Photo Quote: Whenever People Love Each Other

Buechner on love 21 John 4:15-16 NRSV
God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.

This piece was created using PicMonkey, a free, online picture editor. It’s super easy to use and has lots of great fonts, filters and other editing goodies. Someone with limited artistic abilities (like me) can feel very accomplished very quickly. – Lisa <><

The picture: Reconciliation (originally named Reunion) is a sculpture by Josefina de Vasconcellos located in the ruin of Coventry Cathedral.

Quotes: Regret

boy statue regret2 Corinthians 7:10
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret,
but worldly grief produces death.

Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves-
regret for the past and fear of the future.
– Fulton Oursler, American journalist, playwright, editor and writer (converted to Christianity after writing The Greatest Story Ever Told)

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.
– Alexander Graham Bell

Selection from the song Why by Annie Lenox
This is the book I never read
These are the words I never said
This is the path I’ll never tread
These are the dreams I’ll dream instead
This is the joy that’s seldom spread
These are the tears…
The tears we shed
This is the fear
This is the dread
These are the contents of my head
And these are the years that we have spent
And this is what they represent
And this is how I feel
Do you know how I feel?

Most of us carry regrets. There are many different kinds.

  • Regrets of wasted opportunities and lost time.
  • Regrets of things done and left undone.
  • Regrets of decisions taken and those not taken.
  • Regrets of words spoke and unspoken.

Regrets like these rob us of our peace and serenity. Often they leave us with deep feelings of guilt or remorse or even despair. We wish we could turn the clock back. But we cannot. Perhaps you will know, as I do, some of these painful effects that come from living with regrets about our past. So what can we do? We can pray the Serenity Prayer. We can ask God to help us to accept the irreparable past. But we need to back up this prayer with a few things that we can do. Finding peace does not mean doing nothing. It may grow out of prayer, but it does not stop there. It brings new intentions, new obligations, new efforts. – Trevor Hudson, The Serenity Prayer

God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.
– Reinhold Niebuhr

**********
For more information on use of the scripture, art and this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page

Prayer: Raise Us Up

boxing gloves1 Corinthians 9:26 CEB
This is how I run- not without a clear goal in sight.
I fight like a boxer in the ring, not like someone who is shadowboxing.

We grow weary in doing good
In doing “church”
The tyranny of tasks grinds us down
The weight of needs buries us blow by blow

Holy Spirit, raise us up
Raise us up from the long count
Focus us
Fully engage us
Pressing on to the prize
Your calling clearly in our sight
in our hearts
in our hands

Raise us up again and again and again
Fulfill your steadfast, saving work
Fulfill your kingdom in us and in the world
For the honor and glory of You
The One, True God
Amen

**********
Prayer: Raise Us Up © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia.
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art, scripture translation and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Worship Idea: The Cross Blooms

My good friends at Orange City United Methodist Church in Orange City, Florida gave me permission to post their wonderful worship idea. One Sunday during a sermon series on the cross, Pastor Drew invited each person to write a prayer of confession on a colored piece of paper. Each person then folded the piece of paper into a flower using an origami pattern. The flowers were then attached to a large cross, making it look like it was blooming. This symbolized the forgiving and redeeming power of Jesus’ saving work on the cross.

You’ll find a video of this here.