Praise Him Anyway

Praise Him Anyway…

Psalm 96:1-3 “Oh sing to the LORD a new song!  Sing to the LORD all the earth.  Sing to the LORD, bless His name, Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.”

The other day, I was listening to Pastor Bill’s sermon on prayer while walking on the treadmill and as I listened, God brought to mind Ava’s final days in the hospital.

For months, my family had prayed and believed the Lord was going to miraculously heal Ava.  We laid hands on her as a family, taking turns praying over her.  We anointed her with oil and prayed.  We cried out loud and silently, day and night, begging God for her healing.  There were times I could even be found marching around Ava’s room, quoting scripture and almost shouting my prayers, like a mad woman. 

During this time, Ava and I were both struggling.  We knew God could heal her body in a single breath.  We had seen Him do it before, but we couldn’t understand why our prayers seemed to go unheard and completely unanswered now.  I had explained to Ava months before, that God was not a genie in a bottle and there to grant our every wish and every prayer, but this – what my baby girl was enduring every single day – was almost too much for my heart to bear and my mind to comprehend.

The day before Ava died, my family and I were gathered around her bed, crying and praying.  Ava hadn’t spoken or opened her eyes in over 36 hours and it was clear her body was shutting down.  As we all held onto Ava, I prayed out loud reminding God that just as Jesus raised Lazarus and Jairus’s daughter from the dead, we were still believing He could raise Ava too. 

I remember telling God that if He was going to turn the situation around, now would be a good time because it looked like we were in the b0ttom of the 9th inning.  And then as the tears streamed down my face, I looked up at everyone in the room and asked the question, “When God doesn’t answer your prayers the way you want Him to, what do you do?”

Almost in unison, each of us answered, “you praise Him anyway.”

You praise Him anyway… 

You praise Him in the moments when your heart is shattered and you praise Him when your joy is overflowing.  You praise God when you are on the mountaintop and when face down in the darkest valley.  When you understand life and even when you don’t.  You praise Him when your bank account is full and when you have less than a dollar left to get by.

You praise Him in the storm and in the rainbows.  In the reunions and in the missing.  You praise Him with every new birth and like our family, you praise Him even in death.  In all ways and in all things, praise Him.

Although God did not answer our prayers the way we wanted Him to, He did answer our prayers, giving Ava a full and glorious healing, once and for all.  I take comfort in knowing Jesus was there, waiting to welcome my baby home, with arms wide open.  And so today, even in the quiet, even in the missing, even when it’s hard, I choose to praise Him anyway.  It’s a decision made not based on feelings but based on knowing who God is, having a relationship with Him and standing firm on His truths. 

The question is: when life gets tough, will you, choose, to praise Him anyway…

Psalm 95:6-7

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.  For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand.


Melissa Daniels

Spring is Sure to Follow

  See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land.

~Song of Songs 2:11-12

My son lives in Phoenix now. The one thing he really misses is the changing of the seasons. The winters there are mild, and spring lasts a month if they are very lucky. Here in the northeast, winter was not so bitter, but it was especially snowy and icy, which made it feel long. Nothing is so unwelcome as snow when the crocuses should be blooming…or when Easter is around the corner. 

But as I considered this, I found it to be all the more appropriate. The night is darkest before the dawn, and perhaps winter is bitterest right before the spring. Certainly, God was thinking along these lines when He sent His Son into our world.  He waited for just the right time, when sin and injustice were rampant, and when a conquering regime (Rome) was threatening to eliminate Judaism outright – either through cultural assimilation or imperial law. Things looked bleak. It had been 500 years since God had spoken through a prophet. Faithful Jews were convinced God had forgotten them, and then – boom – here comes Jesus. And when he had built a successful ministry that looked to rival the Sadducees and Pharisees for the hearts of Jews – boom – arrest, conviction and crucifixion.  Talk about bleak. Things seemed absolutely dismal. But wait – there’s more! On the third day, there was Jesus, appearing to the women, and to the disciples in the upper room and to those guys on the Emmaus Road, and later to hundreds.

Just like a long, bitter winter concludes with a burgeoning of blooms on trees, bushes and bulbs, so Jesus’ crucifixion concluded with a wonder so magnificent we struggle to comprehend it today. Through Jesus’ death, all peoples everywhere have received the ability to be reconciled to God, adopted as his children and heirs, and receive eternal life! The ultimate chance to be born again with a clean slate is ours. What a miracle!

But what if the disciples, feeling defeated and fearing reprisals from Rome, gave up and ran away, or hung themselves like Judas? Grief and disappointment have a way of clouding our rational thought. Pain and sorrow can create a tunnel which seems to have no light at the end. This is where the real lesson comes:

Hold on for your miracle! 

Jesus promised He would rise, and He did. No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. Though everything seems cold and dead and hopeless, new life and new meaning is just ahead. Hold on for your miracle. Golden Eagles sit incubating their eggs for 45 days with no sign of life, no hint at whether that egg will hatch or not. They have no choice but to hold on. If they quit, that chick will surely die. But if they are patient, new life emerges! Jesus promised He would never leave us nor forsake us. No matter how desperate your situation seems, no matter how hopeless, no matter if you can’t see a way through – ESPECIALLY IF YOU CAN’T SEE A WAY THROUGH – know that God has a springtime of renewal waiting for you. Hold on for your miracle! Our world has been huddling indoors, separated, worried, unsure of the future. Don’t give up. Just hold on a little while longer and watch for your miracle of rebirth. Use this time of tribulation to grow closer to God through prayer and Bible reading. And rest confidently knowing that your spring, our spring, WILL follow.

Dear Heavenly Father, be with all of those who are struggling through a time of spiritual winter. Surround them in Your love. Lead them to those who can light their path to springtime. Grant them strength to keep holding on, peace in their struggle, and give them the reassurance of Your love until their springtime comes. Amen.

Stay blessed,

Jen Jahromi


A Peculiar Person For God

A Peculiar Person for God

She was a person I admired. A mother of one of my second grade students, an administrator in the school district, and the wife of an officer fighting in Desert Storm.

I was her daughter’s teacher leaving my teaching career and flying to a foreign country to live and teach European women how to write Bible Studies in their own language with Greater Europe Mission

Her husband had sent an email from overseas asking her to support the mission I was called to.

We talked after school one day.

“Ms. E., You are what my father called ‘a peculiar person for God.’ ” Her father had been a minister. On the envelope that held their donation was written Titus 2:14 and 1 Peter 2:9

To be honest, I didn’t really know how to receive this comment. Thankfully she added verses as a reference.

“Our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself up for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous for good works.” Titus 2:14 KJV

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 KJV

In this context we find that peculiar people are the treasured of God. His children that are living lives sold out to His Light. What a blessing that this woman shared this with me. They are a source of encouragement to this day.

Are you aware of your calling to be a peculiar person for the LORD? It is a marvelous place to live. The word has a different connotation in today’s world, but it doesn’t hinder us from taking the word and questioning ourselves. Are we in the world and of the world? Or are we walking that treasured line of being in the world but not of it.

John 15:19 “If you were of the world the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Today I share this truth with you. You, no matter your name or your history, if you are a person that has received Jesus Christ as your savior, you are hated by the world yet a valued treasure to the One True God. So, when the world knocks you down, remember He holds you up.

Sweating – October 2006

I’m in a country that likes to work. They are workers, these Germans. I myself like a good, hard challenge. Obviously: I’m forty-nine years old, learning a new language, living in a new culture, investigating new relationships, investing in intense relationship with God.

But, what about sweating? I’ve read that little book, “Don’t Sweat the Little Things.” It had some interesting thoughts, although most I found less than revolutionary, some I completely disagreed with. But sweating? When I think of hard work, I think of good, hard work.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about working – working for God. Do I really need to work? What is really important? What does Christ say about working?

From what I can discover, Christ isn’t really into hard labor over the same things that we have a tendency to be ‘working on’ – i.e. sweating over for Him.

He made it clear that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. So, why do I insist on falling into that ‘hardworking/sweating’ model?

I’ve come to the conclusion it is because I don’t work on what He wants me to work on.

What does He want me to work on?

My relationship with Him.

That’s it. That’s all.

Prayer, communion in Him, sliding into my red prayer chair and going to that place where we commune together, or as Jill Briscoe told me once, “Learn how to close your eyes and see Him right there with you.”

I want to make a difference for Him.


Counter to my thought process:

Spending time with Him

REALLY spending time with Him

WORK at spending time with HIM

Commit to spending time with Him

On my knees

In my chair

Face on the floor

Journaling to HIM in a café

Sharing a thought with HIM

Sharing ALL thoughts with HIM

Loving Him

Snuggling with HIM

Desiring Him

Meditating on Him

On His word

On His promises

This is the WORK that makes a difference for HIM!


I want to learn how to sweat in my enjoyment of Him.

Good Grief! He’s doing the big stuff.


By: your mutating missionary Robyn Rochelle


Sharing a journal entry I wrote my first months on the mission field in 2006.

Because HE IS the I  AM, i am

Robyn Rochelle Cox


Hymn Leave it There

“Cast your burden on the LORD [release it] and He will sustain and uphold you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken [slip, fall, fail].”

Psalm 55:22 (AMP)

Last week was physically and mentally exhausting. There have been more than a few of those weeks in the past year. I know I am not alone in this. The pandemic has increased the workload for employees at many companies. We are being asked to do more and more, often with fewer people to do the work. The human resources blogs are cautioning employers to watch for signs of fatigue and burnout among workers. And outside of work, there’s masking, physical distancing, not being able to gather with friends and family, worries about vaccines, and just the need to always stay vigilant. It’s emotionally draining and can be overwhelming.

So how do we combat this? Professional journals and magazine articles tell us to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and be sure to make exercise a priority. These are all things we should be doing to live a healthy lifestyle. But there is something else we can do that will help us cope with whatever we are going through. Pray. Our heavenly Father longs for us to turn to him for help. He loves us with a love that is unmeasurable, cares about what we are going through, and is sympathetic to our situations.  The Bible tells us to hand our burdens over to God, and that nothing is too big for him to handle. God wants us to ask for his help, and he will answer our prayers. Release everything to God and let him take your stress and replace it with his peace. Today’s hymn is another by Charles Albert Tindley (1851-1933). It reminds us to take everything to God and leave it there.

Leave It There (UMH #522)

Words: Charles Albert Tindley, ca. 1906

Music: Charles Albert Tindley, ca. 1906


If the world from you withhold of its silver and its gold,

And you have to get along with meager fare,

Just remember in his Word how he feeds the little bird,

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.



Leave it there, leave it there,

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

If you trust and never doubt, he will surely bring you out;

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.


If your body suffers pain, and your health you can’t regain,

And your soul is almost sinking in despair,

Jesus knows the pain you feel, he can save and he can heal,

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.



When your enemies assail, and your heart begins to fail,

Don’t forget that God in heaven answers prayer;

He will make a way for you, and will lead you safely through,

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.



When your youthful days are done, and old age is stealing on,

And your body bends beneath the weight of care,

He will never leave you then, he’ll go with you to the end,

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.


When life gets you down and starts to be too stressful and overwhelming, turn to God. Release whatever is burdening you and let him sustain you. Trust that he is with you through everything, and dwell in his peace.

Have a blessed week,

Julie Morgan


Hymn Devotional 2/22/21


Asking God

Something that Pastor Rick Warren said in one of his teaching videos that we’re watching through the week as part of our church’s “40 Days of Prayer” really caught my attention. He talked about imagining in heaven, that an angel showed you a massive room filled with every kind of blessing and answer to prayer you could ever imagine and more! “These are all the blessings and answers to prayer that God wanted to give you while you were on earth.” Our natural response would be, “Why didn’t I get them when I needed them?” And the angel replies, “Because you never asked for them!”

James 4:2 “…you do not have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” Often times I don’t pray because I know that God knows what I need and if He wants to give it to me, He will! Some of you may feel that way, too. In fact, in Matthew 6 just before Jesus teaches His disciples what we call “The Lord’s Prayer,” Jesus says, “Your Father knows exactly what you need before you ask!” However, after Jesus reveals that truth, He goes on and says, “Pray like this…” God wants us to pray about everything, talking to Him and listening to Him. Part of our prayers is “supplication” – asking God to meet our needs.

Pastor Rick’s illustration helped me to understand more fully that our Father loves to answer our prayers. And He also loves to have His kids (you and me) come into His presence and ask Him to meet our needs. He loves our “Father-child” relationship. This is why we were created: for God to love us and for us love God in a personal, up-close relationship. And because of Jesus and His work on the cross, we can have this intimacy of “Father and son,” or “Father and daughter.”

I love when my kids come and ask me for help. (For decades I was the “official jar opener” when no one else could do it!) I love to feel like they still need their Dad, even though there’s much they can do themselves. Our Father in heaven feels the same way. Everything is His, and as His children all He has is freely given to us – but, He loves us to ask! He loves when we depend on Him and trust Him with every area of our lives. He loves when we come to Him admitting our need and our own inability to meet that need ourselves, and then asking for His help.  In all things big and small, God wants us to pray, asking for His help and depending on Him.

One of my decisions and commitments made so far in our 40-day journey is to be more intentional in having an ongoing conversation with God including asking Him to meet my every need. Not just the ones I can’t manage by myself, but every need so I grow more and more dependent on Him.

So, how about we make it a point to pray and ask – and empty that storehouse in heaven of all the blessings and answers to prayer that God wants to give us?


Pastor Bill

Teachable Spirit

I want to go until my death with a teachable spirit.

When I asked Pastor Bill what he likes the most about my man, Biff Cox, he said, ‘He’s teachable.’ And he is. It is one of his most endearing qualities (he has many.)

Last week I got a call from a dear friend from the Dallas area of Texas. A friend for over 30 years touched base. We caught up on what God has been sharing with us in the last few months. I got a little excited. ‘What amazes me, Sharon, I know how to pray. You know how to pray. We’ve been praying for years and years. I love to pray. I pray all the time. I really didn’t see a need to get into this Rick Warren study on 40 Days of Prayer, but we decided to do it for cooperation with our body of believers during this Lent Season.” Now, Sharon knows I’m not bragging when I say this, not blowing a horn for attention. She too has been on this Jesus Journey since her thirties. But it is true. We do know how to pray. Then I continued. “But since I opened the book and asked God to teach me afresh, this new fire is kindling. Sharon, I’m being re-awakened to truths I haven’t meditated on in years. It feels so fresh and new and lovely. I am so thankful, there is never a time when we can’t experience more with God.”

Sharon just giggled and said, “That is what is happening to me too. We are going through a Lent study and the book we are reading in church is just igniting me with His words.”

Sharon and I are no spry chickens. We’ve been in Women’s Ministry in church and all over the world for over thirty-five years. But having a teachable friend is delightful. Being a teachable person is refreshing.

One of the comments I’ve heard about the workbook we are using by Rick Warren: “Well? I don’t understand why it is such a big deal. He could have written more. These are the same questions over and over again. Just the verse is different. “

I have to giggle at that statement. As an educator I understand the reasoning behind Rick Warren’s open-ended questions with each verse. Don’t ask me to do anything mathematical, or mechanical, or IT related. But brain stuff, information about how it works and how to push it forward, this is the stuff we educators sink our teeth into. And oh, I’m sinking my teeth into those ruminating questions after each verse in the book. They are open-ended. Don’t really have a correct answer (right or wrong). They are questions that cause you to think about and ruminate over the verse. And what is thinking about and ruminating? It is meditating. And what does God call us to do? He calls us to feed on his word and hide it in our hearts. (Chew on it.)

Sometimes we gorge on the WORD of God. We take in so many sentences and thoughts much of what we read gets barfed out (excuse me for my bluntness). We got the idea but we got none of the nutrition.

I have been with God in the cold loneliness of the nights. I have been with him on days I could barely move my feet through the day because I was so overwhelmed with life. The verses that massaged my broken spirit weren’t always the books of the bible, but the words like. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Or, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Or, “He holds onto me, and does not let me go.” Or, “I am a child of God. What does that mean? I am protected, provided for, loved, cherished, and fought for. I am loved by the Most High God, He goes before me and has already fought and won.” The list goes on and on.

These are the snippets of God’s Truth that rise up from my heart when the road is long and weary. These are the pieces of meat of the word that I have gnawed on over the years. Hidden deep in my heart, they rise up and fly out of my mouth as I walk or pace or cry or pray.

I encourage you to join us in this study. It’s not too late and it is refreshing. I invite you to join us, or buy it for your own pondering.

As for being teachable? There is a verse I am reminded of right now. “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief.” Mark 9:24.

Come along and join us in a little bone gnawing over the sweet promises in the Word of God.


Because He is the I AM, i am,

Robyn Rochelle Cox

RR&BC LLC ©2021


Please feel free to contact Biff and me when you have questions, prayer requests of just need a word of encouragement. We love God and our desire is to serve Him.

You can buy the book on line. Here is an Amazon link, but there are others. You can even order it from a book store with the #ISBN – consider it.


40 Days of Prayer Workbook

Facing the Fog

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.  What can flesh do to me?

Psalm 56:3-4

It had been cold and snowy in the Berkshires, until a sudden warm front rolled in that January night, shrouding the old hills in a thick, velvety fog.  I let Gracie (our Golden Retriever) out after dinner for her evening reconnoiter. I was poking the fire in the woodstove and when I heard her barking rather emphatically out in the yard.  I looked out the window.  There she stood in the mist, turning a slow circle and sounding off into the gloom.  A deep, chesty bark, assertive but not aggressive, slightly muffled, the effort lifting her front paws a bit off the ground with each volley.  “What’s got into her?” my wife, Julee, asked, joining me at the window.  “The fog,” I said.  “It messes with her night vision”.  Goldens have superb eyesight, even in the dark.  But not tonight.  She couldn’t see past her own wet black nose.  “Should I go get her? I asked Julee.  “No leave her.  She’s just doing her job.”  

What a thought!  Gracie was barking out warnings to any would-be-intruders who might infiltrate her yard under the cover of fog, warding off threats, letting the hills know she was on duty, keeping us safe.  What a brave dog!

I wondered if I was that brave – brave when it counted, brave in my faith. I like to believe my faith is clear and unwavering and yet there are times when I can’t see my way, when my spiritual visibility is comprised by the fog of fear or doubt or regret.  It is at those moments that I must stand in the dark and proclaim my trust in that unseen heaven. 

“Gracie is too brave to let a little fog bother her,” Julee said.  I would be brave, too, the next time a spiritual fog found me.

Prayer:  When I grope and falter, when I fear and I doubt, lead me, Lord, through the gloom to Your eternal light.

Written by Edward Grinnan – 2021 Daily Guidepost

Submitted by Sharon Fryer

Hymn Devotional 2/22/21

“Cast all your care upon Him, because He cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7 (MEV)


I’ve been singing at Hereford Faith & Life Church for as long as I can remember. I started out singing in Sunday School, then with the children’s choir, then joined the adult choir in my teens. I sang with the Praise Team for a while, and with the Coffee House band. Now I am the choir director for our traditional, classic worship service. Music is part of who I am. I sing the old hymns, contemporary Christian music, country gospel, and praise choruses. No matter what genre you prefer, it’s all music that praises God and connects us with our Creator.


I was texting with a dear friend and fellow singer over the weekend. We were chatting about what a blessing the hymns are. There are hymns for all seasons of the Church, and for all seasons of our lives. No matter what we go through, there is a hymn of encouragement, comfort or praise. I know a lot of people have a favorite hymn. For me, though, every time I turn the page, I find a new favorite. We have great well-known hymns like “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” “Amazing Grace,” and “It Is Well with My Soul.” And we have less familiar, but equally wonderful songs like “The Summons,” “God Is Here,” and “O God, Beyond All Praising.” They speak to our relationship with God. But sometimes our favorite hymns are so familiar, we sing the words by rote instead of really hearing and understanding what we sing. Our hymns – both traditional and contemporary – are great material to use in our daily worship time, and can be wonderful prayers.


Some weeks when Pastor Bill shares his sermon title and the scripture with me, I spend hours researching, and pouring over lyrics, and praying that God will lead me to the perfect hymns to support the week’s message. Often, though, I read a scripture, and a song immediately pops into my thoughts. That happened when I read this week’s memory verse for our “40 Days of Prayer” study. I read “Cast all your care upon Him…” and immediately started humming “Cares Chorus.” In Sunday’s message, Pastor Bill said that sometimes the simplest prayers are the most powerful. This song is a perfect example of this. Sing these words slowly and prayerfully, and release all your cares and worries to God.


Cares Chorus (TFWS #2215)

Words: Kelly Willard, 1978

Music: Kelly Willard, 1978


I cast all my cares upon you,

I lay all of my burdens down at your feet,

And anytime that I don’t know what to do

I will cast all my cares upon you.


This week find an unfamiliar “new to you” hymn to reflect on, or revisit an old favorite with new eyes. Is God speaking to you through the words of the songwriter? Are you learning new truths or gaining better understanding of God? Most importantly, are you growing closer to God by praising and praying through the hymns?


Have a blessed week,

Julie Morgan

Try A Little Tenderness

Try A Little Tenderness

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. ~Philippians 2:1-4

“What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love…” “All You Need Is Love…” “They Will Know We are Christians by Our Love…”  These songs reveal that culturally, we know that love IS the answer. It is a powerful tool for forgiving, compromising, healing and reconciling. It is the very essence of Christianity. And yet, in our supposed Christian nation, we find very little of it being exhibited on our streets, in our media or by our leaders, not to mention in our churches or the myriad households across the country. Certainly, it has been prophesied in the Bible:  “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,” Matthew 24:12. But why?

I wonder if the problem is more fundamental. I wonder if we have failed to learn what real love is. The depictions of love in the media are very simplistic: romantic love, familial love, lust. These depictions show love as a contract: if you love me, I’ll do x; or as an obligation: you must love your children, your parents, your siblings. These are very far from the Biblical love described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, patient, kind, humble, putting others’ needs before our own, dealing with personal issues privately. I can’t really say that in my 50 some years on the planet I’ve witnessed many examples of this kind of love. It is admittedly very difficult. Trying intentionally to live lovingly for the last 20 years has been a real struggle. And living with love conflicts with some strong cultural values, like holding a grudge, publicly airing grievances, being right, getting our way, having control, saying ‘I told you so’…. 

Love includes concepts of integrity, humility, compassion, compromise, tenderness, kindness, tact, diplomacy and self-sacrifice. These qualities are often portrayed as weaknesses which can be exploited by the savvy or cruel. I imagine very few textbooks on business administration link these qualities with success. And fewer practitioners dare to use them in the world of business, law or politics. Certainly, our recent and prolonged standoffs between the President and Congress are evidence of this.

Our personal actions always have consequences for those around us. Always. Although it can certainly be taken too far, it is nevertheless a good practice to consider the impact our actions will have. On a personal level this will change your life and relationships for the better quickly. On a national level, it can change the world. Politicians might decide to compromise rather than leaving innocent workers without a paycheck for months. They might consider actual capabilities and expectations before sending brave, intelligent, highly competent soldiers and patriots into harm’s way. They might come to realize that the only way to truly address the exploitation, violence and criminality of illegal immigration is to stay in a chamber room negotiating, compromising and considering until rational, well thought out policy can be revealed and passed. They might come to grasp that although fixing our crumbling infrastructure will take years of work which will not yield them many re-election votes, it is nevertheless crucial for the thousands of people and businesses using our bridges, ports, roadways, power grids and sewers.

And so, my prayer is that we, as a nation, and a world, might wake up to the power of tenderness. We need to stress this to our children and grandchildren. Instead of belittling strangers on social media, we might encourage and uplift. Rather than believing the worst about a public figure, we might reserve judgement and pray for them instead. Instead of pointing a critical finger at all that is wrong, we might seek to see what is right, and broadcast and nurture that. Or perhaps seek to fix it ourselves. Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther and others saw injustices that were not being addressed and did not think it beyond them to step up and work for change. They started small, individually, and the rightness of their cause grew into a movement.

All of us have the power to brighten the corner we’re in. A kind word or gesture at work, shopping or dining. Pitching in at home. Biting our critical tongue. Refusing to repay meanness with meanness. Letting go of the need for the last word or revenge. Gently encouraging those we might have turned our backs on in the past. Nothing else could be more important. Nothing less will change the world for the better.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. ~John 13:35


Jen Jahromi