Fear not

Fear is not an unknown emotion to us. —–Neil Armstrong

All of us have known fear and we will know it again until life ends. It is what we do with the fear that matters. We may not be able to think it away or push it down into some dark place. The trick is to keep on in spite of it and hold on to God for support. I love the part of the 23rd psalm that says “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Comfort is available to us. We just have to ask.

fear not

Ever present God, you are there waiting on us to call. Comfort us in our times of fear. AMEN

Hope

Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not  oust them.-———————Vincent McNabb

hope 4

Hope is one of the most precious things that God has given us. We need hope to get up each day. We use it to start a new project or a new job. We have hope. Thank God for it.

God of compassion, thank you for the gift of hope. AMEN

The arangels

angelsThe arangels have been at work.—————-Happy Ingeman

I have always loved this expression used by a friend. She saw the angels at work in life and always acknowledged them. She helped the rest of us see God at work in our daily lives. Because of her I often see the arangels working. Look for God’s miracles every day.

Amazing God, thank you for the miracles you do every day. Help us to see your work and praise your name. AMEN

No answers

We need the company of other seekers–not answers-————-unknown

Too often we want the answers. Why do bad things happen? Why isn’t the world a better place? I could go on forever.

We have to learn that we don’t need the answers. We probably wouldn’t understand them anyway. Instead we need to be with others who are seeking God. We need to share our stories of “God moments” and hear theirs. That is what will feed our faith.

You-get-old-and-you-realize-there-are-no-answers-just-stories.-Garrison-Keillor

Infinite God, you are beyond our understanding. Help us to find you in communion with others. AMEN

Forget rules

The truth is a person not a set of rules.————–unknown

god-is-truth

The truth is a person and that person is Jesus. Jesus is not a set of rules. We humans have tried to turn our faith, our belief, our Christianity into a set of rules. A set of do’s and don’ts. Jesus said love one another. Love God and your neighbor. That’s all it takes. If we could just do those things life would be amazing.

Extraordinary God, help us to see the truth and follow it. AMEN

Fertilize your faith!

Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits to see believes in God–——-anon

My grandmother loved flowers. Her garden was wonderful. She worked in it every day…fertilizing, pulling weeds….anything to help the flowers grow. She also spent time every day reading her Bible and praying. She watered her faith the way she tended her garden.

sprout-860x484

Our faith will not grow if it is not nurtured.

Amazing God, remind us to fertilize out faith by reading the Bible and praying. AMEN

No worries!

rocking chair2

Worry does us no good at all and yet most of us do worry. Jesus tells us not to worry.

Matthew 6:27-29

27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?[a] 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.

We need to do as Martin Luther says: “Pray and let God worry.”

Gracious Lord, remind us to turn out worries over to you and then let them go. AMEN

We cannot stay silent!

martinlutherkingjr1-2xIt is so easy to remain silent. Too often we are with people that we like a someone says something that we violently disagree with. It is much easier to remain silent than to cause an upheaval. But silence can be damning. It reflects back onto us. There are times when we must speak up. If we don’t nip the evil ideas in the bud they grow to proportions that we cannot stop. Speak up!

Great Lord, you expect us to counter evil and stop it before it grows. Help us have the courage to do so. AMEN

Is science your idol?

Technology is not in itself opposed to spirituality and to religion. But it presents a great temptation. ———–Thomas Merton

We are still in the age of science. Those who revere science and technology have made of it an idol. It has taken the place of God. Just because science can’t prove that God exists doesn’t mean that God is gone. They can’t prove that He doesn’t exist either. I prefer to stay with my own belief.

idols 2

Infinite God, I believe in you. Help us to see beyond what science can prove. AMEN 

Go Down, Death (a poem/sermon)

After writing about death on my blog I decided to post the poem that I posted there. It is one of my favorites and I would love to go to God in this way. blog

Go Down, Death

James Weldon Johnson1871 – 1938

 (A Funeral Sermon)

Weep not, weep not,
She is not dead;
She’s resting in the bosom of Jesus.
Heart-broken husband--weep no more;
Grief-stricken son--weep no more;
Left-lonesome daughter --weep no more;
She only just gone home.

Day before yesterday morning,
God was looking down from his great, high heaven,
Looking down on all his children,
And his eye fell on Sister Caroline,
Tossing on her bed of pain.
And God’s big heart was touched with pity,
With the everlasting pity.

And God sat back on his throne,
And he commanded that tall, bright angel standing at his right hand:
Call me Death!
And that tall, bright angel cried in a voice
That broke like a clap of thunder:
Call Death!--Call Death!
And the echo sounded down the streets of heaven
Till it reached away back to that shadowy place,
Where Death waits with his pale, white horses.

And Death heard the summons,
And he leaped on his fastest horse,
Pale as a sheet in the moonlight.
Up the golden street Death galloped,
And the hooves of his horses struck fire from the gold,
But they didn’t make no sound.
Up Death rode to the Great White Throne,
And waited for God’s command.

And God said: Go down, Death, go down,
Go down to Savannah, Georgia,
Down in Yamacraw,
And find Sister Caroline.
She’s borne the burden and heat of the day,
She’s labored long in my vineyard,
And she’s tired--
She’s weary--
Go down, Death, and bring her to me.

And Death didn’t say a word,
But he loosed the reins on his pale, white horse,
And he clamped the spurs to his bloodless sides,
And out and down he rode,
Through heaven’s pearly gates,
Past suns and moons and stars;
on Death rode,
Leaving the lightning’s flash behind;
Straight down he came.

While we were watching round her bed,
She turned her eyes and looked away,
She saw what we couldn’t see;
She saw Old Death.  She saw Old Death
Coming like a falling star.
But Death didn’t frighten Sister Caroline;
He looked to her like a welcome friend.
And she whispered to us: I’m going home,
And she smiled and closed her eyes.

And Death took her up like a baby,
And she lay in his icy arms,
But she didn’t feel no chill.
And death began to ride again--
Up beyond the evening star,
Into the glittering light of glory,
On to the Great White Throne.
And there he laid Sister Caroline
On the loving breast of Jesus.

And Jesus took his own hand and wiped away her tears,
And he smoothed the furrows from her face,
And the angels sang a little song,
And Jesus rocked her in his arms,
And kept a-saying: Take your rest,
Take your rest.

Weep not--weep not,
She is not dead;
She’s resting in the bosom of Jesus.

From God’s Trombones by James Weldon Johnson. Copyright © 1927 The Viking Press, Inc., renewed 1955 by Grace Nail Johnson. Used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Books USA Inc.

Lord Jesus, let us find the faith to know you will be with us in our hour of death. AMEN