Sisters For Sunshine

Receive God's Warm Love Through Reflection

God commands the impossible

“Moses said to the people: “If only you would heed the voice of the LORD, your God, and keep his commandments and statutes that are written in this book of the law, when you return to the LORD, your God, with all your heart and all your soul. For this command that I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you. It is not up in the sky, that you should say, ‘Who will go up in the sky to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’ Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’
No, it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out.”” –DT 30:10-14

“There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?  How do you read it?”  He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”” –LK 10:25-37

God commands the impossible. He calls us to follow Him and to love everyone with all our being, and He believes that we can achieve that completely! We are imperfect people, but God has faith in us.

And we should have faith in God, that we can follow His laws fully. We must not just love sometimes and follow God when we want to. We must love and follow God with all of our strength, turn to God always, and do our best no matter what.

God believes that we are capable of so much love in the world. He set these commands with a unwavering doubt that His people are capable of loving fully.

It may seem impossible, but God gives us strength. With God, all things are possible. Trust in God with perfect faith, and you can do (and love) anything! 

LORD, thank you for your powerful teachings. Be there with us as we reach out to others and carry out your commands. Help us to love others with all our body, mind, and soul. Help us to do the impossible. May LOVE be our focus, and may You be our guide always. Amen.

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Prayer for the Grieving

This morning we found out that a family member of a loved one passed away unexpectedly. Here is a prayer for the grieving, that the family may find strength and comfort in God.

Prayer for Comfort for the Grieving

Father, I pray for (name one or more) and others in my circle of family and friends who are grieving…

They’re hurting for many reasons, and I ask You to help them through this season of loss. I reach out to You, the Father of compassion and the Source of every comfort, asking You to touch them with Your unfailing love and kindness. Be their God who comforts them as they’re going through their struggles, and bring them through the tough things ahead. Come alongside them in their pain, and strengthen them so they’ll one day be able to help others who face the same struggles. (2 Corinthians 1:3–4; Psalm 33:22; 1 Samuel 20:14a)

You’re close to people whose hearts are breaking, those who are discouraged and have given up hope. May You who see their troubles and grief respond when they cry out. (Psalm 34:18; 10:14a, 17)

When they’re hurting, help them find their joy in You, for it’s Your joy that will be their strength. Help them to trust You as their God of hope. Fill them with Your joy, peace, and hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Help them experience the love, joy, and peace that are the results of His life in them, no matter what they’re going through. (Nehemiah 8:10b; Romans 15:13; Galatians 5:22)

May they sense Your presence in this hour of need. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Prayer of Patience for Parents

There is so much to learn and experience by being a parent. Being a parent is not something I learned in school nor beforehand when I was preparing for birth. Only now with caring for him have I truly experienced what it means to be a parent.

Being a parent requires patience. Lots of patience and understanding. Because they only know basic instincts as an infant, and I need to accept that and be gentle and calm.

Here’s a prayer for patience when you feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and frustrated with your child.

When my child tests me, teach me, God, how to respond with wisdom.
When I grow irritable, send me patience.
When my fury rages, teach me the power of restraint.
When I become fixed in my ways, teach me to be flexible.
When I take myself too seriously, bless me with a sense of humor.
When I am exhausted, fill me with strength.
When I am frightened, fill me with courage.
When I am stubborn, teach me how to bend.
When I act hypocritically, help me to align my deeds with my values.
When mundane pressures threaten to overwhelm me, help me to remember how truly blessed I am.
When I lose my way, God, please guide me on the road back to joy, back to love, back to peace, back to you. Amen

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Poem on Living Life

In the wake of the Orlando shootings, I thought to share a poem about life. Be grateful for each day you have, and be grateful for the special people you know that bring life and joy into your day. You are blessed! Celebrate life!

Life is for Living

Life is a gift we’re given each and every day.
Dream about tomorrow, but live for today.
To live a little, you’ve got to love a whole lot.

Love turns the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Life’s a journey always worth taking.
Take time to smell the roses… and tulips…
and daffodils… and lilacs… and sunflowers…

Count blessings like children count stars.
The secret of a happy life isn’t buried in a
treasure chest… it lies within your heart.
It’s the little moments that make life big.

Don’t wait. Make memories today.
Celebrate your life!

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The Book of 1 John

Yesterday I read 1 John and it’s a wonderful book about love. God is love and to follow God means to live in love.

We should not only believe in love but act in love: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18).

We should love one another just as God loves each of us: Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:11-12).

I found this image that explained it well:

We wanted to let you know, as you’ve probably noticed the last couple of months, but we will be posting less. Lisa’s son is due any day now and with both of us caring for young ones we are a bit more busy with family life. But we hope to post a few times each month. This blog has been a great outlet for us to reflect on our faith and focus on positivity.

Thanks for joining us! – Lisa and Krista

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Song: Break Every Chain

Paxton Ingram, from this season’s The Voice, sung a powerful gospel song for his Top 11 performance, “Break Every Chain”. Simple lyrics, but strong lyrics! Jesus is our savior and with faith, He frees us from sin and suffering, giving us His full power.

Chorus:
There is power in the name of Jesus
to break every chain, break every chain, break every chain.

There’s an army rising up.
To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain.

Chorus

I hear the chains falling.

There is power in the name of Jesus
to break every chain, break every chain, break every chain.

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A Strong Mentality

Get into the mindset of thinking positive about your strength. With the mentality of being strong, you can be strong! I love these inspirational quotes about being strong – it helps me think confidently about what I am capable of! Try reflecting on these in the morning to get a good start to the day and also throughout your day to realign your focus!

Inspirational Quotes on Strength and More Quotes On Strength

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Embrace your diversity

Paul emphasized in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 that we are all given unique gifts from God that make us special:

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” – 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Too often you may find yourself comparing yourself to another, and those insecurities, shame, and doubts about yourself are not what God wants! He made you unique because He loves you and wants you to be special in His eyes. Embrace your uniqueness and the diversity you bring into this world. 

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Song: Hold On To The Rock

My husband is singing this song in the church choir – a soulful, powerful song about standing strong in God through the storms of your life.

Chorus:
Hold on to the rock of ages, hold on to the cornerstone.
Stand strong on the sure foundation, surrounded by the fortress strong.
When all the storms of life are raging, hold on to the rock.
You’ve got to… (repeat)

Solo:
You know that it doesn’t take a mighty earthquake to shake the ground you stand on.
Cause life is gonna change like a hurricane and blow all the plans you planned on.
Well the ground is gonna shake and the wind is gonna blow,
Who you gonna trust and where you gonna go?

Chorus repeat

Solo:
You know sometimes when life is easy, it’s so easy to keep the faith.
To be grateful for every blessing, when every blessing comes our way.
Cause when life shakes us to our very soul,
Who you gonna trust and where you gonna go?

Chorus repeat

 

 

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Love = Respect

Yesterday my husband and I heard a good message about love.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:30-31

“You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” – Matthew 5:43-44

When God says to love everyone, it doesn’t mean we have to LIKE them. We just have to RESPECT everyone, treat everyone with KINDNESS, and be GOOD to people.

For example, I may not like the neighbor that yells at everyone, but I have to respect him, still tolerate him and his beliefs, and show kindness even when I don’t receive any in return.

LOVE goes beyond liking someone. It is full of sacrifice. Every day, I must love, I must be kind no matter what, I must work hard to help people, and I must work hard to not judge or act above someone else.

Think about the unconditional love God gives to you and try to love like that always. We all deserve love and respect in this world.

LORD, thank you for your love even when I don’t deserve it. Loving others is hard to do, especially when we don’t like them. May we learn to respect others and treat them with kindness. May Your love shine through. Amen.

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Prayer for Houston

The last few days have been so traumatic for Houston as they experienced terrible rains and floods. The area that we grew up in experienced the worst of it, and it makes us sad to see the devastation there. We ask that you pray for the people living in Houston and for their safety, well-being, and comfort as they deal with the aftermath and the destruction.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46:1

Prayer In Times Of Natural Disaster

God of healing and mercy, we come before you with our hearts filled with grief as we see the devastation.

We pray that your presence would be felt by those who are grieving, who are injured, who have lost their homes and livelihoods.

We pray for wisdom and safety for those who are responding to the people in need and the many challenges left in the wake of the event.

We pray for our church, that it may be a witness to your compassion and care for all who suffer.

God, you are our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. For this we give you thanks and ask that you hear our prayers for the people of Houston. Amen.

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A Statement of Faith

This past month at my church we’ve been reciting this statement of faith. I thought it was a beautiful declaration about how our God “works in us and others”, and calls us to “celebrate His presence”, “to love and serve”, “to seek justice and resist evil”, and to hope in Him in our everyday lives. 

A Statement of Faith of the United Church of Canada

We are not alone, we live in God’s world.
We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others by the Spirit.
We trust in God.
We are called to be the church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God. Amen.-UMH No. 883

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