A Busy Day With A Productive Lunch Break

I’m pleased to say that I made it to work today.  I made it with five minutes to spare.  Not that I slept that well last night.  I was too worried that I wouldn’t wake up this morning.  But I did and that’s the main thing and I can have an early-ish night tonight.  It’s not too late yet.

As Scott did remind me last week – Graham was on to prepare the Bible devotions for before prayer time this week.  But strangely enough, Graham forgot.  We were all a little confused and figured the roster was wrong because Graham has a phenomenal memory.  Forget megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes, nanobytes and so forth when you get to this Graham’s level you’re talking elephant-bytes.

Anyway – showing the sheer proportion of his memory capacity he opened up his Bible to the Lords’ Prayer and the words about prayer that Jesus spoke before it and he read the words from Matthew 6:5-15.  From here he worked with us to draw out the ‘big themes’ that Jesus taught us to focus on as we pray –

  • About approaching God in humility
  • About spending time alone in prayers
  • About recognising God’s great holiness
  • Recognising God as the Ruler of everything whose ways ought be honoured in all heaven and all the earth
  • Asking for what is needed to sustain us
  • Seeking forgiveness and forgiving
  • Preservation from temptation
  • & deliverance from Satan

there was debate about whether the last two should be listed together or separately, but in the end we decided that sometimes – scripture says we are tempted by our own sinful desires and other times deceived by Satan – therefore we separated them.  After talking about how we could do these more in prayer we spent time praying about praying before turning again to pray for each other and our colleagues.

We also decided that from next week we would start a series of studies on the slab of the Bible that Graham started us off with.  He has a good book that we can use, so we agreed and he’s volunteered to take the studies with us if anyone wants help preparing.  Sounds good.

Gina was weird today.  Kind of preoccupied.  And really fidgety this afternoon.  I was having enough concentrating because I was so tired without her fussing all over the place all afternoon.  I spent most of the afternoon in prayer that I wouldn’t lose my patience.  I finished up being really glad when it was time to go.

“So I’ll see you at about 5.30, 6ish?” I asked her.  Gina usually comes for her Cello lesson straight from work and we start at about 6 then she stays for dinner afterwards these days.

“Huh?”

“Are you planning to come for your lesson as usual?”

“Oh! It’s Monday! I forgot.” And she looks like she has.  Gina really has been distracted today.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah.  Yeah, I’m fine.  I’ve just had a few things on my mind the last few days.  I won’t be there til about 6.30 is that okay?  I’ve got to go home and get the Cello.”

“Sure.”

So it was never going to be an early night tonight.

As it turned out in some ways I wish Gina hadn’t bothered coming to her lesson.  Her mind was obviously somewhere else.  She was everywhere but where she was supposed to be tonight.  She spent dinner apologising – so it wasn’t much of a chat time – especially given that I was too tired to contribute much to the conversation.  Or to leave my filter on.

I told her that I was thinking about getting my hair ‘done’ sometime soon in a silent patch to relieve the sound of the buzzing fly in the next room.  She’s been hinting at me doing it for a while now so she bit.  I’m not going to hear the end of this now until its done.  Good thing I really am planning to do it… perhaps …

I am so tired.  Please, Lord, let me sleep.  And let me wake and get to work tomorrow.

Amen

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Haunting Music

Dear God,

Thank you for a couple of days free from strange and unexpected occurrences.

I expected nothing less that to hear Gina theatricise (is that a word?) about her efforts with the computer today after yesterday’s lesson …

“…and the fingers on my right hand throbbed every time one of them hit the keyboard.  I wanted to spend the day writing things like ‘kill, kill, kill’ & ‘my polo pony’ because they only need you to use your right hand for a while …” grand sweeping gestures of the right hand working the keyboard … “but then – oh my right arm! The muscles just ached! Holding that bow just so …” again she demonstrates, “and manoeuvring it to play … Oh my ..” she stops short and looks at me, “… garden gnomes!”

And that finished me.  I laughed.

“Fine friend and teacher you are. Oh, yes – here’s the picture of sympathy!”

I keep laughing.

” You’ll live.”

But that only takes me back to yesterday ….

For the most part work was unremarkable – but then there’s always Scott.

When they were handing out patience I think Scott thought they were playing cards and decided to pass.  Seriously.  After Bible study (okay, so that was actually remarkable … but it doesn’t fit in the work box properly and I was too nervous to concentrate well) in Graham’s office Scott’s all,

“So what have you got planned for Gina for tonight?”

“A Cello lesson and dinner.”

“Yes, but, come on, an ideal situation for witnessing…”

“Scott, everyday is witnessing.  We witness by being godly and speaking when it is opportune.  But if I’m reading James correctly, if I’m not living righteously then I’m wasting my breath.”

“What’s so wrong about hitting her with the gospel while you’ve got her at your home.”

“She’s coming for a Cello lesson.  She’s invited to dinner, not an evangelistic programme.  She’s not coming for an altar call, Scott.  It’s dishonest to trick someone into a situation they don’t want – do you think it will make her open to listen?  Do you think it reflects how God wants us to come to him?  I’m not going that road.  I’m going to pray for opportunities and openings and boldness – but deception is not an option.  I’m not railroading her, Scott.  She has already said that she doesn’t want to discuss it any further than we have.”

Scott nodded and walked away looking slightly perplexed.

But it’s true.  I mean, I know that James 2 is talking about showing generosity and acting on faith in sacrifice – but its also about demonstrating by what you do that you trust God to be God and be prepared to act accordingly.

So – I will prepare myself to act, to invite, to talk, to comfort, to do whatever is needed to make her way back and be ready to make the most of opportunities, and I will continue to pray.  But I will go about doing as I have promised Gina that I would, and with God’s help I will act in a way that is godly in all I do as his witness that he is trustworthy even though she does not believe that at the moment.  To show that he is real even in the way he opens the way for the sharing of the gospel.

Gina’s lesson went well.  Her aunt’s cello is a beautiful instrument.  I can’t wait until she can play it well.  And she will – if she keeps it up, of course.  Very basic stuff today, but Gina picked up some quickly.  Apparently her Aunt was going to teach her when she was younger, but something interrupted before they got into it.  Still, she was complaining of sore fingers and having trouble holding arm in position to use the bow properly by the end.  She has a nice feel for the instrument and a good ear.  I hope she keeps it up, even if she decides to go to a different teacher after a while.

Dinner was great – as usual.  I hate cooking for just me – so I tend to pull out all stops for a visitor and enjoy myself.  There so much that’s more practical to cook for two or three than for one – even using leftovers.

Gina asked me over dinner what I’d been reading lately.  It was actually a novel that I had found among her books called  Bamboo and Lace.  Reading it now it surprised me that she’d been into that genre of book – I’d have picked her as more of a mystery lover than this book.  But then I’ve only ever met the dark, bruised Gina – not the idealist.  When I told her about the book she smiled at some memory, then let it go following it out through the window with her eyes with a distant expression on her face.

“I used to love that book.  Back when I was thinking of mission and so dedicated to Christ.  I always found the way that she was ready to give up so much of what she wanted – of what the world tells you is important – to do what she was convinced was the only righteous way to respond to her situation so inspiring.  I always hoped that I’d be able to do that if pushed.” She re-entered the room, her voice hardening, “Now look at me,” she added with a brief attempt to laugh at herself.

“Do you ever wish things were different?” I asked

She shrugs here.

“Sometimes.  I haven’t for ages.” she paused. “You can make it look real again sometimes.”

Silence.  I let her look at her own ghosts.  I’m not unsettled.  Now is a time she needs to listen to the Spirit moving moving in her – not to me.

“What?  No words of wisdom?”

“You already know anything I could say,” I grin at her. “You just want an argument so that you can talk yourself out of your thoughts.”

“You’re good.”  She smiles back at me.

“No.  God is good.  But you know that, too.  Coffee?”

Lord, please keep Gina second guessing herself.  Help her to keep questioning you again.  Father, occupy her thoughts – day and night – with your word, your truth, your gospel, your mercy, your hope.  Please bring her back to your fold.

Help me to be wise in how I act and speak, that my deeds will speak of my faith so that you may use me as your mouthpiece be it directly or indirectly.  May I bring honour to my Lord and my God in whom I pray,

Amen

Musical Requests

Dear God,

I started the morning singing to the tune of Mr Denver and will close, I believe with Amazing Grace.  What a day …

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go,

I’m standing here just by the door

I had to wake them up to say good bye …

Bags in the boot with a promise to be back tomorrow with groceries after Hamish’s drum lesson.

Paul cringes.

I bite my tongue and flinch.

The mystery 10-year-old sheep station …

“Oh no!”

“Don’t worry.  You can have yours tomorrow too.  I’ll come here.”

“But I haven’t practiced all week!”

“Well, you can have an extra lesson this week to help make up for it.”

“Really?”

“Really.  And…” I look over her head at Paul with a cautious grin.  I kiss Jasmine on the tip of the nose and rub the tip of mine against the tip of hers – ‘eskimo’ style.  “… Just think … ” I perform the same ritual with Emily; “… You’ll have all next week to catch up practice time while Hamish is at school.”

Paul’s jaw drops.

“Better get rid of those Possums, eh, Paul!” and I gave him a peck on the cheek as I bolted.

Phone beeped as I was on the way to work.  I grinned.  Got to work and read.  “You’ll pay for that!”

Do I need to ask forgiveness for that one, Lord?

“Who’s this grinning like the Cheshire Cat?”  This from Gina.

So I tell her my morning’s tale.

“Hang on?  You?  A drummer?”

I tap out a rhythm and roll the pencils I’ve been twirling and fiddling with since I sat down, then twirl on my chair as I watch a switch click over..

“Drums and Cello.”

“How did I miss that?” she asks herself, shaking her head and staring at the pencils.  “You’re always doing that …”  She looks up.  “Cello? and drums?  weird mix.”

I shrug.

“I love the feel, the sound of the cello.  Its so rich – its like caramel or fudge or some warm, thick, rich sauce.  Jazzie wants to learn, but she’s not ready yet.”

“Teach me?”  Who me – give Gina music lessons – this was getting weird, Lord.

“Seriously?”

“Absolutely!”

“I don’t know.  Teaching friends can be a minefield … ”

“So if it’s not working you can send me to someone else … I sing – I can read music and I’ve always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument.  My aunt used to play cello.  Mum had it.  Its about the only thing my sisters left me after trawling her stuff when she died.  My aunt was cool – even if she was a bit of a misfit.  I’d like to play her cello.  It’s too beautiful to be silent.”

“I’m pretty strict about practice.  Most of my students are kids.”

“Alciana, I can commit to this.  I get it.  It takes work.  My voice teacher used to have me doing scale work forever – that stuff is boring but it helps.”  I relax.  She has some idea what she’s asking for.

“Well … I guess we can give it a shot then.  What kind of time would work?”

We work out small details like time, cost etc then pack up our stuff for the end of week staff meeting (yip-pee)

“Is that really all they left you?” I asked carefully

“Yeah.” Quietly.  Pensive.

“Your mother dies and your sisters take every one of her personal items but your aunt’s cello?”

“I’m glad somebody other than me notices the small piece of irony in there.”

Father, its like this family have just cast her out – and like this cello will acknowledge only a passing recognition of her place in their family.  Even her brother seems to get sucked into their ways at times, although probably blind to it.  It doesn’t sound fair.  It’s not loving.

Today I come across in James his addressing his readers about how they treat one group of people well and another poorly – for religious and/or status sake in their case however the outcome remains the same.  Who are we to judge one another before you?  You told us to love our neighbour as ourselves.

Lord that’s harder to do than it sounds.  Thanks for the warning that I should speak and act as one who is going to be judged by your grace – for such a warning means that there is only one option for how I deal with people.  With grace, with mercy, with love.

Please help me to do that.

Right now I think I shall go and draw up a draft practice schedule for Emily to finalise with Paul so that she has some limits or she’ll be at it 24/7.

Please look after and heal the non-possums out in that house, Lord.  Most of all, please heal their relationships with you that they might really know how good a God you are.  Thank you Father for your amazing grace.

Amen

Going Dotty

Dear God,

Back to work today.  Out of the castle.  No more castle-fever.

I had Chicken Pox when I was 16.  I got in my car and waved good bye to the three faces that were now becoming well enough to care that one of could leave while they remained imprisoned in the castle.

But, Father, I walked from one building full of spots into another.  There were spots on my desk.  There were spots on my chair.  There were spots on my floor, my stationary, my computer, my clock, my phone – you name it … there were spots.  I opened the desk drawer and there were spots in there too.  And somebody just plain gross had added pus leaking from the ones on the filing cabinet (Gina? no she’s more subtle than that – she did the drawer.  Scott).

My office space has Chicken Pox!

Someone – or someones had obviously brought in a tonne of target bags and catalogues and had a go at them with the scissors – in their breaks, of course …

One of the fun things about office life is that life goes on without you.  The problem is, that people still need things when you’re not there.  So – over the past three days there have been people ratting through my stuff looking for reports or files or equipment that I may or may not have in an attempt to locate it.  There have been people borrowing things and people borrowing things and then there has been Rodney.  Rodney has the equivalent position to myself (and to Kelly), but in yet another department.  This week he was hauled in to cover my spot on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning to complete something that needed to be sent off by Tuesday afternoon.  However, he needed access to stuff managed under a password that I hold to do it, so arrangements were made with IT to get him access which meant changing the password.  So Rodney goes on holidays to Scotland without telling a soul what the password is now rendering the computer largely inaccessible to me.  I offered to go to Scotland to get it from him, but they sent for IT at 3pm as I was leaving instead.

“Oh, excellent!  You’re here to fix up the computer so I can use it?  Just leave the information in sealed envelope with the Department Manager when you’re done and I’ll get it in the morning.”

“Sorry.  You’ll need to wait.  You need to sign for the password or I’ll have to come back at another time.  It won’t take long.”

So I wait.

And wait.

And wait.

“Look, I’m really sorry, but are you almost done?  I really have to go.”

“Just a couple more minutes, ma’am.  The password is in but I have a couple of minor adjustments that need to be made for security and then I can shut up shop and you’re right to go.”

“Again, I’m sorry to rush you, but I have kids waiting at home who are sick with Chicken Pox.  If you give me the password now, I will sign … ”

“But … ”

“Please … password – or I sneeze in your general direction and you take the risk that I have Chicken Pox a second time … ”

I got the password.

I finally got home to find that the household had gone mad.  Well, not mad.  Dotty.

“Auntie Alciana,” Jazzie runs up to me, “we’re having a dotty day.”

I would never have guessed by what I see around me … everywhere … dots.

Emily joins us.

“You’re only allowed to do things where there are dots in them.  We played Twister this morning, and dominoes …”

“We did join the dots and coloured them in with dots with colouring pencils and we had fairy bread for lunch!”

“And raw carrot cut in circles.”

“An’ Daddy found the twirly apple cutter so he made apple twirlies and they’re round with a big empty spot in the middle where the core was.  Isn’t that right, Daddy?”

“It is,” grins Paul, looking tired.  “Then, after lunch we all had a spot of sleep.”

“We played dot scotch!” piped in Jazz again.

“That’s like hopscotch, but with dots like the dominoes instead of numbers in the squares,” Emily explained.

“And now we’re building domino houses.  Lots of them”

“That’s right,” nods Paul.  “Because domino houses fall down with a great big crash every now and then, don’t they?”

The girls nod at me while Paul pulls a face that says he’s had enough domino houses for today, please? over their heads.

“Are they places where dotty people live?” I grin as I ask them.

The girls giggle.

Then Emily looks over her shoulder at her father, receives a nod, then turns back to me.

“Auntie Alci … ” she looks like the child that she is, disappointed not to be able to bring me a surprise. “We don’t know what we should do for dinner … ”

A thought comes just in time.  I smile.

“How about spaghetti and meatballs?  Spaghetti is long and round, and meatballs are just big round dots!  And … while you’re clearing up the dominoes and today’s games, I’ll go to the shops and get a surprise for dessert!”

Before setting out to make dinner I set them up with one last – probably the messiest – activity of the day.  I set them up with old magazines and coloured paper, a hole punch, scissors, glue, scrapbooks and a pencil each and introduced them to the ‘Dotty Mosaic’.  The idea:  draw a picture (try for one that has circles or dots included in it like wheels or wrapping paper), then instead of colouring in with pencils or paint, stick on coloured circles of paper the colour that you want things to be … “like this…” and made a tree.

Off they went.  Very content in a very spotty mess.  Hands sticky and too busy to be scratching …

I made dinner which went down very well.

Doughnut holes were a hit for desert – hooray!

I’m going home tomorrow.  If Paul can manage a “Dotty day”, visits will do from here-on-in.

Lord, I finished the last of James 1 today.  What a challenge to lay down.  Yet again and again, you challenge me to take up and show my faith by action.  Lord my control over my tongue is generally an ongoing and mutinous war.  Time and time again it brings me to my knees before you in humility as the only place to go.  I struggle endlessly to filter the pollution from the good while living in this world so spoiled by sin.  But Father, thanks for the chance to look after a widower and his two daughters in their time of need this week.

Amen.

Spotting

Dear God,

By today I had thought that Paul was going to be okay if I went home.  But he’s not.  He’s a mess.  He still needs someone to ‘spot’ for him.

He’s as grumpy as a teenager when it comes to the itches.  The girls are – for the want of a better word – scratchy; and squabbling all the time.  I spend most of my time as peacemaker because Paul has either been unduly abrupt with them or ignores the squabbling altogether until it escalates as though he hopes things will go away.

Jasmine spoke pitifully for all of us when she said very quietly into what became a sea of silence for what felt like hours afterwards, “I want Mummy”.

The girls and Paul have taken to slapping at the ‘spottos’ (Jazz’s term) – but every now and then I find someone looking at me with guilt and hand over spots … and then they slap.  I figure everyone’s afraid that I’ll tape the oven mitts onto them.

I got some good reading in this afternoon while they were all asleep.  One of Lisa and my favourite books – a very well thumbed edition.  Emily is nearly old enough for it now.

Paul appeared, tired and rumpled after sleeping and headed straight for the pills and potions.  He nodded to the book.

“Lisa loved that book.”

“I know.  She wanted Emily to read it next year.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“When she was eleven.  Same for Jasmine.”

“Why eleven?”

“That’s how old we were when we bought it – our first brand new book.”

“You’ve got one too?” he smiled.

“No.  We pooled our pocket money and bought this one together.” I smiled back, remembering.

Paul looked like he didn’t want to say what he was going to say next, and I knew already what it was.

“Don’t, Paul.  We’d already agreed that it should stay here for Emily and Jasmine.”

“But … What if you …? You know … ”

“Paul there is nothing and no-one on the horizon at the moment and even if there were, I’m sure that they can let cousins read a book when they’re eleven if it comes to that.  They’d be at least eight years older than them to start with if anything ever came to pass and hopefully more than that.”

“Eleven, hey … ” he nodded.  “Anything else – rites of passage I need to know about now?”

“I don’t know.  I suppose I’d better think about it.  Some of them will need to stay secret womens’ business – and you won’t want to know; but you’re right … there might be other things.  You should think about whether you’ll want my help with anything in particular or at particular times too – if you don’t remarry or anything”

“I should be okay.  What would I want help with?”

“I don’t know.  Some men are comfortable talking to their daughters about their period and sex and boyfriends and stuff and some go green at the gills, give the girl a pack of pads and run then stand at the door with a shotgun if anything male walks near; others like the girls to get both male and female perspective on the stuff (not the period – the other stuff).  Things like dressing nicely, but appropriately; doing hair and make-up – but friends may do that; formal dresses, weddings … .  The girls will decide lots with you as the time comes when they get older.  Did you and Lisa have a plan about that kind of stuff?”

“Some of it.  But you’re right, I’ll have to re-think it and get back to you.  Some people would suggest that I get Karen to do things because she’s a mother – but I think you’re a better fit.  You get the girls.  Besides, she’s got boys anyway.  If she had daughters, maybe I’d look at things differently and talk to both of you, but you and Lisa were close.  You will think about what Lisa would have said and share stories about Lisa if I need you to do any of that stuff.  I think the girls would like that too.”

Lord, reading your word today you say that we should be quick to listen and slow to anger.  That’s really hard to do with a house full of whining sick people, whinging about being itchy and biting at each other, making complaints about each other’s words and actions.  Especially when all of us are at our most vulnerable and missing someone for whom we are still grieving and would have normally been doing this job.  Thanks for helping me keep my temper most of the time, but please forgive my attitude at times – for I too found myself became a whining complainer and was poor tempered for most of the morning.

Please help me to be humble so that I can live and serve in a manner that is righteous in accordance with the gospel by which I have been saved.  Help me to remember this lesson tomorrow and to work towards change so that I will be someone who does not become caught up in whinging and ill temper when surrounded by it and that in this change I may humble myself to the gospel and so be blessed.

Amen.

Wanting Patience

I asked you to help me keep my temper this morning.  I wanted patience.  I didn’t ask for a public transport strike.  I didn’t ask for the printer/copier machine at work to break down when I had so much paperwork to get done before mid afternoon.  I didn’t ask for the office coffee machine pool to run out of coffee, nor for it to be my turn today – when it is pouring with rain – to the bunny that has to rush out and get a new stockpile before lunch.  I asked you for concentration so that I would not do stupid things like buy decaf to win the utter scorn of everyone in the office!

That temper thing.  Your work it interrupted!  What do you expect when you allow Scott to come bellowing into the tea room (“Hel-looo everybody” …. ) while I was trying to push Gina off her whinging about her problems with that idiot she’s been seeing on and off since she broke up with her partner and move her onto gospel – while I had a raging headache from lack of caffeine and lack of sleep, might I add…

So – I say – with all that extra patience you have given me to control my temper today – “Oh, Shut up Scott!”

Then Gina turns on me and gets snitchy and impatient too and says something like, “I don’t know what’s gotten into you today …” and storms out.

I could hardly say, “Well last night I hardly slept because there was a tribe of angels violently shaking my bed all night and I kept waking up wanting to puke!”, could I?

Anyway with all the dignity left in the world I just stared at the door.  I vaguely remember Scott apologising and handing me a box of tissues as he commented, “You look tired.” and left.

The next thing I know I woke up with my head on the tea room table with my head in a puddle of drool.  Thanks for the rest, God – I think.  I don’t want to know how many people saw me there because just as I was thinking about the fact that I had to go and change over the decaf for proper coffee, I saw an open packet of real coffee.

Lord, after all that, you really know how to make a girl feel guilty, don’t you?  If I hadn’t asked, Scott wouldn’t have said he’d looked after the coffee.  Nobody really cared where it came from as long as it was there.  They just absorb coffee like oxygen.

Lord, why can’t you just give out patience like oxygen?

Okay.  Maybe I should have stopped to ask occasionally.  Maybe there’s more to it than inhaling it like coffee.  Please forgive me for being so impossible and for not speaking to you like you deserve to be spoken to just now.  This star didn’t twinkle very brightly today, did it?

I’m not sure that I’ll be starting the day asking you to help me to control my temper again in a hurry.

Amen

Can I Be A Star?

Dear God,

Please help me today not to be cranky.  I didn’t sleep very well.  I just kept tossing and turning and feeling really stupid.  I realised after writing it down that I called your gospel “nothing” when Gina asked me what I’d wanted to talk to her about.  Sure, she doesn’t know that – but that’s awful.  Then when I did go to sleep, I kept dreaming that a great herd of angels came down and shook my bed violently all night and I kept waking up feeling seasick and wanting to vomit.  And then something funny happened.  I remembered that you promise to finish what you start and they stopped.  And then I woke up.  Weird, hey.  Did I mention that my hair was purple -and I was wearing a gorilla suit?  Needless to say I’m tired.  Lord, help me keep my temper today and to be patient and to concentrate and still look for opportunities to share your gospel with people – and to be clear if they come up.  Please help me to concentrate this morning for my Bible reading time too.

Wow, God, when I think of Philippians 2, I’m used to just thinking about the bit we sing in that song at Church – but there’s so much more to it.  There’s so much more to that slab of scripture too.

Nothing out of selfish ambition – sounds easy, but I don’t know… When I think about the times I race for the car spot, or push myself forward for the best blocks of time in the conference rooms at work – is that selfish ambition?  Help me to remember to consider others first as better than me – Kylie who has to pick her kids up from school probably needs some of the times I hog. And sure I work short days too, but really it doesn’t matter if I’m five minutes late out the door or have to change my hours back by half and hour to accommodate her picking her kids up.

It says here that my attitude should be the same as Jesus.  Humble, obedient, and he came to serve people – a people who needed salvation.  God, I confess that that kind of scares me.  It’s big.  But help me change my attitude to be like this.  Make me humble and obedient to you, and please help me to be servant hearted because I know that I’m not.  It says that I should live out my salvation in fear and trembling because you work in me to will and to act according to your good purpose.  Lord that’s pretty huge.  I don’t think I’m anywhere near good enough for you to do that with me.  It blows me away that you can and do even though I’m so far short of what Jesus is.

Lord if you are the one working through me for your purpose that’s an honour.  Please change my attitude to thanksgiving.  Help me not to complain and argue at you or others about the things you have for me to do.

Can I really shine like a star in the universe?

Lord, again help me hold out the word of life today.  Please show me with someone with ears to hear who is ready to listen.

Amen