Dear Rummage Sale Volunteers

rummage sale stock photoDear rummage sale volunteers,
Thank you for your service and sacrifice for this event. You are making blessings possible.

Thank you for welcoming our community with peace and grace even when you are tired or they are tired, when you are stressed or they are stressed, when you are cranky or they are cranky. Be Jesus. Many have never met him.

Thank you for helping us to live simpler lives, for helping us share, for meeting the needs of many who shop this way all the time. Be Jesus. Many have never met him.

Thank you for being present to what’s going on around you- to noticing the look in someone’s eyes, the shuttered sigh, the weariness, the distraction, the grasping. Take time for conversation. How may I help you today? How may I pray for you today? Take your time. Let it be a different experience. They may think they’ve come for a bargain, but God has other plans. You are a part of that plan. Be Jesus. Many have never met him.

You being human, being grace, being Christ, will be a surprise and a healing balm to all who come here. Your prayers and presence have opened the doors to the very presence of God. Make space in you for others to sense it and be drawn to Jesus through it.

The joy of the Lord is your strength.
The hope of Jesus is your purpose.

Thanks be to God and thank you my dear sisters and brothers. – Lisa <><

The 2016 TED Talk Experiment – Week 1

TED talk blog graphic 2I’m trying an experiment in 2016. Maybe you’d like to try it with me.

Here’s where I am
I’m tired of the spin. I’m tired of ideas, news, and entertainment really being one long sales pitch for profit or power.

I’m longing for creativity, curiosity, and inspiration. I’m in search of passionate people willing to speak to the truth and complexity of living with a heart of hope. I want to hear from authentic humans who are in the trenches working for the greater good.

I think I’ve found them in the TED community.

“TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. On, we’re building a clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers — and a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other, both online and at TED and TEDx events around the world, all year long.”

TED’s been around for 30 years. I’ve heard about them and even watched a couple of talks, but I’ve never spent any concentrated time mining the good stuff. So….

Here’s the plan
Watch 5 enthusiastic, inspiring TED Talk presenters a week for a year.
Apply and share the goodness.

Here’s what I chose for week 1

How I’m Preparing to Get Alzheimer’s
Alanna Shaikh
TEDGlobal, June 2012
My dad has Alzheimer’s. I clicked this link via a Facebook post. The idea for the experiment came from the goodness and vulnerability of this speaker.

How to Stay Calm When You Know You’ll be Stressed
Daniel Levitin
TEDGlobal, September 2015
Ok talk. They won’t all rock my world.

Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.
Cameron Russell
TEDxMidAtlantic, October 2012
Where was this talk when I was a teenager! So much more than a talk on body image. Cameron Russell calls out the legacy of privilege.

How to Make Stress Your Friend
Kelly McGonigal
TEDGlobal, June 2013
Game changing talk for me. How you view stress changes everything and I had a destructive view. Will be watching this one again.

The Transformative Power of Classical Music
Benjamin Zander
TED2008, February 2008
Benjamin Zander’s enthusiasm and joy are infectious. His talk is a parable for so many other aspects of life, including leadership, perspective, and renewal efforts.

Release and Rest, a Prayer for the Stressed

swan sheltering chick under wings

For yourself…
Merciful God,
our Peace and our Hope
Shelter me, your beloved, beneath your healing wings
Raise me to the safety of your breast
so I may hear your heart
Hold me
Hide me
Help me to release and rest
release and rest
release and rest

Offered for another…
Merciful God,
our Peace and our Hope
Shelter your beloved NAME beneath your healing wings
Raise NAME to the safety of your breast
so she may hear your heart
Hold her
Hide her
Help her to release and rest
release and rest
release and rest

Release and Rest © 2015 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: Jesus, Help Me Breathe

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust by Cheesysteele

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust by Cheesysteele

Matthew 6:27 NRSV
Jesus said, “Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?”

Jesus, help me breathe
My flimsy barricades of control are failing
Worries pressing in
I’m suffocating in ashen dreams
Help me breathe

Help me believe
All my failure and foolishness
Brokenness and indulgence
Are made whole in your greater grace
Help me breathe

Help me trust you Jesus
And help me trust all you provide
New Life

What is your will?
What is your desire?
You make the way
You are The Way

John 20:19-22 NRSV
Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus, Help Me Breathe © 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 for God's Wisdom and Strength

If you know the name of this work or its creator, please let me know so I may give proper credit.

If you know the name of this work or its creator, please let me know so I may give proper credit.

1 Corinthians 1:25 CEB
The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Holy One,
Your wisdom is beyond what we can fathom
Your strength beyond what we can muster
You are Sovereign
We are your little children
We struggle and strive and stress
We need so very much
It is beyond us, but not beyond you
You are God. We are not.
We surrender our grasping, trusting in your provision
We surrender our confusion, trusting in your light
We surrender our fear, trusting in your goodness and hope

Prayer for God’s Wisdom and Strength © 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.

Photo Quote: Leaving Behind, Moving Ahead

Glacier_and_hiker cs lewis quote
Philippians 3:10-14 NRSV
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

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: Glacier and Hiker. Click here for more information via Wikimedia Commons.


Friday’s Flowers by Charlotte Packer as featured on her blog Charlotte’s Plot

A week ago, on the school run, I spotted these violas growing on the pavement. It would be hard to think of a more inhospitable place for a plant to put down roots: solid concrete with a light sprinkling of grit, heavy shade from parked cars one minute and baking sun the next, not to mention the ever-present threat of dog pee or a heavy foot. I felt sure they wouldn’t last long. But I was wrong, they are still there today, a sweet surprise for anyone who happens to spot them.
– Charlotte Packer reflecting on her photo Friday’s Flowers

Resilience is the process of facing adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or extreme stress and “bouncing back” successfully without becoming too negatively affected by the experience. The concept has received growing attention because of the usefulness of possessing a reasonable amount of resilience in the face of life’s difficulties. After all, who among us doesn’t face major stressors, in one form or another? The question is, “How can we have the resilience to deal with what happens and not be destroyed emotionally in the process?” – Introduction to a study entitled resilience from

Romans 8:28 NRSV
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose.

If ever there was a great biblical examplar of resilience, it is the apostle Paul. According to his own testimony he experienced imprisonments, countless floggings, being near death, whippings…, beatings…, being stoned, shipwrecks, being adrift at sea, danger from rivers, danger from bandits, danger from his own people … toil and hardship, many a sleepless night, hunger and thirst, being often without food, cold and naked. … “Resilience” is the ability to respond creatively to stressful, pressure-packed, anxiety-producing situations such as Paul’s. A resilient person, rather than being deformed, diminished, or even destroyed by such traumatic, tension-filled circumstances, is able to engage those conditions in healthy, redemptive ways that bring some degree of wholeness. – Robert Mullholland, Weavings, Feb/March/April 2013

One’s doing well if age improves even slightly one’s capacity to hold on to that vital truism: “This too shall pass.” – Alain de Botton

Psalm 46:1–3 NIV
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Psalm 44:6-8 NIV
I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. In God, we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.

Trust is the essential key in resilience, trusting that when the curve heads south, God is still at work in the midst of the shifts and changes. Don’t jump off and crash, but pay attention; trust and learn some practices to hold you until the new emerges.
– Larry Peacock, The Resilience Spiral

The powers of darkness gather about the soul and shut Jesus from our sight, and at times we can only wait in sorrow and amazement until the cloud passes over. These seasons are sometimes terrible. Hope seems to fail, and despair seizes upon us. In these dreadful hours, we must learn to trust, to depend solely upon the merits of the atonement, and in all our helpless unworthiness cast ourselves upon the merits of the crucified and risen Saviour. We shall never perish while we do this—never! When light shines on our pathway, it is no great thing to be strong in the strength of grace. But to wait patiently in hope when clouds envelop us and all is dark requires faith and submission which causes our will to be swallowed up in the will of God. We are too quickly discouraged and earnestly cry for the trial to be removed from us when we should plead for patience to endure and grace to overcome.
– Ellen G. White, God’s Amazing Grace

Philippians 4:6-7 NRSV
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Lord, we pray
not for tranquillity
nor that our tribulations may cease
We pray
for thy Spirit
and thy love
that thou grant us
strength and grace
to overcome adversity
through Jesus Christ.
–Girolamo Savanarola

Be sure to check out the fabulous writing and photography of Charlotte Packer on her blog, Charlotte’s Plot

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