GOOD MORNING< GOOD GOD!

Good morning, good God!

I come to you grateful for all
the good and holy ones whose paths
cross mine and help me find my way…

I come with thanks for all the ways
so many share their lives with me
and bless me every day…

I give you thanks for helping hands,
strong shoulders, open minds,
and hearts in tune with mine…

I thank you for the peace that’s mine
from others, shared, with plenty left
for those who need what I have found…

I thank you for the patient ones
who give and bide their time with me
and slow my harried, hurried steps…

And thanks for those who help me place,
with wisdom far beyond my ken,
the puzzled pieces of my life…

I praise you for the gracious ways
you draw us into one another’s lives
and bind our needs and gifts as one…

As I am blessed by others’ gifts
let my gifts, too, a blessing be
in thanks for all that I’ve received…

This prayer I offer gratefully
this morning, Lord, this day, this night
and through the week ahead…

Amen.

– Austin Fleming, Priest of the Archdiocese of Boston

SHOW UP AND ENJOY LIFE

“I don’t have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect and beautiful journey of my life. It’s a trip more wonderful than I could have imagined.”

~ Kerry Washington

Dear Lord, You Are My Light

Dear Lord you are my light,
And my life.
To waken at the break of day
And know you are there
Invisible to the eye
Untraceable to the finger
In the silent lifting mist
Loving me with divine love
Transforming me by grace
How can I not respond
With praise and praise and praise?

– Posted at Poetry, Prayer and Praise

SHALOM

Shalom
“If there is to be shalom, it will not be just for isolated, insulated individuals; it is rather, security and prosperity granted to a whole community–young and old, rich and poor, powerful and dependent. Always we are all in it together. Together we stand before God’s blessing and together we receive the gift of life, if we receive it at all. Shalom comes only to the inclusive, embracing community that excludes none.”

Walter Brueggemann. Peace. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2001.

PERFECTION IS BEING BEAUTIFULLY IMPERFECT

PERFECTION IS BEING BEAUTIFULLY IMPERFECT, (from Motivational Well Being)


•A smile is a contagious thing that you should spread. So spread it to everyone!

•Never be too proud to ask for help.

•We regret more about the things we didn’t do than the things we did do. Get out of yourself and just do it.

•Stop trying to impress people by being someone you’re not because in the end, you’ll lose yourself.

•We don’t have to do anything – we always have a choice.

•The best feeling in the world is getting paid to do what you love to do.

•The older I get, the less I care about what others think of me. Therefore, the older I get, the more I enjoy life.

•The word “Family” rarely ends up meaning blood related, and usually ends up becoming who we allow them to be.

•If you have the choice to be right or kind, always pick kind!

•Life is a fight, and even though it seems like you’re going to get knocked out, you must keep on fighting!

•Even a snake’s a saint unless stepped upon. Learn to forgive people who hurt you; hate is like holding onto burning coal.

•Make Jesus your best friend. With faith, let Him guide and direct you in all you do. It’s guaranteed to work that way.

•Change is the only pemanant thing in life.

•Always put yourself in the other’s shoes; if it hurts you, it probably hurts the other too.

•Take the stairs. There is no elevator.

•Years at school will seem short compared to a life time of minimum wage jobs. Get a good education, and achieve your dreams!

•Always empty your cup, always ask for more knowledge so you will be able to help yourself and others.

•Never be afraid to fail because through failure comes success.

•Loving someone doesn’t always mean keeping them. Sometimes, it also means you have to let them go.

•Dream big dreams, believe in yourself, trust in God, and work hard so that those dreams can be a reality.

•If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy.

•We regret day and night but overcoming those regrets is not that easy.

•Live a life of purpose and love.

•Life is the greatest teacher of its kind. It always teaches us to do more.
•If you want something in your life you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done.

•My life experience is that I am learning to become more of myself rather than comparing myself with other people. Other people expect me to be like them, but I don’t want to be like them, I just want to be more of myself and to accept myself for who I am.

•From King Solomon: This too shall pass.

•Accept people as they are.

•When you’re trying to achieve something, or improve, remember that there are no limits, only expectations. Expect to do more.

•Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed; having ups and downs are always part of it just like a roller coaster ride.

•Love yourself without condition.

•Past failures should never dictate who you are today or where you are going.

•If it’s out of your control, why fret about it?

•A winner must first know what losing is like. Without failure, there is no success.

•In everything that you do always give 100% as if there’s no tomorrow.

•Past records count for nothing when the race starts.

•If you can laugh together, you can work together.

•If you want to love people, never judge them.

•In life, nothing is certain and nothing is perfect. Just rise above the challenge.

•Always aim high and aspire big but in the process remain practical.

•Failures may be so hurtful and disappointing, knowing you did your best in everything. But it doesn’t mean life must end there. Stand up and live. Keep the Spirit and confidence. Be strong and Keep your faith by making the best out of it. For everything happens for a reason, a reason to teach you and correct you and a reason to bring the strength in you.

•Everyone has skeletons in their closets or personal demons they fight, but don’t let that stop you from being successful.

•Enjoy life and cherish it. Remember the good times, the bad times, and worst times, because each one has made you a better person and has made you grow.

•Between what happened and what will happen is our choice. So choose to be positive in everyday tasks.

•Never regret, if it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.

•Life is full of fun if you learn to play with difficulties.

•Nothing changes if nothing changes.

•A teacher is nothing but a clever student.

•As people we tend to worry about the things that don’t matter and forget about the things that do. Enjoy your life to the fullest because you never know when it’s going to end. So smile more, love more and enjoy more. Dueling on things just ruins your life. Being mad or upset with others for things they have done is just a waste of your energy. You can’t change the past or the mistakes. You can only change your future.

•Life has taught me to always be myself.

•Review your mistakes committed everyday and promise not to repeat them again.

•Love what you do, do what you love.

•What a wonderful feeling to be alive. To be able to see the sun shining and to be able to make something positive happen for us, our family, our community and our friends.

•Never forget those that gave you a helping hand; someday you will need them again.

•Don’t care what others think of you, and you will save yourself a lot of mental energy that instead can be used to push you towards success.

•The more obstacles you overcome, the stronger you become.

•Life’s a garden… dig it!

•People tolerate in life what they subject themselves to.

•There is no alternative to hard work.

•Don’t let things happen in your life. Instead, make them happen.

•Never live your life compared to someone else’s standards. Everyone has their strong points; don’t ever downgrade your own.

•You can never be happy if you’ve never been sad.

•Be willing to learn more about life in general.

•Life is like a bicycle with one wheel in front of the other. You leave tire marks of the past behind. You might break sometimes and even have a flat tire. But you never run out of gas.

•Keep moving forward!

•Don’t try to be popular, it’s no one’s calling.

•The more I give of myself unconditionally the more I seem to receive. LIVING IS GIVING – GIVING IS LIVING 🙂

•No one gets out alive, and there is no U-haul at the end of a funeral procession – so leave the best of you behind.

•When you stand on what you believe in, you can change the world.

•Always demand the impossible, dare to start that dream.

•What you think upon… grows! You’ll attract more of what you focus upon.. positive or negative.. It’s your choice. Focus on what you have and what’s right, not on what you don’t have and what’s wrong… And say thank you for what you have as often as possible.. it will change your life!

•Perseverance will make you great.

•Life is a game of Chess, learn to play it wisely.

•Always tell an obstacle that you are bigger than it by overcoming it.

•Never change your beliefs because someone else wants you to. Change them only because you want to.

•To have a long lasting relationship with anybody; always look more at their strengths and less at their weakness.

•When you get a second chance in life, hold it with both bands and make things happen. Nothing is impossible until you decide to stop trying!

•I learned that life can sometimes be pretty tough but without these challenges, it wouldn’t be called life. The downs in life make the ups much more enjoyable.

•Passion is the overflow of what we are gifted in.

•The contentment of life isn’t about what people say about you, We should not put our happiness in someone else’s satisfaction.

•Don’t get a job doing what you love because you will learn to hate what you loved. Instead find something that allows you to do what you love during your downtime.

•Learning to live stress free and without negative thoughts, is the key to staying positive.

•Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.

•Life is like a ball in the field; the ball doesn’t move unless the player kicks it,. So is the same to life. Don’t allow people to control your life. Your life is in your hands.

•Tomorrow is a desire, not a promise

•When you desire to learn about forgiveness and unconditional love, the only teacher you need is your dog.

•It sure takes a lotta patience to be patient.

•Life is a journey full of obstacles.

•Things we did may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

•Life is a journey. Keep walking.

•Life is beautiful. Self belief, love, and faith will make you live life without tension and worries.

•I know everything is possible and achievable.

•Stop blaming others, stop complaining, stop comparing yourself with others. Stand up and show the world that you are born to win. We all are wonderful the way we are.

•Don’t waste your time while you’re still young and fresh. Behave well … go to school and concentrate on a good education. Education is the best investment and tool to find a better job.

•It’s not important how much time is being wasted; what’s important is what you do with the time that you have.

•Never follow the traveled path because it will take you where others has been. Create your own path to be followed by others.

•I have lived through something so terrible I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. But through that experience I’ve learned to forgive all that was done and go on with life because I was strong enough to pull myself through without hurting myself or others around me.

•Be Cool, Be Calm, Be Brave, Be Wise, Just Be.

•You have all the talents needed in your environment and that is why you were made to be there. Just have confidence in being yourself and keep moving – you are a gift to the world.

•It doesn’t matter how many times you fall; or how many paths you have to take just to get there. Get up and make changes; learn from the past. Act, Move, Learn – beacuse no one can do that for you.

•Love yourself first.

•Life’s too short to worry about the mistakes you make. Just be proud of who you are and live to please nobody but yourself. Just live life like there’s no tomorrow.

•Life is not about winning, it’s about not giving up.

•Life is playing a game of Chess with God. After Every move of yours , he makes the next move. Your move is called CHOICES and his moves are called CONSEQUENCES.

•Nothing is impossible, even the word says so itself ‘I’m possible’.

•Pay your bills on time.

•Work for the job you want, not the job you have.

•Don’t always live with the all-or-nothing attitude.Often something small is better than nothing at all.

•Do not try so hard to fit in, because you were born to stand out!

•Life is like ice cream. Enoy it before it melts.

•Many people go through life jealously guarding a jewel that nobody wants. Share generously and it comes back to you many times over.

•Be honest all the time.

•Live in the moment; even if that means doing nothing.

•There are very few things in life worth ever really getting upset about.

•Watch out because what goes around really does come back around.

•Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.

•Every mistake is a lesson to learn from.

•Things change as well as people, but that’s the thing about life. We must learn to deal with it.

•Time keeps moving, whether you are or not.

•When you make the friends of your life, you’ll know them because they won’t judge you when you screw up, they won’t complain when you whine to them, and they won’t attempt to comfort you when you’re inconsolable. They’ll tell it to you straight up, no lies. And when you’re starving, they’ll sit there, grin, and eat the very last bag of Cheetos.

•You must respect yourself before others can respect you.

HOLY SIMPLICITY

I recommend to you holy simplicity. Look straight in front of you and not at those dangers you see in the distance. Let us be firmly resolved to serve God with our whole heart and life. Beyond that, let us have no care about tomorrow. Let us think only of living today well. Let us not doubt that God will provide more for us tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and all the days of our pilgrimage. Blessed be our Lord.

– Francis de Sales

THERE IS A WIDENESS IN GOD’S MERCY

Jesus said, if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.

But, God, if I wait around, they might hurt me.

And if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give them your sweater as well.

But, God, some people don’t deserve my coat.

And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.

But, God, I will not be taken advantage of.

Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

But, God, I’ll never see it again.

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Do I have to? I hate them.

Be perfect.

How can I possibly be perfect, O God, when I am so human?

God knows that. There is a wideness in God’s mercy that you would not believe. And all of God’s people said…

Amen.

•- Prayer of Confession, First Presbyterian Church, Rochester, MN February 20, 2011

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD

Be still and know that I am God

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.
BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM.
BE STILL AND KNOW.
BE STILL.
BE.

I was at a retreat last weekend, and one of the scriptures we meditated upon was Psalm 46:10. It’s a passage that’s very familiar to me – but it took on a whole new light when it was broken down like I’ve written it above. I couldn’t help but notice that the simpler the statement became, the harder it was for me to live out.

There’s such power in each statement – even pondering upon the difference between “I am God” and “I Am” – the 2nd seems more powerful to me for some reason. Perhaps because “God” is such a familiar term, and I AM is so profound – representing all and everything.

But those last two – be still. Be. Are those as difficult for you as they are for me? I’m someone who is a do-er; rather than a be-er. And yet, we have various of places in Scripture that tell us the importance of both (contrast “faith without works is dead” and the story of Mary & Martha). I think it comes down to sensing what God is calling us to in each circumstance. There are times that He calls us to action, to do things on His behalf. But I often find myself creating my own action plan/mission to “help God out” – especially when He’s not answering my prayers as quickly (or in the manner) that I’d like.

Why is being still so hard? Why is just “being” so hard? There were times that Jesus withdrew from His doing, just so He could be with the Father. And yet, at the end of the day, I find I’m so exhausted from all I’ve been “doing” with and for the Lord, that I don’t have the energy to simply “be.”

It’s no wonder that Psalm 23 says that he “makes us to lie down in green pastures.” It’s not a suggestion, it’s not an option – it’s something he must force us to do. I suppose resting in Him goes against our general nature. At least – it does for me.

So this week, I’ve been trying to live out the “be” part – to actively wait for God to guide me, move me, or to simply enjoy the times He wants to sit and hang out with me. It’s amazing how much less stress I’ve had this week – funny how that works, eh? 🙂

THOUGHT FOR THE MOMENT: “Don’t pray for rain if you are going to complain about the mud.” ~ Author Unknown

– fiund at ChristianBlog.com

The Re-Knitting Hand of God

The Re-Knitting Hand of God
by Marilyn Ehle

Look! I am doing a new thing… (Isaiah 43:19)

The owner of an upscale boutique led me through the aisles of his shop filled with exquisite clothing. It only took a sidelong glance at a few price tags to determine that this was a shop far beyond any budget I could ever hope to have. Quite unexpectedly, the owner-friend said, “Pick out something for yourself, Marilyn,” but instead of quickly choosing a garment, I seemed stunned into inactivity. Finally our friend handed me a beautiful black and white sequined sweater of intricate design. “This is perfect for you.” In just moments the gift was wrapped in fine tissue, thrust into a bag and we walked out of this shopper’s heaven. In the months and years ahead I wore this lovely sweater on many semi-formal occasions and always felt like some woman out of the pages of the fashion magazine Elle.

But one day I noticed that a few threads binding the front of the knitted garment to the bottom band were loose. Soon the entire front had unraveled from the band and my lovely sweater was in fragments. Its parts were still beautiful but because it was no longer whole, my fine garment was no longer wearable. I carefully folded my beautiful sweater and placed it in the back of a drawer where it seemed destined to be unused and unusable, merely a pleasant memory.

Frequently we look at what we consider our human weaknesses or the “little sins” which plague us and decide they are just part and parcel of the human condition. We allow ourselves to be lulled into believing that a consistently negative attitude, lack of discipline in any area of life, listless study of the Bible, or nonchalant attitude toward physical suffering in the world around us are merely actions and attitudes “common to man.” We measure ourselves against what is considered the norm and become complacent with far less than God’s intended holy purposes for our lives.

We have become like the beautiful sweater tucked into a corner of the drawer, remembering past days when we were seen as reflections of God’s glory, when we glowed with the joy of submission to His will, but we now lie unused and unusable, with merely pleasant memories of our past abundant life.

But the story of my sweater didn’t end in the drawer. One day a new friend, an accomplished knitter, showed me some of her beautiful work and I told her the story of my sweater. “Oh, I could fix that so it would be like new,” she said with confidence. I doubted her word and skill at first, but finally placed my sweater into her hands. Imagine my surprise and delight when only a week later she handed me a re-created sweater with not a trace of its former fragmented condition. It had been restored to its former glory and subsequently was worn on many occasions. When I frequently received compliments on my black and white designer sweater, I smiled and said “thank you,” but another kind of smile was in my heart. Only I knew that this sweater had once been put aside as unwearable but had been made new.

What a thrill it must give God when we allow Him to re-create us on a daily basis so that others look at us and see the beauty of Jesus. We know we have been fragmented and maybe even thrust into the dark corners of drawers for periods of time, but God is always willing, ready and able to re-knit us into beautiful reflections of His glory.

RUMI

ONLY
IN
EMBRACING
ALL
CAN
WE
BECOME
THE
ARMS
OF
GOD.

-Rumi