Blog Recommendation: A Holy Experience by Ann Voskamp

aholyexperience-logoAnn Voskamp is becoming one of my favorite bloggers. Her posts on A Holy Experience read like hot chocolate- warm, beautiful, rich, yummy. Her emotionally raw reflections are accompanied by gorgeous photography and graphics, plus helpful links and resource lists.

Her Pick of Best Bibles post is a terrific example. You’re right there, curled up with her and her kids as they read the story of Joseph and his brothers, experiencing their excitement and heartbreak. In then end, you’re moved and inspired to act, to pick up a Bible and read it to a loved one.

To send it over the top, at the end of the post, she provides a detailed list of Bible editions which are especially good for reading out loud. Bibles for all ages and situations. Many editions which were new to me.

What are your favorite blogs? What makes them meaningful to you? Share your blog treasure in the comments section below.

Blessings- Lisa <><

Prayer: Prince of Peace, Hear our Cry

Pāhoehoe lava meets Pacific. Photo by Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons.

Pāhoehoe lava meets Pacific. Photo by Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons.

A pastor friend wrote me asking for prayer. Her congregation is experiencing a season of tremendous change and loss due to circumstances far beyond their control. My imagination turned to swirling storms: the hurricanes we experience here in Florida, the shadowy swirl of chaos in the Creation story (Genesis 1:1-2), the overwhelming storms the disciples experienced on the Sea of Galilee. (Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25; Matthew 8:23-27)

Then I found this powerful picture of lava meeting the water by Brocken Inaglory. How does anything survive the crushing collision of boiling rock and endless waves of stinging, salty ocean? You cling to the hope of things made new. – Lisa <><

Prince of Peace, hear our cry
The winds of change are howling
Hurling us to and fro
We can’t get our footing
We can’t get our bearings
We’re drowning in loss

Prince of Peace, hear our cry
Pull us up for air
Hold us together
Anchor us in grace

Reveal what is real

For You are the Blessed Word
Creating new life from chaos
You are the Morning Star
Lighting a way bright with hope
You are the Prince of Peace
You hear our cry

*********
Prince of Peace, Hear Our Cry © 2014 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.

Worship Resource: Joyful Praise

Colours of Happiness by Camdiluv ♥ via Wikimedia Commons

Colours of Happiness by Camdiluv ♥ via Wikimedia Commons

Worship Resource: Joyful Praise
ALL SINGING: Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee vs. 1
Joyful, joyful, we adore thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
hearts unfold like flowers before thee,
opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness,
fill us with the light of day!

Instrumental music continues during the prayer

ONE OR ALL PRAYING: from I, Francis by Carlo Carretto
You alone are holy, Lord God, Worker of Wonders.
You are mighty
You are great
You are the Most High
You are omnipotent, our holy Father, King of heaven and earth.

ALL SINGING: Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee vs. 2
All thy works with joy surround thee,
earth and heaven reflect thy rays,
stars and angels sing around thee,
center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
flowery meadow, flashing sea,
chanting bird and flowing fountain,
call us to rejoice in thee.

Instrumental music continues during the prayer

ONE OR ALL PRAYING: from I, Francis by Carlo Carretto
You, Lord God, three and one, are our every good.
You, Lord God, all good, our highest good-
Lord God living and true.
You are charity and love.
You are wisdom.
You are humility.
You are patience.
You are security.
You are peace.
You are joy and gladness.

ALL SINGING: Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee vs. 3
Thou art giving and forgiving,
ever blessing, ever blest,
well-spring of the joy of living,
ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our brother,
all who live in love are thine;
teach us how to love each other,
lift us to the joy divine.

Instrumental music continues during the prayer

ONE OR ALL PRAYING: from I, Francis by Carlo Carretto
You are justice and temperance.
You are riches altogether sufficient.
You are beauty.
You are meekness.
You are our protector.
You are our strength.
You are our refreshment.
You are our hope.
You are our faith.
You are our most profound sweetness.
You are our eternal life, great and admirable Lord,
omnipotent God, merciful Savior!

ALL SINGING: Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee vs. 4
Mortals, join the mighty chorus
which the morning stars began;
love divine is reigning o’er us,
binding all within its span.
Ever singing, march we onward,
victors in the midst of strife;
joyful music leads us sunward,
in the triumph song of life.

*********
Prayer from I, Francis by Carlo Carretto
Orbis Books (April 1, 1982)

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.
The United Methodist Hymnal #89
Text: Henry Van Dyke
Music: Ludwig van Beethoven
Public Domain

Colours of Happiness by Camdiluv ♥ via Wikimedia Commons

Joyful Praise compilation © 2014 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Poem: No Record of Wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5)

checklist1 Corinthians 13:5 NRSV
Love keeps no record of wrongs.

We keep to-do lists so we don’t forget
We check them twice
We carry them in our pockets
Holding on to the pain
The disappointment
The failure
Re-viewing the wrong
Point by point by point
Plotting revenge on ourselves and others

We carry them
They keep us cross
Wounded and bleeding
Divided and dying

You take our lists
Crossing out
Crossing off
Nailing them to your tree
Burying them in a blaze of love
So we may rise free

You keep no record of wrong
Instead you write our names on your palm
A life list on your lifeline
A love list by your scar

*********
No Record of Wrongs © 2014 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.

Prayer: You Love Me (Deuteronomy 7:7-8)

Ocean Surface Wave, photo by Jon Sullivan via Wikimedia Commons, adapted

Ocean Surface Wave, photo by Jon Sullivan via Wikimedia Commons, adapted

Deuteronomy 7:7-8 NLT
The LORD did not choose you and lavish his love on you because you were larger or greater than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! It was simply because the LORD loves you, and because he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the LORD rescued you with such amazing power from your slavery under Pharaoh in Egypt.

You love me
not because I am mighty
or beautiful
or talented

not because of what I’ve achieved
or acquired

or because of who I am
or who I know
or who knows me

You love me
because that is your way
that is you

You love me

Your love opens me up
raises me up
from every shadow which works to enslave me
every lesser love

How Great is your Love!
How Power-full
Beauty-full
Faith-full
Hope-full
Grace-full

Fill me full
full of your love
so it splashes and spills
and pours and fills
and seeps and saves
our world awash and alive in your love

*********
You Love Me © 2014 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.