Best Day Ever

Lord, thank you for "the best day ever," according to Calleigh. 
Thank you for all the joys of time spent with grandkids, 
in Jesus' name, amen. 

You Have Broken My Chains in Pieces

O my God,
let me, with thanksgiving,
remember, and confess unto you
your mercies on me.

Let my bones be soaked with your love,
and let them say unto you,
Who is like you, O Lord?

You have broken my chains in pieces.
I will offer unto you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
And how you have broken them, I will declare;
and all who worship you, when they hear this, will say:
Blessed is the Lord in heaven and in earth!
Great and wonderful is his name!

(a prayer of St. Augustine; photo by shilmar via

On Aubrey's Birthday

It's my favorite daughter's birthday, Lord. 
And not just any birthday, but a big one, 
I still can't fathom, 
can't even process, 
that she is all she is. 

I'm still and always amazed 
at how kindly, fully, and generously 
you've answered my prayers 
and her mother's prayers 
for her. 

You have made her faithful like Ruth and regal like Esther, 
fierce like Deborah and brilliant like Abigail,
industrious like Lydia and a leader like Junia.

I give you so much praise and thanks
for my only daughter, 
my firstborn, my Blossom; 
for the child you gave me, 
the woman she is, 
the love we share, 
the pride and joy I feel in her, 
the blessings you've given her, 
and the blessings you've given me through her.

Please bless her abundantly today 
and in all the days to come. 
Keep her safe and well. 
Keep her marriage strong and beautiful. 
Prosper her and her husband, 
answer their prayers, 
supply their needs,
fulfill their dreams.

Let her children continue to grow in happiness, health, and holiness.
Reward Aubrey's love and faithfulness and diligence as a mom
with beauty and grace, 
charm and wisdom,
health and wholeness, 
integrity and strength in each of her children 
as you have done for me in mine.

Show her every kindness, 
grant her your favor, 
use her,
bless her,
hold her,
in Jesus' name, amen.

The Nearness of You

It's not the music that excites me, 
Nor the sermon that delights me--
Oh, no; it's just the nearness of you. 

It isn't stained glass or a big screen,
Or drum roll or fog machine--
Oh, no; it's just the nearness of you. 

When you stir my heart and draw me so close to you, 
You make all of my dreams come true.

I need no candles to enchant me
If you would only grant me the grace
To gaze in awe on your face,
And to feel just a trace
Of the nearness of you.

(a churchgoer's riff on Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness of You"; photo by jaefrench via