Thunker’s Weblog


The Voice
September 18, 2018, 1:44 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

In some recent reading, I read about the neuropeptide, oxytocin. This substance is produced in our hypothalamus and distributed through bodies via our pituitary system. Oxytocin performs several biological functions. One of these functions is oxytocin aids in human bonding. Oxytocin is released into our systems after we hug someone we care for. Oxytocin is released when we hear a voice of someone we love. This is why treatment plans for coma patients many times include having a loved one at the bedside talking or reading to the patient. There is something in the sound of that voice helping the brain heal itself.

Another example of the power of oxytocin and the power of voice is a study done among a group of high school girls. A test situation was set up where these students were told they would take a test that would have a tremendous impact in their grade. If they failed the test, their would be a huge negative impact on their scholastic record. In this high stress situation, and after the test, the students did one of two things: some called their mothers, while others texted their mothers about their test experience. Increased amounts of oxytocin were produced in the students who called their mothers. The students who merely texted their mothers experienced no oxytocin increase.

There is power in the sound of a voice.

From the very beginning of the Christian tradition, voice has played an important and integral part of humanity’s relationship with God. In Genesis 1:3, “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” God’s voice propelled the process of creation and organization of our world.

Our ancient progenitors, Adam and Eve, tried to hide themselves as they “heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day,” (Gen. 3:8).

In Luke 9:35, the voice of God, the Father, bears witness of His Son, saying, “This is my beloved Son: hear him.”

A familiar voice of a loved one is a powerful medium not merely of sound, but of emotion, familial connection and memory. I experienced this recently with my paternal grandmother. I have a lot of memories of my father’s mother. She was a widow for many years. She lived in a small house in an older part of Magna, Utah. I would go with my father and help mow her lawn, pull weeds and do other odd jobs around the house. It’s been almost 30 years since she passed away in 1989. Not long ago, my father shared a recording of an interview he did before she died. As I listened to her share stories of her life, the sound of her small, self-deprecating laugh brought back all of the emotion associated with her. I loved sitting in her small kitchen as she cooked from scratch and told me silly jokes. She would sit with me on her couch and teach me how to play Solitaire, patiently and pleasantly. All of my sense of loss and of missing her came back, just through a few minutes of her voice. The sound of her voice had a powerful, emotional pull on my heart.

With that experience in mind, I have tried to extrapolate that experience forward to another experience of voice we will all have: that time when we pass from this life and hear the voice of our Saviour again. I am certain we are all intimately familiar with His voice from before our arrival here in mortality. I am also certain that I fall far short in trying to imagine the feeling of divine love that will come rushing back when Jesus Christ welcomes us back home.

Be kind, make good memories, and come back soon.

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Perspective Is Everything

History is all about perspective. Historians have diaries, newspaper articles, political, maritime and military records, as well as archaeological evidence with which to present and interpret past events. Usually, a historian will begin with a premise as to the causes and motivations of a historical event. The premise will change as the historical evidence is reviewed and interpreted. Those proofs do not, and cannot, portray all perspectives of an event. A historical narrative may choose to present an event from a political, sociological, military, gender-based, economic or minority perspectives. Generally, the historian picks one or two perspectives to examine. The choice of scholarly focus is driven by the amount of evidence that exists. That means that when we learn about a historical event, the information is going to generally be a monocular or binocular point-of-view. That view point is also going to reflect the historian’s bias and interpretation of events, which is often captured in the historian’s theory of an event’s causation and consequences.

Time passed is one of the most impactful variables in studying history. As time passes, the existence of original source material diminishes. Witnesses to an event age and die, journals, newspapers eventually disappear, and buildings eventually crumble under the weight of ages.

An excellent example exists in the American Revolution. Albeit the documentation is over 200 years old, there is a vast array of journals, official notes, military documents, army payroll records, etc. Yet if we try and examine American history 100 years earlier than 1776, we find our sources much diminished. We have fewer journals to examine and fewer newspapers to scour. The farther back in time, the sources exponentially shrink. This makes historical interpretation that much more difficult. Yet when it is all the material available, then the historian must make do. The historian must incorporate phrases such as, “probably,” and “it’s highly likely,” in the narrative as proof texts decrease and speculative interpretation increases. With decreased original primary material, the ability to obtain a clear picture of a past event becomes more challenging.

Even with primary material, historians are dealing with the opinion and perspective of the source. Historians also interject their own interpretation on the information. So, in this model, the final consumer is presented with possibly at least two layers of subjective narrative to understand.

When we apply this model to ancient scripture, the issues expand exponentially. For both the Old and New Testaments, no original manuscripts exist. All the extant manuscripts are copies. In fact, the manuscripts we have are copies of copies of even more copies produced over millennia. A scholar could spend an entire career examining textual variants among the copies, looking for changes from one manuscript to the next. All that work is done with the goal in mind of producing the most correct version of scripture possible, attempting to work back to the closest proximity of the original documents.

Another direction in scriptural textual criticism, or the analysis of scriptural manuscripts, is trying to determine who were the original authors of biblical texts. In examining the Old Testament, the most accepted theory is the Documentary Hypothesis. This theory, though not original to him, was most effectively presented by the German theologian, Julius Wellhausen, in the later part of the 19th century. In examining word usage in the Pentateuch primarily, the Documentary Hypothesis states that there are five identified contributors to the Pentateuch. The contributors are identified as:

Elohists – Unknown authors who employ the term, “Elohim,” when referencing God. Elohist writing is found throughout the first four books of the Pentateuch.

Jehovists – Unknown authors who refer to God as Yahweh, the Lord, and Adonai. Jehovist writing is found throughout the first four books of the Pentateuch.

Priestly – Priest-based authors, mainly credited for Leviticus and sections of Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomists – Authors responsible for the majority of the book of Deuteronomy. Possibly from the time of King Josiah’s reforms, (640 BCE.)

Redactors – Editors/redactors of the text of the Pentateuch.

In addition, the Documentary Hypothesis has some variations, including the Supplementary and Fragmentary theories. These theories mainly pertain to how the Pentateuch was created and organized.

Hypothesis Method of composition

Documentary A small number of continuous documents (traditionally four) combined to form one continuous final text.

Supplementary Produced by the successive addition of layers of supplementary material to a core text or group of texts.

Fragmentary The combination of a large number of short texts.

Perspective comes into play in the Old Testament, as well. In this case, the perspective is coming from the writer(s) of the text. We, as readers, try and discern if the writer is coming from a priestly perspective, a prophetic perspective or an editor perspective. Is the writer biased towards the northern kingdoms of Israel or the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin? When was the record made? Was it before the Babylonian exile or after the return from the exile? These elements and more need to be evaluated when critically reading an Old Testament text.

So, where am I going with this explanatory material? When talking about the scriptures, one is primarily discussing revelation from God to humanity. There are, of course, sub-topics, such as covenant and priesthood, etc. Arching over all the sub-themes is revelation: the manner in which God communicates with his children. Discussion recently among some religious scholars on the topic of revelation covers ground regarding the nature of the revelatory process. Whether the recipient of the revelation was Moses, Joseph Smith or Mohammed, it seems clear that that the prophet did not turn into a dictation machine, robotically spitting out God’s word. Prophet’s communicated revelation in their own words, however stylized, within the context of their own time. Sometimes the message was very direct, sometimes constructed into word pictures: allegories filled with symbolism that would be understood by the audience immediately receiving the revelation. At all times, the prophet attempts to communicate God’s word using the prophet’s own language and cultural symbols. This is why studying ancient near eastern cultures is a benefit to biblical study. By understanding how an ancient Israelite, Egyptian, or Canaanite saw the world and expressed their world, our understanding of ancient prophets is enriched and God’s message is better understood.

Be kind, make good memories and come back soon.



Gained in Translation

Robert Wheadon-126x150

David Bentley Hart is an Eastern Orthodox scholar of religion out of Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana. Last year he published his translation of the New Testament. It’s an interesting work. Hart’s goal in translation is to bring the ancient Greek New Testament text into a clearer focus. He translates the text into a document where Hart presents a truer rendering from the Greek. Below are three examples from the Gospel of Luke that illustrate his approach.

Luke 3:8 – “Bear fruits, then, worthy of a change of heart.”

Luke 3:3 – “And he went into all the region round about the Jordan proclaiming a baptism of the heart’s transformation, for the forgiveness of sins.”

Luke 5:32 – “I have come to call not the upright, but sinners, to a change of heart.”

In the King James Version, the verses are rendered:

Luke 3:8 – “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance.”

Luke 3:3 – “And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”

Luke 5:34 – “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

I’ve found that reading various translations of scripture can bring new insights and meaning to scripture study. Translators each have their own biases and agendas, and will translate accordingly. In this translation, Hart makes word choices in rendering the koine Greek into English, yet at the same time he tries to portray the text as closely as he can to the original language.

In the examples I cited above, rather than use the word, “repentance,” Hart renders the text as “change of heart,” or “heart’s transformation.” I like Hart’s rendering as it much more clearly describes what Jesus is talking about in his preaching. Real repentance, true repentance, is part of the process of becoming like Christ. And that requires a change of heart, or a change of our desires that tend to be more earthly than godly.

And we all have portions of our hearts that need changing. Personally, I am exasperatingly stubborn when so inclined. I lack patience, especially when it is most needed. I could go on and then on some more. The point is we all have elements of our needing to be re-directioned towards heaven.

In counterpoint to this is the effort required to change. I’ll be first in line to admit that change is uncomfortable. At times, I would prefer being dragged naked through a field of cactus than adjust my habits, perspectives or attitude.

C.S. Lewis, in his book, “Mere Christianity,” puts it this way. “People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, ‘If you keep a lot of rules I’ll reward you, and if you don’t I’ll do the other thing.’ I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.”

C.S. Lewis paints this philosophy in an either/or scenario. I believe the spectrum is broader than that. How could it not be? Throughout our lives we change. There are times of improvement and times of decline; periods of faith and moments of despair. Our lives are never static or frozen in sameness for very long. Lewis’ description aptly describes what a change of heart really consists of.

There is a broad, overall change when our life’s focus re-centers itself away from us and points towards God. We look for ways to serve His children. We slow down and see the beauty of people and the world God created. Then there are the day-by-day actions which we perform as a barometer of our current state of devotion. This change, this metamorphosis, is not just making good choices. With the right amount of fear, desire or motivation, any one of us can outwardly act like saints. The mountain that God is trying to move within each of us is a change of who we are into someone better, someone purer, someone more joyful. He is trying to transform us into “children of Christ.” This transformation takes a lifetime and beyond, but it does begin with us wanting to, as David Bentley Hart translated, “change our hearts.”

Be kind, make good memories and come back soon.

 



The Is That Isn’t

Robert Wheadon-126x150

 

In a recent article in The Atlantic, [1] Peter Brannen discusses a concept in physics. Rather than examining visible evidence, the article looks at evidence of what is missing. Sometimes what is not evident can teach us more than the what is right in front of us. For example, in WWII, British and American bomber crews, flying out of England, were being shot down in deplorably high numbers. The military brought in an economist, to assist in evaluating the planes that returned from bombing raids. The military first inspected the battered bombers. After examining the returned bombers, the military suggested that armor plating be increased where the highest concentration of flak and bullet damage existed on the surviving planes. The economist responded with a totally opposite observation. Additional armor should be placed where the least amount of bullet damage could be found. The logic here existed in the fact that if a plane returned, it meant that the vital areas of the bomber had not been seriously hit, thus allowing the plane to return. So, additional armor was affixed to the engines per the economist’s suggestion.

This focus on what is not there is completely opposite to our every-day world view. We focus on what is, to what draws our attention and what captures our interest. This manner of input awareness, established through our sight, hearing, smell and taste, introduces us to our world and are the tools with which our brain interprets our world. For a toddler, this is an excellent approach to learning and explaining the world. Most of the elements that illuminate a child’s world are external, tactile items. It is through this experiential process children learn the stove is sometimes hot, flowers can smell good and frogs are slimy.

As one grows older, however, it soon becomes evident that there is more going on than just what our senses capture. The growing cognizance of feeling and emotion adds layers of causation to events. We soon realize there is more going on in this world than merely synaptic interactions and molecular activity. At least, if you are following this blog, I sincerely hope you do.

One of the most invisible, yet most sought after of intangibles is truth. Truth has taken quite a beating over the last few years, especially in the arena of politics. New phrases have entered our vocabulary, such as “fake news,” and “alternative news,” and the result is an increase of insecurity and cynicism of not knowing what to believe as fact. We are deluged and forced to dog-paddle in a sea of opinions which clamor for respectability as truth. The same mistrust occurs with business, the justice system and gender relations.

It is understandable why some lose hope or surrender to an outlook of cynicism. Yet I don’t believe that is what God wants for us. One of the messages of God’s son, Jesus Christ, is that of hope and a charitable, loving attitude in this life. And God has provided all of us with ways to discern truth and be confident we are pursuing a course in life that is pleasing to our Father. He is most certainly aware of our needs and desires for truth and of the problems that arise when there is a lack of truth. In Isaiah 49:13 we read: “Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.” Now I don’t know about singing mountains, but it seems clear that God can and will provide peace for us.

The next question is in what manner that assistance comes. Is there a heavenly hotline where we can dial up our questions? Something like 1-800-GET-HELP would be extremely beneficial. As always, our Heavenly Father has prepared a better way. In John 14:26, the Savior teaches: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” The Comforter, or the Holy Ghost is the means God has given us to be able to discern truth, or “teach (us) all things.” By asking God and by listening for the Holy Ghost to illuminate truth, we can know where truth lays.

So, how do we obtain access to the Holy Ghost? How do we tap in? What’s the secret password? The simple answer consists of two steps: 1) Ask. As I’ve written about previously, prayer opens the doors of heaven. 2) Keep trying to live our days in harmony with Jesus Christ. That means we repent, and avoid pride. As it says in Moroni 8:26: “And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.”

As this article began, sometimes the unseen is more important than the seen. Sometimes the truth is gained from means not visible and measurable by our science. Sometimes, as Bob Dylan said, we need to keep “knockin’ on heaven’s door.”

Be kind, make good memories, and come back soon.

 

[1] “Why Earth’s History Appears So Miraculous,” The Atlantic, 15 March 2018



The Anthropomorphic Nature of God
April 13, 2018, 3:27 am
Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, faith, LDS, Mormon, religion

Robert Wheadon-126x150

In my conversations with friends of other faiths, one of the consistent points of difference is regarding the physical nature of God. When talking with those of a Protestant background, the nature of God discussion quickly coalesces around whether God is an eternal spirit, or whether he possesses a corporeal body. The Bible contains passages which are interpreted to support both claims. Yet I find the preponderance of scriptural examples, as well as logic, side with the position of God possessing a corporeal, physical form.

From the very beginning of the biblical record, one encounters passages that support this view. In Genesis 1:27 (KJV), we read how, “God created man in his own image.” In Genesis 5:1b,”…In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him.”

Comparative literature demonstrates similar views of deity. In the Enuma Elish, a Babylonian creation text from approximately 1400 BCE, the creation of the universe and the ordering of cosmic chaos is related. The god, Marduk, a very corporeal god, defeats the other Babylonian gods of wind, water, storm and sea, and creates humanity from the body of his mother, Tiamat. It is apparent that an anthropomorphic pantheon of gods occupied the Babylonian cosmology account.

This is a very different view from than the Aristotelian view. As B.A.G. Fuller describes, “God, as Aristotle describes him, is merely an abstract, general description of the nature and ideal of the human reason;”[1] Thus, God is a force, an essence in the cosmos. According to Aristotle’s philosophy, God is busy with the loftiest effort possible: thinking about thinking. This earth and its inhabitants are outside of God’s activities, and not God’s concern.

Plato’s philosophy of God’s nature is a bit more aligned with Christianity’s view. The alignment occurs only with Plato’s assertion that there is a being who created the universe. The being does those things which achieve the greatest good. Good is a causal element, practiced by beings who are the most virtuous and seek to achieve the highest level of good. Plato does not address the attributes of God beyond the philosophical motivation of achieving good through the act of creation.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition, we are left with scriptural evidences to guide us in learning whether humanity worships a God with physical, albeit eternal, attributes, or if God is a force of energy or an omnipresent spirit.

As I quoted at the beginning of this article, the ancient scriptural record of Genesis portrays the creation of humanity as being in the likeness or image of its Creator. (See Gen. 1:27, Gen 5:1, and Gen. 9:6.) My approach to scriptural exegesis is going to follow a more literal course, rather than an interpretative one. For example, when the ancient patriarch, Jacob, has an encounter with God, Jacob describes it as, “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved,” (Gen. 32:30.) The literal event Jacob describes is one where he sees God, and describes the encounter in terms where he is speaking to an anthropomorphic deity, i.e. one who has a face. This type of descriptive encounter is similar to one found in Gen. 3:8. Prior to being evicted from the Garden of Eden, the verse recounts, “And they (Adam and Eve) heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day:” A walking god seems to clearly demonstrate a god with physical form.

As the reader moves on through the story of Israel, we are introduced to the great lawgiver, Moses. In Exodus 24:10, we read how Moses, his brother, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and seventy elders of Israel are commanded to ascend Mt. Horeb to receive the tablets of stone, containing God’s law and commandments. Going up the mountain, verse 10 says, “And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.” Again, we are presented with a god with feet, definitely a physical attribute. Other examples exist similar to this one. (See Ex. 31:18, Ex. 33;11, Ex. 33:23 and Num. 12:8.)

Moving into the New Testament, some of the clearest scriptural examples of corporeal divinity are found in the book of John. In John 14:9, Jesus is teaching Phillip. The Savior says, “…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” The Savior makes the comparison between his heavenly parent and himself to the apostles, teaching them that the physical form they see in Jesus, is the same form held by God, the Father. Other examples from the Synoptic Gospels are found in John 17. Jesus, in his wonderful Intercessory Prayer to the Father, asks that the apostles return to the Father, just as Jesus will return to the Father. Jesus will return to God in his resurrected, glorified corporeal form, not as an ethereal spirit that is nowhere and everywhere.

The apostle, Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, discusses the promised resurrection. In Phil. 3:31, Paul relates that Christ, through the resurrection, “…shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” Again, Paul is teaching and of the understanding that Jesus received an eternal body through the resurrection, and through grace, shall grant the same gift to all of God’s children. (Also see Hebrews 1:3, James 3:9, 1 John 3:2, and Rev. 22:4.)

There are other extra-biblical sources that could be examined, but I believe the biblical record presents a clear and logical presentation on the anthropomorphic attributes of God the Father, as well as His son, Jesus Christ.

Be kind, make good memories, and come back soon.

[1] The Theory of God in Book Λ of Aristotle’s Metaphysics

Author(s): B. A. G. Fuller

Source: The Philosophical Review, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Mar., 1907), pp. 170-183

Published by: Duke University Press on behalf of Philosophical Review

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2177471



Keep or Fulfill

Robert Wheadon-126x150

I read an interesting verse in the Book of Mormon. In Moroni 8:25 it reads, “And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins.”

I think it is interesting that the writer chose to use the word, “fulfill,” rather than “keep.” I think most followers of religion are much more familiar with “keep,” as in “keep the commandments.” And when we think about it, the nuance is that we are living in accordance to a requirement. In the instance of commandments, we try and live by requirements given to humanity by God. We use the same nuance when we talk about keeping a promise or keeping an appointment. We are comporting ourselves in line with a mutually understood set of rules. These rules are sometimes set by society, by employers, and in the case of commandments, by God, (see Exodus 20:6.)

The word, “fulfill,” can have a similar meaning. It can mean to carry out a command or duty, which aligns its definition with “keep.” However, there are some significant differences. To fulfill does not bring with it the strictness of “to keep.” To fulfill a commandment opens the principle of agency, of allowing a person to obey a commandment with their understanding of God’s will. The term also promotes the idea of the progressive nature of commandments. What I mean by progressive nature is obeying the commandments is a transitive experience. Initially, when someone is at a point early in life, they are going to obey the commandments for basic reasons: fear of punishment, pursuit of parental or Godly recognition, or avoidance of guilt. As we mature, the motivations for following the path of God take on different iterations. We try and align our lives with Christ, and pattern our lives from a growing love of God, rather than a reward-punishment model. Fulfilling a commandment encompasses God’s plan for us as we grow and progress in our mortal journey. Keeping a commandment gives a static sense of obedience, whereas fulfilling a commandment allows for personal growth and progression.

This model also allows for those times when we don’t progress. When we live at a level less than our understanding, our spiritual progression retrogrades, our proximity to God decreases and our divine light fades. This contrasts with keeping a commandment where the only option is the breaking of the commandment when we don’t live up to our divine potential. I don’t believe Heavenly Father views our life as a series of binary consequences, or an eternal checklist. That is why the atonement of Jesus Christ allows us to repent, or change direction towards light, when we make a decision that leads towards darkness. It is because of the atonement that we can fulfill God’s commands rather than just keep or break them.

The most significant impact of this model is how it demonstrates Heavenly Father’s love for all of us. Instead of a stern, patriarchal picture of our divine parent, the use of fulfilling a commandment highlights a love-filled plan of salvation for His children.

Be kind, make good memories, and come back soon.

 



A Christmas Prayer

Robert Wheadon-126x150

Christianity has a long history of writing and preserving prayers.   The Old Testament is full of prayers.  Just contemplate the Psalms.  Psalms 102:1 reads:

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee.”

In the New Testament there are several examples of recorded prayer.  In Matthew 6:9-13,  we have the Lord’s Prayer.  In Matthew 26:39, the prayer the Savior offers in the Garden of Gethsemane is recorded for all to read.  In John 17 is the beautiful Intecessory Prayer.  Jesus prays for his disciples, and for all of us, to His Father, to help make us one with Divinity.

In the spirit of Christmas and the Christ, I want to share a prayer written by an Anglican in England, named Winfred, which I find both heart-touching and soul-approriate for this time of year.

The Advent Prayer

Loving God,

I come to You as one on a journey.

As I see and hear the busyness of Christmas all around me,

I now pause and rest and reflect.

It’s not an easy time for many.

I am where I am, for good or ill.

Among the bright lights around me,

I seek a truer and more meaningful light.

I am grateful that all is not darkness.

I am grateful for those who are there for me in my need,

Offering friendship, and support, and understanding.

May I, in some small way,

Be there for those who also have needs not unlike my own.

May we be gifts to one another.

I am where I am.

Lead me to where You would have me be.

I am where I am.

If I am weak, I pray to be made strong.

I am where I am.

If I am lost, I pray for guiding hands.

I am where I am.

If I am in despair, I pray for new hope.

May the God of Peace grant me His Peace,

Whatever I do and Wherever I go,

Today and every day.

Amen.

I pray that we may be the gifts, freely shared, to those whom God has placed in our lives.

Be kind, make good memories, and come back soon.