A Parent’s Prayer


Heavenly Father, Mother
You understand the heartbreaks of parenting
Silent Children
Hurting Children
Children far from home

We wonder and we worry
It’s torture not knowing
But you know
You are near to them and to us

Protect and Provide
Encourage and Empower
Bring wisdom and light
That we may love as you love
That we and they will make good choices
That we will see and hear you and each other
That we will be one as you are One
Parent, Child, the Love Between

A Parent’s Prayer © 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in devotional settings with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Sermon Recording: Come and See What God Has Done, an Epiphany Sermon on Trust (Matthew 2)

matthew 2 epiphany star magi homageMessage: Come and See What God Has Done, an Epiphany Sermon on Trust
Scripture: Matthew 2
Offered 1/3/16, the Sunday before Epiphany, at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

This message was preceded by the wonderful song Noel by Chris Tomlin.

I will not let worry overrule today or this Christmas. When the King rules my world, I cease to rule or to worry. All worry dethrones God. All worrying makes me King and God incompetent. I am going to trust that in the little places, through unexpected people, His perfect story is unfolding and unwrapping all around me and in me, the light overtaking the dark.
Ann Voskamp, from her Advent resource Sticky Notes for the Soul, Day 17

By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace. —Luke 1:78-79

Pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place,
until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. —2 Peter 1:19

The closing prayer was adapted from a prayer entitled Lead Me by Steve Garnaas Holmes.

I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

© 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

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.

Photo Quote: Calm the Storm

storm clouds with quote

Click here for a collection of quotes entitled Jesus, Calm the Storm
Click here for a worship resource entitled Stand by Me

Recently, I discovered 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 <><

PS- The picture of the storm clouds came from here on wikimedia commons.

Worrying, Believing and Trusting

trust1Matthew 6:25 (NRSV) 
Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”

Extended quote from Freedom from Worry by Patricia Wilson
An old Swedish proverb says “Worry gives small things a big shadow.” It’s these “big shadows” that hang over your head like a great gray cloud of doom, gloom, and negativity. You may not realize it, but people around you can see that big shadow over your head because of how they feel when they are with you. As you worry and fret, your negativity takes the joy out of any moment and casts a stifling pall of unhappiness over any situation. …Sadly, the biggest shadows are usually created by the smallest worries built up in your mind. From a lost item to a blister on your big toe, those little worries compound in your mind until you feel overwhelmed and powerless. Corrie ten Boom writes, “Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made a burden.” Paul said much the same thing: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). Note that Paul couples thanksgiving with prayer. As your little worries begin to build up into big shadows, consider the ways in which God has blessed you. With the thought of those blessings in your mind, present your worries to God in prayer. Most importantly, remind yourself that no worry is too small for prayer.

When we ask why in our prayers, we have somehow recognized that we are permitted to bring every question, every issue, every confusion, and every struggle to God. We may not understand what’s going on, but God knows that we cannot pray authentically unless we can honestly express every thought and emotion.
– Steve Harper, Talking in the Dark: Praying When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

Sometimes it’s good to let them see you sweat even when it feels awkward. Fear seems to grow in the darkness of isolation. But when you expose it in the light of community, it tends to lose power. Sharing my fear is often the path that leads to courage. – Emily Freeman, Why You Need to Tell Someone How Scared You Are

No matter what you call it, worry is still sin. In Philippians 4:6, Paul tells us not to be anxious about anything. Romans 14:23 says, “Everything that does not come from faith is sin.” That’s pretty clear to me. Worry is the opposite of faith; therefore, it’s sin…. Worry, in essence, is the sin of distrusting the promises and the power of God. It’s choosing to dwell on, to think about, the worst-case scenario. It’s faith in the bad things rather than faith in God. – Craig Groeschel, The Christian Atheist: When You Believe in God But Live as if He Doesn’t Exist

Faith, as we see in the Hebrew Scriptures and Jesus’ usage of the same, is much closer to our words “trust” or “confidence” than it is about believing doctrines to be true (which demands almost no ego surrender or real change of the small self). We have wasted too many centuries now defending such an intellectual notion of Biblical faith. Real faith people are, quite simply, usable for larger purposes because they live in and listen to a much Larger Self.- Richard Rohr

The older I get, making sure all my “beliefs” of God are lined up as they should be loses more and more of its luster. I see the Bible focusing a lot more on something far more demanding: trust. Try it. Which is harder to say? I believe in God or I trust God? I see a huge difference between “I believe in a God who cares for me” and “I trust God at this particular moment.” The first is a bit safer, an article of faith. The latter is unnerving, risky–because I have let go. You’ve all heard of the “trust fall.” There’s a reason they don’t call it a “belief fall.” Belief can reside in our heads. Trust is doing it, risking it. Trust is humility, putting ourselves in the hand of another. Trust requires something of us that belief doesn’t. – Peter Enns, Why I Don’t Believe in God Anymore

Luke 12:25 CEB
Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life?

Prayer: Free Me From Worry
Eternal One
Overcoming One
Author of Life and New Life
Free me from worry
Break the chains of discouragement
Loose the doors of perspective
That I may follow your Son on the path of purpose and hope

For a worship resource entitled Trusting God’s Provision, based on Matthew 6:25 and following, click here

For a devotion entitled Psalms for Fearful Times, click here

Prayer: Free Me from Worry © 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 use of the scripture, art and this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.