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God,

How does a 21st century Christian make sense of you?

I know you are bigger than, more powerful than, greater than anything I can imagine. I don’t understand this “made in your image”. Does this mean you made us as you imagined us? I can’t believe you’re human, male or female. I think you transcend gender. I think there are loving father and loving mother elements in you. I just don’t know.And the part about Jesus suffering and dying for my sins.  Seriously? Or is this that Jesus’ preachings of love and his overturning the temple tables meant he had to die, that our inability to believe or follow, led him to die.

And the part about Jesus suffering and dying for my sins.  Seriously? Or is this that Jesus’ preachings of love and his overturning the temple tables meant he had to die, that our inability to believe or follow, led him to die.

I get the resurrection.  Overcoming sin and death through living again… amazing.

Anyway, thank you for my life. … more later.

Amen.

 

To God be the Glory!

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!

© Melissa Pazen, 2017

 

 

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!

Glorious GrandOther,

Columbine-Flower-24praise you for spring. If I had created the colors, the world would be green and blue; you made more than the 72 colors in my box of pencils and you use them all in the spring!

Thank you for yellow, purple and pink. Thank you for the thousands of shades of green. Thank you for columbine and bleeding heart.

Only you could have imagined all of this.

You are amazing! Lord, I love you so much!

Modified by CombineZP

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.net

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

“I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you.” – Revelation 3:20

 

The only people who knock at the door are people trying to sell siding or windows. Oh, and the the Jehovah’s Witnesses who act in perfect faith and bring us news of a way of faith don’t want to hear.

We live in a day of texting, so we can be least obtrusive when we want to be in contact with one another. Even with the next door neighbor, I text before I run over to drop off the mail left in my box by mistake.

We live in a day of email. The daughter of the neighbor down the street is in Girl Scouts and group blasts everyone on the block asking if we want to place an order for cookies.

We live in a day of isolation. I fall prey to it as much as anyone, maybe more. I simply don’t want to bother people who probably don’t want to hear from me anyway. Or it’s the wrong time to make a call.

But God – God doesn’t care about any of that. God doesn’t text or email or even use the cell phone that’s replaced the old yellow wall phone in the kitchen. If I knew it was God standing at the door, I’d wonder why God didn’t just walk in. Jesus walked through walls after his resurrection, I suspect God’s a phenonenal locksmith. God stands at the door and knocks.

Classic-Yellow-Daffodil

Or maybe God makes the first daffodil bloom, or puts buds on the trees. Maybe God causes a freak micro-blizzard followed by five minutes of sunshine followed by another five minutes of micro-blizzard. Maybe God puts us face-to-face with two friends who are planning to have dinner on Wednesday and invite us to join them.

All of the things God does in the paragraph above have happened to me within the last week. I wonder what God’s done to get your attention. I wonder how many of God’s countless little actions have not gotten my attention. Will you pray with me, please?

Almighty Architect,

You are behind every occurrence in every day. You are the healing of the paper cut and the cancer. You are the energy in the battery that keeps the clock on my desk running. You are the love that created the new baby whose photo is on Facebook. You create the world, over and over. You were there before the world began and you’ll last long after it’s gone. And you never seem to tire of it, because you just keep creating and healing and loving. God you are simply amazing!

Forever Forgiver,

I’ve been walking in more than 40 days of a spiritual desert in the midst of an exceptional spring. You’ve been knocking on my door and I’ve neither answered nor knocked at yours. Forgive me.

Loving Lord,

There are too many to mention who need your visit. I’ve been asked to pray for Thea, again her body is cancerous, even with the amazing medications you’ve created that she takes daily. I’ve been asked to pray for Susan who wears a WonderWoman headband while she sits for five hours of chemotherapy. I can only pray for Carol, whose cancer has returned with such a vengeance that I hope she’ll let me visit. A dream from the other night reminds me to pray for Blair. Sally is having suffering with her husband’s negativity. Rose and Holly still struggle to steer clear of alcohol, even though they know they can’t control their drinking. Loving Lord, every one of these and so many more need your energy, your attention, and some kind of billboard from you to continue to have courage in the face of these troubles. And there’s me, too, Lord. I need to stop trying to carry things on my own, even though my shoulders and neck ache because of the weight of these troubles.

Granting Grandother,

You give and you give. And you give and you give. And while I am grateful for some things, even making lists of them, there are myriad occurrences and items that I don’t realize. Thank you for medical technology and medications. Thank you for hope. Thank you for batteries. Thank you for computers and the internet. Thank you for loving me. And loving me and loving me. Thank you for holding me gently always, leaving it up to me to remember that you are.  Lord, 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.net

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.

Again, a Stillspeaking Devotional touches me.  Mary Luti writes of 

in si·tu
ˌin ˈsīto͞o,ˈsē-/
adverb & adjective
  1. in its original place.
    “mosaics and frescoes have been left in situ”
  2. in position.
    “her guests were all in situ”

When I had breast cancer, in 2007, the tumor was “in situ”.  This means it hadn’t moved beyond the milk duct where it originally formed.  I give glory to God for having found it when it was SO small (6 mm – about 3/16 inch, photo is actual size).

6 mm - actual size

 

On Wednesday, I will have a repeat mammogram on the same (left) breast because it appears I have another calcification, often the precursor of cancer.  I know I’m not in control of these things, and I try not to worry.  

I keep giving this over to God and LET-NOT-YOUR-HEART-BE-TROUBLED-smtrusting.  Five minutes later, I’m giving it over again.  Sometimes I wish my humanity weren’t so human.  I know I’m not meant to be perfect, yet I long for serenity.  I long to be comforted and held secure in Jesus’ arms. I long to be able to rise above this.  As long as I keep my mind occupied with something else, something positive, I am safe.  My idle mind goes back to this over and over.  I guess the idle mind IS the devil’s playground.  I don’t believe in a personified devil, but I know there are forces of evil at work in the universe.  These are mine (and yours?) every time I slip from God’s embrace.  Will you pray with me, please?

 

Amazing Architect,

You created the universe and somehow you chose to create a wretch like me.  I praise you for finding me, for letting my blind eyes see you and the beauty of all your works.  I praise that you are creating still.  That you speak to us, not only from a document that is almost 2000 years old, but in the words of friends and your whispering voice.  I “hear” you in my quiet mind, with words you would have me think.  I worship you for this, the ability to turn my heart and my mind to the good, INSTEAD of dwelling on the bad… on my fears.  You are more than I could ever imagine; more powerful, more loving.  You are amazing!

Lord who Longs to make my joy full,

Joy-FullI pray you will be with me today.  I pray you will keep your loving arms around me and let me languish on your lap. I pray that in my time at church and my time with Kate & Will & Steve, you will keep my heart and mind on YOU. I pray you will banish my fears. I pray you will hold me close and remind me to lean on your perfect strength. I pray you will remind me that if you are for me, nothing greater can be against me. I pray that you will let nothing separate me from your love, even sickness – if it shall be so, even death whenever it comes (may it be years away!)

I pray for others who suffer with fear and illness: Craig, Thea, and many too numerous to mention – yet you know their names and my intent. I pray for all the littluns who arrived earlier than their parents planned: Emilie, Hayden & Ethan, Nick & Alex and many too numerous to mention. I pray for my congregation as we seek your will in becoming “Open and Affirming” of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders — and of all those for whom we see the differences and forget the similarities.

I pray that you will remind us we are your precious children, that each of us have a life that matters dearly to you.

Magnificent Maker,

You are the source of everything I sense – see, hear, smell, taste and feel.  You have given it all to me and my brothers & sisters in this world — and every human is my brother or my sister! I am filled with gratitude and I thank you.  And, Lord, thank you.  And by the way, Lord, thank you. May I ever be in awe of what you have done for me, and continue to do, and will do forever.

And I pray in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

To God be the glory!

© Melissa Pazen, 2015

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

This one just needed to be offered to God.  It’s not eloquent; it’s just heartfelt.  Will you pray with me, please?

limit
Creative Energy of the Universe,
Only you can heal wounds and illness. You are my God. I worship you!

Loving Light,
I think of so many today: Mike, Marsha, Susan, Matt, Steve, Thea, Joyce… this list is long and you know my heart. Heal them, I pray. Heal me, too. Send your spark to help us all rekindle the flame of our faith. Let us lean on your strength and rest in your loving arms.  Remind us to trust.

incred imagineer

Incredible Imagineer, 
All that we see, hear, smell, taste, touch — anything we can imagine — all comes from you who can imagine more than we mere mortals ever could. With a grateful heart, I thank Thee.

And I pray 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; live authentically; laugh frequently!

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?

tgif

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.

limit

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!

Amazing Almighty,

This is the day Christians remember that Jesus rose from the dead.  I sure don’t know how THAT worked, but I know it came from  you.  Amazing!  This is the reason believers say you can do anything.  And relying on that level of ability gives me great comfort.  Amazing!

easter_empty_tomb1

Loving Lord,

I bring my friend, Amy, to you again today.  You know she has a fever of 103F and hasn’t awakened since her seizure on Friday.  I know that fevers mean the body is working hard to heal something.  I know sleep is healing.  I trust you, and I ask you to continue to be the healing energy for Amy.  Be the wisdom of the medical team, I pray of thee.  Be the compassion of those taking care intensively of Amy. Be the love, as I know you are, among all members of Amy’s family.  It would be pretty cool if Amy awakens today and the bed could be empty, like the tomb.  (Just sayin’)

empty bed

Generous Grandother,

You fill our Easter baskets to overflowing with your love for us. We are grateful for all that we have.  And thank you for taking good care of Jill and Doug as they drove to Colorado. Continue, I pray of thee, to bless us to your purpose, your service.  Lord, I love you so much!

I pray 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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