Tag Archives: gifts

Open the Gifts of Life

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Open the Gifts of Life

Today’s reading from Keep It Simple opened my eyes. (Again.) This reading reminded me of such an obvious solution to the nagging difficulties navigating through my daily routine. “Each day comes bearing its gifts. Untie the ribbons.” – Ruth Ann Schabacker [1]

What a simple, straight-forward thing to do: open the gifts each day brings to me. It’s not rocket science. Look for the gifts, because they are there, for sure! Living one day at a time can be challenging, sometimes. Rewarding, occasionally. Just plain hard, once in a while. But regardless of what each of us is dealing with every day, one day at a time is simple.

Not necessarily easy, but simple.

If I close myself off to God and to others, that is one definite way to not receive gifts. If I isolate, or put up walls, or go in my bedroom and pout, who does that hurt? No one but me. If I seek out others (even as few as one or two others), or let down those internal barriers and boundaries, or be open and willing to be friends with others, who does that help? Lots of people! Me, definitely. And, I have the opportunity to help others, to encourage and support them.

I understand that recovery is an inside job. If I orient my insides toward God as I understand God, or as some people think of it, my Higher Power, that is a tremendous beginning. Orient myself towards looking for the Higher Power’s gifts, each day. One way I develop my spiritual program is through prayer and meditation. Just what Step Eleven calls for.

Dear Lord, gracious God, remind me to stop and listen to You. Remind me that You love me very much.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 4 reading.

Blessing, Blessing, Everywhere. In Prayer.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, July 1, 2015

bless your heart

Blessing, Blessing, Everywhere. In Prayer.

It’s a new month, and I have a new focus for this blog. In July, I am going to concentrate on an intriguing book named Praying the New Testament as Psalms. Desmond O’Donnel and Maureen Mohen wrote the book, and I thought I’d sample some chapters. I mean, psalms.

O’Donnell and Mohen did do an excellent job. We’ll lead off the month with Blessing.

Gracious God, You indeed have blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Help us—help me to to something similar. Please allow my friends gifts they will appreciate. I sometimes feel scared and aware something is going to be coming. Please, God, give me the strength to be kind to those who are against me and the things I feel so strongly.

Dear God, You have concentrated on giving good things to me. (Me, are you sure?) Help me love You more nearly, more dearly. I would exchange so much that I have for more knowledge and understanding of You.

In Jesus’ precious, powerful name I pray, Amen.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Day #34 – A Good Steward, Prayerfully

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, March 28, 2015

pray for the world

Day #34 – A Good Steward, Prayerfully

Ever hear something (or read something) and immediately have a scene from your past pop into your head? That was me, when I read today’s excellent suggestion from Ruth.

As I went through the colored action suggestions at the end of the blog post, my eye fell on the first one, the green one. And I immediately went back several decades, to when I was twelve or thirteen years old.

My dad was alive then. We were in the little brick house in Chicago where I (and my older brothers and sisters) all grew up. My dad was a statistician, and particularly precise and conscientious where saving money was concerned. We didn’t have too much to spare, especially with my older sisters at the University of Illinois. (Yes, both at the same time.) He drilled it into all of our heads to be thoughtful and careful with what we used, how much we used, and why we used it. This was the same with food to paper products to utilities.

I particularly remember several times when I was either twelve or thirteen. It was winter time, so a time of earlier darkness. A time of more artificial lights. I would go into a room, find what I needed, and automatically flip off the light switch as I left the room.

“Hey! I’m still in here!” was what my dad said, disgruntled. This happened several times. (At least.) I would look back, chagrined. Sorry. Apologetic. “I’m just doing what you said. What you taught me.” I distinctly remember saying that, at least a couple of times.

I know our family was thinking about saving money when we grew up. We needed to count our pennies. (Pennies were worth something in those days! But, I’m showing my age.) Now, when I think twice about turning on lights, or turning down the heat in my condominium, or using that reusable insulated cup for my coffee or tea in the morning, I am also thinking about being a good steward of creation. Of the gifts and blessings God has given me. What a good reminder of what I can do, to make a difference.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

What Can I Give?

matterofprayer blog post for Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Only two more weeks until the Big Day. Christmas, I mean. Gift-giving, galore. Do I have presents for everyone on my list? My husband? Children? In-laws? And what about those others, the people I ought to give gifts to? Am I feeling little, niggling qualms of guilt because I am not able to give much this year, as I have in years past?

Gift-giving can be such a trap. When people use one-up-man-ship to gain a sort of superiority to others (“I gave a gift that cost twice as much as the gift I received!”), that’s when this whole business of gift-giving needs to be seriously overhauled.

Why do we give gifts, anyhow?

The custom of gift-giving reaches centuries back, before Christianity, to pagan festivals. For instance, Saturnalia—a Roman winter solstice festival—included giving and receiving of small gifts, tokens, or sweets. St. Nicholas (a bishop in 4th century Turkey) gave small gifts to children in December. This custom lessened as the Puritans frowned on excessive celebration, but came back with the popularization of Charles Dickens and his “Christmas Carol,” the increased Victorian celebration of Christmas, and the publishing of Clement Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” All of these caused gift-giving to become firmly established once more.

So, I can give and receive gifts with joy in my heart—not with avarice or envy or bitterness. Another reason that we choose to give gifts? Because—we received the best gift of all, born in the town of Bethlehem—our Savior, Christ the Lord.

Let’s pray. God, thank You for the best gift of all. You wanted to reconcile us to Yourself, and You chose this way to do it. This Holy Child was be recognized as Emmanuel, God with us. Forgive me for not recognizing this Holy One. Forgive me for living a life that does not honor and adore Him as Christ the Lord. Thank You for loving me, forgiving me, and reconciling me to Yourself. Thank You for giving me the best Christmas gift of all. Amen.