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Good Morning, God…Part II

By Ken Noltie, member of United Church of Christ of La Mesa

     Prayers by Ken Noltie, United Church of Christ of La Mesa (UCCLM)

     Ken’s talks with God – in God’s living room, are a regular and much loved feature in UCCLM’s monthly newsletter, Joys & Concerns.

     God, I lost my wallet this week and I realized how dependent I have become on plastic money and what an inconvenience it is to actually have to go to a building to get money.  It really does cramp my style to have to carry cash around to take care of my needs.  So I started thinking, sometimes Sundays are like that.  I would really rather stay in bed or just park myself on the couch all day and do nothing, anything but go to a different building to take care of my needs.  And then I realized that you and I can have a conversation anywhere in any setting.  When I need you, you are there.  How cool is that!  Going to your house is like my plastic money.  If it’s in my wallet, I’m good to go.  If it’s lost, I’ve got nothing.    Amen.
     God, “Be still and know” popped into my head the other day when I was watching a red-tailed hawk soar over the canyon.  He was riding the wind without moving his wings.  He was “being still” at the same time he was moving forward going about his work.  I couldn’t help but wonder how much better off I would be if I could develop that skill.  To be still and know that everything was being taken care of even while I was taking care of business.  Amen
     God, I was wondering when forgiveness is really forgiveness.  Is it enough to just let the anger go, because you can’t love and hate at the same time?  Is it enough to wish them well, send them on their way and then take their names off the Christmas card list?  Do I have to invite them over to dinner with the rest of the group?  And if I can’t really get to the point of forgiveness, will you give me the gift of patience and tolerance until I get there?  Amen.
     God, why is it we can’t be happy when somebody gets something nice?  Why is it the jealous bone and the judgmental bone always seem to snap just when good things happen to people who truly deserve them?  Instead of cheering them on for their accomplishments we mean-mouth them or, worse yet, ask you to knock them down a couple of notches so that we can feel better about ourselves.  Maybe we need to be quiet and listen to you remind us that we are all worthy of rewards and that you give each of us different things that only we can appreciate.
     God, the Bible is like a lion in a cage.  Set it free and it will take care of itself.  With summer here and so much going on in our lives we need to remember you will take care of us and our stuff when we allow you to, instead of us directing you on how we think it should be done.  Amen.
      God, if it doesn’t give us comfort, why would we want it around us?  There are lots of transitions going on in our church family at the moment.  Please lead each of us to the scenery that gives us comfort.  Good decisions don’t get made in a place of angst, so send us an extra dose of patience while each of us works through the mess that might distract us from listening to you still speak to us.  Amen.

     God, it’s been awhile since I said thank you for all the dirty jobs I’ve done lately.  The grass is mowed, the trash is bagged, the house is cleaned, the dishes are done, and the mess on my desk is now organized.  The dirty jobs remind me that you have blessed me with things that need tending to.  Amen.
     God, many of us have been faced with challenges lately.   For the most part we’ve handled them well.  The ones we couldn’t handle we brought to your living room and put them on the coffee table, hoping someone would be able to run interference for us until we could handle them.  And danged if someone didn’t pick up a piece of the load.   It’s amazing how the tuff stuff is made easier when it spread out among friends.  Amen.
      God, thanks for all the rain that came in October!  The best part of a good rain is the day after.  All the dust has been washed off of everything, the air is clean; the skies are clear and brilliant blue and it’s hard to explain how the world smells.  It reminds me of the day I was baptized and how the world appeared the day after I was raised out of the water; clean and fresh.  Thanks!  Amen.
     God, somebody once said to me, “God must really love you if the devil is trying so hard to make you fall.”  And now at the end of another year, looking back at all the changes that came my way, I’m thinking if that was his best shot, he didn’t really try all that hard because I’m still standing!  And what better proof is there than Advent to make the point that he’s going to have to try a lot harder.  Thanks!
     God, so here we are off and running on a new year and we are starting off with huge challenges and changes.  Are you sure we haven’t been given too much to deal with?  But then again we can’t enjoy a diamond if we aren’t willing to dig it out of the mine.  You may have to stand in front of us for a while to run some interference while we work on getting back on track.  Be with us as we rise to the occasion of turning our one candle into a light house beacon.  Amen.
     God, how come when we are wondering about how we want to be remembered we come up with stuff about how we want you to think of us so that we can pass thru the gates.  Wouldn’t it be a better idea if we lived our lives so that others could see how we think of You and that would help them pass thru the gates?  Amen.
     God, this month and next month we get to have a big group hug in your living room as we sit and talk with each other about the things we do best.  I’m not exactly sure how to qualify that with one example.  We do a lot of things well and we fill a need in many lives outside our walls.  It will be good to find out what we do great for ourselves.  Amen.
     God, Spring always fascinates me.  I’m always amazed that something that has been dormant and frozen for a few months always comes back to life as good as it ever was.  It’s a great visual reminder to us that you’ll be back if we wander off for a while.  Whether its three days or three years, I know we can pick up where we left off and we will be as fresh and green as before. Thanks

      God, what was going on when you made weeds?  Did you intend for them to be a nuisance or just an unloved plant?  Did you make them to teach us a lesson about value and patience?  Or maybe a Jesus type parable about people and how we value some and not others?  Amen.

     God, now that summer is here and we’re all going out to find the best you have to offer keep us safe until we come back home.  And help us remember that the great things we see and experience are not as great as you intended them to be if we don’t share them with others.  Amen.

     God, today I was at the all-you-can-eat buffet, enjoying everything but the water in the steam table.  I made several trips back to keep filling up a plate so that I could fill up my stomach till I was about to pop.  And as I was packing down that last spoonful of ice cream I had a thought.  How come I never put that much effort in to filling up my spirit?   By only filling up my spirit one hour a week seems I’m cheating myself on several trips to the spiritual buffet.  Amen
     God, we’re all back home from our summer adventures and back into our routine of school and work and projects.  Seems kind of strange that all the things we do to make sure others see you in us gets in the way of us seeing you.  Would it be asking too much for a helpful reminder every now and then to remind us why we do what we do.  Amen.

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