Tag Archives: wonderful

The Word of God and Meditation

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bible, open

The Word of God and Meditation

Next, this anthology moves to a letter from Dietrich Bonhoeffer to his brother-in-law and good friend Rudiger Schleicher. The two men had many interests in common, including theology. They did not see eye to eye, as far as theology in general (and especially of Christian life and practice) was concerned. Small wonder that they “feuded,” as Bonhoeffer gently kids his brother-in-law.

“First, I want to confess quite simply that I believe the Bible alone is the answer to all our questions, and that we only need to ask persistently and with some humility in order to receive the answer from it.” [1]

Bonhoeffer does not think we ought to read the Bible as we read other books. No, some read the Bible in a way that depends strongly on textual criticism. Bonhoeffer suggests that a good way to read the Bible is to concentrate on what is within the book, not just on the surface.

“When a dear friend speaks a word to us, do we subject it to analysis? No, we simply accept it, and then it resonates inside us for days.” [2] He urges his readers to ponder the word—the Bible—in one’s own heart, and ruminate on it.

This is not the first time I have read this anthology. No, while I was in seminary I read this book, and used it for a text for prayer and meditation. Since I feel so strongly about the Bible (both old and new Testaments), this approach to the Word of God comes quite naturally to me. What a wonderful thing, finding someone who feels similarly (and strongly, in the same way) about the Bible!.

Dear God, help me to read the Bible more faithfully Please, help me focus more closely on Your Words, just as I would read a letter from a dear friend. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear my prayers.

@chaplaineliza

 

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

[1] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 35.

[2] Ibid.

Interfaith Walk for Peace, and More

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, September 24, 2016

instrument-of-your-peace-dove

Interfaith Walk for Peace, and More

Today was the Morton Grove Interfaith Walk for Peace. An event that I have been working on and hoping and praying for, for a bunch of weeks. Such a great response for the Interfaith Walk! All ages, strollers, someone in a wheelchair. Wonderful cross-section of the community in Morton Grove walking with us today.

As I went from one group of walkers to another, I heard bits of conversations—friendly, encouraging talk between diverse people. People from different places and from different faith traditions.

I heard many people today looking forward to another Morton Grove Interfaith Walk for Peace next September! With a nearby suburb having a Peace Festival this weekend as well, I can envision a North Shore Peace Initiative—especially if many of us talked to friends about Interfaith Walks in other, neighboring suburbs of Chicago.

Just think. If people built bridges of peace, friendship and harmony. Just imagine. Less ignorance and misunderstanding. What a wonderful place the Chicago area could be.

Such an awesome start! Let’s keep the conversation going. Dear God, let it be so! Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers for peace, harmony, and an end to conflict and violence. Amen.

Peace.

@chaplaineliza

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: A Personal Relationship with God

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, August 14, 2016

 

rest in God, dove

PEACE: A Personal Relationship with God

A friend and I traveled to the Englewood neighborhood on the south side of Chicago again on Wednesday. We participated—again—in the nightly dinner outreach hosted by the Mothers Against Senseless Killing (MASK). This was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with the good people in the Englewood neighborhood and show them that friends outside of their community care, and are concerned. Friends want to help them strengthen relationships, and bring peace into their streets. Their neighborhood. Their community.

My friend Laura had her face-painting kit, again, and the children loved it. They lined up to have all different kinds of face art painted on their faces. I made myself useful helping out by the serving table, making sure the bottled water was ready to be served, taking care of trash and checking to see that the area around the street corner was neat and tidy.

Yet, I remembered back two weeks, when Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church stopped by that same corner after dinner was cleaned up. The church folks set up a traveling outdoor worship service, just as they do each Wednesday night during the summer. As I finished my good-byes to Mama Knight and several other friends, I had the opportunity to talk with the Senior Pastor of that church, Rev. Walter Matthews.

A personable, earnest man, he was more than ready to share his view of peace. Pastor Matthews’ personal definition: “PEACE is having a personal relationship with God.”  

Just as the Mothers Against Senseless Killing wishes to strengthen relationships between friends in their Englewood neighborhood—on a horizontal plane, so Pastor Matthews wishes to strengthen relationships on a vertical plane—the personal relationship with God, our Redeemer and Friend. As I asked him to elaborate on his personal definition, he said, “I want everyone to have peace with God, so that we are able to have the peace of God.”

Amen! Pastor Matthews, thank you for those good words. May you and your church community have a nurturing, continuing relationship with your neighborhood. Dear God, please help Pleasant Green M.B. Church to continue to be faithful, spreading the Good News of a personal relationship with You. Amen!

@chaplaineliza

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.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Pray and Praise for Young People

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, July 29, 2016

PRAY don't worry, through prayer to God Phil 4-6

Pray and Praise for Young People

Today was a wonderful end to the New Wilmington Mission Conference. Between wrapping up a mission perspective on the Lord’s Prayer, saying good-bye all day to people I see once a year, and finishing the evening listening to the Summer Service team, the day was jam-packed.

Fascinating how the Lord’s Prayer is almost always applicable. Even in a mission and outreach sense. Or, should I say, especially in such a sense?

I know many attendees from this conference. We were reminded at evening meeting that many, many people were praying for the Summer Service team as they spent a number of weeks abroad, immersing themselves in a different culture, different language, and different society.

The team spoke separately tonight, telling a bit about their trip, their encounters, and their reactions to what they experienced.

I praise God for these young people.

I pray that they might carry the encounters and experiences of their time away close to their hearts. I ask for clarity as each one makes decisions about the next thing for them to do. Dear God, I pray for those responsible for next year’s mission conference and service. Missionary God, You are not willing that any perish. Draw people to You. Help each person who was in attendance this week to be energized and empowered to tell others about You. About how much You love them, and even to the ends of the earth. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

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 #PursuePEACE.  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

In Which I Pray for a Friend

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, July 25, 2016

PRAY I always hug them with my prayers

In Which I Pray for a Friend

Here I am, at the New Wilmington Mission Conference, which is totally awesome! Such a wonderful gathering of people interested in mission and outreach. Not only from all over the country, but from all over the world.

Yet, I am also far away from a good friend who will be having a medical procedure tomorrow.

I have heard heart-warming (and sometimes heart-breaking) stories about individuals in far-flung places this week, as well as churches just planted, churches in difficulty, and some churches under opposition. Also, I heard great hopefulness about believers having great joy despite trials and poverty, conflict and being refugees.

So much sadness mingled with joy. Yet, I have concern in my heart about my friend. Far away.

I can’t be there. Yes, I can pray. (And I have already, and will continue to pray.) But, I would like to be there for the family. I know how it helps to have encouraging and supportive friends nearby. Able to run errands, and visit in the hospital or care center. Sometimes just to sit and keep loved ones company, or pray, or be silent.

The concern in my heart is real. I want to ask God to be with my friend. Would you pray with me?

Dear Lord, gracious God, You are the great Physician. You know us from head to toe, every hair on our heads, and every cell in our bodies. Heavenly Healer, I pray for my dear friend right now. I pray for the medical procedure tomorrow, for the medical team attending, and for You to give abundant wisdom and understanding in this case. I pray for the hands of the staff to be caring and capable, and for the healing to come. Holy Spirit, I pray that You come alongside of all who love and care for my friend and the whole family. Support and encourage all of them in this challenging time—healing time. Thank You for loving and caring for all of us—especially my good friend. In the healing name of Jesus we pray, amen.

@chaplaineliza

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

Pray for Opportunity, for Outreach

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, July 25, 2016

prayer - hands

Pray for Opportunity, for Outreach

What a wonderful opportunity to experience mission and outreach. Each summer for more than fifteen years, I have had this experience of mission—up close and personal.

I got the chance to hear a friend of mine preach yesterday, on Sunday, and present today in a conference session. Some of the things he said were heartbreaking. However, many of the things he said were hopeful. So hopeful!

There are large parts of the world where individuals are realizing that the God of the Bible, the God who loved the whole world, the God who died and rose again—this God is the true God. My friend spoke of widespread struggle and military action, fear, anger, despair, and sincere questioning. At the same time, he spoke of an undercurrent of vibrant faith and connection in the God who loved the whole world, the God who died and rose again.

This is a tremendous opportunity. Not for fear, and anxiety, hatred, and despair. No! This is a time of hope and promise, of anticipation and outreach! Also, a time of earnest and heartfelt prayer. We need to continue to pray for God to send workers into the harvest.

Dear Lord, loving and merciful God, I pray for You to continue opening doors. Open doors for all who read these words. Provide opportunities to spread Your love and to tell others how much You love them. Thank You for Your love for me and for my family. Help me to be faithful to Your will, work, and ways. In the mighty, powerful and loving name of the One who was and is and is to come, the name of Jesus, Amen.

@chaplaineliza

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

Peace and the Library

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, June 6, 2016

Peace and the Library

Peace is - different neighbors, MG library

To get ready for the Morton Grove Peace Vigil last week, the Morton Grove Public Library was kind enough to provide some wonderful resources for children and families. The Youth Services section of the library made a special display of books related to peace. Plus, the youth coordinator and librarian had a self-directed opportunity for youth and their families to create their own definitions of peace.

Yes, the library gave everyone an opportunity to make personal definitions of peace! Plus, some of these sheets with definitions were quite artistic, even innovative. I keep marveling at the marvelous ideas that keep bubbling up.

I think back to the initial conversation that Janine, Dilnaz and I had, back in April. We all agreed that young people—youth—were not often seen at interfaith and ecumenical gatherings. So, we set up the Peace Vigil for hope and harmony especially to get youth participation. And—it happened, just as we hoped. Just as we wanted.

A great big thank you to the Morton Grove Public Library, and especially the Youth Services section! Janine, Dilnaz and I all appreciate everything the library was able to do for the Peace Vigil. (Plus, there is talk and movement about the 2nd Annual Peace Vigil for Hope and Harmony in May 2017! Let’s keep the conversation about peace going.)

Young people not only have great ideas, but they often have excitement and enthusiasm, too. I wanted to tap into all of that. Get loud, and make some noise! Yay, peace!

Dear God, it is awesome how everything fell together for the Peace Vigil last Wednesday night. Thanks for everything involved with coordinating and organizing this wonderful event. Amen! (Yay, peace! Again!)

@chaplaineliza

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