Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Greeting from Praise Gathering

by Randy Vader and Rose Aspinall on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - Category: Devotions

Dear Father in heaven ~

Thank You for the promise that in You I shall not want.
When I am overwhelmed, You calm my restless heart.
In trials that overpower me as mighty torrents in a raging river,
You call me to rest beside still waters.
In a world that only knows what it means to take,
You bring the peace that restores to me even those things I did not know I had lost.
So many voices call to me, beckoning me to walk another road,
But You—You invite me to walk in paths of Your righteousness in the name of Your Son.
In the inevitability of the shadow of death, I thank you Father that I need not fear the Unknown. I need only look to You for comfort and protection.
Even in the midst of those things that bring fear— that make me feel alone, You prepare a banquet and Your sure love overwhelms my enemies. The things that burden me are washed away in Your presence and I am overcome with Your grace.
Abba, I could never ask for that which You offer to me as gift. My heart overflows. Your goodness and mercy are always with me and I rejoice in the invitation to dwell in Your house forever.
Praise You Loving Father.
Praise You Son of God.
Praise You Holy Spirit.
May my life be a never ending psalm of Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A prayer for our election ….

Let Us Pray
Prayer for Leadership
Give us, O God,
leaders whose hearts are large enough
to match the breadth of our own souls
and give us souls strong enough
to follow leaders of vision and wisdom.

In seeking a leader, let us seek
more than development for ourselves—
though development we hope for—
more than security for our own land—
though security we need—
more than satisfaction for our wants—
though many things we desire.

Give us the hearts to choose the leader
who will work with other leaders
to bring safety
to the whole world.

Give us leaders
who lead this nation to virtue
without seeking to impose our kind of virtue
on the virtue of others.

Give us a government
that provides for the advancement
of this country
without taking resources from others
to achieve it.

Give us insight enough ourselves
to choose as leaders those who can tell
strength from power,
growth from greed,
leadership from dominance,
and real greatness from the trappings of grandiosity.

We trust you, Great God,
to open our hearts to learn from those
to whom you speak in different tongues
and to respect the life and words
of those to whom you entrusted
the good of other parts of this globe.

We beg you, Great God,
give us the vision as a people
to know where global leadership truly lies,
to pursue it diligently,
to require it to protect human rights
for everyone everywhere.

We ask these things, Great God,
with minds open to your word
and hearts that trust in your eternal care.

–Joan Chittister

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Go My Children–With My Blessing

Go, My children, with My blessing, Never alone.
Waking, sleeping, I am with you; You are My own.
In My love's baptismal river I have made you Mine forever.
Go, My children, with My blessing, You are My own.
Go, My children, sins forgiven, At peace and pure.
Here you learned how much I love you, What I can cure.
Here you heard My dear Son's story
Here you touched Him, saw His glory.
Go, My children, sins forgiven, At peace and pure.
Go, My children, fed and nourished, Closer to Me
Grow in love and love by serving, Joyful and free.
Here My Spirit's power filled you; Here His tender comfort stilled you.
Go, My children, fed and nourished, Joyful and free.
I the Lord will bless and keep you And give you peace
I the Lord will smile upon you and give you peace
I the Lord will be your Father, Savior, Comforter, and Brother.
Go, My Children, I will keep you and give you peace.
- Jaroslav J. Vajda

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Celebrating the Ascension …


Ascension Sunday

Spirit Series by Angela Taylor Perry


Ascension Day is the crowning event of the ministry of our Lord. On the fortieth day after Easter, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives with his disciples and ascended to heaven before their eyes (Acts 1:1-12).

The ascension of Christ is filled with theological significance. Christ’s ascension means that in heaven there is one who, knowing firsthand the experience of suffering and temptation, prays for us and perfects our prayers. His ascension is a witness and guarantee of our own bodily resurrection, as well as an invitation for us to set our hearts and minds “on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1-2) to rule over all things in heaven and throughout the universe (Eph. 1:10, 20-23). Finally, the ascension of Jesus serves as the prelude to Pentecost, when the power of the risen Christ came upon all believers through the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Beautiful story that the world should know …

I do not know who wrote this, but I do know that this story is pure fact and one of the most inspiring stories I’ve ever heard. Two of my sermons this month included references to the John and Annie because they truly are American heroes and fine Christian examples!


For half a century, the world has applauded John Glenn as a heart-stirring American hero. He lifted the nation's spirits when, as one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, he was blasted alone into orbit around the Earth; the enduring affection for him is so powerful that even now people find themselves misting up at the sight of his face or the sound of his voice. 
But for all these years, Glenn has had a hero of his own, someone whom he has seen display endless courage of a different kind: 
Annie Glenn. 
They have been married for 68 years. 
He is 90; she turned 92 on Friday. 
This weekend there has been news coverage of the 50th anniversary of Glenn's flight into orbit. We are being reminded that, half a century down the line, he remains America 's unforgettable hero. 
He has never really bought that. 
Because the heroism he most cherishes is of a sort that is seldom cheered. It belongs to the person he has known longer than he has known anyone else in the world. 
John Glenn and Annie Castor first knew each other when -- literally -- they shared a playpen. 
In New Concord, Ohio, his parents and hers were friends. When the families got together, their children played. 
John -- the future Marine fighter pilot, the future test-pilot ace, the future astronaut -- was pure gold from the start. He would end up having what it took to rise to the absolute pinnacle of American regard during the space race; imagine what it meant to be the young John Glenn in the small confines of New Concord. 
Three-sport varsity athlete, most admired boy in town, Mr. Everything. 
Annie Castor was bright, was caring, was talented, was generous of spirit. But she could talk only with the most excruciating of difficulty. It haunted her. 
Her stuttering was so severe that it was categorized as an "85%" disability -- 85% of the time, she could not manage to make words come out. 
When she tried to recite a poem in elementary school, she was laughed at. She was not able to speak on the telephone. She could not have a regular conversation with a friend. 
And John Glenn loved her. 
Even as a boy he was wise enough to understand that people who could not see past her stutter were missing out on knowing a rare and wonderful girl. 
They married on April 6, 1943. As a military wife, she found that life as she and John moved around the country could be quite hurtful. She has written: "I can remember some very painful experiences -- especially the ridicule." 
In department stores, she would wander unfamiliar aisles trying to find the right section, embarrassed to attempt to ask the salesclerks for help. In taxis, she would have to write requests to the driver, because she couldn't speak the destination out loud. In restaurants, she would point to the items on the menu. 
A fine musician, Annie, in every community where she and John moved, would play the organ in church as a way to make new friends. She and John had two children; she has written: "Can you imagine living in the modern world and being afraid to use the telephone? 'Hello' used to be so hard for me to say. I worried that my children would be injured and need a doctor. Could I somehow find the words to get the information across on the phone?" 
John, as a Marine aviator, flew 59 combat missions in World War II and 90 during the Korean War. Every time he was deployed, he and Annie said goodbye the same way. His last words to her before leaving were: 
"I'm just going down to the corner store to get a pack of gum." 
And, with just the two of them there, she was able to always reply: 
"Don't be long." 
On that February day in 1962 when the world held its breath and the Atlas rocket was about to propel him toward space, those were their words, once again. And in 1998, when, at 77, he went back to space aboard the shuttle Discovery, it was an understandably tense time for them. What if something happened to end their life together? 
She knew what he would say to her before boarding the shuttle. He did -- and this time he gave her a present to hold onto: 
A pack of gum. 
She carried it in a pocket next to her heart until he was safely home. 
Many times in her life she attempted various treatments to cure her stutter. None worked. 
But in 1973, she found a doctor in Virginia who ran an intensive program she and John hoped would help her. She traveled there to enroll and to give it her best effort. The miracle she and John had always waited for at last, as miracles will do, arrived. At age 53, she was able to talk fluidly, and not in brief, anxiety-ridden, agonizing bursts. 
John has said that on the first day he heard her speak to him with confidence and clarity, he dropped to his knees to offer a prayer of gratitude. 
He has written: "I saw Annie's perseverance and strength through the years and it just made me admire her and love her even more." He has heard roaring ovations in countries around the globe for his own valor, but his awe is reserved for Annie, and what she accomplished: "I don't know if I would have had the courage." 
Her voice is so clear and steady now that she regularly gives public talks. If you are lucky enough to know the Glenns, the sight and sound of them bantering and joking with each other and playfully finishing each others' sentences is something that warms you and makes you thankful just to be in the same room. 
Monday will be the anniversary of the Mercury space shot, and once again people will remember, and will speak of the heroism of Glenn the astronaut. 
But if you ever find yourself at an event where the Glenns are appearing, and you want to see someone so brimming with pride and love that you may feel your own tears start to well up, wait until the moment that Annie stands to say a few words to the audience. 
And as she begins, take a look at her husband's eyes.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Thought for the Day …

"The LORD directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the LORD holds them by the hand."
                                                  Psalm 37:23–24


How secure does it make you feel to know that God is directing your every step, that if you stumble you will not fall? How much can you relax in him, knowing that he delights in every detail of your life? The ordinary, mundane chores of everyday life—waking, eating, sleeping, cleaning up messes, working, talking to others—all these things God delights in, maybe more than you do! Let today be a delightful day, shared with the God who is with you every step of the way.

           —Diane Eble, author of Abundant Gifts: A Daybook of

           Grace Filled Devotions

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lenten Readings ….

A brief explanation of Ash Wednesday and Lent …