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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

 

wooden cross

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3: 17)”

Usually, I write a prayer or poem for Christmas. This year, however, I felt compelled to do something different because it seems some media outlets mistakenly paint Christian evangelicals with a broad brush as self-serving, bullies, mean-spirited, unethical, fence-walkers, those who only condemn what or when it is in their interest to denounce.

Evangelicals are not a monolith. Instead, they are a diverse group of disciples of Christ trying to glorify God by following the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are present in every Christian denomination, and they represent every ethnicity and social and economic class. They work in every field and live in every neighborhood.

They are compassionate, caring people who, by the grace of God, try to behave justly, and they pray for the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth. They demonstrate mercy toward others because God is merciful.

The following is a summary of what many evangelicals believe.

An Evangelical Declaration

  • God is sovereign and is present all the time in every place
  • The Bible, consisting of the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) and the New Testament, is God’s inerrant word
  • Salvation is by grace, not by works, and comes only through Christ Jesus
  • God is no respecter of persons because redemption is available to all who repent and accept Jesus Christ as Lord
  • The Lord, our God, is one Triune, -Creator (Father), Redeemer (Jesus, Savior), and Sustainer (Holy Spirit)
  • God loves all people, including sinners – of which I am one who is saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
  • We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead and in everlasting life
  • We believe Jesus is the Messiah prophesied about by the Hebrew prophets
  • We believe Scripture teaches God’s people are to behave justly and practice mercy
  • We believe Jesus will come again to redeem the Church
  • We believe the Church is three dimensional- the spotless Church of Christ, the church within each believer, and the church as an organized body of believers
  • We believe in freewill – mortals have the God-given ability to choose between right and wrong
  • We believe the Church is one body consisting of different parts
  • Jesus is the head of the Church
 
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Posted by on December 27, 2019 in Inspirational

 

Things to Guard

guard your heart

 

Click on the link below to view the post.

 

Sunday Morning Thoughts, August 25, 2019

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2019 in Inspirational

 

Opening up to Grow up

In the book of Colossians, chapter 3, verses 12–17, the Apostle Paul and Timothy encouraged Jesus’ followers to adopt a worldview that centered around promoting the Lord Jesus Christ (lifting up Jesus Christ was their primry objective), developing unity among believers, and living in peace with those within and outside the newly formed band of converts.

Listed below are the attitudes and practices the authors highlighted as necessary to effect the changes they advocated.

1. Compassion – Demonstrate concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
2. Kindness – Behave friendly, generous, and considerate.
3. Humility – Hold a modest view of one’s importance.  Remember, each person has intrinsic value because each was created by and in the image of the Creator.
4. Gentleness – Treat others with tenderness.
5. Patience – Develop the capacity to accept, tolerate or delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset
6. Forgiving – Show mercy. Act without malice
7. Loving– Work for the common good. Overcome selfishness.
8. Be a peacemaker – “Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called the children of God.” Do not deliberately cause harm.
9. Be thankful – Look at the glass half full instead of half empty.

The characteristics Paul and Timothy urged the early converts to adopt are crucial for building and maintaining nurturing  communities and organizations. Individuals who possess those qualities contribute to goodness. Where goodness is there is harmony and the possibility for sustaining peaceful relationships.

To God be the glory.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2019 in Inspirational

 
Quote

via Advent 2018

Advent 2018

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2018 in Inspirational

 
Quote

via Proceed with Caution: A Biblical Response to Personal Rejection-(The Original Text)

Proceed with Caution: A Biblical Response to Personal Rejection-(The Original Text)

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2018 in Inspirational

 

Sixty-eight and Me

Sixty-eight and me
Fearless, footloose, and fancy-free
Sixty-eight and me
Traversing life’s tapestries
Sixty-eight and me
Gradually grasping, gripping, and groping
Sixty-eight and me
Making and molding memories
Sixty-eight and me
Moving melodiously
Sixty-eight and me
sixty-eight and me

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2018 in Inspirational