Monday, November 24, 2008

Where are the thankful giving hearts?

As the years go by there seems to be a trend about this time of year. A trend to skip over Thanksgiving, over Advent, and jump straight to christmas. In years past stores resisted putting up christmas decorations and items until after Thanksgiving, radio stations played everyday music til at least Thanksgiving. But now stores have skipped Thanksgiving and some even hand up christmas products before Halloween was even over. A radio station in Detroit started playing Christmas music on November 1st, nearly two months before the holiday, and every ad on TV, the radio, and the paper seems to be about christmas shopping and products. It is interesting that the richest and most greedy population on Earth are the ones who have decided to skip over there own holiday Thanksgiving and go onto a more tolerable holiday of self indulgence, greed, and selfish desire.
Writing on how christmas has lost its meaning in America is a very long and drawn out topic, and is for another time. No, for now is the time of Thanksgiving, despite what the media tells us. It is time for American's to give thanks for what they so abundantly have. It was pointed out to me by a charity worker that even the poorest of the poor in America get more to eat, clean water to drink, and shelter than a good part of the world, I think he said a number even as large as 75%. To realize that even our poorest, most destitute citizens are richer than 75% of the world! And we skip over giving thanks and demand more!
Our economy is shot, we are all afraid of losing money, all our savings, being unable to support our dry houses, our clean water, our daily supply of food. Oh how terrible it is to be an American today! What we as a country spend on our venti half caf lattes a year alone could end world hunger if not more! And yet we think we have a right to pray to God to save our economy, restore our fortunes and save us from actually living thankful lives. Because no, we do not want to give thanks, we do not want to admit that what we have is a gift, we want to believe that we achieved it all on our own, that we are strong enough, smart enough, independent enough, that we do not need God or His gifts.
I am not saying that wealth is inherently bad, or that we deserve the crisis we are in, but I am asking us to return to reality. To realize that we are blessed above every other nation in the world by God, and because of that we have responsibilities. We have responsibilities to give thanks, and to properly use our wealth. God gives gifts not because he wants to please us, but because he wants to teach us to give. We all are nothing on our own, we all have nothing, and so we cannot give on our own. It is only by God's mighty grace that we have anything to give. God desires us to become like him, to become loving, to become full of Life through love. When we hoard and store and turn our backs on the world we sink deeper into sin, deeper into our selves, farther from God and deeper into death. God desperately desires that we would turn outwards, acknowledge the gifts we have been given, giving thanks everyday, and as a corollary to share those gifts with others spreading God's love and grace. And maybe, just maybe we will find that when our hearts are turned outwards and we give more than we want, and we thank more than we whine we will find that God gives so abundantly that we cannot hope to give it all away, that we will find that His Love, His Life is a boundless spring which seeks to permeate the universe with infinite Glory, infinite majesty, harmony and joy. God desires so much more for us than we have, if only we would cease to cling to the clay sculptures that adorn our hearts and let the refining fire of God's grace and love fill our heart's instead. It is my hope and prayer that I can live by my own words, but only by the help of the One who came to help the helpless, and bring the dead to Life. To God be the Glory, Father Son and Holy Spirit now and forevermore. Amen.

Saturday, November 8, 2008



When the night fades into twilight morn,
And the lark’s song rises forlorn,
Thoughts lay heavy where sleep should dwell,
Enchanted by sorrow’s bitter spell.

The bright day turns to shadowy evening,
Then to dark nightly monsters seething,
All things fading from light to dark,
As death claims all cold and stark.

Short the joy of gain, and long the grief of loss,
As all happy memories to storms we toss,
And we suffer under death’s fierce hold,
As we fear to meet the end of numbers untold.

We say Christ is Life and salvation!,
But think: why not grant it to creation?
Why must death still claim away all life,
In this seemingly ne’er ending strife?

Oh Lord why must death still rule,
the devil be a worldly king cruel,
and sin be the master of these living slaves,
trapped in dark and shadowy caves?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Reformation Day II: Sorrow

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love

Today is Reformation day, and so one part of me rejoices in the triumph of the gospel over those human failings that would have hidden and distorted the gospel so many years ago. But another part of me weeps in sorrow over the bitter schisms, which rend our Lord’s most Holy Church. We are all under one calling, one gospel, one Lord, and yet our sinful humanity divides us, we fight, we argue, we even go to war over those things which divide us. Reformation day is a wonderful day to remember the strength of the Word and of the gospel shining throughout time and rising in loud strains upon the criticisms which the reforms made of the Church. Yet one cannot but help to remember all the schisms and the brokenness of the Church today. How the day of victory is one of sorrow?
I pray that one day I may be reunited with my brothers and sisters in Christ under the Word free of all the human sinfulness that so distorts our thoughts and causes us to depart from one another.

The Church’s One Foundation
By Samuel J. Stone

The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
She is his new creation
By water and the Word.
From heaven he came and sought her
To be his holy bride;
With his own blood he bought her,
And for her life he died.

Elect from every nation,
Yet one over all the earth;
Her charter of salvation:
One Lord, one faith, one birth.
One holy name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses
With every grace endued.

Through toil and tribulation
And tumult of her war
Se waits the consummation
Of peace forevermore
Till with the vision glorious
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest.

Yet she on earth has union
With God, the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won.
O blessed heavenly chorus!
Lord, save us by your grace
That we, like saints before us,
May see you face to face.

Reformation I: Mysterious Ways

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart. 1 Cor 1:18-19 ESV

When all was naught, when neither energy nor matter, neither space nor time existed, You existed. In emptiness You alone were infinite fullness, and from Your infinitude through absence all things came to being. Where there was no space to be filled your fullness made space to overflow into. You are the ontological mover, the One from whom and by whom all things were made and without whom not even nothing would be made. Your existence is even necessary to predicate such a thing as non-existence, for without You there is neither existence nor nonexistence, for there is no thought not concept to comprehend the negation of the ontological necessity of You.

Your ways are higher than my ways, Your thoughts higher than my thoughts. You act in mysterious ways that we can neither observe nor understand. For you became incarnate as a man who neither betrayed the Glory of God to those around him, nor thought the glory a thing to be grasped but humbled himself to death, even death on a cross! And so the incomprehensible mystery of the cross, of infinite humility killing the infinite deity. The death of Life itself, and yet in that death, the death of death itself. Life giving death, the abdication of death by death itself. Oh Glorious Holy Mystery! How I yearn to dwell in your mystic incomprehensibility!

All my wisdom, all my ways, all my self-reliance, my feeble power is swallowed up in the mysterious ways of God.

From the cross thy wisdom shining,
Breaketh forth in conquering might
From the cross forever beameth
All Thy bright redeeming light

Oh Mysterious Cross! The wisdom of God shining as death and suffering redeem! In the broken places, in death on the cross comes the conquering redeeming light. Not in chariots and horses, not in regal glory, but instead in abject despondance and brokenness. Oh the folly of God that causes the wise to stumble and the arrogant to fall, but to use who cry out in despair and hopelessness we are given hope and life, we are raised from the pit and into a new life, not just one of a new experience of this life, but a new life all together which permeates all things and raises us to be no longer creatures of God, but instead sons and daughters of God.

Lord, keep us steadfast in your Word;
Curb those who by deceit or sword
Would wrest the kingdom from your Son
And bring to nought all he has done.

Lord Jesus Christ, your power make known,
For you are Loud of lords alone;
Defend your holy Church that we
May sing your praise triumphantly.

O Comforter of priceless worth,
Send peace and unity on earth;
Support us in our final strife
And lead us out of death of life.

Keep us steadfast in your Word, hold us in the gospel light never to fall away from your son. Oh Lord of Lords and King of Kings, hold us in your hand, guide and lead us through the dark nights of life and lead us by your ever shining light. For from the cross your love and grace call us from death to life through the Holy Spirit. Guard and protect your church, lead it to unity in your Word and Spirit.

Quotes taken from the LSB. Thy Strong Word, and Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in your Word are written by Franzmann and Martin Luther respectively.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Oddly it seems that we are unable to desire the light
until we are surround by pitch black night.
Lost in the eve of grief and hopeless despair,
we finally seem about life to care.

Gone the easy peaceful days,
spent lazing in the sun's comforting rays,
replaced by nights full of tears,
and many many lonely years.

Where did it all go awry?
rise to deaf heaven my bootless cry!
shake awake the Lord from groggy slumber,
Lord! your help no longer encumber!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Many would consider me fortunate, blessed, given to a wonderful life full of joy, but it is all a lie. I would give up everything I own, everyone who loves me here for the opportunity to spend just one moment in the incomparable ecstasy of divine union. Oh Lord it is you alone I long for, you alone I desire! All other things pale in comparison to you and your divine Glory! I am a broken and shattered man without you. I could be king of the world and be loved by all and have all, and I would still give it all up for you. Sola Deus!
I yearn in bitter longing, I am in misery day and night! Every moment spent apart from you is the worst torture, far worse than anything that man in his sinfulness could devise. Hide not your face from me! Kiss me with the kiss of thy mouth! Destroy me in thy brilliant glory and unite me to you in everlasting praise and love! Lord I beg you, grant me your presence lest I die of yearning!

Sonnet 23 by William Shakespeare:
When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf Heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least:
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee,--and then my state
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings'.

The Pulley by George Herbert:

VVHen God at first made man,
Having a glasse of blessings standing by;
Let us (said he) poure on him all we can:
Let the worlds riches, which dispersed lie,
Contract into a span.

So strength first made a way;
Then beautie flow’d, then wisdome, honour, pleasure:
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that alone of all his treasure
Rest in the bottome lay.

For if I should (said he)
Bestow this jewell also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts in stead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
So both should losers be.

Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlesnesse:
Let him be rich and wearie, that at least,
If goodnesse leade him not, yet wearinesse
May tosse him to my breast.

hear my cry!

"For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain"

Oh what sorrow fills my soul that the one thing it yearns for cannot be? To meet with and dwell with Thee forevermore, no longer suffering thy absence through ontological disunion. To be unified, brought together, lost in the infinite sea of your Glory! To live is Christ, to die is gain. I live for your service, I am your hands, your mouth, part of your body working for your will here on earth, yet even in this working I am heart broken, shattered by hopeless longing for you. To die would be gain, but alas death does not come unless you will it, and so I suffer longingly for thy face, and know that only by your desire and will shall my desire be fulfilled. Teasing God! who toys with my soul into terrible ecstasy yet bitter pain! Fulfill what you inspire! Lord how I long, I I yearn. As a deer pants for water in a dry weary land, so my soul pants for you. Lord hear my cry! Fill me! save me from this bitter torment!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Creation Story

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word proceeded from the One eternal deity and produced others, finite others. The Word created the finite, who would always be infinitely other than the deity. Even without the Fall of man we were other to God. O fortunate fall! Oh happy fault! For the Word became flesh and dwellt among us, and his was the glory of the eternal Father. His was an infinite majesty, and endless glory. Yet despite his infinite deity he humbled himself and became finite. The infinite Other became finite and dwellt with us, and in that dwelling we entered into the infinite majesty, the infinite Glory. We are ontologically incapable of uniting with the absolute Other as it is an infinite divide between creator and created. Only the infinite deity could cross the infinite gap predicated by mere existence. And so the infinite became finite, and in becoming finite bridged the infinite gap and now we can have union with the infinite God.

How to live in darkness

What is the point of life? Why do we live? why do we suffer? why do we continually go day by day suffering infirmities, suffering scorn, suffering pain, loss, anger, sorrow and death? There is only one reason why we live, there is only one reason that we can claim to carry us through the tempestuous sea of life. We live to bring Glory to God.
I recently had a dream in which two friends died within a few days of each other, and in it I screamed and raged, I felt such anger, such disgust with life. I turned to a mentor and shared such thoughts, such pain over death, and his response was not words, or advice. He merely joined in a song that rose from the sullen earth, the land of the shadow of death. To remember that glad strain! that brilliant report! But alas I can only remember a little

Praise be to God the Father,
creator of Earth and Heaven above.
Praise be to the resurrected son,
ever living sacrifice of love,
Praise be to the sustaining Spirit,
immediate baptismal dove.

At which point I stopped thinking of the song and thought instead of how long it has been since I bowed down giving honor and praise to the Triune Deity, how long its been since I ceased my ever present selfish thoughts and focused on the brilliant Glory of the uncreated ineffable light.
We were created to glorify God. To rest in mystic sweet communion gazing in all encompassing love upon the brilliant Glory of God. I have failed to live a proper life, I have been caught up in the waves and tides of the world, thrown about by the tempest of a sinful existence, lost in terrible self love. Lord be thou my vision and thou alone, let none else enter my gaze and let me fall in abject praise of thy eternal uncreated Glory! May my life be filled with thou and thou alone!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hopeful Sonnet

Wert I to be thine alone, and thou mine,
ne'er lost to sinful and idle yearning,
Oh to be thine and thine beyond all time!
Mine heart in hopeful agony burning.
But soft, what wretch'd grief within at my sin,
Saint and sinner together juxtaposed,
wayward passions a cacaphonus din!
Oh beaut'ful Christ, thy blood mine guilt enclos'd.
Oh may I, may I hope in thy coming.
Conformed to thy bright ineffabel will,
my heart shine thy glory ever stunning,
may earths pleasures my hunger ne'er fill.
Glory to the Father, Son, and Spirit,
All praise and honor to thee I commit.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thoughts for the Triduum

Recently I was told by a professor that "the world doesn't stop just because its Holy Week". But why not? Why shouldn't we set aside everything, stop everything and focus on the greatest mystery of our faith?
Almighty God, creator of the universe, founder of all things, mover of all things in whom and with whom all things have their being, and without whom nothing would be, sent his one and only Son, into frail flesh! A great mystery in itself....but now, this week...God dies. The Father forsakes the Son, the Son descends to Hell. What great wonder! What amazing mystery! Should we not stop everything and think on this Holy wonder?
The Holy wonder of our sin, of our failure piercing the spotless lamb. Our neglect, our brokenness shattering the Holy Son. We all should say: "I nailed Christ to the cross! I was the one who betrayed him!" What wretches we all are! And yet God sent his one and only Son....Despite all our failures, despite all our bitter hatred of God, and all are wrathful vengeance upon the lamb; we are forgiven, we are redeemed by the blood that pours from the side that we pierced!
Glory be to the Father. Glory be to the Spirit. And Glory be to the most precious Son, who for our sake took on frail flesh, bore the weight of all our sin and died. These three most Holy Days let us in reverence and awe contemplate on this most amazing love, this most Holy Mystery, and let us sing with the whole universe throughout all time the most joyous songs to the risen King on Easter morn. Amen

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Why is it that we as a society cannot stand silence? Our lives are filled with the endless empty flood of noise, from stereos, to planes, to meaningless conversations; why can't we be silent?
Why is it that we as a society cannot be still? We move from sun up to sun down having everything to do and nothing to accomplish. We endlessly exhaust ourselves with work and play to the point that we can neither feel satisfied at work, or enjoy play. Why can't we be still?
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Ps 46:10
“But the Lord is in his Holy Temple, let all the earth keep silence before him.” Hab 2:20
I believe that why we cannot be still, and why we cannot be silent, is because satan is deceiving us. He does not tell us lies, instead he tells us half truths. “You should give to the poor”, but not at the cost of giving praise to God for our gifts. “You should pray for justice”, but not at the expense of forgetting God's mercy. “If your a Christian you should be doing good works”, but not without first dwelling in God. Satan challenges us to do good things, but he does so in order that we may neglect the better things. As Jesus says, “For you will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.”(Mat 26:11). Satan delights in twisting Christians into pretzels of always giving to the poor, but never receiving from God. How can we give if we do not first have? How can we serve unless we first let Christ serve us?
God desires us to dwell in him through his Word. So often we are busy with “The Lord's Work” that we forget the Lord. Let us be still and silent, dwelling in and on the Word of God daily, not prone to menial conversations, and the endless drone of media nothingness. Let us not be caught up in ceaseless work, and play, but let us take time to be still and silent, praying to God with praise and thanksgiving, resting in his Word. Christians are to be in the world, and not of the world, and this means that we are not to get caught up in the whims of the world, including those that sound good: justice, peace, and saving the environment. Let us first have God, dwelling in the Word, and resting in the care of the Holy Spirit, and then we can seek to love and serve the world. To God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be all the glory now and forevermore. Amen


I am haunted by the divine.....the hidden melody, the eternal harmony, it torments me. I only catch but glimpses, only hear but a chord and then it fades away. I do not belong, I am a sojurner lost in a wilderness of sorrow, lost in the brokeness of the day.

Every bush is afire with God, every sight, every smell, everything hints at the hidden glory, the immutable majesty. Why dont we see it? why do wander aimlessly about doing meaningless tasks ignoring the creeping divine, the omnipresent eternity?

Why do we live these miserable unfulfilled lives so blindly, never seeking more, never desiring the joy beyond the vale?

Oh most gracious loving God! For me to die is gain and to live is Christ! When will you return? when will you carry me from this land of sorrow and into the joy I so bitterly desire? Everywhere I look I see it, in every noise I hear it, everywhere I perceive it, and with such anguished longing I yearn. Oh God! I am faint with longing, burning with bitter passion! Satisfy your servant! release him from the bonds of diminished life and satisfy his all consumming hunger.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Love Thy Neighbor!

“His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things.” Mat 25:23

Recently Shane Claiborne came to campus and spoke. To paraphrase one of the things he said: we are all ready to save the starving children in Africa, but no one wants to do the dishes. And how right he is! How often do we ignore our next door neighbor when they are struggling? How often do we walk by a friend who is struggling and not care at all how they are feeling?
How can we hope to help people half way around the world when we can't even help our friends? How can we expect to promote world justice when we aren't even just to the person who sits next to us in class? You may think I am being harsh, you may think I am wrong, but I cant tell you how many students have told me at one point or another that they feel ignored, unloved. I am not speaking in theory, I am speaking from experience doing ministry on campus.
I pray that the Holy Spirit may burn within us that we may learn to love our immediate neighbor as ourselves, that we may treat one another justly. Let us be faithful in little, even just recognizing that others on campus exist, to just say “hi how are you?” and really mean it. How can we expect to make any impact on world justice if we don't even truly care for our friends?
Lord, we are all miserable sinners who cannot even love our friends. May you so move in us and grant us grace that we can not only love our friends but also the others who we do not see daily. Grant us a spirit of humble love and grace that we may serve you without grumbling. To God be the Glory forever and ever! Amen!

Eph 2:1-11

Eph 2:11-22

So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called ‘the uncircumcision’ by those who are called ‘the circumcision’—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, so that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.

L: Peace be with you
And also with you.

Peace? Peace! What is this peace you so readily speak of?
Where is this peace, for that matter, where is Christ's love?

L: Lord have mercy.

Where is the mercy when by violence brothers die?

L: Christ have mercy.

Where is the mercy when churches schism and lie?

L: Lord have mercy.

Where is the mercy, when the lonely depress'd sigh?

L: In peace let us pray to the Lord.

Once again with peace!
In peace let us pray
when we act like beasts,
and our sisters we slay.

Strife, bitterness, and violence throughout,
and not even leaving the chapel doors,
we start decades long bitter wars.

L: United with Christ in the waters of baptism we confess our faith....

United? Ha! A funny joke,
as if I am some dumb blind bloke.
I know the rules and laws,
all the bitterness that forms our vicious claws,
to rend and tear one another,
killing sister, mother, brother.
we are not united

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,

God you are creator, ruler, king!
Yet you let your church dissolve,
and in hidden resentment sing,
until wicked hatred evolve,
and rather than joyous eternal harmony,
in church only strife anger and discord,
unending resentment rather than amnesty,
Oh have mercy Lord!

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

Band(?): We are One in The Spirit,
We are One in The Lord.
We are One in The Spirit,
We are One in The Lord.
And we pray that our unity may one day be restored.

And they'll know we are Christians by our love,
By our Love,
Yes they'll know we are Christians by our love.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.


L: In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for are built. Not yet, but already. United in Christ, yet violently disjointed. Condemned sinners, yet Blessed Saints praising God in eternity. Forever united in the mystery of the cross.

The Word of the Lord
Thanks Be to God


The other day I was driving in my car and there was a song by Ozzy Osbourne on the radio, and I heard a phrase which I thought was “You pray tomorrow, but you're living today.” Now upon looking it up online, I found out I had heard incorrectly but it got me thinking. How often do we 'pray tomorrow', how many of our prayers live in the future and not today? We pray about what we'll be doing after college, we pray that justice may fill the world, we pray that all sorts of things will happen in the future. But the fact is we live today, and that we are to live as though there is no tomorrow.
In the Sermon on the mount Christ says: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”(Mat 6:34) We live today, not tomorrow, and while it is important to plan ahead somewhat, it is ridiculous and wrong for us to get to caught up in the worry about tomorrow. So rather than praying for a better tomorrow, let us live today in a way that is line with the will of God, and tomorrow will take care of ourselves. God has not called us to live our lives worrying how to save the world of tomorrow, he has called us to live our lives of humble service and love today, and to leave tomorrow, and the big picture up to him. To God be the Glory forever and ever! Amen.

Joyful Prayer

1 Thess 5:16-22 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.
As Christians we are called to a unique and rather difficult life. We are to pray without ceasing, to be joyous in all circumstances, to give God praise even when the world is falling in around us. As we draw nearer to mid term stress levels begin to rise and more and more things demand our time and our energy, and we may not feel like praising God for three papers four midterms and a nice dose of homesickness, but that is what we are called to. To pray and give thanks.
We cannot do this work on our own. As sinful finite fallen humans we cannot help but despair at the dark times in our life, but it is through the Grace of God in the person of Jesus Christ that we can find hope in all situations and give God praise in everything. As an exercise and habit to help facilitate this joyful prayerful spirit try to think of ten things you are thankful for every night before you go to bed, and give thanks to God for them. Falling into a habit of daily thanksgiving, even if you dont feel like it, will help to bring about a spirit of thankfulness and contentment in all situations resting in the Grace of Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to the God who created us, redeemed us, and sustains us. Praise be the Holy Trinity now and forevermore! Amen