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As I was praying this morning, an old hymn came to mind:

“Holy God, we praise your name;
Lord of all, we bow before you;
all on earth your scepter claim,
all in heav’n above adore you.
Infinite your vast domain,
everlasting is your reign.”

Will you pray with me, please?

Holy God,

You are the Ruler of all creation. Heaven and earth resound with your praises, just by being the work of your hands. The universe cries out of your majestic creative abilities. Nature shows your concept of beauty. You are amazing!

Lord of Love, Lady of Light,

Today I come to you asking for a bountiful harvest from the community garden at First Congregational Church of Dundee. I’ll go to water it shortly and I pray you’ll bless the nourishment released in the soil and send it to the crops. Just as there is a kernel of your divinity in each human, there is creative energy in each seed that starts a new plant. Bless the peppers, the carrots, the beets and all the plants we set out on Saturday. And bless those who planted and those who water and feed the garden.

And I ask you to bless me, make me more like you: loving, kind, patient, joyful and always hopeful. Bless my marriage and make it thrive like the garden. Let me act lovingly. Bless my family and friends. Heal the sick who will be healed and keep those who will die from suffering.

Generous Giver,

Thank you for the resources to plant the garden. Thank you for Steve, who loves me. Thank you for awakening me this morning. Thank you for the chance to serve. I love you so much!

And I pray this in the loving name of Jesus,

Amen.

 

To God be the Glory!

 

Love always,

Melissa

Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

1050 Lakeview Road, Elgin, Illinois 50123

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, 2020

Gracious God,

You are the source of all things that are good. When bad things happen, although they are not from you, you leave it up to us to make good result from them. You are the originator of the universe, the one who called all things into being, the relentless renewer of all creation. You are amazing.

Lover of Light,

You have the power to drive out the darkness. I pray of Thee today that you will bless my actions, make me more loving, more trusting and more patient. Bless those with whom I come into contact today by making me a blessing to them. Bless my family and make good for them, I pray of Thee. Give me the strength and endurance to care for my body, since you have made it; help me to get proper exercise and diet. In this Covid-19 pandemic remind me to take proper precautions to stay healthy and avoid the virus. Help me to pass wisdom about this to those with whom I come into contact when I must go out.

Generous Giver,

You have given me more than I need and I am grateful. Thank you for furnaces and air conditioners to keep me comfortable. Thank you for the resources to buy food that can nourish my body. Thank you for the love of friends and family. Thank you for health. Thank you for my life. I love you so much.

And I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus,

Amen.

 

To God be the Glory!

 

Love always,

Melissa

Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

1050 Lakeview Road, Elgin, Illinois 50123

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, 2020

Grandparent God,

You are holy, indeed the fountain of all holiness. From age to age you have been the source of all good things. You are the everpresent energy, relentlessly renewing all of your creation. And so always and everywhere I praise you. You are bigger than I can comprehend; more than I can imagine. You are amazing.

Generous Giver,

Thank you for crisp mornings and warm, sunny days. Thank you for family, draw them to you and hold them close, I pray. Thank you for a warm welcoming house that holds Henri Nouwen’s paradox of hospitality, this hospitality that wants to create emptiness, not a fearful emptiness, but a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free; free to sing their own songs, speak their own languages, dance their own dances; free also to leave and follow their own vocations. Hospitality is not a subtle invitation to adore the lifestyle of the host, but the gift of a chance for the guest to find his own. I love you so much!

And I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus,

Amen.

 

To God be the Glory!

 

Love always,

Melissa

Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

1050 Lakeview Road, Elgin, Illinois 50123

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, 2020

 

 

Creator God,

You are the relentlessly renewing everpresent energy responsible for all of the universe. You are in the quarks. You called the earth into being and you made me, knitted into my mother’s womb. You are amazing.

Loving Light,

Today I praise you and ask for nothing more than to spend all the days of my life in your presence. For one day with you is worth thousands elsewhere.

Glorious Giver,

I thank you for all with which you have blessed me, a good husband, two wonderful children, two silly dogs (the current ones in a string of pets), a loving group of friends and members of my congregation. For all this and more I thank you. Lord/Lady, I love you so much!

And I pray this in Jesus’ mighty name,

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, 2020

Humblest of Holies,

The universe cries out “I am beautiful! I am glorious! I am God’s!” Every space in creation echoes praises of you; every corner and opening demonstrates your incredibly beautiful work. You are the ever-present energy that is the sole source of all, great and minute, subtlest and brightest. Even the tenacious dandelions and the violets raise a cacophony of your elegant glory. We cannot ignore it, whether it be visual or the voices of a gaggle of geese on their way to the lake, honking to proclaim your powers, beyond our imaginations. You are amazing!

Gracious Giver,

I ask nothing today but to be aware of all of this. Thank you for ears to hear and eyes to see. Thank you for a nose to smell and a mouth to taste and experience the goodness of our Creator. I love you so much!

And I pray this in Jesus’ powerful name,

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, 2020

I love alliteration and if you’ve read much of my blog, you’ve noted that I try to find alliterative names for the Holiest of Holies. Here’s an attempt to get through the entire alphabet. It may take some editing over time.

Will you pray with me please?

To the…

Almighty Architect

Blessed Builder

Curious Compassion, Continuous Creator

Divine Deity

Everpresent Energy

Faithful Father

Generous, Gracious Giver

Humble Holy

Infinite Inviter

Joyous Jester

King of Kings

Loving Light

Mysterious Mother

Never Nothing

Omnipresent One

Peaceful Pasture Preparer

Quest

Resounding Restful River

Silly Serious Sustainer, Source of all Strength, Sustaining Source

Truthful Tester

Unblemished Unifier, Unique Universe-Creator,

Various Veracity

Wondrous Wonder

X

Yearning Yahweh

Zealous Zestfulness

 

And I pray in the Jesus, who jealously enjoys us,

Amen.

To God be the Glory!

 

Love always,

Melissa

Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

1050 Lakeview Road, Elgin, IL  60123 USA

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, 2020

 

 

In today’s StillSpeaking Devotional, Matthew Laney uses a passage from Genesis:

God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham! Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” – Genesis 22:1-2 (NRSV)

Laney likens inoculating his daughter to God’s test of Abraham. He goes on to say that many of us sacrifice our “children on the altars of our careers and smartphones.” I’ve been guilty of the former.  I’ve also sacrificed my children on the altar of romantic relationships. I confessed this to my now-grown children as part of my 9th step amends, but it still hits a nerve to read today’s devotional. Will you pray with me, please?

Unique Universe-Creator,

You are the God of Abraham and Isaac; you are the God of Christopher and Katherine and me. Only you could have called the worlds into being. You are bigger than, more than anything I can imagine. You are amazing!

Loving Lord,

Today, I bring my relationships to you; those with my children and all my relationships, even my relationship with you. Remind me to prioritize and be right-minded in setting the proper things before others. Remind me not to squander my inheritance, nor the inheritance I might leave to my children. Keep my heart pure and help me to remember responsibilities before frivolities.

Generous Giver,

All that I have, from my car to my coffee, from my house to my husband, from my children to my childishness, all comes from you. Thank you for a warm home in the winter, a car to carry me to contemplative worship on Wednesday mornings, for my children who are now adults and who can be honest enough with me to call me out on my transgressions of parenthood. Thank you for clearing the ice from the patio before the prospect of snow tonight. Thank you for everything. I am grateful. Lord, I love you so much!

And I pray in the powerful name of Jesus, who told me to do so,

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, 2020

Today, I celebrate the life of my sister, Thea Marie Anne Pazen.  Thea died almost two years ago and it is only fitting and just that I should remember her today and all the things that she taught me.

Will you pray with me, please?

Everpresent Energy,

Thou are the Lord of all creations. Thou were there to cause the beginning and you will be there after the end of this universe as we know it. Only thou are the maker of life, light, love, and Thea. Thou know Thea was a complex, generous, brilliant woman. Thou know that I do not exaggerate! Thou are amazing!

Lord of Life,

Mama, Thea and me, c. 1956Today I pray, remembering Thea. I ask that thee be with all who have loved her, who wish we were celebrating with her.  And maybe we are. I don’t understand what happens after we leave this life. Sometimes I think that we are so ecstatic to be with thee that none of the other souls would matter. Other times I think that my soul will be happy to see the souls of all who I’ve known who have gone before me. Right now I see thee and heaven “through a glass darkly” and every once in awhile, when I meditate, I think I can see thee a little bit more clearly; I get glimpses of thee. Amazing!

And I ask again, if it be thy will, that gainful employment of any kind will be granted to me. Carole and Basil had ideas. I have ideas. I have historically been a woman who needs W2 employment, but I’m not in charge of this life of mine. Thou are. It’s my task to take what you so abundantly grant to me and to make a prayer of it. I pray of thee that you will grant me discernment and make my way easy; make my paths level and straight and obvious, really obvious.

Great Generous Giver,

Thank thee.  Thank thee for Thea’s life. Thank thee for all who have loved her. Thank thee for happiness and sorrow, and the ability to appreciate one because of the other. I am so grateful, Lord. I love thee so much.

And I pray in Jesus’ mighty name,

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, 2019

A prayer request from one in my Congregational UCC of Saint Charles family, Tara –

Please add my cousin Will and his 9 year old daughter, Lucy to your prayers. Will’s wife Ashly and their 7 year old son Vince were involved in a fatal car accident this week. This has been devastating for our entire family

This morning I opened my email to this request and it brings up an internal debate that I’ve been having for a long time:

What about when bad things happen? Does God’s plan intend the untimely death of a seven-year-old and a young mother? How can such terrible things happen to people we believe are good?

My God hasn’t let that happen to me; I’ve reached a ripe old age, older than I dreamed possible since the women in my family have historically died young. In fact, I never planned for retirement since I expected to die at 49 like my mother did. But anyway… I don’t have the ultimate response when someone asks “how could this have happened?” I can only say that I don’t know if God sticks a hand in and causes bad things to happen. I believe God called the world into being, though. I certainly believe that whether good or bad, God calls me to make the best of it. God asks that I make something good and worthy and holy out of every single thing that happens to me. I believe in God.

Will you pray with me, please?

Constant Caller,

I come to thee today filled with questions. I trust that only thee has the answers because only thou are God. I’m not meant to understand certain things because I am merely human. Were these deaths untimely? I don’t know and I’m ok with that. I know my answer isn’t necessarily helpful to the grieving family and I have to be ok with that, too. Thou knows all things, creates all things; do thou end all things deliberately even when it shakes us to our cores? Perhaps. Perhaps the Ecclesiastes author who purported “To everything, there is a season” heard it when thou whispered in her/his ear. I don’t know, but God knows. Thou are amazing!

Re-Freshing Responder,

Today, I bring Ashly, Vince and all who love(d) them to thee. Remind them to rest in thy strong and loving arms. Remind them to be gentle with one another, to be patient and kind, to be respectful. Remind them that self-care must come first so grant them rest and nourishment and time to heal. Remind them that grief is normal and good, that Shiva is a holy time still practiced by Jews and something that all could use. Grant all of them peace. Whisper answers in their expectant ears, be that small voice in the dark night of their souls.

Gracious God,

Thou are the source of all good things, maybe all bad things too. Today, I’m grateful for holiday mugs with my offsprings’ mugs on them. I am grateful for my thoughtful, reflective mind, for candles and antihistamines and tissues into which I can blow my runny nose. I am grateful for immunoglobulin therapy and the possibility that I’ll receive it. I am grateful for Sully and his squeak toys since they remind me to be joyful. I am grateful for the corn casserole recipe and the resources to buy the ingredients to make it. I am grateful for Steve who buys the ingredients and those who grew or combined them. I am grateful for thee, oh Lord. I love thee so much!

And I pray in Jesus supportive name,

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, 2019

 

Today’s UCC Stillspeaking devotional (link) is about a dog that’s been hurt in the past and slowly learns that its rescuing owner means no harm when touching the dog’s back.

Sully MonsterWho would harm a dog?

Not I…  at least not deliberately.Miss Daisy

I always apologize to Sully Monster and Miss Daisy when I step on them. But that not-deliberate hurt still hurts.  My parents didn’t intend to injure my psyche, and I’m mostly over that now. My husband doesn’t mean to hurt my feelings, but sometimes his protection injures my pride!

I find that when I have the time to sit after a trigger is tripped BEFORE speaking, I sometimes can find the truth and gently respond to it instead of reacting to the trigger.  Sometimes I even learn from it!

Will you pray with me, please?

Everpresent Energy,

Thee raise the sun every morning to bring light and overcome the darkness. Thee create every thing, living and inanimate. Only thee could have created dogs, whose unconditional love shows us a side of thee that we would not otherwise see (I get the joke, dog is God spelled backwards!). Thou are amazing!

Request Responder,

Today, I bring myself and my triggers. Remind me to pause and pray before I proceed to put my paw in my piehole! Remind me to be the gentle, loving creature who thee made me to be. Lord, I pray for a job where I can eke out a living for Steve, the dogs and me. I don’t need to keep our big house, but to be able to afford something warm in the winter would be wonderful!  I know only thee can grant the opportunity and only thee can give me the grace to get the gig.

Generous Giver,

I thank thee this morning for life, sobriety, AA, Centering Prayer, Christopher, Kate, Mary, Jennifer, Judy, Sue, Lindsey, Deb, Kristen, running water, Miss Daisy, Sully Monster, Steve and Pat. I thank thee for all those in my faith community.

And I pray in Jesus’ most amazing essence and name,

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, 2019

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