Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

we press on

When the valley is deep
When the mountain is steep

When the body is weary
When we stumble and fall

When the choices are hard
When we're battered and scarred

When we've spent our resources
When we've given our all

In Jesus' name, we press on

Dear Lord, with the prize clear before our eyes

We find the strength to press on

In Jesus' name, we press on

-lyrics from a song by Selah    

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a prayer for transformation

Dear Father,

We are thankful that you have mercy on everyone.

Empower us each to be transformed into the image of your Son.

Kindle in us the fire and love of your Holy Spirit.

Cause our hearts to be tender and compassionate.

Lead us and  bless us as we follow you.


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Rememering back to childhood school days when a new year would begin, and we were each given a brand new yellow pencil with a pink eraser on top.  A brand new notebook with all clean pages.  It was a Fresh Start.

A new year is upon us and many are looking for a Fresh Start.  I think the best way to get that start is making a decision to do a Daily Bible Reading through the Bible.  I've done the One Year Bible (New Living Translation) for five years, I plan on making it six in 2024.

Dear Heavenly Father, give us a fresh start as we begin a new year.  The Bible tells us You are the owner of everything, this world and all that is in it!  I pray that 2024 will be a year that I remember this truth, and start every day fresh, in Your WORD, and living it out in my life.  May this be the prayer of all of us.  In the precious Name of Jesus. Amen

Remembering the love of Jesus

  We remember your love, O Jesus, as it was manifested to us in your holy life, from the manger of Bethlehem to the garden of Gethsemane!

  We track you from the cradle to the grave, for every word and every deed of yours was love.

  Especially, O Jesus, we remember your love to us upon the cross!

  We gaze upon you with your hands and your feet nailed to the accursed tree.
  We remember your love that you manifested through your poor, bleeding hands, and feet, and side.

  We remember this love of yours until it invigorates and cheers us:
    the love that you have exercised since your death,
    the love of your resurrection,
    the love that prompts you continually to intercede before your Father’s throne,
    that burning lamp of love that will never let you hold your peace until your chosen ones are all safely housed, and Zion is glorified, and the spiritual Jerusalem is settled on her everlasting foundations.


John 3:16–17 (ESV)
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

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A Christmas Prayer

The day of joy returns, Father in Heaven, and crowns another year with peace and good will. 

Help us rightly to remember power and meaning of the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men. 

Close the doors of hate and open the doors of love all over the world? 

Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. 

Let Your goodness Lord appear to us, that we made in your image, conform ourselves to it. In our own strength we cannot imitate Your majesty, power, and wonder nor is it fitting for us to try. But Your mercy reaches from the heavens through the clouds to the earth below. 

You have come to us as a small child, but you have brought us the greatest of all gifts, the gift of eternal love.


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as we celebrate your coming to us

Dear Lord,

We celebrate the coming of Light into darkness.

We proclaim your coming to our fallen world.

We declare that the babe in manager is our savior.

With the heavenly host, we sing praises to you.

Glory to you in heaven. And peace on to us on earth.

Bless us that we might be bearers of your gospel.

Help us to be people who manifest the love of Jesus.


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in our longest night

A few days ago we experienced the Winter Solstice - the longest night of the year. I post this meditation (written in 2001 by Rev. Diane Hendricks) every year as a reminder that things are not always as they seem. Darkness eventually gives way to light and night transitions to morning. And we can have hope in the darkest of times. 

Longest Night Meditation

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Only it's not.

  • Not for everyone.
  • Not when there is an empty chair at the table.
  • Not when your body is ravaged with illness.
  • Not when the depression is too much to bear.
  • Not without her voice joining yours on the Christmas carols.
  • Not when you feel all alone even in a crowd.
  • Not when you are not sure you can even afford the rent or mortgage,
    let alone the presents.
  • Not when they are trying their best to get the best of you.
  • Not when another Christmas party means he will come home drunk again.
It's the most wonderful time of the year?

No, it's not.

And trying to smile and say Merry Christmas is more than difficult.

It's pretty near impossible.

C.S. Lewis once wrote:

"No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning..."
It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Only it's not.
  • Not after he has died.
  • Not after the doctor gave you the news.
  • Not after they told you they would be downsizing.
  • Not after... you fill in the blank.
  • Not after September 11.
  • Not when there is so much violence and destruction in the world.
In truth, it has never been the most wonderful time of the year. Certainly not in the days surrounding that first Christmas so long ago. The story of the birth of Jesus is not to be told with a jolly voice and a merry ho-ho-ho.
It is the story of a teenage girl, pregnant with a child that is not her husband's.

It is the story of a child born in a dirty animal stall.
It is the story of a family of refugees who had to flee their homeland so that their child would not be killed.
It is the story of one sent into the world in peace who was condemned to death.
It is the story of a light sent to shine in the darkness, which the world snuffed out.
It is the story of God's never-ending, self-giving mercy which was rejected and condemned.
In the great work the Messiah, Handel quotes the prophet Isaiah, proclaiming that Jesus was "despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." One great theologian reminds us that we cannot come to the manger without acknowledging that it lays in the shadow of the cross.

It is not the most wonderful time of the year.

Only it is! It is:
  • If we forget about the tinsel and the trees.
  • If we forget about the holly jolly tidings.
  • If we forget about the presents and the ornaments and the trappings.
And remember. Remember the story.
  • Mary was alone and afraid.
    But God was with her and exalted her among women.
  • Joseph was disgraced.
    But God revealed in Joseph's cause for disgrace God's plan to save the world.
  • The world was in darkness.
    But God sent the light of life to shine.
  • The lowly were imprisoned.
    But Jesus set them free.
  • The blind wandered aimlessly.
    But Christ gave them eyes to see.
  • The lame were rejected.
    But through the Holy One they were made to leap and dance.
  • The deaf were confined to the silence.
    But the song of life unstopped their ears.
  • The sorrowful grieved.
    But God wipes away our tears.
  • We were alone.
    But in Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God is with us.
  • The people rejected God.
    But God embraces us.
  • The world crucified Christ.
    But God would not allow that to be the last word, and gave us the sure hope of the resurrection.
It is the most wonderful time of the year, not because you have to be cheery and happy and merry.

But because you don't.

You can have heavy spirits and shattered dreams. Broken hearts and deep wounds.

And still God comes to be with you.
  • To comfort you.
  • To redeem you.
  • To save you.
  • To restore you.
  • To empower you.
  • To strengthen you.
  • To grant you peace.
  • To be raised for you.
  • To hold you in the communion of saints with those whom you have loved and lost.
  • To store your tears in his bottle.
  • To offer you eternal life.
It is the most wonderful time of the year.
For Christ is born.
Love has come.
God is with us!
Thanks be to the Lord our God.


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A prayer as we await Jesus' return

  O Lord Jesus Christ, who by your holy angels promised that you would come again in like manner as you were taken from us,
  even so come, we ask you, and fulfill the desire of your Church.
  Lord, we wait for you day by day.
  Give us the graces of your Holy Spirit, that we will not be unready when you appear;
    watchfulness, that our loins may be girded and our lights burning;
    zeal, that we will not be slothful, but followers of those who inherit your promises;
    singleness of heart, that we will not be unfaithful stewards of your manifold gifts.

  And thus, O Lord, may we wait for you,
  not unwise, but understanding what is your will,
  walking circumspectly, because the days are evil.

  Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

- HENRY ALFORD (1810–1871)

Acts 1:10–11 (ESV)
10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

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A Prayer to Find Joy

Heavenly Father, 

Thank You for the joy that entered the world when Jesus was born. 

Thank you for becoming God with us. 

Lord, sometimes it’s difficult to live joyfully, especially in difficult or busy seasons. Please purify our hearts this day and remind us that You’re in control. Help us to consider it joy when we experience trials of any kind because we know You’re creating something beautiful and eternal. 

Fill our souls with renewed strength, hope, and joy. May our circumstances not become the focus of our hearts, but instead, may we fix our eyes on You so that we may find true joy. 


God with Us

We thank you Lord,

For being with us in good times and in bad times.

For coming to us in the baby Jesus.

For showing yourself to us through simple acts of kindness.

For loving us through our family and our friends.

For living your life in us and through us.


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in this holy season


In this holy season of prayer and song and laughter, 
We praise you for the great wonders you have sent us.
We praise you for shining star and angel's song, for infant's cry in lowly manger.

We praise you for the Word made flesh in a little Child.

We behold his glory, and are bathed in its radiance.

Be with us as we sing the ironies of Christmas, the incomprehensible comprehended, the poetry made hard fact, the helpless Babe who cracks the world asunder.

We kneel with the shepherds, innkeepers, wise men.

Help us to rise bigger than we are.

- Author Unknown    

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"They went their way; and the STAR, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was.  When they saw the STAR, thy greatly rejoiced exceedingly with great joy."  Matthew 2:9-10

"Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, TO SHINE ON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH, to guide our feet into the way of peace."  Luke 1:78-79

JESUS is the STAR of Jacob, ever near and coming soon!

A prayer for grace to cast away the works of darkness

  Almighty God,

  give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light,

  now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility,

  that in the last day, when He shall come again in His glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal,

  through Him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and forever.



Romans 13:12 (ESV)
12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.

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a prayer to know him

Dear Father,

Give me a deeper understanding of your character and your ways.

Help me to know you, both as a friend and as a heavenly parent.

Give me perseverance and patience to increase my understanding of you.

Work in me, and make me like you, that I might know you better.
Teach me to love the way that you love. 
In all things, and in all ways, cause me to be a blessing.


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Advent Prayer

Lord Jesus,

Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.

We who have so much to do and seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day,

We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.

We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.

We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.

We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.

To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!'


Advent Prayer, Henri Nouwen

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a prayer to walk in love

God of Love,

Your son, Jesus, is your greatest gift to us.

He is a sign, and embodiment, of your love.
He showed us who you are and what you are like. 
Help us to walk in your love during the weeks of Advent.

And as we walk in your love, cause us to be a blessing to others.
Let your spirit work in us and through us.

We pray believing in the name of Jesus.


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when we are weary

Dear Jesus,

In this holiday season, I find myself weary and tired from all that I am doing.

Help me to know that you are with me in all that I do.

There seems to be so much joy and excitement in the holidays but I am numb.

Please bring new life to me and energize me with your spirit.

I come to you, for the rest you promise to all who are weary and burdened.

Teach me your ways and let me find rest for my soul.

I confess that your yoke is easy and your burden is light.

I commit myself to you, trusting that in you I will find joy.


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When this great army of angels had returned again to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Come on! Let's go to Bethlehem!  Let's see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about"!
They ran to the village and found their way to Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby lying in the manger.
Luke 2:15-16 (NLB)

Heavenly Father, Creator of the Universe wrapped in strips of cloth and laying in a manger.  And that you would allow the lowest of the low class, dirty, smelly shepherds to be the first to hear the announcement and then the invitation to be the first visitor.
Oh Father, how you love the low and humble.  Help us to have "shepherd hearts" this Christmas Season!
Thank You for coming as a babe, and living a sinless life, and giving your life away so we can spend eternity with You!

An advent prayer

Lord Jesus,

I thank you for the season of Advent, a time of preparing our hearts to remember the blessing of your coming to earth as an infant.

Help me in the midst of all the festivities and presents, to remember to prepare my heart to remember afresh what it meant for you to come to earth in the form of a baby. 

Help me to better understand and experience what it means to have You, Lord Jesus, in my heart as Lord and Saviour. 

Help me to allow You the freedom to transform my heart and life, so that I may be more like You.
And in doing so, by Your power and grace, I may become a catalyst and help prepare the way for those around me to discover the true meaning of Christmas - the love of God made known in Your birth, life, death, and resurrection. 

In Your precious Name, I pray



It is a custom with many Christians to anticipate the arrival of Christmas a considerable time beforehand by fitting up in their homes a crib to represent the birth of Jesus Christ. But there are few who think of preparing their hearts in order that the infant Jesus may be born in them, and there find His repose. - ALPHONSUS LIGUORI (1696–1787)


Luke 3:4–6 (ESV)
4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, 6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”

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as advent begins

Lord Jesus,

Send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.

We who have so much to do and seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day,

We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.

We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.

We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.

We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.

To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!'

- adapted from a prayer by Henri J.M. Nouwen    

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a blessing for peace

May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received.

May you pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be confident knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into your bones.

And allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

It is there for each and every one of us.


- adapted from a blessing by St. Therèse of Lisieux and St. Theresa of Avila    

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Glorious God and Heavenly Father, we begin a new month.  The month of Your birth.  How our hearts ring with joy at the salvation you brought when you gave your life on the cross.   But, Lord this month we focus on the babe in the manger.  How can we comprehend that it was God in flesh, nestled against Mary's breast.  Thank you for humbling Yourself, laying aside your glory to live like us, and die for us.  May this be our praise and worship this Christmas Season.  In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.