July 1 2020
A new month is beginning. May we begin anew in how we love one another. Let us be willing to be uncomfortable so that others might be kept safe. May we understand that we follow you more closely when we are willing to put others ahead of ourselves. Where possible, can we be strong enough in our love for others that we remove selfish thoughts from our lives. May we become focused on those around us more than we are about our own self interests. Let us be willing to take up not only our own cross but the crosses of those around us who are struggling. And may we look at this month as an opportunity to do more in your name. Amen.
July 2 2020
Guide me this day O God as I yearn to do your will. May I take the time you give me to look at myself deeply and honestly. Help me follow the path you have set before me. Let me hear your direction and recognize temptation when it is set before me. May your Holy Spirit continue to counsel me in my decisions. May I look upon your creation with wonder and as the day ends may I find rest and refreshment. And may the blessing of God almighty be upon all of your creation. Amen
July 3 2020
Blessed God, may this day be one in which I am acutely aware of the other. The people on the fringes of my day. May I see them fully and when it is meant to be respond to them with joy and as if they were my family. Help me to see everyone I meet today as a child of God. Someone special and meant to receive my full attention and love. May your blessings pour out abundantly upon them this day and every day. Amen.
July 4 2020
Lord God, protect our democracy and our country. As we celebrate the birth of our nation help us to lift up our brothers and sisters. May we live into the words at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. To spread the light of liberty world-wide for every land.” Make these words more than words and fill us with a spirit of compassion for our fellow human beings. Amen.
July 5 2020
We begin a new sabbath day. This day help us to honor one another. May we take a break from the challenges and anxieties of the world and rest in your love. May that rest give us the ability to refocus on you and on one another. May that new vision guide us into a different way of seeing the world. To look to a new beginning that depends on how we treat one another over how we focus solely on our own needs. It is in your name we pray. Amen.
July 6 2020
One of my older friends (Andrew Rappaport) and I were at lunch once, and he surprised me by asking the waitress if she had any prayer requests since we were about to bless our food. What followed was an amazing expression of being present to those we meet and sharing Jesus in a very different way than asking if they have been saved. Andrew focused on her prayer needs and didn’t try to change her but instead be present. Jesus saves, we pray.
Today may I focus my prayers on others and on those whom I meet today. May my focus be on making their day special, and may I let Jesus save and instead focus this day on prayer. May those in need, those who are afraid, those who are hungry, those who are oppressed be the focus of my prayers. Let me make this day more about other than myself. And may I be mindful and responsive to the needs of others. Amen.
July 7 2020
May I live from Sunrise to Sunset with the wonder that looking at each fills me. Let me see the full color of life today; the hues of the trees, flowers and all of your creation. May I be filled with anticipation of what is ahead of me. May I fully appreciate those people with whom I interact and see them as a beloved child of God. And when again I see the colors of the sunset again enjoy the view. All this I ask in the name of the one who creates, redeems and sanctifies. Amen
July 8 2020
O Lord our God, may this day be one where I listen long enough to hear you and those with whom I interact. It is too easy for me to listen long enough to think I know the answer and move on. Let me honor those I am with by giving them my full attention. May they feel that I am totally engaged in our conversation. Make me able to respond to people as if they are the most important part of my day. Let your presence shine through me as I attempt to do your will. All this I ask in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
July 9 2020
God our Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier, we are living in a divisive time and we truly need your help. Let us seek to love one another as you loved us. Help us to let go of our own selfishness and instead look at how we can serve on another. May we become more focused on what we need to do to instead of putting our energies toward our own desires. Let us be willing to sacrifice ourselves so that others will see your love outshining the divisive nature of evil. And may the peace of God which passes all understanding be with us now and always. Amen.
July 10 2020
Lord God of our ancestors, we struggle to do what we know to be right. It happens when we are told to do something we do not want to do, even if it is what is best for our neighbors. There is something about having choice taken away from us that bothers us. Help us to recognize that we have a choice to do what is right and good, and sometimes that choice inconveniences us. As we discern society’s call to do what is right may we measure our decisions based on whether it measures up against the two greatest commandments, that we love God and love one another. Amen.
July 11 2020
O God our Creator, I have so much for which to be grateful. I have more than I need, a healthy family and an incredible group of friends. I want to take this day and make it one of gratitude. But also, I want to use this day to work so that others, who are not in the same position as I am, find the blessings I have been given more accessible. May I work this day and each day until everyone has the opportunities I have had and continue to have available to them. May I not ignore this disparity until it no longer exists. I know that day may not come as quickly as I would like, and that there will be many who don’t want to lose their comfort. May I find the strength to follow your commandments and work each day to make this world a better place. I ask this in the name of God who creates, redeems and sanctifies. Amen.
July 12 2020
You are a God that listens and responds.
We are a people who ask and expect.
May we come to listen not for what we expect, but for what you would have us do.
May we become a people who respond to the needs of those around us.
You are a God that forgives and renews
We are a people of vengeance and destruction
May we become a people who can forgive others and ourselves.
May we become a people who create new opportunities for the neediest among us.
You are a God of Love.
May we become a loving people.
July 13 2020
I will never forget a 1st SGT I had in Monterey who described his first experience of racism. He was from an island in the Philippines so small that, as he described it, if one person passed gas (he said it in a more colorful way), everyone knew. He went on to tell us of his first time doing laundry at a laundromat in the south just off base. They had a sign out front that said “Whites Only” on one side and “Colored Only” on the their side. He dutifully divided his laundry between whites and coloreds before he went into the two places. A women came up to him and asked what he was doing and he learned what the two phrases meant where he was stationed.
O God, we are born loving everyone. Help us to not let the world and its divisions, prejudices, and hate invade us. May we, if we have been infected by those diseases, regain our innocence and love. Let us not see those we meet as anything other than a stunningly beautiful child of God. May the only divisions we make be ones of laundry. May you help us see those we meet as you see them. And let us learn from the mistakes of our past. Help us not only ask for forgiveness but to also act as a transformed people. It is in your name we pray. Amen.
July 14 2020
Lord God, it seems we have become people of extremes.
We want so much for there to be only one answer,
Help me to be willing to struggle through the times when the answer may be different from my own,
when the answer is not yet,
when the answer is difficult for me to accept.
Let me feel your presence as I struggle through the time of confusion without lashing out at those around me.
May I recognize as well when I really don’t need the answer. There are many questions I have when we meet face to face, and I need to be comfortable with not knowing the answer to all my questions even then.
May this day be one where I again am willing to listen for you and follow where you would lead me. It is in your name I pray. Amen.
July 15 2020
It is the dawn of a new day O Lord. What will happen has not yet been placed before me, but make me ready. Prepare me to share your love with those I meet today. May I see the path I am to take and worry less about the destination than being present to what is in front of me. Let me be free from anxiety as much as possible so that I can focus solely on the tasks of my day. When night comes, may I look back on a good day. Amen.
July 16 2020
The day ahead of me is a blank canvas. May it be a day filled with joy and beauty. Let me see your creation in its full glory. Whether it is in the smiles and laughter of the children I see playing on campus, or in the glory of a magnolia blossom, may I not miss any of the intricacies of your creation. As I move through my day let me revel in the vastness of your creation and celebrate all that you have given us. For you created so much for us to see and sometimes I am too distracted or anxious to take the time to be thankful for all you have made. It is is in your name I pray. Amen.
July 17 2020
As this day begins, I know that many are feeling scared and anxious about all that is happening in the world today. May we find comfort and calm in this storm that is swirling around us. May hope for a better tomorrow begin today. May I be acutely aware of the times when I can help be a calming force to those around me, and may I recognize if I am not helping and amend whatever I am doing. I ask that you be with all those who are sick, and those that are caring for them. May those caregivers be kept safe from illness and find rest and refreshment this day. All this I ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
July 18 2020
We really struggle to forgive
Even though we know you died to forgive all our sins
We are not there yet
We don’t forgive ourselves
We don’t forgive our families
We don’t forgive our friends.
Oddly enough our enemies seem easier to forgive
Help us to begin by seeing ourselves as redeemable
Then let us forgive those closest to us and then let us see, in those with whom we struggle the most, your presence and guide us to know what you would have is do better
July 19 2020
May this day be my prayer to you O God. May it be filled with opportunities to express my love for you and for those I am around today. May I respond to those who petition me as I do you be answered in way that you would have me respond. May I celebrate with those who are joyous, and mourn with those who are feeling pain and loss. May my actions express your Glory in a way that others come closer to you. And may the blessing of God Almighty be with this world today and every day. Amen.
July 20 2020
O Lord our God, It is amazing how impatient we are.
We have become conditioned to have our questions answered in seconds
Our stories told in less than 60 minutes
Help us to see the world more deeply. Let us be patient enough to hear more of the stories of the people we meet.
Let us look for the places where our journeys intersect, travel in parallel ways, and are similar to the those we know.
Help us also to recognize that others knowing they are experiencing the world from their:
Point of view
And a myriad of other things.
Let me embrace what I experience with them, and what I see that others don’t.
Allow me to be comfortable with multiple experiences of the same event, knowing that you chose 12 to begin your witness. Let me celebrate that there is more than one right answer to what I face today.
July 21 2020
Thank you for the day that is ahead of me. As I begin this day with the regular habits of the day; feeding dogs, unloading the dishes, probably not making my bed, but definitely making coffee, and all those other things that mark the start of my day, may my joy build. I have always loved in scripture where you have reminded us that you want our joy to be complete. May I strive for that today and share that joy. We really need for a sense of complete joy right now. Our world is struggling to find hope right now, so a joyful person willing to share that joy could be infectious. Perhaps my expression of joy you want in me will give hope to a world that is hunting for some way to be joyful. Amen.
July 22 2020
O Lord God, 25 years ago, in the Cathedral of St Paul in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin with our families and friends gathered, Heather and I began our married life together. I am thankful to you, Lord God, for all the gifts you have given us during our life together. You moved us to many places, and we were fortunate to have hundreds of young people as a part of our lives in boarding schools and youth ministry. All of that helped prepare us for Abby and Audrey who were a gift you gave us that was beyond what we could have imagined. You continued to bless us with our moves around the country and through the two years we had with our foster children, the Draft Picks. I am grateful for so many things that Heather is to me; her laugh, her sarcasm, her love and her beauty. As I look to the next 25 years, I still find myself more in love each new day with the incredible woman with whom God has blessed me to spend my life. I cannot thank you enough Lord God for the blessings you have given us. Amen
July 23 2020
Holy Buckets!! I can remember the first time I heard that phrase from one of my boarding school students. Judson Grief was a sophomore in High School going on 35. I was so fortunate to coach so many young people who taught me more than I probably taught them.
Holy Buckets Lord God, you have given me so many opportunities to affect the lives of the people I see every day. Give me the anticipation of a young person who is so excited to see the next great thing in their life. Allow me to move back to the innocence of my youth and embrace the good things in those times knowing, that while the world is imperfect, it is the youth that see hope and possibilities better than we allow ourselves as we get older. Amen
July 24 2020
This is a day that we remember with success and wonder. It is on this day that we celebrate the landing ( or more rather the splashdown) of Apollo 11. There are people who need to feel the experience of what we can do as a people when we focus on what we can do together rather than what we can do when we part. Help us to recapture the hope and excitement of that time. It too was a time where there was great turmoil, we were fighting battles that are still being fought today. May we somehow renew our hope for a better place and the excitement of exploration and innovation. Amen.
July 25 2020
There are nights O Lord when sleep is challenging. Help me during those nights to release all of the thoughts that are going through my brain to disappear, if only for a few hours. I like so many think about all that is going on way too much and don’t have either the faith or the patience to live into the moment. I either live wondering about my past decisions or whether I making the right decisions about the future. Help me to live in the moment enough to not be overwhelmed by both. Let those time of restlessness become times of peace and refreshment. I know that when I don’t sleep well I am not as ready to do what would have me do, so may I have the peace to become fully rested. All this I ask in the name of the Father who created, the Son who redeemed, and the Spirit who guides. Amen.
July 26 2020
O Lord our God, as we continue to fight the viruses that have infected us physically, spiritually, and communally. May we come to the place where we recognize the actions we must take fight the things that are truly infecting our society. We need to learn to love one another as you love us. We need to grow in empathy, sympathy, and hope. We need to see that only when we are truly living into your commandments can we find the peace and comfort we desire. Too often we are so worried about our own personal desires that we miss the things that we truly need. We need to feel valued, respected, and loved. The only way we can find that is to share love with one another. Help us find that way. Amen.
July 27 2020
I fear I have become repetitious O God. I tend to ask for the same things over and over again, and don’t always honor you first. I know that you are the beginning, middle and end of all that is, and yet my insecurities make me want to focus more on what you can do for me than what I can do to honor you. So today I hope to be less focused on myself and more on you, hoping that I will focus more on what you would have me do than what I would really like you to do for me. I ask this in the name of the God who creates, redeems and sanctifies. Amen
July 28 2020
My “man cave” is filled with the things that give me joy, but perhaps the most important part of the room is that it is surrounded in musical instruments of varying types. Many of which I can play (well, at least, “Country Roads”).
O Lord God, help me to hear the music of this day. Let me hear the sounds of those around me as if it were an expression of your love. May the everyday sounds that I tend to ignore become a symphony; a brilliant musical that tells the story of the day. I know it will be filled with intrigue, every emotion you have given us, and every instrument your creation brings. From the early morning sounds of insects and birds to the end of the day where we hear the bullfrogs croak. You gave us the gift to hear our world. Let me, this day, hear it fully. Amen.
July 29 2020
Today is the feast of Martha and Mary of Bethany.
Lord let us see in the story of Martha and Mary both people fully. Let us see in Martha the one who dutifully does what is expected and works so hard to serve others. Let us also see in Mary someone who is present to what is in front of her. Help us to recognize when we need to be each of these incredible women of faith. May we not be jealous of people when they get the better part of the moment, and still honor our choice to do what we also thought was the right thing to do at the time. May we live today as one with opportunities to serve one another and to also be fully present. Amen.
July 30 2020
What does this day have before me?
I wonder this because, like most days, I want it to be a certain way.
I want it without major conflict.
I want it to have music.
I want it to have nice weather.
I want no one to mess up my picture of the perfect day.
What I know is that my perfect day is unlikely.
We all carry a ton of expectations and anxieties that will make it pretty certain that not everyone I encounter will be having the day that they want, and it will probably affect my day.
Let me be gracious enough to recognize that what they experience is theirs. Help me make it as much like what they want it to be, and to know when there is no way for that to be possible completely and not feel guilty.
Allow me to decide that no matter what another’s day is like, I have a choice in how I see my day.
Let this day be one where I live it fully.
July 31 2020
Lord God, I for some reason am remembering the incredible people of my past. The people with whom I have laughed, cried, been challenged to be better. They have been with me through my best and worst days. I am so grateful for them. Many didn’t realize what they meant to me, and I wish I could figure out the way to let them know without it being strange. It was in the people who welcomed me into the multiple schools I attended as a child, the teachers at my three elementary schools who made me feel welcome as my name changed from Hvidston to Wiseman, the folks who allowed me to find a passion for learning something new. I could begin to name them all but it would be an incredibly long list. That list includes some whose names are forgotten, but whose actions are not. They truly gave me the love that God calls us to give. Amen