WHEN WE NEED TO PRAY

WHEN WE NEED TO PRAY

AND DON’T KNOW HOW – we need not worry. God knows our hearts and hears our prayers without the need for words. I often urge and encourage others to pray when they are sharing a situation they know will be difficult or don’t know how to handle a situation they are in. In Romans 8 we are helped with this:  “the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

When I encourage someone to pray, I sometimes get a face from them. That causes an immediate wordless prayer response in me, for whatever they need. I am not always sure why they give me a face. I think it is often an expression that seems to say, “I know I should but …” Or in others words, I’m not quite sure what to say to God. The passage from Romans clearly tells us we can pray and not use any words if they won’t come. The Holy Spirit knows what is within us and sees our intentions. When we know this is what happens between us and the Spirit, words are

not as important as we might have thought. People demand words from us. God does not. This is one way our hearts can grow in their capacity to love unconditionally, as the Holy One loves. The Spirit knows our shortcomings and will help us anyway. So what is stopping us from praying? Whatever we say to God, with or without words will be accepted with grace, unconditionally. Our concerns, our questions, our uncertainties will all be respected and received with unconditional love. We don’t need words to pray. We only need loving intentions or concern and the desire to follow God’s will. It doesn’t even need to make sense to us. When we face anything where there is doubt about what God would want us to do, or how to do it, we only need to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, with no explanations necessary. The Spirit will move in love wherever the love and understanding are needed. When we let go and trust the Spirit, powerful things will happen.  Loving Holy Spirit, we are grateful that you do not demand words from us. Help us open our hearts and let go of fear and uncertainty, so we can communicate our intentions and concerns to you freely. Increase our courage to reach out, as we see this process working in those we hold up to you in prayer. Help us practice and embrace praying without words for the sake of all.  Amen.     PEACE  

WAITING IN ANTICIPATION AND EXCITEMENT

WAITING IN ANTICIPATION
AND EXCITEMENT – and yet patience, for what God is bringing is possible with God’s help. This situation is comparable to the end of pregnancy. As someone who has been through this several times, I can relate to this feeling. For those who have not experienced this, it is a time when the end is in sight, so it is becoming very exciting. But it is also a time of great discomfort and can even be a time of serious complications, as the child inside puts greater and greater stress on organs and systems in the mother’s body, crowding out the space they would normally occupy. [I am praying for my nephew’s wife, who is in labor now, about to give birth for the first time.] In the midst of great joy and anticipation, there can be pain. And of course, there is the pain of childbirth itself to be endured, in order for the joy of birth to take place. This can all be compared to life, as this passage from Romans 8 describes it.  22 “We know that everything God made has been waiting until now in pain like a woman ready to give birth to a child. 23 Not only the world, but we also have been waiting with pain inside us. We have the Spirit as the first part of God’s promise. So we are waiting for God to finish making us God’s own children. I mean we are waiting for our bodies to be made free. 24 We were saved to have this hope. If we can see what we are waiting for, that is not really hope. People don’t hope for something they already have. 25 But we are hoping for something we don’t have yet, and we are waiting for it patiently.”

Whether we think of it or not, our life is a process, of learning and growing and some of that involves suffering in order to learn and grow into a different person than we were last week. This is all in the direction of becoming the person God created us to be, and the journey we are on in order to get to that person. Because of some of the choices we make, it may even be necessary to go through a re-birth to get to where we will need to be, as the child of God we have been created to be. Through all of our journey, the Holy Spirit is with us and is the very reason we can have the patience to see there is a greater life ahead and endure the suffering we are going through, as we grow into what God has designed for us. Let us cast out fear and seize on hope, instead.   Compassionate God, who shows us merciful love through the presence of the Holy Spirit, we are grateful. Remind us of this strength we have been given to help us endure and still live with the hope of a greater future. Remind us also to share this vision with others, as an encouragement toward their greater future.  Amen.     PEACE    

NOTE: Today’s blog refers to the waiting and anticipation of Advent, and the birth of Christ, signaling something new coming to the people of creation. It will begin on Nov. 29 and run through Christmas Eve. We will then celebrate the twelve days of Christmas and end the season with Epiphany, on Jan. 6. 

THE JOYS OF SHARING GOD’S LOVE

THE JOYS OF SHARING GOD’S LOVE
ARE GIFTS FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT – and a delight in our lives, beyond what we might imagine. This blog often talks about the many ways we share God’s love with others. It becomes a blessing for us when we are able to open ourselves to the Spirit within us and let the energy that comes from the Holy Spirit go out through us to wherever it is needed. This is known as channeling, and it is an ability from God so that what God needs to happen will happen, and with power. From the time of Moses, when God said Aaron would be given the words to say to the King of Egypt, along with the prophets throughout the Old Testament and down through the centuries. Too many people to count have been given this ability to receive words or ideas from God so that God’s work can be accomplished. In Luke 21, we see Jesus yet again preparing the disciples to be able to speak God’s truth in love, when they are challenged. 14  “So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, 15 for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you!”
 
The opponents we face may not always look like the enemy but God needs us to speak the truth in love and embody God’s love for all we meet or connect with, in any way. This will not happen in our own strength. God will provide what we need to do it, whatever is needed at the time. When we allow God to work in us and through us, using the gifts we have been given, we will be channeling God’s love through what we do. But how does this really happen? It may sound scary but it is quite the opposite. We will feel a range of emotions – from a sense of something good happening around us to a feeling of giddy joy, so that we may want to giggle with unrestrained happiness. Being a part of God’s work of love will have longer-term benefits too. Our lives will smooth out, and we will find it easier to handle the bumps of life because God is with us through it all. What we give up, in terms of trying to control life, will not be missed. God’s control is loving and beneficial in everything we do. It doesn’t require a lot of effort. It is an act of letting go while we are bathed in God’s grace. We do not need to feel any shame. 

It may be a great time to try God’s way of love, as we are between having expressed gratitude for the gifts we have been given and are approaching the coming of Advent, when we let God help us prepare for the coming of God’s greatest gift, the one who came to redeem us all from the weight of sin and instead brings us unconditional love. May we consider and perhaps accept this great invitation.   O Loving God, who always has our benefit in mind, we are grateful for such love. Help us learn to let go of wanting to maintain our control, and increasingly trust in your loving way of doing things. Guide us to allow your love to be channeled through us, so that we may help you do more work for the Kingdom. In the name of the one who is to come, your Son and our Redeemer, Jesus.  Amen.     PEACE    

WHY BE GRATEFUL

WHY BE GRATEFUL
TO GOD FOR OUR BLESSINGS? Those who love God are naturally inspired to express gratitude. It is a product of what happens when we become more aware of God and creation. We are awed by creation as soon as we open ourselves to it. Psalm 8 attempts to describe this phenomenon.  “O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. 2 You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. 3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers – the moon and the stars you set in place – 4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? 5 Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. 6 You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority – 7 the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, 8 the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents. 9 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!”  When we allow ourselves to be open to the wonders of the universe, we can’t stop expressing awe at the glory of God’s creation.

Researchers have shown that expressing gratitude actually has a biological effect on the parasympathetic part of the nervous system resulting in both slowing and smoothing out the rhythm of the heart. Only God could conceive of this. Karen Krakower Kaplan says – “Gratitude is noticing the extraordinary in the ordinary. And then taking the nanosecond to feel it.” We can feel gratitude for creation and everything in it, as well as people in our lives. This Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to say thank you to someone who has done something you appreciate. We might say “thank you” for listening, for doing a job we can’t bring ourselves to do, or accomplishing something we perhaps thought just couldn’t be done. There are so many reasons to not just count our blessing, but to go further by extending a thank you to someone as an act of love.   Loving God, who has given us so much to express our gratitude for, help us see those around us to whom we can say thank you for what they contribute to the life of others around them. Guide us to become more aware of what others do and thank them on a regular basis with not only words but in other ways of expressing our love for what they do and who they are as loving people.  Amen.     PEACE    

“Effects of Gratitude on the Body: Researchers have found that when we think about someone or something we really appreciate and experience the feeling that goes with the thought, the parasympathetic — calming-branch of the autonomic nervous system — is triggered. This pattern when repeated bestows a protective effect on the heart. The electromagnetic heart patterns of volunteers tested become more coherent and ordered when they activate feelings of appreciation. There is evidence that when we practice bringing attention to what we appreciate in our lives, more positive emotions emerge, leading to beneficial alterations in heart rate variability. Neurobiologically, gratitude is nested within the social emotions, along with awe, wonder, “elevation” and pride. It can be both practiced and experienced. ~Submitted by: Dr. William B. Stewart to DailyGood.org”

A JOURNEY TO WHOLENESS

GOD OFFERS US
A JOURNEY TO WHOLENESS – if we allow the process God offers to bring us there. Coming to wholeness is a lifelong journey. All that God has put in place will support and guide us on our journey to wholeness. On the way to this state of love are a lot of lessons to be learned. The world brings us hate, fear and loneliness. God’s love brings acceptance of ourselves and others, casts out our fear and helps us connect to others. My daughter brought me this little story by Ram Dass that helps us here. He talks about an experience of walking in the woods and being touched by the condition of each tree. He allows that they have grown in response to where they are. He is not critical of their shape or size. He allows that one didn’t have enough light where it is, so it bent or twisted to get to the light. He doesn’t get emotional about it. He understands what has shaped their life. He is not constantly saying critical things about what they are or are not, as he observes them. They just are, for what ever reason, shaped that way. He finishes with “so I practice turning people into trees, which means appreciating them just the way they are.” The growth experience he describes is a good example of how God speaks to us even through the broken creation. When we can see how the trees respond to their environment and how it has shaped them, it can also be a lesson for us concerning people. We never know how people have adapted just to survive their environment. It helps us turn off the critical messages the world offers in favor of what God has to teach us about loving each other, despite the obstacles. 

This all reminds me of the interaction in John 4 of the Samaritan woman and Jesus. Since she was a woman of Samaria, she would be used to the Hebrews avoiding her. Samaritans were considered as half-breeds and had very low stature among Jews, so they were to be avoided as unclean. And yet this Jesus gets into a conversation with her. Since she had been married many times, probably as a matter of survival for her, that also would have hurt her standing in the community. This woman was used to criticism. And then Jesus speaks to her with respect and even insight, not as one who wanted to put her down or ignore her, but without judgment. She was a person worthy of respect in his eyes. What a liberating experience this would have been for her. It also shows that the disciples were learning lessons of love as well. 27 “Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, ‘What do you want?’ or ‘Why are you talking with her?’ 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?’ ”  Dear and loving God, may we learn lessons of love and see the Messiah in encounters with others of your family. Help us reach past our own obstacles of fear and distrust so we can touch others with the love that only comes from and through you, to be shared with everyone we encounter. Our journey is part of your plan, so encourage us to keep opening and allowing you to work your love within us.  Amen.   PEACE  

RECEIVE THE GLORY

RECEIVE THE GLORY
MEANT FOR US – from the beginning. Who knows when it happened?  It really doesn’t matter. The concern is that we got off track, from what God has provided for us. God had in mind a very different world than the one we have created. Think about the vision of a loving and peaceful creation, where all live in harmony and then compare that to what our world is really like. We are shown the intention of God and the plan God had for us in this from Romans 8.   28 “We know that God works all things together for the good of those who love God, for those who are called according to God’s purpose. 29 God knew them before God made the world. And God decided that they would be like God’s Son. Then Jesus would be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters. 30 God planned for them to be like the Son. God called them and made them right. And those who God made right, God also gave God’s glory.”

Ideas are powerful things and they have additional power when resources are brought together to help those ideas become reality. And yet in our imperfect world, nothing that we can conceive will ever work out perfectly. Any designer or engineer knows there are three elements in any commercial project that must be considered: concept, money and time. Whatever the situation, there are always 3 factors that will influence the outcome. Those 3 may vary in their labels. One rule or principle is always constant. The one most interested in the outcome can only control two of those factors. We cannot control all three. So we are forced to make a choice. What is more important to us? Perhaps we must stick to a budget and it must be finished on time. Then some of the details of the concept or design will need to be modified in order to meet the other two factors. This principle can be applied to anything we plan and helps us realistically anticipate the outcome, in human terms. This principle also applies to God’s plans for the world and all of us in it.

God has in mind a plan with a particular outcome, that is the New Creation or the creation made right. This would mean the whole world will work the way God originally intended and God has a plan to get there. We have been given the freedom to choose when and how we respond to God. It is our choice if we ever choose to respond to God’s call, and get involved. When and if we do, there is glory awaiting our choice. It will be in many forms, as many as are conceived in God’s love. We are called by God and we can decide when and how we will answer this call. Those are the two options we have in God’s plan. We cannot alter the fact that we are called. God wants us to be part of the plan and things have been prepared for our response. God is waiting with open arms. How will we respond?    O God of creation, help us see that we are loved. Open our eyes to see how you have prepared creation to include each of us. Challenge us to respond to your love and mercy so we may become a part of the grand plan to restore creation.  Amen.     PEACE    

OUR SPIRITUAL PROTECTION

IS VITAL NOW – in order to live our lives in response to God and with the fullness of blessings and joy we are promised. We have talked about how we can construct our spiritual protection before. Considering the state of the world, it is more important than ever to learn this practice. First of all, it is important to know that this is work we do with the Spirit. And yet, we can do this without having a relationship already. This is a gift offered to us, and like many other practices, it comes with built in support. To take this analogy a little farther, it comes with a level of customer service unmatched by anything in the world.

Next, we start with a decision – that we want protection from evil. It is offered in the Lord’s Prayer. However, we must want it and then prepare ourselves to receive it. So then, in prayer, we ask to be made open to receive this blessing. If we are sincere, there is no doubt our prayer will be granted. The next step could happen by itself or we can contribute by using our imagination. We will need to open our minds and picture whatever we see as a sacred circle. What is right for us is whatever we see. When I taught one person, he saw a sphere and it was green. Mine is not just a circle. It is made of grape vines and is adorned in flowers. Yours may be perfectly plain. Whatever we see is right for us. This sacred circle is our protection from what ever would do us harm. We are still in a state of prayer as we visualize this. So we ask for this circle to be open to love and whatever will be useful for us. It will keep everything else out. This circle is exclusively for us. It is meant to go with us and surround us for the whole day. It is made of energy and will need to be renewed during our day. This is done with a quick prayer to do just that. If we are able to be grateful, it will make it stronger. Because it is energy, it will expand and contract in response to our needs. It will be devoted to protecting us, in all that we do.

In the gospels, we have accounts of Jesus sending out the disciples on their first evangelism trips. It is a brief account. I believe from the other things he told them, that he would have also taught them this process. Just as it would have accomplished for them, this practice helps us discern the character of those around us, showing us if there is any love in them that will come through to us, while we are protected from the selfishness of others. It will also help in seeing the distractions we will encounter, that will waste our time and divert us from our purpose. When we are working with others we have come to trust, there is a variation we can put in place to guard our collaborations. It is called a container. It will appear differently and will not function in quite the same way our sacred circle will. However, the container can be very helpful to employ the same principles of protection, so that the Spirit will offer this for our working relationships and encounters, in order to reduce distractions or protect from evil attacks. As fear and frustration increase around us, this practice is becoming even more important to use every day. When we use this along with a connection to creation that helps anchor us, we will be able to be more focused and productive, while our joy and blessings will increase. These are vital steps in the process of becoming who we really are and helping to strengthen the new creation through our work of love and mercy in the world.   Our loving Spirit, we are grateful that you provide the technique to help us make our life mean more, both for ourselves and others around us, while ultimately blessing the world. Help us to keep up our practice of the sacred circle, while we allow ourselves to love and thereby to thwart evil intentions in the world. Show us how this simple practice will make us stronger and become a blessing for all.  Amen.     PEACE    

OUR SPIRITUAL PROTECTION

APPRECIATING GOD’S GLORIOUS GIFTS IN CREATION

APPRECIATING GOD’S GLORIOUS GIFTS
IN CREATION AND LEARNING TO USE THEM – is a challenge. Our modern world offers us a seemingly inexhaustible supply of goods or stuff. If we watch TV or are on the internet, we see a reality created by media and consumerism pushing us to buy until we can’t buy any more. Those of us who cannot resist this pressure are often driven to financial ruin, as they succumb to the pressure. And yet, we no longer have as many avenues open to us because some things that used to be made are not available or we have lost the knowledge of using things that were once a part of life in other times and cultures. I often feel as though I have to step outside of the predominant culture into an alternate reality to understand and utilize things long forgotten by most people. I am referring to natural substances in creation, particularly those that have healing properties. I have always been drawn to using natural materials and eating naturally. More recently I have stepped up my efforts to support and correct situations my husband has been facing. The fact that he twice almost died from the effects of prescription medicines has only encouraged me to find alternative natural ways of supporting his body and reducing his medical problems. As I study and learn about the capabilities of natural substances, I am reminded of how God has given us everything we need.

We have alarmingly polluted the earth and our food sources too, leading to cancer. God, on the other hand, has provided certain foods that kill cancer. The problem is to learn about them when it is in direct competition to big pharma’s money making interests. I have mentioned before about the ancient prehistoric cultures who knew about the healing uses of herbs and were skilled at diagnosing and treating their people, guiding them back to health, not a long-term dependence on drugs. Those same ancient cultures knew about the power inherent in minerals and learned to focus the energy in them for the good of the people they served. In Exodus 28, as God was preparing to raise up Aaron as the new leader [high priest] after Moses, he directed the leaders to make specific garments for Aaron to wear. Included was a breastplate covered with certain minerals:    17 “Mount four rows of gemstones on it. The first row will contain a red carnelian, a pale-green peridot, and an emerald. 18 The second row will contain a turquoise, a blue lapis lazuli, and a white moonstone. 19 The third row will contain an orange jacinth, an agate, and a purple amethyst. 20 The fourth row will contain a blue-green beryl, an onyx, and a green jasper. … 21 Each stone will represent one of the twelve sons of Israel, and the name of that tribe will be engraved on it like a seal.”   The names of those stones may not be accurate since their names have changed through the centuries, and not all that are mentioned were available in that region. The importance of using these stones is the fact that they have energy within them and God wanted their power to be used. All of these substances have ingredients that are beneficial to life and we are called to use what God has given us for our benefit, so that we may live more fully and completely. Using  the substances God has provided is all toward the goal of becoming who we are created to be. Let us give thanks that the Holy One has provided so many ways for creation to support us.  Wise God, you who have planned creation for the benefit of all. Help us learn about these gifts you have given us, to live life more fully and to your glory and praise.  Amen.      PEACE    

WE ARE CREATED WORTHY BY GRACE

WE ARE CREATED WORTHY
BY THE GRACE IN WHICH WE WERE CREATED – and by the unconditional love inherent in that grace. We do not become worthy by our own work or by doing a prescribed list of rules set down by the church. By our very creation as children of God, we are worthy of receiving God’s unconditional love. If we sin, and start to put things between us and God, we only have to ask for forgiveness and we are forgiven. Even if we have purposely put up barriers, God still loves us. Through this loving influence called grace, God urges us to choose a full, loving relationship with our creator God. There is no one else who will love all there is about us. Others will criticize first one thing and then another of our ways. Only God will always love us unconditionally. This is only the beginning however. This gift from God is available to us – and all we have to do is say thank you and then live in it, not by ourselves but along with God, in a living relationship that can be a constant reminder and facilitator of the glorious work we are called to do with God.

In choosing the path we take, we need to be careful who we follow – God or those who say they speak for God. They only make rules for others to follow for their own purposes. Centuries ago there were people doing this. In Matthew 23 Jesus talked about those who proclaim the Law of Moses:   “But their lives are not good examples for you to follow. They tell you to do things, but they don’t do those things themselves. 4 They make strict rules that are hard for people to obey. They try to force others to obey all their rules. But they themselves will not try to follow any of those rules.” Today we have many who, with their own motives, set up rules to follow, and yet have no living relationship with God. It has been happening since the Law of Moses was given to the people. They took the Commandments of God and went on making rules from the people, interjecting their own ideas. So that, in the time when Jesus is saying this, there were so many rules and restrictions for those who wanted to be faithful, that no one could keep them all. They took all the time there was in a day and then some. God calls us to move beyond a set of rules into a relationship with the Holy Spirit and use the Bible as a pattern to learn from and grow beyond it, into a life only God can help us imagine.   Loving God, who longs for us to walk each day of our lives together, we are grateful for the grace we are offered. We accept the love you supply us and ask guidance to share it for the benefit of all your children, no matter who we meet. Help us reject all who would try to make us feel unworthy, for it is not the right of anyone. Show us how to put our trust in knowing you consider all your children worthy of your love. Give us the will to follow where you will lead us.  Amen.     PEACE   

SEEING HOW TO LOVE

SEEING HOW TO LOVE
FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES – gives us more ways to respond with love. We have been focusing on acts of love, as something that we do through God, and for others. From the perspective of physics, love is an energy that can be transmitted to others and activated across distances. It is the scientific reason behind what we are able to do in love. It is all part of the way the universe works and is evidence of the marvelous design behind creation. There is mystery in how it all functions since we don’t know why everything works the way it does in God’s realm. God has added the mystery so we will need to add the element of faith as we trust God to accomplish what we are called to do. Yesterday, we heard about how Alison Miller’s sense of the place she was in on a train was changed by God’s energy, in the actions of the Holy Spirit, coming into her heart and mind and dispelling her fears while she realized she actually could listen to this young man in need. The sense of being wrapped in protective light gave her the assurance that she could do what she knew she was called to do because the Spirit was there with her in the light.

Whenever we are called by God to do something, God is giving us what we need to accomplish it. If and when we submit or surrender to God, we will receive the energy needed to do it. It will be powered by actual energy that exists here on earth. We never know where or who it will come from until we commit ourselves to God. Then we need to respond to God’s calling instead of just thinking up something for God. We may think we are doing good but until we experience something that we cannot account for any other way has been added to our effort, we have not put ourselves at God’s disposal, without reservation. This is NOT MAGIC. It is the mystery of the way God works in our world. We don’t need to understand how it happens. Only know that it does happen and in faith, we proceed to do God’s work. Believing that God will bring energy to the situation gives us hope and assurance for the outcome being what God has designed. Even in prayer, we are asking God to move love, i.e. energy from us to some other person or situation. That energy has power and again gives us the hope of our prayers having a changing effect on the intended destination. As we become more involved and committed, we will know many ways God uses to add energy to the tools we will use for our work with God.   Loving God, we are grateful for the many ways you use the resources of creation, like energy, to empower the work you have us do. Help us open to the ways you show us this energy and dispel the fear we might feel, that might block our action for you. Guide our action in the hope you give us.  Amen.     PEACE    

RESPONDING TO GOD

RESPONDING TO GOD
WITH LOVE IS NOT EASY – The answer is it can be done when we work with God to do it. God calls us to respond in love and we are not meant to respond in our own strength. When we faithfully keep looking to God for what it takes to do the job, we will be given what we need to complete the job or do our part in the completion. We may get overwhelmed with all there is in the world that needs fixing, especially if we are not in touch with God and what God needs us to do in particular. Until we open ourselves to hearing where God is leading us, we will be full of fear and paralyzed by overwhelming need. Or we can choose to be open to being led by God, and do something we never knew we could accomplish. Alison Miller, who writes a blog at tinybuddha.com, tells a story of how she was led by God to listen to someone in great distress. After first reacting in fear, she then felt God calling her to listen to this person in need.  “I imagined my heart as a beacon of light, overflowing kindness, humility, and tenderness. Next, I envisioned light wrapping our seats, creating a safe cocoon for healing. I chose to let him share freely and I shared ideas and advice only if it felt right.”  After a long conversation on the train that day, the young man felt transformed and ready to begin his life again, on a new path.  “You’re the first person who has ever really listened to me. I feel like I matter again.”

As we begin each day, we may be continuing in something God has already called us to do, or we might be called to something God has been planning for us. We might even be asked to do something simple like pray for someone in need. If a person comes into our head, just pray for God’s love to be felt by them and for whatever else God wants for them. We pray for God’s will to be done, instead of ours. The story of a longer-term concern and project of love came to my attention through a friend. A church near her has some members who have had great concern for all the movement of humans from their homelands because of war and brutality. They decided to sponsor one family. This will not make a huge difference in the refugee problem, but it is on a scale that they can accomplish and it will be the world of difference to one family who will again have a home and in an atmosphere of peace, with love and support. Their pastor, Rev David Shaw, wrote in his blog:  “our faith is made manifest in our response to one family. It is a faith born out of the belief that we are called to act rather than merely speak. We are called to love rather than just speak of love.”   “O my God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because you are all good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you. I forgive all who have injured me and I ask pardon of all whom I have injured.”   Amen.     PEACE   

Today’s prayer is from the website “Act of Love”  http://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=102