Art

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“This is uncanny, Lord:

a rutted sandy road

running through grass

to a railroad crossing,

a semaphore

against a blue sky

and a white cloud,

a little water color

on a piece of rough paper.

I’ve seen this all a thousand times,

but here it is,

trapped and alive and held:

the golden hue of every glorious summer day,

the everlasting simple grass and sand and sky,

a bit of the first morning,

when the morning stars sang together

and the sons of God shouted for joy.

Adam could walk across this railroad track

and eve, still nude and unashamed.

Uncanny is hardly the word for it;

call it a miracle.

I thank you Lord

for the miracle

of this artist’s eye of innocence,

this deep adoration of Your handiwork

that lets me look upon Your world again

as once Your Son could look

on lilies of the field

growing in Galilee.”

Prayer by Martin H. Franzmann, Pray for Joy

 

 

A Citizen’s Prayer

 

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Photo by Laura Jostes

“Purge us, O God,

of cynical distrust,

of party passion,

of the deafness

of our rebellious bent.

Teach us, O Lord, the meekness

that would rather be deceived

than be encrusted

with perpetual distrust.

Teach the charity

that will interpret

all uncertainties

toward the side of goodness.

Create in our world

an air in which

the truth can freely breathe,

a sea on which

the ships of truth can sail,

an earth on which

the feet of truth can walk unhurt.

Your Son, our Lord,

would not speak ill of Caesar

even when Caesar’s power

nailed Him to the cross.

Give us the Spirit of Your Son.”

For Jesus’ sake we pray, Amen

~Prayer by Martin H. Franzmann, Pray For Joy

“Let love be without hypocrisy.  Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good…  Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.  Respect what is right in the sight of all men.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  Romans 12:9, 17-18, 21

 

Honor

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Photo by Laura Jostes

“Almighty God,

You have ordained the authorities that are;

You have clothed them in a majesty

   that is higher and stronger

   than the given facts of their history,

a majesty that wakens fear in us

   and claims honor from us.

O God, remember in Your mercy

   the men who bear the burden of this majesty,

   men like us, easily bent

      by the pressure of temptation,

      by the impact of expediency.

Remember them and strengthen them

      when they are moved

   to shade the truth to their own ends,

   to withhold what should be told,

   to distort what must be told,

   to disclose what does not serve

      our common weal.

Keep intact their honor and their credibility”

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Prayer by Martin H. Franzmann, Pray For Joy

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God…Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom is due; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”  Romans 13: 1, 7

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Our God is a jealous God. Where do your loyalties lie? Seek the Lord and sing His praise; Let everyone know what He has done. He has come to save us from our sins and give us life everlasting!

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“Nothing teaches us about the preciousness of the Creator
as much as when we learn the emptiness of everything else.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“You never go away from us, yet we have difficulty in returning to You.
Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us.
Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run.”

Augustine of Hippo

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(altar tomb in the Rock of Cashel, the Cathedral of St Patrick / Co Tipperary, Ireland/
Julie Cook / 2015)

A thick blanket of smoke hangs heavy in the air.
It’s not the result of burning effigies or burning communities
but rather from the woods of North Carolina and northern Georgia which are on fire…
and the winds have shifted…

The sinking grey smoke is a somber reminder that there is a dangerously severe drought…
and the parched land is now beyond thirsty…

Yet there…

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A Prayer

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O God, O Lord of heaven and earth, thy living finger never wrote

That life should be an aimless mote, a deathward drift from futile birth.

Thy word meant life triumphant hurled through every cranny of Thy world.

Since light awoke and life began, Thou hast desired Thy life for man.

 

Our fatal will to equal Thee, our rebel will, wrought death and night.

We seized and used in Thy despite Thy wondrous gifts of liberty.

We housed us in this house of doom, where death had royal scope and room,

Until Thy Servant Prince of Peace breached all its walls for our release.

 

Thou camest to our hall of death, O Christ, to breathe our poisoned air,

To drink for us the dark despair that strangles man’s reluctant breath.

How beautiful the feet that trod the road that leads us back to God!

How beautiful the feet that ran to bring the great good news to man!

 

O Spirit, who didst once restore Thy Church, that it might be again

The bringer of good news to men, breathe on Thy cloven church once more,

That in these gray latter days there may be men whose life is praise,

Each life a high doxology to Father, Son and unto Thee.   Amen.

~Hymn by Martin H. Franzmann

 

This prayer-hymn speaks of the ways God works in the world that He created, redeemed, and is restoring unto Himself.  We are created by Him, redeemed through His Son Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit and now sent to share this Good News with others.

Blessings on your day!

LJ

 

 

 

Joy

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You put me on the stretch, O God.

You do me the honor of putting me to the test

as You once tested our Father Abraham.

You bid me do the impossible:

not only to endure

the tempering heat of trial

but to rejoice in it–impossible!

 

But Your Son did not find it impossible

when You tried Him with failure.

He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit

and gave thanks to You

when You took from Him

the wise and understanding

and revealed Him only to babes,

to the inconsequential little ones

in whom Your love delights.

 

Your servant Paul found it possible.

Your servant James found it possible.

And You are my Father just as You are theirs.

I thank You for all proofs of Fatherhood.

I thank You for the trials I meet.

Give me the heart to meet them unafraid,

to joy in them as I rejoice in You.  Amen.

Prayer by Martin H. Franzmann, Pray For Joy

 

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”  James 1:2-4

Remembering on this day the trials that began in New York 15 years ago….