Prayers of the People

Our Father,

Thank You for the gifts of Your love, mercy, and comfort. You never leave any of us to fight our battles alone. We gather today as a community, a family. Let us help each other learn how to release our doubts, our fears, our prejudices…anything that holds us back from living as Christians. May we strengthen our own relationship with You by delivering acts of love and kindness, and showing forgiveness to others and towards ourselves. May we comfort each other through the darkness as we walk towards Your everlasting light.

We love You.

We trust You.



A Year of Thanksgiving

How long is a year
It seems to fly by
What have I learned
What have I tried
I’ve begun to truly understand
The power of prayer
I’m never alone
Because He is always there
A major lesson
Which sticks in my head
Is the need to slow down
To take life in
The strength behind words
What they truly mean
Has brought me closer
To a more faithful being
Flexibility – like cooked spaghetti –
Is an on-going lesson
I’m learning to “kiss the gray”
And to change my reactions
Taking care of my body
Has become a life-style
To strengthen my Temple
Both inside and out
I pray this coming year
Will bring more insights
Not through “New Year’s Resolutions”
But with growth and a love of life


Major Depression
What does that mean?
Locked in a cage?
Feeling unclean?

Anxiety Disorders
Why give them a name?
All that these labels uncover
Is that I am insane

Every category I fit into
white, female, 36 years in age…
Mean nothing to me
I’m still lost in the waves

This ocean consumes all of me
My heart and beliefs
Things keep running together
I keep searching for peace

A few years ago
I found a label that includes
I had forgotten the lessons
I learned as a youth

Christian – it’s a label
But with a whole different tune
It’s positive and poetic
Without blinding the truth

This is a label
I choose to accept
This is a label
I need to protect

Our society puts labels
On everything in life
Even on our food items
How am I to know what is right?

The only label I need is
“a child of God”
I’m not picky about which religion
Because in this label we all belong.


I jogged and ran
A long time ago
I traveled with our dog
She couldn’t wait to get home

And dad would run
So close behind
He liked my speed
Which I sung in my mind

I loved the breeze
Against my face
I loved the rhythm
Of my pace

Slow but steady
I grew strong
I remember in gym class
Leaving friends on the lawn

I liked to run
And to hear my breath
I was focused on the journey
Not what was clouding my head

There was a type of peace
That was lighting my path
I followed it home
Where I could rest at last

Maybe one day
I will try again
To pick up my feet
And face the wind

One step at a time
I can loosen my grip
On the anxiety that binds
And hides my true spirit

There will be a day
When I’ll stop being afraid
I will point my finger
And put anxiety in its place

Only God really knows
How grateful I feel
Towards one particular person
Who’s helping to break this seal

This day will come soon
I have so much support
Loved ones cheering me on
Loved ones pushing me forward

They provide the Lord’s light
Which still guides my path
Turning me towards the sun
And out of the dark mess

Maybe tomorrow
Or maybe today
I can break free
And run again


Too much blood
Too much death
Too much destruction

We remember fear
We remember anger
We remember hate

I understand why the fear holds on
I understand why the anger lingers
I understand why so many hate this day, of all days


This fear eats away at our bodies
This anger makes us stuck in the past
This hate destroys our souls.

I remember His teachings
I remember His love
And I remember that no one will ever be able to fully comprehend why tragedies like this happen

My prayer for today, of all days
Let go of fear
Let go of anger
Let go of hate

This monstrous attack was planned by a group with harden hearts…
Not by an entire community
Not by a different religion
Not by God

I pray today, of all days
We remember our country coming together to mourn
We remember the heroes who saved lives
We remember God has never forsaken any of His children all over this world

I pray today, of all days
We will turn away from fear, anger, hate
We will recognize that strength comes from loving all
We will teach and share love, compassion, and truth

I pray today, of all days
That somehow it is within our will to forgive
Forgive those hardened hearts
Forgive ourselves and each other
Forgive the fear, anger, and hate

I pray today, of all days, that we can move forward…



Today I am grateful because I can read.
Today I am grateful because I can write.
Today I am grateful for leaders in my communities – the ones who challenge the wrongs of this world:
I am grateful for the people who do not sit back and just watch as the world turns.
Today I pray for Senator John McCain and his family:
A man whose example was to challenge, yet simultaneously work together for results.
Today I pray that I will continue to learn about my entire world.
I pray that I will have the strength to do my part as a citizen within all my communities.
I pray that I do not let any limitations I’ve labeled myself with interfere.
I pray I will not sit back and watch.
I pray I will challenge, yet simultaneously work together for results.
A person belongs to many communities.
My community includes more than just Gateway.
My community includes more than just my position at the YMCA.
My community includes more than my church, my family, my friends…
Every person on this Earth is my community.
And I know I cannot personally reach out to all,
But I can do my part.
I can be part of Gateway;
A part of the YMCA;
A part of Triune;
A part of Greenville, South Carolina.
I will write.
I will vote.
I will pray.
I will be Christian and spread His light.
I will be kind and gracious to the men and women I encounter daily on the streets of Greenville.
I will be kind and gracious to myself…
For I have a community I carry within my own flesh – The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit.
I pray I can hear and understand my roles on this Earth.
Today I am grateful because I can read.
Today I am grateful because I can write.
Today I am grateful to know that I do have a voice.

One Day

Should’ve known better

Totally messed up

How fast the heart sinks

Drowning out its love


Tears fall hard

The rain won’t stop

What was I thinking?

No, I didn’t think enough


The fire dims

There’s no way out

Must trust God

Must trust myself


Signed up for this

Can’t give up now

But what’s the wise move

When there’s so much doubt?


Wilted from exhaustion

Emotions are rough

Often working hard

Is just not enough


Need to take care

Need to pray

Comfort will only come

If I surrender today