Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Dear Lord, I had to have a psychological
test to see if I was all right
to be in our new apartment.
The nurse practitioner
She rattled off five words
and asked me to remember them.
Then she asked what I would do
if the smoke detector went off
in our apartment
or if there were a fire in the kitchen.
I said, “I would get out.”
Then she came back
to the five words.
I could only remember four.
I wondered, Lord,
if this was cause for alarm.
But she said I was OK after all.
I suppose it goes on a record somewhere,
but I’m safe for now.
Are you keeping a record, too, Lord?
Then those who revered the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD took note and listened, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who revered the LORD and thought on his name. They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act, and I will spare them as parents spare their children who serve them.
Today we went to the DMV, Lord,
to get our driver’s licenses changed
to our new address
and to register to vote.
What a lot of records
need to be changed
after a move.
We are connected
to so many others
that we don’t usually
Yet, your Spirit
hovers over all
and gives meaning
and purpose to our efforts.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
DROPPING THE ARTILLERY
O Lord, at night
I take off my pedometer
which registers steps for our health plan.
Then I drop my “Sara”, which is the name
given to the health alert monitor
required by our retirement community.
Then I remove my hearing aids,
my glasses, watch,
keys to our building and our room,
my identity card for the dining room
and used tissues I’ve accumulated.
Then I begin the usual preparations for bed.
You must shake your head
over such an array of artillery
meant to keep us safe and healthy,
when our lives are in your hands, Lord.
Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
CLOSER TO YOU
Sitting on our apartment balcony
on a fine day, Lord,
I remember the balcony
of our first apartment
after we were married.
From the third floor
we could look down
on the street below.
Here on the seventh floor
we look straight out at trees and sky.
We are closer to heaven
in many ways, such as
I do not have to get meals
and there is less housework
than in a house.
In our first apartmentwe barely knew our neighbors.
Here we knew some people before we came
and are getting to know many more.
You have led us all along the way, Lord.
Hold us close as we approach the goal.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name. For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever; and his faithfulness to all generations.
Connected to this place, Lord,
is a gym, swimming pool
and several instructors.
An instructor gave me a mini-fitness test.
Could I stand on one leg for a minute?
How many seconds did it take me
to run around an orange cone
ten feet away?
How many times
could I lift an 8 pound weight
in a minute?
How far could I bend over
to touch my toes?
I barely got past my knees.
Lord, I need work.
I’m looking forward
to getting in better shape.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.
Gracious God, you know
my husband signed up
for exercises at the fitness center.
I will have to wait.
My back is still sore.
They also have exercise classes
in our building.
I tried it for two days.
I thought it might make me feel better.
Ouch! Now I am worse than before.
Some things can’t be rushed.
I shall rest in you.
Gracious God, you give strength
in the early morning watch.
Your presence continues
to hold me up through the day.
Thank you for healing.
But I am lowly and in pain; let your salvation, O God, protect me.
Dear Lord, our new retirement community
puts emphasis on physical fitness.
They had me take a fitness test
for balance and strength.
The chaplain reminded me
that Jesus and his disciples
walked everywhere they went:
even 100 miles from Capernaum to Jerusalem.
My life has been sedentary.
I’ll admit to being 20 pounds
(or more) overweight.
Nevertheless, I’m trying.
I walked two miles the other day.
It wore me out, but I slept well that night.
I’m getting instruction on the weight machines.
I’ve enrolled in exercises in the swimming pool
to give me endurance and discipline.
Lord, may I serve you
with renewed strength.
His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the speed of the runner; but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.