Real Prayer is . . .

Prayer catapults us onto the frontier of the spiritual life.
Real prayer is life creating and life changing.
“Prayer–secret , fervent, believing prayer—
lies at the root of all personal godliness,” writes William Carey.

To pray is to change.
Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us.
If we are unwilling to change, we will abandon prayer
as a noticeable characteristic of our lives.
The closer we come to the heartbeat of God
the more we see our need and the more we desire to be conformed to Christ.

from Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster

Please Pray . . . And Give Thanks

 
The paradox of prayer
is that it asks for a serious effort
while it can only be received as a gift.
We cannot plan,
organize or manipulate God;
but without a careful discipline,
we cannot receive Him either.

– 
Henri Nouwen
 
As the Spirit of God guides you (while you are at the altar) please hold the following reminders, celebrations and concerns in your prayers:
 
  • Please pray for those in need of prayer and not included specifically on this list.
  • Please pray for everyone who takes the time to pray for, and consider the needs of, others (it is appreciated and it does make a difference!).
  • Remember to send me your prayer request to add.
Thanks (Praise Reports):
  • Sermon by Rev. Veronice Miles yesterday: It is Good for Us to be Here. Mark 9: 1-10
  • 40 Days of Faith: Building Up The Body of Christ. Spiritual Exercise #2 Praying and Fasting 
  • HBCU College Fair & Tailgate Party at UMMBC yesterday
  • Altie Anderson (my sister-in-law and Sarah’s sister) – continuing to be treated for a blood clot.
Please pray for:
  • Please pray for healing for Mary Fisher, Margaret B, Jean Small, Loretta Sherrill, and Ellen Miles.
  • Vivian and Todd Burke (and family)  on the death of her husband/ his father Logan Burke. His service is Wednesday (2/27)
  • Tony Hines (and family) – on the death of his father (Lewis Hines, 77) yesterday
  • Tony and Carol Ebron – as they care for his parents.
  • Carol and Joe – caring for her parents
  • Robert Evans (and his wife Dorothy) – he has stage 4 Prostate Cancer and they request prayer for healing.
  • Debbie Shannon – for her health.
  • Chad Kirkendall – prayer for healing from a cancerous tumor on his hip
  • McLennan Maxwell of Phoenix is in ICU with a possible case of meningitis. Please for her healing and for strength for parents Wynn and Mike.
  • The family of the student-ahtlete who died on the basketball court last week during the game.He was a rising star, well loved and liked.
Benediction
  • Make it a great day
  • Enjoy the journey
  • Look for the bright spots
  • God is faithful!
Let the eLectronic cHurch say Amen!

 

Disturb us, Lord – a prayer by Francis Drake

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.

Don’t blame me by Geoffrey Canada

DON’T BLAME ME
February 2007

The girl’s mother said, “Don’t blame me.
Her father left when she was three.
I know she don’t know her ABCs, her 1,2,3s,
But I am poor and work hard you see.”
You know the story, it’s don’t blame me.
The teacher shook her head and said,
“Don’t blame me, I know it’s sad.
He’s ten, but if the truth be told,
He reads like he was six years old.
And math, don’t ask.
It’s sad you see.
Wish I could do more, but it’s after three.
Blame the mom, blame soci­ety, blame the sys­tem.
Just don’t blame me.”
The judge was angry, his expres­sion cold.
He scowled and said, “Son you’ve been told.
Break the law again and you’ll do time.
You’ve robbed with a gun.
Have you lost your mind?”
The young man opened his mouth to beg.
“Save your breath,” he heard instead.
“Your daddy left when you were two.
Your momma didn’t take care of you.
Your school pre­pared you for this fall.
Can’t read, can’t write, can’t spell at all.
But you did the crime for all to see.
You’re going to jail, son.
Don’t blame me.”
If there is a God or a per­son supreme,
A final reck­on­ing, for the kind and the mean,
And judg­ment is ren­dered on who passed the buck,
Who blamed the vic­tim or proudly stood up,
You’ll say to the world, “While I couldn’t save all,
I did not let these chil­dren fall.
By the thou­sands I helped all I could see.
No excuses, I took full respon­si­bil­ity.
No mat­ter if they were black or white,
Were cursed, ignored, were wrong or right,
Were shunned, pre-judged, were short or tall,
I did my best to save them all.”
And I will bear wit­ness for eter­nity
That you can state proudly,
“Don’t blame me

Please Pray . . . And Give Thanks

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are, quite naturally, impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new,
and yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time…
Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing that His hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.
— Teilhard de Chardin
As the Spirit of God guides you (while you are at the altar) please hold the following reminders, celebrations and concerns in your prayers:
  • Please pray for those in need of prayer and not included specifically on this list.
  • Please pray for everyone who takes the time to pray for, and consider the needs of, others (it is appreciated and it does make a difference!).
  • Remember to send me your prayer request to add.

Thanks (Praise Reports):

Please pray for:
  • Please pray for healing for Mary Fisher, Margaret B, Jean Small, Loretta Sherrill, and Ellen Miles.
  • Angela Brown (on the death of her husband, Johnny Brown) – she requests prayer to be focused, for strength, and that God would continue to keep her.
  • Tony and Carol Ebron – as they care for his parents.
  • Carol and Joe – caring for her parents
  • Phyllispray that her daughter will listen to the voice of the Lord (with patience) before making a career move. She also needs prayer as her intercessor and mother.
  • Robert Evans (and his wife Dorothy) – he has stage 4 Prostate Cancer and they request prayer.
  • Debbie Shannon – for her health.
  • Chad Kirkendall – prayer for healing from a cancerous tumor on his hip
  • McLennan Maxwell of Phoenix is in ICU with a possible case of meningitis. Please for her healing and for strength for parents Wynn and Mike.

Benediction

  • Make it a great day
  • Enjoy the journey
  • Look for the bright spots
  • God is faithful!
Let the eLectronic cHurch say Amen!

12 Steps to a Compassionate Life . . .

In February 2008, Karen Armstrong, one of the foremost scholars of comparative religions, received the $100,000 TED Prize. She used that occasion to call for the creation of a Charter for Compassion, a program that was unveiled in 2009.  “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life” outlines how you can start on the path to a more compassionate life in your church, community, school or workplace.

Read more about the 12 steps

Find out about the effort underway to have Winston-Salem declared a City of Compassion.

Henri Nouwen on losing our souls . . .

The great danger of the turmoil of the time in which we live is losing our souls.
Losing our souls means losing touch with our center,
our true call in life, our mission, our spiritual task.
Losing our soul means becoming so distracted by and preoccupied
with all that is happening around us that we end up fragmented, confused, and erratic.
Jesus is very aware of that danger.
He says: “Take care not to be deceived, because many will come using my name and saying,
‘I am the one’ and ‘The time is near at hand’ Refuse to join them” (Luke 21:8).

In the midst of anxious times there are many false prophets, promising all sorts of “salvations.”
It is important that we be faithful disciples of Jesus, never losing our true spiritual selves.

– Henri Nouwen

Please Pray . . . And Give Thanks

Lord, I am willing to receive what you give,
release what you take,
lack what you withhold,
do what you require,
and be who you desire.
Amen. 
 
As the Spirit of God guides you (while you are at the altar) please hold the following reminders, celebrations and concerns in your prayers:
  • Please pray for those in need of prayer and not included specifically on this list.
  • Please pray for everyone who takes the time to pray for, and consider the needs of, others (it is appreciated and it does make a difference!).
  • Remember to send me your prayer request to add.

Thanks (Praise Reports):

  • Last in the Sermon series by Pastor Prince Rivers: How Christians Grow. Sermon yesterday: Why It Matters to God
  • UMMBC Leadership session with Dr. Larry Covington on leadership
  • NBTF Fundraising committee progress/engagement
  • Florence Corpening (for her nephew, Shawn) – making a miraculous recovery from a serious injury
  • Ashmob for Ash Wednesday idea
Please pray for:
  • Rudy Boone (his wife Renee) – recent news of being cancer free
  • RIP Judge Roland Hayes – 1st black district judge in Forsyth
  • Deborah Miller (for her mother, Evelyn Shauntee – 97 years old) – she was rushed to the hospital last night. Please pray that she return home. 
  • Please pray for  healing for Mary Fisher, Margaret B, Jean Small, Loretta Sherrill, and Ellen Miles.
  • Tony and Carol Ebron – as they care for his parents.
  • Robert Evans (and his wife Dorothy) – he has stage 4 Prostate Cancer and they request prayer.
  • Tom and Cathy Callaghan – He is back home now and recovering from his 17-hour surgery. He is progressing.
  • Rev. Mary Peterson (my former pastor) – she had a stroke recently and is recovering.
  • Debbie Shannon – for her health.
  • Chad Kirkendall – prayer for healing from a cancerous tumor on his hip
Announcements

Benediction

  • Make it a great day
  • Enjoy the journey
  • Look for the bright spots
  • God is faithful!
Let the eLectronic cHurch say Amen!

 

Ashmob for Ash Wednesday?

I served on the board of the Center for Urban Ministry for several years. The ministry continues to do good work under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Doug Bailey. I love this idea (“Ashmob” for Ash Wednesday) shared in the current newsletter. The idea is inspired by this “ministry in the marketplace” YouTube video. Take 5 minutes to be inspired by this flashmob in Barcelona.

What do you think about the “Ashmob” for Ash Wednesday idea?

Please Pray . . . And Give Thanks

IT IS ALL RIGHT TO BE HUMAN.
When your mind wanders while you are praying, don’t be surprised or upset.
Simply return your attention to Me.
Share a secret smile with Me, knowing that I understand.
Rejoice in My Love for you, which has no limits or conditions.
Whisper My Name in loving contentment, assured that I will never leave you or forsake you.
Intersperse these peaceful interludes abundantly throughout your day.
This practice will enable you to attain a quiet and gentle spirit, which is pleasing to me.

Sarah Young in Jesus Calling

 

As the Spirit of God guides you (while you are at the altar) please hold the following reminders, celebrations and concerns in your prayers:
  • Please pray for those in need of prayer and not included specifically on this list.
  • Please pray for everyone who takes the time to pray for, and consider the needs of, others (it is appreciated and it does make a difference!).
  • Remember to send me your prayer request to add.

Thanks (Praise Reports):

  • Sermon series by Pastor Prince Rivers: How Christians Grow. Sermon yesterday: Use What You’ve Got
  • Conducted a retreat for the Black Philanthropy Initiative last week
  • Wali and Stephanie Alston – on their new home.
Please pray for:
  • Sigrid Hall-Pittsley (Uncle John) – he died Friday from a recent stroke.
  • Rudy Boone (his wife Renee) – recent news of being cancer free (she has had a double mastectomy and multiple treatments)
  • Judge Roland Hayes – recently hospitalized and resting well.
  • Bonnie Henderson – Please pray for  healing for Mary Fisher, Margaret B, Jean Small, Loretta Sherrill, and Ellen Miles. Please pray for Carol and her family as they care for parents who are now living with them.
  • Mr. Robert Evans (and his wife Dorothy) – he has stage 4 Prostate Cancer and they request prayer.
  • From Debora Freeman: please pray for Tom and Cathy Callaghan to the prayer list. Tom recently had surgery. Please pray for the medical staff for Tom’s improvement and strength for Cathy to stay strong. Update: Tom is back home now and recovering from his 17-hour surgery. He is progressing.
  • Rev. Mary Peterson (my former pastor) – she had a stroke recently.
Announcements

Benediction

  • Make it a great day
  • Enjoy the journey
  • Look for the bright spots
  • God is faithful!
Let the eLectronic cHurch say Amen!