Fast Wednesdays: Week of May 25, 2016 – Commencement: New Beginnings

Greetings Beloved!


noun: commencement; plural noun: commencements
  1. 1.
    a beginning or start.
    “at the commencement of training”
  2. 2.
    North American
    a ceremony in which degrees or diplomas are conferred on graduating students.
    “a commencement address”
    synonyms: graduation, convocation

    “commencement ceremonies”


We are now going through the “annual” commencement season, here in the U.S., when we see the highest number of folks graduating and advancing to next levels of school, work, etc. I was fortunate to participate as I received a Master’s Certificate from Hartford Seminary in Religious Studies…yeah! Watching the news media, I have heard many great speeches given to graduates about how to move forward, transition and transform their lives and #dreambig. At my own ceremony we were encouraged to be change agents, have more Interfaith Dialogue and respect for all.

As I have shared with many, I will be retiring from IBM on next Tuesday, May 31, 2016, so this is my last official post while working here. Its a bittersweet time for me. There are several other colleagues whom I have known for years who are leaving as well and I’m excited to be a part of the class of 2016 leaving IBM, if there’s any such thing…I’m in great company with a list too long to name but you guys know who you are and best wishes.

As commencement is defined above … “let the festivities begin” as we, who are leaving at this time, approach this milestone and start the next chapter in our lives, while IBM has been a blast, its been a good ride, now join me …Dropping the mic…



Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Numbers 6:24-26 The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Psalm 91:1-16 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, …

Psalm 23:3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Luke 1:23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.


Prayer For Those That Are Facing Retirement

Heavenly Father we pray for the men and women that are getting near to their retirement and perhaps are growing weary as a result of the stresses and strains of the world – or who are concerned that during their post-retirement life they will be ill-equipped to provide for their daily needs.

Comfort and strengthen we pray, all those that are in this situation and we ask that You would draw alongside each one and create in them a vision of the future that You have for their lives – with You at the helm of their lives.

Motivate them to look beyond the world’s view of retirement, which so often devalues the older generation and help them to see that with You they have the rest of their lives to love and serve You in newness of love, as You lead and guide them in ways that they may never have imagined, to Your praise and glory.

Provide we pray for all their needs and necessities of life and draw each one into a closer fellowship with You in the years ahead, in Jesus name we pray,


Prayer Of Thanks For Retirement

Dear heavenly Father, I come to You with grateful thanks that You have permitted me to reach my retirement after so many years of service. Thank You for the health and strength that You have given me day by day to enable me to work and thank You also for those that have been instrumental in giving me work and working alongside me.

Please bless all my work colleagues and bosses – my friends and those that have mentored me over the years, and may each one be sheltered and protected by Your love and I pray that those that have resisted the gospel of grace over the years, will one day open their hearts to Jesus and accept Him as their Lord and Saviour.

Thank You for the skills that I have learned and the opportunities that You have put in my path throughout my career – and I thank You for the opportunities that You have purposed for me – that are yet hidden in the future.

Thank You for being with me throughout my working life and Lord I pray that with You at the helm, You will continue to give me many more years in Your service – so that this time of retirement may continue to be an opportunity to serve You in spirit and truth and to draw ever closer to You, until I come to be with You in heaven. Praise Your holy name for my life. Direct each future path I take and I pray that You will continue to be my ever present help in time of trouble and my constant Guide, to direct my every step, in Jesus name I pray,


Love, Joy and Peace,  

Debra J. Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters (and some brothers) in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us, for various reasons, participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the blog continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord, both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (, Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog in Word Press:


Butterfly wings

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