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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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My sweet/feisty mother-in law was hospitalized on Tuesday.  She pressed her medic-alert bracelet because her legs hurt too much to get out of bed.  Since arriving at Glenbrook Hospital, she’s been seen by a wonderful Internist, Colleen Nugent, MD who is finding enough that she’s told me she is uncomfortable discharging Annamae to her own home.  We’ve thanked God regularly for Annamae making it to age 92 and continuing to be able to live independently and alone, knowing this could only happen by God’s hand.

This woman became a nurse and was part of the Women’s Army Corps, mending soldiers in Texas during World War II.  With a heart of gold and a mouth like Roz Russell, she gets things done.  She is the dowager of the DeCaluwe/Hitchens family these days, having lived a long time.

That's Annamae, front & center (almost).  Seated to the right of the groom.

That’s Annamae, front & center (almost), seated to the right of the groom.

I’ve just gotten off the phone with Annamae who reports that she’s angry and she threw newspapers and things around her room.  Her niece, Pat (amazingly the volunteer coordinator at Glenbrook), was summoned and suggested Annamae behave herself.  (I spoke with Pat who confirmed this.)

Will you pray with me, please?

Almighty Architect,

You are amazing!  While many of your creations live only a few years, you designed this woman with such good ‘stuff’ that she’s still in pretty good shape at 92.  I know your plan will be fulfilled. Annamae, through her actions, will demonstrate whether or not she should be living alone. If she is meant to go home, let her behave nicely in the hospital.  If it’s time for other living arrangements, let her not act too out of control.

Loving Lord,

You already have helped us all prepare.  If it’s your will, let Steve & me find a way to accommodate her in our home.  I know Steve isn’t eager for this, but I know you can inspire him to understand and agree.  And if Annamae can continue to live independently with help, let us find someone who will care well for her, ethically and generously.  I pray that if it’s time Annamae will move easily to assisted living and we’ll work the situation  out to your glory.  Lord, I pray you’ll be the medication that cures her current complaints and relieve the pain Annamae has in her legs that keep her from walking.  Lord, I pray that you’ll help her with confusion/lucidity so that she’s comfortable emotionally wherever she ends up.  She has said so many times that she doesn’t want to move from her condo.  If it’s time, we need your grace to find the words that will help her to accept the situation.

Annamae with Savannah, her great niece, sitting on Annamae’s walker (making the DeCaluwe Thanksgiving Day Parade).

Generous  Giver,

Thank you for smart & patient medical staff members.  Thank you for hospitals with private rooms that are lovely.  Thank you for beds that can be raised or lowered to make an older lady close to comfortable and get her to the proper height to rise and stand.  Thank you for medicines.  Thank you for family, especially Annamae’s nephew, Joe and niece, Pat.  They cared for their own mother, they care for their father and now, through the accident of proximity, they do many things for Annamae.  Thank you for medicare and insurance to pay the bills.  Thank you for veterans’ benefits to care for a woman who worked through WWII.  Thank you for quick wit and sarcasm; thank you for Annamae.  I am grateful.  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; live authentically; laugh frequently!

(In the US, we celebrate Memorial Day on the 4th Monday in May.  It commemorates those who have gone before us and our memories of them.  This isn’t those who went before, but it’s a memory).

Eleven (11) yrs ago this week-end, I worked this three (3) day week-end because it gave time for a cutover to a major upgrade of Windows NT Network Operating System.  I needed to look up something technical on the (relatively new to us) internet, & up popped Yahoo personals – a new invention.  I went on with my work and a few weeks later, after breaking off a 7 yr relationship, I had time/inclination to check into that stuff. 

On 7/17/2002, I met Steve Hitchens.  On 5/11/2003, we married!  Cool, huh? 

Moral o’ the story:  Never be afraid of work…  good things come from it!

Good God,

I don’t know how you  figured that one out, but you sure got it right!   Pairing people who will be compatible has never been easy; in fact some make a living at doing this…  but they are human and you are the creative energy in the universe, perfection, brilliant, indescribable!  Amazing!  I worship you.

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Lord of Love,

I lift Steve up to you, eleven years later and forty pounds heavier and eleven years older (and deeper in debt!), we’re married.  We love each other and we have moments when we don’t even like each other.  We are committed to staying together and making this work!  I think that’s good.

Maker of Misery and Merriment,

I lift Steve up to you today.  I put him and our marriage in your hands.  I surrender it to you.  I ask that you make the way for him to be more comfortable; his knees hurt almost all the time; let him be willing to take treatment for the arthritis –  whichever is best.  I pray that you would soften his heart whenever it starts to harden from current/past hurts.  I pray that you would make us both less desirous of control.  I pray that you will help me to remember to be kind to him, to think of his reaction to situations and to work toward good solutions.

love-pink

Remind me any way that’s effective to relax and enjoy having this wonderful man in my life!

Generous Giver,

Thank you for Steve.  Thank you for memories.  Thank you for love.  Thank you for free will and brains to make good choices and hearts that want.  Thank you.  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’ve just read this:

Dear Family and Friends,

I have GOOD NEWS today!  How joyful I am to e-mail good news about Amy!  This is the first day in 19 days that Doug and I have not gone to the hospital.  Paula and Julie felt that we needed a rest and Paula took off from school and went for us.  She just called and said this is the best day in 3 weeks!  Amy does have strep throat and pneumonia but it is under control with antibiotics. The Ventilation tube is out and her voice is weak but she is sitting up in a chair and asking Paula questions!  She wanted to know where the People Magazines were, where are all the cards Mom always brings and Where are Mom and Dad?  They must be out in the hall! Also Asked for her Pepsi and Paula said that she couldn’t have it yet but she could put some on her lips.  Amy said that she would like that!  She knew that Julie had gone home to take care of her family.  She may be in ICU one more day.  The goal is to get her on 7th floor to rehab floor.  

hands make hearts

We know that we have to be cautious about this turn around but the Lord is answering our prayers. Please all of you continue to pray for AMY JOY.  Thank you so much.

You are wrapping your arms about Amy and us and we feel it!

Love, Jill and Doug

Glorious God,

You are the only God and you are so good to us!  Only you have the power to make new life and to heal.  Only you have the power to whisper sweet words in Paula’s and Julie’s hearts to give their parents ‘a day off’.  Only you can bring us rest. Only you love us so much that we can feel it even if we can’t see you.  You are amazing!

Loving Lord,

Keep making Amy better, please.

Keep healing Susan’s back, please.

Keep Steve healthy, please, and thanks for healing him.

Keep Thea’s cancer markers low, please, and thanks for the end of the chemo!  Never again would be good!

Keep my own white cell count low and hemoglobin normal, please.

Remind me to  lean on you and to rest ever-so-comfortably in your arms… Remind all who read this of that, please.

lovely_thoughts_by_freemind93-d4pm8uh

Everpresent Energy,

Thank you for interesting work.  Thank you for new batteries in cars and new brakes; thank you for safety and the money to pay for repairs.  Thank you for dear friends and dear family members and dear people who smile on the street for no reason.  Thank you  for peace wherever and whenever we find it.  Lord, i love you so much!  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; laugh frequently!

Great God Almighty,

Amy’s been seizing again.  And she’s on anti-seizure medication!  Lord, I just want to yell and scream “enough already!”  You certainly have my attention!  You would have had it anyway…  you had me at “be still…”  you didn’t even need to remind me to know that you are God.

Glorious Grandother,

I rise in darkness every morning, and the sun comes up and I can see your incredible works:  Steve softly snoring, Duey snuggled up in the crook of Steve’s knees, Daisy curled into the tightest ball a dog

Steve and Duey

Steve and Duey

can curl, a bedroom as large as my first apartment, quilts of lovely handicrafting, hot water for a shower, six medications to help me live well, coffee to wake me enough to un-dull my brain, a car to take me to work, an office large enough for 60 or so people, a warehouse with $30MM+ in electrical supplies, parts, and hardware.  You are amazing!  And just the fact that you are — with no beginning and no ending is enough for us to sing your praises.

Lord of the Light,

You know I love you.  I tell you because I know I love to hear others tell me and I suppose you do, too.  You know I give you all glory, laud and honor for this universe, and I say it again.  You know I want you to heal Amy, and I ask you again.  Please, Lord, heal my friend who is your faithful servant.  Amy taught Sunday school for so many years, she worships you, Lord.  I know bad things happen and we don’t need an explanation.  I know I need to be patient.  I feel as if I’m saying “I want patience and I want it NOW!”

And I’ll continue to lift Amy up to you in prayer, along with Doug and Jill, Paula and Julie and all who love Amy.

Amy, on a better day, holding a child

Amy, on a better day, holding a child

Be with us all.  Help us to cope.  Remind us it’s about you, not us.

And, Lord, I pray for so many others who need healing:  Marsha’s Michael, Owen’s father, Thea, Denise, so many…  Teach us how to care for ourselves better, Lord, if that will prevent any of this.

Incredible Imagineer,

Again, thank you for umbrellas in this rainy spring.  Thank you for cherry blossoms to come and daffodils.  Thank you for goldfish that live through the winter, even if they will live only to be food for herons.  Lord, I just love you so much.

I pray in the almighty name of Jesus,

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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