It has been two months since I wrote anything on this blog. Stuff has been going on this summer.
The evening of my wedding anniversary, June 1, we got a message that my brother, Ron, had been taken to the emergency room. They discovered a blood clot on his brain. There were two surgeries over the next week. He’s not out of the woods but he is home. He can walk and eat, so he’s in better shape than me. Please hold Ron and Jan in your prayers.
This weekend my 96-year-old mom is moving to an assisted living apartment. My other brother, Randy, is flying in to help her move, along with wonderful friends from her church. Thanks for your prayers on this whole project.
Melanie has had her hands full caring for me since the stroke 21 months ago And this summer she discovered she had gotten a tick bite in her garden, and that gave her Lyme’s disease. It has drained what was left of her energy. Thanks to the many friends who have provided direction and information to help her. Let the prayers for my sweetheart continue. We both need them.
The last two month I have been writing nearly every day on an assignment to write a daily devotional series on the Gospel of Luke. I never had energy to write more after I worked on this. I completed it last weekend.
Working on that series gave me an idea for a small book of short, sentence-length prayers. I was able to complete this collection and get it published this week. A pocket sized paperback is available from Lulu. An e-book edition can be downloaded from Smashwords. The Smashwords page also gives access to a free sample allowing you to read the first several pages before you buy.
In the introduction to this book, I talked about my different lessons in prayer as I learned them in the church where I grew up, and the ones Melanie and I have attended for several years now. As a youngster I was encouraged to pray from my heart, off the cuff. In recent years I have learned the value of liturgical, pre-written prayers. These have helped me to pray more widely than was happening when I was praying on the spur of the moment.
I now think both approaches are worthwhile. But I have noticed some people are shy to begin without a little help. I hope these sentence prayers can help by stirring up thoughts and getting the conversation started in your prayer time. (There is also a handout I prepared a few years ago for a class I taught on prayer at my church and at a diocesan class for deacons at the Institute For Christian Studies. This can be downloaded for free at Smashwords.)
Writing the devotional series on Luke this summer stirred up some thoughts I want to explore further. The Luke series is not scheduled for publication in The Journey until 2018. But I hope to explore some of these thoughts here at my blog in the days to come.