Tag Archives: inspiration

A Prayer for Our Country

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A Prayer for Our Country

Last week I was sitting in church when we began singing these lyrics . . .

“We call out to dry bones, come alive, come alive!
We call out to dead hearts, come alive!”

At the time I had no idea what our sermon would be about.  However, here is what came to my mind.  At this time in our country’s history, what would happen if we as a church began to cry out to our political leaders and institutions the invitation to come alive and if we called out to God to revive the dead hearts found in the halls of our country’s government institutions?  How would our country change?  This isn’t about a political party or affiliation.  I hope that we are not naive enough to believe that any human party has a corner on the market of Christ-likeness.  This is about realizing the need for us as a church to be about the business of the Kingdom.

One of my religion professors in college once said this, “The Kingdom of Heaven is not a pipe dream.”  In other words, when Jesus entered this world he ushered in the Kingdom of Heaven and while it may not reach completion until we arrive in heaven, that in no way negates the fact that he calls his followers to be about the business of bringing that kingdom here and now.  We are positioned at exactly the time and place that needs the Church.  Needs us to reject the idea that one ideology or political party has all the answers.  Needs us to reject the notion that we have to question each other’s faith if we question their vote.  Needs us to reject the easy path of only listening to those who agree with us.  We need to engage, to listen, to love, and to fight for the Kingdom of Heaven.  It is not a pipe dream and we have a responsibility to work towards its realization on earth.

So, as I sat in my seat and listened to the song I began to pen this prayer.  And as the sermon began I was surprised to find the message was connected to this same topic.  Maybe God was trying to tell me something.  Maybe he’s trying to tell us all.  Will you join with me in praying this over our country?  And will you join me in the fighting to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth?

Be with our leaders—in each branch of our government
Be with our leaders—in community organizations, churches, and non-profits
Be with our leaders—in town councils, schools, and emergency services
And be with us—the citizens who stand in this divided time

Where there are dry bones and dead hearts, we call out “come alive!”
Where there are hardened hearts, we pray that you would open them with your grace
Where we have closed ourselves off, we pray that you would break our hearts for what breaks your
          heart
Where there is fear that has left us paralyzed or hiding behind closed doors, remind us of your
frequent call to “fear not” and strengthen us in your power
Where there is mistrust and resentment, enable us to risk understanding where others are coming
from

Where there is hurt and past scars, give us the grace to forgive and move forward
Where there is selfishness and greed, reorient us to your kingdom values
Where there is hatred and anger, overpower us with your love and allow us to see our enemies as
your children whom you love with an overwhelming fierceness
Where there is division, fill us with unity, help us to be peacemakers

Help our leaders
Help our churches
Help us
          to be the standard bearers of your image
          to honor you with our words and actions
          to stand for all your children
          to remember who our neighbors are
          to work to bring your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven
Help us, Oh Lord

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Kiss of Inspiration

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After a storm,
the wide plain where I used to live
is an ocean of snow.

And I imagine
that you are
somewhere out there
among the peaks and valleys of the waves
treading water
calling to me
reminding me how you used to
inspire
me with your art.

And I long to
come to you,
lean close and lend you my
kiss
of inspiration

But I awake
to find I’m standing in a
field of snow
raw from the cold
and you
are not there to take
my kiss.

A Song From My Kids

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As a children’s pastor I am blessed with many “Proud Momma” moments.  Every one of the kids I pastor is “mine”–even if not biologically.  (Which is a good thing–can you imagine having 600 kids?)  Each time one of my kiddos chooses to follow Christ I am so proud.  But I’m also overflowing with pride every time they discover something new, take a risk, choose wisely, model love and grace to their friends, and so much more.  Recently I had one of those “Proud Momma” moments.

At Kid Connect, the children’s ministry at Salem Fields Community Church, our weekend venues begin with a time that we call “inspire.”  Kids choose from various inspiration stations where they connect to our lesson through activities designed for multiple learning styles, personalities, and passions.  The goal is to get kids to engage with the Bible in a way that is designed for who God has created them to be.  I love watching kids discover who they are in Christ, and using their God-given gifts.

Right now we are in a unit called Hope Bearers, where kids are learning how to bring hope into their world.  On our first week we discovered that our hope comes from Jesus and his awesome, never-ending love for us.  One of our stations was music, where kids wrote songs or raps to describe where we find our hope.  During one of our venues, the kids in the music station wrote the following song.  I’m so proud of them; I had to share it with you.

The Cross

Before he came it was a simple piece of wood
After he came we can live like we should
He was real, the mighty one
The one and only, God’s true Son

God loves the weak
God loves the lost
We kneel before him
At his cross

He died for me and he died for you
Through his death all creation is made new
In our death with Christ we shall surely live
At the foot of the cross, my life I give

God loves the weak
God loves the lost
We kneel before him
At his cross

Beautiful Silver Scaled Fish

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Beautiful, silver scaled fish
For a brief moment I held you, trembling,
On the end of my hook

Your dark, inky eyes pierced into me
And I could tell
You contemplated your future in my hands
I could see
(in a blink of an eye)
A part of you was willing to give yourself to me

Your shaking body quieted
I breathed inspiration into your gills
You stared at me
On the precipice of surrender

Then with a graceful flick of your fin
You leapt off the hook
Suspended in mid-air as you hesitated
Between leaping into my cupped hands
And the foaming aqua pool
And then you flung yourself away from me

The ocean whispered in my ear that night
It sang to me of your regret
And I smiled, knowing your beautiful inconstancy