Our Eyes Were Opened


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Donald Trump Prayer Project 4.10.17

God of Swords Turned into Plowshares, implant in Mr. Trump a yearning for peace and not conflict in the world. Infuse his spirit with a passion for peace beyond our understanding. Amen       4.10.17

Background of the Project: As I was thinking about the massive changes occurring in our country with even more to come, I thought about what I could do. I’ve received notices about getting involved with various organizations that will work for certain issues that might be negatively affected with the new administration. I’ve thought about trying to ignore all the news about Donald Trump but that’s rather hard to do. Then the amazing holy light bulb went off. I could pray for Mr. Trump and I could invite others to pray for him also. The prayers would not be about specific pet projects or agendas facing our nation or groups of people I care about. They would not be about particular legislation. The prayers would be about the man, lifted up to God, and trusted into God’s wisdom and grace. If I truly believe in the gospel news, then prayer is where we each should start…not as a last resort but as a first.

I’ll post a prayer several times a week at first. I invite you to join in this prayer vigil for Mr. Trump. Please add your own prayers. They do not have to be long or even especially well written. They just have to be honest.


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The Challenge of Reentering Society

The ReEntry Simulation helps participants experience some of the challenges of re-entering society after being incarcerated. These are real problems for real people. If we as a community do not recognize these issues and find ways to address them, then the likelihood of the ex-offender returning to incarceration is high indeed, as high as 65% within three years.

While offenders are released to diverse communities with differing levels of support and intrinsic motivation, many share a lot of the same challenges. The ReEntry Simulation illustrates the journey to self-sufficiency and the barriers that may contribute to feelings of helplessness and decreased self-efficacy.

Participants assume the identity of an ex-offender who has just been released. They are charged to take care of all their living expenses and court ordered appointments within the month (four 15-minute weeks.) They will interact with an employer, the probation office, ID station, as well as many other groups.

The simulation takes two hours and requires a minimum of 25 people and a maximum of 72.  The target population for the simulation is not ex-offenders but people in society who can assist people in making the transition: employers, lawyers, judges, probation officers, legislators, landlords, churches, staff in helping agencies, etc.

Please contact me if you are interested in finding out more.


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Donald Trump Prayer Project 4.3.17

God of gods, the presidential oath ends with the words, “So help me God.” Instill these words into the recesses of Mr. Trump’s heart, mind, and soul so they become his earnest prayer. Amen        4.3.17

Background of the Project: As I was thinking about the massive changes occurring in our country with even more to come, I thought about what I could do. I’ve received notices about getting involved with various organizations that will work for certain issues that might be negatively affected with the new administration. I’ve thought about trying to ignore all the news about Donald Trump but that’s rather hard to do. Then the amazing holy light bulb went off. I could pray for Mr. Trump and I could invite others to pray for him also. The prayers would not be about specific pet projects or agendas facing our nation or groups of people I care about. They would not be about particular legislation. The prayers would be about the man, lifted up to God, and trusted into God’s wisdom and grace. If I truly believe in the gospel news, then prayer is where we each should start…not as a last resort but as a first.

I’ll post a prayer several times a week at first. I invite you to join in this prayer vigil for Mr. Trump. Please add your own prayers. They do not have to be long or even especially well written. They just have to be honest.


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Donald Trump Prayer Project 3.21.17

Holy God, sometime I am so confounded by President Trump’s actions and comments that I do not even want to pray for him. I ask you to pray with sighs too deep for words for him. I ask you to help me want to pray that you will surround him with your compassionate love and steadfast grace. Amen      3.21.17

 


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Donald Trump Prayer Project Update

Master of the Universe, there are so many voices telling Mr. Trump what to do. Help him to learn to listen for your small voice that whispers to him the real way for life. Amen       2.21.17

God Who Became Human, instill in Mr. Trump a sense of his own humanity. Let him embrace his vulnerability so it becomes a strength, not a liability. Amen        2.26.17

Holy One, be with Mr. Trump when he feels confused or scared in his innermost being. Give him strength to stand tall and not flail about, floundering for the next step. Amen                 3.5.17

God of History, may the history that Mr. Trump is making bring us closer to the world you envision for us where mourning and crying and pain will be no more. Amen                                      3.11.17

God of Truth, it is easy to live in a bubble created by where one lives. And yet, you chose to live amidst us as a human being, suffering with us, laughing with us, and experiencing life in its rawness. Help Mr. Trump to be a man of the Earth. Amen                                                                                       3.15.17

 

Background of the Project: As I was thinking about the massive changes occurring in our country with even more to come, I thought about what I could do. I’ve received notices about getting involved with various organizations that will work for certain issues that might be negatively affected with the new administration. I’ve thought about trying to ignore all the news about Donald Trump but that’s rather hard to do. Then the amazing holy light bulb went off. I could pray for Mr. Trump and I could invite others to pray for him also. The prayers would not be about specific pet projects or agendas facing our nation or groups of people I care about. They would not be about particular legislation. The prayers would be about the man, lifted up to God, and trusted into God’s wisdom and grace. If I truly believe in the gospel news, then prayer is where we each should start…not as a last resort but as a first.

I’ll post a prayer several times a week at first. I invite you to join in this prayer vigil for Mr. Trump. Please add your own prayers. They do not have to be long or even especially well written. They just have to be honest.


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The Stuff of Spring Cleaning

I’ve been motivated to clean out closets, drawers, and even a bit of the basement. The reasons why are:

  1. Spring flowers are blooming
  2. One daughter-in-law is on a personal challenge to minimize the stuff in her house by 2017 items in 2017. And no, she does not want any more THINGS!
  3. Another daughter-in-law posted on Facebook an article about how very much her generation does not want the items of their parents or grandparents. Brown furniture is so-o-o not current!
  4. I have had to clean out the houses of various parents, parents-in-laws, and aunts. Do I really want to torture my children this way in the far off (I hope) future?
  5. It just feels good when I know that everything has a place and is in its place, and I don’t have to search and search and search. Maybe it’s here? No? Well, maybe it’s there? No? Then where IS IT???

Once I know what I’m willing to take out of my house, then comes the real dilemma. What do I do with all the stuff? Here are my options:

  1. Put it in the garbage can.
  2. List it on one of the many sites where one can sell stuff.
  3. Take it to a consignment store.
  4. Have a yard sale.
  5. Take it to one of the charity thrift stores.

I opt for #5. Rather than simply throwing away perfectly good items (well most stuff fits this description), dealing with people contacting you about buying your stuff, or going through all the trouble of having a yard sale, I decided that giving almost everything to a thrift store is the best option for me…even if the stuff has some monetary value. Why?

  1. It’s easy. I just drive up to the drop-off and a nice person unloads my car.
  2. I get a tax receipt for the stuff. (My list of what I’ve given is at home and will be stapled to the receipt to give to my tax person.)
  3. I have enjoyed my stuff but now others get to enjoy it as well. The person who buys my donated items gets a bargain and something to use. The charity gets funds to help people rebuild their lives. And I get more space in my house.
  4. Receiving some money for my items that I might sell benefits only me. Giving to a charity thrift store benefits a lot more people.

 

So… fair warning to my husband. I’m on a cleaning frenzy!


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More Prayers for the Donald Trump Prayer Project

 

God of Glory, King of Kings, the psalmist sings that you set the prisoners free, open the eyes of the blind, lift up those who are bowed down, love the righteous, watch over strangers, and uphold the orphan and the widow. You execute justice for the oppressed and give food to the hungry (Psalm 146:7-9). Help Mr. Trump align his leadership skills with the actions you value. Amen                       1.28.17

Dearest Lord, you know that leading people is not easy. Give Mr. Trump the strength he needs to lead rather than manage, to guide rather than goad, and to seek your will rather than push personal agendas. Amen        2.1.17

Wondrous God, it is so easy for humans to try to usurp your place as center of the universe. Help Mr. Trump to be aware of this temptation. Give him strength and wisdom to realize this. Amen     2.7.17

“Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in his sight” says the song some children learned in Sunday School. Teach this song to Mr. Trump so he sings it in his soul and lives it in his decisions. Amen  2.11.17

God of the Lost and Forgotten, nudge Mr. Trump to care for those who are invisible in our world. Help him see those who others ignore. Help him to be a change agent for good for those who are so often forgotten.  Amen      2.17.17