Morning Prayer

Good morning, dear God!

The sun has greeted you already while my eyes were closed, my body still asleep.

In Ilonggo, I say, “Maayong Aga!” It sounds more soft, more tender when I say it out loud to you,

our Loving Creator – the source of life, language and love.

Thank you! “Salamat gid!”

Again, gratitude in Ilonggo glides out of my lips like honey dripping with sweetness.

I say “Salamat, thank you, gracias, merci,” for a new day, so full of possibilities…

you and me, together –

walking through it, hand in hand, with love.

May I not let go of your hand, nor lose sight of you, and take off towards another direction.

Please help me to trust you every step of the way, even with all that’s going on in my life and in this world that are driving me to be in doubt and mired in despair.

Remind me of this “Salamat” moment, the peace and joy and quiet with you before I rose from sleep to meet the fevered demands of the day.

May this memory be a gift that I carry in my heart to give me strength, come what may.

So be it.

Salamat gid!

In the name of Yeshua, the Messiah.

Amen.

Published by

Carla Romarate-Knipel

Ever since I was a child, I enjoyed reading and writing. Perhaps it was because my parents were great storytellers and voracious readers. As soon as I learned to write (yes I did it in cursive like everybody else did then!) I started a diary. When I was nine years old I sent a letter to my Dad who was an overseas contract worker in Guam. I wrote it in a form of a comic book and illustrated it myself. As a student at the Central Philippine University Elementary School, I was the Filipino literary editor of our school paper, the Mini Echo. To this day I was baffled by that because I was not that good in Filipino! In highs school I served as literary editor in the Central High Herald. I began to write poems and short stories that unfortunately I don't have any copies saved because we didn't have computers and flash drives then. II joined a short story writing contest sponsored by Central echo, CPU's college paper some time in the 1980's. I joined because I needed money to buy a new pair of sandals. My short story was titled, "Leaves," and it won first place! The chief judge was Prof. Alfredo Q. Gonzales, author of the classic essay, "The Will of a River," one of my favorite reads of Filipino literature in English. I did a lot of writing in college/seminary and graduate school but the most fun I had was when I was writing poems and short stories. Fast forward to the 21st century, I now write sermons every week and articles for our monthly news letter. Currently I serve as Senior Pastor of Central Baptist Church of Woodbury in Woodbury, New Jersey, U.S.A. This is my twelfth year at CBC, where my husband and I served as co-interim pastors from 2010 through 2012. We have a 19-year old son who is a college freshman, and my technical adviser in all things digital. In this continuing writing adventure I am thankful to God for giving me the inspiration to write and the joy that goes with it. I hope that my poems, prayers and prose inspire joy in my readers.

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