Gratitude Note: For Ash Wednesday’s invitation to “Pay Attention” as we enter Lent. Simply stated – Pay Attention to disharmony we have caused in relationship to God, self and others; Pay Attention to our life wounds and be open to healing; and Pay Attention to God as God, God in us and God in others. Ash Wednesday services at St. Luke’s will be at 7:00 a.m./Noon/7:00 p.m. plus Green Country Village at 3:30. We welcome anyone and everyone with arms wide open.
Monday, February 8, 2016
Gratitude Note: For a favorite prayer concerning the “chances and changes of this life.” This is one of my favorite prayers in “Compline” in the Book of Common Prayer. This was said at the close of our Vestry meeting tonight. Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Posted by Lee Stephens at 11:11 PM
Sunday, February 7, 2016
Gratitude Note: For old men who are winners – increasingly my favorites. Well, Peyton isn’t that old, but considering his eighteen year career in a tough sport he is on up there. Yes, I enjoyed watching Peyton Manning and the Broncos win the Super Bowl. Plus, he is a class act as far as I can tell – a model not only for other football players but for anyone seeking to do their best while helping others to do the same. Now I hope he retires – he has earned it. This might also give my KC Chiefs a chance! Fun evening with another “old” friend who also enjoyed cheering for the Broncos. Judging by all the traffic on the way home there were a lot of gatherings around town. Feast days are good.
Posted by Lee Stephens at 10:34 PM
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Gratitude Note: For Daughters of Lot Breakfast. This morning three hundred people came together in support of women have been sexually abused and cannot afford counseling. What an incredible sight to see so many people listening to the guest speaker who shared her story. She was painfully descriptive of her experience – abuse that is usually hidden from sight and never discussed, but very real and life shattering. She is speaking out to help others even as she is still recovering and healing. Thank you, Samaritan Counseling, for this successful event – for helping us become more aware – for providing professional assistance to victims regardless of their ability to pay – for giving them and us Hope.
Posted by Lee Stephens at 9:37 PM
Friday, February 5, 2016
Gratitude Note: For World Cancer Day -- yesterday. I did not know World Cancer Day was Thursday -- just found an email from M.D. Anderson a few minutes ago. Though the hour is late and officially Friday, I have to say how grateful I am to be cancer free. Four years ago this month I found the "lump" above my collarbone -- Lymphoma. That makes me want to say, "Pay attention to your body. The signs are often there." I am very fortunate and in my ministry as a priest I have... had to bury many who were not so fortunate. I am grateful for all the people who were there for Lynda and me through the days of discovery and treatment -- doctors, nurses, drivers who took us to Tulsa, cooks who brought food, staff and lay leaders of St. Luke's, cards, letters, calls and prayers unending. We were and are blessed in so many ways. I can tell you from experience now -- people dealing with cancer need to be surrounded directly and indirectly with people who will love them -- who let them know it and share the journey. Through my time, and now, I was never alone. Thanks be to God!
Posted by Lee Stephens at 12:27 AM
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Gratitude Note: For two determined mothers of three young children and sixty-five (+/-) volunteers. This week St. Luke’s is hosting Family Promise – a ministry for homeless families. This is our third round in this ministry and again I am amazed. This time two single mothers are working to get their lives on track and provide for their very young and delightful children. I admire their commitment and courage and I pray they are approaching a new beginning for their families. After talking with them, I came home and looked at pictures of our grown children, their wives and their children – we are so blessed. Plus, I don’t the exact count yet, but we have about sixty-five people serving as volunteers to provide for the families in a wide variety of ways. What amazing people! My gratitude goes far beyond what I can put into words – my heart is full!
Posted by Lee Stephens at 11:53 PM
Monday, February 1, 2016
Gratitude Note: For being the midst of incredible people this weekend. That isn’t really unusual except there were so many in such a short time. There was the diverse and wonderful Cursillo lovers on the Secretariat at St. Crispin’s. Fr. Sean celebrated and Deacon Lauri preached while I worshipped on Sunday at St. Luke’s. People in the Discipleship Forum explored the teachings of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel – open and insightful friends. We held our Annual Meeting and the atmosphere was loving, joyous, encouraging and affirming – rather amazing. Then there were the guys who showed up in the afternoon to set the bedrooms for Family Promise – we laughed and enjoyed each other knowing what we were doing would benefit two single mothers and three small children. The day was topped off with our Agape Group in the evening – eight friends who delight in exploring their faith, sharing experiences and loving each other. This morning was much of the same. Feeling very grateful for all of these Christ-people who are companions on the journey.
Posted by Lee Stephens at 10:05 PM