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

Midweek Devotion- Matthew 20.1-16

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 20:1-16

SONGS:
‘Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus
Bind Us Together

BREATH PRAYERS:
IN: Jesus
OUT: I trust your ________________

IN: Jesus I receive
OUT: Life and rest, joy and peace

IN:
OUT: O for grace to trust you more

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

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 9/16/2020

‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
Text: Louisa M. R. Stead
Music: William J. Kirkpatrick
Public Domain

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

_______________________________________
Midweek Devotion- Matthew 20:1-16 © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Prayers based on Matthew 20.1-16

sept 16Prayers Based on Matthew 20:1-16
Jesus teaches on God’s generosity

Prayer of the Unemployed
My hope rises with the sun
I want to be hired, to be useful
I need the work

The day is passing
I need to be hired
I need to work
I have responsibilities and debts
I need to work to care for myself and my loved ones

The day is nearly gone
I have skills to offer, yet no one sees them
Why am I not valued?
Why am I not wanted?
The idleness eats my soul

The day is nearly done, as is my hope
Yet, you see me
You want me
You come for me

I give you what I have
The sweat of my brow
The labor of my limbs
The dreams of my heart
The weight of my needs
The hole of my soul

Help me to trust you in this lean time
Help me to trust worthy work is coming soon
With a boss as generous and honorable as you
Help me trust there is work to be done
all are wanted
all are needed
all are chosen

Help me hold on to hope
Stay here soul
Stay here

Prayer: Abundance, Provision, and Plenty
You are the God of ⁠
Abundance, Provision, and Plenty⁠

Yet⁠
So many do not have enough⁠
So many are burdened by far too much⁠
So many squander what they have⁠
So many do evil to get more⁠

The “many” include me⁠
Lord, have mercy

You are the God of ⁠
Abundance, Provision, and Plenty⁠
Increase the common good
Increase opportunity and stability
Increase your grace and goodness
in me and through me

Help me choose ⁠
Collaboration over competition
Gratitude over greed ⁠
Rest over hustle
Generosity over fear ⁠

Help me choose You and Your ways⁠
Your ways, always. 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 <

Prayer for the Unemployed © 2017 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Abundance, Provision, Plenty © 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.

Midweek Devotion- Psalm 127

Scripture: Psalm 127:1-2, NRSV

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 127:1-2, NRSV

Breath Prayers Based on the Hymn, My Hope is Built
IN: My hope is built on nothing less
OUT: than Jesus’ blood and righteousness

IN: On Christ the solid rock we stand
OUT:

IN: My anchor holds within the gale
OUT:

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.

Rev. Lisa Degrenia
Trinity Sarasota
http://www.itrinity.org
941-924-7756
trinity@iTrinity.org

Recorded 7/15/2020

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

PUBLIC DOMAIN SONG:
My Hope is Built
Text by Edward Mote
Music by William B. Bradbury
_______________________________________
Midweek Devotion- Psalm 127 © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Prayer of the Unemployed, based on Matthew 20

Summer in the Scriptures (4)Prayer Based on Matthew 20:1-16
The Parable of the Generous Employer

The pandemics of COVID and racism share common space with the pandemic of systemic poverty.

As I read the parable, I imagined myself the laborer who waited all day. Far too many are waiting because they are unemployed or underemployed, waiting for access to training for better jobs, waiting for transportation or tools needed for their trade, waiting for childcare, waiting for a living wage. Who are you praying for?

I also imagined business owners who want to be as generous as the employer in the parable, but they can’t. They wonder if their business will survive. Who are you praying for?

I then imagined business owners and leaders who have the power to be generous but won’t. Who are you praying for? 

Quote from PoorPeoplesCampaign.Org
“Now is the time to organize towards collective action to enact a moral agenda that lifts all people by challenging the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, militarism, ecological devastation, and the distorted moral narrative that ties it all together. ‪The fact that there are 140 million poor and low-income people in the richest country in the history of the world is morally indefensible, constitutionally inconsistent, and economically disastrous.”

My hope rises with the sun
I want to be hired, to be useful
I need the work

The day is passing
I need to be hired
I need to work
I have responsibilities and debts
I need to work to care for myself and my loved ones

The day is nearly gone
I have skills to offer, yet no one sees them
Why am I not valued?
Why am I not wanted?
The idleness eats my soul

The day is nearly done, as is my hope
Yet, you see me
You want me
You come for me

I give you what I have
The sweat of my brow
The labor of my limbs
The dreams of my heart
The weight of my needs
The hole of my soul

Help me to trust you in this lean time
Help me to trust worthy work is coming soon
With a boss as generous and honorable as you
Help me trust there is work to be done
all are wanted
all are needed
all are chosen

Help me hold on to hope
Stay here soul
Stay here

_________________________

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 <><

Prayer of the Unemployed (Matthew 20) © 2017, 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.