Religion is like holding on to a rock in the middle of a raging river; faith is learning how to swim.”       Source Unknown

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Religion can be a wonderful thing but it is not the thing we strive for. Faith is the thing we seek. Faith is not just miraculously there one day. We have to work at. When we first start to swim we spend a lot of time sinking to the bottom. Even once we know how we can falter in a huge wave or use up all our energy staying afloat and sink. Faith is not a noun but a verb. It is not something we can hold in our grasp but something we must use. Faith is not knowing you can step out over the precipice but not being sure about it and still stepping out.

Prayer: Increase our faith day by day and give us the courage to use it. Amen

 

Use what you have

Your talent is Gods gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.              Leo Buscaglia

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Some people have obvious talents. They can sing or write books or act in plays. Most of us don’t even realize we have talents. The things we can do seem so ordinary. Who would care if I could teach a class …so many others can too…or compute someone’s taxes or paint their house for them? I’m just an average Joe. But God cares. No matter if you think you can’t do anything for his glory he knows that you can. Every skill can be used for the glory of God.

Prayer: Lord, help is to see and use the things we can do for the glory of God. AMEN

 

Loving arms

I have always loved the 23rd Psalm. Especially the part about going down into the valley. God promises to be with us. It says his rod and staff will be there. God is with us in our darkest days. He is the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how bad things are feel the loving arms of God holding you close and know that you are not alone.

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Take it to God

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When something goes wrong in our lives we often either feel guilty if we see ourselves as responsible or we blame someone else. Neither position helps us. The only things that helps is to take the problem to God. If we are truly responsible then God will forgive us. If we hold anger or resentment God will help us to see that love is more important. No matter what…take it to God

You are still needed

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Chronic illness, whether mental or physical, is so draining. It can be a struggle to get through each day. It takes the knowledge that God’s love is with us no matter what. Even if life is difficult it is still important and you have something to share with the world. When I visited sick and shut-ins as a parish nurse they always felt they could do nothing to help anyone. I reminded them that prayers are needed and possible even though ill. There is always something we can do to help heal the world.

Trust

 

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The new year is on its way. As you are thinking about what it will be like forget about making resolutions. Just keep in mind that God loves and trusts you. He believes in you. There is nothing more important than that. There is nothing more that you need. Believe in yourself. Move forward with confidence knowing that you are safe in His hands.

 

Present in the ordinary

Great Smokey Mountains 2012We keep searching for God. we spend most of the time wanting him to be in the spectacular. We forget that God is always present and can be found in the ordinary. He can be seen in the dinner we cook for our family, in the beds we make, the work we do and the times we play. He is present. Celebrate that!

Time for patience

Advent is here and the theme of the thoughts for this season.

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We are not good a waiting. Really, that is an understatement. We have a society of instant gratification. We want it and we want it now! When I worked for a group of pediatricians one of them said people expected a drive-by window where he would reach out and putting hands on the child say “heal.”

Advent is a time of waiting….waiting for the greatest gift mankind has ever had. Waiting for a baby. Expecting.

We must appreciate this time and use it. It is a time to ready ourselves for the gift!

Loving God, we wait. Help us to curb our impatience and use this time to think about the gift to come. AMEN

Turn away from fear

Psalm 27: 1

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold[a] of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?

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We are afraid of so many things. We fear not being liked. We fear losing the things we have accumulated. We fear not having enough. We fear being alone. I could go on and on. Yet there is no reason for this. We must turn to our God and push away fear. God is with us…what more do we need?

Understanding God, you know our fears and our weaknesses and yet we are loved. Help us to turn to you and away from fear. AMEN