Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Prayer for Nigeria

We're trying out this new thing in church that in addition to one of the standard forms of prayer found in the BCP (Book of Common Prayer), we write an additional prayer that reflects specific concerns. Last week, we prayed for the people of France.

This week, it was my turn to write one:

We especially pray for the nation of Nigeria, for the souls of over 2,000 dead in their northern villages and we mourn those who have no one left alive to mourn them. We pray for the 200 kidnapped girls, still not returned home, that they may feel Your comforting presence and may yet find freedom. We ask You, Loving God, to guide us in a way of ending hatred, that is more than hashtag BringBackOurGirls, hashtag IAmNigeria, and bring peace to this broken world. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
You'll note I spelt out the hashtag # as I had no idea who would be reading it.

I don't have any answers for that prayer. Sarah Bessey posted something beautiful this past week: A Lament for Nigeria, ultimately about mourning and paying attention.

Maybe it's also about writing letters to your government representatives and seeing what can be done for the Nigerian people. Is there a way to protect the innocent from violence in a non-violent way?

Like I said, I don't have answers. How about you?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Counting Gifts Again...

I stopped counting gifts (God's blessings) in June 2013. I was pretty overwhelmed with a brand new job and I didn't feel like I needed to any more.

Wednesday I decided to start again. It was time to remember in joy instead of worry about the future. It's a great way to be present to the here and now. Of course, it takes a bit of practice to get back into the habit.

(Want to learn more about counting God's gifts, in fact, a thousand gifts a year? Visit Ann Voskamp's website.)


1. deciding to keep track of gifts again

2. red sky at dusk (and that's my bus pulling up in the bottom right corner)



3. red kabbalistic bracelet (with Sh'ma medallian) a gift from Israel



4. the light is all different kinds of fantastic this morning



5. double rainbow



6. golden clouds at sunset



7. fluorescent orange highlighted clouds


8. great Worship ministry meeting


9. a mistake on an art journal page is just an extra layer


It's a beginning ... It's not quite up to the keeping of three gifts a day, but the important thing is that I'm counting again. Do you count gifts/blessings?