Sunday, 23 November 2014

Clean Up by Susan L.

  A little bit of housework, a little bit of laundry, a little bit of cooking made the day fly past. There's servings of chili in the freezer and a pot of soup stock in the fridge waiting to be made into Beef Barley soup. I stopped by the butcher to get soup bones and ended up with an entire thigh for a fraction of the price they charge for bones at the grocery store. Thanks go to my co-worker for teaching me how to make awesome stock. Roasting the bones first makes the stock flavour more intense. It made the house smell pretty good too with its comforting aroma. Soup somehow suits a gray November day and warms the heart.
  My folks are coming for a visit today. It'll be nice to see them. It's been a while. So the major dilemma of the day is about what to serve them for lunch. Bacon and eggs or soup are my options. My step dad said either would be fine but he is fond of eggs.
  He left the decision up to me. Oh dear.
  And I am laughing at myself over how agonizing this decision is. It's only lunch!
  How about a cup of soup to start? Yup. I can have it ready just in case and serve up the eggs for the main course. Now this is getting fancy! A three course lunch!
  Now, what to do about desert...Baked apples with pecans and maple syrup. I'm drooling at the thought. I could very easily skip the main course and go right to desert!
  So there we are.
  There's much to be done before they get here so that's it for today.
  "Jesus said to them, "Come and breakfast." Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are You?"--knowing it was the Lord." Jn 21:12

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Reluctance by Susan L.

  My church is encouraging the women to sign up for a secret sister. It means being in contact with someone anonymously to encourage them and to pray for them. I haven't signed up yet. Someone from the church contacted me last night and left a message to see if I was interested in taking part.
  Where does this reluctance come from? It could be an issue around trust. That's not a surprise. It took a long time for me to open up to my friends at the centre. Could it be a fear of messing it up by saying the wrong things? But then, as the Holy Spirit guides me, that wouldn't even be an issue.
  Part of it could be that I still don't feel settled at Faith Community even though I've been going there off and on for a couple of years as my health would allow. There it is...the biggest part of my reluctance. I don't want to abandon someone if my mental wellness takes a downturn. Not that it will, but it might.
  Maybe if historically I had felt well for longer periods of time it could be something I'd be able to take on. Right now, at this point in my life, that wellness is still rather fragile. It's only been a few months since my medication change which helped me so much in getting rid of the chronic anxiety. I also know I am as thinly spread as I can be with work and the holidays coming up. It's a difficult season for many and in order to help as much as I can, it needs to be balanced with plenty of quiet rest.
  The prayer blog last night helped a lot.
  And there's my answer. Right now, it's "no". But that's not to say at a later date I won't sign up.
  I can do this instead: Lord, if someone needs prayer, please bring them to mind. Help me be obedient to Your wishes. In Jesus' name I pray.
  "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy." Phil 1:3-4

Friday, 21 November 2014

A Burden to Share by Susan L.

  The Lord has promised that whenever two or more meet in His name, our prayers will be answered. Maybe that is why the Lord has placed the world at my fingertips. Miles, language, race, gender have no meaning in God's world.  Friends, my gentle readers, I ask that you stand in agreement with me as I pray.
  Thank You, Lord, that You are so faithful, so generous. Thank You, Lord for a love that surpasses all understanding. Thank You that You have wept over us, over the harm and hurt we do to each other. Thank You most of all that You can forgive us our sins, our humanity the moment we ask.
  My heart is heavy with all I have heard over the last two days. Stories of terrible sadness, horrific abuse, losses beyond loss, betrayal, addictions.
  But most of all, the hardest thing was hearing a mother share that our young people, who's brief life hasn't even reached their teens, are contemplating suicide in unprecedented numbers. Forgive me for merely nodding at the statistics and doing nothing. These are flesh and blood, very real boys and girls. Yes, the schools are aware but You know as well as I, it only takes a moment to take a life. Lord, it breaks my heart into a gazillion pieces that they are in so much pain. Help them. Help the bullies who can make other's lives so difficult. They too, are broken and in pain.
  Grant them the courage to reach out, to seek trust. Let them know there are other choices. It can be a big, hard world when you're young. Lead these children to safe places, to adults who will take them seriously. It is a serious matter. I ask for the most precious Blood of the Lamb to cover them, keep them safe.
  Help everyone who has shared with me these last two days hear Your voice. Through Christ's authority and in His Holy Name, I silence the dark whispers. Lord, I ask that legions of angels guard them and guide them to You; children and adults alike.
  Gentle readers, if you know of anyone you would like to add to this, please do.

  I stand with you in your prayers. Lord, protect those of us who draw the sword and those we hold most dear.
  Thank You Lord that in the midst of such deep sorrows, the joyful sound of laughter rings out frequently. Thank You that I am witness to the incredible ability of the human spirit to rise above and beyond our challenges. Thank You for enabling me to share my creative abilities in such a way that I can witness the shattering of the lie, "you can't!" The smiles of those I taught today were a reward beyond anything silver could buy.
  All this I pray in Jesus' name. Amen
  "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ to all generations, forever and ever, Amen." Eph 3:20-21