The Pumpkin

Posted by Sharon Krause on Oct 24, 2022 6:30:00 AM

Ah! What a fine specimen! Right there on the table! A big, fat, orange, round pumpkin, waiting for a carved personality!

The young man grabbed his carving knife, cut a circle around the stem, cleaned out the pulp and seeds, and proceeded to create his masterpiece for the Halloween season. Carefully, he carved first the right triangular eye, and then the left.

         Lord, help me to keep my eyes on you.

         Help me to see others as you do,

               with compassion and forgiveness and generous love.

         Give me clear focus on what is truly and purely truth in this world.

         Guide my eyes toward opportunities to share your Good News.

Ah! Next came the nose! With precision, the man carefully cut the big nose triangle from the middle of the evolving Jack-o’-lantern face. Plop! Out popped the chunk! No nostrils needed!

         Jesus! Help me to keep my nose away from others’ business where it doesn’t    

         belong. May I offer good help and Christian advice when it is called for,

         knowing my limitations.

         With every breath I take, may I somehow give glory to my Creator who loves

         me and made me in his image.

And the smiling mouth! The fellow carved a big, happy mouth for Mr. Pumpkin! The momentum was building. His masterpiece was almost finished! Up and down, carefully scraping! There! All complete!

         Lord, help me to be careful what I say to others. May my words be wise and

         effective. May my smiles brighten people’s days and lift their spirits. May I give

         you praise by echoing your message of compassion and understanding. Help

        me to speak up courageously in defense of those who have no means of

         speaking for themselves.

Ah, again! The last creative touch! The lighted candle inside, so that Mr. Pumpkin can shine brightly for all to appreciate! Flickers of autumnal joy! He rests on the porch step, and he beckons those who pass by to enjoy the warmth of his pretty face and spirited grin! Well done, Mr. Pumpkin-Carver!

         Come Holy Spirit! Be my inspirational Light in a world that can easily ramp up

         darkness and despair! Shine forth with goodness and genuine, contagious

         hope! Help me to be a light to others.

         Creator, Carver God! Sculpt me into the creation you want me to be! May I

         sit still long enough to glow with your saving light and be attentive to your many


         Thank you for your multitude of daily blessings that I often take for granted!


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Topics: everyday prayer, Creator God, spontaneous prayer, Sharon Krause

True Colors

Posted by Sharon Krause on Oct 17, 2022 6:00:00 AM

With the change of the seasons comes pleasant memories of when my husband and I would go on little road trips to Maine and New Hampshire to moose watch. We were often successful in catching sight of those big animals and, in the process, I was made much more aware of the variety and beauty of the trees we would often just drive by and take for granted.

So many majestic trees proudly lift their limbs and branches skyward! The strong evergreens remind us of the ever-loving, ever-present, unchanging Lord! Nesting places for birds and forest creatures stand strong in the forests in all kinds of weather. Orchards provide wonderful fruits thanks to a God who loves to see his creation fulfill its true potential—and that includes us! Our prayer can rise to God that we may be more and more fruitful as we try to live out our holy potential. Our merciful Father gives us so many chances to turn over new leaves and show our true colors.

We might be moved to pray with Psalm 1:1-3:

   Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path

   that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law

   of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night.

   They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its

   season, and their leaves do not wither. In all they do, they prosper. (NRSV)

In the splendor of autumn’s colors, we can give glory to our Artist Creator. The cooler temperatures and decrease of daylight time bring about chemical changes in the deciduous trees. Because of these chemical changes, the green chlorophyll color goes away, and we see the beautiful leaf shades of red, orange, and yellow. What an amazing process! Thank you, Father, for such delight to our eyes!

When we think about some of the many trees mentioned in the Bible, we remember the Lord’s appearance to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre (Genesis 18:1), a detail that helps us get a picture in our mind’s eye in this life-changing story. And in the 19th chapter of Luke’s Gospel, we read of the short tax collector, Zacchaeus, climbing a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus among the crowd. We might find it inspiring to take leaf-peeping rides or hikes and unite ourselves with the mighty oak trees. We also might see Jesus a little better if we lift ourselves up higher above our everyday routines, challenges, and worries.

Nowadays it is easy to take photos with our cell phones; we can easily take little notes of inspirations we might receive. We can find prayers easily online. I don’t think I am going out on a limb here when I suggest that autumn, with its numerous trees, could be one of the holiest and prayerful times of the year if we give it a chance! And if we happen to see a moose pass by, what a bonus!

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Topics: everyday prayer, spontaneous prayer, Sharon Krause

Night Sounds

Posted by Sharon Krause on Oct 10, 2022 6:00:00 AM

Nighttime can be noisy, at least in my house. Our cat, Buddy, likes to sleep with my husband and me every night. Buddy is a good ol’ cat, but he snores. He usually sleeps on the bottom right side of our bed, just below my feet. My six-foot husband, to my left, also snoresnot necessarily in harmony with Buddy. It has been suggested that I join that snore symphony, but I never hear that!

Add to that cacophony the occasional sounds of emergency sirens from the vehicles at the firehouse a couple of streets from our house. And I cannot forget the young gent who lives across the street from us who, for reasons I don’t know, sometimes decides to warm up his large diesel-fueled pickup truck to go out driving at about 12:45 a.m. I think he works for a repair garage, so he may be going out to rescue a driver in need, so I should not really pronounce judgement.

With the various night sounds comes the opportunity for me to be awake in the darkness of the room. Instead of being annoyed, I can decide to add a little prayer time to my tossing and turning. Certainly it is good to have a regular daily prayer routine, but impromptu prayer minutes can be stress-free and thought-provoking.

One such prayer-poem I have written could, perhaps, find a place on someone’s nightstand.

     Sing me a lullaby, Jesus.

     Put a love song in my heart.

     Fondle my fears ‘til they fizzle;

     Give my sleep time a good start.

     Christ, be the Lord of my dreaming;

     Send all my nightmares away.

     Grant me forgiveness and mercy

     For sins I chose yesterday.

     Thank you for all of my blessings.

     I know there are more to come.

     Tuck me into your joy and peace,

     Keep my loved ones safe, every one.

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Topics: everyday prayer, Holy Spirit, spontaneous prayer, Sharon Krause

Little Prayer Opps

Posted by Sharon Krause on Aug 8, 2022 6:00:00 AM

The other day I watched a local news story about the increase of whale sightings here in New England. A little boy was interviewed and said there were three things he really lovesmusic, video games, and whales. I thought it would have been good if one of his professed loves was God, but I realize that he also may not have thought about the individuals he loves, such as his family members. Still, it was a chance for me to offer a tiny prayer for that little boy, a prayer that he understands that God, our Creator, is responsible for all those blessings, including music, video games, and whales.

I was outside with Buddy, our old cat, and a bunch of young boys whizzed by on their bikes. For no apparent reason, one older fellow yelled out, “Oh my God!” I got thinking about how many times I hear that exclamation or read:”OMG” on the computer. Is that expression a prayer, or is it comparable to “Gee whiz” or “ Wow!” or something as secular as that? Is it an attention-getting outburst or as repeatedly mundane as a habitual “Bless you”? Is the person really calling on God for help, as in a prayer? Well, again, that was a little chance for me to offer a prayer for that young man that God would bless him and protect him on his speedy bicycle travels.

I sometimes get annoying phone calls from people or recordings that don’t speak but just hold open the phone line. I could just hang up, but, since the line is still open, lately I have taken a minute to pray the Lord’s Prayer out loud before I or they hang up. Maybe only God hears me, but I pray.


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Topics: everyday prayer, prayer, spontaneous prayer, Sharon Krause

A Matter of Time

Posted by Sharon Krause on Feb 12, 2021 12:00:00 PM

So much has been written and sung about time. We spend time, check time, do time, make use of time, run out of time, take meds a number of times a day, and are at the mercy of time. But I have a few suggestions about another timeprayer time.

We have a charismatic prayer group at my parish. I suggested one week that we break down into teams of four or five and become “Take 10 Teams.” Each team would pick one of the prayer intentions from a list I would provide, and each member would take 10 minutes a day to pray for that specific intention during the upcoming week. Instead of just praying for world peace, for example, a Take Ten Team would pray for the people of North Korea—for their freedom and human rights. Another team might pray for peace for the people of Iran. And another team might pray a for poor children in the United States.

With Lent approaching, might make decisions about how we spend our time. Let’s say we are up and about for 12 hours a day. We might have a job outside the home. We might be working from home. We might have children at home. I suggest that prayer can be worked into those 12 hours in creative ways.

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Topics: prayer life, priorities, RENEW International, spontaneous prayer, Sharon Krause, daily prayer

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