Day 226 | Saturday, 31 October 2020
Happy All Saints Eve
Let me take a few lines to lift up the COVID-19 crisis. As of 10/30 there have been over 9 million cases in the US. Of those cases there have been nearly 230 thousand deaths. On Friday, the US reported nearly 108,000 cases in one day, a record since the beginning of the virus. 41 states have reported increases with many hospitals at capacity.
In Chautauqua County as of 10/30/2020 at 5:00 PM there have been 1,060 cases with 308 in zip code 14701 and 31 in Lakewood. Just one week ago the numbers were 936 for the county and 279 for zip code 14701.
This pandemic is not going away. Here is my dilemma. I do not understand why there are individuals who believe there is no such thing as COVID-19. I do not understand why there are people who refuse to wear masks, social distance or abide by CDC guidelines. I care about my brothers and sisters. I want to protect them, and I want them to protect me. What has happened to civility? God, help us, please.
Sorry for the detour. It is time for Psalm 23 once again.
Psalm 23The Lord is my shepherd; - that’s relationship
I shall not want. – this is supply
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: - refreshment
he leadeth me beside the still waters. – rest
He restoreth my soul: - healing
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness- goodness
for his name’s sake – purpose
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, - testing
I will fear no evil: - protection
for thou art with me; - faithfulness
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. – discipline
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; - hope
thou anointest my head with oil; - consecration
my cup runneth over. – abundance
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: - blessing
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord - security
forever. – eternity
Holy and gracious God, we come to you on this All Saints
Eve ever thankful for those who have gone on before us and who have left us such a legacy in our lives, our community, our country, our world and in our faith journey. Help us to live saintly lives that show the light of Jesus to those around us. Be with those who are broken over the strain of fighting the Corona Virus and who are struggling with their faith. Help all those who are doing their best to heal our nation and its people. Lord, hear our prayers. Amen (Prayers for Caroline and her healing)
Day 225 | Friday, 30 October 2020
The Church Mouse
When Pastor Sue, at Christ First, asked me to do a bulletin board for Halloween last year, I told her that I didn’t do Halloween. I grew up with toilet papering shrubs, dressing up as ghouls and zombies, collecting cow pies to put into paper bags to set alight on porches and the ultimate: setting fire to an outhouse beneath the traffic light in the village. I didn’t do any of those things, but I knew guys who did. Later, I sewed animal outfits for my kids and took them trick or treating as most of my generation did. After the kids were grown, Doug and I turned off our porch light and went to Erie to do our Christmas shopping.
Back to the bulletin board: Pastor Sue had cut out the most wonderful expression of Halloween for the Christian church.
Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin.
God picks you from the patch, brings you in and washes off all the dirt.
Then He cuts the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff.
He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed.
Last, He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside you
To shine for all the world to see!
Our bulletin board
The large part of the bulletin board says, “Seasons change, but God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” I change the poster board part for each church season. During COVID I was able to finish the boards for the entire church year. Yea!
Day 224 | Thursday, 29 October
2020 Prayers for the victims of hurricane Zeta
Romans 12:3-8 The Message
3 I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
4 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around.
5 The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body,
6 let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't. If you preach, just preach God's Message, nothing else;
7 if you help, just help, don't take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching;
8 if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don't get bossy; if you're put in charge, don't manipulate; if you're called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don't let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.
“A Truck Driver’s Hands” By: Sheridan Voysey
Our Daily Bread
We have different gifts, . . . if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6, 8
“The news came as a shock. Having already survived prostate cancer, my father had now been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. To complicate matters, my father is my mother’s full-time caregiver, attending to her own chronic illnesses. With both parents needing care, there would be some difficult days ahead.”
“After flying home to be with them, I visited my parents’ church one Sunday. There, a man named Helmut approached me, saying he’d like to help. Two days later, Helmut visited our home with a checklist. “You’ll need some meals when the chemotherapy starts,” he said. “I’ll arrange a cooking roster. What about the mowing? I can do that. And what day is your rubbish collected?” Helmut was a retired truck driver, but to us he became an angel. We discovered he often helped others—single mothers, the homeless, the elderly.”
“While believers in Jesus are called to help others (Luke 10:25–37), some have a special capacity to do so. The apostle Paul calls it the gift of mercy (Romans 12:8). People with this gift spot needs, rally practical assistance, and can serve over time without getting overwhelmed. Moved by the Holy Spirit, they’re the hands of the body of Christ, reaching out to touch our wounds (vv. 4–5).”
“Dad recently had his first day of chemotherapy. Helmut drove him to the hospital. That night my parents’ fridge was full of meals.”
“God’s mercy through a truck driver’s hands.”
Reflect & Pray
“What spiritual gifts do you have? (If unsure, check out Romans 12:3–8; 1 Corinthians 12; and Ephesians 4:7–13.) How are you using them to serve others?”
“Heavenly Father help me to be filled with Your mercy, so that I might serve those in need powerfully and cheerfully, revealing who You are.” Lord, hear our prayers and help us use your gifts. Amen
Day 223 | Wednesday, 28 October 2020
A Beginning: (Psalm 71)
“In the storms of life, God is our shelter. In the whirlwind of activity, God is our secure center. In the flood of tempting images and seductive words, God is a rock of stillness on which to stand. In the avalanche of tears and fears, God is our strong fortress. In all the days of our lives, let God’s praise be on our lips.”
“God of love, fountain of prayer, we confess that our silence is noisy, our minds filled with distracting chatter, our thoughts focused on problems and our eyes bombarded with temptations. How hard we find it to be still and rest in your holy and healing presence. And how hard we make it by driving ourselves to busyness and fatigue.”
“God of love, usher us into your holy presence. Teach us the words to pray and the silences to keep. Refashion our days and hours so we may always walk in constant thanksgiving of your amazing grace. Amen”
A prayer of confession:
“We are running so fast, God, and we don’t know how to slow down. We keep our calendars filled. We carry phones in the car and on our person. We constantly check our voicemail, our e-mail and stay connected by fax and Internet. We are busy and yet not satisfied. We are moving faster, but we never catch up. We are stressed, God. Is this the way you meant us to be?”
“Speak to us once again your message of peace, of walking beside still waters, of refreshing our souls, of lying down in meadows of green. Speak to us again of your care for the birds of the air and the children at play. Speak to our anxious hearts and spinning minds that think if we are not doing, then there is no being. Restore our balance, lighten our driven-ness, and make holy our rest. In Jesus name. Amen”
“Holy God, we are like tightrope walkers in the circus of life-balancing home and work, play and prayer, friends and solitude. We are one step away from falling yet encouraged by an inner-voice which says, “trust me.”
“The God of life is present. God steadies the wire, beckons us to keep our eyes looking forward, reaches out to us on the last step. The God of life is there even when we fall, bouncing us from the net to try again.”
“Holy God, we are like tightrope walkers in the circus of life who know your presence. Thankyou. Amen.”
“Stand tall like some mighty oak. Be firm in your convictions like the majestic mountain. Let your love blossom. Be a river of kindness. And may God the Creator bless and strengthen you.”
“God has two outstretched arms. One is strong enough to surround us with justice, and one is gentle enough to embrace us with grace.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Today: Hospitals and medical staff in our county as numbers of patients increase.
Day 222 | Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Psalm 147 various verses CEB
Praise the Lord! Because it is good to sing praise to our God!
Because it is a pleasure to make beautiful praise!
3 God heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
4 God counts the stars by number, giving each one a name.
5 Our Lord is great and so strong! God’s knowledge can’t be grasped!
7 Sing to the Lord with thanks; sing praises to our God with a lyre!
8 God covers the skies with clouds; God makes rain for the earth;
God makes the mountains sprout green grass.
9God gives food to the animals—even to the baby ravens when they cry out.
11 The Lord treasures the people who honor him, the people who wait for his faithful love. 12 Worship the Lord.
1 Hallelujah! It's a good thing to sing praise to our God; praise is beautiful, praise is fitting.
3 He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds.
4 He counts the stars and assigns each a name.
5 Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we'll never comprehend what he knows and does
7 Sing to God a thanksgiving hymn, play music on your instruments to God,
8 Who fills the sky with clouds, preparing rain for the earth, Then turning the mountains green with grass, 9 feeding both cattle and crows. 11 Those who fear God get God's attention; they can depend on his strength. 12 Worship God! Praise your God!
A Hymn that goes along with Psalm 147 is “Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart” words by Edward H. Plumptre, 1865.
1. “Rejoice, ye pure in heart; rejoice, give thanks, and sing; your glorious banner wave on high, the cross of Christ your King. Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks and sing.”
2. “Your clear hosannas raise, and alleluias loud; whilst answering echoes upward float, like wreaths of incense cloud. Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks and sing.”
3. “Yes, on through life’s long path, still chanting as ye go; from youth to age, by night and day, in gladness and in woe. Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks and sing.”
4. “At last the march shall end; the wearied ones shall rest; the pilgrims find their heavenly home, Jerusalem the blest. Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks and sing.”
5. “Praise God who reigns on high, the Lord whom we adore, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, one God forever more. Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks and sing.”
Both the Psalm and the hymn are a reminder to me that we need to rejoice and give thanks to God for so many reasons. I have to admit that at this time, in this place in the world with all that is going on with COVID and politics, I find it harder to rejoice and give thanks. Then I remind myself that God is great and strong and worthy of all my thanks and praise. Rejoice, worship and praise God for all that I am and all that I have.
Gracious and Holy God, you are worthy of my praise. This hymn is one I could sing every day and still never give You enough thanks for your goodness and grace. Continue to surprise us so that we are able to raise our Hosannas and alleluias as loudly as we might. Lord, hear our prayers. Amen.
COVID-19 update as of 10-26 at 5PM. Cases in the county are up to 966 with 282 in zip code 14701 and 27 in Lakewood.
Day 221 | Monday, 26 October
From the Church Mouse
I want to share with you a story about the black squirrel I adopted when I lived in Cattaraugus. She remained in the wild but certain circumstances brought us together each day. Before I tell you her story, I want to share something I read this week. It seemed so appropriate for our times.
“Life is amazing and then it’s awful and then it’s amazing again;
And in between the amazing and the awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine.
Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary, amazing, awful, ordinary life.
That’s just living heart-breaking, soul healing, ordinary life.
There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:6-7 (NIV)
Now about my amazing black squirrel. When Doug and I lived in Cattaraugus after his retirement in 2011, we owned 40 acres of hardwood and evergreen forest which had been in his family since 1950. It was so beautiful! We had a cabin in the woods with a free-running spring that never went dry. We had a huge lawn off Lovers Lane Road and had worked for years putting up our home, garage, and two-story workshop.
We were blessed with all sorts of birds and wildlife. Many came up to the house to visit. On the back of our house we had a year-round sun porch. I loved to watch the birds come to our feeders with the chipmunks filling their cheek pouches from below. One day, a black squirrel came to feed, it was nearly hairless from mange.
I called my daughter, Sue, who is a vet tech in Connecticut. She told me that the humane thing to do was to dispatch it to end its suffering. We set out a Have-a-Heart trap with corn to catch it. Our friend agreed to do what was necessary and bury it in the woods. The next morning, the squirrel was in the trap, but around her, trying valiantly to free her, were her two baby squirrels. That did it! The sight broke my heart and, I was determined to find another way to help her.
I kept her in the trap with food and water while I looked online to find a “squirrel whisperer”. I found him! He gave me instructions and for $6.00, he sent me a syringe (minus the needle) filled with de-worming medicine used on cattle. He said for me to put some of the mixture on walnuts and feed her for about four weeks. When I freed her from the trap and stepped away, the most amazing thing happened! Instead of running away, she came up to me and allowed me to hand feed her the walnuts. She left but came back the next day for her “medicine”. After a few days, she brought her two babies with her. I finally was able to sit on the steps with her as she but her paw on my hand and leaned over to get her walnuts. After two weeks, her hair grew back, full and shiny. We had a wonderful relationship all summer. I called her Mahmi as I fed her. Her babies would come close to me, but not as close as Mahmi. I found, in the fall, that she had made her winter nest near our cabin in the woods. I did not see her the next spring or after that, but I will never ever forget her. If you visit our back porch each summer, you will see a statue of a black squirrel with her paw reaching out,,,,That’s Mahmi.
Day 220 | Sunday, 25 October 2020
The assigned Scripture readings for this the 21st Sunday after Pentecost are:
Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Psalm 90:1-6; 13-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 and Matthew 22:34-46.
Matthew 22:34-46 Great Commandment – the Message
34 When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault.
35 One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up:
36 "Teacher, which command in God's Law is the most important?"
37 Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.'
38 This is the most important, the first on any list.
39 But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.'
40 These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them."
41 As the Pharisees were regrouping, Jesus caught them off balance with his own test question:
42 "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" They said, "David's son."
43 Jesus replied, "Well, if the Christ is David's son, how do you explain that David, under inspiration, named Christ his 'Master'?
44 God said to my Master, "Sit here at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool."
45 "Now if David calls him 'Master,' how can he at the same time be his son?"
46 That stumped them, literalists that they were. Unwilling to risk losing face again in one of these public verbal exchanges, they quit asking questions for good.
From the New Revised Standard Version
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sad'ducees, they came together.
35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him.
36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"
37 And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
38 This is the great and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."
41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question,
42 saying, "What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?" They said to him, "The son of David."
43 He said to them, "How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
44 'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet'?
45 If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?"
46 And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did any one dare to ask him any more questions.
Jesus makes demands upon those who would be his disciples. Sometimes his demands are simple and direct. And yet, Jesus has a way of making matters like “love” and “neighbor,” “God” and “discipleship” complicated and demanding. Part of the adventure of discipleship is that we are disciples of Jesus.”
“In remembering that Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves, we also have to be reminded that Jesus did not leave us free to define either what love is or who our neighbors are! He made our enemies our neighbors to whom we owe forgiveness. He made love a costly and demanding affair.”
The following is a quote from Bishop William A. Willimon
“Jesus’ critics go on the attack. They attempt to engage Jesus in an argument about the Torah, the holy law of Israel. In response, Jesus quotes two traditional Jewish summaries – the commandment to love God (Deut 6:5) and the commandment to love the neighbor (Lev 19:18). Jesus’ answer is painfully obvious, because the answer to his critics’ theological question is simply a quote from a text that every practicing Jew recited each morning and evening.”
“In his summary of the Torah, Jesus brings together religion and ethics – the love of God and the love of neighbor. We would expect this sort of fusion of religion ethics in Matthew’s very ethical Gospel. Jesus has not stated anything new or creative – he has stated the heart of the faith of Israel. (Jesus’ answer is so unoriginal that it is the same answer that is found in Luke 10:27 when it is given not by Jesus, but from a “lawyer”!) One is also reminded of
I John 4:20-21 where we are told that the love of God cannot be separated from the love of neighbor.”
“Then, after answering them with this conventional Torah wisdom, Jesus goes on the attack himself in verses 41-46. He asks them what they think about the Messiah. To this Jesus’ critics respond by saying that the Messiah is a “Son of David” (verse 42).”
“The one who stands before the Pharisees and quotes the Torah is the Messiah. Therefore, he not only quotes the law but he embodies it. He is not only the one who reminds them of the way, but he is the way. He teaches with authority. It is an authority that is derived from being none other than the “Son of David,” the long-awaited Messiah whose teaching is integrally linked to his identity.”
“In today’s proclamation of the Word, let us hold up before the church the direct, demanding quality of Jesus’ response to his critics, as well as his teaching to us.”
“Dear Lord Jesus, you came to us showing us love we did not necessarily want, you stood beside us as the neighbor whom we did not ask for. Now strengthen us, we pray, to follow you where you lead us. Help us to hear you as you speak to us, speaking truth to us, that we might not be able to speak to ourselves. Help us to go with you into places that we would avoid going, if we were left on our own.”
“Preserve us from evading your claim upon us by oversimplifying your words to us. Enable us to encounter you in all your demanding glory. Keep us from listening to our own desires more carefully than we listen to you.”
“Preserve us from over complicating your words to us. Save us from taking your direct commands and debating them, discussing them, and arguing about them until they are no longer your direct commands to us.”
“Lord Jesus, you came to show us the way. Enable us more faithfully to walk your way. Amen.”
Day 219 | Saturday, 24 October 2020
WOW - a 40 degree temperature change from yesterday
COVID-19 County update: confirmed cases in the county are now 936 with 278 in the 14701 zip code. There are 27 total cases in Lakewood.
Jeremiah 17:5-8 CEB
5 The Lord proclaims:
Cursed are those who trust in mere humans,
who depend on human strength
and turn their hearts from the Lord.
6 They will be like a desert shrub
that doesn’t know when relief comes.
They will live in the parched places of the wilderness,
in a barren land where no one survives.
7 Happy are those who trust in the Lord,
who rely on the Lord.
8 They will be like trees planted by the streams,
whose roots reach down to the water.
They won’t fear drought when it comes;
their leaves will remain green.
They won’t be stressed in the time of drought
or fail to bear fruit.
“Surviving Drought By: Kirsten Holmberg” (from Our Daily Bread for October 24th)
“The one who trusts in the Lord . . . will be like a tree planted by the water. Jeremiah 17:7–8”
“In April 2019, a suburban neighborhood in Victorville, California, became buried in tumbleweeds. High winds pushed the rolling thistles into the development from the adjacent Mojave Desert where the plant grows. At maturity, the pesky weed can grow to up to six feet in height—a formidable size when it releases itself from its roots to “tumble” with the wind to scatter its seeds.”
“Tumbleweeds are what I picture when I read Jeremiah’s description of a person “whose heart turns away from the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:5). He says that those who draw their strength from “mere flesh” will be like “a bush in the wastelands” and be unable to “see prosperity when it comes” (vv. 5–6). In sharp contrast are those who put their trust in God instead of people. Like trees, their strong, deep roots draw strength from God, enabling them to remain full of life, even in the midst of drought-like circumstances.”
“Tumbleweeds and trees both have roots. Tumbleweeds, however, don’t stay connected to their life-source, causing them to dry out and die. Trees, on the other hand, remain connected to their roots, enabling them to flourish and thrive, anchored to that which will sustain them in times of difficulty. When we hold fast to God, drawing strength and encouragement from the wisdom found in the Bible and talking to God in prayer, we too can experience the life-giving, life-sustaining nourishment God provides.”
“Reflect & Pray”
“How has God sustained you in times of drought? What can you do today to drive your roots more deeply into relationship with God?”
“Life-giving God, You’re my sustainer. Thank You for giving me what I need to navigate my struggles and hardships.” Lord, Hear our prayers. Amen
Day 218 | Friday, 23 October 2020
The Church Mouse
Put on your singing faces and enjoy this one!
I missed creating Monday’s edition of the Church Mouse, since I needed to get Christ First’s Northside Food Pantry up and running for the fall and winter. We are a New York State food pantry, so it’s a complex task. In addition, we needed to have a “no touch” process given the age of our volunteers. The job is done, so. by Nov. 1st, all I’ll need to do are my own sessions on Mondays.
When I have had my fill of “current events” in the news, I find relief with movies, series like Downton Abbey, and music. After watching Phantom of the Opera, I started thinking about our own Phantom of the Woodlands, creator of our toothy friends in our rockpiles.
I decided to put new words to the song made famous by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s wonderful musical. Here it is for your pleasure. It is my hope that you will all contribute to my bail fund for copyright infringement.
We sleep, he creeps about. We dream, he’s here.
That great creative one, not one to fear.
And when we walk the pond, each time we find:
The Phantom of the Woodlands was here playing with our mind.
The flock of rocky ones appear each day.
Their fangs and zippers yawn. What do they say?
We want to turn away, to glance behind. (just in case)
The Phantom of the Woodlands is here, inside our mind.
We long to see his face. Is that so queer?
His Peepers have showed up to prove he’s near.
So easy is his work, but he must find
The Phantom of the Woodlands is often on our mind.
One thing we’ve added here, know what I mean?
Our stealthy cameras here, catch night’ unseen.
So when he’s out some time, though he can’t see,
The Phantom of the Woodlands will be……..
I will be creating a rock garden in front of the chapel on the right-hand side. The lupines couldn’t grow there because of the sun. I’ve been cleaning up the area and piling up the rocks for next spring. Of course, the Phantom paid me a visit one night leaving my new toothy friend I’ve named Chomper. Therefore, I offer a challenge to the Phantom: Provide me the new zipper-faced gnome, shown below, and I will name my rock garden “The Rolling Stones’. I will spend part of this winter creating a pleasing design to incorporate the creation of the Phantom of the Woodlands
Garden Décor, Zippered Tongue, Rock Statue, Unusual, Odd, Weird, Black Stone
Day 217 | Thursday, 22 October 2020
COVID update – 10-21 4:00Pm 912 cases with 277 in 14701
Yesterday morning on WJTN news I heard that there were an additional 25 cases at Tanglewood Manor for people who have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition to the 47 cases before that that, now brings the total to 72 cases in one facility. We need to be praying for the residents of Tanglewood Manor for the staff as well and for those in Memory Gardens. We should also include the families of all involved in this outbreak. Certainly, some of the residents have been hospitalized. Prayers for the medical staff treating those COVID patients. This is a very significant outbreak of COVID-19 in a facility very near to us geographically.
Psalm 3:3-6 The Psalm is a Psalm of trust
3 But you, Lord, are my shield! You are my glory! You are the one who restores me.
4 I cry out loud to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. Selah
5 I lie down, sleep, and wake up because the Lord helps me.
6 I won’t be afraid of thousands of people surrounding me on all sides.
Psalm 4 :1, 3
Answer me when I cry out, my righteous God! Set me free from my troubles! Have mercy on me! Listen to my prayer! 3 Know this: the Lord takes personal care of the faithful. The Lord will hear me when I cry out to him.
“Holiness of heart and life- Trusting God”
“Every day is an opportunity to trust God in new ways. In the midst of daily life, you can put your trust in God- hopefully and faithfully- knowing that your life is enfolded into God's care and love: “I lie down, sleep, and wake up because the Lord helps me” (Psalm 3:5). To be sure, trusting God is the only way to avoid the precariousness of life. In faith, we know that the lord sustains our lives and watches over us in every moment. Trusting God is believing that your life is under God's loving and protective care.” CEB page 686
2 Have mercy on me, Lord, because I’m frail. Heal me, Lord, because my bones are shaking in terror!
3 My whole body is completely terrified! But you, Lord! How long will this last?
4 Come back to me, Lord! Deliver me! Save me for the sake of your faithful love!
5 No one is going to praise you when they are dead. Who gives you thanks from the grave?
“Holiness of heart and life- Comfort for Illness”
“Illness may seem like a betrayal; serious illness can seem like abandonment. Being diagnosed with a serious illness is frightening and disorienting. The future becomes uncertain, and your hopes and dreams are dashed while tears and grief abound. At the heart of seeking comfort in the midst of illness is the practice of prayer. In prayer, we are able to share with God our laments and pains, our feelings of betrayal and abandonment. In faith we know that God has heard those prayers and we know that God is working for our healing and for comfort.” CEB 687
Holy and ever-present God. We come to you this day trusting in your love for us and your protection. We pray for all those suffering from any illness this day but especially those who are positive for the COVID-19 virus. We focus our prayers even more for the residents, staff and families of Tanglewood and Memory Gardens. Bring your healing presence to those in need. Lord, hear our prayers. Amen
Tanglewood - 77 residents and 12 staff infected, 18 hospitalized (10-22-20)