A PERSONAL PRAYER
God of love,
I have been thinking that today might be my last day on earth. Who knows what today, or tomorrow, or the next day will bring? I might have 10,000 days left in my life, and I might have just this one. I don’t want to throw today away or miss the experience of this hour or even this minute.
And yet, I am always hurrying on to the next thing, always running from one thing to the next, living in tomorrow, regretting what I missed or did yesterday, reminiscing about the good old days, dreaming about the future, and griping about what is going on around me today. How sad to miss so much.
You have prepared for me a table of experiences at which to feast, and you are willing to sit with me at that table, to join me in each of the experiences of my life. You want to laugh with me and cry with me and work beside me. Sometimes, I don’t even recognize that you are there. I find myself searching for you in my yesterdays and hoping for you in my tomorrows, all the while missing your presence in the here and now.
I can’t be contented with yesterday’s glory.
I can’t live on promises winter to spring.
Today is my moment, and now is my story,
I’ll laugh and I’ll cry and I’ll sing….
Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine,
I’ll taste your strawberries, I’ll drink your sweet wine.
A million tomorrows shall all pass away,
‘ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today.
(Randy Sparks, New Christy Minstrels, 1963)
Thank you God, for today. And open my eyes and ears and heart to your presence in this very moment.
In the name of Christ, I pray… Amen.
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
Thanks to all of you who last week made a commitment or recommitment of your life to Christ, and to his ministries in and through St. Luke’s. It was a wonderful worship experience for me personally, and I personally felt God’s challenge renewed in my life, hearing his call again to live my life and use my time and resources for his ministry. We currently have received 653 commitments toward our goal of 1320 for 2019. We are halfway there! If you are a member of St. Luke’s and have not had a chance to make your commitment, you can view some important information and make a commitment online here. We use all of the information to make decisions about ministries and projects we want to undertake, and we very much want this to be a time in which we are all working together to accomplish our goals.
This Sunday, November 4, we begin a new sermon series titled “Stop It!” and talk together about slowing our lives down so that we can experience the presence of God. During the month of November, we will look at four habits that rob our lives of both meaning and joy and consider how we might replace them with something positive. We can stop running, avoiding, worrying, and grumbling, and replace those habits with experiencing, facing, trusting, and thanking. This Sunday is also All Saints Sunday, and at all of our morning worship services we will read the names of members of St. Luke’s who have gone on to be a part of the church triumphant over the past year, and give thanks to God for their witness among us. Please join us.
We grieve the killings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last weekend. The loss of these wonderful people, the stories of whom are so touching and so human, wrench our hearts. And the loss is beyond that – the event further chips away at our own sense of security and the sanctity of our houses of worship. At St. Luke’s, we have a team continuing to improve and update our security plan, to help us all feel safe as we worship. Please be assured that we have four armed off-duty officers on campus every Sunday, and our staff has been trained in security response. Last January St. Luke’s sponsored active shooter response training for our congregation conducted by Stephen Daniel of the Houston Police Department. This training was extremely well received by our congregation, and it remains available on our website. We encourage every member to watch and share this link with loved ones, so we can all learn how to best respond if faced with such a situation. Watch the video and read the handout here. For information, contact Jack Vaughan or Dr. Linda Christians.
Sunday, November 4
Lord, thank you for the many blessings that you bestow in our everyday lives. Help us to see you in the minute details of each day and use our gratitude to shape how we see things. Fill us with a gracious heart so that we can then turn around and be a blessing to others. Amen. -Prayer by Rev. Thomas Harper
Monday, November 5
God, we are very thankful for the St. Luke’s Day School and the teachers, parents, and staff as they work diligently to raise up our children in grace, faith, and love. Amen. -Prayer from Koinonia
Tuesday, November 6
Heavenly Father, we are thankful for our church, its staff, and the ministers. We are also thankful that we live in a country where we can worship freely as we wish unlike many other Christians around the world. We pray for them also. Amen. -Prayer from Koinonia
Wednesday, November 7
God, thank you for the students at St. Luke’s. Thank you for their energy, excitement, and desire to know you more. I pray that you guide them in their Faith Journey and continue to mold them into disciples as they grow. Amen. -Prayer by Colby Biberstein
Thursday, November 8
Dear Father, Thank you that your plans for me are good. I am so glad that you are my Father and I am thankful that, because of this, I can always trust you to take care of me. Thank you that I do not have to struggle and worry about things that are beyond my control because you always have my back! Amen.
Friday, November 9
We thank you, Lord, for the gift of family, friends, and for all those who love and support us through our ups and downs, who help us in our times of need, who celebrate with us in times of joy. Please bless them, Lord, as they have blessed us with their love. Amen.
Saturday, November 10
Heavenly Father, Thank you so much for this beautiful time of year. Thank you for family and friendships and time together to celebrate all that we have. Bless all who come to St. Luke’s and help them to feel your love. Amen. -Prayer from Koinonia