Renewal Leave Announcement, plus some great quotes

Lisa headshot selfie 2020 10 21Today I start six weeks of renewal leave. There’s no emergency. It’s a common practice for pastors after many years of service. It’s a welcome gift, a gift far too many do not have.

I’ll be back Ash Wednesday. The blog will be quiet while I’m away.

My last post for a while is my 2020 quote collection. I write down one or two a month to carry with me for the month. They catch my attention because they speak a truth I need to hear in that season. Many of them come to me via Instagram (IG). Consider following these fine folks if you use that platform.   

Happy Epiphany dear ones.
May this be a season of awakinging and deep worship for you. – Lisa <>< 

Things that bring growth by Dr. Nicole LePera (@the.holistic.phychologist on IG)
1. uncomfortable, difficult conversations
2. doing something you’re terrible at, until you become good at it
3. getting past the stories your ego creates
4. viewing the behavior you’re ashamed of as the scared child inside of you asking for healing
5. Placing your won happiness at the top of your priority list, unapologetically

There are ideas, truth, concepts, books, and creations waiting to be birthed into the world.
Stay open to receiving them.
– Rebecca Campbell

From St. Benedict’s Prayer Book
Grant, O Lord, that none may love You less this day because of me;
that never a word or act of mine may turn one soul from You;
and, ever daring, yet one more grace would I implore,
that many souls this day, because of me, may love You more. Amen.

May I spend less time worrying about the things I “have to deal with”
and more time dealing with those things.
Fear is almost always worse than the work itself
or the pain that comes with it.
– Justin McRoberts (@justinmcroberts on IG)

It’s always enough to do the part your know how to do.
To be faithful to what you know you were given.
The voices in your life that tell you “that’s not enough” are lying to you.
Ignore them. Do your work.

– Justin McRoberts

2 Corinthians 3:12, 17-18
Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness… Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.

Loving yourself is a practice. Just like yoga.
Nobody ever got good at yoga by believing in it.
You have to do it. Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.
– Emily McDowell

Prayer For Before Journaling by Terry Stokes (@prayersfromterry on IG)
O Christ the Word, sent and made known to us, help us to put our thoughts down on the page. Make this a release valve for the buildup of our deepest feelings, and channel this into a flow which carries us toward connections, breakthroughs, and self-awareness. Help us to concretize thoughts that can otherwise remain too abstract or unmoored to be helpful. Deliver unto us the value of being able to go back and see what we were thinking in the past, an ultimately direct our mindfulness toward the One who is always mindful of us- our Father, who reigns with Thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

We are not hamsters on a wheel, waiting to fall into the cedar shavings at the bottom of the cage. We are seekers of light and life, bearers of shadows and burdens. We are struggling to journey together toward moral fulfillment. We are learning to embrace the unfathomable darkness where God dwells with enthusiasm that equals our love of light. Physics and cosmology have metaphors and languages to help us awaken to these and other possibilities. . . . We are not just citizens of one nation or another, but of the human and cosmic community.
– Richard Rohr (cacradicalgrace on IG)

Awareness is the moment when we rise with eyes crusted from self-induced dreams of control, domination, victimization, and self-hatred to catch a glimpse of the divine in the face of “the other.” Then God’s self-identification, “I am that I am / I will be who I will be” (Exodus 3:14) becomes a liberating example of awareness, mutuality, and self-revelation.
– Dr. Barbara A. Holmes

Quote from Freedom: Medicine Words for your Brave Revolution by Jayla John
Your boundaries need not be an angry electric fence that shocks those who touch it. It can be a consistent light around you that announces: I will be treated sacredly.

The inner work helps you decide whether your gut instinct is based on truth or trauma.
– Ryan Blair

Quote from Emily McDowell (@emilyonlife on IG)
When spending your life working towards “living the dream”, make sure it’s really your dream, and not just a definition of success you’ve been programmed to desire. Remember the importance of distinguishing between what you want, and what others want for you and from you. And remember that choosing to change course or let go of a once-held dream doesn’t mean you’re giving up or failing. It means you’re paying attention. It means you’re evolving.

During the week, your whole self will strain toward the Sabbath with thoughts like I know I can make it because the Sabbath is coming. You will emerge from Sabbath with renewed energy and hope, thinking I can face my life now because I have rested.
– Ruth Haley Barton

Sabbath is not dependent upon our readiness to stop. We do not stop when we are finished. We do not stop when we complete our phone calls, finish our projects, get through this stack of messages, or get out this report that is due tomorrow. We stop because it is time to stop.
– Wayne Muller

Prayers based on Mark 13.24-37

week 12Prayers Based on Mark 13:24-37
The Necessity of Watchfulness

Prayer: Morning by Morning
Morning by morning you waken me
You open my eyes to your presence and desire for this day
You know my weakness, my weariness
You open me to your sustaining

Morning by morning you waken me
Now open my mouth to share what first found me
In every season and circumstance
With every soul along the way

Morning by morning you waken me
My eyes, my ears
My mouth, my heart

Morning by morning you waken me
To You and to all
Find me faithful on your return

Prayer: Break Through
Break through Jesus
Break through the clouds with great power and glory
Break through the earth like tender fig leaves in summer

Break through our overcast eyes
our gravelly heart

Awaken us from apathy and busyness and self-deception
We’re asleep at the wheel of life
On automatic pilot faith

Nothing can keep you in the grave
Nothing can keep you from coming again
Awaken us
Raise us up
Make us alive with expectation and action
For our good and your glory. Amen

______________

For the next few months, I’ll be posting prayers to accompany Bishop Ken Carter’s Bible Study on Facebook. Each week, Bishop Carter will bring in a guest to speak about the passage. We’ll be walking through the last chapters of the Gospel of Matthew. 

You’re most welcome to read along and to join this Facebook discussion group. You don’t need to be a Methodist or attend a Methodist church. All are welcome and all means all.

May the grace of God’s word, the challenge, and the call, inspire us to great faith and great good works in Jesus’ name. – Lisa <

Morning by Morning © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Break Through © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Prayers based on Matthew 25.1-13

week 9Prayers Based on Matthew 25:1-13
The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids

Prayer: Good Bridegroom
Jesus, Good Bridegroom
Prepare us
for the long night of enduring
Fill our lamps for active waiting
and trusting
Light the fire when the time is right
to respond to your call

Reveal our true readiness, Good Bridegroom
Your truth is grace
Your delay is grace
So all may prepare
So none may be lost

Hymn Text: Ten Maidens
Meter 88.88 LM with Refrain
Suggested Tune- HE LEADETH ME (United Methodist Hymnal #128)

Ten maidens step into the night,
the bridegroom still beyond their sight.
They watch and wait till caught by sleep,
for he’s delayed their time to meet.

Refrain: Good Bridegroom we await your day.
Help us to watch. Help us to pray.
We know not when the hour will be
to join you in your majesty

At midnight comes the rousing shout!
The Bridegroom comes without a doubt.
Five foolish ones have not prepared.
They seek more oil as he appears. (Refrain)

The Groom, Christ comes, His hour draws near,
the unprepared will gaze in fear,
to see the banquet door closed fast,
the time to enter long since past. (Refrain)

Refine my soul, renew my mind
Reveal each fault that you may find
Expose my heart, make my life true
So at that time, I’m known to you (Refrain)

______________

For the next few months, I’ll be posting prayers to accompany Bishop Ken Carter’s Bible Study on Facebook. Each week, Bishop Carter will bring in a guest to speak about the passage. We’ll be walking through the last chapters of the Gospel of Matthew. 

You’re most welcome to read along and to join this Facebook discussion group. You don’t need to be a Methodist or attend a Methodist church. All are welcome and all means all.

May the grace of God’s word, the challenge, and the call, inspire us to great faith and great good works in Jesus’ name. – Lisa <

Good Bridegroom © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Ten Maidens © 2011 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Two Prayers Based on Luke 22-23

summer in the scriptures luke (4)

Prayer based on Luke 22:39-46
Jesus prays in Gethsemane

This night is so heavy
So dangerous
So far beyond control

And we’re so heartbroken
So disappointed
So tired

Our sorrow draws us to sleep
We try to pray
One eye open
But we don’t last long

We’ve been hopeful, only to fall again
Nothing works
Nothing changes
We’ve tried and failed and tried and failed and tried…

So we sleep our sorrow-full sleep

You sorrow, too
But in your sorrow you keep watch
You question and comply with God’s call
You wrestle in prayer
And go back in for another round and another

Pray for us
Awaken us
Help us choose the same

Tell me, Dear Tree
A Lenten prayer/poem of sacrifice
Based on Luke 23, The Crucifixion of Christ

If you want to sing this, the meter is 86.86 double (CMD)
Suggested tune: KINGSFOLD (United Methodist Hymnal #179)

Tell me dear tree on which my Lord,
My blessed Lord did hang,
How could you hold the spotless Lamb,
Be party with the gang?
That cheerless day, that shadowy hour,
My blessed Savior died,
To free my soul for heavenly things,
O tree, you must have cried.

Yes all your fibers must have screamed
For you one time did live
A green and growing tree, alive,
But your whole self did give
To be the instrument of death,
To be the very tree
To be the place for Christ to die
Upon dark Calvary

Wait! Do I hear a shout of joy
From somewhere deep within?
Your duty done; the battle won
So all the world might win.
How beautiful your love for Him.
He sewed it long ago
You bore the weight. You took the stain,
And now the world must know

The tree of death felt every wound,
Felt all the pain and loss.
She loved her maker through it all,
Was glad to be His cross.
Teach me dear tree on which my Lord,
My precious Lord did die
To treasure grueling duties done
So Christ is lifted high

_______________

For the next few months, I’m reading a chapter from the Gospels each day. This is part of the Summer in the Scriptures reading plan sponsored by the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. Click Here for the reading plan.

You’re most welcome to read along and to join the Facebook discussion group, Summer in the Scriptures. You don’t need to be a Methodist or attend a Methodist church. All are welcome and all means all.

As part of the Facebook group, I’ve been supplying prayers based on the day’s reading. Feel free to post your prayers and observations based on the readings here or there as well.

May the grace of the Gospels, the challenge, and the call, inspire us to great faith and great good works in Jesus’ name. – Lisa <

Gethsemane Prayer © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Tell Me, Dear Tree © 2009 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Midweek Devotion- Psalm 57

You’re encouraged to use the following process as you read scripture.
We use this process together on Wednesdays at 8:00AM EST. https://www.facebook.com/TrinityUMCSarasota 

Scripture: Psalm 57, NRSV

Breath Prayers based on For the Beauty of the Earth
IN: Lord of all, to thee we raise
OUT: This our hymn of grateful praise.

IN: For that great, great love of thine,
OUT: Peace on earth, and joy in heaven:

STILLNESS: Spend 5-20 minutes in silence looking to God and listening for God.

ATTENTION: Read or listen to the Scripture. What word, phrase or verse captures your attention? Underline it or copy it onto a piece of paper.

CONNECTION: What connections do you see to other scriptures? To your own experience or current situation? Or, to the character or promises of God?

ACTION: What is God inviting you to trust, say, or do? How will your life be different because of this scripture?

PRAY: Talk to God about what you just experienced or anything else on your heart.

Recorded 7/22/2020

Bind Us Together
CCLI Song # 1228
Bob Gillman © 1977
Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
CCLI License # 686715

PUBLIC DOMAIN SONG:
For the Beauty of the Earth
Text: Folliot S. Pierpoint
Music: Conrad Kocher
_______________________________________
Midweek Devotion- Psalm 57 © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia