them as they begin to walk with you.  Send your saints to them, to walk beside them and encourage them and love them.

Gracious Giver,

You are the source of the technology to deliver the devotionals.  You put the thought into Donna Schaper’s mind to write the words we read.  You inspire me with forgiveness for perpetrators of hate, compassion for those to weak to stop what they know is wrong, and love for those who suffer from violations.

All that we have, all that we cherish, all that we enjoy comes from you.  I am grateful.  Lord, I love you so much!

Jesus told us to ask in his name, that our joy be made full.

I pray in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

Not to us, but 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!

This morning, I arose late and awakened slowly.  I had a quick chat on Facebook with Chris, my own biological true son.  I routinely call him “my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased”, as one of the a gospel writers said God referred to Jesus.  Chris is funny, smart and successful.  (Below is Chris, with my sweet, brilliant biological true daughter, Kate.)

Chris_n_Kate

I’ve been hanging out on Facebook now for 1-1/2 hours and I thought I was wasting time.  But then another ‘beloved son’ who found me on Facebook last fall posted a math problem.  I thought through my answer and chose the incorrect answer.  We started chatting and once again, I’m praying for Fizzy/Fritz.  This is he:

Fritz

When first he introduced himself he wrote:

Among great people,i believe i shall become great too and to tell my story to others how others impact my life positively. I live in Cameroon and am a Cameroonian, God fearing young man willing to get inspired and supported by others who can add value to my life and i shall also adhere to them. I am a good student studying accounting specialty but not been able to get a university study for 4years now after high school because i’m an orphan with no one to help me in my education. I have tried but i can not help myself by myself in my education. I seek to have a lovely caring parent who can treat me like his own. You seem wonderful and not a racist and that i’m happy. I will like to go back to any university to continue my study home or abroad but all i wish for is financial support and if you can help me,you will forever remain in my heart and i shall tell my story to others and help others who will need my help. Please Melissa inspire my life and give me hopes of living. I barely know you and i’m trusting you to help me and I pray that May God help you and touch your work so that you can help me.

So I’ve been praying for Fritz for about nine (9) months now.  And it was the easiest pregnancy that I’ve had, this figurative one!  Go figure!

We’ve been chatting on Facebook for about 30 minutes and here is my prayer for Fritz, my beloved son.

Eternal Energy,

Long before I became Melissa, you knew me.  Before Fritz was conceived or imagined, you knew him.  You are more than we can ever imagine.  You are the source of everything we see and hear and feel and smell and taste and touch.  Amazing!  I worship you.

Loving Light,

You bring us out of darkness.  Today I pray for Fritz.  He asks that “God should hold me and use me in His vinyard”.  I pray, Lord, that you will enfold him in your loving embrace and bless him.  Help Fritz find a way to get educated as he wishes and let him serve you.  Give him ‘enough’, Lord.   Your love gives us so much more than ‘enough’ spiritually!  Your love flows into us and fills every little space in our beings.  Fill Fritz and let your love overflow, spilling out of him to all the others with whom he comes into contact.  Bless his life and let him be a blessing to others.  Inspire him to find ways to provide for himself.  In love, let him build a huge family and bring your kingdom to come on earth, as it is in heaven.  Give Fritz what he needs as you give me what I need.  We ask nothing more than to serve you and dwell with you all the days of our lives.

Generous Grace,

Thank you for this technology that brings Cameroon and the United States into the same space.  Thank you for bringing Fritz and me together so that we can worship you and feel your love.

Cameroon

Your abundance is overwhelming.  Thank you for the feelings you instill in us.  Thank you.  Thank you.  And thank you.  I am grateful.  Lord, I love you so much.

And claiming to be his follower, I dare to pray in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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

I thank God for my children. Yesterday was my daughter’s 28th birthday and I wanted to talk with God about her and my son.  So I searched the Bible for “children are blessings”. Psalm 37 includes this:

The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in God;

 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him by the hand.

I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be a blessing.

Ps. 37:  23-26

Majestic Maker,

I rise in the morning to praise you and do your work, for you are the Almighty Architect of all I know – even beyond what I can see or hear.  I delight in considering how, who, what you are.  I delight in your ways and, even though I’m not a morning person, I spring from my bed to seek your will and your plan for the day.  Your colors, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations all are beauty beyond anything I could have conceived.  Amazing!

leonardo-da-vinci-pregnant

And you gave me the ability to grow another human inside me.  And you gave me one male child and one female child.  And they are smart, capable, funny, beautiful, thoughtful, compassionate and giving humans.  I do delight in you, God.  I surely do!

Generous Giver,

My children have grown into amazing adults.  I am proud of them and I love them more than I ever would have thought possible.  Spending time with them is my most desired activity.  My reason for living is to see what will come for them.

Lord, I bring them both to you today and ask that you bless them as they have blessed my life.  I pray that you will remind them that with you, they can do anything – there truly are no limits to your power.  I pray that even if they aren’t paying attention to you, that you will watch over them closely; keep them safe and remind them to continue to make the best of decisions. Grant them joy, Lord, I beg of you.  Let them be successful, however you and they define that.  Give them enough, Lord – no one needs more than enough, and yet you are so extravagant with us that we are amazingly comfortable.

Keep their heads ‘screwed on straight’, please, Lord.  They’ve done so well this far and yet I know that any of us could lose everything in the blink of an eye.  Both of these people love enormously, observe closely, plan carefully.  Give them the ability to continue their well-lived lives.

RLDabneyQuote1

Sovereign Source,

You’ve given so much.  You knew what we would need and you put it and more on the earth for us.  Thank you for phones and Facebook and blogs.  Thank you for the ability to communicate.  Thank you for my life… and Chris’s and Kate’s.  Lord, I love you so much!

And I pray in Jesus’ most holy 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!

Source of Snow & Sunshine, Only you could have brought Matt & Susan together.  Only you could have created Susan, perfect in the ways you want her.  Only you could have created Matt, perfect in the ways you want him.  Only you could make Matt fall in love with Susan and make Susan in love with Matt.  You are amazing!

sunshine and snow

Lord of Love, I pray you will bring sunshine into Susan’s relationships with Matt, Sarah, Aaron, Matt’s son John, Matt’s daughter Kellie, Susan’s parents, brother and sister.  If Matt’s parents or siblings are alive, add them too.   I pray the only precipitation on their wedding day be tears of joy! Knit all these creations of yours together into a strong and loving family, wanting only the best for one another.  Remove stitches of anger, disappointment and depression if any try to knit these in.  Create a beautiful, durable fabric of all these people and their feelings and actions for one another.

knit family

Generous Giver, Thank you for marriage.  Thank you for those we love and those who love us.  These and everything more comes as an extravagant gift from you.  Amazing blessings.  I am grateful.  I love you so much!

marriage roses

In Jesus’ almighty 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!

Having been raised by a mother who was “gonna take a train”, I think Lillian Daniel (author of this morning’s StillSpeaking Devotional from the UCC) is in great company.  Our mother, Mary Jane (Peppard) Pazen was the daughter of a railroad man.  Whenever she was truly frustrated, she would say “I’m gonna take a train…” meaning she was gonna run away from home.  She never did that, but she certainly died too young, in my humble opinion. 

When my kids were little and had the abandonment fears, I always made certain they knew I would never leave them and that I wouldn’t die when they were young, if it were within my power to avoid it!  I saw Kate a few weeks ago and I hugged her with all the strength in me.  I wonder if my kids know how very precious they are to me.  Wowee! 

Everpresent Energy,

You created the universe, I’m relatively new here.  Yet you gave me memories of my childhood and adulthood.  You created relationships and we are tasked with making the best of these.  Amazing!

elephant lady

Loving Lord,

I think today of my sisters. Thea, my biological sister, has another chemotherapy session this morning.  I pray you will hold her close as she undergoes this wretched nuisance in order to keep her body from developing cancer again.  Susan, my sister in Christ, continues to deal with family issues around her upcoming wedding. I pray you will send  you love and inspiration to her as she talks with her children and as Matt talks with his.

I think of Steve, my true love.  While he hasn’t received an answer from his interview last week, Lord, they said he would know several days ago.  If it is meant to be, he’s ready, Lord and I pray you will keep him healthy and strong.  If it is not what you want for Steve, I pray you would give him a final answer and send  your strength to him.  Perhaps this is the wakeup call for him to lose weight and stop smoking.  If so, give him LOTS of strength, patience, and a cheerful attitude whenever he can remember.  I know it would be hard for him, Lord, but I know with you beside him he could feel very good about having made the decision to improve his health. 

I think of my own self, Lord.  I thank you for the data analysis position.  I love the work.  I need, however, stamina.  It is hard for me to get up so early and work so long.  I pray you will continue to show me ways to even our financial situation.  I thank you for all you’ve done so far.

take-the-a-train-c Generous Giver,

You’ve handed us so much — for free, and sometimes we forget to  be grateful.  I appreciate my car, the circus, trains, my friends & family, and the memory of my mother.  Oh, and I appreciate dry skin cream.  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!

I remember a year when my children were small, hearing someone on the radio talk about gifts.  It is not meant to be a requirement, but a privilege.  It is to be something based on caring so much for the other that there is a need for a visible symbol of that invisible truth.

When my children were young, we made holiday gifts and had good fun deciding who would be the recipients.  One year it was 3” disks of wood on which they painted pictures. Another year it was small cedar blocks to hang on the tree or in the closet.  It felt good and brought on the spirit of the holidays.

Creative Energy,

Only you could begin the joy of giving.  You gave us everything we have and love us so much that you continue to wastefully pour blessings upon us.  Amazing!

Lover of Life,

I bring my brothers and  sisters in Christ to you today.  Bless them for the gifts they continually lavish upon one another and on me: physical, ‘logical’, visible, invisible, tangible and abstract.  All are beyond value!  Remind them that the ability to making someone else feel happy is one of your best gifts to us.  As we approach the commemoration of the day you gave Jesus to humanity, grant us the willingness to serve others and the desire to please others.  And grant us the grace and maturity to have no desire for anything in return.

Generous Giver,

I thank you for little ornaments filled with memories.  I thank you for my children.  I thank you for the community of the faithful, those who have welcomed me extravagantly and love me abundantly.  Lord, I love you so much!

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2012

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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