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    Sunday, February 22, 2009, 1:08 AM [WEEKEND PRAYER]

    Dear Father,

    Help us find joy today in the simple and beautiful things that bless our lives. Let us find happiness in the smiles and laughter of our children, let us find comfort in the affection of our love ones and pets, let us be grateful the mundane and monotonous things (that seem to go unnoticed at times by those we care for)…. like the house work, the yard work, the shopping, the preparation of meals, the laundry, the day-to-day – all in a day’s work things we do to provide a comfortable, safe and healthy haven for our families and for ourselves.   Let us remember, no matter what tasks, or plans we have for this day…let us remember to thank YOU, for no matter how meager, or great the things we have, no matter the troubles that beset us, there are blessings to found in our lives, if we will only stop to notice…. The fact that we are able to see, touch, feel, speak and hear – the strength we fine to accomplish even the simplest of tasks- the fact that we have a family and friends, a place to live, and food to eat – a table to clean  - laundry to wash – are all manifestations of our blessings.  As we do what must be done today, Dear Lord, let us look for the blessings associated with the tasks. Let us be grateful and remember just to offer the tiniest prayer of thank you.   Remembering that Jesus Christ, in whose name we come, was humble and always grateful, as He took joy in the work put before Him, even to the sacrifice of His very own life.   Amen

     Recipe for life 

    I stood at the departure gate in Boston, preparing to cross the Atlantic.  Although I had made the journey countless times before, it never really got much easier to leave my home and family, and this time was not different.  I looked at my mother, our eyes full of emotion and as we wondered when we would see each other again, she handed me a package, saying it might help me feel better.  Typical Mom.  Little did I know that it would not only help me feel better, but would also teach me one of life’s greatest lessons. Through the airplane window I watched the last lonely lights slowly disappear off the North American coast and thought about the fateful day years before that had changed my life forever.  I had wanted to see Britain, the land of my family’s ancestors, and there I was fatally smitten with a young Swiss girl, whom I later married and with whom I started a family.  Now, back in Switzerland, after visiting my parents in Massachusetts, I opened my mother’s package.  It was a book of recipes; I laughed out loud as I thumbed though it.  All the sections like vegetables, soups and breads were empty but the one section on desserts was chock full.  Typical Mom.  Here were handwritten cards bearing names like “Seven Layer Squares” or Double Chocolate Fudge,” many of which my mother created or named then my heart skipped as I noticed that she had written this on the inside front cover: “To my dear son:  Make some fudge.  Think about us.  Remember all the wonderful times we have had together, and have them now with your family.  Love, Mom.” It’s okay, she was telling me; we must grow up and lead our own lives, even when it sometimes hurts.  But there was more.  Recipes in hand I remembered snowy winter mornings with no school and hot chocolate; Christmases of joy and special homemade treats; afternoons when my mother was always there, consoling me after a rough time with the school bullies by saying, “Let’s make cookies!”  Now, years later, Mom was telling me about what really matters in live:  the only real gifts we can leave behind for our children or loved ones are the appreciation of a full life and beautifully memories of our time together.  Other things will rust or decay or get lost.  The things that really matter never will.  It is never too late or too early to create beautiful memories and it now my job to give them to my children.I sincerely hope that my Swiss-American girls will not do what I did; with luck they will marry the box next door and stay on this side of the Atlantic.  But wherever they may be, I hope that they, too, will one day open my mother’s recipes and read her words.  And like me, they will find a recipe for life.  Typical Mom. Arthur Bowler – From Chicken Soup for Every Mom’s Soul


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    Sunday, January 18, 2009, 3:53 AM [WEEKEND PRAYER]


    May the road rise to meet you.  May the wind be always at your back.  May the sun shine warm upon your face, and the rains fall soft upon your fields.  And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.  (A Gaelic Blessing)


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    Sunday Morning Gratitude

    Sunday, December 21, 2008, 11:24 AM [WEEKEND PRAYER]

    On Beliefnet I have found a great deal of encouragement! I am grateful for the many people who have taken the time to express their warm feelings toward me.  Beliefnet has become family to me.  I live alone with my cat "Malley", and I find that I am excited to check my mail each day to hear from my new friends!  I can only say thank you Lord. You said that you would never leave us comfortless! I pray that each and every soul on this site finds joy, love and comfort! 

    With all my love 

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