Dear Lord, I ask your protection as I monitor my fragile health. Dear Lord, you know how much gluttony and sloth have gotten me this way. Please hold me in your hand as I struggle toward health. Dear Lord may I increase in health to serve you better. If my back pain is my cross, help me to bear it. Help me to release weight and compulsion that make me unhealthy and of less use to you.
Your beauty and grace are my comfort and joy. Let me hide myself in you.
Dear Lord, I have been much too harsh and critical. I have been a scold. This had not helped anyone. My comments have not improved things. Dear Lord, may I show the grace that you have shown me. May I feel the love that helps us all grow and flourish. May I express this love to others.
Sunday morning ... a morning from my childhood. Watching people walk to church in couples and families, the chimes are playing Jesus Loves Me. I went to the early service ... the one with the "old" people ... and the scripture was from the Sermon on the Mount, starting with my confirmation verse (Matthew 6:19 ). The hymns were familiar and we sang every verse. By no means do I think of this old "mainstream" culture as the only way to celebrate Christ; I just enjoyed it on this particular morning.
Pastor Sharon apparently doesn't do sermons, but her prayers are wonderful. She seems to voice my concerns so well and she speaks with the assurance of God's mercy and love.