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A 2022 Thanksgiving Litany of Praise

Lord, this is a day that you have made. I shall rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

The joy you give me is my strength. Nehemiah 8:10

Lord, you are my rock and my fortress, my ever-present help. Psalm 18:2

God, grant me the grace to enter your gates with a thankful heart. Create in me a clean heart and pure motives. Then, you will accept my praise offerings. Psalm 100

Lord, because you are my shepherd I shall not want.   You make me lie down in green pastures. You lead me beside calm waters. You restore my soul. You lead me in the paths of righteousness for your name’s sake.   Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you, Lord, are with me. Your rod and staff comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I desire to dwell in your house forever. Psalm 23

Lord, thank you for another day among mortals to participate in your redeeming process!

Lord, thank you for peace that surpasses human understanding.

Lord, thank you for always being there for me, helping me escape every pitfall.

Lord, thank you for a relatively long life and a portion of good health.

Lord, thank you for redemption and restoration.

My soul praises you, God, my Savior.

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2022 in Inspirational

 

Why Our Words Matter

This writing was prompted by Peyton S. Gendron’s live-streamed killing of ten innocent people who had done the shooter no harm. Gendron‘s so-called manifesto and his actions on the fateful day of May 19, 2022, prove inflammatory words that inspired his horrific act were germinated by people preaching divisive rhetoric.

The Buffalo super-market shooter deserves to be held accountable for assassinating ten innocent people. However, the perpetrators of the hateful and untrue rhetoric that incited Gendron’s violence are also liable for the deaths of those ten innocent people Gendron killed. Moreover, those who promoted the diabolical theories corrupted Gendron’s (a weak-minded little man who lacks moral discernment) morals.

The following litany highlights ways our words impact us, others, and our varied environments – home, work, church, and neighborhood.

  1. Words matter because they influence culture. Therefore, we should be careful about the things we say.
  2. Positive words affirm, encourage, inspire, and lift up. They speak life, healing, and peace into existence.
  3. Negative words kill and destroy people’s reputations, relationships, and livelihoods. In some cases, words crush people’s spirits poking holes in their self-esteem and objectifying them by attacking and questioning their inherent value.
  4. Upbeat, pleasant words coupled with encouraging actions create warm and nurturing environments in which everyone has the opportunity to grow and flourish.
  5. Disparaging words shun, exclude, ridicule, and harass. Such terms also create a hostile and abusive atmosphere where hatred and wrongdoing are nurtured and perpetrated.
  6. When dropped in the hearing of weak-minded people, words can incite violence, including harassment, resulting in stigmatizing and the social genocide of individuals or particular groups.
  7. Occasionally, negative words lead to unstable people committing horrific acts of violence, including conducting mass shootings, encouraging folk to commit suicide, or taking a neighbor’s life over a petty disagreement or perceived personal insult.

We should choose our words carefully, understanding they have an impact beyond the small group in which the words are uttered.

May God help us speak words of life, healing, and peace. May God’s Holy Spirit gently urge us to recant and repent from saying things that can cause pain and, in some instances, irreparable damage.

God, help humanity.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2022 in Inspirational

 

Seventy-one and Me

Acknowledging that all my help comes from above

Asking the Creator to protect my heart and fill me with agape love

Acutely aware of my mortality

Asking God to help me create and leave behind an inspiring and heart-warming legacy

Basking in God’s immeasurable love

Buoyed by God’s grace and mercy

Comforted, cuddled, and cared for by the One who is, who was, and ever shall be

Emboldened by God’s Spirit

Embracing, emerging, engaging, and unintentionally enraging

Ever moving upward and forward is the way life is and always has been for me

Facing reality; motivated to create peace and harmony

Forgiving because God has forgiven me

Remaining footloose and fancy-free

Searching for ways to improve, not liking some of what I see in me

Striving to be the best I can be by learning more about how to eradicate the flaws in me

Shaking off the dead weight and asking God to show me how to get rid of toxicity

Praying for God to lengthen, strengthen, and widen my capacity for empathy

Seventy-one and me

Learning, living, and loving

Continuing to cultivate me

Seventy-one and me

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2022 in Inspirational

 

The Powerful Strength of Democracy

Like most Americans, I remained quiet but contemplative about the January 6, 2021, assault on the U. S. Capitol. However, on the anniversary of that fateful day, I was reminded that a group of fellow Americans participated in a violent attempt to prevent the certification of Joseph R. Biden, president-elect.

With dismay, I rewatched on television a mob rush the storied U.S. Capital, a worldwide symbol of democracy. Some in the crowd were chanting, “Hang Mike Pence.” The event was shocking, horrifying, and a flagrant assault on our democratic system. The folks involved behaved unpatriotically and un-American. At a minimum, they should be charged with vandalism, defacing government property, assaulting law enforcement officials, and treason.

Regardless of political ideology, God-loving and peace-loving American patriots do not employ Gestapo tactics to turn the United States of America into a totalitarian state because they disagree with the outcome of a legitimate election. Those who love this great country look for ways to strengthen, not weaken, the republic.

More importantly, those who affirm the assault on the Capital or try to whitewash the attack are as dangerous to the nation as the domestic terrorists who committed the seditious act. Shame on those who refuse to characterize the insurrections as anything other than domestic terrorists – people who used unlawful violence and intimidation against civilians in the pursuit of their personal political agenda.

It seems, integrity, love for this great nation, belief in the value of a democratic system, and concern for the common good, would compel patriotic Americans to call the assault what it was: an attack on American democracy and show by example a more civil way of dealing with political differences.

Unfortunately, too few Americans, especially politicians, have demonstrated the courage and integrity to publicly condemn the insurrection and name the mob participants domestic terrorists.

The 9-11-01 terroristic attack against our nation failed. Instead of destroying the country, America remained strong, and Americans united to protect the nation’s democratic system. Then the January 6, 2021, sedition happened. The attack failed on September 11, 2001, so did the January 6, 2021 assault. The duly elected candidate, Joe Biden, was sworn into office on January 20, 2021.

Fortunately, the failed attempts against our government show democracy is more powerful than the ideologies of those trying to cancel it.

Long live the United States of America!

May God continue blessing America and protecting the nation from terrorists and anti-democracy zealots.   

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2022 in Inspirational

 

A Thanksgiving Litany of Praise

For people of goodwill, give thanks!

For the conveniences of modern living that make life comfortable and more satisfactory for us than for previous generations, give thanks.

For relatively long life, give thanks.

For relatively good health, give thanks.

For each person’s freedom to practice their religious preference without fear of punishment from the government, give thanks.

For the grace to appreciate the significance of seemingly small things, give thanks.

For our diverse world, give thank

For optimism and dreams fulfilled, give thanks.

For forgiveness and the ability to forgive, give thanks.

For living with and overcoming some of life’s most significant challenges, give thanks.

For friendship with God, give thanks.

For grace and mercy, give thanks.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2021 in Inspirational

 

A Mature Woman’s Saturday Morning Musings

Live your life, don’t walk in the shadows of others.

Be true to the good in you!

Find the true you and work on improving yourself.

Look for and acknowledge the good in others, including your adversaries.

Do good and avoid causing harm.

Don’t allow yourself to wallow in self-pity, no matter how much you deserve to do so.

Choosing to remain in damaged emotional or mental places stunts your growth, causes you to miss opportunities, and deprives you of joyful experiences.

Run from mean-spirited people. They will intentionally hurt you when it is in their interest.

Learn to love yourself and value the gift of life God has granted you.

Remember: You are created uniquely for a purpose that is larger than yourself.

God is Creator, not an imitator!

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2021 in Inspirational

 

A Litany of Praise and Thanksgiving

Almighty, your creative power is too fantastic for mere words to express its greatness and for the human mind to grasp fully.

The existence and position of the sun, moon, stars, and galaxies awe inspire and frighten.

The diversity of and within nature reveals your excellence and stirs the minds and hearts of mortals.

The earth and its fullness – snow-capped majestic mountains, the vast life-giving and life-sustaining waters home to sea creatures, and supplier of necessary fluid to the life-giving land also testify of your greatness.

The seasons of the year, the lifecycles of plants and animals, and all things’ interconnectedness reveal your power.

The healing properties found in nature speak to the care with which you created all things to live and work together.

Creating something out of nothing is inconceivable to your creation. Yet the existence of all things is proof that you brought all things into being and shows your orderliness.

Thank you for victories and for giving hope.

Thank you for creating doors and opportunities where none existed.

Thank you for abundance!

Thank you for nutritious and tasty food.

Thank you for water for drinking, bathing, cooking, cleaning, and irrigating crops.

Thank you for meaningful work and days of rest – Sabbaths, national holidays, and vacations.

Thank you for the ease and convenience of modern living.

Thank you for paved roads and relatively safe travel by land, air, and sea.

Thank you for mass transportation and personal vehicles for work and leisure.

Thank you for indoor plumbing and hot and cold running water.

Thank you for mass-produced, fashionable, and reasonably priced clothing.  

Thank you for the arts-paintings, music, films, live theatre, and literature. They entertain, stimulate, and cause us to reflect.

Thank you for public spaces to relax and play indoors and outdoors.

Thank you for modern medicine and technology.

Thank you for making mortals caretakers of the earth.

Thank you for the comfort of being in a relationship with you and fellowship with others.

Thank you for your great love for creation.

Thank you for the forgiveness of sin and for “do-overs.”

Thank you for Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Thank you for imparting your Holy Spirit to us.

Glory to Your name!

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2020 in Inspirational

 

All-Night Prayer Vigil Update

Trust in the Lord

August 30, 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Praise God: our overnight prayer vigil, which ended this morning, was a great success! I believe I speak for the group in saying we had a high time in the Lord.

Before the event started, I was as excited about participating as I imagine couples are when thinking about exchanging vows on their wedding day, or the rush of anticipation folk feel as they contemplate embarking on the adventure of a lifetime or ticking off items on their bucket list.  The all-night prayer vigil fulfilled my expectations.

Although all-night prayer vigils are not new to me, the one we completed this morning had a different feel. From the moment the concept occurred to me, my spirit seemed to go into overdrive. I thought about it daily. I even found myself counting the days, hours, and minutes leading up to its start—the night before, I could hardly sleep.

How does one measure the success of a spiritual event? My professional training and experience have prepared me to establish measurable outcomes to determine the effectiveness of planning and carrying out agendas. But, since God’s ways differ from mortals, human measuring devices are not able to capture spiritual success. Aside from the uplifting time we had in the Lord, perhaps our faith to believe God will grant our petitions is the appropriate method for deciding the effectiveness of our 31-day spiritual journey, including the all-night prayer vigil that culminated the experience.

Sisters and brothers, please pray for my continued strength in the Lord, and may God be with us while we are absent from one another.

Grace and peace to you,

Allegra

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2020 in Inspirational

 

A Prayer for help Based on Psalm 86

Dear God,

Glory to Your name! Please, incline Your ear and answer us, for we are needy.  You are our God; save Your servants because we trust in You. Be merciful to us, O Lord, for we continually call upon you. Bring joy to Your servants, for to You, O Lord, we lift up our souls. For You, O Lord, are kind and forgiving, rich in loving devotion to all who call on You. Hear our prayer, O LORD, and attend to our plea for mercy. In the day of our distress, we call on You because You answer. O Lord, there is none like You among the gods, nor any works like Yours. All the nations You have made will come and bow before You, O Lord, and they will glorify Your name. For You are great and perform wonders; You alone are God. Teach us Your way, O LORD, that we may walk in Your truth. Give each of us an undivided heart, that we may fear Your name. Grant us the grace to praise You with all our hearts and glorify Your name forever. For great is Your loving devotion to us; You have delivered us from the depths of sin.

The arrogant rise against us, O God; a band of ruthless people seek to undermine and harm us without just cause. But You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion and faithfulness. Turn to us and have mercy; grant Your strength to Your servants; save us.

Reveal Yourself to the unjust so they will know You are God Almighty, the Alpha and Omega, the same yesterday, today, and forever, and they are compelled to return to You their Creator.

Have mercy upon Your creation and deliver us from evil.  In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2020 in Inspirational

 

Hope!

Greetings in the blessed name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hallelujah, “He is risen!” Jesus is gone up on high! Burst the bars of death asunder; Angels shout, and men reply: He is risen, He is risen, Living now, no more to die.”[i]

Amid the devastating news about the toll COVID-19 is having on individuals, families, neighborhoods, states, our country, and the world, there is good news!  We are not overwhelmed by the havoc COVID-19 is wreaking around the globe because we know, “All things work together to the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to God’s purpose. “(Romans 8: 28). God’s great love for creation demonstrated by Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection gives us hope that, like other catastrophes the world has overcome, the coronavirus pandemic shall pass. We will return to some sense of normalcy.

Thank God for local and state elected officials, and healthcare professionals who have developed multiple strategies to save lives and to try and curtail the spread of coronavirus. The stay-at-home mandate issued by governors and mayors, coupled with the recommendation to keep at least six feet between people, have changed our behavior. While the temporary changes are uncomfortable and inconvenient for some, they also provide unexpected silver linings.

Cooperation and neighborliness are more evident than usual. Strangers at grocery stores and pharmacies wish each other well, and many offer to help the elderly without expecting anything in return. Getting proper rest and enough sleep are other unintended benefits of staying home and keeping distance between ourselves and others.

Social-distancing has also presented a unique way for us to show God’s love. In essence, by agreeing to adhere to social-distancing, we sacrifice our freedom of movement to protect the health and welfare of others.  That, my sisters and brothers, is a godly way to behave, and it exemplifies Jesus’ commandment for us to love one another.

Praise God for those who choose the welfare of people over profits and for people of goodwill!

Peace and blessings,

Pastor Allegra Hoots

 

“A new commandment I give to you that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”                                                                                                                    

[i] Bliss, Philip Paul, (1838 – 1876)  “Hallelujah, He is risen”

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2020 in Inspirational