Holy Spirit of God, come upon us on this Pentecostal Sunday as You came upon the disciples of old. We need Your help! Anoint our minds and spirits with boldness, that we may join our efforts to Yours for achieving peace in this world.
Touch our hearts with compassion, that we may see more clearly those who are struggling with anger over the injustice in our nation and world; show us how we can be instruments of peace and equality for all.
Enable us to be Channels of Your Peace in these changing times. Show us how to worship You together in safe and meaningful ways as we prepare to come together once again as a Body of Christ.
Visit our wills, O God, with the fire of Your Spirit that we may strive with boldness for what is right and just for the poor, the underprivileged, and the disenfranchised.
Let us not be content merely to have what we have and not share it with others, merely to enjoy what was given to us and not realize it was intended for all.
Infuse us with the zeal and dedication that were in Christ Jesus our Lord, that we may not merely take for granted the life and freedom and opportunities that are ours.
Lift up those who have fallen victim to COVID-19, and those who are grieving the loss of loved ones. Though we are thankful for the health we have enjoyed, help us not to become blind to the suffering of those who have found themselves on the frontlines of the pandemic. Lift up the fallen, heal the sick, comfort the bereaved.
Give us strength in our weakness, illumination in our darkness, and hope in our despondency. Empower us to be all You created us to be.
It takes compassion To have honest empathy; Takes a loving heart.
In a World of Need by Terry Waite
“O Lord: In a world where many are lonely, we thank You for our friendships. In a world where many are captive, we thank You for our freedom. In a world where many are hungry, we thank you for our provision. We pray that You will: enlarge our sympathy, deepen our compassion, and give us grateful hearts. In Christ’s name, Amen”
Notice that in the first quote, Roger Ebert wrote EMPATHY is the most essential quality. In Terry Waite’s lovely poem, he asks God to “enlarge our SYMPATHY.”
What the difference between EMPATHY and SYMPATHY?
Oh, you poor, poor thing! I am so sorry for you. You hurt. What a shame!
I walk in your shoes, Genuinely share your pain. I understand you.
Lord, enlarge our empathy. Help us know how to reach out with compassion. Teach us to love, seek to understand, and share. With God’s grace … teach us!
And help us remember LOVE IS WHAT WE DO! Reach out in empathy and compassion today!
And don’t forget as you reach out to do so with a GRATEFUL heart!
Please go to her post to read the story and become acquainted with Donna. Here is her poem:
TRIED YOUR BEST
At the end of my life
when I stand before the Lord,
I just want to hear Him say,
“You tried your best.”
“You may not have always succeeded
and yes, there were times
when you failed;
but you never let Me down for
you tried your best.”
“The gifts that I gave you,
you did try to use.
You may not have always used them,
indeed many times you did fail,
but it is okay
I love you,
You tried your best.”
“You listened for my voice.
You did your best to obey.
The words that I spoke,
they pierced your heart and you
tried your best
to let them change you those days.”
“You were not perfect,
I did not create you to be.
I knew that apple
would be picked off the tree.
I know you are not perfect,
that is okay with me.”
I provided my Son to take all that away.
All I ever wanted from you my dear child
is to know that you wanted to
try your best.”
“Tried your best
to do the right things,
tried your best
to be the best you could be.”
“In all your relationships, I never did frown,
I saw you my child, you were
trying your best.”
At the end of my life when I stand before the Lord,
more than all else, with such love in His eyes,
I want to hear Him say,
“MY child, you
TRIED YOUR BEST.”
Starts with Mind-Set
Part of trying to do and DOING your best is mind-set. It’s where all the effort begins… in your head and in your heart. If you’ve followed my blog very long at all, you know I begin each day in my “Angel Room.” It’s my favorite room in the house.
In my sanctuary, I pray, meditate, read devotionals and the Bible, and often write letters and cards to friends. Often the inspiration for my blog comes during my sanctuary time.
It Takes Divine Guidance
Before I leave my sanctuary each morning and walk down the spiral staircase, I ask for Divine Guidance, I pray,
“Lord, take me where you want me to go today. Help me meet who You want me to meet. Tell me what you want me to say. Help me be what You made me to be. Show me what You want me to do. Help me walk in Your Way.”
These days, with the COVID-19 restrictions in place, He doesn’t want me to GO very far from home. The people I meet are usually on ZOOM or MarcoPolo, FaceTime, FaceBook, or here on WordPress. But, I do ask for help with what to say here on my blog, elsewhere on the internet, in phone calls and messages, and on those cards I write.
God helps me live up to WHO He made me to be… and I try my best to follow His lead. That’s all we can do you know: DO OUR BEST!
There are so many great resources out there to help us on our daily walk. Guideposts is one of my go-to sources. I have been reading their Daily Guideposts for at least a decade.
Recently I received a complimentary copy of Strength & Grace, daily devotionals for caregivers. I was tempted to pass it along to a friend who is caring for her recuperating spouse, but then I read a page or two, and I decided it is very pertinent to all of us who are sequestered and taking care of ourselves – and whoever may be living in the house with us.
Today’s message, April 18th, was titled, “Caregiver Foolishness.” It might have just said, “Our Foolishness,” because we all are foolish at times! We all occasionally make “careless mistakes or unwise decisions.” The message went on to explain:
“Foolishness strikes when we are tired and vulnerable, making us feel even worse.” But don’t stop there, we are told, “The opposite of foolishness is wisdom – God’s specialty. We may be fools, but God is always there with us, ready to carry us when we blunder.”
Try Your Best and Believe
So, the good news is: God knows our hearts. God knows our sincere efforts. He shares His wisdom and strength with us.
As long as we rely on God, it’s okay to be foolish at times. After all, we’re mortal. He did not create us to be perfect! Just join the Guideposts prayer team and me:
“God of strength and wisdom, even in my most foolish moments, You are there. I thank You for Your wisdom when I try my best, and for Your grace when my best doesn’t measure up.
I thank You for Your strength when I am weak. Help me always to remember, as Donna Marie wrote in her poem, ‘At the end of my life, when I stand before the Lord, I just want to hear Him say, you tried your best!’
Help me with my mind-set, my adherence to Your divine guidance, and my wise use of the many resources out there to assist my efforts. Help me in my Belief and forgive my doubts.
In Jesus Name, Amen”
Thanks for your visit to JanBeek today. Do your best to have a restful Saturday night and a blessed Sunday.
My child, you are worrying too much. remember who I am there is nothing too hard for me. You may not see it, but I have everything planned out for you.
Verse of the Day:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5-6
Each morning I begin my day sitting in this old rocking chair that Bob’s great-grandpa built. It’s up in the corner of my favorite room in the house – my sanctuary.
You can see Mornings with Jesus, my #1 devotional, on the chair in front of my “All Things Grow with Love” pillow. The picture above the photo of room is today’s page. My bookmark reminds me daily of my 2020 resolution: “Walk the Talk.”
Prov. 3:5-6 is the verse on that card. It’s one of my favorite scriptures. With it tucked firmly under my belt and in my heart each morning, I read the daily devo and write in large, fat letters the 2 to 6 words that are my “take away” for the day. You can see “SIMPLY TRUST HIM” is today’s message.
At the top of my devo page I write my plan for the day … the part of it that God directs to my angelic perch from His heavenly Holy Spirit’s leading. It helps me to “Walk the Talk” when I put my trust in what He has “up His sleeve.”
What are your plans for this beautiful Sunday? I hope you take time to pray. The Faith Step that’s partly covered by my bookmark in the devo picture says, “Recall the times when Jesus answered your prayers in ways you didn’t expect. If you’re praying for something right now, don’t keep Him in a box. Expect Him to answer beyond your expectations.”
Go ahead. Listen for His leading. Step out confidently today with plans God sets before you.
Jesus responded, “ Didn’t I tell you that you would seeGod’s glory if you believe?”
Pray with me, “Thank You, Jesus, for praying with us and for us. Thank You for Your presence in our lives. Now, as we walk the talk, guide our feet where You want us to go today. Help us meet who You want us to meet. Whisper what You want us to say. Help us be who we were made to be. Show us what You want us to do as we walk in Your will. Amen”
The coldness of this Montana winter inspired our Rev. Steve Hundley to pray to our Lord using snow and ice as metaphors that grabbed my attention last Sunday at our church.
I asked Steve for permission to share his Pastoral Prayer with you. I think it is so poetically and beautifully written, I hope you will appreciate it as much as I do.
“We come to You, O Lord, at a time when much of our valley has been gripped by snow and cold – when roads have been clogged and winds have been strong and some have struggled to keep warm.
Let the coldness of this season raise the question of our own spiritual temperatures.
Has our relationship to You been frozen and stiff?
Are the ways of our hearts clogged by snowdrifts of apathy and indifference?
Do the lines of communication between us sag and break beneath the iciness of neglect or doubt?
Send now a warming trend into our lives. Let there be a melting of our hearts, and a surrender to Your will and Your Way. Grant that the icicles of pride and loneliness may fall from our hearts, and that the heat of Your love and grace may break up the ice floes that have kept us apart.
Transform us into centers of warmth that will radiate Your presence into the cold-hearted world around us. Show us how to be Your light, like the warmth of the sun, warming the earth.
Grant peace to those who are anxious and renewal to those who are tired. Instill in our nation a longing and a desire for the common good. Let Christ come and touch us now so that all our problems may be small ones, dwarfed in the magnitude and beauty of His presence.
For in Christ there is no coldness, but eternal springtime.”
This is a prayer that I will read each morning during these cold, winter months … and pray to our Lord that indeed He will “transform [me] into a center of warmth that … radiates [God’s] presence into the cold-hearted world around us.”
There are many ways to “give.” My mailbox is overflowing everyday this time of year for requests to give – donate to St. Judes or St. Joseph’s Indian School; donate to Foot and Mouth Painters or Salvation Army; make an extra donation to Guideposts or my church or the Food Bank. And don’t even ask me how many text messages and e-mails I receive each day from political candidates! Yes, giving money is one way to practice giving… and if you have dough to spare, there are needy, worthy causes out there.
But do you know for sure what percentage of your hard-earned bucks are going to the intended cause? Can you see the light in the eyes of the recipient?
Giving face-to-face changes your life as well as the recipient’s. Pay it forward in the grocery line. Give a hug. Share your talent at a nursing home … maybe it’s a visit and a hug or a half hour of your time to read a little from your favorite poems. Maybe it’s a meal in your home with friends you’d like to have a chance to know better. And you’d like them to know each other. Maybe it’s transportation to an appointment for someone without a car. Perhaps it is time with a child (yours or someone else’s… doesn’t matter… just be there!).
Think of giving in non-monetary terms. Give of yourself. Give joyfully! Why?
Give as the Lord’s Example
2 Corinthians 9:6-9 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”
God Bless You, dear Friends. Have you decided on an answer to “What’s in it for me?” I hope you’re having a “good” day. Thank you for being such generous givers! Tell me about the last time you “gave” – what was it?