Thursday, June 30, 2016

Forgiveness, A Sigh of Relief

Well I did it. I sent it off.


I decided it was too heavy of a load and I didn't want to carry it anymore.

Now you're probably wondering, "What did I send off?"

Well....

Since writing Forgiveness is Friggin' Hard a month ago, I've continued to push through my feelings of forgiveness and what it looks like and wrestling with the anger and hatred I've felt. (Man hatred is such an ugly word.)

'Cause I don't want to be angry or hate anyone. Even if they hurt me.

But it's taken time to work through my feelings. It's not an over-night magic trick.


I think that's one of the reasons Lot's wife was told to not look back, but then she did and poof, she was turned into a pillar of salt. It's too much to look back. We can't go in the right direction IF we're constantly looking behind us, it truly destroys us. 

And we can't move on if we're destroyed. 

I was holding onto so tightly to "ALL the things they did to me," I was being suffocated to death. All the life was being sucked out of me 'cause I couldn't move forward. Basically I was turning into a pillar of salt, like Lot's wife.

I needed to do something proactive and quick. It was time. I started to picture myself holding a bird, and the bird represented the offenses I was holding onto. But ironically, it also represented me...and them. 

At first I was holding it tightly but the bird was lifeless, like me. But I was being squeezed to death in the process! 

I sucked in real deep, made my mind up to loosen my grip. It was time to release it. It was time to forgive. 


All the things I learned from scripture, it was time to walk it out. I couldn't just say it to myself, I needed to say it to them, "I forgive you." It had to come from my lips, so to speak.

I had been listening to Rob Bell's newest robcast, Pearls and Pigs, and whata ya know, he talks about letting go. Geez Oh Pete. 

Ya think God was talking to me?

I had my bible open to the passage he was using and was reading along. Oh my word, like a wave of urgency, "Julie it's time. Just set it free." 

I found some empty cards, pulled one out of the package, laid it on my bible and stared at it. 

But my brain started talking to me. It's like it was saying, "What are ya gonna write Julie? I forgive you and list all the ways you've hurt me?"

No, no, I couldn't do that. 

Jesus doesn't require us to do that. AND IF I did do that, then I don't wanna forgive all over again. 

I must look to Jesus. WWJD? 

It had to be simple. Jesus is simple. 

I wrote out their name and began to write. 



I sighed reading it. 

It was a sigh of heaviness transferring to the paper, but I also felt it was a sigh of relief.

I got an envelope, addressed it and off I went to the post office. 

The closer I got to the post office, I imagined that bird I was talking about. I imagined, with flutters in my stomach, thrusting my hands in the air, and releasing it. As I opened my hands, wings flapping before it lifts off my hands and there it goes. 


Oh I felt so much lighter dropping it in. No more chains of unforgiveness. (At least for now, for this person lol)

I wish I had been able to do this sooner. But I wasn't, and I'm okay with that. I'm learning to love myself right where I'm at, just like Jesus does. 

I feel like I can finally move forward. And I feel like letting go is enabling me to breath again, and most important of all, living again. There's that sigh of relief. 

Now I'm off to go do Life! Blessings to you all!

Peace and Love,
Julie




She Wears an Orange, Track Star

The first time I met her I was walking around the track. She was young, just 25 years old.

She didn't waste any time getting to the nitty gritty.

She began to tell me the first time she shot up with heroin was when she was twelve years old.

Twelve years old!!! (That deserves a triple exclamation point)

Twelve year olds aren't even considered a teenagers yet.

I thought of my daughter at twelve and what she was doing. I thought of myself and what I was doing at twelve. Most likely playing with barbies still.

My heart filled with compassion for her. I wanted to take her in my arms and protect this precious one from the evil's of the world.

But she went onto tell me that it was her own father that shot her up and her mother provided weed for her.

Inside I was screaming, "Are you kidding me?!?!" Your parents are the ones that are suppose to protect you, not expose you to it!

I stayed calm, as if I wasn't even phased by it.

She said she was tired from using all these years. She wanted to stop. She even prayed to God that He would help her to quit.

As we were walking and talking I noticed a deep, purple vein in her neck. She was quite a bit shorter than I so I had to look down somewhat as I would look at her. I didn't say anything about it but I didn't have to, she brought up her veins.

She went onto tell me she had used all the veins in her body and the last ones she had to use were in her neck. All her old ones had blown.

She told me her dad was in the hospital and was very sick. She was concerned he was going to die. She needed to be there for him. But in a sick and twisted way she went onto to share that it was't just her parents that were users in her family, but it was her grandfather too!

She nonchalantly shared with me that her father and grandfather and her all shot up together.

I'm still flabbergasted by this!

And we wonder why addicts can't break the cycle. ''Cause saying goodbye to using means saying goodbye to her family.

She told me that in one year alone, she had been in and out of jail 9 times. Out of her own mouth she said, "What I need is rehab not jail time."

As our conversation ended and she sat down to rest, I continued around the track. I couldn't help but think of all that she told me. What kept repeating in my brain was how thirteen years of her life she had used heroin. Thirteen years of her life had been stolen from her. For thirteen years all her hopes and dreams and aspirations had been snuffed out by this evil drug, all wrapped in a pretty, bow tied package that equaled love and connection with her family.

I never did get her name but my heart still breaks for her and I wonder where she is? I wonder about her little, broken body...how much longer can it handle this abuse?

Wherever you are Track Star, I'm thinking and praying for you.
If our paths cross again, I'll be there to walk you home, your true home, filled with love and safety and protection.

Peace and Love,
Julie


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

She Wears an Orange, Letters from an Addict

I look in the mirror hardly ever. I wash my face without looking. I look up as I do my hair.
My heart is so blue. My mind doesn't know the answers. This isn't a test.
My soul is badly covered in soil I can barely breathe.
Is there a way out I shout?!?!
This is such a deep hole it's hard to climb out.
I'm all alone in here.
I'm surrounded by turmoil, worms, lingering things.
The thoughts of, is there a way out?
Which way do I go?
How can I get out?
There's no map or atlas to direct me.
The one way has to come to an end.
Yep, that's how I fell in!
I need another street to take.
Will I make it out of here all alone?
I know I will one day be at the Throne with the correct piece!
God's here with me. I can feel Him.
I hope He will help me find the way.
So dark I can barely see.
The Pressures too much for me.
I just want to scream and shout, "Lord help me out!"
This is regret.
This is pain.
This is having no correct man to love me the right way.
The grief.
I'm overwhelmed.
I gave it to you, so it's a lot easier to me & for me.
I take the air in and breathe.
I'm starting to climb out.
My voice is getting calmer.
My heart is beating regular.
The Mirror just not yet.
Too much regret.
When I do peak, I see my mom and I think, that's what keeps me away.
The reflection I see in that mirror.
I love you mom.
I need you to say it in return.


This is Ally Girl. Her name has been changed to protect her identity.
She may be incarcerated but she's a human being, just like you and me.

She's just lost her way.

But that's what we're to do for each, walk each other home.

Peace and Love,
Julie


Friday, June 10, 2016

Lamenting, Creating, Imperfections and Light

I've felt really down this past week.

I was also alone for a few days.

Now before you say I'm just being sensitive, I haven't been away from my family, not one single day, in over six months. So I was sad to be away from them.

My husband drove to Tennessee, with my son, his friend and my daughter, and then they drove back the very next day.


My daughter is spending a couple weeks down there with her bestie, since middle school. A lot of time has gone by, distance has separated them, but through thick and thin, they've stayed close as ever.



They were so happy to see each other. It's really precious. 

Ironically, it was my ex-bestie's birthday. 

So she had been on my mind quite often over these past few days.

She's the one I've struggled with forgiving. It's something I will keep pursuing but I don't think I can ever be friends with her again.

Decisions had been made, on my part and hers, and our friendship imploded.

I was not only affected but my family as well.

Ya know the old saying, "Too much water under the bridge." Well this bridge was swept away.

And I grieve the death of that friendship.

But it was also my husband's aunt's birthday. She passed away almost 4 years ago.

She was only 5' maybe 4" and I think I'm being generous with her height. But let me tell ya, she had a giant personality. She was loved by everybody. She would tell the funniest stories and I would just die laughing.



In these pics above, she's telling a story about her son, Aron and her dog Thor. Her son came in from outside and took off his shoes. Wherever he was sitting was apparently somewhere close to her dog, with his feet close to Thor's face. Thor immediately lifted his head off the floor, titled his head and scampered off.

Oh my gosh, the way she told it though. As you can see, I was hysterically laughing. I went on like that for minutes.

Family meant the world to her. And she meant the world to each of us.


I miss her terribly. She was the healthiest person I knew. For her to get cancer, it's absolutely unbelievable still. There's no rhyme or reason for who gets it and who doesn't. It's heartbreaking to lose someone that special.

Oh I know lots about losing people you love. I lost a beloved aunt myself. And my granny. And my dad. And so many more. In one year alone we lost 11 people! How is that okay?!?!

I guess that's why I am drawn to messages about suffering cause' I can relate.

I was sharing with a friend how I've been feeling and she gave me permission to lament. I assured her I was.

I have been doing some creative things as well.

I decided after nearly two years to pick my paint brush back up. I finished painting an end table. It's not perfect but I love it. I think it's beautiful.


The imperfections on it remind me of an expert of Drops Like Stars, by Rob Bell. He was talking about the art of failure. He said, "What every artist must learn is that even the failed pieces are essential." He goes on to share, "The Franciscan priest Richard Rohr points out that Native Americans have a tradition of leaving a blemish in one corner of the rug they are weaving because they believe that's where the spirit enters."

It's also reminds me of the quote by Rumi.


These quotes have such deep meaning for me. Because I feel SO imperfect, when I see imperfections on part of whatever I'm working on, it's like it leaves a part of me on it.

I'll keep lamenting.
Keep creating.
Keep moving furniture. (Cause' I did that too)


The hutch was in the kitchen and I put on my She-Ra muscles (really those movers thingys on the bottom of the hutch) and pushed that sucker in the dining room. Then I hauled the little cabinet from the basement, by flipping it all the way upstairs, until it successfully sat where the hutch originally was. I definitely was praying that it wouldn't tumble back over on me. It was a nail biter for a minute or two.

Ultimately I'd like a nice, long counter in front of that window in the kitchen but those three units will have to do.

Time to find another project to work on to help with my lamenting.

Love and Peace,
Julie

Monday, June 6, 2016

You Gotta Take the Good with the Bad

Ya know how on your Facebook timeline, it offers for you to see your memories? 

They show you the most recent to the furthest back, starting with "a year ago."

Last year really sucked for me. So I usually quickly scroll by to not see any posts from then.

The only ones I wanna see are the happy memories of my family. 

But today I was reminded of one from the year my dad passed away, 2009. That was another year from hell. And the following year. Man have I had a few years that have been doused in pain.

Often times I think, "I wish I could just erase 2015 as if it never happened."  

I was thinking this morning about those darn memories. 

My dear friend Sue and I were talking about memories the other day. She was sharing with me how someone she knows has been doing an experiment on memories. She asked him if there was a way we can erase bad memories and he said, "Not without erasing the good ones."

I simply say, Ugh.

I often think of the story of Joseph, who went through a great many trials before being united with his family. He was plotted against by his own brothers, thrown into a well, sold into slavery, unsuccessfully seduced by his owner's wife, then lied about and thrown in jail, spent more than two years in there until Pharaoh needed an interpreter and Joseph was finally remembered. Then he spent I don't know how many years as Prime Minister of Egypt until the time his family was before him, offering forgiveness to them. 

He fully came to realize that all he had been through was for a purpose. In Genesis 50:20 he says, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done..."

That's one of the ironies of moments like that, seeing the good through the bad, and frankly, it's a chance to rebuild what you once thought was destroyed. 

So writing has been therapy for me. But one of the downsides to writing is being able to look back and see the mess you were in. However, one of the upsides to writing is seeing how far you've come from the mess you were in. 

With that being said, I was looking back at some of the things I wrote last year, and as I'm reading it I can sense the agony I was feeling then. I'm looking at the me from last year sorta like an out of body experience. I wanna grab the me of last year and hold her and let her know it's going to be okay, and I'm not leaving her side. 

I'd like to share an excerpt from one of the things I wrote last year. It's taken a lot of courage for me to do this because I'm still guarded. I still have a hard time trusting. But maybe this will help some of you who are going through a difficult time right now. And I want people to know, You are not alone.

Mass Genocide of Loss
by Julie Dixon

A mass genocide of loss accurately describes how I'm currently feeling.

Now a mass genocide of loss will leave you in utter shock and despair. It makes you question if you will ever be able to recover from the devastation. 

Alone has been my constant. 

The pain I feel is incomprehensible.

Love does not force, fear does. God sees the bigger picture in all of this. He was never afraid of me Not returning to Him. He's my Shepherd. He would have gently called me home. But man has to step in and make things happen NOW. We have the misconception that God isn’t big enough to handle waywardness so we MUST do something. Surely He needs our help.

When a son or daughter disobeys a parent does that make them no longer a son or daughter? Through loving correction the child is restored. But through harsh beatings, the child cowers and wants to flee. 

Too much pain, like a pinball machine. Not quite sure where the ball is gonna hit or when it’s gonna stop.

I just really have to believe that Jesus isn’t like Christians. The irony in that is that I am one. But I don't wanna be like the mean ones. The rules only club. I wanna be like the Good Samaritan.


He has such deep acceptance and love for you, exactly where you’re at. And He waits. And He waits. No matter how long it takes, He waits. Loves you in all your prickliness, in all your drunkenness, in all your filth. And He waits. He’s supernaturally drawing you with the power of His blood, that covers all our sins. 

So here we are, on the flip side of last year and I wouldn't trade where I'm at for anything in the world. What I went through, got me where I'm at, because of last year, and all the other painful years I've experienced. 

The relationship I have with my husband, the best it's ever been in all 23 years of marriage. We fought for each other hard. I saw him put on the gloves and go to battle for me. My daughter and I are inseparable. We love each other dearly and I wouldn't give that up for nothing. My sister, you don't wanna mess with her. She's truly one of the greatest women I known. My brother-in-law, a meek man, but boy, what a protector. And Sue and Debbie and Sarah and I can't forget Christina. I am truly blessed by these beautiful friendships.

I've lost some relationships as well. Many. Pretty much too many to count. But the shake down has happened and it's shown who was genuine and who wasn't. 

Do I still have twinges of pain here and there, most definitely. I'm not sure if those will ever leave. Guess time will tell. 

Hey, I still feel sadness when I think about losing my dad, and that was six years ago. It's not as great as it was the year we lost him or the year after, but there's apart of me still missing him. Maybe it's similar. Twinges of grief. Twinges of what the hell was I thinking. But also twinges of remembrance, of how grateful I am that God never left my side. He was with me the whole time.

I see now that those memories, you can't kill the bad without killing the good. I don't wanna lose those. I hold onto those like my life depends on it. 

Love and Peace,
Julie 





Sunday, June 5, 2016

Stirring the pot

Ya ever post something on Facebook that really stirs people the wrong way? 

Well I did the other day. But I certainly didn't mean to. 

There seemed to be such a divided response, and I'm okay with that. I love to hear people's different perspectives, so I welcome it.

So let me tell you what I shared. 

"I ran into an old pastor of ours the other day. I said, "Hi!" like I was super excited to see them after all these years. 
They looked at me, said a quick "Hello," and put their head down.
This is exactly why people get hurt by "the church."
I wanted to clap my hands and shout, "Pastor," in a sarcastic way.
WE REPRESENT CHRIST FOLKS! Represent Him well.'

My comment section was so blown up I felt like I had to explain myself in another post. Ugh. 

"Since there was so much discussion on the post about me running into the pastor, I decided to clear some things up.
I wasn't trying to shame this pastor, as I didn't give out the name. Not my intention at all. 
I've been under many pastors over the years. 
But since I recently had a discussion with someone over church hurts, that was based on a meme I saw and disagreed with. (I'll post it in the comment section.)
I was just saying We as Christians should do better in the mundane, such as running into people rather than all show from the pulpit. Cause that's not genuine.
I am on a journey myself and this isn't a pointing the finger at "them" but as "Us," the body of Christ, being representatives of Him and His grace and mercy.
And btw, I love all the dialogue, hearing everyone's perspective.
Much love to you all." 

Here's the meme I was talking about. 


I just honestly don't feel like being hurt by "the Church" has ANYTHING to do with your faith.

We are the church. Us as individuals, we are the church. Representatives of Jesus Christ. Ambassadors of God the Father. If we're hurt by the church it's because the church (made up of individuals) wasn't loving like Jesus. But on the other hand if we are hurt by the church then we're also not loving like Jesus. It's two-sided. 

I've just been doing a lot of people watching these days, as I've been doing my own self evaluation, and I certainly know I don't get it right all the time. I mess up daily. But I think as Christians we need to do better. 

One thing Christians are known for are being hypocrites. They preach one thing, yet do another. How in the world do we think people would want to become a Christian, OR come back to Him, if they can't SEE with their own eyes that we aren't loving to them or each other. 

My hub and I were talking about this incident and he said, "This is exactly why I don't like to say hi to people because they usually don't respond or aren't friendly. And it hurts when they don't."

And it's true, it does hurt. But because I verbalize that it hurts I get blasted? That doesn't make sense either. 


Here's the thing, I am a Christian. But I don't wanna be known for being a judgmental jerk. I wanna be known for radically loving people. 

So here's what I did, I reached out to them, not bringing up that I felt slighted, but let them know I was thinking of them and praying for them. I'd be great to get a response but if they don't they don't. 

Have you ever felt slighted by someone in leadership, or even someone you looked up to in the church? I'd love to hear your story. Let's lean on each other know we aren't alone. 
Let me know in the comments.

Love and Peace,
Julie









Saturday, June 4, 2016

All I Wanna Do is Post A Liturgy of Prayer

The font in the first post of this kept changing every time I pushed update, so cross our fingers that this one cooperates.

I don't know about you but some days I have a hard time praying. 
Who I am kidding, I have a hard time most days. 

But as I was reading 


by Brian Zahnd, which is now FREE on Kindle, I paid for mine, whatev...
He talks about the value of praying prayers that have already been laid out 
for us. He calls them, a liturgy of prayer. 
And to think when Jesus prayed, many of His prayers were straight from 
the Psalms. 
The very Word we read today!

He shares in his book a whole list of prayers that he's incorporated into 
his prayer life.

So I hope this is as helpful to you as it was and is to me. 

Blessings,
Julie 

A Liturgy for Morning Prayer 
Address
Father God, creator of heaven and earth, 
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
God of Israel, God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 
True and Living God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, 
Have mercy and hear my prayer. 

First Prayers 
O Lord, open our lips. And our mouth shall proclaim your praise. 
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: 
as it was in the beginning is now, and will be forever. Amen. Hallelujah. 

O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: 
as it was in the beginning is now, and will be forever. Amen. Hallelujah. 

The Jesus Prayer 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me. 

Confession of Sin 
Most merciful God, 
we confess that we have sinned against you 
in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, 
and by what we have left undone. 
We have not loved you with our whole heart; 
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. 
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. 
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; 
that we may delight in your   
will, and walk in your ways, 
to the glory of your Name. Amen. 

Psalm for the Day 
(Corresponding to the day of the year) 

Gospel Reading 
(According to the Revised Common Lectionary) 

Apostles’ Creed 
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. 
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. 
He descended to the dead. 
On the third day he rose again. 
He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right of the Father. 
He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, 
the communion of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, 
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. 
Amen. 

Jesus Prayer 
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me. 

Psalm 23 
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures 
He leads me beside still waters. 
He restores my soul. 
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his Name’s sake. 
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I shall fear no evil; 
For you are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 
You anoint my head with oil, My cup overflows. 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, 
and I will dwell in the house of the Lorforever. 

Psalm 91:1-2 
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, 
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty 
I will say of the Lord, 
“You are my fortress and my refuge, my God in whom I will trust. 

Prayer for Family 
Psalm 103:1-5 
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy Name. 
Bless the Lord, O my soul, 
and forget not all his benefits. 
He pardons all your iniquities, and heals all your diseases; 
He redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with lovingkindness 
and mercy; He satisfies you with good things, 
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me bless his holy name. 

Lord’s Prayer 
Our Father, who art in heaven, 
hallowed be thy Name, 
thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. 
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. 
Amen. 

Jesus Prayer 
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me. 

The Lord’s Prayer Expanded 
Our Father, Holy Father, Abba Father, in the heavens, 
Hallowed, holy, sacred be your name. 
From the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same, 
The name of the Lord is to be praised. 
Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. 
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts, 
The whole earth is full of your glory. 
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, 
Who was and is and is to come. 
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 
Thy government come, thy politics be done, 
On earth as it is in heaven. 
Thy reign and rule come, thy plans and purposes be done, 
On earth as it is in heaven. 
May we be an anticipation of the age to come. 
May we embody the reign of Christ here and now. 
Give us day by day our daily bread. 
Provide for the poor among us. 
As we seek first your kingdom and your justice, 
May all we need be provided for us. 
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. 
Forgive us our sins as we 
forgive those who sin against us. 
Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. 
Transform us by the Holy Spirit into a forgiving community of forgiven sinners. 
Lead us not into trouble, trial, tribulation or temptation. 
Be mindful of our frame, we are but dust, We can only take so much. 
Lead us out of the wilderness into the promised land that flows with milk 
and honey, 
Lead us out of the badlands into resurrection country. 
Deliver us from evil and the evil one. 
Save us from Satan, the accuser and adversary. 
So that no weapon formed against us shall prosper. 
So that every tongue that rises against us in accusation you will condemn. 
So that every fiery dart of the 
wicked one is extinguished by the shield of faith. 
So that as we submit to you and resist the devil, the devil flees. 
So that as we draw near to Jesus Christ lifted up, 
His cross becomes for us the axis of love expressed in forgiveness, 
That refounds the world; 
And the devil, who became the false ruler of the fallen world, 
Is driven out from among us. 
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen 

Petition and Intercession 
(Making our needs known and praying for others) 


Contemplation 

(Sitting with Jesus) 

Prayer to the Crucified Christ 
Lord Jesus, you stretched out your arms of love upon the hard wood 
of the cross that everyone might 
come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit 
that we, 
reaching forth our hands 
in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love 
of you; for the honor of your name. 
Amen. 

The Beatitudes 
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied. 
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 
Blessed are the peacemakers, 
for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are those who are 
persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Prayer for Peace 
O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, 
and sent your blessed Son 
to preach peace 
to those who are far off and to those who are near: 
Grant that people everywhere may seek after you 
and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit 
upon all flesh; 
and hasten the coming 
of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Amen. 

Prayer of St. Francis 
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. 
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; 
Where there is injury, pardon; 
Where there is doubt, faith; 
Where there is despair, hope; 
Where there is darkness, light; 
And where there is sadness, joy, 
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek 
to be consoled as to console; 
to be understood, as to understand; 
to be loved, as to love. 
For it is in giving that we receive; 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. 
Amen. 

Prayer for the Week 
(The weekly collect from The Book of Common Prayer) 

Prayer for Grace 
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety 
to this new day: 
preserve us with your mighty power, 
that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; 
and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Amen. 
  
Prayer of Thanksgiving 
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give 
you humble thanks for all your 
goodness and lovingkindness to us and to all whom you have made. 
We bless you for our creation, 
preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for 
your immeasurable love 
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; 
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. 
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, 
that with truly thankful hearts we may show 
forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, 
by giving up our selves to your service, and by 
walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and 
the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen. 

Prayer for Mercy 
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

Confession of the Mystery 
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. 

Jesus Prayer 
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.