Monday, March 28, 2011

A Prayer that Fosters Peace

I found this beautiful prayer here. Although some religions do not practice Lent and although your prayers may be phrased differently than this one, this prayer inspires each of us to experience greater peace and joy. Please enjoy these beautiful thoughts.

Lord Jesus Christ, I trust my life to you.

My times are in your hands.

Before I was formed you knew me.

I give my past to you

So that you can uncover and heal my pain.

Each day you sustain and give life to me.

I give this present moment to you

So that I can live fully immersed in your ways.

Your thoughts of me are precious.

I give my future to you

So that I can become all that you intend me to be.

Past, present, future--are all held in your abiding presence.

May I live always in the knowledge of your unfailing love.

You, who are patient and kind, carry us in your arms forever.

© Carol Brown

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Peace of Prayer

Prayer is one of the most powerful ways to find inner peace, yet sometimes we may forget to use that blessing to the fullest advantage. In this hectic, fast-paced world, we may find it difficult to pause and pray. Here are some times we can pray and experience the serenity of that wonderful gift from our Heavenly Father.

--in the shower

--while driving

--while on hold for a phone call

--while cooking dinner

--while waiting for a business client

--while getting dressed in the morning

--while waiting in line at the supermarket

--when we see a stranger who is struggling

--while we're reading a blog

--when we are seeking to say just the right words while talking to a friend or family member

Jesus asked us to pray always. These are just a few ways we can.

There is power in individual prayer and in community prayer as well. If any of you dear readers would appreciate some extra prayers, please let me know. I promise you that I will, and I believe others who read this blog will pray for you as well.

This week, would you please pray for my sister-in-law, Dorothy Rich. Her dear husband, my brother George, passed away on Monday, and I know she would appreciate your prayers.
Thank you!

© Carol Brown

Friday, March 18, 2011

You Are a Child of God

Imagine how peaceful the world would be if everyone remembered that each person on earth is a child of God. Imagine how much peace we would experience if we remember that we are children of God, that He numbers every hair of our heads, that we are precious in His sight. This knowledge can transform our hearts, homes, communities, and eventually our countries and the world. This truth can create peace.

Imagine what would happen if we treated ourselves as creations of divine worth. Would be speak more kindly about and to ourselves? Would we forgive ourselves when we make mistakes? Would we stop comparing ourselves with others?

Imagine how we would feel if we remember that everyone on earth is a beloved child of God. Would we cherish our neighbors, friends, family members, and even our enemies? Would we respect people of all races, religions, and cultures, people who are old, young, sick, well, different from us and similar to us?

If people throughout the world understood this simple truth, they could serve as instruments of God in healing the world.

Imagine how the world would be transformed if every child learned that he or she has infinite worth--and that every other person on earth has infinite worth as well. Imagine what would happen if children learned to serve, forgive, and comfort one another. Imagine if adults exemplified kindness, goodness, and love in their words and actions. I believe this knowledge is the foundation of peace.

Imagine if people became peacemakers, peacegivers, and peace teachers. We can begin one person at a time, one day at a time, for one life influences thousands of others. We can begin today.

May we bask in God's infinite love for us, and may we radiate that love to His other children throughout the world.

© Carol Brown

Friday, March 11, 2011

Finding Peace during Difficult Times

Everywhere we look lately there is trouble. We see innocent civilians killed and maimed in wars and civil unrest throughout the world. Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and tornados are destroying lives, homes, and cities. It is easy to become discouraged, and even depressed, as we see the devastation throughout the world.

As we grieve for the many millions who suffer, starve, or die, we can find peace when we pray for them. Whenever we hear of a catastrophe, we can pray for the people who are suffering. We can ask God to comfort and bless them. We can pray for peace.

We can also do something to ease the suffering in the world. I like to donate to Kiva, where microloans are given to needy people so they can start a small business. When the loan is repaid, I lend the $25 to someone else. Before we donate, we need to make certain that the site is safe and that the money goes directly to those in need--and not to wealthy administrators of the organization.

In our church, we collect donations each week for women and children who flee abusive situations to go to shelters in our city. We gather toiletries, diapers, books, games, quilts, school supplies to bring comfort and love to the 2000 individuals who enter these shelters each year. Elderly women in our city also knit scarves and hats to place in the kits.

One young woman in our neighborhood recently spent four months in Ghana, caring for orphans, teaching sanitation and nutrition to villagers, and supplying a remote village with medical supplies. Her service made a huge difference in the lives of others and transformed her own life as well.

She writes, "From September to December I at the age of 20 took off a semester of school, and went to Ghana by myself to volunteer my time. I did not go with a program. While there I was able to teach all levels of health to the village of Antwikwaa. I fundraised back home, started a medical clinic in a village that has never had a single medical supply within its reaches. When I went to say goodbye to my village the chiefs voted, and had come to the decision to make me queen mother aka nana mckell. It was an entire day process of carrying me through the village, sacrificing whiskey to the gods, drumming, dancing, singing, speeches, and by far the most humbling amazing experience I could ever ask for. By far the best adventure of the year, and more particularly my life. It was not an ordinary adventure in that it changed me emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I'm in close contact with the village, the medical clinic is running smoothly, and I hope to be back within the next couple years! "

Whether we do something big or small, every prayer we offer, every donation we make, and every act of service we give makes a difference. When millions of people in the world join together to love, serve, and care for one another, we will begin to turn suffering into peace.

Let us begin today.

© Carol Brown

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Life's Peaceful Paradoxes

We experience peace and joy when we discover and practice life’s beautiful paradoxes:

• When we give, we receive.

• When we forgive, we are forgiven.

• When we love, we are loved.

• When we serve, we are served.

• When we show mercy, we receive mercy.

• When we give peace, we receive peace.

• When we show kindness, we experience kindness.

• When we give God our hearts, He gives us His heart filled with unspeakable love.

We always receive more than we give. Gratitude, generosity, and goodness are the keys to peace. Love is the path.

May you walk in the path of peace today.

© Carol Brown