GARDEN INSPIRATION

Dear Lord, look at that sunflower
with ten good flowers, eight old ones,
and some already picked.
The tomato plant has burst
from its allotted space
into the neighboring flowers.
The zinnias are five feet tall!
Whoever heard of such a thing?
Weeds are completely out of control.
Is it worth it to restore order
this late in August?
The purple loosestrife is coming into bloom.
Stalks with tiny buds are waiting for their day.
Thank you, Lord, for your rich gifts to us.  Aamen.

Song of Solomon 2:12
The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land.
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GRANDPARENTS

Dear Lord, my mother’s parents were special.
I asked to live with them when I was small,
and I didn’t get along with my father.
Grandpa built houses, and when we walked along
he would point and say, “That is the house that Jack built,”
though his name was John or “Johan” in Swedish.
When Grandpa and I walked along Main Street,
we would stop in front of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank,
and he would say, “That is a good bank.
It didn’t go out of business during the Depression.”
When he had cement poured for the front walk,
he had me put my hand print in it.
I wonder if it’s still there.
Lord, Grandpa was my hero.
He loved me when I was little.
Thank you Lord, for loving grandparents.  Amen.

Psalm 112:1-2
Praise the Lord!  Happy are those who fear the Lord, who greatly delight in his commandments.  Their descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.

THE NEW AND THE OLD

Dear Lord, open my mind to new things.
Just because we have physically slowed down
doesn’t mean we can’t have new thoughts.
As we consider what lies ahead,
we let go of our interest in world affairs
and increase our sensitivity to those around us.
Lord we have lived in this retirement community
for several years now.
New people coming in are younger.
It’s natural for newer residents to gather together
and for older residents to stick together.
But it’s nice when the hostess seats older residents
with newer residents.
We each have experiences to share.
Thank you Lord, for our diverse community.  Amen.

Ecclesiastes 1:9
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.

Hymn:  Be Thou My Vision

HUMILITY

Dear Lord, what small bits of your life
we find in the gospels, and only three years.
Yet what structures have been built
and invested with sonorous pageantry.
What nonsense fancy robes and gold crosses
when the money could be given to the poor.
The message is lost in the trappings.
Sin creeps into good intentions.
We are ashamed.
We meant to be seeking lost souls.
Where did we go wrong?
Open our eyes again, Lord.
Keep us humble before you.  Amen.

Psalm 25:9
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

Hymn:  Open My Eyes, That I May See

SEEING THE WAY

Dear Lord, each morning you give us
a fresh new day;
a time to build your kingdom on earth
through prayer, helping others,
and nurturing out planet.
We are an unruly bunch, Lord.
Instead of helping our neighbors
or making peace in our world,
we want to escape to another planet.
What do you make of us Lord?
Open our eyes and hearts
to ways we can help people
and countries in poverty.
And then we remember that you
ministered to people one by one
until you gave your life for all.
Show us needs that we can meet today. Amen.

Matthew 20:33-34
They said to him, “Lord, let our eves be opened.”  Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes.  Immediately they regained their sight and followed him.

Luke 11:10
“For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Hymn:  Open My Eyes, That I May See

SUFFERING

Ah Lord, there is illness in the world and pain.
And even when it goes away in one person
there are always others.
Are you testing us?
Is pain supposed to teach us something?
Or do physical things
really not matter to you?
Then I remember your agony in the garden.
And that you allowed yourself to be crucified,
a very painful death.
What is your answer to suffering?
We are in your hands, Lord.
Give us strength.

Psalm 30:10
Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me!  O Lord, be my helper.

Psalm 57:1
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge.