Dr. Tom Pace, Dr. Tom Pace lll, Senior Pastor St. Lukes UMC, Sr Pastor St Lukes

Our inside-out habits: We pray and worship. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.

A PERSONAL PRAYER

God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow,

In the movies, the soldiers get shot and killed, and the plot just moves on. And, I guess in the real world, that happens too. The world just moves on forward without those who are lost. Except, of course, for the loved ones of those who gave their lives for country or cause. Those families will never be the same. They will move forward, but the scars will always be there, and the wounds will be painful forever. And their pain is made greater by our propensity to forget. And perhaps their pain is assuaged in some small way when we remember and give thanks and honor them.

So God, over this weekend, I thank you especially for those who have given their lives in service to our country. I thank you for the men and women who carry the wounds of war, both physical and psychological. I pray for your peace and strength and comfort for them and their families. Bless them in every way, and help them to know the gratitude of a grateful nation.

I recognize that I often take for granted my way of life. Forgive me, God. Give me the courage and discernment to do all the things that make for peace, working toward that day when the lion lies down with the lamb and we beat our swords into plowshares, so that no man or woman, boy or girl will need to lose or take a life in conflict. Jesus, I believe you are the Prince of Peace, and I yearn for your rule in both my life and the world. Amen.

SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This Sunday, May 26, we conclude our series of sermons called “Living Forward.” Do you live backward, continually reminiscing about the good old days? Or do you live sideways, looking at what other people are doing and comparing yourself to them? Or…do you live looking forward, leaning into whatever God has in store for you? During the month of May, St. Luke’s will consider how we can embrace tomorrow as it comes and live to yearn for whatever God has in store for us in the days ahead. This week, our title is “Glancing Back,” and we will consider how our past and those who have gone before us can have appropriate significance in our lives.

Come next Sunday, June 2, and help bag beans and rice at our Gethsemane campus, to be distributed to Christian Community Service Center.  Come for lunch in Canterbury Hall at 12:30. This is a great family event. Children are welcome! Call Madeline Beem: 713-402-5064 or register here.

If you haven’t signed up for Vacation Bible School, June 10-14, now is the time! You can register here.

Sometimes the summertime gives us opportunities to begin some new personal spiritual disciplines. Perhaps this summer you would like to begin a more structured study of the Bible. Consider signing up for the Bible in 90 days, or Bible 101. You can do that by going to https://www.stlukesmethodist.org/group-life/.

During the month of May, you might see folks sporting green ribbons in support of Mental Health Awareness. The team at Nick Finnegan Counseling Center has created a wonderful resource card about the importance of sharing our stories as a tool to reduce the stigma around reaching out for help or seeking mental health services. The card guides you through how to be a safe listening ear, and how to get someone more help if they need it. Cards and attached green ribbons will be located at stations throughout the church, until the end of the month. We hope you will read the card and share it with a friend, and wear the ribbon in support. Check out the Nick Finnegan Counseling Center here.

PRAYER CALENDAR
Sunday, May 26
Father, thank you for always being there to listen to us. Help us to listen better and hear you when you speak to us.  And let us be good listeners for those around us. We are so grateful for the comfort of being able to bring our prayers to you. Amen.

Monday, May 27 – Memorial Day
Lord, today we pray for soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who throughout this country’s history have given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation. We remember them best through cherishing and never forgetting the price of freedom. We pray for their families and friends; that they may find peace and comfort in their loved one’s memory and service to our republic. General Patton said it best, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the people who died. Rather we should thank God that such people lived.” In Christ’s name we pray. Amen. -Prayer by Major Austin Maples (United States Army)

Tuesday, May 28
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of grace. Thank you for loving us unconditionally and for never giving up on us. Help us to follow your example so that we faithfully work to bring out the good in everyone we meet. Help us to trust that you have great plans for all of us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Wednesday, May 29
Dear God, we pray that you would be at work in us and through us in amazing ways to serve your Kingdom here on earth. All honor and glory is yours. Amen.

Thursday, May 30
God, we pray for the graduating Seniors. We pray, Lord, that you would guide them in your way and prepare them to embrace all of the opportunities that lie ahead. Lord, be with them through this time of new beginnings and help them to be ever mindful of the ways in which they can demonstrate your love to others. Amen.

Friday, May 31
Dearest Heavenly Father, I pray that you will be with our graduating Seniors. I pray that your hand of protection will be over their lives, and that you will give them your wisdom. I pray that you will guard their minds and hearts through Jesus Christ. I pray that you would draw them to you and away from the world. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

Saturday, June 1
Dear God in Heaven, Seniors are graduating from high schools and colleges all over the city, the state, the country, and the world. Thank you for the teachers, coaches and mentors who have guided them. We pray that you be with them in their next stage of life as they embark on new challenges, and we pray that you surround them with positive role models that will help them navigate these new waters. Amen.

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