Monday, January 4, 2010

Friday Five: Fresh Starts and Covenants Edition

Friday, January 01, 2010

Friday Five: Fresh Starts and Covenants Edition

Sally of RevGalBlogPals writes:

As I prepare this post I am aware that it will be posted on New Years Day. We stand at the beginning of 2010 looking not only at a New Year, but at a new decade full of promise and possibilities. For some of us this will be exciting, but others will approach it with trepidation and probably most of us stand on this threshold with a mix of emotions and reactions. It is at this time of year that many (British) Methodist Churches celebrate their Annual Covenant Service, a service that will include this prayer:

I am no longer my own but Yours,

Put me to what You will, rank me with whom You will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for You, or laid aside for You,
exalted for You, or brought low for You;
let me be full, let me be empty,
let me have all things, let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to Your pleasure and disposal.
And now glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You are mine and I am Yours.
May it be so forever.
Let this covenant now made on earth be fulfilled in heaven.

This prayer is said every year, and offers every member an opportunity to renew their covenant with God. This is no soft or easy prayer, it states in the company of others our willingness to worship God come what may, not that we should become doormats, but that we place God above all else. (And every year if we are honest we have to acknowledge that we fail.) With this prayer in mind I bring you this Friday Five:

1. What will you gladly leave behind in 2009? The trauma of my husband’s health issues and subsequent heart problems and the reality that my 96-year-old father needs to live in a care facility. It’s hard watching your oak tree of a father cry because he’s leaving his home.

2. What is the biggest challenge of 2010 for you? Finding time to complete year two of my D. Min. degree. The reading load is bad enough but looking at the calendar, it is going to be nearly impossible to block out a period of time to write the post-seminar papers.

3. Is there anything that you simply need to hand to God and say "all will be well, for you are with me"? My husband’s health … not only is it frightening to realize how fragile he is but watching him come to terms with that reality is heartbreaking.

4. If you could only achieve one thing in 2010 what would it be? The obvious answer is building better relationships with family. The ministry part of that is finding alternative income options for the church I serve.

5. Post a picture, poem or song that sums up your prayer for the year ahead....

I love this picture! My prayer is to share an intimate relationship in my personal life.

Ministry to me is all about grace so “Grace Alone” is my song of the year.

Every promise we can make
Every prayer ant step of faith
Every difference we can make
Is only by his grace
Every mountain we will climb
Every ray of hope we shine
Every blessing left behind
Is only by his grace

Grace alone
Which god supplies
Strength unknown
He will provide
Christ in us
Our cornerstone
We will go forth in grace alone

Every soul we long to reach
Every heart we hope to teach
Everywhere we share his peace
Is only by his grace
Every loving word we say
Every tear we wipe away
Every sorrow turned to praise
Is only by his grace

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