Don’t hold on to affronts

One who forgives an affront fosters friendship, but one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend.

Proverbs 17:9 NRSV

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When we are hurt it can be so difficult to forgive. We often nurse the hurt so that we can carry it with us. That only hurts us as well as the other person. We can’t continue to dwell on hurts but have to let them go. Doing so opens the chance for understanding and friendship.

When we can’t pray

There are times in our lives when we begin to think that God isn’t helping us….or that God isn’t even there. Those times are hard. From an early age I have felt that God was with me….most of the time. Sometimes when I am anxious and I can’t seem to “feel” God with me I am lost. I don’t know what to do. Is everything that I believed a lie? I am cast into a deep dark hole. I am in the “valley of the shadow of death.” I am not just anxious but afraid. My worst fears raise their ugly heads and take hold of me.

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When I am like that I can’t pray. I am so far down that prayer won’t come. I am lost. Then I remember that I have a community of faith who pray daily and that their prayers rise like smoke to God and God reaches down to me and helps me. I may not “feel” his presence since feelings ebb and flow but he is there. And somehow I am comforted.

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There are definitely times when we can’t pray for ourselves. That’s why we need others who will pray for us.

Prayer for those in distress after Dorian

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Lord God, the people affected by Dorian need your loving and healing hands. Send your grace to uphold them. Their anguish is great. Give them peace and hope in the days to come. Remind us all to help where we can and be generous with the gifts you have given us. We pray to you in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen

There is always hope

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No one ever promised a perfect life. The world is not perfect. Bad things happen. The important thing is that no matter what we can count on God being with us. He will go with us down to the depths of despair and while there he will hand us hope. Hope…the thing that is always there. We only have to reach out and take it.

Pain can heal

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” 
― Bill Keane

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Our past has taught us so many lessons. God expects us to use them to move forward. The hurts we carry open us to more understanding. Use them to help others.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us to share the pains we have experienced so that others can feel our openness and our love. AMEN

God brings hope to pain

Sometimes life is painful. It doesn’t matter whether the pain is physical, mental or both. Pain can bring on anxiety and fear. it makes us question if there is anything that can help us. We wonder where God is or if he is there at all. But even in the darkest pain there is hope and hope comes from god.  God turns us to hope and helps us learn from the pain. We are like pottery made beautiful by the fire of the kiln.

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