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“I Shall Hold Myself at Liberty”

Well said, Ronnie! May those who claim to follow Christ be that sort of prophet!

Ronnie McBrayer

LovejoyElijah Lovejoy is the name of an American too rarely named and too seldom remembered. He converted to Christianity as a result of the Second Great Awakening, a revivalistic movement that swept the Deep South and the American frontier. Ordained as a Presbyterian minister, he shortly thereafter became an editor at a St. Louis newspaper.

His editorials, shaped by fiery Protestantism, got him into a little hot water from time to time, his favorite subjects being religion and the dangers of smoking tobacco and hard liquor. But when Lovejoy spoke out against slavery, taking a principled, moral stand a generation before the Civil War, the dabbling in hot water became a leap into the cauldron. 

He was advised by leading men of the city to “moderate his opinions.” He replied, “The cry of the oppressed has entered not only into my ears, but into my soul, so that while I…

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Show Up and Look Alert

Profound and timely reflection as we walk through the Valley with parents and so many… thanks, Jake!

Looking for God in Messy Places

Eighty percent of life is showing up. Some give Woody Allen credit for the quip. A Google search will give you a few variants. The word order changes. You’ll find “success” substituted for “life.”

One of my pastoral care mentors taught me her own variant. “Show up and look alert.” That adage speaks to me to this day. And I regularly commend it to my clergy colleagues.

Initially the phrase guided me as I walked with my parishioners through loss. The death of a parent, a spouse, or a child. Suicides and drug overdoses. Diminished mobility from car crashes and falls and strokes. A cancer diagnosis. Divorce. Long-term unemployment. Stalled careers. Dreams unfulfilled.

Loss comes in many forms. Whatever shape it takes, loss leaves grief or regret or remorse or shock or some mixture of these in its wake. No one’s pastoral bag of tricks comes with a magic wand…

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Remembrance Sunday Evening Prayer – 12 November 2017

As we continue to move my folks from the Independent Living Condo to Assisted Living, I find myself going down memory lane. A year ago, we helped wrap up the move from the house I grew up in to the Condo. This picture was hanging in the Condo. I took it down today to bring it to the new apartment on what Americans call Veteran’s Day and our British friends call Remembrance Day. Today was Remembrance Sunday and the last time I helped to commemorate this somber day of reflection was in 2005. As the Wing Chaplain at RAF Mildenhall, home of the 100th Air Refueling Wing (our heritage traces back to the WW2 100th Bomb Group who flew B-17’s out of RAF Thorpe Abbot near Dickleburg where this ceremony in 2005 took place), I took part in the ceremony. I remember laying the wreath in memory of the US Army Air Forces members who lost their lives in WW2 and praying for the dead and the living from all wars.

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow 

My God, when will we ever learn?

Politicians who have nothing to lose send the children of “others” to war

Corporate “fat cats” grow rich while the blood of the common folk spills

A warmongering mentality of the privileged elite

Drowns out the suffering of the ones who serve, bleed, and die

Self-serving bureaucrats ignore the real pain families suffer

A flag and a gesture seem to suffice in their minds

How far we have strayed from your Holy calling

To Do Justice

To Love Kindness &Mercy 

To Walk Humbly with you, O God

To Love you, Lord, with all of our being

To Love our Neighbors as ourselves 

Lord, as this Remembrance Day closes

As this Veteran’s Day closes

Help us to remember the true cost of war 

Help us to honor and support the widows and the orphans

Help us to work towards the day

When nation shall not lift up sword against nation

When we shall study war no more 

Lord, in your mercy, hear this prayer 

Dona Nobis Pacem et in Terra 

Grant Us Peace on Earth 

A wee prayer from the heart of your weary Padre…

Evening Prayer – 11 November 2017

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow 

Another day of incredible ups and downs

No, I am not just talking about Alabama football!

At home in Colorado some incredibly good news 

A dear one has been given great news in her battle with cancer

Closer to home we walk the valley of hope and healing prayers 

At this time, my heart is full

Full of thanks for dear ones who walk with us

Through the Valley of the Shadows 

Full of thanks for the privilege of serving your children, Lord 

Thankful for the companionship on the journey

Thankful for your light shining in the darkness

As we prepare for your Lord’s Day

May you accept this humble prayer 

Dona Nobis Pacem et in Terra 

Grant Us Peace on Earth 

A wee prayer from the heart of your exhausted Padre

vanish: letting go of our cares and concerns

As the skies have been mostly overcast and we walk through challenging times, your words touch the soul, Joy… thank you ❤️

Poetry Joy

November comes in shyly, concealing its icy depths in a cloak of mist. Many days are washed in vapour, made mysterious by the hiddenness of things, the way the familiar can vanish in an instant.

Reducing, darkening daylight hours make us yearn for the light, seek colour and warmth and savour each tiny bit of golden, autumnal glory while we can.

Maybe we could view this concealment as invitation to turn away for a while from the allure of the world around us. To let go of our cares and concerns, and begin to mimic these chillier days by being still and rested in our souls.

Vapour in the mist

Sky shades to silver as a veil of grey
falls like a leaden blanket, allowing
mere slivers of azure blue hues to
filter through

This pale, dove-grey covering conceals sun’s
heat with filmy rays, and invites us to
come…

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Evening Prayer – 10 November 2017

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow 

When words fail, Lord your Spirit hears the heart

When situations overwhelm, Lord your Spirit provides calm

When the road is long and weary, Lord your Spirit sustains

When the way is hidden in shadows, Lord your Spirit lights the path 

So on this night, Lord bring comfort, rest, and peace 

In your mercy, hear my prayer 

Dona Nobis Pacem 

Grant Us Peace 

A wee prayer from the heart of your weary Padre…

Evening Prayer – 9 November 2017

The sun has set and the Vesper Lights flicker and glow 

For the family you are given

Thank you, Lord 

For the family you choose

Thank you, Lord 

For the honor of walking with them

Thank you, Lord 

For their presence and yours on this journey

Thank you, Lord 

Help us always and everywhere, to shine your light

Help us to embrace your light, Lord

Help us to be your light, Lord

Lord, hear our prayer

Dona Nobis Pacem 

Grant Us Peace 

A wee prayer from the heart of your Padre…