Monday 29 May 2017


(Journaled April 2, 2017)

Lord, when I read about "Saint Mary of Egypt," I realised how very far away I still am from You ... and how great are my doubts and my unfaithfulness.

I do want to draw nigh to You.

Maybe there IS a reason I have longed for so many years for times of retreat. Alone. (With You. Even if I didn't know that was what I was longing for.)

Monasteries ... or a cabin on a wild, lonely beach ... or that tree house B&B my daughter found ... or in our little tent in a wilderness spot by a creek... just to be alone. With You. I now see.

I'm tired, Lord.

I feel like I've been pushing so hard to ... do something worthwhile. To leave a positive mark on the world. (Maybe to point someone to You. Have I ever, ever pointed someone to You? Enough for them to make a decision? I feel like I will one day bow at Your feet, my head hung down, because I have nothing, no one, to present to You before Your throne. I'm so sorry. I feel like such a failure.)

It seems like You have given me quite a lot of talents and definitely a lot of blessing ... but I have wasted them :-(

Is there anything for me to do now? Before it's too late?

I'm so tired. And discouraged. (Even though You've granted me a lot of "successes" lately...Thank You!...)

Thursday 25 May 2017


(Journaled April 2, 2017)

Lord and Father God, dear Jesus, Holy Spirit...

You know my messed-up heart.

Please forgive me for all my wanderings and rebellions and fears and my love of the world's recognition.

Forgive me, please, for not worshipping You.

"Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation and restore a right spirit within me."

"Lord God, be merciful to me, a sinner."

Please forgive me and restore me ... Thank you.

Monday 22 May 2017

liturgical church

(Journalled March 26, 2017)

I've been reading and talking to people about Eastern Orthodoxy lately.

I'm feeling a bit nervous about it, as it brings up so many memories of teachings I heard in my childhood about the "dangers" of churches that use "icons" and look back to "tradition" and "the church Fathers" and depend too much on intellectual (deep study) and so on and so forth (and rites and rituals and mysticism and the spiritual disciplines)--all those arguments I heard over and over against Roman Catholicism when I was young (I don't ever remember hearing anything about Eastern Orthodoxy one way or another, though).

But at the same time, I long for some ritual...and deep thinking...and the long history of the church...and community (that goes deeper that breakfast together and some discussion once a week on Sunday mornings). I love liturgy and written/group prayers that have long, deep roots and branches that pull together all believers through time and place.

There was a time when I thought "house church" was the answer...and I still think aspects of it are valuable...but oh, I miss group prayer and songs/praise and liturgy, and yes, even some "authority" as in spiritual leaders/ fathers/ parents who are examples and mentors.

But I'm wondering ... What about the "confession" part (Well, maybe we Protestants need more focus on that, anyway, eh)? And veneration of Mary.

(And in the Roman Catholic Church the whole purgatory thing? ... And great wrongs of the past like the Crusades and Inquisitions and wealth of religious Christian institutions ... and cover-ups of things like clergy paedophilia... and cozy relationships between state and church...and oppression of huge groups of people...and forcing of cultural customs in the name of the church with little or no recognition of "free will" or the value of other cultures and traditions...)

But maybe a lot of that stuff isn't Christianity anyway. Maybe it's institutionalised religion in cahoots with the state's power and financial and political machinery? How do we separate the two, though? How do we truly live in this world yet not be of this world and its kingdoms and power and religious structures...under the overarching power of the "prince of this world" ... or is he even the prince of this world anymore if he was conquered at the cross by the blood of Jesus? ....but it sure looks like he is plenty active (and without a doubt, alive)...but the again, how much of it is just US, weak, flawed humanity?

Oh, dear God, please show me Your way. And help me trust You...even with all my doubts and confusion (and yes, sometimes anger...and disbelief...)

Thursday 18 May 2017

speaking evil of those we disagree with

(originally journaled March 26, 2017)

Every time I listen to or read the news ... or watch those forensic crime documentaries on TV with hubby ... I just sit there and wonder how, how, how on earth people can be so depraved and evil? How do people move from "little white lies" and "arguments" and stuff to really cold-blooded murder and extreme violence ... and religious extremism, too?

It bothers me just as much when I hear "good Christians" name-calling those who believe differently and/or want them tossed out of the country or whatever.  It bothers me just as much--maybe more--than hearing about criminals committing murder and all. Because--"good Christians" should know what the Bible (and Jesus!) teaches and should be led by the Holy Spirit ... yet it seems so much of the time that we're led (cheerfully, without any real thought about it) by our own beliefs, desires, whatever--and unfortunately, I might well add, by the enemy...because surely Jesus wouldn't approve of or set an example of those kinds of attitudes and speech and action.

Am I right about that? (Not to mention I know very well that I'm guilty of it, myself...)

Monday 15 May 2017


(originally journaled February 5, 2017

I was listening, in the middle of the night, to radio programming from Australian Broadcasting. They interviewed a family of dairy farmers who is sticking it out and loving it, while dairy farmers all around them have been losing money and giving up. But this family is determined to stick it out because they love farming and they love the land ... and they said they have hope because of their Christian faith--and they expressed that so clearly, confidently, happily.

But then there were other news reports about so many dark events in news worldwide ... and I found myself wondering (again) how the world can be such a dark, evil place .. but then thinking about daily life and all its little bright spots. True, there are a lot of people living in really bad situations like refugees in camps and people stuck in war zones, and persecutions from groups like ISIL. But even then, we hear of people in those situations who find small, happy moments in the midst of all of it.

I guess when we live in a relatively safe place like Canada, we fail to notice the small, good -- God! -- moments because there are so many of them that we tend to take them for granted. Good reason to read the Psalms again -- and the way they show faith and hope in dark circumstances. The battle goes on. I was wondering about why it goes on when Jesus has won the "war" -- but of course the enemy is bitter and has his own "hope" I suppose.

But in the end, as the dairy farmer lady said, we have hope because "all things work together for good..." in the end--and as she also said, "There is such liberation and hope in that!"

Thursday 11 May 2017

Deeper with God

(originally journaled February 1, 2017)

As I've been praying about "launching out into the deep" over the past nearly a year (!), I've felt discouraged because I've kept expecting that at some point I'll have some kind of great emotional experience--and I haven't. I've felt gradually more confident that God loves me and has forgiven my wanderings, and because of that, I have a greater (but not overwhelming, because I still have moments of doubt and worry, and questioning) sense of peace.

But this morning I realised God is taking me deeper with Him ... but "deeper" isn't a fuzzy-wuzzy or yippy-yahoo kind of emotional experience. Just like in a human romantic relationship, the initial "thrill" mostly wears off, but as you keep at it "for better, for worse..." you come to know and love and be comfortable and attached more and more. So it is in relationship with Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit--God. There are joyful moments of "delight," even of "thrill," but the deep knowing, acceptance, assurance, love, caring, comfort is really worth so much more.

Thank You! Amen!

Wednesday 10 May 2017

prayers 11

(Over the past few days, I've been sharing some of my "daily prayers." Some parts are in my own words, some are quoted from other sources. I'll be leaving out personal names and details. Today, the final instalment, is #11)

"Be mindful, Lord, of thy people bowed before thee, and of those who are absent through age, sickness, or infirmity. Care for the infants, guide the young, support the aged, encourage the faint-hearted, collect the scattered, and bring the wandering to thy fold. Travel with the voyagers, defend the widows, shield the orphans, deliver the captives, heal the sick. Succour all who are in tribulation, necessity, or distress. Remember for good all those that love us, and those that hate us, and those that have desired us, unworthy as we are, to pray for them. And those whom we have forgotten, do thou oh Lord remember. For thou art the Helper of the helpless, the Saviour of the lost, the refuge of the wanderer, the Healer of the sick. Thou, who knowest each man’s need, and hast heard his prayer, grant unto each according to thy merciful loving-kindness and thy eternal love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."*

“Oh God, whose nature and property is ever to have mercy and to forgive; receive our humble petitions, and, though we be tied and bound with the chain of our sin, yet let the pitifulness of thy great mercy loose us, for the honour of Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Advocate. Amen.”*
“Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. The Lord bless us and keep us, the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon us, and give us peace, now and forevermore. Lord have mercy upon us, Christ have mercy upon us, Lord have mercy upon us. O Lord, save thy servants that put their trust in thee. Amen.”*

Glory, glory, hallelujah, now I lay my burdens down. Please take them now, in Jesus’ name, Amen. Thank You for Your light and easy burdens, instead.  Thank you, Lord, for your Joy, Love, and Peace. Thank You most of all for YOU! Praise You, Lord! And thank You that You long for relationship and love with us, Your humble and weak (and undeserving—but still so loved by You) creation and servants. Please help us, help me, to respond to You with love and joy and trust and faith in You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen. I love You, Lord. Thank You. Praise Your Holy Name. Amen. Joy!

* Quoted prayers are from the Book of Common Prayer Canada (Anglican--1950s edition)

Tuesday 9 May 2017

prayers 10

(Over the past few days, I've been sharing some of my "daily prayers." Some parts are in my own words, some are quoted from other sources. I'll be leaving out personal names and details. Today is #10)

I pray for families of my tutoring students—for the students, parents, and siblings, for health issues and relationships, for jobs and education, for losses of family members, for disabilities and learning differences. I pray you will use me to point them to you, and that your Spirit will draw them. Thank You for new students you are providing.

I pray for people with depression and other mental health issues. Please wrap Your arms around us all and drive out the darkness with Your Light! I pray for all people and families affected by dementia. Oh dear God, please help them. Please, Lord, be especially close to all those who suffer in these ways, directly or indirectly. In Jesus’ name.

Thank you, Lord, that you are close to all those who are suffering; help them to learn to turn to and trust in and lean on you. Please use their circumstances to draw them to you. Make rainbows out of their storms. Thank you, Lord. Bless them, love them, care for them—I know you do! Your will and purposes be done.  Help me to accept your will in these things, and to trust your love and mercy. Thank you for suffering that draws us to you and matures us and makes us able to understand and have compassion and help others and lead them to You and Your love. Help us to understand the work you do in us through our suffering—and how our relationship with you grows stronger and how we see your love for us and others through it all. Amen and Amen.

Monday 8 May 2017

prayers 9

(Over the past few days, I've been sharing some of my "daily prayers." Some parts are in my own words, some are quoted from other sources. I'll be leaving out personal names and details. Today is #9)

Lord, I pray for people in grief, those who are grieving lost loved ones. Please be with all the families and loved ones. 
I pray for all the families of young people (and older) gone to suicide. Oh dear God, break through people’s darkness with Your light, so they turn to you, the Light of the world, rather than to the death and darkness of the enemy. Forgive us for “assisted suicide laws” and abortion and "recreational drugs" as ways to avoid pain, and help us to love and assist each other instead, and help us pray for healing, and introduce people to You. 

I pray for those who have turned to alcohol and drugs and destroyed their own lives, and so damaged the lives of those who love them. I pray for the families and friends of those whose lives have been destroyed (and ended) by drug and alcohol overdoses or other drug-related accidents and health issues. 
I pray for people with illnesses and disabilities, physical, emotional, mental—and most of all, spiritual. I pray for broken relationships; for finances; for housing needs; for those wondering what to do next in their lives; for those in treatment; for those who are in long-term care; for all those who are lonely; for overwhelmed caretakers; and for all other needs. Please bring healing and comfort--and help me to also care for and comfort and pray for them. 

Friday 5 May 2017

prayers 8

(Over the past few days, I've been sharing some of my "daily prayers." Some parts are in my own words, some are quoted from other sources. I'll be leaving out personal names and details. Today is #8)

I pray for my fellow Christian writers, that you will show us how You want us to draw closer to You and to share You through the written word. 
I pray also for the members of my other local writing groups and other writers I have connected with, for all their needs--physical, spiritual, relationships, life directions, mental health, pains and sorrows, and more. I pray that you will use me to reach out to my fellow writers with your love and point them to you. Amen.

Thursday 4 May 2017

prayers 7

(During the next week or so, I'll be sharing some of my "daily prayers." Some parts are in my own words, some are quoted from other sources. I'll be leaving out personal names and details. Today is #7)

I pray for our leaders. I pray for the mayor and the council of our town and the leaders of other towns. I pray for the government of our province and the leaders of other provinces. I pray for our MP and our MLA and for the government of Canada, the Prime Minister, and for the nation of Canada and its people. I pray for the nation of America and its leaders and people, and for all the nations of the world that Your will be done. 

I pray for the leaders of all the First Nations. I pray for all First Nations people who are seeking after You, their Creator and God. Please help them find the real You, dear Jesus, Father, Holy Spirit. Help me to reflect the true Jesus. You know all their hearts, Jesus, and especially those who have been so damaged in your name. You judge justly. Please help the rest of us to truly face the truth of what we have done, and reach out in sorrow and reconciliation. How can I help, Lord? This is so heavy on my heart. Your will be done, Lord. Please guide me.

Wednesday 3 May 2017

prayers 6

(During the next week or so, I'll be sharing some of my "daily prayers." Some parts are in my own words, some are quoted from other sources. I'll be leaving out personal names and details. Today is #6)

I pray that Christians will seek after and follow You and Your path in the troubles the world is facing now, and trust in You to work all things out according to Your plans and purposes. I pray for peace on earth and good will among men—led by Your Spirit. 

I pray for those affected negatively by climate change, and by natural disasters—and I pray that you will lead your people to be good stewards of the earth and take care of its environment, and take care of those who are suffering because of our greed and lack of caring.

Lord, I pray for those whom I have wrongly seen as “enemies”—people who annoy me, frustrate me because I don’t understand their ways which they believe are the way to follow you. I am sure that they are equally frustrated and annoyed by my ways, which I have thought are the way to follow you. Please forgive me for my wrong thoughts, and help me to see clearly through Your eyes. Please grant me Your wisdom. 

Lord, it has been easier for me to love those who don’t claim to follow You than to love those who do claim to follow you but I can’t understand their thoughts and ways. Help me to love everyone as You love. Thank You that You see our hearts and You judge rightly and righteously. Help us all to listen to You, and seek Your guidance and wisdom, and help us to love each other with Your love and mercy and grace. And help me, help us, to leave the judging of hearts to You, who alone truly knows what is in a person’s heart. Thank You! Amen. So be it, Lord!

Tuesday 2 May 2017

prayers 5

(During the next weeks or so, I'll be sharing some of my "daily prayers." Some parts are in my own words, some are quoted from other sources. I'll be leaving out personal names and details. Today is #5)

I pray for churches: I pray for your church worldwide. I pray for unity and love and that your good news will be shared and taught and spread. I pray for your church here in my community—for all the churches that follow you. I pray for the "churches" that have beliefs that do not truly honour Jesus as Lord and Savior. 

I pray for believers who have become cynical and turned to other beliefs or to atheism or agnosticism because of their wrong understanding of You, because of the sad behaviours of Christians, or because of their own rebellion against you. Please draw people away from Satan’s falsehoods. Please! I pray for myself, too, that any moment I start following a false path, even just a little, that you will clearly, deeply reveal it to me, and help me turn right away to follow you alone, Jesus, Father, Holy Spirit. Help me look only and always unto Jesus, the one Way, Truth and Life, and the author and finisher of my faith!

I pray, Lord God, that you will guide all of us into your truth and love, in our words, actions, thoughts, and attitudes. Please draw us and unite our spirits with Your Spirit. Be our guide, and help us, help me, trust in and follow Jesus alone. Help us grow deep into You.

Lord God, I pray for all people who are following “spirituality” or “religion” or “dogma.” Help them to turn to and come to know the real You, Jesus, Father, Holy Spirit. I pray for those of all religions (including Christianity) or those who spurn religion, to really find You, dear God. I pray that you reveal Yourself clearly to them, Jesus, and reveal Yourself to the rest of us, all of us, too, whatever path we are following. Help us all to leave false paths and turn, convert, repent. Help us to come to God through Your shed blood and believing in You, the one Way, Truth and Life, dear Jesus. I pray that You will reveal yourself and draw all hearts to You, for you are not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Draw us unto You, dear Jesus, please!

I pray for "ministries" that reach out to the poor, and for all the helpers and guests. I pray for all people who help the poor because they love you. I pray for the poor. I pray also for other kinds of ministries and for all your children who follow you and serve you in whatever way you lead them. Help us to support each other and not criticise those who serve you in ways different from the ways we serve. 

Monday 1 May 2017

prayers 4

(During the next week or so, I'll be sharing some of my "daily prayers." Some parts are in my own words, some are quoted from other sources. I'll be leaving out personal names and details. Today is #4)

I pray for my children and their families. I pray for each family in turn, and I call them by name.

I pray for physical healing and other health needs, for finances, for jobs and businesses, for schooling and education, for their minds and hearts, for mental and spiritual and emotional needs. I pray for their extended families on their spouses' sides. I pray for future children and spouses, too.

I pray that all my children and their families will come to know you and love and follow you with all their hearts. I pray that all of them will grow and blossom in their relationship with you, their Creator. Please bless them all, and draw them every closer to you, and don't let anything drag them away from you.

I pray for my children's relationships and for peace in their families. I pray that you will comfort and encourage and protect them.

Dear God, please guide us, their parents and grandparents, in regards to our children's and grandchildren's needs, and how we can help them.

I pray for all our extended family members on my husband's side and on my side. Thank you for drawing members of our relations to you; please continue to draw them. Please bring them all to you, that they will turn to you, in Jesus' name, amen. Thank you, Lord. I pray also for our special friends who are like family. I pray that you will direct all our loved ones into your plans for them.

Please draw as many people as possible to Yourself, all over the world. In Jesus’ name, amen.