Tag Archives: reflecting

World Mental Health? I’m Praying

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, October 10, 2016


World Mental Health? I’m Praying.

I read several blogs and posts today about world mental health. Yes, more about mental health. And, mental illness. Today was World Mental Health Awareness Day.

Everyone knows someone who is affected. Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean that mental illness doesn’t exist.

Reflecting on my own extended family, on my friends and acquaintances, I know very well that both of these sentences (above) are true. Sadly true, in some cases. Tragically true, in others.

Anyone can listen. Anyone. You do not need to be an expert in psychology or counseling to help someone in a crisis. Simply being there, sitting by their side, or walking next to them can mean so much. Letting someone who is having difficulty know that someone is there, for them. Right  next to them, by their side. And, especially letting someone know that they are not alone! That’s important, too.

Be an advocate, please. Be encouraging, helpful and kind, please. It can mean the world to someone, today. And, God bless you.


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

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er



PEACE – Knowing Christ is in Me (Repost)

This repost is especially for the Facebook site “Pursuing Peace.” God’s blessings on all my readers today.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, February 24, 2016

peace in Jesus' name

PEACE – Knowing Christ is in Me

Another day for me to sincerely apologize. I had a malfunction with my digital camera happen on Sunday, at Bethesda Worship Center. Again, I’d like to express sadness that I have no photos of any of the dear people who were so kind to pose with their personal definitions of PEACE. I thank Pastor Chuck for being willing to offer his smart phone as a last-minute replacement! (Sadly, my advanced-beginner expertise with social media is showing … in that I couldn’t get the dratted thing to send photos!)

However, I am continuing to post the sheets of paper on which these dear people wrote their definitions! So, for the next few days—and definitions—I will be posting the sheets by themselves.

The next definition comes from a gentleman who had a marvelous view of PEACE. Nick Kokoraleis’s definition was PEACE is knowing that Christ is in me.

It took Nick a little while to process my question: “What is PEACE, to you?” He told me, hesitantly, that he sometimes had difficulty responding in a quick manner. I let him know that he could take as much time as he needed! After reflecting on the question, he formulated his response in an excellent way. (As we can see, above.)

Pastor Chuck saw Nick’s response. He nodded, and said, “Nick is a wise man.” He sometimes has difficulties and challenges in his dealings with some people (who are usually impatient, and get irritated very quickly). Yet, he is a thoughtful, kind man, who is occasionally misunderstood. Thank you, Nick, for an excellent definition.

Dear Lord, thank You for Nick’s reminder. When I know that You are with me, in me, then I have the assurance of Your protection and care. Thank You, Lord.


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

Reflecting Further on the River. Bittersweet.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, May 11, 2015

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, Iceland  credit - I Love Nature

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, Iceland
credit – I Love Nature

Reflecting Further on the River. Bittersweet.

I didn’t want to leave the metaphor of the river yet. I know, there’s a great deal of the book ahead, and I am only in the second chapter. But . . . the river seems to me to be a telling, insightful way of describing my journey. My life.

The path of my particular river has not always been even and smooth. No, there have been rough patches. I have even lost my way, following beside the river, since it has gone underground or through brambles and thorns on the way.

I appreciated several of the questions Margaret Silf posed, as she gave suggestions for those reading her book. Among those questions, the first significant one was: “What kind of obstructions or hazards has [your river] had to negotiate?” [1]

Ah, this brought back memories. And, very few were pleasant. For example, when I was in school as a tween and teen, I was a lonely child. Extremely isolated and awkward. I don’t often wish to go back there in my memories.

The second question had a more positive spin to it. “As you let your mind wander back along the riverbanks you have known, what landmarks make you feel glad and grateful? Perhaps particular people or experiences? Have you ever told those concerned what a difference they made to your journey?” [2]

Yes, I have let several people know how much they have meant to me, over the years. I am so glad I did. They supported me and encouraged me when very few people did. However, there were those who I never had a chance to thank. I feel so badly. Especially for two seniors, Miss Rose and Grandpa Ray. God rest their souls. They were always so encouraging and supportive to me. I thank God for them, whenever I remember them. Wonderful people.

And, yet. Thinking back on my life—tracing back the riverbanks—I find I am torn. Yes, there have been good times. But, a goodly portion of my life has been negative, for several decades. And, yet. One particularly positive thing I can say is that there are more good things going on now than bad. I am jumping for joy over that. (Modified rapture.) You can be sure.


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 sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

[1] Silf, Margaret, Inner Compass: Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1999), 16-17.

[2] Ibid.

Easter Monday, the Labyrinth, and Spring

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, April 6, 2015

Tiffany studios - Resurrection window

Tiffany studios – Resurrection window

Easter Monday, the Labyrinth, and Spring

Monday. The day after Easter. I took today for my day off, since I had worked hard for most of Holy Week. It’s one of the facts of my position, seeing as I am the pastor of a small church.

I took the opportunity to go to a convent nearby in Chicago, and walk on their outdoor labyrinth this morning. I heard a great deal of bird song as I walked. A sign of new life, if I ever heard one. A sign of the coming of spring

This evening, I read from the liturgical day book. I read a passage from the Gospel of John, the raising of Lazarus. Reflecting on that reading, too. Awesome opportunity to show the earth shaking power of God.

Praise God, no matter what. Praise God, whether wandering far away, or walking the labyrinth. Praise God. Jesus is risen! He is risen, indeed.


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 .

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

matterofprayer blog post for Saturday, December 7, 2013

I must be getting older. (News flash!) No, seriously. Sometimes, I find myself reflecting on the past with some fondness and nostalgia. And then there are the times I reflect on the past with sadness and grief. Like today. I read in the news that today was the 72nd anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Fifty survivors of the attack gathered there today, along with many other people. Looking back. Remembering. Grieving the deaths of so many, at Pearl Harbor and in the rest of the war. I thank God that my father and his three brothers came back after World War II to their wives. They raised families and led fruitful, productive lives.

Just today, I saw several photos through email and on Facebook, displayed by some friends of mine—all proud grandparents! These photos showed busy toddlers, happy babies, curious children. Almost all of these children are looking forward to the holidays (except for the youngest babies, of course). They and their families are looking ahead. In expectation and excitement.

On the other end of the spectrum are my older teenagers. They are “too old” for the wide-eyed wonder of the coming holiday. Yes, they both acknowledge the coming One. They intellectually realize this season is, indeed, a special time. However, they are more in the “meh” or “whatever” camp, trying to stay outwardly calm and unflappable. (All for outward display purposes, of course.)

So, here I am, in the middle. Looking back, and looking ahead. I need to pray all the more earnestly. I am trying to follow an Advent devotional booklet, with some success. But, outward circumstances are dragging me down. God, please help me to a sense of wonder. Give me a sense of Your presence, each day. Help me follow You.

Let’s pray. Dear God, help me take the necessary and needed time to be with You. As I look back, I remember all those who have lost loved ones in the service of our country. Looking ahead, I remember all those with children (and grandchildren) who are gladly awaiting the holidays. Thank You for this Advent time of waiting. Please, God, be with me as I intentionally set aside time each day to pray and wait upon You. Amen.