Happy Halloween!

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!
(Traditional Scottish Prayer)

Happy Halloween by Cindy Wilkerson Photography

Happy Halloween by Cindy Wilkerson Photography

 

Happy Birthday Church!!!

So…
The Church is about to celebrate Pentecost.  The day of Pentecost is very exciting day for the Church.  Pentecost is the day Christians celebrate the birth of the Church.  One of the promises Jesus makes to his friends is that the Holy Spirit will come down and be with them.

This wonderful Spirit gives us the power to be loving and kind.  It gives us the power to raise our voices in praise and singing.  It gives us the power to share our talents and gifts with the world.

God’s Spirit came down on the day of Pentecost and danced on into people’s hearts and blessed them with hearts full of Love for God and one another.  I pray that God’s Spirit comes down again, dances into your heart and blesses your life with the power of God’s Love.

Pentecost 2013 – Dancing Dove

A Pentecost Prayer

Please come Holy Spirit
Grace-full as a dove
come and nestle in our hearts
with God’s unending Love.
 Amen.

True Friendship

This picture brings up two scripture quotes for me –


But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Ruth 1:16

Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. Ruth 3:1

The Book of Ruth is one of my favorites!  It is the first story I read when I was given my first Bible.  And no I don’t just like it because it is short (only 4 chapters –what an easy read and you can find it here) but because it is sweet!!!  And (BONUS!) it has a couple of strong women who change their lives with God’s help and in turn make a difference in the world.  Timely book.

Ruth and Naomi are so there for one another! The story shows us how to live an inclusive and embracing life.  It also shows us how affection, loving-kindness, and sacrifice can make an amazing difference in a person’s life.  I am going to go reread it now.
After all the hatefulness over the last few months and last night and this morning – I want to be reminded of God’s dream for people.
Love, Kindness, Integrity, Generosity, Hope…

But first a prayer…

Gracious God,
Thank you for the witness of strong women.
Thank you for women everywhere
and all people
who put loving kindness
in front of personal security and success.
Please forgive us
when we place our fear, insecurity and selfish desires
in front of the good of others.
Guide us to walk in the ways of Ruth and Naomi.
Accepting one another
Helping one another
Loving one another
and finding,
through it all,
that indeed
all is well.
Amen.

International Day of the Girl

Reflections In the Rain photo copyright Cindy Wilkerson

Today is the 1st International Day of the Girl.

The Day of the Girl is a movement started to highlight, celebrate, and discuss the lives of girls around the world.  This day is focused on girls coming together to talk about their hopes, dreams, and opportunities.  This is a day that empowers girls to teach others about who they really are – no stereotype, no generalizations, no discrimination. So many girls are still faced with discrimination, poverty, and unspeakable violence against them.  If you want to learn more you can visit these sites  – http://dayofthegirl.org and http://youthinkyouknowme.girleffect.org/

May girls everywhere have the opportunity and courage to live into their unique-ness.
May we all work to fulfill God’s vision of justice for girls.
Let us pray as we accept the invitation to work together for their hopes and dreams…

Gracious God,

We are made in your image – help us to reflect your love.
Give us courage to cast your dream of justice for girls everywhere.

Bless us so we may see clearly the needs of girls in our world.
Bless us so we may listen closely to the dreams of girls in our world.
Bless us so we will speak boldy
against tyranny and bullying of girls in our world.

We give You thanks for girls everywhere who are courageous!
May we follow their example
blessing the world
with unending hope
in the future
of all the precious girls in our world.
Amen.

Happy World Pet Day!

My crazy dog Peaches thinking she can fit in the basket…

Happy World Pet Day!

Who knew this was a day???

It makes sense when you think about it.
October 4th is the day marked to celebrate Saint Francis of Assisi.
Saint Francis is the patron saint of animals and the enviroment.

He’s also know for this prayer –

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

 Amen.

I am thankful for my pets – especially my crazy dog Peaches.
She somehow lives out the words to this prayer and teaches me to do the same.
She always loves, always forgives, always brings tons of joy.
Such a silly dog but also so wise –
teaching me with every lick, bark, and snort.

International Day of Peace

Isaiah 9:6
A child is born to us, a son is given to us,
and authority will be on his shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Prince of Peace

 

Dear God,
We call You by many names – Father, Son, Spirit, Healer, Teacher
Teach us to call You Prince of Peace
Teach us to live with one another in Peace
Guide our hands – may they be used to serve others
Guide our mouths – may our words be loving
Guide our hearts – to feel compassion
Guide our steps – to always walk towards You and Your Peace
Bless us.
May we be so patient and loving
that You name us sons and daughters of Peace!
Amen.

Holy Cross Day

Today is Holy Cross Day.  Christians around the world celebrate this day as a feast –a festival.  September 14th is a day we turn to God and thank Him for Jesus Christ and all Jesus has done for us.

John 3:16 says, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I am thankful that God loves us so much that he sent his son Jesus to love us and help us to be more loving.  Jesus died on the cross but was raised on the 3rd day so that we could have a new kind of life with him.

Celebrating the cross with hope and joy

Whenever I see a cross it is easy to imagine it with flowers, butterflies, and hearts.
Because the cross is ultimately joyful – it gives us life and hope.
Jesus died so we can be forgiven and forgive, so we can be loved and love.

Isn’t it amazing how much God loves you, and me, and the entire world?
So much so that he sent Jesus to us, to be our friend.

I gladly spend all my days with Jesus.  And today on this Holy Cross Day, I gladly take a little time out to spend time looking at the cross, imagining its beauty and giving thanks for Jesus my dear friend.

A Prayer for Comfort…

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

God our Comforter – photo copyright – Cindy Wilkerson

Dear God,

Thank you for being a God who comforts.
Please be with me and all people who need your care today.
Help us to hug, love, and smile at one another.
Help us to remember –
whenever we share love,
whenever we comfort one another,
we are sharing You!
Amen.

Real love…

James 2:8

You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures:
“Love others as you love yourself.”

Real love, really love…

James 2:8 tells us that we are doing exactly what we are supposed to do
when we Love others just like we love ourselves.

All through the Bible we are told to love tons and tons
love your neighbor,
love one another,
love your enemy,
love everyone!!!

I am often reminded of love by my pets and the people around me.
Whenever my cat snuggles up and purrs – I am reminded to pet it and love on it.
My dog never – NEVER – gets mad at me.
Even when I forget to feed her on time!
Now that is love!!!
Whenever I see kids sharing – I think of love.

What reminds you of love?
Who reminds you of love?

or better yet,

Who reminds you to love?