It’s cold, Lord,
colder than usual for our area.
In other parts of the country
it is way below zero.
The cold kills off insects and germs,
yet more people get sick.
There’s a saying that
everybody talks about the weather,
but nobody does anything about it.
Lord, you pointed out that certain signs
predicted weather patterns,
and that the Pharisees
missed the signs of their times.
Lord, help us to read
the signs of our times.

Psalm 147:16:
He gives snow like wool: he scatters frost like ashes.

Matthew 16:2-3:
He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”



Lord, yesterday
when my husband phoned friends,
whom we had gotten to know
in our retirement community,
to meet us for dinner,
the husband answered
and said his wife had died that morning
and that his sons were with him.
What a shock!
Lord, surround them with your love.
Comfort them with your presence.
We need you, Lord, in times of sorrow.

Psalm 23:4: (KJV)
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Hymn: Sweet Hour of Prayer


Last night we heard
the State of the Union speech
for the American people.
O Gracious God,
guide our President
and other leaders
as they work to meet
the needs of the people,
so that we may have a
peaceful and just society
in which your will is done,
O Gracious God.

zephaniah 2:3:
Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his commands; seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the Lord’s wrath.

Hymn: America (My Country, ‘Tis of Thee)


It’s cold outside, Lord.
We are thankful
that we don’t have to worry
about heat in our apartment.
We can turn the thermostat
up or down to suit ourselves.
But we read in the paper
that fuel oil is in short supply
and some people will run out.
I am reminded of the bridesmaids
who ran out of oil for their lamps
and were left out of the party
in the story you told, Lord.
We are thankful
for those who prepare ahead
and look after others
in this perilous time.

Matthew 25:1-4:
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.”



O Lord, you called your disciples,
taught them, and sent them
out to tell others
that the kingdom had arrived.
Your message has come down
through the years to us,
and we, too, are expected
to share with others
the good news of your love.
Open my eyes and heart today, Lord,
to the way you want me
to share that good news.

Matthew 4:18-20:
As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make your fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.

Hymn: Tú Has Venido a la Orilla (Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore)


Gracious God, our friend
shared half of her box of pears
with us. Six big pears
are a lot for us to eat
before they spoil, but
they are delicious.
How wonderful that pears
can be grown and shipped
this time of year.
Gracious God, you have
created such amazing things.
Thank you for pears
and for our friend who shares.

Genesis 1:11:
Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so.

Hymn: All Things Bright and Beautiful


While watching television
in the evenings, Lord,
I do needlepoint
to cover a brick,
which can be used
as a bookend or doorstop.
A friend and each of my children
already have one, so
when I am done,
I will put this one
on the give-away table
located near our dining room.
The last one I put out
went right away.
Sewing is better for me
than eating while watching TV, Lord,
and I hope someone will use it.

Proverbs 31:10a, 27:
A capable wife who can find? She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.