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“What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”   The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”

~ Luke 10: 26-7

I awakened from a dream in which I was at a KC Cougars baseball game and a woman was judging others in the name of Christianity. After some strange shenanigans (yep, it was a dream alright!), I had a chance to explain that I could sum up my faith with “Love God with all your heart. Love your neighbor as yourself.”  And “judge not lest you shall be judged.” 

(When I typed the sentence above, instead of ‘chance’, I typed ‘change’.  I find myself caught up in realizing the  similarity of these words…  and their relationship.  Hence, the title for this post.  And, yes, I’ve always been tangential!)

Now I have this song in my head. Not a bad earworm…

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Will you pray with me, please?

Good morning Good God,
You amaze me. You fill my head with thoughts of you even as I sleep. You send synaptic communication. You are in every cell of my being. And of course, you are in every other cell and molecule of creation. You add a drop of yourself, your energy, your love. I adore you. I worship you.

Faithful Foundation, Gracious Grantor,
Many spring to mind, as I think of those ‘standing in the need of prayer’. My friend, Amy, who was so sick last spring is stricken with pneumonia. It’s so hard for her to avoid illness with that nasty lupus. Heal her, Lord, and send a cure for lupus! There are infants who have congenital issues and babies with little bodies that don’t serve them.  There are parents who need to know about Baby Safe Haven laws to avoid abandoning their infants unlawfully.  Make them all whole. There is evil to be overcome; I see it in selfishness of individuals and countries – greed fills the gaping holes people have that wouldn’t exist if they would allow themselves to be filled with your love. Be with Laura’s father as he struggles with lung cancer and the unfortunate side effects from testing agents. Imbue him with your strength and love, fill him with your energy of healing. Soften Steve and remove his anxiety over money. Fill him with hopeful energy. Remind him to relax when he’s not in control of circumstances and needs to be patient.

ring-heart

Give my friend, Melissa (with such a similar name) a wonderful 10th anniversary cruise – ensure she at least avoids pain with her ear/sinus infection, keep her safe and let her bask in the love of her husband.

Incredible Imagineer,

Thank you for Thea and her health. Thank you for Nancy to advocate for me in my battles — and succeeding when I would have given up. Thank you for the promise of plans for my welfare, not destruction. Thank you for bringing me and so many others through troubled times. Thank you for reminders to avoid pride, for only you are the potency; I am but the vessel to be filled with it (filled to overflowing, I might add!). Thank you for friends who show me your support and enfold me in love and peace. God, 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!

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To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
…A time to kill, and a time to heal

~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

AP_FALL_BACK_TIMERecently, I’ve watched a lot of people deal with loved ones end of life (or the over it).  Today in the US, it’s “Return to God’s Time” as daylight savings time ended at 2 a.m.   (I wasn’t up to count THAT down.)  My garden is brown or frozen because it’s -3ªc or 20ªf outside!  All the lovely blooms are gone and the annuals are too, except for tarragon & rosemary that I haven’t harvested yet.

This all reminds me of the seasonality of all living things.  Rod McKuen called it ‘Seasons in the Son’.  Leslie Bricusse talked about the morning, noon and evening of one’s life in Fill the World with Love in the musical “Good-bye, Mr. Chips”.  I simply wax nostalgic.

I remember my women’s theology group (Monday Night Bible Study or MonNtBS as I irreverently named my e-Mail group), working through the book of Job.  I went into it thinking “God and the Devil playing a game with a man’s life… RIGHT!”  But here’s the thing, I came out of it with a six word answer to many of our theological musings.  “I am God and you’re not.”  

Will you pray with me please?

Everlasting Energy,

You named yourself to our ancestors, “I am”. I can only agree, “Yes, God, YOU ARE.”  Job asked why he was smited and covered with sores. You asked if he was present when you called the world into being and hung the sun and moon.  Of course, Job wasn’t.  But “YOU WERE/ARE/WILL BE”.  Merely the fact of your infinite nature brings me figuratively to my knees while my literal fingers are on this keyboard.  I adore you, God.  You are AMAZING!

Lover of Light,

Perhaps you inspired daylight savings time.  (Wait, did I SAY that?  Of course, YOU DID!).

Responsive Ruler,

Jesus told the disciples that we should ask in his name, that our joy be made full.  I rarely ask for miracles, though.  When my 92 year-old mother-in-law went to the hospital, I thought, “This could be the end.  She’s lived a long time.” Then when she was moved to a rehabilitation center, I thought “Ah, an easier transition to this continuum of care facility.  She’ll move on to the other assisted living centers.”  Now she is home.  I praise you!  Only you could make this happen!

Annamae with Savannah

Responder to our Requests,

YOU ARE.  You answer the desires of our hearts that we dare not articulate — sometimes.  Then there is Mary’s 95 year-old mother, who cannot live unassisted anymore and has been moved to her son’s house, after hospitalization, then skilled nursing care, then home.  She can’t make it without someone strong to lift her. I suspect she’ll either die eventually in another skilled care facility or have hospice care at her son’s house.  So what of her? What should I ask of you?

Mary is sad and harried.  The weight of this is heavy on her shoulders.  God, will you inspire her with your peace?  I pray of thee, surround Mary and her family with your love and a bit of joy through this dark time of the soul.  Remind them, especially my good, good friend that the clouds will lift as they have this bright morning.  That while we go through autumn and winter, that your energy and spirit are always willing to support us, to let us lean on you.

Is this what it will take to get Mary back to church, God?  She has suffered with the guilt of a divorce, but you always forgive the penitent. I know  you still yearn for her; crave her attention.  You want her to worship YOU, not a religious rule that blocks her ability to seek you.  Put it on her heart at just the right time, to go to Mass or a Worship Service.  In your time, may this be done — not mine.  Remind her that communion in any form or any sense is bringing her soul to yours.  Let her commune with you and with other seekers of your kingdom.

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Or perhaps, you will use her daughter’s new baby.  Remind Mary that the love is in that new life, too; that her relationship with her own granddaughter and daughter is equally important as her relationship with her mother.  Remind Mary to spend less time on worry and more time on “OPTIMISM” and peace and rest and self-care.  If she runs out of energy to replenish her own body, remind her that she must rebuild herself before she can build or rebuild others, I pray of thee, God.

Yet not my will, but yours, God.  Not in my time, but yours. Not to my glory, but to you be the glory,

Generous Giver,

Thank you for the mouse and the red underscores that help me to correct my mistakes.  Thank you for the ability to confess and apologize when I sin.  Thank you for Samantha Madhosingh’s month of gratitude.  Thank you for Jean Stone who taught me about gratitude even during those dark nights of the soul.  Thank you for the internet.  Thank you for daylong retreats and Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel and Rev. Merlyn Lawrence and for all the Sisters, Saints & Sinners who went with me.  Thank you for living my life with me and letting me live it for you.  Let me live to bring your kingdom to come on earth, as it is in heaven.  Let me live according to your will and to love, and to love and to love.

I dare to 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!

I received an email message this morning from Amy, a colleague in Raleigh, NC.  Amy & I have been corresponding on an issue for which I often help colleagues around the country. This email from her this morning closed with “Have a great day – and a blessed Easter weekend!”  She usually closed her email with “Blessings”. 

So, I wrote to her about the amazing group of praying colleagues & friends God has provided to me.  I told her we’re willing to pray for any/everything.  She offered a prayer of joy that she’s been kept on through two expected layoffs because someone else chose to leave (someone who would have been kept on).  This time, she’ll begin on May 1 to drive 35 minutes to another town. She wrote “since you offered, can you remember me in your prayers for safety on my new drive on the high way each day?”  Well, you know me.  There’s a tickler on my calendar beginning the Monday of that week.

(By the way, gentle reader, feel free to comment in order to request prayer.  We love to pray!) 

And just now, another of my prayerful colleagues, Shirley (in the Atlanta area), sent this and it reminds me that Easter is this coming Sunday: 

March jonquil

 

I’ll look when I get home this evening to see if our jonquils have poked their new life above the soil of my northern Midwestern environs, but I’m doubtful!

Everpresent Energy,

You are always in motion.  This morning, I’ve had many emails that remind me of your perpetual creation.  I adore you.  You ARE amazing!

Loving Light,

You clearly want my attention.  Here I am, focused on you and the beauty of your creation.

Lord, I pray today for Amy.  Let her use her 35 minute commute starting May 1st to commune with you.  Make her car her monastery, and keep her eyes on the road and her heart on you.  Let her know true peace and clarity as she travels.  Let her rejoice in the knowledge that she will have 70 minutes each day to spend time with you.

I bring Susan to you.  Keep her well and happy as she and Matt travel to Peoria to spend Easter with her parents.  Give Matt and Susan the chance to show Susan’s parents how good this coupling is, how it is your plan that they be together.  Help Susan’s parents take comfort in this knowledge.  I pray too, Lord, that you will make manifest the way for Sarah to come to the wedding.  Let us be your conduits for this, Lord.

 

people praying

I pray for all those putting their lives on the line in statements of justice and peace.  As they act on their knowledge of your plan for love, harmony, your peaceable kingdom, may they know true peace

I bring Lindsey to you. I’m excited that she’ll be back with us for Easter.  Your enthusiasm shows through this saint, Lord.  We welcome her back to us as we will commemorate the welcoming of Jesus’ presence back to his disciples on Easter.  It is such a glorious and happy time, Lord.  I barely can wait for it.

Abundant Affirmer,

I think of all my colleagues and friends and family who are part of my group of prayerful saints.  I am grateful for Shirley and Janice, Jon and Pat, Chuck and Lisa, Thea and Susan and Lindsey.  I know you made them all, just as you want them.  I am grateful.  Thank you for all this and more.  I love you so much.

I pray in Jesus’ 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!

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