Monday, April 1, 2019


The royal feast was done;

The king sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: “Sir Fool,
Kneel down now, and make for us a prayer!”

The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he bore.

He bowed his head, and bent his knee
Upon the monarch’s silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: “O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

“No pity, Lord, could change the heart
From red with wrong to white as wool;
The rod must heal the sin; but Lord,
Be merciful to me a fool!

‘Tis not by guilt the onward sweep
Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
‘Tis by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.

These clumsy feet, still in mire
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart strings of a friend.

“The ill-timed truth we might have kept
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung
The word we had not sense to say -
Who knows how grandly it had rung?

“Our faults no tenderness should ask
The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;
Abut for our blunders - oh, in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

“Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown the knave and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
Be merciful to me a fool!”

The room was hushed; in silence rose
The king, and sought his gardens cool,
And walked apart, and murmured low,
“Be merciful to me, a fool!”
~ ~ ~  Edward Rowland Sill

Friday, March 9, 2018


If everyone valued and respected human life:
~ it wouldn't matter if everyone had guns
~ it wouldn't matter that abortion was legal - abortions would be rare
~ no one would be bullied 
~ no one would be trafficked or abused
~ wars would cease
Value and respect human life. - Steven West

Monday, January 1, 2018


As we turn the page to a new calendar year, we often think of making certain changes in our lives. It is a good time to assess where we are to help us better know how to get where we want to go. As followers of Jesus, one of our main goals should be Christlikeness - being like the Master we profess to follow and serve. We should regularly examine our lives so we know where we are in our growth toward Christian maturity. Below are some basic questions to ask ourselves as we assess our current place on our journey toward. If we are honest with ourselves and with God, we will see areas that we, with the Lord's help, need to work on in this new year. I call the "Measuring Sticks of Maturity."
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. - 2 Corinthians 13:5

Ask yourself:
1. How abundantly do I bear the fruit of the Spirit? (Galatians 5:22,23)
2. How broadly do I love?
3. How quickly do I forgive?
4. How easily am I offended?
5. How hastily do I judge?
6. How willingly do I serve?
7. How faithfully do I keep commitments?
8. How generously do I give?
9. How contently do I live?
10. How patiently do I endure hardship?

If you are like me, perhaps you see some areas in your life that could stand to see some growth. As we enter this new year, may the Lord work in us to make us more like Jesus.

Monday, September 18, 2017


“Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. 
All things pass.
God does not change.
Patience achieves everything.” ~ Teresa of Avila

Sunday, June 18, 2017


Father in heaven,
I pray for these fathers here on earth:
That you would bless them with wisdom
     for those challenging and difficult times;
That you would bless them with grace and patience
     to handle tough situations in a loving way;
That you would bless them with a sense of responsibility 
     to set an example of how to live in an often ungodly world;
That you would bless them with a faithful heart
     to show what it truly means to be a follower of Jesus.
May these be men of integrity,
     men of character
     men of courage
     men who will not compromise what is right.
Encourage, guide, protect, inspire,
     fill with joy, and increase the faith of
     these dads whether they be young or old,
     whether they be fathers, grandfathers, or great-grandfathers.
May each one be a true reflection of Christ to their children,
     to their children's children, and to those around them.
For Your glory. Amen!
                                                              ~ ~ ~ Pastor Steve West

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


May the blessing of the Lord
     be upon you;
May His grace sustain you.

May He grant you:
   peace of mind,
   joy of spirit,
   healing of body,
   courage for the battle,
   strength for the journey.

May you faith be strong,
your hope unwavering,
ans may love guide your steps.

   In Jesus' name. Amen

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Post Election Prayer

May we accept the results of this election with grace, 
       and may we, the Church of the Living God, 
       remember that we are the light of the world.
May we be the fragrance of Christ,
       and bring a message of hope to the world
       regardless of what lies ahead. Amen.

Friday, September 9, 2016

15th Anniversary Prayer for 9/11 - a Litany

15 years ago life in America was turned upside down, as 2,976 people from 93 nations lost their lives in New York, at the Pentagon, and on Flight 93, due to terrorist attacks. We remember hearing the news and watching in disbelief as planes crashed, people jumped from buildings, the Twin Towers collapsed, and rescue efforts were made.

We pray for those who lost family members and friends and all who were left scarred by the events of that evil day.
All - God of comfort, let Your grace, mercy, and faithfulness be known.

We pray for the survivors who are left traumatized by the events of that evil day.
All - God of healing, let Your grace, mercy, and faithfulness be known.

We pray for those holding bitterness and resentment because of the events of that evil day.
All - God of forgiveness, let Your grace, mercy, and faithfulness be known.

We pray for our world that faces the very real threat of terrorism on a daily basis.
All - God of peace, let Your grace, mercy, and faithfulness be known.

Though the world is dark, You are pure Light; we do not despair.
All - God of hope, let Your grace, mercy, and faithfulness be known.

though we are thankful for our own country and know You have blessed this land of ours, we look around and see much injustice, violence, poverty, hunger, homelessness, addiction, abuse, human trafficking, and so many other things that fall far short of Your ideal.
All - Lord, we look to You. Have mercy on America.

There is so much turmoil: we are unsettled, we are divided, we are frustrated, we are uncertain, we are confused about so many things.
All - Lord, we look to You. Have mercy on America.

We see so much corruption in government and the political process, yet You call us to pray for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. And that to do so is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. (1 Timothy 2:2,3)
All - Lord, we look to You. Have mercy on America.

As the presidential election approaches, it seems fitting that our heart's cry would be...
All - Lord, we look to You. Have mercy on America.

we pray for Your church in America, that you would wake us out of complacency and compromise.
All - Stir our hearts and revive us,
O Lord.

May we have a heart for people, may we see them through Your eyes, may we love as You love.
All - Stir our hearts and revive us,
O Lord.

May we live for the things that matter, seek the things of Your Kingdom, and stand for what is right and true in Your eyes.
All - Stir our hearts and revive us,
O Lord.

May we who are called by Your name, humble ourselves and pray, seek Your face, and turn from our wicked ways.
All - O Lord, hear us from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land.

God of all creation, Author of all that is good, Savior, Redeemer, to You we give our thanks and praise, to You we offer our prayers on this day of remembrance.
All - All Glory and honor be yours,O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Monday, August 22, 2016

I Don't Feel Like Praying

I don't feel like praying today.
My spirit feels flat,
my mind dull and slow.
My prayers seem empty,
there is no sense of presence or power.
Logic tells me this time is wasted.
reason suggests I cut it short
and get on with some productive activity.
A sinisterly familiar voice suggests
that only legalism could hold me here
when it's obvious it isn't working,
at least not today.
I'm tempted to leave,
I'll admit that,
but I don't.
Instead I offer you
the gift of my time and presence.
If all I have today is motion without meaning,
then I'll give you my motion,
my empty efforts,
believing that in Your own way
You will turn these listless attempts at prayer
into true intercession.

by Richard Exley

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


I am placing my soul and my body
On Thy sanctuary this night, O God, 
On Thy sanctuary, O Jesus Christ, 
On Thy sanctuary, O Spirit of perfect truth,
The Three who would defend my cause,
Nor turn Their backs upon me. 

Thou, Father, who art kind and just, 
Thou, Son, who didst overcome death,
Thou, Holy Spirit of power, 
Be keeping me this night from harm; 
The Three who would justify me 
Keeping me this night and always. 
- From the Carmina Gadelica

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Prayer in Times of Conflict

O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ~ ~ ~ from The Book of Common Prayer

Friday, March 25, 2016

A Good Friday Benediction

The brutal scourge,
the thorny crown,
the cruel cross,
the intense pain,
the deep agony,
the merciless dying,
the horrific death,
the dark tomb,
the numbing shock,
the stunned silence.

Now we wait.

Though our hearts ache, we are not without hope.
But now . . . we wait.
We do not despair, for we have the promise.
But now . . . we wait.

The cross has spoken . . .
but the cross does not have the final word.
Death has spoken . . .
But death does not have the final word.
The tomb has made its decree . . .
but the tomb does not have the final word.

The final word belongs to Him who is the Resurrection and the Life.
And He will soon speak.
But now . . . we wait.

We go from this place, reflecting on the Cross, but anticipating the Resurrection, where death will be swallowed up in victory.

Now may the God of peace
who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
the great shepherd of the sheep,
by the blood of the eternal covenant,
equip you with everything good that you may do his will,
working in us that which is pleasing in his sight,
through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
- Hebrews 13:20-21